Following the creative path

Fog: Seriously

The last several evenings since Sunday, Seattle has been besieged by fog. I mean thick fog. The kind that blocks out city lights. I'm driving across I5 (heading North toward Fremont), and as I cross the canal I can not see any street lights of the surrounding area. The University District is black. It really is unbelievable.

Walking the dog, my eyes play tricks on me. Or is the fog? Everything is fuzzy. Streets end within half a block. No more light. Gray. Darkness. We walk to our favorite nearby park. Street lights take a romantic glow. Although it's night, the surrounding area takes on some light now that we are further away from the lights.

It's weird. It's mysterious. I love it.

The Real Story about President Obama

Everyone keeps talking about this historic Inauguration. It is true. It is historic. Someone has been elected who is like no previous President. No, it's not that he's bi-racial or African American or that his father is from Kenya.

In my life time, I never thought a good looking man would be elected President. It's true. I felt confident that we could get to the point as a nation to have a person of color as President. I am confident, we will vote for a woman as President, but good looking? No way.

And check out Michelle Obama. Stylie, smart. Their whole family has got to be the best looking Presidential family I've ever seen. Prove me wrong.

Drupalcon Szeged: Getting Ready

Drupalcon Szeged 2008 starts next week and I am getting pretty excited about it. I am leading a a Birds of a Feather about Creativity and Programming.

The topic may seem like it's on the fringe, but I think everyone can relate to it. My focus is about human behavior and code. I think we often just furiously write code without really thinking about it. Sometimes that's good. Sometimes you write yourself into a corner.

Sometimes we hit walls where solving the problem is not quite so easy. I would like to see programmers taking the time to bring some intent to their work. The long term results would be higher quality code and happier programmers. It will be interesting to see what other folks have to say.

ThinkPad Fan Replacement

Recently, my IBM Thinkpad T41p has been making a lot of noise with the fan. It sort of whirrs up and down throughout the day. Also, when booting up it was starting to creak when the fan turns on...making a bad churning sort of noise. I figure that's a bad sign. I'm thinking I need to replace the whole computer.

Finally, I slow down enough to wonder if maybe I can just replace the fan. Behold the power of the web. Others have had a similar issue. The fan is a part of the computer we can expect to replace. It was so wonderful to find links like these: which leads to

Plus I found the Hardware Maintenance Manual (HMM) for the T41p:

(sometimes the page is not showing up...go to Google to get the cached version of the page.)

I tried calling around Seattle to see if I could pick up a replacement fan today, but apparently that is a bad idea. The one shop that has parts will not sell them. They have to do the replacement for you. I don't have a problem with that, but they were going to take as long to do it as I would so I ordered it online at Thermal FX:

which I trust enough to try because I saw this:

And I just have to add a side note about the local store. The man on the phone had the impression that if they sold parts they would somehow be liable if I broke my own machine while replacing parts. He went on to compare replacing computer parts to brain surgery. I kid you not, he said "Selling parts would be like having a brain surgeon hand you a scalpel..." I did not ask for this from him. I wasn't even pushing on the subject, but he felt compelled to tell me all of this crap. I already know replacing the fan is not that difficult because I found so many descriptions online plus the manual! A fan is not a frontal lobe...let's all keep that in mind (get it..."keep that in mind").

I have to wait for the part now. Currently the machine can still boot, but it won't be long before it fails and shows the lovely "Fan Error" message and nothing else. Just hoping it can hold out till the part arrives.

One last thing, I took the time to open up the machine to make sure I had the correct FRU number. For my T41p it is FRU Fan GL 13N5347.

UPDATE: The fan arrived promptly and I had it installed in 1/2 an hour. You can do it too!

DrupalCamp Vancouver 2008 - Giving a Talk Today

My module development talk was accepted at DrupalCamp Vancouver 2008. I am presenting later today. The attendees are great. Everyone is focused and having a good time. You can download my example module which I have updated for today's talk.

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