One step forward, three steps sideways

Ok, so put the Asus X200MA notebook on Ubuntu. LAN and wifi drivers work fine right after the install. But the screen's stuck on max brightness, hard on the eyeballs, and changing brightness in settings does nothing. Wasted some time looking for a dark theme, but Ubuntu's got 3 free themes and that's it. (One of the the reasons why I switched back to Windows, I love HiContrast yellow on black.) Googling, this blog post looked promising, so edit in some grub code and brightness keys should work. But "You do not have the permissions necessary to edit this file." Sudo gimme a break. So apparently gedit doesn't have root user powers by default anymore, I'm missing something else. Hello yak, I am here to shave you.

Asus X200MA install error, BIOS not fully ACPI compliant

Been looking at the Asus X200 notebooks for a couple of months. I loved netbooks when they first came out, went through a few. I still think it's the sweet spot between portability and fuctionality, but there's not much in that zone now, market split off into tablets/phones vs full-function laptops. 14-inch laptops have gotten pretty cheap, but they're harder to lug around, you need a dedicated bag for that. There's a couple of different versions of the X200 out there, but I just wanted the basic, not-touchscreen one.
So yeah, small, cheap, go for it. No OS but I can deal with that. External CD drive, Win7, and then
Dealing with bluescreens isn't how I wanted to spend my downtime, but Murphy's Law never sleeps. Googling around, this Microsoft Support page said press F7 when the drivers are loading to disable ACPI.
Go ahead and delete the partition, then the FreeDOS will be gone, but you don't need it anyway and might as well get the 13 gigs back. (whybackinmyday, DOS was one 5-inch floppy...)

Win7 installed, but can't detect wifi, hardwired ethernet doesn't work either.
Nice. Cmon techsupport monkey, figure something out. So smartphone's connected to the shin bone, err, wifi. Connect phone with USB cord to notebook, turn on network sharing, ok, online without network controller. Download what you need.

TL;DR Don't buy the no-OS, DOS-only Asus X200 if you want something that just works right away. Thought I'd post this in case anyone else is stuck or panicking at that bluescreen.


Last belief standing

Takei's point is made and certainly I agree. Then my mind wandered off to other things. Of course this is why we have joke religions like Pastafarianism, the Church of the SubGernius, Discordianism, etc. The religious reply is that stuff's just made up, while our beliefs are eternal truths hallowed by tradition. Got me thinking, what would it take to craft a memeplex that lasts hundreds or thousands of years, with traditions, rites, observances, symbols recognizable across millenia?

Neal Stephenson's Anathem seems divisive among nerds, but it's one of my all-time favorite books for its sense of time, and yeah I love the idea of Long Now Foundation too. I've been doing the LessWrong/atheist thing of marking the solstices and equinoxes.

More than words

A long time ago, I thought wouldn't it be interesting to have an entire love story that never once uses the actual word "love," the most overused and misused word ever. Show, don't tell.

A Youtube comment mentioned that no one ever says love (or any of the related Japanese words) in Mamoru Hosoda's Wolf Children, a film that is entirely about love.

For a more directly romantic version, the other "next Miyazaki" guy Makoto Shinkai never uses the word love or anything like it in my all-time favorite love story, 5 Centimeters Per Second.

What's it got in its pockets pockets pockets preciousss

This vest thing wins all the utilons. Been playing with it for an hour and I'm still finding pockets.

Jacked in

[Oscar Chichoni cover for Neuromancer]

After almost 2 weeks of back and forth calls, SkyCable finally got me hooked up.
The standing desk makes my ankles hurt, but I'll give it another week.

Falcon Heavy would be a great band name

I love the soundtrack, I want more, who did the music? No attribution on Youtube, I asked in the comments, checked Reddit, nothing. Tried SoundHound, which misidentifies it as Dawn by Kenichiro Nishihara. Rockin guitar =/= mellow piano. :\

Brand X supervillain lair

Bought some shelf things. Trying to work out a standing desk and regular desk combo.
Jill was born into an inner-city home. Her father began having sex with Jill and her sister during their preschool years. Her mother was institutionalized twice because of what used to be termed “nervous breakdowns.” When Jill was 7 years old, her agitated dad called a family meeting in the living room. In front of the whole clan, he put a handgun to his head, said, “You drove me to this,” then blew his brains out. The mother’s mental condition continued to deteriorate, and she revolved in and out of mental hospitals for years. When Mom was home, she would beat Jill. Beginning in her early teens, Jill was forced to work outside the home to help make ends meet. As Jill got older, we would have expected to see deep psychiatric scars, severe emotional damage, drugs, maybe even a pregnancy or two. Instead, Jill developed into a charming and quite popular young woman at school. She became a talented singer, an honor student,and president of her high school class. By every measure, she was emotionally well-adjusted and seemingly unscathed by the awful circumstances of her childhood.
-John Medina, Brain Rules, Chapter 8: Stress

Great lines, mostly poetry

This is the school in which we learn/ that time is the fire in which we burn.
-Delmore Schwartz

I want to do to you what Spring does to the cherry trees.
-Pablo Neruda

Our father who art in heaven, stay there. And we will stay on earth, which is sometimes so beautiful.
-Jacques Prevert

I didn’t say "I love you" to hear it back. I said it to make sure you knew.
-cavalaxis.tumblr

To see her in sunlight was to see Marxism die.
-Harold Brodkey

Sifting through the Madness for the Word, the Line, the Way.
-Charles Bukowski

 I am a bow in your hands, Lord. Draw me, lest I rot.
-Nikos Kazantzakis

 The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.
 -Martin Luther King, Jr

All cities are mad, but the madness is gallant. All cities are beautiful, but the beauty is grim.
-Christopher Morley

I have no parents. I make the earth and sky my parents. I have no home. In the depths of my soul I make my home.
-samurai creed, traditional

Almost No One is Evil; Almost Everything is Broken
-blog.jaibot.com

 Everything that rises must converge.
-Teilhard de Chardin

He told her about the Afterglow: that brief, brilliant period after the Big Bang, when matter gathered briefly in clumps and burned by fusion light.
-Stephen Baxter

"You've a good heart," she told him. "Sometimes that's enough to see you safe wherever you go." Then she shook her head. "But mostly, it's not."
-Neil Gaiman

Death the Kraken waits to drown you/ In the sea of earth.
-the Skolion of Seikilos