Dissing Parallels

Sunday, January 20th, 2008

I am decidedly unimpressed with Parallels 3.0. In fact, I would almost call it completely non-functional and a fraud except that I have been able to install Ubuntu 6.10. However, it’s completely unable to manage Windows 2000 as advertised. The install repeatedly and reproducibly hangs with a spinning beach ball of death. Sometimes I can’t even Force Quit parallels. Even kill -9 failed once, and I had to reboot to get rid of it. Installing Windows NT 4.0 got a little further and at least did not create a spinning beach ball of death. However it still failed:

Windows NT could not start because of a computer disk hardware configuration problem

Furthermore, attempts to report these problems hit any number of bugs ranging from choosing the wrong e-mail program (not everyone uses Apple Mail) to server errors when I try to submit the bugs via their web site:

Currently Not Reading

Thursday, January 17th, 2008

The Brooklyn Public Library allows unlimited renewals as long as no one requests a specific book. That means books tend to pile up in one’s living room since you never have time to read everything that’s worth reading. However, before moving to California next week I have to bring all these back. This is to remind myself what I still have to get to:

Kozol; Paratime; Mina; Globalization and Its Discontents; Confessions of a Casanova; Silent Bob Speaks; Consider Phlebas


Wednesday, January 16th, 2008

Millipede on cut stump
Ophyiulus pilosus
Ridgewood Reservoir, Queens County, 2007-10-20

My Mac Spits Out DVDs

Tuesday, January 15th, 2008

Recently my PowerMac G5 tower running Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger began ejecting all DVD discs. It will accept CDs, but it immediately ejects every DVD I insert: blank or preformatted, video or computer. Booting up off an older operating system on a different partition didn’t change this. It feels like a hardware problem, though I’m not 100% sure of that yet. Any suggestions? (For obvious reasons, running tools that are themselves provided on DVD is not an option.)


It does indeed seem to be a hardware problem. I went down to the Apple Store at Fashion Island and picked up a Lacie external DVD burner, which, so far, seems to be working fine. Reinstalling the operating system and all data, by contrast, had no effect on the internal drive. One of these days I should probably just swap out the internal drive, but right now I can’t really be bothered, especially since the recent move and frequent travel have inspired me to switch to my Macbook as my primary machine.

Moving House and Site

Tuesday, January 8th, 2008

I’m not 100% sure why this site when down for a few hours yesterday. I thought it was a dead hard drive, and then a dead power adapter. Now I don’t know since it seems to all be working again. In any case I’ve been planning a move to a hosting service, and now seems like as good a time as any. I’m moving across the country in a couple of weeks though I haven’t yet found a place to live, so keeping the site going in the spare bedroom no longer seems like an easy choice. I hope to have the site transferred over to a more reliable host next week (or sooner if the Mac Mini goes down again.)

Clover Looper

Saturday, January 5th, 2008

Moth in grass
Clover Looper moth, Caenurgina crassiuscula
Calvert Vaux Park, Brooklyn, NY, 2007-09-20

Calvert Vaux Park (nee Dreier-Offerman) is one of the little-known jewels in Brooklyn. Although small, it has one of the most diverse batches of fauna over the year anywhere in Kings County. Sadly it’s going to be “improved” in the near future with astroturf and various other items designed to make it a “destination park”.