Tuesday, February 5, 2002

Advogato Entry 261

So much crap to do.. At least nothing is due for about a week, but I still better get cracking..

Had to deal with a stupid chirping fire alarm today. The thing kills batteries for some reason. Anyway, had maintenance come up and replace it, and they even took away the doors we took off of the closet over a year ago. With the doors on, you can't even fit jackets into the closet, so they're basically useless.. At any rate, it gives us another few inches in the den area, since they were stuck behind the couch.

I managed to get the old P100 that was sitting in a corner connected back up to the big stereo in the apartment. It's running ESD and listening over the network, so I can use my laptop with wireless and send decoded music out to some nice big speakers. Of course, now I just need to find some decent music to play ;-)

Been listening to the Ogg Vorbis streams for the BBC's Radio 1. They can suck just as much as the stations around here, but they don't have ads and they play different music, so they suck in different ways ;-) At any rate, they still play some good dance music -- a genre that is severely lacking here in the US, IMO..

Posted to Slashdot about that Kenwood Music Keg. Too bad it doesn't actually play Oggs yet. I guess PalmOS 5 is coming out soon, and will be on the ARM platform, so maybe some good decoding routines for ARM processors will show up soon.

Still waiting for XFree86 4.2.0 packages to show up for Debian. I really really hope it finds it's way into woody, though I suppose I shouldn't get my hopes up. Oh well, it's perfectly alright with me to keep my laptop running testing in perpetuity...

Anyway, I suppose I should actually try to start on my Computer Graphics homework..

Thursday, February 7, 2002

Advogato Entry 262

Having a bit of a crummy evening. I was tired this morning, and decided not to go to class. That was probably a bad move, and I stayed inside pretty much the whole day. Sarah and Josh brought me along to try out the Leaning Tower of Pizza that just opened downstairs. The pizza's pretty good, probably worth the price. As good as Papa John's is, I need some variety in my pizza diet ;-)

Anyway, I got reminded of things I didn't want to be reminded of while sitting across from Josh and Sarah. Blech.

Need to get some homework done soon. I'll have a busy weekend writing code or doing other work in pretty much all of my classes. I need to get some motivation to do that stuff. Not sure what the best place to do my work is. I've been doing a lot of stuff on my laptop these days, though I think it's probably easier to do programming on my desktop, where I have two monitors. The downside is that I can't relax on the couch with it ;-) Then again, even the laptop is annoying to deal with on the couch.

...And I do worry about the radio waves emananting from it into my legs.. I suppose it doesn't make me feel any better when the thing warms up to 50 degrees C or better..

Saturday, February 9, 2002

Advogato Entry 263

Got to hang out with Sarah for a while last night. Probably the first and last time that'll happen.

Anyway, it was pretty cool. She works over at the theatre building and has worked on a lot of audio equipment. For a class, she was looking at the characteristics of some microphones. I occupied myself by trying to help someone figure out how to do video feedback (we were in a TV studio). I was less than helpful, I'm sure ;-)

Learned all sorts of little things. I now know what phantom power is (or at least what it's used for), and I got some tips on how to properly wrap up cables. I guess the trick is to give the cable a twist every turn or so.. Lemme see if I can describe how to wrap them up. (BTW, I'm right-handed. There's probably a lefty way to do it).

Hold one end of the cable in your left hand, with the end pointing away from your body. First, just try to make a normal loop: grab the cable with your right hand using a power grip with your thumb pointing up (toward your left hand). Just bring your right hand up to your left and you should have a normal loop. The tricky part is next.

Grab the cable with your right hand again, but this time with your thumb pointing down and your palm facing up. As you bring the cable up to your left hand, twist your hand around so your thumb faces your body and your palm faces down. This'll look a little weird, as it will make a loop, but the cable will be dangling between this loop and the loop you made before, rather than on the side like you'd ordinarily expect.

Anyway, alternate between normal and twisted loops. The benefit of this is that it's supposed to be a little easier to unwrap, without getting those annoying loops that can lead to kinks in the cable. I'm not sure if there's really much benefit, but I did notice that I could feel some tension in the cable when I tried to make a loop of the wrong type. It probably can't hurt.. I think that using this method, you can wrap tighter loops of cable without having them unwind on you.. Unfortunately, it doesn't work very well when you'd ordinarily wrap a cable around something (like wrapping a mouse cord around the mouse).

Well, enough for now..

Sunday, February 10, 2002

Advogato Entry 264

Katz is going off on some strange tirade about pre-/post-9/11 movies on Slashdot. It got me thinking (for no good reason--It's a pretty poor review), and I realized I haven't written down my experiences of that day..

I don't remember when I rolled out of bed, but it was later than I wanted. My roommate had woken up and had left the room, so I figured it was time. I climbed into the chair at my computer, powered up the monitors, and started my daily morning browsing. I think I hit Slashdot first, and the top story was the first article of the planes hitting the WTC towers. I tried getting to some news websites, but couldn't get anywhere.

