Older blog entries for bgeiger (starting at number 116)

16 Apr 2002 (updated 16 Apr 2002 at 19:47 UTC) »
Funny, I've gone from posting once a day to posting once a month.
olandgren: The happy event, of course, is ladies finally coming out from under the layers of sweaters and jackets.

Honestly, I beg to differ. While it's true that there's more eye candy during the summer (especially down here in Florida where summer starts immediately after a combined fall/spring), there's just something about a beautiful woman in a nice sweater... it's still sexy, but not brazen.

I have to hurry up; school ends in May. I don't want to drive her off, but I have to express my interest.
Everything seems to be working like a well oiled machine. I'll be graduating 3 May and my mom and brother are coming down to watch. The house next door is rented for them to use. I'm just trying to figure out how to cram as much activity as possible into the few days we'll have. We have to go out to Disney World at least once, if not more... I already told my mom that we will watch "Illuminations: Reflections of Earth" together. (it's the fireworks show at Epcot.)
None yet.

I'm still working on the design of the micro-weblog I'm implementing. My ideal is to make it simple enough that even the professors here can comprehend it. ;-) It takes a lot of work to make something look effortless.

Read this[paulgraham.com]. Everyone who works in any kind of creative endeavor should be required to not only read this article, but to completely internalize it.

Finally, I have some ammunition when I say that something is ugly and I get the inevitable "taste is subjective" response.

He thinks we're buddy-buddy again. Hah.

I almost feel sorry for him... almost.

o/~ I want money, lots and lots of money... I want that pie in the sky... o/~

Well, not really (although it would be nice). But having some spare change to do what I want with is what I really want.

Luckily, I found out that USF's Lakeland campus only offers night classes. This means that I'll be free during the day to become a wage slave.

It's official: I won this year's AMATYC contest (well, I got the highest score at my school). The prize is $100, and I get to meet the president of the college again. The local math genius came in second. The real math genius around here couldn't compete in all three rounds, putting him at a major disadvantage.
Posting this via advodiary, but loading from a text file. I typically take three or four days to post diary entries... mainly so I can accumulate enough interesting news to post. (although "interesting" is subjective...)
So, it was announced that Woody would freeze on May 1. I have exactly four words in response:


By the way, keep up the good work!

I've really been listening to Linkin Park's "Hybrid Theory" album lately. For some reason it just clicks with my mood.
to some life is money but what's money without life? -- Trik Turner, "Friends and Family"
for your illumination
Whenever Richard Cory went down town,
We people on the pavement looked at him;
He was a gentleman from sole to crown,
Clean favored, and imperially slim.

And he was always quietly arrayed,
And he was always human when he talked;
But still he fluttered pulses when he said,
"Good morning", and he glittered when he walked.

And he was rich--yes, richer than a king--
And admirably schooled in every grace;
In fine, we thought that he was everything
To make us wish that we were in his place.

So on we worked, and waited for the light,
And went without the meat, and cursed the bread;
And Richard Cory, one calm summer night,
Went home and put a bullet through his head.
-- Edwin Robinson

And this is my answer to anyone who asks, "What do you have to be depressed about?"

Got my certificate for LPI level 1. Yay.
Happy news: I passed the CLAST. That's one less hurdle I have to clear to graduate.

Now all I have to do is pass General Chemistry 2. As far as I know, I have a B in that class, but I completely bombed the test I took yesterday.

The school imposed some sort of "travel restriction"... I don't get to go to the Mathematics Olympics this year. I'm bummed. We could have done really well, too.

I did horribly on the AMATYC test. Granted, I came in second, but I did horribly. I wouldn't call 11.5 a good score. (Not when I'm used to getting 20-30 on the other rounds.)

Round 3 is either today or Thursday. I'll have to check.

Went to Pleasure Island last Sunday, and spent the whole night in the Adventurer's Club.

I enjoy being a smartaleck there. It gives the actors something to work with. (For those of you who don't know, the Adventurer's Club has a lot of improv comedy.)

Still only have the one, as a "facilitator". Five hours per week isn't really enough, though.

