Jeff Duntemann's Contrapositive Diary Rotating Header Image

Jaunty Jackalope in Only 2:45

I finished and packed off the introduction to the book today, which doesn’t leave a great deal more to do. I’m still “discussing” how to handle my two ASCII charts, which I laid out in InDesign and exported as PDFs. It boggles to imagine that nobody there knows how to insert a PDF into a print image, but that’s the impression I’m getting. Now and then I think publishing was better off when we strung books together with X-Acto knives and waxers.

Let it go, I keep telling myself. Nobody’s going to hang me if I don’t include a concise representation of the IBM-850 code page, as useful as it might sometimes be.

And my do-it list is calling to me. I knocked off an item today that’s worth relating: I upgraded the Ubuntu 8.10 instance on this machine to 9.04. I let the updater do it, just to see how automatically and how accurately it would happen. I’ve got a lot of software installed there (including several Windows apps under Crossover) and lots of configuration tweaks.

It happened completely automatically. I was asked twice if I wanted to keep the existing menu.lst file, which I didn’t recognize and didn’t run downstairs to look up. Alas, I told it to keep the existing one, which it obediently did–and thus didn’t update the menu display for Grub. I can fix that, but I’m annoyed at myself for being too lazy to look first.

Beyond that, as best I can tell, nothing was corrupted or left out or changed in any significant way. It took two hours and forty-five minutes, most of which was spent downloading 1,413 files from the repositories. It didn’t demand to reboot until the end of the process, which is a trick Microsoft should learn.

I admit, I was a little disappointed that there’s no funny animal in the default wallpaper. I liked the Hardy Heron art a lot; and Intrepid Ibex wasn’t bad once I got used to it, as much as it resembled a soda glass ring on a leather couch. Jackalopes don’t exist except in our imaginations (though there was one on the wall of the Pie Pan restaurant in Sauganash where we lunched with my grandmother in the early 1960s) so perhaps omitting it makes a rough kind of sense. Come October we’ll see what a Karmic Koala looks like. Maybe.

Anyway. It went great. Completely trouble-free so far. Highly recommended.


  1. Terry Roe says:

    Maybe you could publish links to the charts as a fall back. If you can’t find some relatively stable place where they are located, perhaps you could post them on your website or the book’s website.

    1. Well, in a pinch I will certainly do that–and it’s looking like the charts will in fact get into the book. I may also build the charts into a free sample chapter PDF that I’m talking to the publisher about. My assembly page is extremely stale and needs a lot of work, which I’m going to get after a little later this summer. It’s hard to believe that it’s been over nine years since the last edition appeared.

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