Ubuntu runs on the PowerMac? Who knew?

Saturday, February 25th, 2006

Probably everybody but me. Here I’ve been waiting patiently for the ISO release of Yellow Dog Linux 4.1 to resurrect my old G3 as a backup server (Yes, I know I could have just installed YellowDog 4.0, but it seemed pointless to do it now and then have to upgrade in a few weeks.) when I could have just installed what’s my preferred Linux distro these days in the first place.

However my initial efforts failed. The live CD was unable to boot my Blue & White G3. I am now burning an install CD to see if that will work. Apparently the newer models of Mac are a lot more reliable about this than the older models. Still there are a lot of problems getting set up compared to what would be expected on whitebox X86 hardware. The live CD started to boot my PowerMac dual G5 but hung.

I may also try NetBSD and see if that works.

Why Olympic Skaters Fall

Saturday, February 25th, 2006

Did you watch the figure skating the other night? Did you notice almost every skater on the ice falling and making really embarrassing gaffes? Did you perhaps compare this to a typical Icecapades where falls almost never happen, or at least don’t happen nearly as frequently? There is a reason for this, and unlike what some TV commentators say it has little or nothing to do with pressure and the new scoring system and quite a lot to do with statistics and strategy.

Looking for Owls in All the Wrong Places

Friday, February 24th, 2006

Some birders say that the best way to find an owl is by listening for jays and crows harassing them. Others say that the trick is to look for whitewash on tree trunks and pellets underneath. And still others prefer to play owl calls in the evening. Personally, I find the most reliable way to find owls is to look for a gaggle of binocular wielding birders staring up into a tree and saying, “Look! An owl!”

Save the Eurasian Wigeon!

Tuesday, February 21st, 2006

Scanning the results of the Great Backyard Bird Count, it looks like the Brooklyn Bird Club can claim at least one save for New York. Saturday’s Brooklyn Bird Club trip with Steve Nanz turned up the only two Eurasian Wigeons found in the state. Update: a later version of the results shows two Eurasian Wigeons in Mettituck, so it’s turns out not to be a save after all.

Boat-tailed Grackle Found

Monday, February 20th, 2006

Today I hopped the A-train to Broad Channel to see if I could add Boat-tailed Grackle to the GBBC results for New York state; and I was successful. In fact, I found my first grackle before I’d even reached Crossbay Blvd. Eventually I counted six of these majestic (and noisy) birds:

Boat-tailed Grackle

Cold Day at Breezy Point

Sunday, February 19th, 2006

Yesterday Steve Nanz led a Brooklyn Bird Trip to the coast; that is, the end of Flatbush Ave. (People sometimes forget New York is a coastal city). We started about 8:15 A.M. at Breezy Point, where I was hoping for Purple Sandpiper. So was a birder from Iowa we happened to run into out there. The Jetty at Breezy is one of the best places in New York City to find them.

Anne Lazarus, Sandi Paci, Steve Nanz with scopes