02/01/2004: "Wow!"music: oasis - Champage Supernova
mood: Contentedly contemplative
Check out the page of Bernie Zimmermann at http://www.pleasureunit.com/bernie/. He is the writer of the only comment (so far at least) on my last post. Seeing websites that are pretty like his gets me to thinking about making my website pretty. In fact, it reminds me of a story about my early days with the Internet. And since I am in the mood, I will share the story with you…
My first website ever was titled “The Realm of Arcanius.” The name remains to this day – check out the title of this page. My brother was becoming interested in graphic design at the time (he was doing his senior project on computer aided graphic design, in fact) and he made me the logo, which really was the prettiest part of the site. And prettiness mattered, since I was locked in a battle for votes with my friend Dan’s “Lagomorph’s Lair” and he always seemed to be winning. I had decidedly more content in the form of stories, poetry, pictures, photos, and jokes, for what that was worth. But he had style. I have similar problems today. I am able to update this site fairly regularly (although I admit the pictures are getting stale), but I still have trouble making my sites all that pretty. I can make what I think are good looking logos and designs using Photoshop and freehand, but putting them together to make a good website had never been my strong point. My most successful websites have always been very simple, come-for-the-content websites. Of course, Mr. Zimmermann is a professional web developer – so I shouldn’t feel too bad that my site isn’t as good-looking as his.
So the story part of that (I know it wasn’t too clear) was that I made a website when I was in the eighth grade and I lost a competition to my friend. And I’ve kept the name ever since. So now, I might as well talk about how I picked up the name “Arcanius” anyway. Actually, I think I already talked about this (if you go to the first posts in the archives). But here it is again for those of you too lazy to go back (I would be too, so don’t feel bad). There was a game I played back in sixth grade called “Master of Magic.” It was fun, and it had two worlds – one called “Arcanus” and the other called “Myrror.” I took the former name, added the “i” (because I’m cool like that) and adopted it as my online name. I then proceeded to use the other world’s name as my password. In fact, you can probably find, somewhere, some account where “myrror” is still the password. But don’t count on it having anything useful if I haven’t logged recently enough to change the password.
And I might as well keep on going; it is good to remember. Well, the Lagomorph who always beat me in website design now attends the University of Washington – where I will probally be going by the end of the year. It is somewhat sad that we have drifted apart. We still get along, but we really don’t see each other much anymore – no real reason to, I guess. The same thing happened to Alex another friend from high school, and countless others as well. But some people I have continued to hang out with regularly – Scott, Maneesh, Amy. The difference is that the ones I have drifted away from don’t tend to find the time to do things with me, while the ones still in my life seem to always be willing to do things still. So it leads to a very simply but very important conclusion: continued close friendship takes continued inputs of time. There is simply no way around it. I will always be cordial with Alex and Dan, but already, I have nothing to talk to them about – they come online and I don’t message them, because I don’t have anything to say.
Now for an update on more current history: today. First, I did the Robotics thing, picking up a breakfast burrito as Casa D’s Tacqueria on Bellevue Way on the way to Larry’s house. Once there, Bobby and I worked on the design of the arm (we think it is pretty much finished now), participated somewhat in the betterment of the ball scooper-upper, and generally had ourselves a good time, before returning to 8, the eight-restaurant cafeteria in the basement of McMahon Hall. We seem to be eating there a lot, but Bobby does have 900-some dollars he needs to burn through before the end of the term, and I’m willing to help him as long as its not taking anything away from him. While eating and finalizing details on the arm, we watched the UW men’s basketball team put the spank on the Arizona State Sun Devils. Then we watched the Montlake parking area’s black of asphalt turn into glowing red of brake lights as thousands of fans exited the arena only to sit in their cars waiting to get out. Once the traffic had subsided, I returned home before running out to apply for employment at the low-risk, low-stress local Blockbuster, and to grab a movie and some groceries. I highly recommend the movie “Antwone Fisher.” I can’t say I cried, but my eyes did get damp. Of course, I’m pretty emotionally detached, so that’s a pretty good effect.
I’ll work on new pictures, and probably fix the error in PHPix which has hackers still attempting to compromise my system. Of course, I’m not sure if the hackers were directly related to Wadi’s crash, or if both events just happened to occur at the same time. In the meantime, I’ve thought of many ways that OS’s could be made more secure by default: some of these ideas are already implemented by Immunix, Inc. (www.immunix.com / www.immunix.org), although they use older technology. I’m too cutting edge (not quite beta, but everything up until thing pretty much) to deal with gcc < 3.0 or Apache < 2.0…. so while maybe its flawed in security, I get to learn and it’ll make me a better sysadmin in the meantime.