Sunday, May 11, 2008

This 'N That

In the spirit of breaking out old laptops, I dug out an old Compaq LTE 5280. It sports a 120mhz Pentium, 20mb of ram, an 810mb hard drive, and swappable drives. So, it only has a CD ROM or a floppy drive installed. No usb. However, back in the day, I went all out and got a docking port for it, so I could run both drives at once. However, she won't boot up anymore. The BIOS asks to insert a bootable disk. I seem to remember the hard drive was kinda sticky, and a sharp rap would make it run. Not anymore.

So, Jed, this one is probably the best bet to run Linux. It's gonna have to have drivers for the docking station to load in order for it to work, or install completely from floppies, or install from a CD ROM I imagine. According to what I've read, any 2.5" hard drive will drop in the rather heavy duty drive casing. Whether or not the BIOS will recognize the extra capacity is another matter. RAM for this puppy is expensive - like sixty or seventy bucks for 32megs. The whole thing isn't worth that much. This system was six or seven thousand dollars when new, but she's pretty much obsolete these days. I kinda doubt it has the poop necessary to run a PCMCIA wireless card in Linux as well - 120mhz ain't much. But, it has sound at least. The display isn't much, and the keyboard isn't anything to brag about. It has the "pointing device" for a mouse. It also has a cream white case that shows every scuff and nick, plus the patina of aged plastic. I bought a replacement BIOS and system batteries for it many moons ago, and they are shot as well. No surprise there.

I hated that it wouldn't boot up - I'm sure gonna have to check to see if the hard drive is really shot or just corrupted. It doesn't matter much - I'm not that anxious to recreate the Win95 environment and reinstall every stinking driver just to have Win95 when I'm done. If a larger drive works and the specific drivers were available, I'd run Win98 long before I'd futz with Win95. But, this sort of project cries out for a distro with a light touch rather than WinBloatWare. I used to really enjoy this sort of thing, but I've gotten away from it for several years and have forgotten much of what I've learned. Plus, I don't get out and shoot my guns as much as I should, much less futz with obsolete Win machines.

In other news, I had to eliminate a pest last night. I have to take furosimide - generic for Lasix - to keep fluids from building up in my legs. So, if you don't know the effects - well, lets just say there are a lot of trips to the bathroom in a short time. Of course, I'm an uncouth farm boy who enjoys "stepping out to check the weather" when I get a chance. This policy has put me at odds with several different varieties of pests over the years. My dog's food is the major attractant.

So, there has been a raccoon eating Bab's dog food off and on for some time now. There are several feral cats doing the same thing. Generally, if Babs is paying attention, she runs the critters off - unless it is a skunk. She wasn't born yesterday, and has learned a thing or two over the years. Gotta give her that!

Well, the raccoon would scamper off when I'd appear at first, but it was getting rather familiar with me. Not in the "I want to have my ears scratched" friendly sort of way, either. More along the "you are irritating me and I might try to kick your ass" kind of way. It never hissed at me, but it was damn sure reluctant to leave that dog food. Babs had been in a tussle with it a time or two in the past week or three, but that didn't deter the thief. So, with it not fearing my or my dog's presence much anymore - well, that makes for a potentially dangerous situation. Particularly if it shows up with rabies someday - how would you know? I really didn't want to have to deal with an irritated or rabid raccoon up close and personal. Also, every relative it ever had would eventually decide it was buffet time at The Poor Farm. I'm not going to feed every cat, bird, mouse, raccoon or skunk that comes along.

So, I needed to "step out." I'd seen it a couple times already that night, so I loaded up my Henry Golden Boy .22 rifle. I knew I'd be able to be close enough to get a clean kill. So, with the raccoon peering over the edge of the porch with it's cute little mask and eyes gleaming - well, I plugged it good and clean at any rate.

I really, honestly hated to do it. I think raccoons are cute. I anthropomorphise the critters just as much as any kid raised on cartoons would. But, I know better, and I know what the consequences of inaction can be. So, I shot it and I'd do it again.


threecollie said...

The right thing too. Rabies is awful and everywhere.

Anonymous said...

U mean bastard. What u gona kill next, the neighbors little oinker?

Jeffro said...

Scott: And your little dog Toto, Dorothy!