Older blog entries for altair (starting at number 1)

wtogami: You might want to check out TortoiseCVS (http://www.tortoisecvs.org/). It integrates into Windows Explorer. Quite nice.
17 Dec 2003 (updated 18 Dec 2003 at 22:27 UTC) »

Well, this is my first post to Advogato. Since I'm sort of chairbound for today and probably the next few days, I thought I'd try writing something here.

The Good

Yesterday I bought a Panasonic W2 laptop. It's a Centrino-based machine, with a 900MHz Pentium M. Full specs are here. The first thing I did when I brought it home was play with the CD-RW/DVD-ROM drive; to put a cd into this laptop, part of the wrist rest area (including the round touchpad) pops up! It's such a nice little feature, since I've never liked the way the pop-out trays feel on most laptops.

The second thing I did was install Mandrake 9.2 on it. Now that was impressive; the only thing I had to manually configure was the X server. Everything else was autodetected by the Mandrake installer - it even asked me if I wanted to "Remove MS Windows (TM)". Well, I didn't, but the resize operation went very smoothly.

After Mandrake was installed, I went about setting up the wireless. After a bit of experimentation (mostly involving turning ACPI/APIC support on and off), judge and I got it working using the Linuxant Windows driver loader system.

The only remaining problem was that my laptop wouldn't connect to his wireless access point. That was solved by updating the firmware on the AP - apparently, there was a bug in the D-Link firmware that was triggered by the Centrino.

Now, I must get screen brightness controls and swsusp to work on the laptop, and get my former desktop set up as an IMAP mail server, and I'll be set to go away for Christmas.

The Bad

I went for a bike ride this morning to relax after exams. I couldn't sit in front of the computer after sitting in front of textbooks for weeks. I thought I'd ride over to Mt. Douglas, which is a hill near my house. I felt just fine on the way there. My vision was a little fuzzy, but I thought that was from studying intensively for almost two weeks.

So I started to bike up Mt. Doug because it felt so good to be outside even though it was cold and grey. I biked around on the trails for a bit, but wound up back on the main road up the hill. I thought I'd try biking partway up, which is definitely not outside the limits of my physical capabilities.

I'd gone about 100m up the hill when I started feeling really short of breath, and my chest felt like it was being constricted. I stopped, got off my bike, and leaned against it for a minute. I just couldn't catch my breath, and my chest felt like it was going to implode. The chin strap on my helmet was choking me, so I unclipped it, but left the helmet on.

As I did that, I tried to slow my breathing down, thinking maybe it was the cold air making my chest hurt so much. Then my hearing faded in a rush of white noise, and all I could hear was my pulse, thundering loud in my skull.

The next thing I remember is being cold, uncomfortable and thinking I was surrounded in colorful flowers. I wondered - briefly - if I was dead. The flowers faded into black, wet pavement, and I realized that I was not in a bed after all, but laying on the pavement. My next thought was, "Have I been hit by a car?". My glasses were askew across my face, and my helmet was sitting upside down on the ground in front of me. I saw a person coming toward me, and thought, "I probably look silly lying on the ground, I'd better sit up."

When I sat up, my head was spinning and I didn't know where I was. Then I saw my bike on the ground next to me, and I remembered.

A girl named Jamie walked me and my bike down the hill, where I used an elderly woman's phone to call my boyfriend to come pick me up. Her name was Jean, and in her entry way, there was a mirror. I got a good look at myself, and damn, I was a mess. My right cheekbone, jaw, and chin were scraped on the pavement when I passed out. Luckily, my helmet stayed on my head when I fell, and took most of the force, from what I can tell by inspecting the dents on it.

My boyfriend took me to the doctor's office, where I was determined to not have a broken neck or anything too serious.

The right side of my face hurts, and my ear and neck also received some superficial abrasions. No smiling for me for the next couple days. My neck got twisted sharply to one side, and now the muscles have all seized up, so I can't move my head much.

Of course, it could have been much worse - I could have collapsed somewhere on the trails, or on a curve on the road and been run over, or have collapsed more suddenly and hit my head. I'm glad I escaped with just some cuts and sore muscles.

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