Thursday, September 18, 2008

Obama's and McCain's Answers to the Top 14 Science Questions Facing America

"Science Debate 2008 worked with ... leading organizations ... to
craft the top 14 questions the [Presidential] candidates should answer.  These
questions are broad enough to allow for wide variations in response,
but they are specific enough to help guide the discussion toward many
of the largest and most important unresolved challenges currently
facing the United States."

Read the candidates' answers here:

Friday, September 12, 2008

What Should I Do With This Computer?

I have an old computer that I'm wondering what to do with. It's a Pentium III, 500MHz, with 256MB RAM and a 10GB hard drive, with only less than 3GB left.

The case is a low profile style, so there's no bracket for an additional drive, which I do have. If I add the second drive, I'd have to attach it with double-sided tape.

The computer is configured to dual boot into either Windows 98 or Windows NT 4.0 SP. The NT partition has Office 97 installed on it. It still works. But I'd like to be able to install somewhat modern software on it and use the USB ports.

Three ideas I have:
  • Reformat the drive with a single partition and do a fresh install of Windows 2000. It would be comparable to the software configuration on my current desktop. This would get the USB ports working. But some programs, such as iTunes, no longer support Windows 2000.

  • Reformat the drive with a single partition and do a fresh install of Windows XP. Not sure how it will perform on this system, though.

  • Reformat the drive and install Ubuntu. Not sure what software is available -- maybe just a web browser, Open Office and a PDF viewer. And of course Emacs. Most likely no one else in the house would use the computer. And I wonder if I can get all the drivers I'll need.
The first step is to get the second drive installed, if I can.

What do you think?