Thursday, February 19, 2004

What is the latest to write about… lots of stuff it seems! First is probably the house. There are a few problems with it, two being major. One is the radon levels in the basement. We had a home inspector test the radon level and it was ~15. The EPA limit for safety is 3.9, so the house is over 3 times the safe level! There are exhaust systems to vent the gas, but we don’t know at this point if one will even work when the level is that high. I’ll probably try to call around tomorrow to find out what the story is on fixing that kind of thing. Second is water seepage into the basement. The neighbor’s house is uphill from the house we are interested in, so water runs downhill and sinks into the soil along the south side of the house. It then seeps through the cinder blocks into the basement, which makes mold very happy (there is a corner of the basement that is quite moldy). A French Drain may fix this, but that’s not cheap (probably ~$3000 to do it properly for both sides of the house). Troubling. Plus we’ve already notified the apartment that we’re moving, which means that we’ve got to be out by March 13th! Trouble all around it seems.

I’ve been having computer troubles of late. For some unknown reason (well, I’ve got suspicions as to the cause) files on my computer get corrupted occasionally. Normally Windows can fix this fine, but one file took a hit 2 days ago (SAMSRV.DLL) and because it’s essential for Windows to start unsurprisingly I couldn’t get Windows to start. I was able to get the old file off the install CD and boot into the Recovery Console to place it in the right location (if I didn’t know more than the average bear when it came to this stuff I’d be in a real tough spot) and get Windows to start. For some reason the graphics drivers (software that allows my video card to run properly) were also corrupted and had to be replaced. Did that and now everything seems to be back to normal.

Along similar lines, I downloaded and burned a copy of Knoppix 3.3. It’s an alternate operating system to Windows, based on Linux, and runs off a single CD. I fiddled around with Red Hat Linux back in 2000, but lost interest. From the looks of things KDE (the Windows-like user interface) has come a long way, and I may really enjoy fiddling around and getting to know it. First issue will be getting the darn modem to work (modems designed for Windows are notoriously difficult to get working in Linux)!

Work is pretty exciting thus far. The antibiotic project is moving along steadily, which is nice because my other project has been very difficult to get running (it’s be 6 months and I still haven’t seen what we expect). I think that’s enough for a single post.

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