Tuesday, 24 February 2004

Today's project

In lieu of accomplishing anything worthwhile today (except more job applications), I replaced the server that Signifying Nothing runs on this morning. The previous server was a discontinued Compaq corporate desktop box (Pentium II 300 MHz) I picked up an eon ago for $400 from Buy.com with 160 MB of RAM and a noisy* 20 GB hard drive. The current server is a tower-case Pentium III, 450 MHz with 256 MB of RAM and a 60 GB hard drive that is basically the reconstituted version of a (then top-of-the-line) PC I paid good money for from Quantex about five years ago—the only newish components are two 10/100 Ethernet cards† and a spare CD burner I had lying around the house. I did a fresh Debian sarge install using the Beta-2 installer from CD-R (which went smoothly after I gave up trying to do a network install instead), then updated to unstable and a 2.6.3 kernel (the last part being the most painful step, since I had trouble with the initrd support until I finally gave up on that).

I was hoping the new box would be less noisy, but to no avail (fan noise has replaced drive whining)... I’ll probably have to clear some space and move the box under the desk to get some noise relief. Actually, what’s more likely is that I’ll get my replacement laptop in a few days then go back to rarely using the computer that is right underneath the SN box, so the noise won’t bother me any more.

* It made a high-pitched whining sound.
SN runs on my home NAT/firewall box/mail hub/DHCP server, hence why it has two Ethernet cards: one to talk to my DSL modem, and the other to talk to my 2002-vintage Netgear wireless router, which I usually use as a switch/wireless access point.

Gov. Bredesen says no to casinos in Shelby County

Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen has said the casino gambling is “not the solution” to Shelby County’s debt problem, and that he will oppose an amendment to the Tennessee Constitution to allow gambling in Shelby County.

So what the hell are we supposed to do with this pyramid, now that it's not good enough for the UofM Tigers to play basketball in?

A note to my friends at the Commercial Appeal. I'd link this story at your website, but I don't want my readers to have to go through your obnoxious registration process. I understand that the data gathered is valuable to your advertisers, but my readers' time is valuable as well.

The most unkindest cut of all

It didn’t surprise me that the President today endorsed enshrining anti-gay bigotry into the United States Constitution. What surprised me was that my already low opinion of the President would sink even lower when he did what I knew he would eventually do.

I have no call to feel betrayed. Only insulted that the President has publicly declared that the loving relationships of several of my friends and family members are worthless – loving relationships that are a lot more meaningful than many straight marriages I’ve seen come and go. But Andrew Sullivan does feel betrayed, and he has every right to feel that way.

The President has given the finger to Sullivan and to every gay American. America deserves a better President than this.

Anti-semitism at AdBuster

Eugene Volokh and David Bernstein bring our attention to a bizarre anti-semitic screed in AdBusters magazine.

I admit I’ve been pretty skeptical of claims that “neo-conservative” is just a new code word for “Jew,” but AdBusters has proved to me that, at least for some, it is.

Could anti-semitism become the kind of cultural cancer for the left that racism and anti-gay bigotry are for the right? Liberals, among whose number I count myself, should take the lead in denouncing this. We shouldn’t leave it up to the conservatives and libertarians.