Sunday, 17 June 2007

Another part of my hidden geek

The boardgame, war.

This is going to date me: Avalon Hill. Panzer Leader.

No question my favorite wargame. I owned quite a few Avalon Hill games back in my heyday, including Squad Leader and Panzerblitz. There was Blitzkrieg and Tactics (I and II) as well. Avalon Hill was one of the best. I enjoyed SSI too, but AH always had a special place.

I have my parents hunting for my copies of these games in their attic. There is real promise that they have one or all of them. Panzer Leader is the only one I hope they find though.

I was recently talking with my neighbor, 10 years my junior, so the interest--in Avalon Hill, their games, or game play--quickly waned. As a WWII history buff, there was my interest in military-in-scale to fuel my fire for such simulations. Truly, part of the attraction of Panzer Leader was the box art: two Tiger tanks approach along an anonymous European dirt road, the lead tank's commander scans the horizon for threats or targets. There is something even today about the minimalist design of the box art that is evocative of the game, the theater, and the war. It is box art that would hold its own even in today's market. The font is the perfect bold sans-serif, white on a field of black.

So I'm looking for my copy of the game, and thinking about eBay options just in case, even just foregoing it all and using the rules--available online--and making my own counters (using the Imaginative Strategist's outstanding counters and maps).

I love being a geek.

Posted by caffeinated at 9:52 PM in nerdery

Testing MarsEdit

Looking for a good blogging tool.

I like the admin interface for blojsom, but I would like less web-based tool.

This is a test post from MarsEdit.

Posted by caffeinated at 10:58 AM in experimental madness

Apple Genius?

My peeps know me as a huge Mac Fanboy.

The Mac OS is the fabled “Linux Desktop”: debate over. Ubuntu? Nope. Beryl and Ubuntu? Nope. Let the flame war start. I'm the final arbiter of all comments, so bring it on.

That debate settled, let me say that the “Apple Genius” I had last week at the Christana Mall Apple Store was anything other than a “genius.” Poser is more like it.

The sole purpose of his training by Apple was to be able to use “I’m a genius.” in a conversation. Or was it to refine innate condescension. Actual conversion to a customer query:

Customer: Can I get some assistance with checking out?
Apple Genius: I’m a genius. 
              You’ll have to get someone on the floor.

Translation: “Please get one of the untrained peons on the floor and do not bother me.”

And just like that, my pretentious meter pegged. I suddenly couldn’t see him for anything other than a freckled-faced, ginger-kid with a mop cut and all the trappings of a young, college know-it-all elitist, right down to the green and yellow “Global Warming” wrist band to clash with the black “genius” tee.

But first impressions should not set the tone. I would allow him to perform his magic with my iMac. What was wrong with my iMac?

A documented power supply failure.

The iMac functioned, but the power supply would intermittently fail and the system would restart.

How do you diagnose this? Well, there are a couple of ways, but the common one is: document the restarting, then examine the logs for AppleSMU -- shutdown cause = -122. Having found this, you can learn, with Google, that the code is linked to a power supply problem, and from there you can trace this to the power supply recall by Apple.

How does an Apple Genius diagnose this problem? By overloading the CPU and VM/Swap. Dumbass. Disk I/O and CPU load is not a method of diagnosing a power supply problem. The iMac could have been idle, no user logged in (save root), fresh from a restart, and restart again. Never did I ever see this problem described as a processing problem. Now, assuming that Apple has a database for a genius to turn too, you would expect that performing some log analysis would have been recommended. No. I was left pondering the reasons I was there for 30 minutes while he busied himself with something behind a terminal and my iMac was dutifully swapping memory for the 40 or so applications launched. Whatever. Not one time did he look at the logs. He just said, “I’m going to turn on all the applications now to duplicate the problem.”

WTF? I thought. You just determined my iMac was qualified by looking at the EMC No., so what else needs to be done? You could look at the logs, maybe.

All said, I got a case number for the power supply. It’s user-serviceable. Thank God. I wouldn’t want him cracking the case of my iMac.

He’s an idiot, not a genius.

Posted by caffeinated at 10:45 AM in kaffehaus
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