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“I’m half the man I used to be.” –STP, Creep

I wasted pretty much the entire day. Last night I stayed up late hanging with my -|HtK|- Counterstrike clan going from server to server wreaking havoc, then slept in until 1:00. Only then did I waste more time. I’m pretty sure I got nothing useful done today. I’m considering either trying to get something useful started, or simply going to bed and starting tomorrow off right by waking up early. I guess I can fold clothes… At least el bloggo got me back on track, if not entirely happy. :-/

Picture day

The captions on the pictures pretty much describe my day after church. I thought i might be getting sick, but rest and fluids seem to have made me feel much better.

I have isntalled FreeBSD 5.0 on sf2, and I am working on learning it so I can do a decent job of installing it on the Prosignia (if I get it working) to eventually replace the wadi, the PPro-180 now chugging away behind the scenes.

Short Night, Long Day, Lots Done

Radio stations here in Seattle have gotten much better recently. First, 107.7 The End switched to a new format where music was emphasized, especially the alternative music that defined The End in its earlier years; DJ’s were deemphasized (a move I wholeheartedly agree with), and in general, there was more music to talk. Then I found out that 96.5, formerly The Point, an 80’s station, is now KRock, “Alternative Seattle,” an alternative rock radio station who’s musical selection seems to be even better than The End’s new format. Between the two I have found radio bliss, something I haven’t experienced in Seattle since 1997.

Today, I woke up at a sleep-defying 7:00 am in order to pick up Bobby and Jacob at the UW and get them to Larry’s around 8:00. We ended up pulling in at 8:40, but the three of us were able to turn the tide and convince the group that our idea for a strategy was feasible – basically, we’re building a huge arm that happens to not preclude any other strategy; it should make everyone happy. With another top-notch drivetrain coming from Larry and Dave, we should once again have the best combination of power and speed out on the field, and if we do the arm right, we should be nigh unstoppable. Hanging and small balls then become icing on the cake known as winning the Pacific Northwest Regional, and if we are able to raise $4000, the National Championship as well.

We broke for lunch, having crunched numbers and checked feasibility to determine that our arm could concievably lift 200 pounds at 5 feet – a figure which made us all giddy with excitement. After lunch and some small work on Inventor, we headed back to the UW with Chris and Tim. There, I soon fell asleep and got nothing accomplished before returning home, where I got my Dad’s new WET11v2 working for him before coming up here, writing this, enjoying 107.7 and 96.5, and feeling hungry for the fourth time today.

Four day weekend begins

Today, I made some prints of a few select negatives. I am in love with 8×10 prints. So much detail and so beautiful if done right. I used a grain focuser (a very nifty tool) and found an enlarger that I like. It is pure magic watching your image apear on the paper as you dip it into the developer. After shcool, I finished off the Bearing block design (see left panel), then hung out with Amy and found out that there is still time to raise money for Nationals. We have both gotten a second fundraising wind. Wish me luck!

A Wednesday to Remember

You may have noticed that I always seem to be in a good mood when posting these entries. Well, I have noticed too, and it clearly means I should post more often since reflecting on my life, in general, tends to make me happy.

Early this morning, before going to sleep, I got closer to finishing Timeline. After waking up, which was hard, I made it to Calculus and then dropped by Dan’s place where I took a look at his darkroom setup. He has converted his laundry room to have everything needed to make prints. While the school has bigger, sturdier, and more specialized equipment, this laundry-room darkroom will be indispensable when the school�s darkroom is crowded with students. Also, the hours are more convenient. We went to class together. The teacher repeated his lecture on f-stops and shutter speeds. As exciting as it is (which it is not), I knew all the content before the first lecture, and the third time didn�t make it any more endearing. Dan is convinced that our teacher is paid by the word. After the lecture, we went into the darkroom to learn how to make contact prints and test strips. Useful information, if we had had any time left to use it.

After a small lunch, Dan and I returned to the darkroom. He had only set up 5×7 developing bins, so I made a few 5×7 prints displaying the effects of different apertures. I still need to finish off my last roll and develop it. I also want to use the BCC darkroom for some full-page contact prints and some 8×10 work.

Windows is installed on Kleinoscope — It will still be until the weekend at least until it is fully functional with all the programs on Mobius here. After I get the cord on Mobius repaired, I have to figure out what to do with it. One thought that has crossed my mind is to sell both laptops and with the resulting funds buy a very nice Dell laptop with swappable battery packs, a real video card, higher resolution, and so on. The two computers combined should go for over $2000. That�s quite a laptop. Nevertheless, the original idea behind Mobius is that it would be a long-term investment � a productivity laptop that would last years. That�s why I got a protection plan for it – a decision that in hindsight I would reconsider, but it still has a year and a half to make itself worthwhile. If I want a high-power machine, then I think I should get a new desktop. But these are all hard decisions. It�s interesting how winning a laptop can lead to so many more questions.

I am writing this in MS Word, so that spelling gets corrected. I hope it makes things easier to read. Leave a comment (like anybody does that) to let me know what you think. Tennis at 8:30 tomorrow, so I had better begin getting ready for bed.

1337 PhP Pr0gr4mm3r

My task, which I already accepted, is to take and de-coldfusionify it so it can be used on Parcom web servers. Since my language of choice is PHP, and Parcom (and every other half-decent web host) supports it, I am using PHP to replace the CFM. While it is some amount of work, I’m impressing myself with my 1337 PHP skillz. Yeah…

Anyway, today I spent too much time sitting around being tired, and now I’m getting hyper again. Can you say night owl?! I’m gonna try switching over to being an early bird, though. Maybe it’ll suit me better, if I would only ever go to sleep.

Cleaner room

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 has, 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.