Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Still Loving Suneido

I am really getting into this language. I know that I will start getting into trouble as I try and learn about functions, conditionals, and primary keys, etc., but I don't care. To me, just having the ability to see something aon my screen that looks like a real program is exciting.

I have caused the Wokspace to hang while trying to Access a query, but that is likely something I am doing wrong. This is a temporary setback at best.

I already have a screen that enables anyone to create an complete inventory of all theri firearms. it allows them to include all kinds of details such as manufacturer, model serial number, barrel length, barrel shot count, best load, weight, lengths, and more.

Friday, December 14, 2007

I'm finally not afraid to try programming

I have always wanted to experience programming as a hobby. I don't know how people that code all day for a living feel about programming hobbyist, but I want to be one. I have always had the urge to write software, even as far back as the early Eighties. The small amount of coding I did in high school in 1982, was an introduction to Basic. I forget 99% of all that.

Lately I was looking into some languages like Ruby , but never really committed myself to learning it. The books just sat there staring at me, while I imagined cool applications I was entirely incapable of creating. I may still learn Ruby, as it is cross-platform (I love Linux).

Then I considered Suneido.

Even after just a few days, I have to say I really like it. I think I like it because it is so quickly gratifying. Within minutes I had windows on my screen that actually looked (and even functioned) like real programs. Sunedio ( has a nice manual that actually coached me through the basics. In no time at all, I was creating databases, and even reporting on database contents. Pretty cool!

I know that I have a long way to go. There are a couple of hurdles I need to clear. First off, I am basically a complete newbie when it comes to coding. I don't just need to learn how to program in Suneido, I need to learn how to program in any language. What are objects, functions, definitions, inheritance, etc? I am only part way through the Suniedo manual, but I think some of these will be explained. I have also registered on the Suneido forum, so I at least have some way of getting help or answers to my questions.

Wish me luck. Who knows, maybe I'll have a great little program available here some day.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

I just ordered two Choate stocks

I just ordered two Choate stocks from European Target Shooters Supplies. It's my first dealing with them, but so far I think they'll be great to work with.

This is Ultimate Sniper stock I plan to use on my for my .338 Gaillard project;

This is what the new Varmint stock looks like. I think it will be great on my .223 project.

I am also considering getting a nice fat barrel for the .223 and chambering in .223 improved. Comments??

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

I said I wouldn't hunt this year, but...

I told enough people that I probably wouldn't hunt this year. I am still pissed off about my supposed buddy keeping the two deer I harvested last year. I haven't really shot much all year either. I think I fired about 15 rounds of 7.62x39mm. I hope I'm not too rusty. I usually fired hundreds of rounds yearly.
Well I changed my mind. I picked up two doe tags for the Herd Reduction Area. These were so cheap. Both tags cost me a total of $10.90 (That's 11.32 USD, ha ha ha). So I hope to get some time off and bag a couple fat does. Who knows, maybe I'll go back for a big buck after I turn in the heads so the folks at Sask. Environment can test them for Chronic Wasting Disease.

So now I have to make some emergency repairs to the stock on my Norinco m-305 (M14S, M1A clone) . Last year I overtightened my Harris bipod and pulled the sling stud right through the stock. Now I am building it up and reinforcing it. Next year I will finish my customized fiberglass stock.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Good Bye to my .338 Win Mag

Ted Gaillard inspected my rifle and found that the bore was actually pretty good. I thought it might be, as the rifle looked like it had little use when I bought it used. He even showed me the bore in detail with his bore scope. Of course I found the bore scope to be very cool. I was amazed at how closely I could see every little detail in my bore. Turns out I had some copper tracing present. I found that a bit odd, as I had just cleaned the bore with a spray in foaming bore cleaner. Ted didn't seem too concerned with the tiny amount of copper he found, so I am not too worried.

So I asked Ted to take his time re-crowning the muzzle and chambering the barrel in his .338 Galliard cartridge. He was even kind enough to set me up with what I thought was far to good a deal on the .338 Gaillard two die reloading set from Redding.

