Blog is fixed (sort of)

Sorry about the blog being down for a while. It's fixed now, but comments won't work. Sorry. We've been getting so much comment spam that our webhost suspended our account. We had to remove the script that controls comments, so if you have something to say, use the forums.

50 AA batteries

If you were wondering whether you could buy 50 AA batteries for $10, the answer is yes.

(via TechBargains)


It looks like comments are broken again.

Cole's thoughts

Cole responded to my call for testimonials about the high school paper. This is very well said. I should point out that Cole, a junior in college, already has a blossoming career in journalism. He writes for his university paper, the Maryville paper, and he's even worked with the Kansas City Star some.

I can still remember when I first walked into the AHS journalism room for the first time.

It must have been around August 30, 1998 and there I was a freshman with no clue where I was going or who I was. First, a little background on the position I was in at the moment. I had just decided that playing for the dear old Blackhawks football team wasn't for me. In addition to that I can officially say I felt lost and it was then that I swung by my old reading teachers room to try and relive my junior high days.

It was then that Mr. Sears told me I should sign up for journalism. I had nothing to lose, so I joined in. What initially was a one year deal took flight from there. I went from being whipping boy to some power-hungry seniors to editor-in-chief and learned an awful lot in the process.

Was the Drumbeats responsible for teaching me all of my journalism skills that I know so far? Of course not. What did happen there was that my love for journalism was cultivated. I realized in JH03 that working for a newspaper was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. Now to see the paper being taken away in such a manner like this
really hits home. Not only does it anger me but it makes me sad. I cannot help but wonder what would have happened had this decision been made in 1997 and not 2004.

If I would have never had this opportunity, I don't know where I would be. I don't want to complain about the town of Adrian, but lets be honest. The town has zero opportunity for kids the way it is. Now to see the esteemed staff take it away puzzles me. Now I could understand if the Board of Education had voted to cut it because of some reason that makes good sense I would have had no problem. Instead, when I contacted a board member, they did not even know what was going on. If things aren't resolved in a proper manner, I think its time to rally behind these kids. Heavens knows we would if it were the football team, there shouldn't be any difference anyway. By the way, the Drumbeats has produced more scholarship winners in the last 7 years than the football team has.Nevertheless, if things progress, lets let the board hear our concerns.

December 16, 2004.


Ubunt = healed

I put the original video card back into my Ubunto computer and it fixed the frame lag problem I had. What's more, the ethernet card started working when I booted up. I'm trying to play a cd to see if my sound works. My cd didn't play, but I can record with my microphone and play sounds back. All three of my problems are fixed! Now to create some new ones.

the newspaper was good for students

More on the school newspaper shutdown: Click here to read the thoughts of one of the many AHS alumni who benefited from their experience on the paper. If any others want to send me an email, I'll be glad to post it. Mike? Cole?

Everything's happy undergound

I've got a Wordpress site set up here: I think it would make a good platform for an underground newspaper. If you want to learn more, go to the site, create an account and start using it.

Ubuntu is go

Last night I added some components to my parents' old computer and installed Ubuntu Linux. The installation went pretty well, but I do have a few problems. The most severe one is that the ethernet card is not working. It won't be much of a webserver without that. The light on the back of the card flashes on briefly about once every two seconds. Then a light on the ethernet switch flashes at the same time. In Ubuntu's configuration GUI I try to activate the card and after about two seconds the checkmark next to it just disappears. I've got another card I might swap in there. But that card was working just 2 hours earlier in Windows. Frustration!

My second problem isn't as bad as that, but it's still very annoying. When I'm logged into a desktop there's some kind of lag. The best way to describe it is that when I'm moving my mouse around in circles it will be smooth for 3-4 seconds and then it will freeze for about half a second. The same thing happens when I'm typing. It's like I'm not getting a very good framerate from my video card (which is one the components I swapped out).

My third problem is that I have no sound. I'm not too surprised since I've never had sound on my Fedora box.

If anyone has any ideas, especially about the ethernet problem, then I'd love to hear them.


We pushed our luck pretty hard when I was a writer for my high school paper, The Drumbeats, but I heard that today the paper was actually shut down. An administrator didn't like some of the recent content and decided to put an end to it. It was announced this morning and by noon almost all of the students had signed a petition protesting the decision. I hope this is reversed and reversed quickly. How can you send kids to a civics class, teach them about freedom and the first ammendment, and then send them to newspaper class and tell them that they can't publish a paper because they might offend some people? What are we trying to teach our kids here? I'd like to offer my services to the students. If you want to set up an underground school paper on the web (like this) then I can help. If you're interested, email me: personman2 at gmail dot com.

Update: Matt, AHS journalism teacher and blogger, has his reaction to his paper being shut down here

Also, I was going to post this in the comments, but I'll put it here because I can:

I think an underground paper is a good idea even if the school paper starts up again. It gives the kids a place to run stories that would be censored. I think it would also teach the kids a valuable lesson, one that needs to be learned by everyone in journalism (so listen up, Cole). Media can be more fair and honest when it's not controlled or supported by those in power. That goes for school papers under the thumb of a school district, and major papers and tv networks owned by huge corporations. Journalist are supposed to be on the front lines of protecting our freedom, so they must be free to tell the truth, even if (no, especially if) the truth reflects poorly on those in power. [end of rant]

Will TiVo go the way of the dodo?

This article (and this one) are making the very sad prediction that TiVo's days are numbered. This is the device that set the standard for DVRs. I don't understand why they can't make any money. Their product/service is a beautiful thing. I hope the company lasts at least until I switch from DirectTV or my TiVo dies. I know my next DVR will integrate better with my computer network. I want to be able to record a Simpsons episode and then send it to Brendan in China. There's no reason for that to be illegal or impractical.

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