Drive error

Well.. yesterday I got my new optical drive installed. Everything was going swimmingly — that is, I could read from burnt DVDs — until today at lunch, when I put in a CD-R. I was greeted with an ejected CD-R, and this message:Strange. First, I hit OWC‘s tech support page. They listed several firmware updates, but none for my particular drive (the Pioneer DVR-110D). So I hit Pioneer’s site — there were firmware upgrades for this drive, but they were all Windows-only, and I don’t have a Windows box available to me right now. So, I poked around the web a bit, and saw one tip that said this particular error, about the drive not being supported, was a bug in Mac OS X 10.4.1. Well, I’m running 10.3.9, so it might have existed before that?
Another tip said that it was solvable by zapping the PRAM (though others said zapping the PRAM did nothing). I tried, to no avail, unfortunately. So now I’m going to upgrade my machine to Tiger (Mac OS X 10.4.) Welcome to the 90s eh? 🙂 I have yet to contact OWC about it, but should this keep up I will be.

Word of the day: Encyclical

I learned a new word today: Encyclical. Apparently it’s a letter from the Pope to the Catholic church, or the bishops, giving a personal treatment on some topic. Just thought I’d mention it, since I’d never heard of it, and the stories I read were taking it for granted that I knew what it meant.
Apparently, the new Pope likes sex. Who’d thunk it? Update: Turns out it’s in that Pope-y kind of way after all. Well, you can’t win all the time.

In Columbus (again)

(From Toothpaste for Dinner)
So here I am in Ohio again! This time it’s just for a day, so I didn’t bring my camera with me. The trip is just too short — don’t think I’m going to get a chance to photograph anything.
So how ’bout them election results eh? To be honest, after I got home from watching Mr. and Mrs Smith at Cam and Melissa‘s place (short review: fun, close to no plot, doesn’t take itself seriously, tons of action, 7/10), I stayed up for another two hours reading about the election, so when I was driving to work this morning and flipped on the radio, I actually had a moment of shock when I didn’t hear anyone talking about the election. Oh yeah, I’m in the States. That’s not to say I haven’t heard about this election in the States so far. The Daily Show mentioned it (before the final results, even!). I saw it on a headline on page two or three of local Sarasota daily today, the Herald Tribune (not sure this is the same article I saw in the physical paper). And the special CNN feed for airport televisions had a brief, 10 second mention of the result, saying “Canada is taking a turn to the right, electing the Conservative party in a minority parliamentary government.” Suppose that’s better than nothing, but barely a head in the airport lobby moved when the news was announced.
Well, let me tell you. I am here in Columbus without a jacket. What a mistake! It’s 37°F (27 with windchill), which, in metric, translates to effing freezing. At least, compared to the 83°F I was experiencing two days ago in Sarasota. Geez. The front desk woman at the hotel commented on my jacketless state, and when I mentioned I was from Florida, she’s like “Oh, don’t rub it in!”. Then I said, “Don’t worry, I’m from Canada, I know what you’re going through.” Except, I don’t think it ever got this cold in Victoria. 🙂
That’s all for now! Going to dinner.

Canada elects Conservative Minority Government


And so last night Canada elected a Conservative minority government. Voter turnout was up over the 2004 election, but it would be hard not to (that election brought out just over 60% of the electorate and a dismal 25% of the 18-24 year-old market). CBC: Voter Turnout up.
CBC: Election Quickfacts: Interesting facts and figures about the campaign
Although the NDP didn’t win in the riding I voted for them in (Saanich-Gulf Islands), they came in second, and, overall, the party has a lot to be proud of in British Columbia, gaining 5 new seats. What I find strange is, these seats were previously Conservative, or, in one case, unoccupied. That means the NDP must have somehow become appealing to Conservatives, but the entire NDP campaign was focused on the Liberals. Weird. Perhaps someone can shed some light on this? CBC: Three-way battles give NDP big gains in B.C.
Anyway, I’m thankful the Conservatives only have a minority government. (Though, if you live in Alberta, don’t bother having a different opinion: CBC: Tories sweep Alberta, tightening grip on Prairies). I’m having troubles figuring out what, exactly, the NDP and Conservatives are going to work together on. Mind you, to be precise, I suppose Layton said the NDP will be “looking for ways to co-operate”, not “co-operating”. We’ll see though — perhaps there are ways to work together I just haven’t though of.
I’m also quite amazed, given the amount of crap that’s gone on in the election, with the amount of grace the now-former Liberal leader and Prime Minister of Canada Paul Martin stepped down with. He gets my respect for that. CBC: Martin to quit as Liberal leader, describes ‘privilege to serve’.
It’s going to be an interesting next few years in Canada. We’ll see if Harper sticks to the more moderate image portrayed in the campaign, or if it was a front in order to avoid disturbing the electorate. The Tyee: Has Harper Really ‘Evolved’?

