So there is no easy way to say this — my dad died. He died on Sunday, February 5, 2017 at 1:00pm. He died of cancer. Fuck cancer.

I wasn’t sure if I should even write a post about this since the wound is still very fresh, but I felt that some sort of post needed to be written. I’ve marked almost every significant event in my life, both good and bad, over the past 15 years on this site. I felt it would be doing him a dis-service not to mention it here.

I’m not going to go into any details about his last 48 hours, but let’s just say I spent most of it with him and it was very tough emotionally and physically. I take comfort that in the end he died at home like he wanted to and in no pain.

When I was with him during those last 48 hours, one picture kept flashing in my head. It was one of the few pictures ever taken of just the both of us. The picture just was taken at my wedding reception which was a joyous day for everyone. Here is the picture.

Yesterday while I was at my mom’s house (weird to say that now), she gave me all of his trail cameras and memory cards. Last night I sat down and started to download all of the pictures and video from those memory cards. I came across a picture of him from deer season last year that not only made me smile, but even tear up.

It was the last day of hunting we ever got to go on together. Seeing this picture last night made me think that in his own way, he was saying good-bye. He was at the place he was the happiest at, doing the one activity he looked forward to all year long. I’m not sure if he ever meant it to be a good-bye, but he always erased the memory cards after he transferred them to his laptop and this card was never erased, and he knew I would eventually download the pictures from it. I may be reading too much into this, but in my mind, this is him saying good-bye.

Serve Me

Back when I moved into this house in late 2000 there were only 2 computers in this house. (the horror!!) After a few months I wanted a way to easily transfer information between the two computers without having to use a floppy disk (oh yes!) or a CDR. Thus began my foray into home networking.

I was working as a assistant store manager at Electronics Boutique at the time, and we had a decent array of computer equipment back then. I picked up an unmanaged 5 port Linksys switch, 2 Linksys LAN cards, and a CAT-5 cable. I had no clue what to do with this stuff since my only experience with networking up to that point was with the AppleTalk network at my high school. I talked to one of my part time associates, Jerry, (not that one) and he gave me a quick tutorial since he had experience with ethernet networking. I brought the equipment home with me that day and decided to get started. Within a matter of an hour I had both computers talking to each other. Little did I know this would light a fire under my ass. Although I wouldn’t realize this for a few more years, I knew I wanted every piece of electronics in the house to be networked together.

A few years later I found myself living here on my own and licking my wounds from a 7 year relationship gone wrong. I decided to embrace my inner geek. Over the course of the next year I would amass a small lab of computers in my home. To give you an idea of what I had, here is a picture of just my computers that I had, removed from my computer room to rearrange it back in 2004.

Not only did I embrace my inner geek when it came to things at home, I also jumped in with both feet into my website. Not only was I constantly working on my site but I was doing websites for other people as well. Being the geek that I am, I decided to take one of my old computers, a Pentium II IBM Aptiva (still have it!!) and turn it into a server. I got a copy of Windows Server 2000 from my man JP, installed it and configured it over the course of a week or so. In the end I had a fully functioning DHCP, web development, file, and FTP home server. I used that for years, finally getting rid of it when I had to abandon my computer room to make way for Jackson. Since then, I have wanted to make another home server but just haven’t found a viable way to do it.

About 2 months ago I got the bug again and pulled out my old IBM Aptiva from storage. I was going to start working on recreating that server but then things started getting bad with my dad’s health and pretty much everything was put on hold. Fast forward to the beginning of this week. Things have started to stabilize regarding my dad — unfortunately not so much with his health, but with all of the paperwork that needed to be completed regarding his condition. With that said, my mind started to wander back to that server. After thinking about how much work it was going to be to get that up and running, and the reality that having a server running a 17 year old operating system probably won’t be able to handle today’s current releases of PHP and MySQL, I wanted another option. I tried around Thanksgiving to do just this with my Mac Mini but I ran into the same problem I feared with my Aptiva — the OS and machine were just too old. After mulling it over for a while, I got an idea — a Raspberry Pi. I did some research and found that the latest build of Raspbian (custom Linux distro for the Pi) can get me everything I want in a web development server in under an hour. Not only that, but I should be able to install a Plex server on there, freeing up that task from my iMac. I was sold. I ordered another Pi, power supply, heat sinks, and case yesterday afternoon from Amazon. I’m kind of an impatient kind of guy so I paid the extra $8 and did next day shipping. It’s for delivery right now. I got out a 32gb SD card yesterday and put an image of Raspbian on it, so when it arrives this afternoon, I simply have to assemble the unit, pop in the memory card, and go to work. Right now I’m like a little kid on Christmas Eve looking out the window waiting for Santa — in this case the UPS guy — to arrive. The nice thing is I am off today and I only have work until 10am tomorrow, which means I have plenty of time this weekend to get things configured exactly how I want them. I can’t wait!!

Going Back 17 Years

As you may have noticed, I’ve been in a real retro gaming mood these past few months. There is a small list of games that I have been playing non-stop since they have come out. While it is well known that the Doom series is probably my favorite game series of all time, there is another series that I continue to play to his day — Diablo.

I bought the Collector’s Edition of Diablo II the day it came out, and played it heavily for many, many years. Sadly, when OS X discontinued PowerPC emulation, I was unable to play it anymore. After years of playing it on my various Windows machines when I upgraded to OS X Lion, I was shit out of luck. Until now….

I was curious if there was ever a work around to this problem so I did some Google searching and I found a thread on the official Blizzard forums about this exact issue. The thread was started in 2013 and the Blizzard rep said they were working on a new Mac installer for over a year, but there was no ETA. I fast forward to the last page in the thread and see a message from April 2016 that the new installers we finished. Oh yeah! Needless to say I went and downloaded the installers for both Diablo II and Diablo II – Lord of Destruction. I was able to transfer my 17 year old CD-Keys which meant I didn’t have to pay for it again! I have been waiting a few years to see this again…

Time to go back to Tristram!

My Current Desktop 02-01-17

Going thru the archives today I realized it’s been almost 11 months since I posted a desktop screenshot. Even though my desktop is quite messy right now, I figured I’d share it anyway.

No Nightmares Afterall

After my last post I ended up falling asleep around 3:00am. Luckily, I ended up not having a single nightmare, nor stress dream. However, those 2 little Klonopin did knock me out good. I the call from my son’s school at about 7:30am letting me know school was cancelled for the day due to the ice storm. I then shut off my alarm and decided to let everyone sleep in. Yeah….I didn’t end up getting up until 11:30am. While totally rested, I felt bad that I slept so long. This is the one bad side effect of taking that much Klonopin. But, had I not taken it, I guarantee that I would have seen the sun rise without a single minute of sleep under my belt.

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