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Nov 18, 2017

Well it's been almost two months since I last updated this blog. I guess now is as good a time as any to make an update.

I started an internship doing IT work at Brooklet Elementary School, and it's going very well so far. They're talking about hiring me to do some contract work after my internship ends! Hopefully it will eventually lead to a full-time position, but if not, at least I can make some money for the holidays and it's another thing I can put on a resume.

I'm still working on my archive of America Online member areas, and I found a couple neat areas just the other day. AOL is changing some mail settings today and AOL Instant Messenger is going away on December 14th, so it will be interesting to see what happens with the old AOL service. I hope it sticks around so I can keep discovering more abandonded areas, but there is less of a reason for me to use the AOL software with the instant messaging going away. I liked having my e-mail and IMs all in one place (even though AIM is pretty empty these days). Here's a little preview of what will be in the AOL Archive:

My ThinkPad 600 is finally running Windows 95, after a long process trying to get the drivers installed. The PC card drivers wouldn't "stick" until I reinstalled Windows and set everything up in a certain order. Installing the PC card drivers after everything else caused them do disappear after a reboot, for whatever reason. I also got another dev server, since the one I had been using bit the dust.

So yeah, that's what's been going on here. Lots of new and exciting things. Oh, and don't forget to check out my newest section, nick99nack's CD Universe!

Sep 14, 2017

Hurricane Irma has come and gone. Thankfully, we were spared the worst of it. It was a big, powerful storm, but surprisingly the outcome wasn't nearly as bad as last year's hurricane Matthew.

No trees fell down this year, and there were just some sticks in the yard that needed to be cleaned up. Now, that's not to say that this wasn't a powerful storm - it was. However, last year's damage was worse, most likely due to a tornado that went down our street. This year we had some pretty strong winds that vibrated the house during the strongest gusts and got a ton of rain shortly before the storm let up.

We were very lucky to not have any damage this year. The worst of it was losing power, which was restored that same evening. My friends in Florida all made it through the storm (as I knew they would), although some had quite a bit of property damage. I'm just happy they are safe.

Sep 10, 2017

Well, hurricane season has arrived once again. Supposedly the largest hurricane ever to hit the United States is on its way up through Florida right now, where it will eventually hit us in GA this evening through Monday. The wind is already starting to get a little gusty from this one.

As with Matthew, I'll try and post updates here and on Facebook whenever I can. I think I'm a little more prepared than last time, and the latest models show the path of the storm shifting to the west as well as decreasing to a tropical storm by the time it gets to our area. I've got two full tanks of propane for the grill, a full tank of gas in the car, some ice for the coolers (and more is freezing as I write this), laptops and phones are all charged up, and I've got enough food for a few days. I think we will be alright. Hopefully no trees fall on us this year.

To my friends and family in the path of this storm, stay safe. This is a big one.

Aug 30, 2017

Windows 98 was not designed to run with more than about 512MB of RAM. I wanted to install it on my IBM ThinkPad T42 with 2GB of RAM. It wasn't easy, but not only did I get it installed, but the OS actually recognizes the full 2GB! How? Well, someone named Mr. Rudolph Loew wrote an unofficial patch that allows Windows 95/98/ME to access the full amount of RAM without crashing:

The patch was a bit expensive at $20 + $1 "shipping and handling" (it was actually just an e-mail attachment), but I recognize that it probably took a lot of time to develop it, and there's only a small market for patches for anything related to Windows 9x these days. Also, the machine seems to be very stable even with a lot more RAM than it was designed to handle. I also installed KernelEx which allows me to run some newer software than Windows 98 was designed to handle.

I did run into a few issues while setting things up. When I installed KernelEx, the computer would enter a bootloop and get stuck. To fix this, I had to boot to DOS and uninstall and reinstall the patch, using the /M switch. Also, Office 2000 seems to have a few minor issues, such as not being able to install from the network and a broken Office Assistant. However, everything else has run smoothly, and I can now run most software designed for either Windows 98 or 2000 with more than enough RAM to handle whatever I throw at it!

Now all I need to get is a new 7200RPM hard drive and this thing should take off and fly!

Aug 5, 2017

As you might have read in my blog post from last month, The Great Movie Ride closed on August 13th, as did Ellen's Energy Adventure. However, I couldn't let one of my favorite rides out of all of the Disney parks close without riding it one last time, so I drove back down to Orlando for a few days at Disney World!

I don't have all of the photos sorted through yet, but here is one of the best photos I took while I was there:

The beginning of The Great Movie Ride

As soon as I finish sorting through the photos I took, I will post them to my Flickr page (and here too).

Even though Elly couldn't go with me, I still had a great time! I also managed to buy a Great Movie Ride t-shirt before they all sold out. Now I just wish that they would sell some of the props from the ride. There are a few I'd definitely like to own...

As for the Universe of Energy, you could kinda tell that the ride was coming to a close, and that Disney was reluctant to fix things on it. When I rode it for the last time, the middle seating section wasn't used, and in the pre-show portion, the speakers for the center screen sounded a bit distorted, almost as if a speaker was blown or a cable was loose. The ride had also been closed for maintenance for a while that day, after it was evacuated for some other technical problems. Even the very last ride was shut down early, supposedly because the battery for one of the ride vehicles was bad and they didn't want to take the time to fix it. I'm not sure if all of the ride problems were just the ride showing its age, or if Disney was just letting it go because they knew the end was coming (or some of both). It will be interesting to see what changes they make to the Universe of Energy pavilion and to the parks in general.