Saturday, August 10, 2013

Caught in The Matrix

In this scene from the film, Morpheus explains to Neo that people inside The Matrix are a part of the system which is "our enemy".

"...Most of these people are not ready to be unplugged. And many of them are so inured, so hopelessly dependent on the system, that they will fight to protect it..."

Monday, August 05, 2013

Book of Remembrance

In the First Presidency Message this month, President Eyring reminds us all to recognize, remember, and give thanks to the Lord for all His the bounteous blessings.  Eyring quotes from President Kimball,
Please follow the counsel you have been given in the past and maintain your personal journals. Those who keep a book of remembrance are more likely to keep the Lord in remembrance in their daily lives. Journals are a way of counting our blessings and of leaving an inventory of these blessings for our posterity.  (Spencer W. Kimball, "Listen to the Prophets")
This blog fulfils two purposes for me.  It serves as my personal editorial page, and as my personal Book of Remembrance.

Though I don't always express it in obvious ways, I am ever grateful for Heavenly Father's providence.

In the Book of Mormon, Alma testifies,
...All things denote there is a God; yea, even the earth, and all things that are upon the face of it, yea, and its motion, yea, and also all the planets which move in their regular form do witness that there is a Supreme Creator.  (Alma 30:44)

In the Doctrine and Covenants, we have further prosaic testimony about the nature of God and His creations,
  He comprehendeth all things, and all things are before him, and all things are round about him; and he is above all things, and in all things, and is through all things, and is round about all things; and all things are by him, and of him, even God, forever and ever.
  And again, verily I say unto you, he hath given a law unto all things, by which they move in their times and their seasons;
  And their courses are fixed, even the courses of the heavens and the earth, which comprehend the earth and all the planets.
And they give light to each other in their times and in their seasons, in their minutes, in their hours, in their days, in their weeks, in their months, in their years—all these are one year with God, but not with man.
  The earth rolls upon her wings, and the sun giveth his light by day, and the moon giveth her light by night, and the stars also give their light, as they roll upon their wings in their glory, in the midst of the power of God.
  Unto what shall I liken these kingdoms, that ye may understand?
  Behold, all these are kingdoms, and any man who hath seen any or the least of these hath seen God moving in his majesty and power.  (Doctrine and Covenants 88-41-47)

The banner of this blog, a photograph of Mount Timpanogos, represents my reverence and gratitude for Heavenly Father's magnificent creations.  He has blessed us beyond our ability to receive it.

I borrow a beautiful photo of a Columbine in blossom, from my long-time Internet friend Dave Kennison.

 Another beautiful glade of flowers on the Wasatch Plateau, photographed by my sister Beth.

The very earth upon which we stand, the air we breathe, the beauty and freedom of the hills, the trees and flowers, even the rocks and flowing waters.  All of it testifies of the great love that our Heavenly Father blesses us with.

For all these blessings, and many more, my heart overflows with gratitude.  My life has been filled with many good things, and I am joyful and thankful.  

And inasmuch as ye do these things with thanksgiving, with cheerful hearts and countenances, not with much laughter, for this is sin, but with a glad heart and a cheerful countenance—

Verily I say, that inasmuch as ye do this, the fulness of the earth is yours, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the air, and that which climbeth upon the trees and walketh upon the earth;

Yea, and the herb, and the good things which come of the earth, whether for food or for raiment, or for houses, or for barns, or for orchards, or for gardens, or for vineyards;

Yea, all things which come of the earth, in the season thereof, are made for the benefit and the use of man, both to please the eye and to gladden the heart;

Yea, for food and for raiment, for taste and for smell, to strengthen the body and to enliven the soul.

And it pleaseth God that he hath given all these things unto man; for unto this end were they made to be used, with judgment, not to excess, neither by extortion.

And in nothing doth man offend God, or against none is his wrath kindled, save those who confess not his hand in all things, and obey not his commandments. (Doctrine and Covenants 59:15-21)

Adventures with Windoze: A continuing saga

I am engaged in a continuing battle over personal computer autonomy and independence.

Last week I accidentally unplugged my computer system.  It happens to be running Ubuntu, so I don't really have to reboot all that often, at least compared to Windoze which assumes it's just fine to insist on rebooting whenever it pleases.  I generally use the "suspend" feature most nights when I know I'm not going to be using the system.  The computer then neatly shuts down everything like disk drives and fans.  But it saves a copy of whatever I had been doing, so when I touch the keyboard again, it comes back to life, automagically restoring everything just like it was.

Anyway, the computer doesn't deal all that well with lost power.  It shuts down in a few microseconds, but not quite graceful enough to restore the lost session when the power comes back.

So last week I had started up Microsoft Windoze in a VirtualBox window.  It wanted to download some Windoze upgrades, and I usually tell it okay, go right ahead, I'll just keep doing my Ubuntu thing while Windoze pretends it can monopolize everything with a stern "Do not dare shut down the computer while I'm working!"  I didn't pay much attention to what Windoze was doing.

Turns out, something included in the upgrade package had a little surprise for me - it just decided to erase the Master Boot Record from my primary disk drive.

I didn't discover this for a while, because I don't reboot all that often.  But when my system tried to find the Grub 2 boot loader in the MBR next time, there was only the sound of crickets chirping.  I waited for the system to start the boot loader.  And nothing STILL happened.

Well, I put in my Ubuntu LiveCD to boot up and try to see what was going wrong.  Lo and behold I discovered the now empty MBR.

I should not have been surprised.  I know perfectly well that Windoze always behaves like it should modify any disk contents whenever it pleases.  It doesn't play nice with anybody else.  I have no idea why Windoze thought it was a good idea to wipe out my boot loader.  But it apparently did, without asking permission, in the blink of an eye.

Turns out there is a perfectly wonderful little stand-alone utility at Source Forge called "Boot Repair" that fixes this right up.  I downloaded a copy and was back online in a few minutes.  Just keeping this little program handy for the next time...

Note that Microsoft is worried about their market.  PC sales are lagging behind more high-tech user gear now, things like tablets and smart phones are the biggest sellers today.  Apparently Google Android is the most popular operating environment, with Apple's IOS right behind.  Windoze is now just an also-ran.  I am not at all sad to see the Microsoft market domination and fortunes waning.