Recent blog entries for bgeiger

return of the dork

I'm back! Now that I'm actually working on an open-source project (and getting paid for it) I figured I should start updating this again.


I now hold two Bachelor's degrees: one in Computer Science and one in Computer Engineering. I still feel like an idiot.


I'm working on the SOFTICE project: Scalable, Open (source), Fully Transparent, and Inexpensive Clustering for Education. It's an NSF-funded project through the University of South Florida, Lakeland campus.

The basic idea of the project is to use a cluster of inexpensive boxen to host a large number of User Mode Linux instances. On these instances, students can have root, and we don't have to worry about them destroying anything or disrupting network activity; they're effectively sandboxed from network use other than incoming ssh sessions.

My job is to design labwork for this system. For instance, one lab is to write a kernel module that overrides a system call. (We patch the UML kernel to export sys_call_table.)

It's fun, and I get paid to hack on the kernel...

Bram:The problem of draws in chess (even at low levels) are a source of frustration. Personally, I like to know the outcome of a game when it's over; a draw feels like a waste of time.

That's one of the many reasons I like Go. Draws are rare in any circumstance, and with a non-integer komi, draws are nearly impossible. (Of course, komi's intended purpose is not to resolve draws; its purpose is to offset the advantage of the first move. Chess, to my knowledge, has no comparable system.)

(Raph, would it be possible to have the MeatBall:InterMap site name not show up in the finished text when used within the <wiki> tag?)

don't try to hide (though they're screaming your name) -- evanescence, "whisper"

Still in school. Still unemployed.

Started my own (recently renamed) blog. I figured that most people don't particularly care about my personal day-to-day mundane life, considering I do so little in the FOSS community these days. Now I have a more appropriate place for my ramblings without cluttering Advogato.

I'll still post here occasionally, if I actually do something noteworthy.

o/~ i really ain't conceited, i just call myself a cut above o/~ -- bubba sparxxx, "hootnanny"

4 May 2004 (updated 4 May 2004 at 22:43 UTC) »
page 23, sentence five
Loneliness researchers have consistently documented that people who feel lonely are quite likely to be suffering from depression and low self-esteem.
but wait
Does "the fifth sentence" include the partial sentence continued from the previous page? The line above was under the assumption that it did not. If it does:

Things get very unpleasant and this reinforces the idea that it really is terrible to be criticized--another vicious cycle.

1 May 2004 (updated 1 May 2004 at 10:48 UTC) »
Sorry I can't come back to advogato on a better note, but I'm having a very bad day.

First off, lightning struck near my house, killing my modem. Then, in the process of replacing said modem with an internal one (damn walmart), I managed (only God knows how) to damage my firewall's keyboard connector. Now the system won't boot.

Right now I'm connected to the net with my Powerbook and OS X. Turns out the internal modem I got was a Conexant POS, which means I either have to return it and get a better one, or pony up an additional $15 for a driver for it. I bear no ill will toward Linuxant, but it's very fucking cheesy that Conexant or any of the many manufacturers that use Conexant chips wouldn't provide a driver themselves.

Update: Traded in the Conexant for a US Robotics modem, taking things from bad to worse; there are no Linux drivers whatsoever for this piece of shit.

An entire term has passed since my last entry here. So far I have three As (two confirmed and one very probable), one C (which may be a B, depending on whether the professor rounds a 79.3 up), and one unknown grade.

For the summer, I'm registered for an Ethics class which is required for graduation.

o/~ some of us sail through our troubles, and some have to live with the scars o/~

26 Nov 2003 (updated 26 Nov 2003 at 12:59 UTC) »
I have one hellacious week ahead of me.

Next week, I have three tests I have to study for, and three projects are due. (One coding assignment (straightforward), a database assignment (practically done), and a case study/presentation, including implementing an XML-RPC project (difficult).)

I managed to make it to the meeting yesterday, and I saw both sides of the beatdown.

First, I played one of the newer members. I gave him nine stones and won by resignation. Then, one of best players in the club continued pestering me to get me to play him... I figured that if I played him once I'd shut him up.

He gave me 17 stones and I lost by 24 moku before komi.


(By the way, Chad, I'll play you next time we meet. I promise.)

Other than the assignments mentioned above, none.
Okay, let me try this again, while I'm not quite so suicidal.

A lot of people seemed to get the idea that the entire point of my last rant was simply, "I can't get any because I'm smart enough to realize my failures". While this may be true, it's not what I was trying to say.

tk wrote:

If I'm not wrong, you're not looking for "most women", you're just looking for that one person. Why care about what "most women" want?
I care for one reason: I don't want to drive away "that one person", whoever she may be. If she looks past me to see the jackass with the leather jacket and the false confidence, it doesn't matter what a good or kind or competent person I am. All that matters is that I don't act like a swaggering asshole.

