Saturday, April 23, 2011

6th time is a charm -and- a month of sat sessions

Well, it took me a while, but I finally got a USB keyboard for the KVM that will work. I think I ended up trying/buying 6 different keyboards. The first was when I tried to use a PS-2/USB adapter on the Microsoft Natural keyboard that I already had. that did not work. The lights would come on and then just go right back off, even after a reboot. So I asked my buddy todd for a USB keyboard which he gladly gave me. it was a Mac keyboard. It looked cool, but it was missing a few keys. I guess Macs don't need an insert key or a scroll lock key... which is a bummer since that is the button I needed to switch the KVM between machines. So next I went to Big Lots 'cause I didn't feel like driving all the way over to MicroCenter. I looked over their keyboards and thoguht I found one.. but then I noticed there were some 110-key versions in the back that had the same price of $9. Woot! So I grabbed one of those quickly and brought it home. Notice the word 'quickly'. I get it home, open it and ... it's a f'ing PS/2 keyboard. Dammit. So, I took that one back the next day to exchange it and quickly went over and grabbed a USB keyboard. Notice, again, the work quickly. I get this one home and realize that where PrintScreen. ScrollLock and Pause should be (which is NEXT to the Function keys, instead, the stupid power buttons are there. Which means they shoved everythign else down. So where the Home key should be... it's the Scroll Lock... and where the End key should be.. it's the home key... and how the Del / End / Pg Down buttons are directly above the arrows. I tried using if for like 15 minutes and quickly realized this one was not going to work either. I then remembered that when I was looking at the USB keyboards at Big Lots that there were TWO variations. I of course picked the wrong one. But now I'm just pissed off and all 'F- Big Lots'. So I took that one back for a refund and headed over to MicroCenter. I perused their many keyboards, looking for something similar to the MS Natural that I had. Well, the REAL MS Natural was like $45. Forget that. I was hoping to speand like $10. But they did have a Microsoft Comfort keyboard. It was somewhat ergo and when I tried it at the display it seemed okay. So I got that one for $20 and brought it home. Of course after using it for 15 minutes I realized, again, that this keyboard wasn't going to work either. It had flat keys like a laptop and the spacing wasn't the same as the Natural and it was throwing me off. So, I took that one back and found a very generic Microsoft 104-key keyboard for $12.99. It working out well. The kicker of it all, was that I looked at the main section where all the cheap-o cheap-o keyboards were and they all either had the stupid power buttons in the wrong place or had the odd (but seemingly becoming more common) 2 wide setup for the insert/delete, home/end, etc keys are and I knew that would totally screw me up. However, when I got home I looked at the box for the el-cheapo $6 keyboard we got for the wife to hook into the lappy... and it has the same layout as the $13 MS one I just bought. But I'm not f'ing going back to MicroCenter again so screw it. This one works like a charm and I'm keeping it. Sixth one is a charm. :-P

I'm about a month behind on entering my satellite sessions. With getting the job at the end of March and then spending alot of time burning my severance and then the kids sleep schedules getting all jacked up and then me just not wanting to do it, I... well... hadn't done it. But now I'm a month behind. Now, one would think this isn't that big of a deal, however most people don't realize I keep a spreadsheet of each object I spot and this spreadsheet contains the beginning, peak and end times for each object, not just the spotted time (which, anymore is the same as the peak time since that's generally when I spot it anyways). So, I used to prep spreadsheets and send them to myself, however I haven't had much time... and also nil access to the printer, so I haven't had the convenience of doing this. When this happens, I generally get the times from the heavens-above site. And usually this goes pretty smoothly since when I do these it's either that night or soon thereafter. However, these objects change their course, speed and all that crap. And in order to keep the current (and future) calculations correct, all these parameters get adjusted when people notice changes. So, when you're a month out, those calculations can change by quite a bit... sometimes up to 30 seconds. So, instead of being able to just cut n paste into my spreadsheet, I had to manually correct everything to match what the calculations where when I spotted the object. It has been a pain in the arse. But I'm caught up and have entered and corrected and researched over 50 sightings. Egads. I pray I do not fall this far behind again. So... this posting is a doozy... so feel free to skip the rest, but I did need some new cool stuff (including the latest X-37B spy orbiter plane thingy). :-)

Oh, and before I forget, whilst going over my spreadsheet, I did manage to track down two objects that I saw clear back in Nov of 2010 so I'll include those here as well (and also update the original post).

Hope all is well with everyone. Sorry for being long-winded, but the stories this time around just happened to be long and boring.

Here is the link to my March 28 2011 session...

It's taking a while, so I'll link back to them when I get them done.

Also, I managed to get a couple more sessions in since I even wrote this post... so .. there are about another 11 I need to get done on top of my entire april backlog. Egads.

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