How I set up Greymatter for Weblogging. First things first: I’m sure everyone’s asking how much hardware you need. I’m using a Pentium-120 with 64 megs of RAM, and it’s plenty fast most of the time. It takes a little while to regenerate all the templates, but other than that it’s mostly sitting idle. Any Pentium-class machine should be plenty. I’d be hesitant about using a 486 because the templates will take an awfully long time to rebuild. Remember, Greymatter’s written in Perl, and Perl’s an interpreted language. Interpreters are slow for the same reason emulators are slow–the translation is real-time.
And now the torch
And shadows lead
Were it not so black and not so hard to see
How can it help you when you don’t know what you need
How can anybody set you free?
My phone rang at about 1 p.m. this afternoon. I picked up. “Hello?”
Please bookmark http://188.8.131.52 . There’s no guarantee the site will stay there, but Southwestern Bell’s DHCP servers tend to give systems that stay on 24/7 the same IP address over and over. It seems like editthispage has at least one outage a day now. Frankly, I’d rather trust Southwestern Bell’s DHCP servers, scary thought as that may be.
I’ll be making arrangements soon for an address with words in it. New content will be going up over there. I don’t want to give myself even more stuff over here to migrate. That would be kinda like buying new furniture the week before moving day.
For those of you who are curious, I forwarded port 80 on my router to a Pentium-120 running Mandrake Linux 7.2. I’m running the Apache Web server, and Greymatter on top of that. It’s fast. I’ve got a DSL connection, which isn’t the fastest upstream connection, but it’s reasonably quick. Greymatter’s demands aren’t all that high.
Anyway. Time to finish writing up some content, then run some errands.
Do you believe in miracles?
Site update: Speaking of miracles, I got Apache and Greymatter working right on my ancient Pentium-120. I haven’t registered yet with any of the dynamic Web address providers, so right now I’m at the mercy of the DHCP server. At the moment, you can get to my experimental site at http://184.108.40.206. I tried to make it look a lot like this site. I have successfully connected to it from the outside world (finally).
I’m still playing around with it a lot, but I like the results I’m getting so far.
Miracles. Fair warning: strong religious content ahead. If you already know you don’t want to read something like that, click over to Discussions and read some of that stuff. We’ve been talking about Weblogging software and who knows what else over there. I’ve got smart readers. Their contributions are worth a looksee.
I do still believe in miracles. I want to tell a story here about a minor miracle, but it has no impact without knowing the parties involved. And I’m not going to embarrass them by trying to tell it. I’ll get too many details wrong.
So instead, I’ll repeat something I said in Bible study last night. Yeah, last night. I get together with a bunch of other twentysomethings two Fridays a night for Bible study. Most people assume people my age have no interest in that sort of thing. Remember, the root word of “assume” is “ass.” Those who assume we never had any interest never asked. Yes, we’re the ones who typically wander into the 10:45 service on Sunday morning at 10:50 or 10:55. Frequently we burned out on church when we were younger, and we run so hard all week due to work and other growing responsibilities that Sunday is the only day we can sleep in a little. And it’s hard for us to get our acts together. Plus, the churches worth going to are frequently in neighborhoods we can’t afford to live in yet. So we have to drive a few miles to get there. All these factors combine to make it hard for us to make it on time. But we’ll gladly give God an evening, even if that’s a Friday evening.
Hey, that’s another miracle, isn’t it? Or maybe it’s just plain weird. I don’t care. I like weird. Remember, I listen to the Velvet Underground and The Pixies and The Cure and Joy Division.
Back to what I said. We were praying last night too. Yes, we’re the same people who grew up fidgeting a lot during prayer. Those of us who don’t pray much generally don’t for a couple of reasons. One, in most cases no one ever taught us how. And for another, we frequently haven’t seen enough results of prayer yet to have enough confidence. We’ll do things when we know it works. The subsection of Generation X that comprises our group has seen some results, so we pray. So as we were taking requests last night, I mentioned Kaycee. I’ve never met Kaycee and probably never will. I called her “a friend of a friend,” which I believe is accurate. I talked about the remarkable aspects of her story. I was totally wrong on her age–I said mid-twenties, because her writings display a maturity and a quality that’s rare even in a 29-year-old. She’s 19, which makes her all the more remarkable. She’s been dead twice. Only briefly, but yes, clinically dead, twice, from medical accidents. And she beat cancer, coming back from outlooks that for a while looked very grim indeed. Now she’s dying of liver failure.
At that point, I paused, and then I said something that I’ve halfway thought but never said and I’ve never heard anyone else say. God gave her three major miracles. Well, major in that she got to live longer than it looked. A miracle by definition can’t be explained by science, and I don’t know if her comebacks can be explained by science. I’m not close enough to the situation to be able to talk to the people who’d really know. But to me, three long shots happening to one person is a good indication of Someone Upstairs keeping an eye out for her.