People talk about renouncing their citizenship; I wonder if it's possible for me to renounce my species. People are so shallow and stupid sometimes. I wonder if the planet Vulcan is accepting refugees.

I was recently in a discussion with a friend about Asperger's Syndrome. In doing so, I recently revisited a document I created/modified listing a number of common symptoms. (The color signifies how much each symptom affects me.) Right at the top, there was one that I had listed in bright red and bold:

Constant anxiety about performance and acceptance, despite recognition and commendation.
This shocked me, at first. I had completely forgotten that it was on the list, and it just fit the current situation so well...
o/~ my words keep coming back to me in shades of mediocrity o/~
Nothing on the open-source front. I'm still pondering ideas for dink, but I've been too busy and/or lazy to work on it.

In the next week, I have to implement a simple client/server using XML-RPC. I'm looking to advodiary for inspiration and hints. (This is for my Operating Systems class.) I also have to finish a programming assignment for the same class, utilizing shared memory and semaphores in C.

And we've finally started covering Lisp in Programming Languages class. Too bad we're only covering it for one week. (After covering Pascal for the first half of the semester...)

Unlike cmiller, my go hasn't improved much. Since I can't attend club meetings on Mondays, and none of the sensei show up on Thursdays, I don't have the benefit of skilled instruction.

But that'll all change, I hope. I'm going to try to schedule classes around the Monday meetings, so I'll be able to attend. And maybe I should start playing online again.

Still working on the video by fits and starts. Sometimes I'll open Final Cut, slap in a clip or two, say "this sucks", delete the clips, and quit.

But it'll rock by the time it's done, I promise. Or at least it'll be complete. Maybe.

I even signed up at My user profile isn't much yet, but eventually...

... or the lack thereof.

I used to think I could do anything. No... I could do anything.

But no longer.

Nothing I do is ever good enough. Nothing short of perfection is acceptable. I can't seem to wrap my head around the idea that a C is "average". If I get less than a high A, I begin to panic. I seriously considered driving into a tree after making a 49 on a discrete math test. Really... just yank the wheel and it would all be over. It was that serious.

Granted, I know my weak areas. But it's when I start to fail in my strongest areas that I worry. For instance, I bombed two tests, two days apart; the first was that discrete math test and the other was an operating systems test. I'm strong in both, or so I thought.

Part of my problems in English classes (I've failed English more times than I can count) is that I'm always embarassed to turn in my assignments. Since they were never as good as they could be, I couldn't turn them in. Not only were they not up to the class's standards (in my mind), they weren't up to my standards, and that was even more devastating.

I know, consciously, that everyone's work is crap, and that mine is no crappier than anyone else's. But something inside of me can't shake that feeling of failure, even during success. Even when I succeed, I don't deserve it, since I didn't do the best work I possibly could. Never mind the fact that it always feels like a fluke, like one small check mark in a list of big red Xs. I can't be confident about it.

This really hits hard because according to most sources, "what women want" is not competence, but confidence. All the competence in the world is useless without the swagger to serve as bait.

Most guys can get away with just swagger. Despite their incompetence at everything, they can get whatever they want by pretending to be competent.

But I can't pretend. I don't know my true level of competence, and I'm too honest to exaggerate my own abilities.

There's nothing I want more than to be confident in my competence. It's not something that can be achieved by outside recognition. I have to know, by my own methods, whether I'm capable of surviving in this world. Maybe then confidence will follow.


o/~ know what i really want in a girl? me. o/~ -- bloodhound gang, "3.14"
The Apple Store people basically said they wouldn't take the 'Book back. So, I'm living with it until the HD eventually dies. The screen still has splotches, but they're much less noticeable than they were on the other two machines.
computer names
How do you name your systems?

Up until now, I've been using the names of cards from Magic: the Gathering. This system isn't ideal, however, since I no longer play the game. I'm not too keen on calling my systems "desktop", "server", and "laptop"; that just seems too... unimaginative, kinda like naming a dog "Dog".[1]

An ideal naming scheme would be imaginative, but still give some idea of each machine's intended function. I'll be damned if I can find a decent one.

[1] If I ever get another cat, though, I'm naming it "Neko".

Overall it's going well, sorta.

I completely bombed a discrete math test today (3 Nov), though. At least the prof allows us to drop a test.

Still playing. Still suck.
kyrie eleison, down the road that i must travel
16 Oct 2003 (updated 16 Oct 2003 at 04:44 UTC) »
Busy busy busy. Things to do, people to see, professors to ignore.
computer woes
I think the people at the Apple Store are jerking me around.

