What is that?
It's a duck pond.
Why aren't there any ducks?
I don't know. There's never any ducks.
Then how do you know it's a duck pond?

Wednesday, October 26


Remembering Steven Den Beste

Steven was brilliant, a former engineer with a crackerjack mind. His old blog, U.S.S. Clueless was tremendously important in the early days of the 'blogosphere'. It is hard to overstate the importance of U.S.S. Clueless and the brilliance of his analysis. Sadly, that site went down this past week as well, when Steven's server failed. That site was immensely influential to many of us, and I am far from the only person he inspired to blog or helped along.
Thankfully, U.S.S Clueless has been preserved here.

All of this was part of a brilliant thinker that also had the ability to take those thoughts and write them legibly. He didn't do straight humor very much, perhaps his only weakness and perhaps the only category I would say I was at least his equal in. Everything else, however? There's a reason he was one of the first bloggers to wind up published semi-occasionally in the mainstream media.
I had always thought Den Beste was an exciting writer, in the sense that you never really knew what kind of Learning Adventure you'd be going on when you clicked on his blog. He had a Renaissance Man's mind; he seemed to know a great many things, and fairly esoteric ones besides, and could explain them with clarity and a great deal of speed -- zippiness.
Another sad note: Steven Den Beste has died. He wrote at USS Clueless during the early years of warblogging, and gave it up for reasons I can’t remember. Possibly got tired of it all. It happens. Turned away from the world to write about anime, like an editorial writer at a paper quitting to write about model airplanes. (Buxom model airplanes.)
Ed Driscoll
Den Beste also demonstrated how infinitely flexible blogging could be. Glenn, Mickey Kaus, Sullivan and Virginia Postrel specialized in short posts offering news aggregation and commentary, but Den Beste seemed to effortlessly generate 1,500 to 3,000 word essays on the GWOT and other breaking news events every night. Of course, they only looked effortless to those of us reading them. I imagine the work that went into them eventually contributed to Den Beste’s health issues, and the merciless brickbats he received from the tolerance and diversity-obsessed left eventually led him to focus his blogging primarily on anime and other lighter fare.
Pete Zaitcev:
From the beginning, Chizumatic offered a strong editorial voice for the most competent direction and the cutest girls, as well as an excellent understanding of the classical blogging, which Steven brought with him from the political arena. Explanations and WMG/TMWwere another hallmark. Did you think too that the crow inHaibane Renmeirepresented Rakka’s dog? We aren’t getting such insights anymore and the animeblogging has become poorer for that.
J. Greeley
In his typical way, he explained precisely what the effect was and how it would be accomplished with view camera movements, but he couldn’t figure out how someone had done it with a live model in a public place, as part of an otherwise unexceptional glamour shoot.
Marc Miyake:
And yet while in retreat from the world, while enduring those permanent side effects, he chose to reach out ... to me. He and I talked about anime and the Japanese language. He was new to both of my lifelong interests. For years I had been learning from him; now the relationship was reversed.
Someone that most of us here respected and cared about has passed away: Steven Den Beste.

You can read something about Steven here. Because Steven was a commenter here over the years — something that I found very humbling — I thought that the best tribute I could write would be to republish his first and last comments here.

Unless you were around in the early days of the blogsophere, you may not have heard of Steven den Beste, and the news that he has died may not mean much to you.

But to those of us who remember him, he was a giant.

Perry de Havilland:
Steven DenBeste, who ran a blog called USS Clueless back in the early days when we were all known as "warblogs”, has pressed Ctrl+Alt+Del and gone to the great blogroll in the sky. Steven and I often agreed on things, for he was certainly not an ‘idiotarian’, but we often crossed swords as well. Like me he was an atheist but nevertheless, Godspeed Good Sir, you were part of the social media New Wave before anyone called it social media.
He was an incredible writer with a gift for condensing complex ideas into teachable form. He forced me to be more rigorous and think through my positions, strengthening me and making me a better writer and blogger about politics. In a strange way he was akin to a mentor, despite our differences.
Steven, an engineer and a gifted writer, was among the most influential of the early bloggers of the 21st Century. He was named as one of the "Four Horsemen of the Ablogalypse," along with Glenn Reynolds, Charles Johnson, and Andrew Sullivan. (Johnson and Sullivan have since gone insane, leaving Reynolds as the only one of the four still carrying on.) Big-name bloggers such as Bill Quick and Bill Whittle have cited him as a profound influence on their style. I think his writings ultimately influenced everyone that read his words.
Jim Geraghty:
A software engineer by trade, exhibiting a precise logic in his thinking, Den Beste was acerbic, sharp and often charmingly irascible. I recall him writing at length about people who wrote in to correct him when they were actually wrong, and he would e-mail me with passive-aggressive appreciation when I would link to him but misspell his name. I missed his playful cantankerousness when he had merely stopped blogging. He’s missed even more now.
John C. Carlton:
Back when the interwebs were new and blogs had not even been a thing a few that started stood out. Especially in the more or less right thinking universe. One was a quirky blog called USS Clueless, which tended to far from clueless. USS Clueless, along with Instapundit and the blog that I’m not going to name were the three go to blogs of the early 21st Century. The blog was written by Steven Den Beste and was almost always insightful.
Bill Quick