So I have until next year to start gathering up piles of 8mm Remington Magnum brass, magnum rifle primers and powder. I  just hope the factory Remington stock isn't too light for this cartridge. I don't want to develop a flinch from the recoil.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Torn Between Two Worlds

I am standing firmly with one foot in the Geek world and the other in the Gun world. What a weird mix? On one side I am a computer nerd. You know the type. I love Linux. I want to teach my self the Ruby programming language. I am a network administrator wannabe. On the other side of the coin, I love guns. I love how they work. I enjoy the science behind their function. I love learning about external ballistics and ballistic coefficients. I enjoy spending hours hand loading my own ammunition to perfection.

Is this normal?

As a result of my strange interests (only strange in that they are very unrelated), I find that many people are shocked to find I am interested in one of either guns or Linux. Here's what I mean:  People I bump into at gun shops or at the range, find it odd that the big redneck facing them enjoys configuring an Apache server. Then there are the times I surprise other geeks when they find out that I actually enjoy collecting military surplus firearms.

If only I could combine Linux with guns. Any ideas?

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

No luck with the Super Sniper scope

As you can tell by my recent posts, I am in gun mode.

recently I was hoping to acquire teh Super Sniper scope from SWFA. Despite it's silly name, my research indicated it was a great scope. Good enough in fact to win the US Navy contract, and also find itself used amongst other US forces areas. It was a good price too, compared to the expensive Leupold, Leicas, and Nightforce offerings.

Sadly though, SWFA will not ship to other countries. I can see why their policy makes sense, but I have to admit it is disappointing.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

It's time to start saving money

I am going to have to start saving any cash I can. I decided to build my first custom rifle, and it won't be cheap. Unlike a some folks, I will not be spending $3000 - $5000 on the rifle, but I can see at least $1000 disappearing pretty quickly. Using budget components is still a little expensive for someone like me. A inexpensive tactical stock is $190. A barrel is probably $300. A decent (cheap) scope is at least $300. Chambering is going to be at least $200. Then I will have to accurize the system, and I really have no idea what that will set me back.

Looking over all this, it could almost convince me not to do this.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Rechambering one of my rifles

I'm about 95 % sure I will be re-chambering one of my rifles. My buddy Bill has been reporting great results with the 8.6 x 72mm Swamp Donkey Magnum I think I will follow suit, and chamber my left handed Remington 700 in the .338 Gaillard cartridge. It's basically the same cartridge, with some minor differences in shoulder angle. Essentially this is a 8mm Remington Magnum necked to .338 cal. It has a slight body taper, improved capacity, and a good shoulder. It is one hell of a great cartridge.

It has a fair bit of recoil, but I have shot my .338 Winchester Magnum enough, that I don't mind recoil. You just have to learn to ride with it.

I will visit the wildcat cartridge's creator Ted Gaillard soon and have my barrel inspected. This will tell me if the old barrel is worth re-chambering or not. In the future I will get a new barrel from Ted, and try to scrap up enough cash to get a decent stock and trigger job.

I can't wait.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

I am actually reading a book

Sounds a little weird doesn't it? I am actually reading a book other than a technical manual. After what is probably ten years, I have finally decided to enhance my life by getting back into recreational reading. Admittedly, the books I selected are firearm related (historical). I figured that I should at least start reading again with something I might actually enjoy enough to finish.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Does Linux suck?

Every once in a while I try to recall just how far back it was when I began using Linux.

I remember using a version of Slackware that was available for purchase on some nice Infomagic CD sets. I also recall Redhat's Mother's Day release (very slick compared to Slackware back then). I can also remember months before these handy CD distributions were available, downloading individual floppy images from the Internet over my pathetic modem, just to get Slackware to install.

So when was it? I'm guessing that this was around 1995. Twelve years seems like a long time doesn't it? Wait, it's even longer. Version 1.0 (Mother's Day), was back in November 3, 1994 (1.2.8 kernel). I definitely recall downloading those floppy images I mentioned even before that release. Thirteen years! Now I feel old. Eve though I recall testing a version of Linux with kernel version 0.99 with my buddy Rick., I wasn't using it as early as some folks. They were using Linux as far back as 25 August 1991, when Torvalds first made his famous post to comp.os.minix.

