February 7, 2003

Michael Jackson

Completely off-topic. My wife and I just finished watching the Michael Jackson interview by this idiot Martin Bashir. At first, we're amazed at the bizarre man Jackson has turned into. The video clips of himself as a youngster, lead singer of the Jackson 5, are incredible. Even his later albums are great. This is a person blessed with a gift. Unfortunately, he's now an eccentric millionaire that has surrounded himself with yes-people and, my wife and I are convinced after watching this show, has completely convinced himself that he's still a kid.

As the interview continues however, we start to see something beyond a regular interview. Yellow journalism at its best. Why would we expect differently? This is fucking 20/20, the bastion of judgemental, sensational, slanted, slandering journalism. Bashir questions are bracketed by his personal comments on how disturbed and shocked he is of it all.

Yes, if a *mature* 44 year old man invited my boys to sleep in bed with him, I would find it extremely weird, to the point of physical confrontation. But a 44 year old man that says he dreams of climbing trees and having water balloon fights? This is not some married man that's leading a double-life of perversion. This is an emotionally stunted man that has used his millions to hire folks and buy possessions that let him stay in a world of childhood. At one point, the camera, as if in shock, focuses on Jackson holding the hand of a 14 year old boy, as they discuss how it's fine that this boy and his brother have slept in his bed. Mind you, not WITH Jackson, no, he instead sleeps in a sleeping bag while his guests sleep in his bed. Bashir is in an absolute panic. How horrifying for a man to be seen holding a boys hand. In this day and age of abusive catholic priests, family child abuse cases, foster care systems run amok, and who knows what else, to see someone hold onto the idealism of childhood innocence and love is not high up on my worry-meter.

As for the bed issue... do I really have to draw a picture here? Do you honestly believe that Jackson's bed is some twin-size posturepedic purchased from Dial-A-Mattres? (leave the last S off for $avings!). I can only imagine it's a fucking wonderland draped in decadence. I bet if I saw it, I'd want to sleep in it! So yes, these kids show up, get a tour of the house, and beg to sleep in that bed. "Why don't you put them in the guest rooms?" Yes, I'm a kid and I can sleep in some lonely guest room or I could hang out with this 'older' kid that has bought any and every toy ever made, and he gets to do whatever he pleases. No, I'm done with the party, put me to bed! Even on the occasions that he does in fact sleep with the kids in the same bed, I haven't seen any evidence to suggest that he's up to any sexual shenanigans.

Don't get me wrong. MJ is a freakish man-boy that is wealthy enough to keep his deranged fantasy of eternal youth alive and kicking. He has carved his face up like a pumpkin and deludes himself into thinking his kids are going to lead 'normal' lives. But does that make him a pedophile that should be thrown in jail or have his kids taken from his custody? I don't think so. And to suggest otherwise as these idiots at 20/20 and Granada Productions have is an outrage.

Posted by bs at 12:04 AM | Comments (80)

November 21, 2002

Mac OS X Hell

I'm a computer consultant, specifically for Mac systems, though I'm familiar with PCs as well. I've been really into OSX this past year or so... it's pretty rock solid, and has not given me any real headaches... until just recently :( What follows is a pretty racy message by me, that I posted to a private list so I could vent after spending the better part of the day trying to get my laptop back in order. I cleaned it up some, esp. my mixing of tenses (hope I straightened all that out - how embarrassing), and added some further thoughts on what we thought went wrong.

Backups saved me from completely losing my mind, but some stuff was still permanently lost. Consider it a cautionary tale of hard drive space and OSX...

Sometime this afternoon I noticed that I couldn't save some small text files that I was working on. I had Mozilla, Mail, BBedit, and maybe a few other programs opened. I was trying to save a new document I had open in bbedit, but it said it couldn't because the drive was full. I checked my drive's stats and it plainly showed 80mb free. I had just installed this new copy of BBedit lite 6.1 so I figured maybe something was wrong with permissions or something. Anyway, to test things out (me, being this supposed techie) I tried to duplicate a file. I selected a file on my desktop, some small rinky-dinky little text clipping, and hit command-D for duplicate. Nothing. No file duplication, no warning or error message, nada. I thought maybe the desktop didn't refresh fast enough (has happened before) so I opened my home folder, and then the desktop folder. Still nothing. Now I thought maybe it's the keyboard shortcut I'm using. I mean, come on, I'm asking it to duplicate a 4k file, how hard can that be? Still no go. So now I'm wondering just what the fuck is going on and I option-dragged a document from one folder to another... forcing it to copy not move. This time I got the "can't do it, drive full" error.

!!

80MB free and the system says it's full??? So, I decided to play it safe and dump a few largish files to an external f/w drive. I freed up about 500mb, thinking that should be more than enough, and it is, because now I could duplicate with no problems.

No more than maybe 10 minutes have passed since this whole thing started, and I still had a bunch of programs open, if you recall. I noticed that Mail was acting kind of funny. No new mail was coming in, so I figured I should restart the machine and get it all refreshed. As I hit restart, I should've taken a good look at my desktop, with it's beautiful Halo 2 Desktop pics, the super-tiny icons that are tightly organized on the right hand side, the dock with all my preferred icons and such. I wasn't going to see those again for a few hours. :(

When the machine was done rebooting, my jaw hit the floor as I'm staring at the default OSX setup. My icons on the desktop are now all piled on top of each other, and my dock is generic! I started to get nervous now, so I launched Mail. What's the first thing I see? (I'm paraphrasing) "Welcome to Mail, you have no accounts setup, please create one" FUCK! I start to imagine the worst, all my recent emails are gone, and mayhaps even worse... thankfully I leave emails on the server for a week. Now I launch Mozilla. Cookies... gone, Bookmarks... gone, all prefs in general.... gone.

Now I had backups of most of this, and actually, after a few hours of somersaults and some backflips, the only thing I've permanently lost are my most recent set of bookmarks, which still sucks as I had collected quite a few dozen important (to me) urls over the last few weeks. I got back all my emails, I re-tweaked my finder prefs, and I even had a fairly recent backup of my cookies, but what really kicks my ass is how the damn OS didn't tell me a damn thing about the drive getting dangerously close to full, even at a setting as ridiculously high as 80mb.

With hindsight, it seems apparent to me that any program that was currently open and that had open files off the 'full' hard drive, tried to save the last state of those preferences at some point, couldn't write them back because the drive was on the fritz, and instead of warning me, just saved empty pref files. My Mail prefs, Mozilla prefs, cookies, bookmarks, finder prefs, etc... all got zeroed out. Why it didn't initially warn me when I was trying to duplicate just a simple little text clipping, I have no frikkin' clue.

Let this be a warning for those of you running OSX. Keep an eye on your OS drive's free space, and backup your library/plist folder alot more often than usual.

---

On further reflection, it was noted that 80mb is the size of an OSX swap disk file. It's possible that the VM engine in OSX got mangled somewhat, and did not want to take that last bit of space and leave the drive at 0% full. The strange thing is that I recall with absolute certainty that I've had the laptop as low as 20mb before and with no problems whatsoever.

What's infuriating is that even if the OS thought the drive was full, WHY didn't other programs or the OS itself warn me that I was close to losing data if I kept filling up the drive?

I checked the drive out with my trusty DiskWarrior, and Disk First Aid, etc., and nothing out of the ordinary was found. Whacky!

Posted by bs at 11:29 PM | Comments (24)