Thursday, December 6, 2007

Motorcyclist riding with rattler critcally injured in crash

BWAAAA! That's just funny. I know the guy is nearly dead (and that's uhhh, sad) but this story just makes me laugh.

Be sure to take a look at the comments that other readers have posted. VERY funny.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

The thought police are on patrol

Click the heading of this post for some interesting reading. It seems that a high school teacher in Wisconsin was arrested for posting his opinions in the comments section of a political blog. While you may not agree with his comments (I don't) you can't convince me that he should have been arrested for them. Scary stuff. Thoughts?

Monday, November 19, 2007

PopLight in the desert

In my travels I (very) often pass through Amboy, CA. Near Amboy is a dry lake bed known as Bristol Dry Lake. It's a very flat, very quiet, very dark, and often very hot place. If you pass over Bristol Lake after dusk on any given weekend you're likely to see a brilliant display of lights in this isolated place. Check out to see what I'm talking about.

Nice work, Helena. Keep it up.

Friday, October 26, 2007

More info about the Mojave Natl Pres and RS 2477

Wow. This has been going on for quite some time and this is the first I've heard of it. Strange.

Highway Robbery

California Wilderness Coalition

California Wilderness Coalition

Using the Mojave National Preserve as a "freeway"??

Hmmm...I just stumbled across this item of interest (press release) while searching for news about the embattled Mojave Cross. More to follow after I do more research.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Pirelli Diablo Strada

I think I'm done with the Diablo Strada sport touring tire from Pirelli. I love the feel and the feedback of these things. They transition from straight-away to sweeping turn effortlessly and feel stable at all speeds. The problem is that these things seem to provide no indication of how much life they have left. They continue to feel brand new until the belts start to show through. For the second time this year I've arrived in Las Vegas with a smoked rear tire. The first time caught me off guard so I kept an extra close eye on the last Diablo that I had. The day of my departure for LV I looked both tires over thoroughly and even had the owner of Desert Cycle Works take a good look. We both agreed that I could get 500 "hard miles" out it with some room to spare. Not the case at all. 185 miles later the center was starting to peel away. I babied it home a couple of days later (at the posted speed limit...yuck) and had DCW put a new tire on. That Pirelli was on the bike for a total of 5050 miles. This time I went with DCW's last remaining Avon Azaro (AV46). Avon stopped making the Azaro model that I liked so much, but DCW made me a smokin' deal on the last one. So for now, I'm an Avon guy again. Maybe I'll try Avon's new Storm model next time. Who knows?

Friday, September 14, 2007

The Mojave Cross in the news

The Mojave Cross, a memorial to war veterans, has made the news again. This article is very interesting to me. Enjoy (click the title of this post to read the article).

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Life is good.

Friday, August 17, 2007

The 2007 Iron Butt Rally

The Iron Butt Rally takes place every two years. It's about to begin in St. Louis, MO. You can read daily updates from the staff of the IBR at the IBR 2007 web site. A fellow FJR owner and IBR rookie Matt Watkins is keeping a good blog of his experience in the Rally on his web site. Be sure to check it out.
11,000 miles (minimum) in 11 days! Wow, these folks are intense.

Monday, July 23, 2007

So, I'm not the only one who wasn't happy w/ Michelin?

It seems that my recent experience with Michelin tires wasn't so strange after all. Hey, if Rossi can bash 'em, so can I.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Understanding the 4GB...errr, uhhh... 3GB RAM limit in Windows Vista

I recently purchased a new computer from Dell with Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate (32 bit version) installed. I opted to get 4GB of RAM in my new toy for various reasons. I wanted to "future-proof" my machine for one thing. I always seem to add RAM to all of my computers so I figured I would just forgo the trouble later in exchange for the added expense now. In addition to avoiding a RAM upgrade in the near future I also have a few "hobbies" that are resource intensive and I don't want to experience any frustration due to insufficient RAM. I like to tinker with development in ASP.NET, C#, and VB.NET. I also play with SQL Server 2000 and SQL Server 2005. I use all of these tools at work and find myself more and more interested in playing with them at home, too. (Some would suggest that I need to get out more, but that's another topic altogether.)

But I digress...back to the topic at hand here, RAM. Windows Vista in the 32 bit edition is said to have a maximum of 4GB of RAM. This is a little misleading. OK, this is VERY misleading.

It turns out that while I do actually have 4GB of RAM in my computer (the BIOS tells me that I indeed DO have 4GB) Windows (or any 32 bit OS) will not display this information to me. When I look at the system properties dialog box I see 3072MB of memory. Where's the rest of my RAM? Why don't I see 4096MB of memory? Here's why.

In a nutshell (read this for the long, technical version) 32 bit systems have the ability to map memory address space for up to 4GB. Since I have 4GB of system memory installed there is a limitation on how much of that RAM can be utilized by the operating system. Other components within the computer need the ability to map memory address space and those addresses must be mapped within the first 4GB of RAM. In other words, the amount of available system memory (that memory available to the OS and applications) is reduced in order to allow other components to map memory space. These components (PCI, Video) cannot be mapped to the same memory space as system RAM, so something has to give. System RAM loses this battle. So in reality the OS can only utilize up to 3.12GB of RAM (according to one MS KB article).