Linux wasn't exactly smooth back then. Version 1.0 of March 1994 supported only single-processor i386 machines. When Linux 1.2.0 was released it only had 310,950 lines of code. Even after installing it, I wasn't sure what Linux was capable of doing for me, but I kept exploring. Using X Windows was not exactly easy back then. It was not like it is today. In the good old days, FVWM was perhaps the most popular desktop/window manager around. I had to edit all the conf files by hand for that little beauty, but I loved doing it. If I wanted to go on the Interenet with Linux, I had to jump through several hoops. Now people complain about wireless support in Linux. Ha! We had to hand configure scripts just to dial up with either PPP or SLIP. Once we got on the net, we had nothing like Mozilla, Firefox, or Opera. We used Mosaic or Amaya.

Linux was definitely an interesting and fun challenge back then. Computer system resources were low, especially for poor people like me. I was thrilled to have a entire MB of memory, but I knew that Linux ran better with more available memory. So what's does a Linux lover do to free up memory? He compiles his kernel to strip it of absolutely all unneeded stuff. I would configure the settings and start my kernel compilation before bed. My little 486 SLC would take all night to give me my fresh, thin kernel. Getting up in the morning to find that I made the slightest error meant I could watch the compile process on my screen for another 5 to 7 hours. Half a decade later I recall using a dual Pentium Pro board and having a contest with a buddy to see who could compile a kernel the fastest. Twenty minutes to get a new kernel built, whoo hoo, I was a kernel compiling god.

Learning how Linux worked back then was great. Everybody was using Windows, and this new operating system was so alien. It was exciting to find that after researching something really complicated and finally figuring it out, that I had just seen the tip of the iceberg. Linux and all of it's tools, apps, configurations, and languages, was so vast, it felt like taking first steps into the new world. I was an explorer.

I used to sit happily and not complain too much about re-compiling my X server to trim it of all the unwanted junk, or building my own scripts to launch windows. There was no handy GDM or KDM back then, I had to know the startx command intimately. Even with all the manual configuration, and lack of important apps and tools, I never complained too much. I was in love.

Now I wonder if Linux is starting to suck. After all these years and all the different distributions of Linux, I find that Linux is doing things to piss me off. Years ago, I found Linux to be very solid and reliable despite its youth. Perhaps I was looking at Linux through rose colored glasses. Now I find it locks up, or does silly shit just to make me grit my teeth. How many distributions do I have to fiddle with before I find a decent Debian based distro that doesn't screw up when it encounters my Intel based sata controller? Ubuntu handles the controller. Why not Sidux, or Mint Linux, and some others? Why do my recent installations (tested with different distributions) sometimes cause my KDM display to be massively huge with what appears to be a ridiculously large virtual, scrolling display? Sure I can restart the X server, and it magically cures itself, but why should I have to? Lately I notice that in Ubuntu, I have to hit enter after everything loads at boot up, or the screen just sits there as if

it is taking hours to complete rc.local. Having to hit enter just to get a login sucks. Those types of annoyances never happened years ago. As problems, I'm sure that to some people, these little gripes of mine are all too trivial to complain about. Are there other more pressing issues in Linux that I am simply not aware of? I also wonder if I am using my selective memory and not considering some real annoyances in Linux that bothered me years ago. Maybe Linux doesn't suck any more or less then it ever did.

It still beats Windows.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Goodbye Readyboost

I gave Readyboost a shot. I thought it was going to make Vista perform better. The multiple web pages describing its benefits had me convinced that Readyboost was worth trying.

I don't get it. I think I may have expected too much. I thought I would see some sort of difference. As far as I can tell, Readyboost is useless. Remember those cola tests where someone was blindfolded and tried to compare one cola from another? I bet that if i sat in front of two identical laptops with same software and everything, but one used Readyboost, I couldn't tell the difference.

So now what do I do with a 2 GB Sandisk SD card?  I found that our new, and inexpensive Electrohome DVD player, shows AVI and picture content from SD cards. So I didn't waste $30 after all.