The problem, though, is that my school schedule is so scattered. Three days a week I go from 9 AM to about 2 PM, and the other two I'm there from 10 AM to 7 PM. How am I expected to find an employer that will work around those hours?

I think for the next few terms I'll start scheduling my classes at night.

april fool's
I made it through unscathed. Lucky me.
computer lab
Does everyone feel like everyone they work with are morons?

The computer lab staff have been complaining about funding problems. They've even shut down about half of the machines. However, they're going to install Windows XP and Office XP on all of the systems.

Worse yet, most of the systems aren't capable of running XP, but they're going to try anyway. It takes them long enough to do anything under Windows 95... I don't see how anything will get done with XP.

Most of the systems could be simple kiosks, for all they get used for: word processing and web browsing. But of course, kiosks can't run Microsoft Office, and that's what the lab's getting paid to run...


Well, I've been playing with PHP, but nothing interesting. No projects, anyway.

I've become disillusioned with coding in general. Realizing that the absolute freaking morons that take the Visual Basic classes and simply absorb everything Microsoft says will go on to high paying jobs, while those of us who actually try to learn something get ridiculed and ignored, has me somewhat depressed.

Not to mention that the VB freaks can't see the weaknesses in their language, simply because VB panders to beginners. "Well, we can just type 'PrintForm' and it'll print. How do you print your forms? Oh well, I guess your language is inferior." Perl and C aren't as nice for beginners, but they're designed more for people who actually have a clue. These people don't seem to comprehend that.

Lord help them when they get to more advanced topics.

A friend's burning me some FreeBSD CDs. Good thing, since my CD burner ate flaming death last weekend.
that was the sound of your idealism dying -- dilbert
13 Mar 2002 (updated 13 Mar 2002 at 03:30 UTC) »
since last time
Been too busy to write.
Still haven't recieved my grade for the CLAST. Made an 11 on the AMATYC test... sad, considering my grades are usually in the 20-25 range.

The Florida Mathematics Olympics are coming soon. The five of us (four plus the coach) are busily preparing.

Looking at the computer lab, I realized something: there's nothing stopping the tech people here from storing each machine's drive image on that machine itself.

I'm just wondering about the specifics. We could have two partitions, one large one up front for the OS, and a small one at the end of the drive for the image. A floppy disk could boot a tiny Linux installation, which would simply unpack the image and dd it to the first partition. 10 minutes later, the ape on duty could remove the floppy, reboot, and the machine would be back to normal... until someone screws it up again.

GTK+ 2.0's out. Now I have to start porting.
bad news
Two sad things lately.

First, my grandfather had to be placed in a nursing home. He's nearly 80, and suffering from Alzheimer's. Grandma can't take care of him by herself anymore. It's a good place, actually; there are usually 4 nurses present to take care of the 14 patients.

Second, my oldest cat, Sassy, had to be put to sleep a few days ago. She was 13 years old. She's been blind in one eye for as long as I can remember, due to some sort of infection. Recently her other eye started to give out, and some sort of lump formed on her head. Also, she stopped eating and she couldn't make it to the litterbox anymore, and she was in pain.

I guess it's all for the best; at least she's not suffering anymore. I'll always remember her. May she rest in peace.


Well, one month and $200 later, I passed both of the LPI level 1 exams.

I scored 600 on the first (490 is passing) and 560 on the second (460 is passing). Not to mention that I completed the first in 15 minutes and the second in 20.

Whee. I'm happy.

Had to take the CLAST (College Level Academic Skills Test). It's one of those things that have to be done in order to graduate from a community college in Florida.

Looking at some of the English papers left on the computers in the lab, I should have nothing to worry about.

When did people become so dumb?

o/~ I'm on the outside, I'm looking in... o/~

You know it's bad when even the geeks start shunning you.

I need some. Hopefully the LPI cert will help me earn it.
Operation: Flashpoint is difficult! I'm used to retrying levels in other games ten or twenty times to overcome them, but I've been stuck on "Montignac Must Fall" for a week!

I can handle the infantry... but that blasted tank keeps getting me, and whoever has the LAW launcher doesn't seem to want to fire it.

Very little, other than helping people with their homework.
JavaScript class gets worse by the week.