Busy Weekend

Wow, what a weekend it’s been. Friday, I helped Patricia look for a car; we started at 8am and finished by 6pm. It was an exhausting process. She’s detailed it out here (link poorly translated from Portuguese thanks to Google).

The red one is hers. As a means to relax we were going to hit the beach Saturday morning, but on the way there, I realized the Famer’s Market was going on downtown, so we decided to check that out instead:




That was a lot of fun; it’s neat to get out and see what the community is part of. While I was there I took a pamplet from the Sierra Club — they go on hikes around the area, which I think would be fun to take part in.
After the Farmer’s Market, we stopped by Whole Foods and had a chance to take refuge from the sun, which was out in full force. Shortly after arriving back home at 1pm, Nkosi called; he was in town from St. Pete for a party in Sarasota that night and was curious if I’d be up for coming with him. Unfortunately I had a party in St. Pete to go to! Don’t think our timing could have been any worse, but we made the best of it and watched Koyaanisqatsi (similar to, but predating Baraka, if you’ve seen that: a visual narrative on the earth) before heading our separate ways.
Finally — that party I went to in St. Pete? It was Eric and Sonia‘s housewarming. So much fun. I am really torn about living here in Sarasota. It’s close to work, but there are so many more people I can identify with (read: young people) in St. Pete. But is it worth replacing my 8 minute commute with a 50 minute one? I’m not so sure.








Bought new DVD drive: Pioneer DVR-110D-BK and CPU upgrade: PowerLogix dual-G4 1.6 GHz 7447A

I think my computer’s optical drive (the same one from when I got the compuer in 2001, a MATSHITA CD-RW CW-8571 Apple-certified “Combo” drive) finally bit the dust. As far as I know it still reads CDs okay, but has a hell of a time trying to read DVDs. It just sits there and spins, but the disc never seems to mount. It’s been exhibiting some form of this behaviour for at least a year, but it wasn’t until last night that I tried successive DVDs and they all didn’t work.
As I regularly do, I checked out Other World Computing‘s newsletter (if you’re a Mac user and aren’t subscribed to it, you really should — they’ve got some great deals and they know their stuff) to see if they had any CD/DVD drives worth checking out. I’ve already watched their video on how to upgrade a CPU, and it was great, and I know they’ve got a similar one on how to upgrade your optical drive. About half a year ago I was pretty close to buying one, but at that time, drive prices were about $100 for something that could burn DVDs at 8x. So, you can probably understand how happy I was to see a drive that could burn a DVD at 16x, for $52. That’s a big price drop; and it’s also twice as fast as my current drive can burn CDs! So, I plunked down the cash. Now it’s just a waiting game. *thumb twiddle*
Oh yeah, I don’t think I mentioned it here yet, since my blog was down at the time: in December, I upgraded my Power Mac’s single processor PowerPC G4 733MHz to a Dual G4 1.6 GHz via the PowerLogix PowerForce G4 7447A CPU upgrade card (see reviews at the always-excellent xlr8yourmac.com) — and I cannot put into words how happy I am. My machine boots faster, browses faster, rips music faster, boots my email program faster, shuts down quicker, sleeps faster, and is STABLE (not that it wasn’t before). So excited about that. The only downside is that it’s a little bit noiser due to now having an extra fan, but I’m making up for that by putting my machine to sleep at night (yes, it’s within earshot of my bed).
Anyway, that’s all the tech-geekery from me for now 🙂