Monday, April 22, 2013

an incredibly busy two weeks...

I've been extremely busy the past two weeks, both at work and at home. Because our project is at a critical stage, many of us have been working longer hours than usual. Don't get me wrong - I love my job and am not complaining one bit - but sometimes I wish we had spring breaks. It's one of the reasons I miss being a student.

I've been fairly occupied outside of work as well: Dad wanted to retrieve some files from a couple of Sun Ultra workstations and has asked me and his old colleague Andrew to help. Given that these computers are almost 15 years old and don't have any USB ports, the only way to get the files is via FTP.

The workstations also require a server connection. Therefore, Dad went to Costco and bought a Lenovo H520s desktop to use as a server. The good news is that installing Linux over Windows 8 was easier than expected. Thank heaven for small favors.

Another problem is the machines are so old that most monitors are incompatible. Even multiple trips to Fry's Electronics proved to be fruitless. The fact that the original monitors each weigh more than 40 pounds didn't help the issue. They were dinosaurs in every sense of the word. Dad only found some working monitors at home after hours of searching.

On the subject of computers, the hard drive of my ThinkPad T42 finally crashed after seven and a half years. This wasn't too shocking, considering that hard drives are often the first component to fail. I'm actually surprised it lasted this long.

While I was able to recover the data, reinstalling Windows took up lots of time. I only managed to get my laptop working again last week after replacing the hard drive. Seeing that my other computers had never been backed up, I spent several hours organizing the files to make the process easier. Sometimes I think technology makes life more complicated.

The last two weeks weren't all that bad as our family friend Karen came over for dinner on the 12th. Like always, Mom made lots of delicious food. All of us had such a great time that Karen didn't leave until well past midnight!

The day after that, my parents and I had lunch with two other families at a Chinese restaurant. You can go here for food pictures. Another highlight of the weekend was our hike on the Stevens Creek Trail yesterday afternoon. As you can see, this has been a busy month!

Currently listening to: "1000 Miles" by Blake Lewis

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Fresno day trip report

Dad took us to Fresno today to see the Forestiere Underground Gardens. He had been wanting to go there for a while, and this was the perfect opportunity to do so.

The 150-mile drive to Fresno was uneventful aside from a stop at Casa de Fruta in Hollister. Because our last time here was several years ago, my parents wanted to see how much had changed. It was mostly the same with the exception of two new stores. On the downside, they no longer offer free samples. Blah.

The three of us arrived at Forestiere Underground Gardens around noon and signed up for the tour. To be honest, I'm not sure if it was worth the price. The tour was $15 per person and much shorter than expected. While the place was fascinating, I don't think it warrants another visit.

Our other stop in Fresno was WinCo Foods for groceries and snacks. As with other locations, everything was super cheap. I certainly wish the company would open more stores.

The day trip concluded with dinner at the Black Bear Diner in Los Banos. Having enjoyed their food during our trip to Tahoe last year, my parents and I decided to eat at the chain again. This experience wasn't as great because the food was overpriced and slightly overcooked. That said, the meal was still a nice way to end the evening. I've posted pictures from our day trip here.

Currently listening to: "Yellow Submarine" by the Beatles