Sunday, February 25, 2007

Two Kinds of Computer Users

When I was teaching computer programming as an adjunct faculty member at UVSC, I would emphasize to my classes that there are two kinds of computer users - those who have lost data, and those who will lose data. I'm not the best example of "save and backup", but I'm much better than I used to be. There are at least two copies of anything that is important to me. At least, of the things I have control of.

Our email service has had a crash, and it looks like a few messages have been lost. Since the crash, I haven't gotten any new messages, except for a handful of spam and a number of messages from Prism support, each one assuring me that the problems have REALLY been solved this time.

Now, it's possible that hundreds of fans of this blog have been trying to email me, with the messages just falling off into the ether somewhere. More likely, however, neither of the fans of this blog have tried to send an email. So as a test, I sent myself an email from my work account. I'm still waiting for it to arrive.

We have email accounts with our DSL subscription, but until now I haven't seen any reason to use them. This crash and disruption of service, however, may be all the motivation we need to bite the bullet and make the switch. Stay tuned.

I didn't get the cabinets installed into the garage yesterday. The wind was extremely strong, and it was all I could do to open the door long enough to get into the car. The air was so full of dust that the sky was brown and the sun was obscured. Needless to say, we stayed inside and cleaned up a bit. There's enough cleaning left that we'll probably do a little today, too.

The wind has died down, though, and the forecast is for 60s and sunny. Prime fossil-hunting weather, especially since we just had a good round of rain a couple of days ago. The limestone just seems to melt away in the rain, which of course is why all of the water pipes are coated with a healthy layer of minerals. Our water system does a good job removing that stuff, when there's salt in the tank.

We had the water guys put potassium chloride in the system, to see how it would work. We only had them put a little bit, and decided to go ahead and use regular NaCl. This was yet another source of sticker shock. I can only assume that the salt pellets are harvested there along the Wasatch Front, because the bags were only half as much as they are here. Even Costco charges nearly $5 a bag, compared to about $2.90. At least this system only has one salt tub, so in theory we'll only use half as much. And I haven't given up finding a more economical source.

If anyone feels the need to drive down to Texas this year, please throw a couple bags of salt in your trunk.

No comments: