Dispatches, thoughts, and miscellanea from writer Jon Konrath


I’m officially sick. I really don’t feel great, and due to the fact that I drank about a gallon of grapefruit juice today, my digestive system isn’t doing well, either. I think I’m going to sleep about 10 hours tonight, or at least try. Being sick is not fun in the summer. And yes, it’s about summer now – I think we had hot temps for the first time all year.

I did hack away at the new journal program, although it isn’t done yet. I fixed most of it, but I am trying to streamline the stuff that handles what year is what. When I’m done, it should work so that each year is in a directory, and it will generate the archives links to the left automatically. I’m having trouble with getting the right order of years, though. I need to mess with it more when I can think straight.

I keep forgetting that I have a Furby in my closet somewhere, that I got at a K-Mart for about $5 after the end of that fad. I want to take it apart and do something evil or interesting with it, but I’ve heard that they are fairly useless despite the amount of stuff that it does. All of the firmware is in one chip that melted shut and virtually useless for reverse-engineering purposes. And all of the mechanical stuff, like the eyes and sensors and so forth, are all made of plastic gears interconnected in such a way that you can’t do anything useful with them. It’s like that old Radio Shack Robotron arm; the whole thing was driven off of one motor with a shitload of gears, and it was all mechanical, so you couldn’t just wire in a DB-9 connector and a cable and then hook it up to your computer and drive it with a BASIC program or something. I did see someone wire one of those up digitally, but they basically gutted it and totally regeared the thing with 4 or 5 RC airplane servos. It would have been easier to start from scratch.

Man I don’t feel good. I really feel like sitting down and watching TV for an hour or two, but absolutely nothing is on. I think I’ll sit in bed and read the PC Connection catalog until I pass out.