Jeff Duntemann's Contrapositive Diary Rotating Header Image

November 7th, 2008:

Odd Lots

  • I got drilled and post-ed yesterday and am mostly over it. The weirdest part of the whole procedure was listening to Dr. Salcetti cranking the implant post down into my jawbone with a small tool that sounded like—and in fact actually is—a miniature ratchet driver. (We will not speak of the earlier sound, of her drill going into bone, both sounding and feeling like a drill press working its way into something gummy.)
  • For the first time I managed a major-release upgrade of Ubuntu without any fussing. Going from 8.04 to 8.10 took about half an hour, but it went absolutely without incident. (In the past I've had to restart the upgrade after it froze, and once I just gave up and did a clean install after reformatting the partition.) I don't see a lot of differences in Intrepid Ibex beyond the wallpaper, which initially puzzled me. It looks like a soda glass ring on somebody's dirty leather couch arm, but after staring at it for a moment I saw the ibex. Sorry; I liked the heron better—and I tremble to think what the wallpaper will be for v9.04 Jaunty Jackalope next spring.
  • Well, alas, Kubuntu didn't fare as well—the upgrade crashed somewhere partway through, and the instance (which is still shown as v8.04 in grub) will not boot. At some point I will reformat the partition and reinstall from the ISO. KDE 4 is an acquired taste, but I've watched it evolve for many years and won't stop now.
  • November 2008 is the 25th anniversary of the release of Turbo Pascal 1.0. David I will be printing selected “How I discovered Turbo Pascal” stories in his blog, and although mine is well-nigh legendary (I practically had to be beaten over the head to try it) I will be writing it up and sending it to him shortly. Damn little in tech has ever affected me more than that!
  • Bob Ballantine W8SU sent me a scan of John T. Frye's 1985 obituary the other day, and it was severely disturbing: Frye died by a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Maybe it could have been an accident, but somehow I doubt it. Too many lonely writers (Piper, Disch, and others) have died by their own hands. He is buried with his parents at Mount Hope Cemetery in Logansport. Scroll down or search for Frye in the plot listings.
  • Finally, Pete Albrecht reports that the New York Daily News spoke of an election day get-out-the-vote promo in which Krispy Kreme handed out “donut-shaped stars.” (See the figure caption.) I've seen these in SF (recall that long-forgotten turkey, Nova by Samuel Delaney) but never in a donut shop. Maybe Olaf Stapledon's Star Maker works there. Talk about fresh from a hot oven!