Patient status

As I related recently, my father and I took down some extra foliage: “Our intention was to remove one casuarina tree but physics got out of hand. One major branch took out the pride of the papaya trees on its way down. The base of the papaya tree split like a dropped watermelon. We tied the papaya with rope to return it upright and used electrical tape and soil to seal the split trunk and protect the spongy exposed innards. I have little hope for our patient, but recovery is not impossible.”

You can see the fallen papaya in this photo. It’s the straight gray trunk in the foreground, parallel to the ground.

My father writes with news of the recovery. The prognosis is good. Eight days post-op, our patient is sprouting new leaves and has already produced some hefty new fruit.

In the first shot, you can see our electrical-tape bandage and the loop of the rope that is keeping it upright.

Bonus hockey update:

Our boys played two decent periods of hockey last night but couldn’t make up the two-goal hole they dug themselves into in the first. We lost 4-2 and play again this morning. We need to win to force a rematch with our NDG rivals in the finals.

A big move

I’m switching Web hosts at least temporarily while my web-host friends move from the Pacific Northwest to Arkansas.

My new host is local, SurfZen, which my students will recognize as the host for my course Web sites.

My blog and Web site will remain available while the DNS changes propagate over the Net, but my blogging may appear to cease until the DNS change becomes available to you, almost certainly within five days.

If the wait is intolerable, please enjoy the following video of extreme shepherding to help ease the pain.

Au revoir!

Latest gadget

When I first learned of the Vantec NexStar external SATA drive dock at ThinkGeek, I had lust in my heart. It looks like a gleaming white toaster into which your disk drives plug like slices of bread.

It works like a charm. The box has a USB cable that plugs into your computer and it works as easily as a toaster in your kitchen. Insert your drives in the slot, set for medium brown, and push down the lever. OK, I lied about those last two steps. The NexStar is actually 2/3 easier to use than your toaster.

This wonderful device does have a few drawbacks. The two-slot model costs US$78, plus shipping on top of that. A single-slice version costs US$40 plus shipping. Furthermore, the device handles only SATA drives. While it will accept drives of multiple sizes – pulled from your desktop or your laptop computers – if you have an IDE drive, you’re out of luck.

These drawbacks sent me looking for an alternative. I found several, but none as cool as ThinkGeek’s offering. All follow the same basic schematic: a cable with a USB port on one side and a head that features multiple hard-drive ports on the other. I settled on another Vantec product, the aptly named SATA/IDE to USB 2.0 Adapter. It cost C$25.49 (about US$20) at with additional fees and handling bringing the cost to a low C$30 – and free shipping!

We have yet to put it to use, but we can’t wait! We have a pile of old drives with who knows what on them.

Bonus apology:

Sorry, Regan. I hope ThinkGeek doesn’t now totally discredit that reference letter I wrote for you.