Friday, September 7, 2007

I cancelled my VDS at

Today I canceled my Virtual Private Server at ServerAxis. It wasn't because of bad service or anything. In fact Server axis had a really great system with lots of ram, gigs of space, and lots of bandwidth. Why cancel? Frankly, their service was too good for me. I need to mess around with a server at home for a while before I invest in the quality they offer.  Their VDS was wasted on me.

I am such a Linux server admin wannabe.

My latest rifle

I have added a picture of my latest rifle to my photo gallery. I can't wait to shoot this one. It's a Savage model 116FLSS in .223 Rem. The photo is here.

Foaming bore cleaner

I love this stuff. I have read or heard enough references of how great this stuff is. Yesterday I finally tried it out. I have to say am very impressed. It is so easy to use, and it sure pulled a lot of crud out of the bore on my old M96 (1914). I thought I had thoroughly cleaned this rifle before, as I typically soak, brush, and swab a bore pretty well. Foaming bore cleaner went even further. I couldn't believe the crap that came ou. It wasn't just the blueish residue I expected from years of copper, but enough blackening to make me consider filling the bore with foam again.

Looking through the bore later made me real happy. This old rifle now has a sparkling bore, that doesn't look 93 years old.

I need to buy more of this cleaner, and do all the firearms. I wonder how much crap will come out of my old 1891 Mosin Nagant.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

My memory sucks and I am too cheap (and broke).

I picked up a brand new rifle recently. She's a beauty! It's Savage 116FLSS in .223 Remington. Look here I purchased a bunch of ammo so I could break the barrel in, and even slapped a budget scope on it. Then I thought, "damn, I don't even have a .22 cal cleaning rod. How can I clean between shots on break-in?"

I was mentioning this to my buddy Bill the other day. I then reached for my only cleaning rod and realized that it was a 44 inch rod marked 22'' to 24''. That was a little embarrassing. I recall now that when I started purchasing equipment back when I got into firearms, I selected a rod diameter that I could use on multiple bore sizes. Why couldn't I remember that! What a cheapskate too. It is actually better to have a rod match the bore you are cleaning, but to save money I took the short route.

Now I need at least 3 more rods.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Vista's Readyboost

I picked up a 2GB SD card today so I could use it with Vista's Readyboost technology. What is Readyboost? Well, supossedly, it can can improve system performance because it can retrieve data kept on the flash memory more quickly than it can retrieve data kept on the hard disk, decreasing the time you need to wait for your PC to respond. (Okay, that was obviously a description I found online.)

I am just curious if this will actually make a difference in Vista's performance. Anyone know if there's a Linux equivalent?

Friday, August 31, 2007

I'll never learn not to buy cheap electronics

Time after time. Over and over again. I always seem to cheap out and buy electronics with those strange names no one is really familiar with. Stay away from the PYE Video DVD recorder. What crap!

Do I really need a DVD recorder?

Friday, August 24, 2007

I have a new gallery

Check out my new gallery. I have few pics up already. Use the link on the right or go to

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Going Through Withdrawal

I'm in need of a fix.

I realize that so far this year, I have only fired about 20 rounds of ammunition. In past years I have fired hundreds, or thousands. I don't really know what happened this year to make me get out there and shoot less, but I think I may have been disappointed with some recent evens in my shooting and hunting community.

I'm over that now. It's time to dust off the reloading press and begin cranking out some ammo. What will it be? 338 Win Mag, 6.5x55mm, 7.63x54mm? Maybe some more .308?

Heck, why not all of the above?

See you at the range.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Mono sucks!

I don't mean the Novell sponsored open source project that provides the necessary software to develop and run .NET client and server applications on Linux, Solaris, Mac OS X, Windows, and Unix. I am referring to mononucleosis, an infection usually caused by the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV).

I have ZERO energy left. All I want to do is sleep, and I generally feel like hell all over. I always thought this was a "kissing disease" that kids got. Surprise! Adults get it too.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Number One

So if you can read this, I have moved over to a new web host. My last provider had a couple of issues, so I thought I should try someone else out. I went with a low cost host. I look at it this way, if the new host has issues too, at least I'll be spending far less on similar service.

That said, welcome to my little piece of the network pie.