The Blue Screen of Death

So last night, in the middle of me checking my email, my laptop suddenly went to the Blue Screen of Death. Reboot, same deal. Run diagnostics & reboot, ditto. Boot to Safe Mode, more BSD. Boot to Safe Mode with Networking, it starts fine, don’t ask me why. Grab CDs & make backups of everything under My Documents. Shut down for the night. This morning I get the laptop into.. Read More

SETI@home, new & improved

Well, the BOINC-supported SETI@home is working out well for me. I’ve noticed that the work units are smaller with BOINC, taking my laptop about 2 hours to process per. I still don’t like the screensaver graphics as much as the Classic, but oh well. There are some cool plugins for the BOINC software that didn’t exist for Classic: the one I especially like is the sky map that shows the.. Read More


I’ve just passed 2,000 work units processed for SETI@home. Actually, appropriately enough, I’m currently at 2,001. I’ve been doing this for about 5½ years now and I’ve been running this software on, I don’t know, at least 5 different computers over the years. According to my user profile, I process approximately 1 work unit per 8½ hours, and I’ve devoted nearly 2 years of CPU time. I’m sure my average.. Read More

Conference on e-Social Science

First International Conference on e-Social Science The vision of the ‘Grid’ first emerged as a solution to the highly specialised computing infrastructure requirements of particle physics. The past five years, however, have seen the Grid’s potential recognised by the wider scientific research community and the emergence of new forms of research practice now encapsulated in the notion of ‘e-Science’. Now, members of the social science research community in the UK.. Read More

Fictional chickens

For reasons far too complex and weird to go into, I just now stumbled across what has to be one of the more unlikely categories in Wikipedia: Fictional chickens. There are actually a lot more of these than one might expect.

Survivor: Social Network

IM Someone: The Online Popularity Test, from the WaPo The article is about the AIM Fight site: …you enter your AOL or AIM screen name and your friend’s AOL or AIM screen name. Then you click “fight” to figure out who’s got a bigger score — as in who’s better connected and more popular. Your popularity is based on who has you on their buddy list. There’s a complicated algorithm.. Read More

Scotty, we hardly knew ye

‘Star Trek’ star James Doohan dies, from AP A moment of silence, please. And bagpipes, of course. I actually have a personalized autograph from Doohan, “To Jeff” and everything. My dad got it at a conference back in the ’70s sometime where Doohan was a guest speaker. (Bad librarian: I really should know the provenance.) I guess I’d better take good care of it!

BBC open source

Maybe I’m just out of the loop, but I only just learned about this site, BBC open source. This paragraph really gives me hope; the Beeb gets it. For the BBC, open source software development is an extension of our Public Service remit. Releasing open source software helps our audience get additional value from the work they’ve funded, and also get tools for free that they couldn’t get any other.. Read More

First International Conference on Open Source Systems

This one is for all of you ibiblites in the audience: The First International Conference on Open Source Systems is currently underway, in Genova Italy. (Thanks, James, for telling me about this.) The entire proceedings is online too, all 377 PDFed pages of it.

Guns, Germs, & Steel

For all you Jared Diamond-heads out there, news: PBS has made a 3-part series out of Guns, Germs, & Steel, hosted by Diamond himself. Premieres tomorrow (Monday) night, 10 pm.