my mother brought my grandmother over around lunchtime so she could take a bath and have some homemade clam chowder for lunch. i don't think my chowder is particularly good - too watery - but my grandmother seems to like it, or so she says. i have to find a new recipe, one that calls for creamy thick chowders. my grandmother also took all my pears glycerine soaps. when i first began using it, the fragrance reminded me of little old ladies. when i asked my grandmother if she liked the smell, she said "what smell?" since that grandmotherly scent doesn't even register as a distinctive fragrance. i also gave my grandmother a fashion show of what i'd wear when i go traveling, with backpack strapped on my back. they stayed late, well after 2pm, and only left because my father called asking when they'd be back at the cafe.

the first half of the day i was playing around with ubuntu. i managed to copy a bootable version of 13.04 onto a 4GB thumb drive (the installer itself just around 800MB, small by OS standards). i was able to boot off of my MBP without any problems, and i played with it a little from the USB. not sure if it was the drive speed or track pad bug, but the input wasn't very responsive. also i couldn't get wifi access. next i tried it on john's old MBP. because of its vintage, 13.04 wouldn't even boot up on it, so i tried downgrading to 8.04.4. that didn't work either, and the archive image i found didn't even seem to be bootable. there has to be a way to install ubuntu on a macbookpro1,1, but i haven't found it yet. finally, i reformated the USB drive back to 13.04 and tried it on the dell mini. it booted up fine but was missing wifi as well, although the trackpad behaved much better. after some digging i turned on some proprietary driver and managed to get the wifi working. the latest version of ubuntu seemed to run kind of slow on the dell mini, and a few times it frozen up, seemingly chugging to a halt.

ubuntu is pretty and aesthetically it's right up there with OS X. since they're both based on a UNIX shell, their basic layout is very similar (top menubar with status indicators on the upper right along with a row of app icons). but with so many different versions, it's hard to know which one is right, and even after a successful install, it still requires some fine tuning much like what i went through getting OS X to run on the dell mini. and in the end, it doesn't have all the apps i need which i already have in OS X. my best bet is trying to see if i can get ubuntu installed on that old MBP.

binbin's mother invited my family to dinner at their place in lexington. i wanted to go and was curious to see binbin's place, but stayed home so i could go to the 8:00 poetry recital my russian neighbor victor invited me to yesterday.

i didn't know what to expect, but the gathering was in honor of their new roommate, a girl from taiwan named bithiah in town studying math. apparently they have a tradition of making new roommates recite poetry. it's all very artsy and hippy-dippy. i don't have a great appreciation for poetry, and i find it pretentious. as people went around the table reciting poems, i found myself feeling like i was suddenly in church, forced to sit through a sermon, too polite to leave. at least there was wine and cheese and bread. and it was dark, so i could at least hide my apathy in the shadows. there was also a bit of drizzle, some mosquitoes, and the sound of early independence day fireworks. i left soon afterwards.

i was surprised to find that the foscam webcam i ordered had already arrived (it wasn't supposed to get here until tuesday); i just bought it yesterday. i had a hard time setting it up though, it works in my local network, but i couldn't see it from the outside world. i blame my comcast xfinity router, if i still can't figure it out i'll need to ask them what's up. despite having the ability to forward ports, i think comcast is still blocking all incoming traffic.

my dell mini hackintosh has been spitting out a "hibernate image too old" error whenever i restart. it doesn't affect the result and i can still boot up just fine, but it's kind of unnerving to see that error. so i tried to fix it, knowing very well i could end up breaking the OS and having to reinstall everything again. i found the hibernate image in question and erased it - it was big too, taking up 2GB of space. that seemed to fix the problem, but for some strange reason i lost my audio. running netbookinstaller 0.8.4 RC1 had no effect (still missing audio), but when i ran netbookinstaller 20100616212351, the sound came back (and the wifi still worked).