inessential by Brent Simmons


News flash! Sheila reports that Quicken 5 is not Y2K compliant.

Yellow Dog Linux has created two new lists for users of Linux on Macintosh hardware.

Connectivity problems today: my ISP's upstream provider appears to have a router problem. So my ISP switched my routing to go through another network. It's better, but I'm still seeing 15-30% packet loss most places. Some places I can't get to at all. Hell.

Update 3:45 p.m.: It was a problem with a router at UUNET, which appears to be fixed now. I'm getting 0% packet loss to

Speaking of hell -- before the Simpsons, Matt Groening did the Life in Hell comics. They were a huge hit when I was in college. Barnes and Noble doesn't seem to carry them, I can't get through to Borders right now, and I won't go to Amazon. If you see these books, buy them -- they may be out of print.

For people my age, 30-ish, all you have to do is mention Akbar and Jeff.

I went to the same college as Matt Groening, Evergreen State College, a liberal arts school in dormant Olympia, WA. He was there a few years before me. Another great cartoonist, Lynda Barry, also went to Evergreen.

When I was at Evergreen music was the thing. The biggest band was probably nomeansno, which came in second in some indie video contest on MTV (if I recall correctly). Nirvana played in dorm rooms, at keg parties, on the soccer field. The Screaming Trees were popular. My personal favorite was DangerMouse, named for the greatest secret agent in the world. Two of my roommates were in the short-lived lansdatblister, pseudo-German for "lance that blister" (which no one got).

College was hell, btw. Evergreen's raison d'etre was to provide a safe, woodsy setting for trust-fund hippies to smoke lots of pot. I was poor, more a New Wave kid than a hippie, and I'm one of the unfortunates who react badly to pot: I get cranky and paranoid, then I throw up. Nuts. It's a physical thing. I can't drink milk, either, pretty much the same thing happens.

Popular Evergreen joke in the '80s: Q: "Why did the 'greener cross the road?" A: "To get 15 credits."