21 October 2006

Boy Scouts of America

It seemed like only yesterday the Wife and I were talking to the Son's kindergarten teacher about having him taking extra-curricular activities to keep him more interested in school. He spent pre-K in private school and a lot of the "new" things public school taught in kindergarten he already knew. The teacher mentioned that Boy Scouts of America rent the school's first floor and the gym every Friday, but Son would have to be in first grade. Yesterday, the Son, now in first grade, had his first meeting as a Tiger Cub Scout. We only needed to fill out a registration form and forked over $75 and he's a scout. We'll have to buy the uniform separately. I thought the uniform would be included in the $75 - wishful thinking. J enjoyed the first meeting - they played some team game on the first floor and then played dodge ball in the gym on the second floor. It was good exercise for him. He met a few of his classmates so he won't have problem blending in.

I spent a lot of time with the new-founded Windoze PC, which I shall name Friday, like Robinson Crusoe's discovery. Hooking it up to the Internet was as easy as popping in a network interface card, but looking for that card took twenty times the amount of time. I was sure I had all the spare expansion cards I cannibalized from all the other PCs together in a bag, but it turned out that bag only had removable drives, e.g. Zip and Jaz and their associated power adapters. Being a pack rat and a recycler has its disadvantages. Finally, totally by chance I came across my cache of expansion cards - sound cards, hard drives, 33.6k modems, and voila, two NICs, a 3Com and a NetGear. I had a pretty good experience with a NetGear not too long ago while re-installing Windoze for my brother-in-law so I went with the NetGear. Windoze XP recognized the card and there was nothing else to do other than plugging in a Cat5 network cable. I couldn't figure out how to remove the floppy drive, but a visit to Dell.com solved the problem. Although I was able to remove the drive, the replacement drive from an old Gateway PC didn't fit in. I vacuumed near the mouth of the old, supposedly defective, drive a little bit and put it back, then it just worked. It read a floppy disk and even allowed me to copy a file to it and then deleted the file. The only hardware expansion I would like to carry out is to add more memory. I thought I would be able to use the many spare memory modules I have littering about the room, but alas, my modules are SDRAM, whereas Dell's are RDRAM. And they don't come cheap. I thought I would be able to expand to over one gig of RAM but that will set me back a few hundred dollars. Maybe I'll just live with the 256 MB...

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