While I understand (at least partially) the technical reasons that I can't utilize all of the RAM that I paid for, I sure would have liked to this information before I purchased the XPS 410 from Dell. By virtue of the fact that Dell made the upgrade to 4GB an available option I assumed that I would be able to utilize that memory for the OS and applications. Now to be fair to Dell they do have an asterisk on the portion of their web site where you choose RAM. Did I scroll down to the bottom of the page to read it? Nope. Stupid me, I guess. Here is their "disclaimer":

*Systems configured with 4GB memory or more: The total amount of available memory will be less than 4GB. The amount less depends on the actual system configuration.

OK, OK, I should have read that line. But hey, how many of you have never skipped the footnote? Yeah, that's what I thought. At least Dell has the footnote. A quick tour of the Windows Vista footnotes page (yes, they have a separate page and yes it's sort of buried) reveals absolutely nothing about this 3.12GB RAM limitation. You have to Google your way into a Microsoft Knowledge Base article for that information.

So this is the fault of Dell and Microsoft for poor disclosure, right? The truth is that while both companies have done a poor job of informing consumers about this limitation, it's neither companies fault that the limitation exists. This is a problem inherent to any x86 based system. This blog has a pretty good explanation of the RAM limitation. And you'll find another (albeit pretty geeky) thorough explanation of a "workaround" offered by Microsoft in this article.

One way to avoid this problem altogether is to purchase one of the 64 bit versions of Vista but this comes with its fair share of difficulties, too. Driver support for 64 bit versions seems to be lacking. Some reports are that the lack of driver support is quickly becoming a thing of the past, but I know Murphy personally and his laws are...well...LAWS!

So I guess the moral of the story is "Do your homework". You either settle for 3GB of RAM (which isn't even an option on Dell's website), purchase a 64 bit version of Windows, or take the risk of remapping your memory addressing with PAE.

Good luck.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Mojave Cross exposed (for now)

Within the boundaries of what is now the Mojave National Preserve there is a monument to those who lost their lives during World War I. This simple cross was erected by Veterans of Foreign Wars and has been in place (in one form or another) for over 70 years. For the past few years a battle has been brewing between the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California and supporters of what is known as the Mojave Cross.
In one chapter of this battle the National Park Service was required to cover the cross pending the outcome of the lawsuit. For the past couple of years it has been covered by a plain looking wooden box. I drive through the Mojave National Preserve quite often and I enjoy taking pictures of anything that seems interesting to me at the time (even if I later wonder why I found it interesting). This morning I was surprised to see that someone has removed the box covering the Mojave Cross. It is my understanding that this happens from time to time...presumably at the hands of the Cross' supporters.

I was lucky enough to have my camera and snapped a couple of pictures.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

I'll have that Lottery money spent before I ever get it!

WOW! 725HP, eh? That should do it. I should have no problems going to jail or crashing in a most spectacular fashion with one of these!

If I ever hit the lotto I'm going to need to hire someone to make good decisions for me.

On the milder side, there's this little gem.

Monday, March 19, 2007

The irony isn't lost on me here

I find this article humorous (click on the title of this post) since I can't seem to find a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline for less than $3.10. California...ahh yes, gotta love the economy here. Oh well, it could be worse I guess. It could be snowing.

Friday, February 2, 2007

Pirated ,stolen, etc. Software

It's amazing to me how many people don't care about the licensing terms on software. Even more alarming than those that know and don't care, are those that have no idea they're doing anything wrong. "Well my sister in Montana purchased this copy of MS Office and I just burned a copy...what's the problem? It's not like I'm selling it out of my van, down by the river." Well here's one for you... Granted those folks were operating on a huge scale compared to the people who use their sister's copy of MS Office, but the whole thing still makes me wonder how long this will go on. Have you seen the prices for Windows Vista or Microsoft Office 2007? Yeah, thats a lot of money. I can certainly argue that every person I know running a pirated copy of Windows XP and Office 2003 can be blamed (in part) for the price of software these days. I get a montly email from MS detailing a few of thier legal battles with piracy and sales of illegal "knock-off" software and OS's. They spend a lot of money going after these dumbasses. The only reason they spend so much is because it's cheaper than letting them get away with it.

So...stop making my software more expensive. Go buy the stuff like most of us do.

Thoughts? Comments? Tell me to shove it? Anything?

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Security+ Certification complete

I managed to pass my CompTIA Security+ exam yesterday. I scored 836 out of 900. Not bad I guess. Now I can spend the month of Feb preparing for my next Microsoft exam. Good times.

Monday, January 29, 2007


I'm off to Riverside tomorrow to take my Security+ Exam. Wish me luck.

Friday, January 19, 2007

View Scott Wright"s profile on LinkedIn