I turned around and powered up the TV and turned it to CNN. With my groggy morning eyes, I saw a wide-angle shot of the towers. It looked entirely fake, but I figured if it was on CNN...

I came out of my room and went into the den. I turned off the music my roommate had started up, and turned on the TV out there. I still wasn't fully awake, and could barely manipulate the remote controls well enough to get it turned to CNN. I tried to tell my roommate what happened, but I didn't know anything. Some big planes had hit the World Trade Center.

Anyway, nobody knew anything, so I took a shower. I can't remember much else that happened. I know that the sky was very clear and blue. I came into the business school building where I work, and saw a huge crowd of students watching TV, but I felt like avoiding the coverage until people actually knew something. I went into my office area and sat down at the computer, trying to do some work, but I was thinking too much.

I was chatting with people on IRC, and was informed when the towers fell. I didn't have a TV at that point, so I didn't know they'd pancaked. I just couldn't imagine it.

Anyway, I sat around at the business school for a while, but I was going a bit stir-crazy. I walked to Taco Bell, about 15 minutes away on foot. On the way there, I saw a small United States flag protruding from a building. September 11th was a primary election day, and the flag was there informing people that they could go vote.

That was probably the last time a flag really made me feel good. It was a puny little thing, only a few inches in size, but it meant so much that morning. I smiled, and kept walking.

I got to Taco Bell. One employee was on the phone, looking out the window at downtown. She said, ``I know they're going to target downtown.'' It never actually happened, but people were worried. Anyway, I ate and tried to remain calm.

I got back to my desk and tried to work again. There were still way too many things racing through my head, plus I got a little worried by the fact that the business school is a very shiny corporate-looking building. I decided to head home.

I got home and spent some time watching coverage, browsing the web and chatting on IRC. That day, classes were supposed to start late for me, around 12:30. I was hearing that they may have canceled classes. Before long, I found they had..

I walked to class, finding a notice on the door saying that classes after noon were canceled. I started heading back to the apartment, but decided to see if my brother was at his dorm room. We got some lunch and hung out for the afternoon, though definitely it wasn't the most entertaining time we'd spent together. I spent most of my time watching TV, while he played Civilization on my computer.

In a lot of ways, it was a very dull day. It was very strange to feel so affected by something that happened half a continent away.

Strangely, the events since then have made me less interested in the news. I'm sure there's a lot of stuff going on that I'd like to hear about, but it gets drowned out by `The War on Terror'. Hell, I just wish the cable news channels would get rid of all of that extra crap on the screen so I wouldn't have to get reminded of it as I flip through the channels..

Hmm. There are some other things floating around in my head, but a bunch of it has already been posted, so I don't want to re-write it..

Saturday, February 16, 2002

Advogato Entry 265

On AIM today:

Me: up to anything today?
Sarah: yeah...dinner and a play with Josh
Sarah: I'm trying to figure out where to go for dinner.
Me: ah.. what's the play?
Sarah: hehe...Vagina Monologues'
Me: heh.. can't really tie in any food with that :-p
Sarah: haha
Sarah: WELL
Me: lol

Heh. I was just conveniently `forgetting,' but she did her own thing.. Pretty funny

Sunday, February 24, 2002

Advogato Entry 266

Hmm. Haven't posted for a while.. I've been pretty busy with homework for classes and stuff. Stayed up late a few nights, up 'til 3AM or even later. I hope I can get started on homework sooner from now on, but I haven't had much luck with that over the past several years..

I spilled some Mountain Dew on my laptop a few days ago. It only affected the PgUp key in the upper right corner, but it was really annoying. I disassembled the system, bending the keyboard a bit in the process (always read the instructions when first working on a laptop). I haven't been able to fix it -- I've basically just spread sticky liquid around by dribbling water on the keyboard. I hear that a new keyboard is about $45..

Anyway, I should get working on some of my networking homework.

Wednesday, February 27, 2002

Advogato Entry 267

Not a whole lot going on. Avoiding homework. Read all of Mega Tokyo. 1 0w|\| j00 ;-)

Anyway, I suppose I should get to bed. Damn 8:15 classes.

Thursday, February 28, 2002

Advogato Entry 268

I've done a lot of browsing today, picking up little bits about the updated Microsoft settlement. I don't even know where the settlement is, though.. I guess I don't feel like reading that now anyway ;-)

Reading about some networking stuff. I'm getting kind of concerned about the lack of IPv6 deployment, but I was amazed at the fact you can just do `apt-get install freenet6' on Debian Woody and get an IPv6 address. With a little fiddling, you can have your very own /48 prefix (sort of, it goes through some ISP in Canada). At any rate, it's a good stepping stone. I saw that it's now possible to set up reverse DNS entries for the IPv6 addresses you get through Freenet6, which would be a good thing to work on and see if IPSec/IPv6 works.. I guess I need to look into using a USAGI patch..

I need to get my roommate to plug into our Linksys WAP11 access point so I can get IPv6 going over the 802.11 connection in my apartment.

I wonder if I'll get a chance to fiddle with IPv6 on our wireless gateway at work.. Not sure if I want to play with that or not ;-)