We still have to type in the code from the book. I've been coding for a while; I already comprehend the concept of variables. I know what a loop does.

And there are still people who can't figure out why the code won't work if you don't type it in verbatim. If ignorance is bliss, some of these people must be in a state of perpetual orgasm.

I still haven't gotten my score back from the second round of the AMATYC contest. I'm curious how I did.
My birthday's coming up next month. Mom's asking me what I want. I honestly don't know.

I mean, there are a lot of things I'd like to have, but most of them are completely superfluous, and expensive to boot.

I made a 91 on the Chem 2 test.
This Friday I'll take it in and tear the servicepeople a collective new one if things don't get fixed.
On Valentine's Day, I was going to give a friend a gift, but I haven't seen her recently. Hopefully I'll catch up with her today.

you just pegged my bogometer

I took the AMATYC test Tuesday. I think I did well.

The Florida Math Olympics should be sometime in either March or April. I'm already preparing.

stream of consciousness
It's amazing how quickly life goes from "bored to death" to "swamped". Right now I'm in it up to my eyeballs. I took a Chem 2 test today. I expect a low B or a C. The International Circle is scheduling various events; not that I'm required to go, but it's generally a good idea for officers to show up most of the time. I'm working with Phi Theta Kappa to raise enough money for our trip to Nashville for the International Convention. I have a presentation in Spanish class on 21 February. I have to speak about a series of ads. I chose the Intel ads by Blue Man Group. I am going to apply for a job at a local Sylvan Learning Center, but first I need some decent clothes and a haircut. Monday, I was going to take the LPI 101 test, but instead I need to attend the International Circle officers' meeting, or apply at Sylvan, or both. I still need to apply to graduate; the deadline is 15 February.

I think my stream of consciousness just ran dry.

I don't know if it's a NIC problem or a hub problem, but occasionally my slower workstation will recieve packets extremely slowly. Restarting the eth0 interface fixes it right up, for a time.
Someone in my JavaScript class told me that one of his friends, who owns a computer store, is looking for people. If the Sylvan thing doesn't pan out, it's worth a shot.
We're finally on non-speaking terms. Hallelujah.
old games
I played "Jetpack" for the first time in years last night. The author made it free-as-in-beer, but not Free, and it runs in DOS... but it's still a damn good game.

sleep is for the weak, and if there's nothing due on monday, the weekend.

30 Jan 2002 (updated 31 Jan 2002 at 06:41 UTC) »
Updates thus far:

  • I end up mentioning to Jill what Dick had been saying about her. (I can't remember if she asked or if I volunteered the information. I think she asked. By the way, she denied it ever happening... and yes, I believe her.)
  • Jill sends Dick a nastygram. I read this email via the browser cache on one of the school's computers. (Yahoo Mail.)
  • Dick sends me an email, with a subject of "YOUR IN BIG TROUBLE!". (I said in my reply, "By the way, it's 'YOU'RE', not 'YOUR'. If you're going to try to intimidate me, do it properly.") Some excerpts from my reply:
    > I got a real nasty email from Jill!

    Serves you right.

    > YOU don't need to run your mouth to her about converstions [sic] that we have!!

    You don't need to run your mouth to me about her, or Jane.


    "Kissing and telling" is a good way to lose friends. Sadly, it cost you at least two. Maybe more.

    By the way, you never said anything that what we said should be confidential. Everything you say on the Internet can be logged. (Read about Oliver North if you don't believe me.)

He kept on going for a while. He's full of it. (And yes, I'm aware that Ollie North wasn't trapped by logging... he was trapped by backups and old email.)

Nothing on the open source end.
JavaScript class is insulting my intelligence. We have to type in and turn in the examples. These examples have every bit of code already, interlaced with "Now type these lines:", or the like.

And there are people in the class who can't figure out why it doesn't work if they don't do it exactly like it's done in the book. (Remember, you have to know the rules in order to break them effectively.)

We haven't even covered loops yet, but they're trying to explain the subtle features of OOP. Except that their book doesn't even begin to explain what OOP is good for, and how to model things using objects.

Sartre had it right... hell is other people.

