Changing Mazda 6 head lights and fog lights

As I wrote once before, the official way to change the headlights on a 2003 Mazda 6 is to take off the front bumper. However, with skinny hands and some patience, you can get it done without going to such extreme measures. Recently, a low beam headlight on the passenger’s side and a fog light on the driver’s side went out. Having already changed the headlight once, it was pretty easy to do (you just need to move the radiator overflow tank out of the way). The fog lights, however were more confusing. However, thanks to a few Web sites, it wasn’t that bad. You still need some patience, but it can be done. The sites I looked at for hints were:

I’m a digital omnivore!

Jennimi recently wrote a blog post that she has an omnivore digital personality typology. I didn’t really look all that hard at the quiz put out by the Pew Internet & American Life Project, but I took it for fun and it seems that I am an omnivore too! However, unlike Jennimi, I am not trying to minimize animal consumption.

First time Kayaking

For Christmas, my parents bough me a kayak. Although I grew up canoeing and taking row boats out on the local lakes to go fishing, I never really have been kayaking before. Since the weather has been so nice in New Jersey, I decided to finally take it out for the first time. I went to a small lake (or is it a big pond) near my house. Since this was my first time, I made sure I had my life preserver on. While getting in the first time was a small challenge, and my first ten paddles or so where a little iffy, I got the hang of it quite quickly and had a grand ole’ time. I even caught a turtle! It was a painter turtle with about a 6″ long shell that was swimming around. I reached my hand in and plucked it up out of the water. After checking out the little guy for about 30 seconds then I let him go. I actually saw about 10 turtles altogether back in the back-water swamps of the pond where no one without a kayak (or possibly a really small canoe) could go. One of them was a snapping turtle with a shell about the size of a garbage can cover. I wasn’t going to pick him up! He would have chomped my hand right off had I tried. Anyway, my first day kayaking was a huge success. Next time I plan on bringing my fishing rod to see if I can catch a few pickerel or maybe a large-mouth bass.

Micrsoft engaged in illegal monopolization and anticompetitive conduct?

Say it ain’t so. Who would have ever believed Microsoft had a monopoly? Well, it appears it is true since Microsoft has settled a class action lawsuit in Iowa for $179.5 million. According to the report on Yahoo! “The lawsuit claimed Microsoft engaged in illegal monopolization and anticompetitive conduct between 1994 and 2006 that caused customers to pay more for software than they would have if there had been competition.” I hope New Jersey gets on this action now as I’d probably get a few bucks for a copy of Windows I bought back in the mid-1990s. After all, if Microsoft was “engaged in illegal monopolization and anticompetitive conduct” in Iowa, they must have done it in New Jersey as well.

Help Tux and Linux Sponsor a car in the Indy 500

There is a community effort underway to get Tux on the side of a race car at the Indy 500. This was covered in an article that was prominently placed on the front page of the official Indy 500 Web site so I believe it is a legitimate effort. Linux-advocates can donate towards this effort and every little bit helps. According to a press release Tux will be riding with driver Stephan Gregoire in the Chastain Motorsports car. Their goal is to raise $350,000 or more in order to have Linux as the primary sponsorship. I’m not sure if they will make the ultimate goal since they only have $2,151.01 when I looked, but to get a Minor Associate Sponsorship they only need $25,000 so I think Tux will easily make it on the car. Hopefully they can raise more than the $25K and get a bigger/better spot on the car because as a racing and Linux fan I think it would be great to see a Linux car in the race. More information can be found at I have not donated yet, but I plan on making a small contribution after I get my next pay check.

Thinking about a backup mail server

I really like my LVS from Redwood Virtual. It give me full control of what, for all practical purposes appears to be a whole Linux server. Sure, it is a small one, but you pay for what you get. However, one thing that has happen once or twice in the years I’ve had my LVS is that for some reason, it will go down, and it will take a few days to come back up. The latest was last week, when a clerical error caused my LVS to be deactivated (this was the reason why if you tried to read my blog last week, you couldn’t connect). While Redwood made good on this, it was still down for a few days before it got fixed. They aren’t the fastest to respond to support requests, and I wasn’t in town, so it took me some time to get back to them with the information they needed. All-in-all, not a good situation for an e-mail server. Sure, I set up my DNS entry with Zoneedit to forward e-mail somewhere else when I noticed there was a problem, but I’m sure I missed some mail before I changed the DNS (although it was most likely spam). I guess I have a few options, but the ones I’m considering the most are 1) moving my mail server to another hosted site that is more suitable for mission-critical applications, 2) subscribing to a broadband Internet connection that will allow me to run my own mail server at home, or 3) find another mail server and make it a backup mailserver. I’m not really sure how that works with DNS and all, but I’m sure there is a way to do it. I think I’m leaning towards that option, but will need to investigate how. A fourth option would be to write some sort of shell script that will change my Zoneedit DNS settings if it notices my mail server is down to add a mail forwarder (and remove it when it is back working again). That seems too much like a kludge though.

As I mentioned despite this last episode which caused to be down for a few days, I’m still happen with Redwood Virtual and don’t plan on giving up on my little LVS. They have done good by me, and offer a really nice service for the price.

NJ Library BarCamp?

Michael J. Giarlo. has proposed a New Jersey BarCamp for Library Geeks in his Technosophia blog. His plan is based on a model of a group in D.C. and sounds very interesting. His reasons for wanting to start a NJ Library BarCamp include:

Why BarCamp? Don’t we have enough meetings and symposiums? Sure, we’re all spread thin. Our niche would be to bring together the TAG-style dog & pony shows with code sprints and other collaborative development a la the Access Hackfest. We’re looking for a group that will be innovative, collegial, social, practical, and – not to be corny, but – fun-loving.

I plan on attending this is Michael gets it off the ground. If you are interested in more details, see the post about it on his blog and let Michael know.

Happy New Year!

I hope everyone has a great 2007!

New Technorati Profile

I have decided to claim my blog on Technorati so I have to make a Technorati Profile. You can check it out if you want. And if you link to my blog, maybe I’ll get a rank higher than 311,699.

Old Hardware

The Musings of an Anonymous Geek blog has an interesting post about using old hardware. I’m a big fan of old hardware, having a huge collection of Sun Sparc Stations that I can turn on in case I run out of heating oil. The Anonymous Geek has a good point about machines being thrown out well before their useful life is up. The machine I use everyday at home is only a old 1 Ghz machine and it browses the Web and reads e-mail just fine. Occasionally I think about getting a new 64 bit machine but I really can’t figure out why I need to since this one works just fine for what I do with it. I guess the thing is I’m not really into gaming and that seems to be the one thing more then anything else that pushes people to new machines. Still, I’m thinking about getting another machine just so I can have a spare one to install Evergreen and/or Koha on for some experimentation.

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