the joy of beta software

Oh boy! My laptop started up normally this morning, as usual. I fired up my preferred media player (Amarok) and started listening to WETS, an NPR station from Johnson City, Tennessee. Then I ran my usual morning software updates. After doing so, I tried to fire up my spreadsheet to enter this morning's reading from the electric meter.

Oh no! It couldn't start. It tried, but failed, and so did Firefox. The .xsession-errors log file said that libpcre.so.3 didn't exist. It does; I checked. But the desktop-file-utils program hadn't been set up completely during the update. I tried to force the issue but then lost the network.

So I'm using Lisa's laptop to download the latest version of Linux Mint so I can fix things without having to install months worth of updates that have been made available since the previous version of Mint. That in itself sucks. Our HughesNet satellite service limits us to 250MB of downloads before restricting our download speed. There are "restore tokens" available to, as the name implies, restore our service to normal speed, but it will require several tokens to get the entire 1.1GB .iso file needed to burn the installation DVD.

Maybe I shouldn't run such cutting-edge versions of my software, eh? At least I have my old Dell laptop - slow as mud, but usable - to use once Lisa gets up and wants her machine.

I got up a little bit early today. There was a strange dog trying to play with Jack outside our bedroom window. He is a friendly pup; a black-and-tan hound. Our neighbors put him in their pickup truck and took him up to one of the other neighbor's house, but they didn't recognize him. Rocko and Hershey (the dog next door) had fun playing with him, but I eventually brought Rocko in so the mystery hound would leave. He stayed around for a while but finally moved on. He isn't wearing a collar but appears well taken care of. I think he belongs to somebody down the valley. He looks familiar, and I believe that I have seen him down below us recently.

"Hammerhead" is one of the dogs on the other side of us. He just stopped barking a few minutes ago, and I suppose that he was barking at the mystery hound. We all hope that he finds his way home.

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