Still has a wheel hop. Also, the wheel squeaks when I turn, and the AC makes a lot more noise.
Tuesday is the second round of the AMATYC math competition. I made the highest score in the school on the last round, even beating the local math genius. Not to mention that I had the highest collective score last year, which earned me $100.

I think I'm ready for this one. It'll cost me $8 to take it... not because there's a fee (there's not), but it's during my work hour. It's okay, because it's being administered in the class I help with.

"Mom-and-pop" computer stores don't seem to do too well, apparently. I've been tempted to start one, but it's really hard to compete with, say, Wal-mart.
I'm still trying to gather the courage I need to ask a specific someone out. The biggest problem is that she's always busy, working with her church.
I'm debating taking the LPI Level 1 exams. I'd really like to, but it's a major expense for me right now.

I mean, if I knew it would lead to a job, I would do it in a heartbeat. I'd like to get the RHCE, for specifically that reason. However, this costs $600 less. Also, it's administered right at my school.

I'll let you guys know as soon as I make a decision.

"I tried smoking mushrooms once, but couldn't keep the pizza lit..." -- Larry the Cable Guy

car trouble
Over the weekend, my car's alternator decided to give up the ghost. I was first alerted of this by the battery light on my dash coming on, then by the car refusing to shift out of first (it's an automatic). Luckily, I was a quarter-mile from my house when this happened, and the speed limit is 10 MPH anyway.

The alternator is covered by my warranty, so all I had to do was get the car to the dealer. After fully charging the battery, Dad and I decided that the best course of action would be to attempt to drive the car there. Sadly, the same symptoms repeated themselves about two miles from the dealer; we had to call a tow truck and have the car hauled -- no easy task on MLK day.

Now that it's fixed, the car runs well.

dick (again)
So, he was sending me his usual diatribe about how close he is to scoring with various people, when the computer lab monitor walked by my computer and saw what he had been sending me.

So now, I have a written warning on file, for "intentional retrieval of obscene material". Ain't that just special?

(Yes, he does too, for "intentional sending".)

The rumor around here is that he's very close to being permanently ejected from the computer lab. He's already up to his eyeballs in shit, but very soon, it'll all hit the fan. ;-)

I've been wrestling with this strange problem for weeks now, and no one I know has been able to figure it out.

I have two boxen set up on my network, one running Linux and one running Winblows 98 SE. I can transfer files via SMB rapidly from the Linux box to the Winblows box, but in reverse it's about 20 times slower. Both boxen have 100baseTX NICs, both of which were from the same "Network-in-a-Box" kit. I've reversed both the CAT5 segments (so if it were caused by a damaged pair, it would reverse the speeds)... no luck.

I'm confused already. Help!

certs (no, not this kind)
I bought The LPIC 1 Certification Bible (link coming shortly) the other day. So far, I've had no trouble picking anything up... I knew most of the material, but the book has helped with things like Apache configuration and obscure GNU utils...

$60 isn't too bad to make sure I don't fail $200 worth of tests.

Maybe once I get my first paycheck; I get paid monthly.
I downloaded the latest build for Linux and Windows... I only had time to test the Windows version.

It's slow, but no worse than M$ Office. It's surprisingly usable, too.

how many times do I have to flush to make you go away?

18 Jan 2002 (updated 18 Jan 2002 at 03:24 UTC) »
new code
Installed GTK+ 1.3.12. I might port ithought over to it.
methods of thinking
I checked out Simply Scheme from the library. I think I'm finally beginning to get the ideas behind functional programming. Maybe.
"Stupid so stupid that it goes way beyond the stupid we know into a whole different dimension of stupid. Trans-stupid stupid. Meta-stupid. Stupid collapsed on itself so far that even the neutrons have collapsed. Stupid gotten so dense that no intellect can escape. Singularity stupid."

Anyway, he's confessed to sleeping with Jill. So now, not only has he cheated on his fiancee, but also his mistress... how ironic.

a young man's fancy
I love sweater weather. I find a woman in a sweater nearly as sexy - maybe even more sexy - than in a bikini. Don't ask me why, I don't know. (Too bad "sweater weather" lasts all of three days here in Florida...)

