Snow Update: 11/12

What’s better than trying to force an old computer to do stuff while its snowing?

Tonight, I pulled out the T42 to do some things. I’ve been working on a personal project involving OpenMPT, and currently the only computer I have access to with OpenMPT is – yep, you guessed it – the IBM ThinkPad T42.

The project involves some huge files – over 2GB worth of .wav files. I needed to transfer them to my flash drive to get them over to the MacBook Air I’m using until I can find a permanent replacement for the T450.

I’m still am unsure if the T42 features USB 2.0 or not. Given the time period it’s from, I’d say it should have at least one 2.0 port. But the speeds I saw tonight are more in the range of USB 1.1, although for some reason the T42 was being slower than normal tonight.

After waiting about 15 minutes for the transfer to complete, I switched over to Python. I’ve been running Python (IDLE) on the T42, running the sample “turtle” modules.

Tonight, the T42 almost went into “core meltdown” mode with one of the demos. The Intel Pentium M “Dothan” was trying it’s hardest to keep up, but it still took it a good twenty to thirty seconds to draw the image.

Then, before shutting the T42 down, I had two more tasks: installing Crimson Editor (more on that in a bit) and resizing images. Since I’m delegating maintenance of the Kewanee Boiler portion of my site to the T42, I’m installing Crimson Editor on it to update the HTML and CSS files.

But I was sent some pictures recently that I need to resize. I had successfully resized one, but wait: the T42 has to have another meltdown moment.

The T42 wasn’t very happy when trying to resize an image…

Two of the images were fairly large, as in many megabytes large. When trying to import them into Paint, they’d load properly. But trying to resize them or edit them proved futile after the computer kept running out of memory. With 512MB installed, it’s not surprising.

Crimson Editor

As mentioned, HTML/CSS maintenance of the Kewanee Boiler section is being moved to the T42. (The move is primarily just to give me an excuse to use it.) With that, I installed an old program that actually helped me build many of my early websites.

Crimson Editor is a fairly old program – it hasn’t been updated in nearly a decade, and its website still features terms like “Yahoo Groups” and “Floppy diskettes.” But it’s a fairly good program.

Any website mentioning floppy diskettes or Yahoo Groups is likely to have stood the test of time.

I used to use it to code my early websites in HTML/CSS before I got Dreamweaver. Crimson Editor worked nicely, and I preferred it as it highlighted parts of the code and was easy to use. Best of all, it’s free.

Installation isn’t difficult. It’s just the basic installer.

The “About” screen

A nice feature of Crimson Editor is its ability to highlight syntax in code. It works very well in HTML and CSS, although my knowledge of other languages is unknown. You can also customize the look of Crimson Editor with changing colors, fonts, etc.

Some sample HTML code pulled up in Crimson Editor

Since Crimson Editor is mostly obsolete, it has been officially succeeded by Emerald Editor. I’m not sure of the differences between Crimson and Emerald Editors, except Emerald is the current, up-to-date version.

Of course, there are thousands of other text editors out there. Notepad, Notepad++, TextEdit, etc.

T450’s Replacement

The T450 has been returned. I’m just now looking for the perfect replacement. Stay tuned to see what I get!

Pinnacle Update

The Pinnacle has been sitting unused since the derailleur fell off, and collecting snow and rain. As mentioned in my previous update, I decided to not repair the Pinnacle at this moment.

The Pinnacle has been enduring the elements this semester… including snow, rain, and ice

The front tire – with its new tube from part 1 – seems to be holding air perfectly. (Although I haven’t checked with a gauge to verify where its officially at.) The rear tire wasn’t pumped up too much, but seemed to hold fine, too.

The original right handlebar grip foam has been ripping off, and I found it filled with snow earlier. The foam is obviously shot, but that’s an easy fix by wrapping it with some handlebar grip tape. The foam stood up to 37 years of abuse pretty well!

“Get a grip”… the right handlebar grip has been torn and filling up with snow.

While the Pinnacle’s derailleur falling off was unfortunate, but thankfully happened right near the end of the season. While riding in this wintry weather is possible, it’s not advised.

Pinnacle’s Replacement

The Pinnacle’s replace – a Giant Sedona “comfort bike” – arrived. My father picked up the bike from the shop (which is a few hours from campus, where he lives) and is holding it.

Soon (next week sometime) I will see it for myself and will be writing about it.