Older blog entries for Mulad (starting at number 278)

Phone rings
Me: Hello?
Female voice: Is Dan there?</em>
Me: No. (as I start walking to the whiteboard) Can I take a message?
Female voice: This is Sara (I pick up the marker) from Hillel (I put down the marker). We're having an event tomorrow for Israeli Independence Day. (The image of a riot comes to my head -- of course, there was one just the other week when we won a hockey game..) If he's interested, have him call me at 555-1234.
Me: (Pretending to take the message) ...1234. Okay, I'll pass that along..

Dan's actually an atheist (though he was raised a Jew), but someone got him on Hillel's mailing list. I've been instructed to throw out mailings from them, etc..

My mental imagery is probably out of line, but there has been a lot of chatter between the Israeli and palestinian/Arab communities on campus (as I'm sure has been the case all over the world lately).

It's just weird how the people in these communities interpret the words from those on the other side. Seems like they can't even agree on simple facts. Of course, the conversations are flooded with hearsay. It seems like you'd have to tear down everything -- all of the supposed `knowledge' that people have -- and go back through with independent historians to clear up all of the misconceptions.

We can have peace in the region.. It'll just take a hundred years or so of research...

Anyway..

I've been sleep-deprived along with others.. It gets to be really bad when I have homework that I've procrastinated on, and then I have to stay up really late working on it.. I don't think this would be a problem if I had a regular job and could leave work at work.. Of course, I'm also a person that requires more sleep than the average (well, that's been my experience, at least).

Not sure why, but I tend to need 9-10 hours, but maybe I have other problems that contribute to that. For instance, factor into that the fact that it usually takes me 30 minutes or more to fall asleep. I'm also a fairly light sleeper, so the diesel trucks and buses running by on University Ave. don't really make life any easier..

I tend to sleep really well when I go home. In my childhood, I'd only be awakened by the garbage trucks that came by once a week, weather, and people clanging around in the kitchen.. Now I have to deal with planes and trucks all of the time, plus roommates and neighbors that turn up the volume too much..

I guess it's good that I have to move -- I just hope I can find a place in a quieter neighborhood..

Had a hell of a day yesterday.. I was trying to figure out texture mapping for my computer graphics course, but it just didn't happen. I just wasn't able to figure out how to get the appropriate (u, v) coordinates of a texture from a pixel on the screen. I think I just have a fundamental non-understanding of the math involved at the moment..

The annoying thing is that I was avoiding the course for most of college, knowing that it involved math that I didn't like. Finally, I was trying to figure out my schedule for this semester, and it looked like a good choice at the time.. Maybe I should have gone for that real-time systems course, but that might have been even worse...

The next assignment is a ray-tracer, which I'll have to work on every free minute I have, I think..

I'm so disappointed with myself today..

Not really understanding the relationship between hotplug, cardmgr (PCMCIA), and usbmgr. Apparently, I can't use both cardmgr and hotplug at the same time. Okay, I can, but the kernel event daemon (keventd) and cardmgr will both start the networking scripts when I insert my wireless Ethernet card.

I haven't been able to get hotplug alone to work with my ethernet card, so I apparently have to run at least cardmgr. I guess this means that if I want to do USB stuff, I need to run usbmgr, which obviously doesn't try to start the networking scripts.. I guess it's good I don't have FireWire on my laptop, otherwise I'd have to see if there was a firemgr or similar program...

I suppose I probably just didn't properly set up hotplug..

Well, I was hoping SpamAssassin would reduce my junk mail to zero, but it's still managing an 88% hit rate. Razor was probably only getting about 1/4 to 1/3 of the junk mail coming in to my mailbox. I get a lot of spam where there's some randomly-generated string in the message body, so comparing MD5 checksums doesn't work against that..

So cool that all it takes is an `apt-get install' on Debian (testing) to get both Vipul's Razor and SpamAssassin..

My computer graphics project got pushed back a few days, which is good, but I really need to make sure I use the time, rather than waste it.

Glad to see that the CBDTPA is pretty much being criticized from every direction. Even more pleasing is that people actually wrote into their congresscritters about it! I wrote to my representatives recently, but I was criticizing the idea of reducing restrictions on how many TV/Radio stations can be owned in a market, and I also threw in a few bits on how adding copy protection capabilities to HDTV sets is bad..

I'd like to get into a habit of writing my reps both in Washington and in the Minnesota congress on a regular basis. I haven't checked if my state reps have e-mail, though..

Seriously considering unleashing hell upon Lotus for making such a crappy e-mail client.. I work at a business school where pretty much everyone except me uses Notes. It seems amazing that mail gets delivered at all..

It definitely shows it's heritage as a `groupware' system, not designed at all to communicate over the Internet.. Hell, it doesn't even have message threading, and no messages ever have In-Reply-To (or similar) set in the headers.. Really sad..

Personally, I had thought that an XML format for e-mail might be kind of cool (if it was well thought out, and there were good mailers/interpreters both on the text console end and the GUI side of things). Looks like some of the big names got together and created one back in 1998. Of course, I don't think anyone is using it...

