Linda Nagata: the blog at Hahví.net

Fire, Rain, Computers

June 23rd, 2012

Despite power failures, fire, and dying tech, it’s been a pretty decent week.

The power has gone out three times this week, which I suspect is a record. None of the incidents lasted very long — probably not more than an hour — but in this modern age, it’s very frustrating. The electrical system in our district still uses transformers — those cylindrical containers at the top of utility poles. I’m told these are old tech, but honestly I don’t know anything about it. At any rate, they blow up frequently, and it’s possible that one caused a small forest fire not very far from where I live, along a road where we often go walking. On Monday, a day of crazily gusting winds, one of the residents reported hearing a transformer blow, and not long after noticed the fire, which occurred in a heavily wooded area among homes. Maui Fire Department responded in force, with multiple engines and helicopter water drops that went on all afternoon. It was an impressive effort and only three homes suffered damage, all of it minor.

Fire in upper Kula on June 18, 2012

Not a sight you like to see in the neighborhood.

A Windward Aviation helicopter dips water from a ranch tank.

A Windward Aviation helicopter dips water from a ranch tank. Note the transformers on the utility pole…

The next day it rained. It’s actually rained several days in mid-June, which is rare and for which we are grateful. This past winter was extremely dry, so no one here is complaining about rainy summer days.

And the reason I was in town on Monday? I finally decided to replace my old Mac desktop with a shiny new one. It took me a few days to “move in” to the new computer and there were definitely frustrating moments. It became obvious that I should have upgraded my old operating system long ago, because the version I had was too primitive to take advantage of the migration features. But it’s done, and at this point I’m asking myself why I waited so long.

Oh, and the writing? That’s been going surprisingly well. The word count on novel-in-progress #2 is building faster than I’m used to — and come to think of it, I should probably get started on today’s writing session.

Posted on: Saturday, June 23rd, 2012 at 10:23 am
Categories: Maui.

5 Responses to “Fire, Rain, Computers”

  1. William Baum Says:

    Which Mac did you get? Nothing like a new computer 😊

  2. Linda Says:

    Quoting from the invoice — iMac 27″ 3.1GHz. I was going to get the 27″ with the inferior processor, but they didn’t have any in stock, so I was forced to get a faster computer. 😉

  3. Glen Kilpatrick Says:

    Nobody I know complains that their computer is too fast; it must be like being too rich or too thin. 🙂

    I’m however going the other direction; I intend keeping my antiques running as long as feasible. Just lately I discovered and am using “Puppy Linux” ( -> It’s quite unlike other Linux distros in several ways: it runs off cheap USB better than off hard drive; it loads entirely into RAM then writes out (encrypted if you want) changes upon exit (this makes it _very_ fast even on old machines); and it’s not multi-user (multiple and independent logins) but instead single-user just like PCs (and MACs?). But I use a number of distros, this is just one way….

    Many distros have PPC ports (special compilations designed for Power PC chips such as old MACs used), and all distros should run on Intel, so if you want to “upgrade”, you may find additional life for your old MAC there. Consider taking this offline if you’re interested; I hesitate to force “MEGO” (NASA term, “My Eyes Glaze Over”) on your blog readers. 🙂

  4. Glen Kilpatrick Says:

    Brief followup (someone might be interested…) — go to then under “Search by Distribution Criteria (Simple Search Form)” select:
    OS Type: Linux

    Architecture: powerpc

    For me today that gives fourteen distributions; not all are as independent as would first appear (Kubuntu, Lubuntu, and Ubuntu are all Canonical Ltd variations on a theme), not all are suitable for beginners (if you constrain Distribution category to Beginners you get only Ubuntu, a search result that I dispute), and I gather not all are entirely ready for primetime. Nonetheless, this gives a taste of the richness of the Linux ecosystem.

  5. Linda Says:

    Personally, I just want it to work! 🙂