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(very off-topic laptop aside) - my experience

cgf - I don't know how much any of this will help, especially since I
fancy myself rather low on the list of those you would entertain for
*advice* - anyhow, here goes.

I sympathize with you *completely* about struggling to find a way to
multi-task your life. I work at least a 100 or more hours a work on the
computer routinely - and am married (no kids yet). Before I even got
married, I KNEW I'd have to come up with a creative solution if I wanted
to continue working those kind of hours AND keep a wife *relatively* (I
entertain doubts that ANY wife is ever *truly*) happy.

I've been enjoying my solution for three years now, and its been BEYOND
wonderful. It's exceeded my expectations a hundred fold. Basically I
saved my money and bought a commercial grade projector. I own an Infocus
950 with a 2400 Lumen value. It originally retailed for $11,000.00. I
bought it on closeout for the unbelievable price of $4000.00 from B&H in
Manhattan. The quality is outstanding, and with the high lumen rating,
the sun can be shining in the window and the screen quality is
undiminished. My living room is small, so I had to buy a screen since I
had no white wall big enough. A 100 inch portable screen from Da-Lite
ran $700.00. It's worth every penny. It actually covers a window - and
when not in use, can be collapsed in 5 seconds to again show the window.

I spent $1000.00 buying a new three piece sectional and did not use the
middle section. Instead I moved together the couch and left-armed chaise
lounge to create a rather unique living room *bed*.

I built a stand-alone rack system from PVC and 2 inch electrical conduit
(all from Home Depot) to suspend the projector AND computer from the
ceiling since you don't want a very long digital monitor cable between
the video card and the projector. The digital cable I bought cost $80.00
and is only six feet long. It was the longest one I could find without
getting one custom made. Otherwise, beside the projector cable and
screen, everything else can be bought routinely at Best Buy or CompUSA.
Fact is, I custom built my computer myself so I could build in exactly
what I wanted. I bought the ATI All-In-Wonder Card so that I could pipe
DirecTV directly into the computer. Now I have not only a VERY
comfortable and productive work environment, but also a KICK-AA$$S home
theater entertainment system that LAUGHS at all the money people are
spending on new plasm TVs. (It does HDTV as well). I run 2000 Server on
the machine so I can do RAID and other high end things. I have NFL
Sunday ticket, so I can watch my pathetic Detroit Lions, drink a beer,
check my e-mail for more cgf meanness and work on my projects all the
while *reclined* on my chaise lounge. I use a Logitech wireless
ergonomic keyboard and wireless trackball mouse. Since the computer is
suspended from the ceiling, the actual range is increased to almost ten
feet. That's ten feet radius, so in fact I can use the keyboard and
mouse with a twenty foot circle - pretty much covers the whole room.

Because of the sectional setup, my wife can sit next to me and watch TV
- we can share a blanket, watch a DVD -WHILE- I debug and code my Perl
projects (using cygwin of course). I can be online with work via secure
dial-up (because I'm a contractor they won't give me VPN - stupid).

I also have a laptop, which I just plug into the DSL router and access
via DameWare Mini Remote Control and/or cygwin (ssh, nfs - you know the
drill). (Laptops - Darn things fry your mannhhood off when parked in
your lap for too long - but a wireless keyboard can sit there ALL day!)

Because of this setup, I'm always in the MIDDLE of the action. My wife
never feels alone and abandoned and often cuddles with me to read a book
while I work. When I'm away, she uses the *construction* as she calls it
to shop e-bay, build puzzles on, e-mail her friends and
family, etc. She loves it as much as I do.

This setup has DEFINITELY increased my productivity 25-30%, PLUS upped
my quality of life SUBSTANTIALLY. Anyone who sees my setup is blown away
impressed - you can actually see the *awe* in their eyes. And the whole
setup cost less than $10,000 in total to build (not to mention a few
hundred hours of time to build and setup). Not cheap by any stretch, but
something I now CAN'T POSSIBLY imagine living without. I'd recommend
this solution to anyone who does computing for a living (and anymore
that includes almost everyone).

There is a drawback however - putting in a new lamp cost a $1000.00.
But when considering how much I use it, it's actually a small price to

As for the computer, because it's an ordinary small server case housing
common components. If something goes wrong I just swap it out. I do
nightly incremental backups to an external hard disk via USB2 and

You should SERIOUSLY consider something similar - if you can swing it.

Brian Kelly

-----Original Message-----
From: [] On Behalf
Of Christopher Faylor
Sent: Thursday, December 18, 2003 12:38 AM
Subject: Re: snapshot cygwin1-20031212.dll.bz2 (with a very off-topic
laptop aside)

On Thu, Dec 18, 2003 at 12:21:50AM -0500, Christopher Faylor wrote:
>On Wed, Dec 17, 2003 at 02:53:33PM -0500, wrote:
>>Here is the uname and stackdump from cygwin1-20031214.dll.bz2:
>>CYGWIN_NT-5.0 Test 1.5.6s(0.107/3/2) 20031214 23:18:27 i686 unknown
>>Exception: STATUS_ACCESS_VIOLATION at eip=610865E7
>>eax=00000948 ebx=00409E30 ecx=610EFE64 edx=00000004 esi=00000014
>>ebp=0022FB1C esp=0022FB00 program=C:\cygwin\bin\rsync.exe
>>cs=001B ds=0023 es=0023 fs=0038 gs=0000 ss=0023
>>Stack trace:
>>Frame     Function  Args
>>0022FB1C  610865E7  (0022FA94, 0022FA94, 0022FA94, 0022FB40)
>>End of stack trace
>Oh well.  Still not much help.  I am building a new snapshot which may
>provide a better stack trace on failure.  If you could run it and
>the stack trace, it would be appreciated.
>Also, if you could send me a complete strace log that might be useful,

I just thought I'd vent a little about my attempt to debug this today.
I went to another person in my office (Hi Jay!) who has a laptop running
Windows 2000 with the intent of running rsync there.  His laptop was
out of date so I updated cygwin on it, which took a while.  When I
was finished updating it, I tried to rsync from my laptop* (purchased
with the help of some people here after a truely depressing history of
being scammed, saving more money, buying a laptop, having it shipped,
having it shipped back, having it shipped again, shipping it back,
buying a new one, and now...) only to find that my laptop had crashed.
On rebooting I got nothing but a blank screen.

So, I took everything apart and tried again:  still nothing.

Took everything apart again, swapped the SODIMMs and got the dreaded
beeping.  Took out a SODIMM and now it boots.

Which means now I have to wrangle with InternetIShop about getting a
replacement without sending my laptop back *again*.

I think I am very close to throwing myself off a bridge on this subject.
Having had exactly the laptop I wanted for three weeks and now having to
once again contemplate talking to obtuse tech support or sales people
or, worse, more of the non-responders...  well...  Let's just say I am
not in a good mood.  I wasn't an optimistic type of guy I would almost
think some higher authority didn't really want me to have a laptop like
this, even though it means I'm in the presence of my family more often,
which I would think would be a good thing...

Anyway, sorry for the atypical personal aside.  I am just so frustrated
by this that I could spit.  The laptop is working fine with half the
amount of memory and the amount that I have left (512MB) is something
I would have killed for a few years ago, but, despite that, the speed
degradation is still noticeable.

Blah, blah, blah.  Yeah, I know.  I'd lambaste anyone else who did this
but it does have something of a cygwin component since all of my super
secret test files and environment is on this laptop and, if it dies,
I'll be scrambing to recreate things from backup.

I know.  Still pretty lame...  I'll stop now.



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