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01/13/2004: "Cleaner room"

music: Led Zeppelin - Stairway to Heaven; oasis - Acquience; Goo Goo Dolls - Iris; Bush - Glycerine; WMEA All-State 2001 Choir - Mi Y'malel; Wynton Marsalis - Canon for 3 Trumpets and Strings; No Doubt - Just a Girl;
mood: Hapily contemplative

Its been a few days. During these days, I've gone to bed too late, gotten up even later, and barely made it to school some days. I have also accomplished a lot. I developed my first roll of film, got Linux working - mostly - on the new laptop. Right now I'm compiling a 2.4.22 kernel, since the 2.6 kernel seems to be, while working, full of annoying missing modules and just not as friendly yet. I need to get ahold of a non-spyware version of Windows XP for the other 55 gb of the hard drive.

You may recall that I recently began using iTunes for Windows. It works well for buying music, but it is a terrible media manager. I tried importing all of my music and the program froze. I was forced to shut it down and feed it my music in smaller chunks. Quickly, with hundreds of songs, the library because unusable. So the store works alright, and the burning and other options seem nice, but as a media player is is crappy. Winamp, on the other hand, has been constantly upgraded from the good old days of 2.x, the version I, until recently, still used. Nullsoft, the developers of Winamp, began charging for a pro version of their version 5 video/music/everything else player. I didn't want an everything player. I wanted a highly customizable music player, and winamp 2.x was good, but with plugins harder to find, support dwindling, and the entire project moving in an unfortunate direction, I decided I had to find something better. iTunes clearly couldn't handle my needs, so the search began. This one ended relatively quickly with the installation of foobar2000, a highly customizable, extremely extensible, sleek, small, beautiful music player with built in support for global hotkeys. In short, it is everything I was hoping for and more. Congrats to the designers of this fine peice of software.

This is the third major software package that I have radically changed in the recent days. First I switched from Microsoft IE to Mozilla Firebird. Based on that incredible success, I tried, and adopted Mozilla Thunderbird as my mail client. Now I have migrated from WinAmp to foobar2000. I suggest to anyone with similar minimalist yet highly functional tastes as me to do the same.

Today my first class was Tennis; I seem to have a problem getting there on time. Most of the people in the class are beginners, but I did get a nice-looking girl as a partner; we'll see if anything happens there. For a first-timer, she was pretty good, drawing on her badmitton experience I suppose. The teacher, whom I met at the Bellevue Club, mentioned that he saw me there yesterday, which is indeed true. It was my first stop there in over a month. It was strange, all the tables seemed very small; in fact the whole resturant seemed very small. And really, it is a small resturant, but the effect was still strange. I was looking for my last paycheck which, apprently, HR hs, but I did not figure this out until after I left, having failed to find either Michael or Kytta. I did get to see Erica, Heidi, Jessi, Will, and Joe again - It was very good to see them again. Hugs from three pretty girls is certainly a perk of leaving the place on good terms. I will try again soon to pick up my paycheck.

Last night, two salepeople pitched an air filter and a surface cleaner (not a vacuum - its a medical device, you see) to us. We were impressed both by its ability to suck up what our vacuum missed and by its price tag. Within one week we will decide if we want to go for it. The salespeople were my age, and apparently the company is hiring; I'm going to give them a call and try to set up an interview to explore the possibility there. The hours might not be the best, but they said it was flexible - so we will see.

I just recompiled the Linux kernel again - it certainly is faster on this P4 2.8 Ghz than it ever was on Blackbrick, the P90 laptop that I bagan using Linux on last year. It looks like this kernel jams on boot... but wait, this time it made it. Interesting.

Somewhere between Linux and Windows is the optimal operating system. I have a 3 inch book to help me figure out if FreeBSD is that happy median. Complete control within a standardized system - so things work without trying too hard, but you can tweak things endlessly as needed for specific needs. Just that book is so intimidating. Speaking of books, I have quite a few I still have to begin and finish: The Bourne Ultimatum, Wild at Heart, Red Planet, A Beautiful Mind, and The Mind of Wall Street, just to name some that are in sight of me right now. But before I finish any of those, Timeline will have to go. Its just that much more itneresting.

Since this entry is pretty much just stream-of-conscience, here goes some more random information - I came up with a name for the new laptop: "Kleinoscope." It combines the idea of the 3-D mobius strip known as the Klein Bottle with what I think is a much better sounding name. Too bad its not too colorful (yet), or the Kaleidascope connation would fit as well. The computer has a few interesting problems - the first is that its power cord doesn't stay in as well as it should. It never falls out on its own, mind you, but jostling and make the cord fall out, so I have to keep an eye on it or it will randomly turn off from time to time, usually in the middle of compiling something while I'm away. Also, the PCMCIA port looks deflected and the left lower side doesn't taper like it should. Also, its missing a 9-pin serial connection. Its hard to complain about much else though; its a solid machine with USB 2.0, DVD+RW, Firewire. Of course I'll need windows for most of these features to be used in the way I wish to use them, thus I am looking for a non-spyware version of Windows XP and I'm contemplating even officially buying the Home -> Pro upgrades.


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