So then I asked the big question. Why doesn’t it seem like anyone is praying for a miracle for her now? God did it three times. To bring her back from certain death again is nothing to God. It requires less effort from Him than picking up a piece of paper laying on the floor takes from us.
And the great guy who was leading the study last night along with his wife said, “Yeah. We don’t ask for miracles enough, even though we know they can happen.”
We asked God’s will, of course. Life, no matter how great, is nothing compared to heaven, so when God calls someone home, it’s cause for celebration for them. When a believer dies, the true victims are those who are left behind, not the believer who’s died. But sometimes God’s not finished yet.
When you love someone, you’ll do things for that person without them asking. Parents generally don’t wait until their kids ask for something to eat before they start fixing dinner. Loving parents give their kids healthy food for dinner instead of ice cream, because they know it’s better for them, even though vegetables sometimes don’t seem like something a loving parent would inflict on anyone.
But think about it. Don’t you like to be asked, sometimes? Don’t you like it when your son or daughter asks you to read a story? Or when your significant other asks a small favor? I’m not talking about nagging or manipulative asking. I’m talking about asking in a sincere, loving fashion. Isn’t that one of the coolest things you’ve ever felt?
I think it’s that way for God. God doesn’t like it when people try to manipulate Him, of course. But when someone asks for something sincerely and lovingly, I think He derives pleasure from that. He still doesn’t always say yes (just like you’re not going to hand your car keys over to your six-year-old, no matter how sincere and loving the request), but frequently He does.
Frequently enough that yes, I believe in miracles.
Well, I just wasted 45 minutes stumbling into and through a brawl on a mailing list. I’m really sick of people arguing over petty technicalities. I should have written something worth your time to read, or booted up one of my Linux boxes to see if by some chance I forgot to disable Apache on one of them and tried testing Greymatter, or better yet, answered some of my growing pile of mail.
I think I’d see fewer flames if I walked into an Apple users’ group meeting wearing a Windows t-shirt. Now I remember why I usually write about computers. At least being controversial and outspoken in that field is usually funny. (Where’s my copy of OS/2?)
Yesterday I complained about not having any time anymore. I think it’s because I waste too much of the time I do have on things like mailing lists.
On a more pleasant note, thanks to those of you who’ve written in with encouragement and suggestions on Weblogging software. At least that’s not a waste of time.
Ugh. I’m dead tired. Why does it seem like I’m busier now than I was when I was dating or when I was writing a book? It doesn’t make any sense. I wanted to talk about something other than computers today, but I’m beat as I write this (10 pm Wednesday night), so I’m taking the lazy route.
Umm, I do have this. Most of the Daynoters have already mentioned it. I don’t know all the details of Kaycee’s story, but if I’ve got the details right, she’s come back from being clinically dead twice, and she beat cancer last year. Now her liver is failing and there’s nothing the doctors can do.
We said a prayer for her in church last night. I can’t claim to know God’s plan for her (I’m clueless about God’s plan for me, let alone for anyone else), but obviously He wanted to keep her around a while longer for some reason. If He’s through with her here, or nearly so, nothing can stop it. But if He’s not…
Don’t write off Kaycee just yet.
We’d all do well to follow her lead. Look what Kaycee’s doing now. She’s got at least a little time left. She’s making the very most of it. We’d all do well to appreciate and make the most of what we have.
Hmm. On to much less important stuff.
Asus reports they’re selling more P4 motherboards now. Don’t fall into that trap. Don’t buy one. Planned obsolescence. Intel’s changing the socket again later this year, so you’ll hit a dead-end on upgradability. Besides, the P4′s just a lousy performer. Give Intel a year to sort the thing out, and don’t fund them in the meantime. Intel needs to learn that they can’t just ship lousy product and people will buy it just because it says Intel on it.
Meanwhile, reader David Huff sent me this: An AMD Duron-750 for 38 lousy bucks. Astounding. The retail box version with a fan and 3-year-warranty is $50. T he same place has an FIC AZ11 motherboard for $65, so you can be in a Duron-750 for $120 or so considering CPU fan and shipping costs. (I checked; shipping is $10.50.) Red Hill doesn’t like the AZ11′s BIOS, but at that price, whaddya want? Red Hill also doesn’t like the lack of ISA slots, but unless you have a nice ISA modem, that probably won’t bother you. (Put your ISA modem in another computer, get Freesco, network ‘em together, and share your net connection.)
AMD will cut prices Monday or Tuesday, but I can’t imagine they’ll have anything in the $38 price range. I’m about 98% ready to bite on this one.
The St. Louis Cardinals want a new stadium. It seems like everyone else is building a new stadium, and Busch Stadium was one of five multipurpose stadiums built in the late 1960s (Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Cincinatti, St. Louis, and Atlanta) that looked almost exactly alike–and that wouldn’t have been so bad, I suppose, except they all looked like toilets. Well, after Anheuser-Busch sold the team to a group of investors, the new owners realized that humongous toilet-shaped stadiums with artificial turf are ugly, so they moved in the fences, ripped out the turf and put in grass, and since retro is in, they erected a hand-operated scoreboard in the upper deck (the seats they displaced were lousy anyway).
