I write this from a barely configured system. I sincerely hope I don’t need to reinstall it, but we shall see. I wanted to document what happened, in case some other poor hacker had the same problem.
The time has finally come. I got my Windows computer redone with all new hardware. I thought I’d gradually get my other two Linux machines redone, and continue merrily along, but Goddess had other plans it seems. This Linux machine may have bad memory, or a bad CMOS battery, or some other evil problem, but it could crash at any keystroke. The other Linux machine, which handles all AuBroadcasting’s streaming and some other duties, has a long and weird history, too much to go into now. With all the talk of consolidation, downsizing, and the like, I have decided to consolidate everything onto one machine, and switch that over to Linux. The Windows machine, since it has reliable new hardware, makes the obvious choice, plus Windows “Repair” whacked it out so the TCP/IP stack works less than optimally. It can see other machines, but they can’t see it, so I would have to redo it anyway.
I’ve wanted to become good at chess for a while. It seems like something I should do well in – I program, I meditate, I love music, all the traits one hears about in good chess players, but I always get my ass kicked by the computer. I heard that the Hadley School for the Blind offered a chess course. Initially, I wrote it off – I wouldn’t want to go to some lame blind institution just to take a chess course. While talking to another blind friend, she said: “It’s online!” It looked great – free, you get to go at your own pace, so I figured I’d give it a try.
I detailed the problems shopping while blind in the previous post, and won’t rehash that. After our harrowing experience with Acme, we decided to give Genuardi’s a try, per my Mom’s suggestion. We had a much better time. They have always prided themselves on customer service, and they lived up to that with us.
Shopping while blind presents several obstacles. The idiot dorks at independent living centers tell blind people that they must behave like sighted people at all times, applying standards which in some cases do not apply. In the case of shopping, this means firstly finding a way there, then standing around for half an hour at the service counter until someone notices a blind person with no purchases obviously in need of assistance. It then means telling the person what you want while they go and get it. Some of the more extremist counselors will even tell you to memorize the store’s layout yourself, since they consider asking anyone for help verboten. As anyone who has shopped at a store for more than a week will attest, the layout can change radically over night. After getting groceries, it then means finding the way back to your place, and let me assure you that carrying a bunch of bags while wielding a white cane presents many issues. Try it some time.