besides putting the bike away, i really had nothing else going on today. client B was supposed to get back to me with some video tests, but they never did, and i wasn't complaining either. i dogsat until my parents came home, first letting hailey out in the backyard, then later trying to coax her to take her afternoon nap. i thought about taking her out for a walk but decided against it after seeing her running around out back. i bought a bag of walnuts from the supermarket, just had a sudden craving for omega 3-fatty acids i guess. i don't eat a lot of walnuts because normally i don't like the taste, bland and bitter. what i do love about it is breaking open the shells with a lobster cracker.
for dinner we had various sausages with rice. my father hurriedly finished so he could get back to building a homemade digital television antenna. it kind of looks like one of those racing boats one would see rowing on the charles river, except antennas instead of oars. he'd bought a dtv receiver over a month ago with one of those government-issued rebate coupon but it sat unused without the proper antenna. even after we hooked it up, it took us a while to figure out how to actually get any picture. the "zero signal strength, zero picture quality" display confused us until we realized we first had to let the receiver scan for available channels. once we did that, the result was pretty amazing: crystal clear image quality and some channels even had multiple feeds, like local channel 7 and 44. by playing with the placement of the antenna, we managed to get stronger signals - just like in the good old days! now my father can finally get some television at the cafe ever since the cable got cut. what was really trippy was recognizing the channels by their old channel numbers and not some arbitrary cable company selected numbers. for anyone who's ever grown up in the boston area, 2, 4, 5, 7, 25, 38, and 56 are special magical numbers.
later we went to work on our second project, cloning my father's laptop hard drive and swapping it out with a new 320gb drive that arrived last night. i used a trial version of acronis true image home 2009 to do the cloning after reading up on the steps online. i couldn't figure out how to unclone a 10gb recovery partition though until i erased it from the original drive. once that was done, the program was smart enough to allocate the free memory into the main partition on the new larger clone drive. the whole process took a little more than a hour, basically letting the machine transfer the data in the background after restarting into a proprietary operating system that seemed to be loading from memory. when the transfer was done, we replaced the drive, and everything was back to normal, except now with 200+ GB worth of storage. the weirdest thing was i managed to do it all with just the trial version of the software. after it was all done, i erased the program.
instead of making it back to cambridge on my own steam, my father had to give me a ride. i left with several containers of frozen beef broth, to be used for making beef noodle soup. my favorite sight is coming home to an empty house, the only lights the glow of the twin aquariums and the colorful illumination of the christmas lights reflecting off of my venetian blinds.