Trouble – the black kind
Samantha, lying on her cat tree
These are the new pictures of the fourfoots.
I couldn’t find any instructions on how to disassemble the Nook Simple Touch. Since I had to disassemble mine to solve a problem, here are the instructions:
- Remove the MicroSD card (if installed)
- Carefully pop off the power button on the rear of the unit
- Once you remove the power button, you will find a Torx screw covered by an anti-tamper sticker. Remove the sticker, then the screw.
- Place the unit face down on a non-scratching surface
- Push down on the unit, and then in the direction of the USB connector. The back will slide, and can then be very easily removed.
Assembly is the reverse of the above process. This will, of course, void your warranty.
NOTE: If your Nook Simple Touch is only locked up, you can usually reset it by holding down the power button on the rear of the unit for approx. 45 seconds, waiting a minute, than holding it down again for 15 seconds. The unit will power back on, and (usually) all will be well.
While working with another package, I stumbled across a relatively new program for Linux called DVDisaster. What it does, effectively, is add ECC information to DVD images so that if you have media errors at some later date, you can run it again and reconstruct the original image.
I’ve checked it out and run my own tests, and it seems to be a good deal for what it does. For right now, I’m using it to augment my present data backup policy: two copies burned on DVD and stored at different locations. It seems to me that it’s cheap protection against minor media dropouts.
I keep hearing people complain about the usability of Linux as it compares to the usability of Windows or MacOS. The common complaint is that computers should be easy – even windows users complain that computers should “just work”. In response to this, I am asking my own question – do you want your computer to be a toaster or a lathe?
Toasters are easy. They do one thing – heat up slices of bread that you stick into them when you push the button. All you have to do is decide how much to heat things up, load your bread, push the button and wait. Very simple, very easy, and very limited. You can’t do much with a toaster other than what its designers anticipated. Ease of use — 10, Flexibility — 1.
A modern metal cutting lathe is an entirely different matter. It takes a great deal of training to accomplish anything but the simplest tasks, and even simple work requires understanding the work, the machine, and the underlying process on a fairly deep level. It takes years to learn to use one well. Even after a great deal of training, some users are still far more capable than others. Ease of use — 1 Flexibility — 10.
Modern computers are diverging right now. One one end, products like Amazon’s Kindle, Apple’s IPad and Barnes and Noble’s Nook are heading in the direction of toasters. They’re simpler and easier to use. They are also locked down and limited. One the other end are netbooks, Google’s Android platform and other similar tools. These are unlocked, a bit more difficult to use, and endlessly flexible.
Underneath the skin, these are all “general purpose computers”. Some say that locking something like the IPad down as much as it is is a bad decision. I disagree. Today’s computing ecosystem has room for both lathes and toasters. I think it always will. There will always be a group of people who are more comfortable with single use devices for some jobs. There will always be others who find them too limited and/or confining. This is officially OK. There’s more than one way to be human.
If you’re using Miro on Ubuntu Hardy Heron, and you’re using the PCF repositories, you may find that Miro crashed unexpectedly or misbehaves and has trouble with Compiz-fusion. This can be very easily fixed by going into preferences and changing the playback engine from xine to gstreamer. After this, you will need to close Miro and restart it. This should make Miro stable again.
After two days of this experiment, I’m already noticing some changes to my approach. Mainly, I’m shooting on manual far more often than I had been previously. I find that when I’m not focusing on the subject of the photograph, I am more free to focus on the process. When I can concentrate on the lighting, the timing, the aperture and many other aspects of the picture – rather than focusing more directly on the object of the picture, I have an opportunity to improve my craft. Having a good subject for a picture is only part of the process – the craft aspects are important too – and this has helped so far.
Note: Yes – the pictures are online. No, they aren’t in my Picasa photo albums.