Daily Pundit owes equal credit to Instapundit and the U.S.S. Clueless for its very existence, as both provided primary inspiration for my own comparatively paltry efforts. And though Steven and I fell out and parted ways some years ago, I will miss him terribly.

The Blogosphere has lost some great ones over the years. Steven was one of the greatest.

Michael Hendrix:
It’s a deep well indeed, and well worth your attention, although there’s way more there than just what we used to call warblogging. It’s a crystal-clear snapshot of a moment in time before we really knew just what kind of darkness we were doomed to struggle against, and as such is enlightening in more ways than I can begin to explain.
Ben from Dustbury:
Whether he was talking about the three laws of thermodynamics or the relative merits of a panty fighter ecchi series, Den Beste was always thorough, thoughtful, entertaining, and hated suggestions and recommendations.

Goodbye, Steven. You will be missed.


Other posts where commenters remember Steven:

MetaFilter where Steven was a long-time member.

Sarah Hoyt and Glenn Reynolds at Instapundit.

Tim Blair

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Tuesday, October 25


Steven Den Beste

I got a note from a mutual friend this morning confirming the sad news - Steven Den Beste has passed away.

Although he mostly retired from political blogging years ago, he continued posting about lighter topics here at mee.nu, and I've been in touch with him almost daily over those years.  I respected and admired him as much as anyone I've known, and I've been proud to call him a friend.

He's been in poor health lately following a stroke in 2012, but while he grumbled sometimes, he never complained.  So this still came as a shock to me, a tragic loss of a friend and a member of my little community here.

He will be sorely missed.

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Saturday, October 22



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Friday, October 21



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Sunday, October 09


Marble Madness

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Easiest thing to do turned out to be reset Windows entirely.  Azusa is working now.  And also suddenly has lots of free disk space.  

So, yay.

I'm not getting a signal on the HDMI port, but I'll wait for the post-install stuff to finish before I worry about that too much.

Edit: After poking around in the Intel drivers, I found the setting to re-enable the HDMI output.  This model  - a Dell Inspiron 15 7000, model 7548 - has dual graphics, integrated and dedicated, and switches between them dynamically.  It seems that resetting Windows caused it to forget how to do that.  Still better than the Black Screen of Death, but hardly ideal.

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Git The Princess

This is 110% accurate.

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Saturday, October 08


The Fun Never Starts

So, Azusa, my shiny Dell notebook, got unceremoniously murdered by an errant Windows update (as if there were any other kind).

I can get it to boot in safe mode (which is now completely undiscoverable - if you don't know how to reach safe mode, you will never find it).*  Windows 10 has apparently lost the network and video drivers, which means that when booting normally I get a black screen and no network access.  Booting into safe mode loads the default video drivers, which don't work right on this hardware (it has dual video controllers and a 4K screen) but work enough.

I downloaded the network drivers, put them on a USB drive, and copied them onto the Azusa - because once the network is working again, I can download anything else I need.

And you know what?  You can't install drivers while running in safe mode.  And since the drivers are broken, I can't run anything when I'm not in safe mode.

Thanks a whole lot, Microsoft.

Apparently the solution is:
REG ADD "HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\SafeBoot\Network\MSIServer" /VE /T REG_SZ /F /D "Service"
net start msiserver
Which is about as undiscoverable as you can get.

And I have to type that by hand.  I can't copy and paste because the drivers are broken.

* Shift-click the power button in the login screen, then reboot.**  That will give you a menu where you can choose safe mode, and, you guessed it, reboot again.

I think a mid-level manager at Microsoft asked his team "How can we make things as annoying as possible for someone who is already having a very bad day?" and they then had a very productive brainstorming session.

** How undiscoverable is it?  I just did it, and I still didn't know how to do it.  You click the power button, and then shift-click the restart option.  Shift-clicking the power button itself does you no good at all.  And holding down shift gives you no indication that anything has changed.

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CursorSense + BetterSnapTool

And Apple, if you would kindly stop breaking essential functionality, I would appreciate it.

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So I finally found a mouse driver that makes using a 27" iMac bearable, and Apple updates their so-called operating system and now it doesn't work any more.

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