Dispatches, thoughts, and miscellanea from writer Jon Konrath

Projects eating my time

I typically have some windmill I’m chasing, eating all of my spare cycles with google searches.  At some point, there’s going to be some huge lawsuit and google is going to be forced to release all of its search data to people like the way we now buy our credit reports, and I’m going to look back and wonder why I searched for Amiga 500 hardware 48,757 times in mid-2002.  Anyway, here are a bunch of recent brain viruses that are consuming me:

  • Is there a way to install track lighting without a ceiling fixture?  I’m looking for some magical system that will either draw power straight from the air in some Tesla-like fashion, or a way to conceal a cord so it runs across the ceiling and down a wall, maybe behind a bookcase.  I don’t know.
  • I need to build a kitchen island.  I think Ikea has the cabinets, but I also think they have a $1400 minimum on their engineered stone surfaces.  How do you get that crap built, and am I looking at a twelve-week wait time?   I thought we were in a recession and all of the trade people were dying for work?  If so, why don’t any of them return my phone calls?  And why do I ever need to make a phone call?  Why can’t all of this shit be online?
  • Searching for the perfect KVM switch to connect a MacBook Pro (mini-DisplayPort) and a ThinkPad (DisplayPort) to a monitor with DVI input.  It amazes me that it’s 2010 and 90% of the KVM solutions out there are still PS/2 keyboard/mouse and VGA that caps out at like 1280×1024.  That’s like if I went to a local new car dealership and every model still had a hand crank.
  • I keep searching eBay for NeXT hardware.  I need to stop doing that.
  • How do you repackage a 16-bit InstallShield installer so it works in Windows 7?  Why can’t you just use a 16-bit installer in Windows 7?  I thought the whole deal with Windows was you trade off usability and performance and reliability for the fact that they still need to support decades-old legacy software.  So why does a five-year-old installer crap out on me?  (Yes I tried running it in compatibility mode.)
  • Has anyone ever written an online version of Advanced Squad Leader?
  • I need to learn Python to use this mythical scripting extension to FrameMaker, but I also fear that said extension won’t be able to script 90% of the application, so maybe I don’t need to learn Python.
  • I need to buy/build/find a new entertainment system for the TV.  One that doesn’t look stupidly small with a 17′ ceiling, but that doesn’t cost more than my car.  Maybe the Ikea Besta.
  • I also need to find a medicine chest for the downstairs bathroom that doesn’t look like it came out of a mobile home and that isn’t some old country kitchen Paula Deen looking bullshit.
  • Didn’t someone make a vertical docking station for the new MacBook Pro or did I hallucinate that?  And not some little metal clippy stand that cost 17 cents to make in China and retails for $79.

That is all.