Southern Man

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Political Correctness Test

The following press release from a Major University has had some information redacted. Try a few different terms in the blanks and see if it sounds...politically you. Then visit this link to see the politically correct answer (at least we assume that it is politically correct as universities are bastions of political correctness).
According to [Major University] spokesman [name], six out of 10 new [MU] students will be ________ in fall 2010, which is the largest ________ gap favoring ________ students that [MU] has ever had. [MU]’s fall 2009 enrollment was 54 percent ________ and 46 percent ________, according to the [MU] Office of Institutional Planning and Research.

[MU] is aware of the gap but not doing anything to balance the numbers, [name] said. But he said the school isn’t discriminating against ________ applicants.

“________ wouldn’t be admitted because they’re ________,” he said. “________ are being admitted because they are doing the things to be admitted and ________ aren’t.”
Hat tip to The Agitator and Coyote Blog.

And "spokesman"? Isn't that politically incorrect as well? Why not spokesperson? Do we blame the university or the newspaper for that one?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Sheesh. You don't build computers for a few years and they have to go and change everything.

Southern Man hit his favorite computer stores today to look for a mainboard to rebuild his Windows 98 game machine. Oh, brother. Not only was he unable to locate a single mainboard with Windows 98 drivers, but they all run
SATA hard drives instead of EIDE. This isn't very useful when you have a largish stack of old hard drives - not to mention four fairly new 80 GB drives that may be small by modern standards but are perfectly suitable for Southern Man's needs. So it's off to the InterTubes to look for vintage mainboards...

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


By now everyone knows of the profanity uttered by Vice President Biden at today's Obamacare signing ceremony.

Since the President sees himself as heir apparent of great Democrat social meddlers visionaries of the past, this makes perfect sense. FDR gave us
the New Deal and then Truman the Fair Deal and now the trifecta is complete with Obama presenting us with the Big F*cking Deal.

Added later: it comes as no surprise that they're really, really proud of this:
No, I'm not providing a link. If you really want on that badly, hunt it down yourself.

Even later: Chris Matthews has one, so it must really be a BFD.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Spring Snow

The South celebrated the beginning of Spring with a surprisingly heavy snowfall so Southern Man has considered himself "snowed in" for the weekend and thus absolved from such annoyances as going in to the office and catching up on paperwork and grading and accessment and other minor curses of the academic life. This gave him a chance to get to work on those thirty-five computers and sure enough by the end of Saturday the dumpster out back was full of twenty-odd carcasses. None - not one - of the four new machines Southern Man built a few years ago for gaming and office apps came up. But the ten-year-old Packard-Bell he picked up at (yes, it was free) that served as game machine for all three kids? Runs like a dream. And his prized new(ish) 19" CRT made many arcs and sparks so it's also in the dumpster, but his very first 17" monitor - a Sceptre that he paid $595 for, wholesale, way back in the heyday of home-building PCs - is as crystal-clear as when it was new. And the large stack of hard drives in the corner waiting for backup will probably all fit on one modern drive with room to spare as most of these old machines date from an era when a couple of gigabytes was pretty hot stuff. And it brought a tear to Southern Man's eye to realize that the venerable old Canopus Pure3d and Total3d 3dfx video-card duo that brought him so many hours of wonderful gaming would never draw Gouraud-shaded polygons again. But that was the past - any cheap office machine with on-mainboard video outperforms them today - and Southern Man will spend some time consolidating and building a couple of modern computers and back up those old drives and get his computing corner back into action.

All of this is so he can play
Star Wars: TIE Fighter and Star Trek: Armada again, which he hasn't done for years and which is of course on one of the dead game PCs so that will be the first one to rebuild. Hopefully there are still mainboards out there that will run MS-DOS 7.0 and Windows 98 2nd Edition, as Southern Man has many old games with which the newer operating systems just can't cope. But the backwards compatibility of Windows is pretty amazing; Southern Man has one old console game with a compile date of 1988 that runs just fine at a Windows XP command prompt. Southern Man does not play online multiplayer games as he becomes annoyed by ass-kickings delivered by puerile teens with nothing better to do than spend eighty hours a week on the 'net. They should be in school, or something.

So what operating systems does Southern Man run? As mentioned above, DOS 7.0 and Windows 98 2nd Edition for older games, and tried-and-true Windows XP for newer games and everything else. Southern Man declined to drink the
ME or Vista kool-aid but will give Windows 7 a spin when he builds a new machine - he is particularly interested in learning to use virtualization. Southern Man scoffs at imitations and runs Solaris 10 on his UNIX box (one of his many hats at work is UNIX lab administrator). He currently runs three widescreen LCD monitors: a single in the gaming corner and duals for the office machines, with KVMs on both. The dual-monitor KVM is a touchy little bitch (particularly about keyboards; eight of ten USB keyboards won't work with it) but it's essential when you have several dual-monitor boxes. The aforementioned 17" Sceptre will serve on the general-purpose kid-and-Internet PC (mainly for ten-year-old daughter, who has a fondness for online flash games and Blasphemies such as Macs or iPods or iPhones are not permitted in Casa Southern Man; his music MP3s are DRM-free and his next phone will run Android.

So the new apartment is finally coming along and starting to feel like home even though it still looks like a combination rummage sale and storage unit. It may be that teenage daughter will move in when her mother weds and moves to Kansas, so Southern Man is also preparing the spare bedroom for her. It will be an interesting year.

Friday, March 19, 2010

A Geocaching Day

Southern Man does not get out nearly often enough to just have fun, so after transferring 10-year-old daughter back to her mother (she is going to Texas for the weekend with a group of girls to celebrate a friend's birthday) Southern Man headed south to pick up his estranged wife and we grabbed some snacks and sodas and then we went about an hour's distance to a pretty little state park to do some geocaching. Casa Southern Man is still enough of a mess that Southern Man could find neither his boots nor his GPS (a Garmin eTrex Legend) but ran off some Google Earth printouts to help find the caches. And we found four, and had quite a bit of fun talking and hiking and generally not worrying about the various pressures of our lives. Southern Man plans to do a lot more fun stuff this spring and summer.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Thirty-Five Computers

Southern Man has moved around a bit in the last several years and every time he does more and more of his stuff gets stored out at The Land, where it slowly succumbs to rain and rats and mud daubers and other hazards of the rural South. Well, now that Spring Break is finally here he is trying to gather things back together and consolidate and inventory and repack as necessary and thus has spent much of the last few days gathering various electronics items to test and repair or discard and such. So right now in Southern Man's itty bitty two-bedroom apartment there are thirty-five - count 'em, thirty-five - computers. Each of which has one or more hard drives that may or may not have information that is worth keeping. Not to mention the dozen or so additional hard drives harvested from even older computers that need to be examined and copied and such.

It is really quite a sight. Too bad no one else will ever see it, since there is no way that anyone is getting through that front door right now.