The Linear Canvas
This journal is about the wrongs and rights of the world, as I see them.

The Linear Canvas

Rubber Stamps

August 26th, 2008 . by Alexander Fisher

When I was a little boy, we lived in Springfield, Ohio. When we went shopping, we had to go downtown. Sometimes my father would park on the street and we would walk to Sears or the other stores. Where my dad would park was near a store that advertised in neon letters, Rubber Stamps. I remember wondering, how did they get the rubber stamps to stay on the envelope?

Fixing Pinnacle TVCenter Pro and Sonar installation problems

August 20th, 2008 . by Alexander Fisher

I bought a Pinnacle PCTV HD Card (800i)PCI TV card several months ago. I liked it so much, I took it back and got my money back.

I looked around for another card or a USB tuner. The price kept me away from the USB tuners although some of them had features like internal memory that made them somewhat attractive. All HD tuners had the S-video inputs, plus NTSC and ATSC tuners. Still, there was the main deal breaker for me, a lack of clear-QAM support for unencrypted digital cable reception.

Pinnacle is the only manufacturer that currently has a clear-QAM High Definition TV tuner, in my price range. The USB tuners in the Pinnacle line were basically the same product as the PCTV HD Card because of the software, except they were external. Against my better judgement, I bought another PCTV HD Card. It was cheaper.

I didn’t have any problems at first. I immediately updated to the beta version of the software that allowed clear-QAM reception. Besides the fact that I never watch TV, everything was fine. Then came an upgrade from Pinnacle that promised to add features that would have been very helpful. I tried to upgrade but it failed. That time I was able to revert to the previous version.

I had some trouble along the way and had re-scanned all the digital channels on my cable. It left me with several hundred blank channels and the software was acting up when I would edit it. So I decided to update to the latest version of TVCenter Pro. What happened next was a lot of work and never a reward, until yesterday.

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Wal-Mart Republicans

August 9th, 2008 . by Alexander Fisher

There was a story in the news recently about Wal-Mart managers being told that the Democratic party taking over in the November 2008 election would be bad for all of them. They were advising them to vote Republican instead.


(Cartoon by Steve Greenberg.)

This is very typical of their behavior towards their employees. The reasons that I do not buy anything from Wal-Mart or Sam’s Club are because they have abused their employees so much in the past. Stories about locking up their employees in the store while they were working so they could not leave, forcing employees to work overtime for no pay, and passing over women and minorities for job advancement are just some of the reasons that I want nothing to do with them.

I won’t shop at Wal-Mart. I have gone into a Wal-Mart three times in the past four years, but did not buy anything once, bought a wallet in Kentucky, and bought some clothes for my great-niece, who loved Wal-Mart, the other time. Within the last six months, I almost gave in and joined Sam’s Club, just because there is one real close to me. But within a few days I read a news story about Wal-Mart once again abusing its employees in some manner. That put a stop to that.

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Migrating Microsoft Access split databases to other computers

August 6th, 2008 . by Alexander Fisher

I got a call one afternoon at work recently that the Access database application that I had built for invoice and production tracking would not work. Since I knew that they were going to replace our file server and several of the desktops, it was no surprise to me. The previous workstations had only Access 2002 Runtime installed on them. The new computers had a full version of Access 2003 installed. The IT tech told me that they kept making a shortcut to the application on a new workstation and nothing had worked.

It had been a few months since I had worked on the database, so I was a little rusty at troubleshooting the problem at first. After looking at it for a few minutes, I inquired about the name of the new server computer, The tech said that the name of the server had changed,

That was part of my problem. The Link Table Manager showed all tables that were in the application backend on a computer called columbus31a. The files were copied to the new file server called columbus-931. All I had to do was update all the network paths to reflect the name of the new server in the application frontend’s Link Table Manager. I had to update a few links, for some reason, all by themselves. When I would select all links at once and update,  the process would stop.

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Summer of ’75: Uriah Heep

August 3rd, 2008 . by Alexander Fisher

Uriah Heep had been putting out albums for about five years when I saw them in June 1975. The first time I recall hearing Uriah Heep, was the "Magicians Birthday" album at a friends house in about 1973.  I now have all of their recordings except the first album "Salisbury".

I saw them at Hara Arena (Dayton, Ohio) and then at The World Series of Rock, in Cleveland at the old Municipal Stadium in 1975. At Hara Arena, when we first arrived, there weren’t many people there yet. But unlike my Aerosmith experience at Hara Arena the previous month, they had let everyone in early. It might have been because of that incident that they did. (see the post Summer of ‘75: Aerosmith) People were just milling peacefully around the stage area as we walked in. We talked to a few people and just waited for the show. We saw some friends from London, and talked to them for awhile. Just before the beginning of the concert, my friend John Sullivan and I went out into the arena. John noticed a pretty girl laying on the floor, near the wall. Being the ladies man that he always tried to be, and actually was usually, he walked over to her, started smiling, talking and asking her questions. All of that must have disoriented her just enough to make her extremely ill, because that’s when a tube shaped stream of vomit came out of her mouth and splashed on my friend’s pant leg.

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