Just back from vacation, but not ready to be back!

Over this past weekend, Lori and I took this trip and stopped over in Sparta, WI for one night and Gays Mills, WI for two nights, then back home.

In Sparta, WI, we stayed at the wonderful Franklin Victorian Bed and Breakfast. We’ve stayed there before, but we tried a new room this time — the Franklin Suite. We had an excellent stay and recommend this B&B to anyone.

In Gays Mills (actually, half way between there and Soldier’s Grove), we stayed at The Inn at Lonesome Hollow. This was quite the find, and I hesitate to mention it here for fear that it will become too busy 😉

Lonesome Hollow is tucked back in a small valley of its own, and really gives you the feel of being secluded. I wish we had stayed longer so we could hike and explore around more of the acreage.

While we were in the Gays Mills area, we visited several apple orchards. Most of them were very commercial and easy to find, so they don’t warrant mention here. If you want to go off the beaten path to an orchard with more of a family farm appeal, check out Turkey Ridge Organic Orchard. Here is a write-up with some info about the orchard. Here is a map of the location. We didn’t buy a lot, but the apples were delicious, the cider tasty and the people working there were very friendly.

My only regret is that we didn’t take gobs of photos. I’ve gotten out of the habit of taking photos and need to re-acquire this important skill for trips like this.

Here are a few more maps:

  • The route we took to visit orchards on Friday. This starts at the Franklin Victorian in Sparta, WI and ends at the Inn at Lonesome Hollow in Soldiers Grove, WI.
  • The scenic road trip we took Saturday. The next two routes are more detailed maps of the two side trips we took around Ontario, WI.
  • Route we took Saturday through Wildcat State Park.
  • Route we took Saturday through the Amish area just West of Ontario, WI.

Demo FAIL, but ReciPants GO

Well, my demo of the Linux Gamers Live DVD didn’t go so well. My crappy old computer did not perform very well, so we ended up borrowing someone’s laptop to perform the demo. Wasn’t too exciting. I just brought up each game on the disk and played them for a bit. We also discussed some other Linux-friendly gaming.

After that FAIL, I needed some success. I finally got some relief with the ReciPants database issue. The problem seems to be with my method for transferring the database from the old server to the new. Here’s a brief synopsis of what I did to get it to work:

Migrated from the old server (with MySQL 3.23) to a virtual machine running CentOS 3 (also with MySQL 3.23).

On the old server:

  • Exported the database with the following command (no extra options used, my mistake was exporting with —opt and/or —add-drop-tables):

mysqldump -u root -p ReciPants > ReciPants-database.sql

On the “new” server:

  • Set up ReciPants v1.2 on the new server, per the Web site instructions — including running the SQL scripts tables-mysql.sql and ref_data.sql.
  • Once I confirmed that worked OK, restored the data from the old
    server with the following command (the -f is necessary, as there is a
    non-critical error early on that will halt the process):

mysql -u root -p -f ReciPants < ReciPants-database.sql

Again, I need to test the above method on MySQL 5.x, but I believe it will work just fine.

Working on a demo. . .

At the Central Iowa Linux User’s Group meeting this Wednesday (10/15), the theme is “Linux Gaming.” I intend to demo the Linux Gamers Live DVD on an older AMD 2 GHz box I have.

The problem with that? I need a better video card, more RAM and to download the bootable iso! The on-board SIS video sucks for gaming, the system has only 512 MB of RAM installed, and I deleted my copy of the iso file a couple of weeks ago, thinking I wouldn’t need it. . .

I managed to purchase an ATI Radeon X1550 this afternoon, so that’s one thing off the list. I’m downloading the 3+ GB iso image as I type this. The only thing left is the RAM. I went to two local computer shops today and neither had the RAM I need (either PC2100, PC2700 or PC3200). I’ve got one more local shop to check tomorrow.

Wish me luck.

New site logo!

Now, before the copyright police get all excited, let me explain.

The logo appears to be an edited version of a famous artist’s original drawing. I assure you, no copyright violation has taken place here.

In fact, this is an edited version of an original photo taken by me:

This photo was taken in an alleyway in the city of Vancouver, BC. The photo is of a graffiti artist’s rendering of said famous original drawing. As the photographer, I hold copyright to this image, but not that one.

Cowboy Bebop Remix, the Complete Collection

Just got through watching the last episode, and it was even better than I expected. Prior to this, I had see about three of the episodes when it was showing on Cartoon Network, and had enjoyed every one. I had also seen the movie, “Knocking On Heaven’s Door” when it showed on one of the movie channels to which I subscribe (HBO or Starz, can’t remember which). I can now say I’m a huge fan of this series and will be watching it again and again.

I’m calling this one an off-beat space cyberpunk sort of series. It mixes space action (Spike and his Swordfish craft), bounty hunting, and a little cyberpunk (provided by Edward the hacker). The stories all stand on their own, but also weave together a sub-plot around each character’s past through the series. The drawing style is phenomenally cinematic, and the animation is very high quality. The music and soundtrack also add a lot to the atmosphere. I love the opening and closing themes, especially (I need to hack them into ring tones for my phone).

In a way, it reminds me a bit of the “Firefly” TV series (which I also own) in its tone, setting and character development. If you liked “Firefly” I believe you will also enjoy “Cowboy Bebop.”

I picked up my copy, by the way, at RightStuf.com.

ReciPants crippled by lack of Digest::SHA1 (UPDATE: oops, still broke!)

I gave up trying to “fix” ReciPants on this site, and decided to try setting it up on a server at home for use there. I’ve discovered, however, that the latest version of Perl doesn’t seem to like the required module Digest::SHA1, and fails to compile it every time.

I need to spend some more time digging in to the error messages it throws when it fails to compile, but it appears to hinge on a missing library.

We’ll see. I may be looking for a way to export all of those recipes to another recipe database. . .

UPDATE ONE

Well, um, DUH. Did a quick surf through the results of apt-cache search sha1 and ran across a little package called libdigest-sha1-perl. That installed successfully on my home system and now ReciPants works!

I think I’m going to keep this as an in-home only database anyway, due to security concerns with the ReciPants project (which hasn’t been updated since April 2004).

The inability to compile the module most likely indicates a lack of the correct development libraries on my systems. That will teach me to just be more lazy and rely on apt-get 😉

UPDATE TWO

Moved this to a fresh LAMP build on the latest version of Debian running in-house. Installed all modules, configured, etc. Lots of love until I went to actually view a recipe — SQL error! ARGH.

Visited the Recipants site, sent an SOS to the main contact there, and he actually answered me back. Yay! I’ve provided him with log entries and details, so maybe I’ll get a fix? Keep watching this space for more. . .