Category Archives: Administrative


That post title is a vague comic-strip rendition of the curse I emitted when, in attempting to get my machine to reboot after freezing, and getting only a series of long on/off beeps, and repeatedly removing and replacing the half meg of RAM in an attempt to get it working again, one of the end clips popped off the socket.

So much for that mobo.

I didn’t need this. I particularly didn’t need this after moving to Florida, thousands of miles from the nearest Fry’s. I even more particularly didn’t need this after considering that a new mobo will require a Windows reinstallation, and the disk is still packed away somewhere.

But I suppose this is a good excuse to finally finish unpacking office stuff, and attempt to organize it.

Fortunately, it’s not my only machine, but it does have some data on the drive that I’d like access to pronto.

Anyone know a good place to buy a motherboard in Boca Raton and environs? I haven’t noticed any computer places here that hold a candle to Fry’s (or PC Club, or other similar places in California).



That’s half a gig, not half a meg of RAM. The machine isn’t that old.


We’ve got full power. The air conditioning is on, we have hot water, I’ve got my computer network back up, and I don’t need to run my laptop and DSL modem off my car battery to get on line. We’re doing a huge backlog of laundry.

I was afraid that it would take much longer than this, because there are still many in south Florida with no power at all, and I didn’t think that there would be any priority for people who at least had lights. Fortunately, one of the trucks from the Cincinnati power company that are among the many from other states helping out drove down our street, and had a spare transformer for us.


The power just came on, for the first time in five days.

Just in time to be knocked out by Ivan on Monday…

Time to shut down this jury-rigged laptop/car-battery setup and get the network back up.

[Update a few minutes later]

Good news: we have power.

Bad news: the air conditioner isn’t coming on. I’ve checked the breaker, and it’s closed. Any ideas?

[Update at 5:30 PM EDT[

Since the AC was working before the storm, and we turned it off before it hit, while we still had electricity, I’m guessing that there’s nothing wrong with it. My working hypothesis right now, based on other flaky behavior of other appliances (I still can’t work the internet off the house power–I’m plugged back into the car again), is low voltage. I measured out at the fuses of the air conditioner, and it was lower there than it was one of the 110 sockets in the house (I think that it’s supposed to be 240). The neighbors are having similar brownout issues. It may be that we’re only getting voltage on half the line.

At least we have light now, and ceiling fans. We’ll see if the fridges get cold.

Checking In, Tentatively

OK, I’m blogging from the house now. I’ve got a power converter plugged into the cigarette lighter of the car, and am running my laptop, DSL modem and wireless router off it. I’ll have to go out periodically to start the car to keep its battery charged.

It turns out that I could have done this yesterday (and Monday, too), but when I tried it then, I couldn’t get a DSL connection. Today it occurred to me that in an attempt to get phone service, someone may have plugged in a phone that didn’t require AC power, and forgot to use a microfilter. Sure enough, that was the problem. Once I fixed it, I got a steady light on the DSL.

Anyway, I’m sort of back in business, with a telecon this afternoon for some consulting, and I have a computer again, for now. There’s no word on when we’ll get power back here, but with our recent luck, I suspect that it will be just in time to knocked out by Ivan (the Terrible?) this weekend.

Time to go out and restock the water supply.

Checking In, Temporarily

Thanks to Bill for updating all y’all yesterday (see, I’m starting to pick up the local lingo here, except that it should actually be New Yorkese, not redneck).

I’ve a lot to tell, but not a lot of time to tell it, because we still don’t have power, or internet. I’m posting this from Patricia’s trailer at the Tri-Rail project, which obviously had higher priority for power restoration. Much of Boca Raton remains without electricity. As Bill said, the house is fine. We have telephone and water, but no power. I hooked up a power converter from the car to the DSL modem, and we don’t have connectivity to the net, else I’d be blogging from home via the car battery.

We lucked out, because the storm both weakened and hit north of us, eliminating any risk of flooding from the surge. We have a few shrubs broken, but are otherwise unscathed. However, we will keep most of the shutters and plywood up until we see what the ultimate disposition of Ivan will be.

In short, we dodged a bullet, but we may not be so lucky next time, and our hearts go out to those who were hit much harder to the north.

Much more when we get power and bandwidth.

Frances Update

Hi, I’m Bill Simon, webmaster of Transterrestrial Musing. I have just spoken with Rand and I want to let you know that Rand and Patricia are doing okay in the aftermath of Hurricane Frances. There was minimal wind damage to their home and no flooding. I am writing this because, as of this post, they are still without power and have no estimate as to when it will be back on. As such Rand’s computers are down. The house is still boarded up, however, as they keep an eye on Ivan.

That’s it for now. Rand will post as soon as he gets a chance.

OK, Really Outta Here This Time

We’ve got a room west of I-95 in Del Rey, for three nights. On the current track, the storm will be coming in late tomorrow and Saturday, though the initial bands will probably appear sometime tomorrow morning. Our biggest concern in the house is storm surge, so I’m packing up computers and other documents to take. There’s an 8 PM curfew, so we need to get everything over there before then.

I’ll check back as soon as I can.

See Ya…

We’ll probably be evacuating in the morning, the way things are looking. I hope we’ve buttoned up the house well enough. We’re only a hundred yards or so from the Intracoastal at the north end of Boca Raton, just south of Del Rey Beach, so we may get some flooding, if it keeps heading in the direction that it looks like. Palm Beach and Broward counties may be really plastered. It’s looking pretty scary out there. I hope that we’re not without power for too long, but the size and intensity of this storm looks like it could make Charley a spring shower in comparison, and this may be the new record holder for damage in dollar value if it hits here. Rush Limbaugh (who lives up the coast in Jupiter) may become homeless, at least in Florida.

I still have a few pieces of plywood to attach, but our storm shutters are up. Don’t know when I’ll be able to check in, but I will as soon as possible. I sure picked a heck of a week to move to Florida.