I got my first Powerbook a few weeks ago. After a couple of days, weird bright splotches started showing up on the screen; it looked like the rest of the screen was dirty and those were the only clean spots. (Yes, I cleaned it.) When I brought it back to the Apple Store where I bought it, they arranged for a replacement.

The replacement was even worse. Not only did it have the same splotches on the screen, but the Superdrive (DVD-R/CD-RW) was faulty and the hard drive kept making "I'm about to die" metal-clunking noises. Back to the Apple Store.

Anyway, I'm currently on my third Powerbook, and this one doesn't have the keyboard attached properly. (It's an aluminum Powerbook, so the keyboard isn't detachable.) The hard drive is clunking, and the screen has the same splotches! It's going back Thursday.

I still suck, but lately I feel I've been sucking less.

Learning tesuji is tricky, but the basic ones Tanaka-san taught me have already helped immensely. And I'm already giving some people handicap stones.

initial d
Yes, friends, I'm addicted to yet another game. Initial D. The best racing game since... well, ever.

The gameplay itself isn't groundbreaking, but it's extremely solid and very fun. The force-feedback feels almost like I'm in a real car.

The groundbreaking part, however, is the card system. You can buy a card from the machine (at the arcade I frequent, it's $1) that will save your race history and preferences, along with the customizations you've made to your car. This card is good for 50 races, after which time you can transfer the data to another card.

Oh, and did I mention the music? (No, I just checked.) Apparently, it gets its music from the anime of the same name. The genre is hard to describe... I've heard it called "eurobeat", I've heard it called "J-pop"... I just call it "damn good".

Programming Languages: Took the midterm Monday (13 Oct 2003). I think I did fairly well, except for one question on the written portion: "What do you know about scope and lifetime of variable give an example" (all [sic]). I defined the two terms, then wrote a skeleton Pascal source file and sketched each value for each variable.

Database Systems: Midterm here, as well, on Tuesday... same professor, same ambiguous question style, same general uselessness.

Operating Systems: Midterm (sensing a trend?) today (Wednesday). This was the most difficult, by far. Not only did we have to answer a number of questions, we also had to write two C programs by hand. At least they were fairly simple. (The test was open-book, open-notes, closed-laptop. I forgot my books and notes.)

music videos
A few of my friends make anime music videos. I've decided to give it a try. I already have an excellent song/video combination... granted, it's not anime, but it's animated nonetheless. I'll announce it when it's done and not a moment sooner.
with all this romantic atmosphere, disaster's in the air
cmiller: The idea of using an apostrophe instead of a real acute accent is acceptable, IMNSHO, in ASCII text, but virtually nowhere else. As for the rest, apostrophes aren't that hard to figure out. I can almost forgive someone using "her's" or "it's", because those are exceptions, but using an apostrophe for a plural is just wrong.

People don't realize that by writing improperly, they're reflecting on their own intelligence, or lack thereof. I certainly wouldn't want to buy from someone offering "BBQ chicken's".

My personal pet peeve "is" when people "use" quotation marks "for" emphasis. Among the glaring examples around here: the old-fart's resort I live in has a sign near the pool that says: "Pool" closes at "dusk". And most people who do this honestly believe that quotation marks are intended for emphasis...

I'm pretty sure I'm one of the few people around here ("here" meaning "this physical location", not "this site") capable of using both the semicolon and the word "whom" correctly.

So far, so good. Most of my classes don't suck.

  • Programming Languages
    We're going to be covering Pascal, C++, Common Lisp, and Prolog. These are understandable, except for using Common Lisp instead of Scheme.
  • Discrete Structures
    There's still some concern over whether this class will be continued, since there are only 8 people enrolled. I hope they don't cancel it, because it's a prerequisite for damn near everything else.
  • Database Systems
    This one sucks. I figured it would be an implementation-level class, but instead it's a course that would be better named "Database Organization". And we're forced to use Access. Suckage.
  • Operating Systems
    This is going to be a fun class. Tons of work, but entertaining nonetheless. The professor speaks with a very thick French accent, but it's much better than the Ben Stein-esque presentation I had been lead to expect.
Thanks to Labor Day, I get to attend a Monday night meeting of Go Orlando. Last Thursday, I played against a 4th dan. He gave me 13 stones, and I still lost by quite a bit. And still, a small voice in the back of my mind tells me that he wasn't playing to the full of his ability...

After that, I went to the Go Orlando meeting and, if memory serves, won all of my games. This new strategy of being aggressive seems to be paying off.

"and the clouds parted, and a voice came down from heaven, saying, 'there's just something about you that pisses me off...'"

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