Now, Busch Stadium has always been a lousy place to watch a baseball game. The architecture harkens back to post-war East Germany. The stadium has no charms, aside from the retrofitted scoreboard. And unless you’re in the box seats, you need binoculars to see anything. There isn’t a good seat in the house. Once you’ve been to a game at Wrigley Field, or Royals Stadium (yeah, yeah, it’s officially Kaufmann Stadium now, but I’ll never change), you realize what watching a baseball game is supposed to be, and Busch Stadium ain’t it. It’s more fun to watch the Royals and Cubs lose in their home parks than it is to be there–it’s hard to call what you do at Busch “watching”–when the Cardinals win in theirs. Force large numbers of Kansas Citians to watch a few games at Busch Stadium at gunpoint, and they’ll realize how good they’ve got it with Royals Stadium, and then the Royals will start drawing two million fans again.
So the Cardinals want to tear it down. Great, I say. Blow it up. I’ll help. I’ll even donate a little money to the cause.
So, what’s wrong with the Cardinals’ plan to get rid of Busch? They want the State of Missouri to pay for it. And that’s wrong. Why should the citizens of Kansas City be helping to pay for St. Louis’ new stadium? Why should my mom, who’ll probably never go to another baseball game in her life and who almost certainly will never go to a Cardinal game, be ponying up towards that stadium? The argument is that it’ll bring in jobs and revenue.
Fine. So if Boeing decides it wants to move its corporate headquarters here to St. Louis, where it already has some presence anyway, the State of Missouri should pay for it. After all, that’ll bring in even more jobs (and white-collar jobs at that!), and the revenue it brings in will last all year.
There is no difference between those two things. They’re private enterprises that should get their own funding. Period. And besides, the Cardinals aren’t a good investment. If the players strike or are locked out at the end of the season, which is likely, nobody knows what will happen. At best, baseball will be damaged goods. At worst, diehards like me will be following Japanese baseball next season because there won’t be any pro baseball left in the States. If the State of Missouri wants to give the Cardinals a loan, fine, but a handout, no.
And that’s not even figuring in the other parts of the argument. The proposed new stadium is smaller and has less seating capacity than Busch. The Cardinals draw three million fans a year. They fill that wretched place. Cardinal fans would watch baseball on a playground in a slum if that was where the Cards were playing. So, somehow, building a smaller but much prettier stadium is going to help team revenue? Only if they raise ticket prices through the roof. And ticket prices are already awfully high. That move could very easily backfire. Football and hockey are already so expensive that you can’t go to a game without sitting in the middle of a bunch of yuppies complaining that they only made $100,000 on the stock market last year. So the solution is to make baseball, with its 81 home games, the same way? While it might work for a little while, it’s not sustainable. The Cardinals have a rabid following in central Illinois and throughout Missouri, but neither of those places is exactly yuppie town. Make baseball a game for the elite, and the The Rest of Us, who the team’s revenue is built on, will go to fewer games and spend less money as a result.
There’s always the veiled threat that the Cardinals will move, to the Missouri suburbs or the Illinois suburbs, or, ridiculously, out of St. Louis entirely. That last prospect won’t happen. The Cardinals won’t draw three million fans anywhere else. Two million, tops. The move to the Missouri suburbs isn’t likely–Missouri doesn’t want to pay for the stadium whether it’s in St. Louis or in Creve Couer. Illinois is a possibility, but not a risk the Cardinals ownership should be interested in taking. The Illinois suburbs are known for two things: crime and strip clubs. Do they really want their brand-new stadium to be next door to the Diamond Cabaret?
Yes, Cardinal fans will go watch baseball next door to the Diamond Cabaret. They’d watch baseball in the middle of East St. Louis if they had to. Or they’ll keep right on packing it in at Busch, lousy though it may be. It’s lousy, but it’s a good match for the team because it seats buttloads of people, and they consistently fill it, and the stadium may be an eyesore, but it’s nowhere near as old as Fenway Park or Wrigley Field and no one’s complaining about their structural integrity. Busch Stadium will be around for a while. And a lot of fans even like it.
Cardinal management doesn’t know how good they’ve got it, and Missouri needs to continue to call their bluff.
Enough of that. Let’s talk about us. That got your attention I’m sure. Performance this morning was, to put it mildly, pants. Then the system went down like a… never mind. I’m getting really tired of it. I’m paying nothing for this, and lately I’m getting what I pay for. I want to control my own destiny, and I’ve got this nice broadband Internet connection, and some spare parts (and what I lack is cheap) and I want some real sysadmin experience. So, I’m thinking really seriously about moving. I wanted to hit the Userland Top 100 before I moved on, and enough time may pass between now and the time that I get set up for that to happen I may meet that goal yet.
At the moment I’m leaning toward Greymatter, as it’ll give me everything I have here, just about, plus better discussion facilities. Suggestions welcome.