Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Cat Update

I thought I should update people on the status of the cats...

We still need homes for a bunch of them. I have three kittens who are very friendly and playful. I need to find homes for them before I get too attached.

I have tamed another feral. His name is Chance. (My daughter calls him "Booger" due to a constant sinus infection.) He was originally brought in because he appeared to have a broken paw and winter was starting. (The paw turned out to be a bad sprain. It is healed now.) I was finally able to get him willing to be petted and groomed.

Chance's sibling is called "Curley". (Because he has a tail that is a spiral.) I am very close to getting him tamed. It will take a week or two more before he is actually tamed. He will take food from my hand and sit on my lap, but won't let me pet him.

A note on ferals. Every feral has a desire that will allow you to tame him/her. For one cat it was melted vanilla ice cream. For another it was double-hand back scritches. Chance was a combination of things. You just have to find out what makes them tick and what will gain their trust. And playing with them helps. They are more likely to trust you if you are seen as a playmate instead of a threat.

As for Marigold... I am keeping him. He is a special cat and I am too fond of him to let him go.

More pictures soon.

The Project...

I have a CTL 2Go PAD as a new project box. It is a tablet pc (actually a flat netbook) with an Intel atom N470 processor, 2 gigs of ram, and a 250gig hard drive.

The machine comes with an odd version of Windows Se7en hacked to run on a tablet. I could not get it to back up correctly, so it got nuked and replaced with Fedora 14. (Why Fedora 14? Because I know it fairly well and none of the Linux distros solve the problem of a tablet os out of the box. More on that later.)

The Hardware

The processor is an Atom N470. The N470 is a 1.87ghz processor that supports hyperthreading. Not superfast, but OK. (The "codename" for this processor is "Oaktrail". "Pinetrail" is the newest processor in this family and expected to be faster. Remember that this is a first generation tablet. Not everything is worked out yet.)

The graphics are the Intel GMA3500. This chipset is supported by the standard Intel 945 graphic driver. If you have a reasonably current version of X, it is supported. (Including 3d support!) It runs Compiz! (Thankfully not the Poulsbou driver. But I can't talk about that.)

The hard drive is the standard SATA laptop drive. I chose the laptop drive instead of the SSD (Solid-State Drive) because SSDs are expensive. It just works.

The tablet has a number of connectors. Microphone and sound jacks, two USB2 connectors, a micro-VGA plug (with adapter), Ethernet and SD card adapter slots (not certain on the supported formats).

The front has a web cam (1meg) and a light sensor. The case blocks the light sensor.

I should mention the case at this point. The case is leather. Fairly nice, but blocks a few things. (One USB port, the SD card slots and the light sensor.) Due to the odd size, it will be hard to find something that fits it.

The screen is 1024x600 resolution. It is a ILITEK Multitouch capacitive touch screen. (More on this later.) This is a letterbox format screen, similar to what you would find on a netbook. (Like I said, it is a flat netbook.)

The wireless card is a RT-2800. Supports b, g, and n. Not supported by Fedora 14, but the driver is available. (Either you can download it from their web site or you can build a 2.6.38-RC6+ kernel and it just works.)

There are also a number of other sensors in this. I am still tracking down the i2c devices. I will post the lspci, lsusb and i2c list once I have them saved off the machine.

I guess that is all for now. The next post will be on the joys of tablets and how everyone is pretty much unprepared for making them function.

I'm back...

I have not done much with this blog lately. I have a new project, so i will be posting my progress here as I discover more about the hardware and software.

More information in the next post.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Cats - Marigold

Marigold is a male neutered longhaired cat, about 2 years old who needs a good home. He is very lovable, likes attention. Likes being both indoors and out. Deals well with other cats. Likes to lounge when possible.

If you are in Portland, OR and are able to give him a good home, drop me an e-mail at alan.olsen @

Monday, November 10, 2008


I have not posted in a while. Blogging is not a hard habit with me.

Besides... I have been distracted by cats.

One of my hobbies is domesticating feral cats and getting them good homes. Many of them have started as kittens or young (less than a year), but I have had some success with older cats.

But they need good homes.

In the next week or so I will post pictures of the cats who are ready to adopt. They have all been fixed. They all deal with people. They all love attention.

I also have some "special needs" cats, but those will take someone special to handle them. (One had a minor stroke and has movement problems. A couple are just anti-social with anyone other than my family.)

I won't advertise on Craig's List since I don't trust the people who tend to answer ads. I am afraid they would wind-up being subjects for medical experiments or used in 419 fraud somehow.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Review: Targus Bluetooth Laser Rechargable Notebook Mouse

I bought a new mouse for the laptop. The Targus Bluetooth Laser Rechargable Notebook Mouse. (What a mouthful!)

I bought it to use with Linux. (Fedora 9 specifically.) Here are my experiences so far...

The mouse comes in one of those invulnerable plastic clamshell cases. (Well, not invulnerable to a Leatherman xTi.) I hate that sort of package, but there is so little choice these days.

The instruction booklet for this is not the most useful. There are a few things that should be explained up front. Like how the rechargeable batteries are inserted.

Battery insertion

If you look at the contacts, you would think they both go the same way. They don't. Look for the little tiny "+" and "-" signs. That is the end that should be sticking out. The little pot metal springs are a pain to get lined up. Make sure they are contacting the battery leads before you put it back together.

Another thing about the mouse. The USB cable is for charging only. It does not act like a USB mouse in any way. The documentation is not clear about this at all.

Now comes the hard part... Connecting it to Linux.

I use Fedora 9 with Gnome. Find the Bluetooth icon in the upper right hand corner of your screen and right-click on it. Click on Preferences. Allow other devices to connect, then click on the Services tab. Highlight Input Services. Under the mouse there is a small black button. Push that with a pen point or other semi-pointy object. Now click Add. Your mouse should show up as Targus BT Laser Mouse. Highlight it and connect to it. Your mouse should work now.

You will probably need to adjust the mouse settings for your preferences. This mouse was much more sensitive than the previous mouse, so it was very jumpy. Adjusting the sensitivity in the Mouse control panel fixed that pretty fast.

The only annoyance so far is that it sometimes takes a bit of movement to get the mouse to wake up after it has been sitting for a minute or two.

The feel is nice. It is a bit small, but so are my hands. (I have short fingers from using a DecWriter in my youth.) The plastic has a velvet finish instead of a shiny smooth plastic. Makes for more comfortable use.

The mouse runs about $50. Not as expensive as some mice and more than others. Is it worth it? My judgement so far is yes. It will take a bit to get used to, but it seems like a good workable mouse. I will post if I change my mind.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Things you should never do

Never buy tartar sauce from a dentist.

Never buy baby oil from a paediatrician.

Never buy corn oil from a podiatrist.

Never buy fix-o-dent from a veterinarian.