Breaking the terabyte barrier

Ever since I got back from Bolivia, one of the hard disks inside my PowerMac G4 was getting ready to fail. When it became clear that it was a physical problem, and not just a software issue, I decided it would be good to upgrade to two larger disks – 500 gigabytes each. Add that together, and that’s a total of one terabyte of storage. Now we have a lot more room for digital photos and (especially) digital video editing.

And to think, at one time all I had was an Atari 800 with a cassette tape drive for external storage. Wowsers, we’ve come a long way.

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Comments are working again (hopefully)

Lately I’ve been feeling bummed. I had been writing a lot more on the weblog the last few months … but there were no comments.

So I posted the video of Jadzia. After a couple of days, still no comments.

I thought: “Sure, maybe people aren’t interested in what I’m writing. But how could anyone not respond to this awesome video?” I was puzzled and began to investigate.

Turns out that the problem started when I upgraded my blog software a couple months ago.

And it turns out that you all HAVE been writing comments … it’s just that my weblog classified all your comments as spam!

Thankfully I have been able to salvage all the comments made in the last two months. Unfortunately any comments you all posted between mid-April and mid-May were deleted automatically by the system. (feel free to go back and post more comments though!)

Anyway, order has been restored and comments now should work normally, so please post away!

I died and went to Atari heaven

When the day comes that the Renaud Empire is firmly entrenched across the globe, one of the significant changes it will lead to is the re-establishment of the Atari computer.

Yes, those who know me well know that I always have been (and will be) an Atarian. True, I eventually became a Mac user. But in the same way that I am a Texan-in-exile who lives in St. Louis, I am also an Atarian-in-exile forced to use a Mac.

And so it was with great joy that I stumbled onto the weblog called “Dadhacker” written by a former engineer from Atari. He has some amazing stories (very well-written). Here are just two:

Donkey Kong and me – He tells how he got hired at Atari and his first project was porting Donkey Kong from the arcade to the Atari 8-bit computers.

The Atari ST – He describes Atari’s implosion in the early 80s, leading to the takeover by the Tramiels. He surived the Tramiels’ purge and helped with the launch of the Atari ST line of computers.

Christmastime in review

As I mentioned in my previous post, this was an interesting Christmas season. It was nice to have Justin and Becca in town for several days before the actual holiday so we could spend some time together.

Among the activities was a game of disc golf at muddy White Birch in Hazelwood. It was quite fun, even though I didn’t fare too well. The highlight for me was making a birdie on hole 17, which is not easy, and making par on 18.

On my side of the family, we often make Christmas lists to give relatives an idea of what kinds of things we need or would be a blessing to us. This can be a good thing. This year, Yoli and I kept our lists very simple. I wanted donations toward an iPod and she wanted donations toward a video camera.

This can be tacky, and I hope I don’t do it again for a good while. But I had been patiently waiting to get an iPod for several years now, and it was so good to finally get it. After Christmas I found a nice used one here in town (similar to one my brother Jon has already) with some accessories at a great price. Yoli did her research on digital video cameras and we are buying a refurbished Consumer Reports best-buy which we’ll take to Bolivia in January. It will be good to tape Jadzia with her Bolivian family so she can see them again and again when we are in the U.S. Likewise, we can make tapes of her and send them to Bolivia.

I am enjoying my iPod, but as is usually the case, the most memorable gift is the unexpected one. My mom got me a nice pair of gloves to replace the ancient tattered ski gloves I’ve been wearing since junior high or high school (I forget). Later in the morning she pulled out a fancy dress coat they had been saving for years for one of my brothers. Turns out it was too small for them, so she asked me to try it on. And it fit me fine. So now I have new gloves, a new dress coat, and my old English caps. When I go to work now, I look like a new man.

This past Wednesday we had our annual movie night with some friends from Hazelwood West, McCluer North, and UMSL. We watched “Million-Dollar Baby” which I had not seen before. The story takes a somewhat-surprising twist in the last portion, which made for lots of interesting discussion afterwards. Lots of thanks to Matt for hosting the night and for the great chili! Unfortunately, Jadzia was a “Million Cries Baby” through about the last 1/3 of the movie and the discussion.

That’s the challenge of the baby… Finding ways to adapt our lives to accomodate her. With movie night it wasn’t so successful, but we’ll get more creative next year.