November 22, 2004

Blogger Features

Blogger enables me to easily publish this running commentary on my webpage, and they added a new feature where you can post to your blog via email (They probably added it MONTHS ago, but I just saw it). So, I�m trying it out. Ignore the slight interruption.

Why do I bother writing in this thing? Bah, who cares. I just put up some more games last night on the Chess Games page. The games that are up on here are only ones that I've played on Pogo because that site emails you a pgn formatted email that is easily saved down and analyzed by a script that I wrote in VBScript (thanks to Crafty/Bob Hyatt). Oh yeah, the Crafty FTP site seems to be down. I guess that Bob's school is having problems with their RAID device, and the machine has been taken down until it gets fixed. In the meantime, you can download Crafty from a variety of pages, but the easiest to remember might be . They also have the 'SE' version of Crafty with different personalities for the Engine. Just in case you wanted to play a game against Capablanca.
As for me, I'm still trying to survive the middlegame without blundering away the advantages that I've learned to accumulate in the openings. I got some books out of the library and I'm going to try to read through them, especially the one called 'Winning Chess Strategies' by Yasser Seirawan. I read some of that book last night, and it had some good advice right from the first chapter.
Getting ready for Thanksgiving. This year I didn't freeze the turkey like I did two years ago. That was interesting, trying to defrost a turkey the night before Thanksgiving....heh. Some lessons you learn because of the pain they cause in trying to right the error.

November 12, 2004

Some important stuff in the news first. They've chosen Mahmoud Abbas to chair the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO). This is a right step for the Palestinians away from the politics of Yasser Arafat. Abbas and Arafat certainly did not see eye to eye, and Abbas may be more concerned with the good of the Palestinians than with his own interests, unlike Arafat. Last night Tony Blair and President Bush met for dinner, and discussed establishing a peace envoy to perhaps take advantage of the passing of the torch to take steps toward peace in the region.

Another important replacement is being done in the United States, with the choice of Alberto Gonzales to take over in place of John Ashcroft as U.S. Attorney General. He seems to be a much less polarizing candidate for the position, with less of a fundamentalist background. In fact, unlike Bush, he does not oppose abortion or affirmative action, which may go a long way to making him the best choice from a liberal standpoint (compared to other Republican possibilities). There was some discussion about him being a hard-liner on the death penalty, and his work with the Texas Governor in this area may become a point of contention, but the death penalty discussion seems to be one that is easily tabled for larger issues.

My links today point to, the Internet's free Encyclopedia. I wanted to mention them because yesterday I wanted to find out more about Abbas, and I went to the link there. I found it interesting that his Wikipedia entry already contained information about his appointment as chair to the PLO, considering that it had just happened. It struck me that having an open source Encyclopedia, accessible so readily and so up to date is a great thing about the Internet. That's it...nothing overly inspiring - I just thought it was really cool/neat.

The author of Chess Position Trainer is working hard on his program and the last of a few bugs. He'd love for you to download his program, try it out, and leave suggestions for him on the Forums on his website. I think it's an awesome program, and I sent him a donation. If you have any interest in playing Chess, this is a fantastic program. I'm working on a Repertoire set for the tool that will contain Mating and Endgame puzzles that you can download and train with. Remember that chess is a game of recognizing patterns in the chess game, and that the more you practice with those patterns, the more readily you will be able to recognize them during a game. My game is getting better (although I still have a lot of work to do on choosing an effective defense - the Sicilian Defense is very complex!!).

November 10, 2004

The citizenry is about to get at least a partial break from the religious regime of the U.S. Government. John Ashcroft is resigning as Attorney General. I, for one, cannot wait to see who takes his place and I hope that his replacement's politics and personal beliefs are just a tad more toward the center. Of course, with a Republican White House and Congress, we'll certainly get a replacement that leans to the right. Hopefully, however, they can avoid someone who leans so much that they occasionally tip over. Let's face it folks, I'm surprised John Ashcroft can walk a straight line without wearing weights in his left shoe.
In his letter of resignation, Attorney General Ashcroft states: "Yet, I believe that the Department of Justice would be well served by new leadership and fresh inspiration". Many in the country might agree with this statement. However, we should not forget that Mr. Ashcroft served during trying times, and he and his office have done a bang up job of helping to keep this country safe. I may not agree with some of his methods or opinions, but results are something he should be appreciated for. John, we'll miss having you as a punching bag. It's time to find a new reason for disliking the Bush administration.

November 08, 2004

Free Chess Position Trainer software is available at this link. I haven't tried it yet, but will when I get home tonight. It's very difficult to find any free chess software beyond just analysis and chess playing. This software may actually help you study opening moves, and develop pattern recognition. Without playing hundreds of games, you may never be able to do this yourself. The developer made the software for himself and offers it for free, asking for donations if you like it.
Finally Have More Time To Write -
Well, things are calming down, both at work and at home, and I've got some time to write. This past weekend, I spent trying to get NDISWRAPPER to load up at boot time. I'm not having a whole lot of luck getting it to run automatically. It seems to me that the wireless signal can take up to 7 minutes to find the access point, and there are still problems with the code that can cause kernel crashes and lockups if you try to use the interface before it's locked on to a signal. Turning off SSID broadcasts helped a bit, but there are still some problems that prevent the interface from coming up at boot time. Once the machine boots, I can execute the setup script and have the interface come right up, but then I have to restart Samba and Apache so they can bind to the IP address that is then available. Considering I'm trying to setup a closet machine, I don't want to have to manually bring it up (no monitor on the machine is the ultimate goal..).
I'm almost to the point where I want to just wire the closet with Ethernet, but I'll play with it some more. At least I got ndiswrapper working at all. It looks to me by the Usenet posts I'm reading that some people can't even get that far.