Thursday, July 31, 2008

Fix for "Several Java virtual machines running in the same process" error

Awhile back, I developed a Java error after I updated Firefox awhile back on my home computer. The error said "Several Java virtual machines running in the same process." I went looking for a solution, and came across this page, which suggests a bunch of stuff, none of which seemed to work (and the page itself didn't even mention Firefox, just IE).

Well, I finally got sick of no Java at home, so earlier this week I kept looking until I found a suggestion in the Sun forums (why they didn't have this on the aforementioned help page, I don't know). It suggests downloading a beta of the Java Runtime Environment. I'm usually cautious with beta downloads, but I don't really get Java that well anyway, and I figured I wouldn't be any worse off, so I followed the link provided to the Java SE Early Access page. I installed "JRE 6 update 10 beta (build 25)," whatever that is, and it fixed the home computer.

I wouldn't have mentioned it except I developed the same problem at work today (don't ask me why it just now started). Downloaded the same beta, and I'm back in business.

Hopefully this will save someone else the hassle.

Again, it's a beta. And I'm no computer expert, so I offer zero warranty. But if you absolutely have to have Java, this may be a fix.

6 Word Stories

Kim recently talked about verbal decluttering. It reminded me of an article I read recently from Wired magazine, where they had writers of science fiction, fantasy, and horror write an entire story in just six words.

Here were my favorites.

Computer, did we bring batteries? Computer?
- Eileen Gunn
Lie detector eyeglasses perfected: Civilization collapses.
- Richard Powers
Will this do (lazy writer asked)?
- Ken MacLeod
Steve ignores editor's word limit and
- Steven Meretzky  


Help! Trapped in a text adventure!
- Marc Laidlaw

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Blogger Dashboard Beta

Blogger is running a beta on the Dashboard, and they've added something I've wanted for a long time - the ability to publish post-dated posts. This is a test post of that very feature.

The only thing I definitely don't like is that the HTML Editor has no buttons or keyboard shortcuts. Hope they fix it. Another issue is that even though you can select the beta dashboard as your default, if you choose to edit posts from your blog, it still takes you back to the old version. Oh, well. Can't have everything.

Anyway, if you're on Blogger, and have been waiting for the functionality that the rest of the blogging world has had for years, give the Dashboard Beta a try.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Our Water is out AGAIN!

I think it's the fourth time this year. You appreciate having potable water most of the time when you undergo this kind of inconvenience.

Reason #402 to Hate Spellcheck

I rarely use rely on spell check. Here's a perfect example of why, from a draft of a post I'm working on.

If you as a parent do the right things, your children will turn out property.

Yeah. I got a good laugh out of it, but I guess that's 'cause I caught it before it went to print.

Mainly for Charlie

Quoted from this post on Wil Wheaton's blog, edited slightly for content.
Most of all, though, I've been blessed by the incredible generosity of people who had no reason to help and guide me, but did anyway: John Scalzi and Warren Ellis are two who you'd recognize, and the rest of the list could fill a 2 gig flash drive in a single-spaced text file. That I wrote in vi because I couldn't find the text editor in emacs. ...that joke never gets old.

Sunday, July 27, 2008


Anyone know what the odds are of having three out of five kids who are left handed?

Monday, July 21, 2008

So Here's the Deal

Week before last, I had three different people mention that I hadn't blogging much. One of them, Dan Phillips, was kind enough to IM me, and we chatted for a bit. That was great.

Another one, my brother, pointed out that even my sister was doing more blogging than I was. I checked. He was right.

I sat down to really think about why that was. Turns out, like most of life, it's complicated, and there isn't an individual cause; it's multi-faceted.

Part of the answer goes back almost two years, to my most productive blogging period, and doesn't reflect too well on me, because was in my previous job. It seems pretty clear that at least some of what I was doing was robbing my earthly master at times.

The new job has required more time and attention from me, because I'm learning new things, and because unlike my previous jobs, I literally don't get paid if I'm not doing the job. That's a pretty powerful motivation - I never realized how much. I may venture into discussing the joys and challenges of self-employment, but for now, suffice it to say that my motivation to perform has never been higher.

I've also poured myself back into reading books. I was spending so much time reading blogs that I had time for little else, and I decided that if I wanted to have any hope of reading even a substantial portion of the books I've collected in my library thus far, I had best get to it.

You can add the fact that I'm a slow writer, and if I don't get something down that I like in the initial draft, it ends up in rewrite purgatory, and it's unlikely it will ever make it back out.

The whole blogging thing had turned into a ruthless treadmill - an endless cycle of half-finished posts and urgent, unimportant replies that were wearing me out.

Through the circumstances above, with other factors added in, I'd found myself with a desperate need to downsize my busyness, and blogging was really the only thing in my life I was prepared to give up and not feel guilty about it.

I considered quitting altogether. But I couldn't bring myself to do it. So instead I scaled back. This was done unconsciously, by the way; it's only now, in retrospect, that I can see it with some clarity.

But I find myself bitten with the bug again. I figured out how to view saved HTML pages from the SD card on the used Treo my brother gave me, so I can save blogs for offline reading.

I've finally decided on the best way to allocate my time, to keep track of my files, and what program(s) to use to complete the task, and that should help with the organization piece of it.

But I'm not quite ready to say "I'm back." Like an older person who becomes seriously ill and then recovers, I'm not sure I'll ever be active to the extent that I was before. But I'll at least try to make it a point to get around to blogs of family and friends, and leave a comment once in awhile, if only to remind you that I'm still around.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Congratulations to Jen & Rob

Just a quick note of congratulations to my sister Jen and her husband Rob (aka Big Mac) on the birth of their first child - a daughter. My daughter is thrilled to have a new girl cousin.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Classic Shows Now Viewable on CBS

In what may be yet another example of the sad state of TV these days, CBS has not only current shows available, but selected classics are available for viewing on its website as well. I cite this as a sad example because, frankly, I'd rather watch Star Trek, MacGyver, or Perry Mason than most shows on any network these days (plus CBS canceled the one show we regularly watched on their network, Moonlight. But more on that another time.)

Update: Also have The Twilight Zone.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Hard Drive Cleanup

Apple Computer has almost half a gigabyte of files in the "Installer Cache" of my computer (under All Users\Application Data). They look like leftovers from every installation and update of iTunes, Quicktime, and now Safari that I've done on this computer. Anyone know if it is safe to delete these?