The Weekend

I don’t know what other people got up to this weekend, but mine has been pretty well filled with computing projects.

I’ve been working with my friend Marc to try to get to the bottom of the Verizon FIOS connection foul-up. We each ran TCPDUMP on our respective machines while making a request that could be fulfilled (a small static HTML page) and one that could not be fulfilled (a dynamic page for webmail). We’ve sent the logs off to a networking guru friend of ours to see if he has any ideas. While I fully expect that this is a problem in Verizon’s gear and processes, we are continuing to test any possibility that a fault in our gear could be an issue.

As I’ve mentioned previously here, I have data stretching back to the mid-1990s on CD-ROM. I’ve made a chunk of progress toward refreshing the archive by copying various of those to hard disk. It takes time, and needs manual attention every five minutes or so to unmount the last disk, load the new disk, mount it, and set up a copy process. Fortunately, most of the disks simply copy without error. I’m using ddrescue to go after the few files that won’t copy cleanly.

I’ve also been going through some of the packed boxes to locate more disks to be refreshed. Along the way, I’ve been reminded that I also have a pile of video and acoustic recordings on tape to digitize as well. I do have a cassette tape deck set up to digitize to my laptop, but I haven’t gotten my desk set up nicely to incorporate the video digitizing machine into a smooth workflow. From left to right, I have a Macbook Pro, a Viewsonic 24″ LED monitor for a second screen for a laptop, a Gateway MT6458 laptop running Win7, an Optiquest 15″ monitor for a desktop machine, plus keyboard and mouse for a desktop. Under the desk itself, I’ve got the video digitizing machine and the workstation/file server box. The video digitizing machine was built as state-of-the-art in 2001. It runs Windows XP, since the digitizing card doesn’t work under anything more recent. It still does a nice job of pulling in analog sources in a DV video stream. The file server is much more recent, being built in 2007. It runs Ubuntu Linux 11.10. There’s 4 terabytes of hard disk storage in that machine, which we use for our project files, personal files, multimedia, photos, and data. We’re coming up to the limits on that, especially after this weekend’s work.

I found a box of pocket notebooks, several of which have notes from our research data collection. But I did find one that has notes from the 1997 Discovery Institute conference on “Naturalism, Theism, and the Scientific Enterprise”. I see from my notes that Michael Ruse classed approaches to “religion v. science” into “conflict”, “accommodation”, and “separation”. I don’t think “accommodation” was used by Ruse in exactly the same way that more recent commentary has gone, but I thought it interesting to see the word there, anyway.

I’m also working on some Python programming and a PHP/MySQL project. Between these things, that pretty well soaks up the time.

Wesley R. Elsberry

Falconer. Interdisciplinary researcher: biology and computer science. Data scientist in real estate and econometrics. Blogger. Speaker. Photographer. Husband. Christian. Activist.