10 Apr 2002 (updated 10 Apr 2002 at 03:07 UTC) »

Finally got sick enough of getting junk mail that I installed SpamAssassin. I'd been using Vipul's Razor for a while, but it hadn't been working well enough. Of course, once I bothered to look I noticed that SpamAssassin now checks the Razor database as well, so I can kill two birds with one stone. Of course, it has tons of rules, so it's actually like killing a few hundred birds with one stone.

Anyway, I saw someone post a little bit of code for drawing a simple graph of score vs. time on messages, and decided to make one of my own. I suppose it'll be a while before my graph looks like much of anything, though..

I just wish it was as easy to attack the bandwidth over-usage in my apartment building..

I also was happy to see anti-aliased text when I pulled down a copy of Galeon 1.2.0 and Mozilla 0.9.9 from Debian unstable. I played around and even got sub-pixel rendering working on my laptop. Very nice. Too bad that the Render extension doesn't work very well on Xinerama. Mozilla/Galeon actually works great, but gdkxft and StarOffice just gunk up the screen when they are used on the second head.. I guess the Gecko engine uses the Render extension in a different way than other programs do.

Also started using Evolution as my mail client. I was happy to see that it synchronizes quite nicely with my Palm IIIx. I haven't really used that thing to it's full potential.. Hopefully integrating mail, calendar, to-do, etc., will be good for me. Evolution just doesn't seem designed for the power user, though.. Sylpheed is still better in many ways..

Oh yeah, I switched partly because of Sylpheed being somewhat buggy with regard to GPG-signed messages. Of course, it looks like Sylpheed, mutt, and Evolution all occasionally produce broken messages. Well, maybe not mutt..

Uuuhh.. just saw a really freaky bug in the Gecko engine. For a moment there, I could type text into the scrollbar.. very weird.. Oh well, I can't seem to repeat it..

Haven't written for a while.. I've been busy trying to keep from drowning in homework and studying for exams.

Played with CodeWeavers' CrossOver Plugin package, and actually paid for a license. Seems to work pretty well, though I've only used it for QuickTime and Windows Media Player so far. WMP doesn't work right on my laptop (probably because I have a crummy AC'97 sound device), but QuickTime works fine (especially after I set it to always output at 48000Hz).

I've had some of my wishes come to fruition lately, though. I hear that Coca-Cola is looking into producing vanilla-flavored Coke, and Deep Space Nine is going to be on TV tonight. I just hope another wish or two comes true.

Went to see Michael Moore tonight over in St. Paul. I was worried that he'd been lying about having overflow crowds for his book tour, but there really was a big line out the door of the church he was at, and there were a bunch of people who stayed out in the cold for 3 hours so that they could see him speak for the second time in one evening.

He showed some clips for his movie coming out this fall, Bowling for Columbine. Mostly, he just talked about stuff, but it was very funny, and it was cool to see people come together to talk about things that are supposedly unpopular here in the US at the moment.

Got in line to get into the church just behind the host of Mental Engineering, John Forde (eww.. that page definitely came out of something from Microsoft).. While we were all waiting to get in, someone in the line ahead of him asked, ``Anyone know what it's like inside this place?''

He said, ``No, I haven't been to church for a while,'' and paused.. ``I could tell you what the inside of detox looks like, though.'' That was pretty funny, but kinda not in the way I hoped..

Should really watch C-SPAN more often. I've seen some interesting discussions about civil liberties going on in the last few days.

It sounds like people are starting to wake up, looking past the war propaganda out there these days and starting to really talk about the laws that have been passed, and what might get passed in the future.

I read Michael Moore's book, Stupid White Men, the other day. It's pretty good, pretty funny. I wrote a review of it, though I don't know if it'll show up anywhere.. The book is a bestseller, though, so hopefully this means things are looking up.

I'll be busy tomorrow trying to figure out how to write an OpenGL program in my Computer Graphics course. I really didn't give myself enough time to get it done...

Bah. I've got a crush on Sarah. `Crush' seems like such a juvenile word, but it's the best word I have for whatever this is floating around in my head. Somehow, that simplifies things. I've seen and heard stories about crushes, so maybe that gives me a tool for finding a way out of the mess I'm in right now.

I don't know.. It seems to make things almost too simple.. I like believing that I'm a unique person, and knowing that other people have dealt with the same shit I have sometimes just makes me feel like I'm a tiny, insolent whiner.

Sorry for polluting the airwaves with this, but I'm under a lot of stress from homework and other stuff lately. I got a jury selection form in the mail last week. I don't know where I'm going to be living or working in the time period they mentioned. There was no obvious way for me to note that I'm a student, and I may still be in school then, but maybe I'm just afraid of doing it..

Anyway, things are just piled up right now. I wish I went to a University where we actually got a few days off every year (we get off Thanksgiving, Christmas (et al), and Spring Break -- nothing else). I guess Spring Break is only two weeks away, but all of this stuff I need to do is due before then..

I'm just hoping that Sarah and I can find some really good kind of friendship where it doesn't matter if I have a crush on her. I'd happily be an advocate for her almost anytime, and when she's around, I can actually clear my mind and get some work done (seems so backwards..)

Speaking of work.. I really need to get back to it..

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