ESR's essay, "Avoiding the Curse of Oversensitivity", helped me change my outlook on life quite a bit. (Which is saddest? The fact that I've read a series of essays called "Sex Tips for Geeks", that I can type the address from memory, or that I'm taking romantic advice from ESR?) Anyway, I was always afraid to take a chance talking to some of these beautiful women that seem to come flocking to this school every day. Now, I've begun to take more chances. I'm still afraid of looking like a weirdo, but I have to play if I want to win, right?

I told myself I would wait until Woody came out to install Linux on my new box. However, that was under the assumption that I would be on my slow-ass dialup the whole time. If I get DSL, I'll dist- upgrade immediately.

VNC is OK, and I've played with X-Win32 (trial version). I might buy that, or maybe I'll dick around with getting XFree for Windows installed.

mind and body
My hair's still at that stage where it's too long to neglect and too short to really do anything with (about 4 inches (10 cm)). I don't want to cut too much off, because I'd like to end up with long hair, but it's just too damn unruly.

I noticed something recently. People who are very overweight, such as myself, tend to be very androgynous in appearance. I don't think I look feminine, per se, but I don't really look very masculine. I look more like a child.

For years and years I didn't care about my appearance. I never had much social interaction, and I figured, why bother doing something if it'll never have any effect? But then I came down here and started interacting with people. Now I realize what I was missing all those years, and some of the mistakes I had made.

Most people learn their social skills in school... I spent my time dodging bullies and trying to eke out what little knowledge the school offered me. By the way, is there a support group for oversensitive geeks with no social skills?

Only one slip since I (re)started; I had a Cuban sandwich (turkey/ham, with cheese, buttered and grilled) and fries. (In my defense, it was a long day, and the cafeteria didn't have anything healthy.) Other than that, it's been Subway and lots of rice and beans.

I wish I could give you guys a specific number, but I haven't weighed myself recently.

When will people learn that "Do not install software on these computers" does not mean, "If you install software, remember to remove it"?

Most of the computers in this lab are screwed up because AOL Instant Messenger breaks another app in here. The funny part is that there's a Java version available, and people install the Winblows client anyway.

o/~ I'm so addicted to you, and you're such a dick to me... o/~ -- Lit, "Addicted"

Originally posted as "Phoon" on 2002-01-07 00:52:39

name change

Well, I've decided that my account name just isn't cool anymore. I'm still using it on IRC, but I realized that I want the things I do on this forum, and indeed in most places, to be associated with me, not with someone I pretend to be.

To that end, I've created an account under my usual login name: bgeiger. If you've certified this account, please transfer your cert over to that one.

I'll be copying my diary entries over soon.

Update: If I had certified you, the new account is currently certifying you. I did not change any... yet.

Originally posted as "Phoon" on 2002-01-01 19:58:17


music for thought

So what would you do if you wake tomorrow
There's no more sorrow, your dreams came true
So knock on wood and cross your fingers
Now count your blessings, it might be you
What would you do if you wake tomorrow
And all your gray skies have turned blue
How many days do you think you're given
So get on living, it's up to you 
o/~     -- LFO, "Life is Good"
happy new ears
2002 years ago... nothing happened. (The best authorities on the subject claim that Christ was born somewhere between 4 and 6 BC.)

Anyway, it's a time for celebration. I spent yesterday at Epcot. It was simultaneously a fun and painful experience: fun because I enjoy being there, and painful because I now have at least five fairly large blisters.

I have a small Trip Report up on my LiveJournal.

Still none. I really need to get off of my butt and get that weblog system done.
It's starting again, soon. My New Year's resolution is to lose 40 pounds by the time I graduate, May 3.
One of my favorite radio stations, WJRR, just changed its name, and apparently its format as well. The rumor is that they fired their entire staff of DJs and stopped playing much of their older collection, focusing instead on current songs.

I hope it's not true; if so, they just lost a listener.

games and networking
I'm still trying to figure out why my network doesn't cooperate with network games. I'm tempted to create a crossover cable and see if running full duplex can improve matters.
I need to clean up my room again. Oh, joy.

"Where do you think you are, Disney World? Get your strollers in gear and hustle!" -- General Knowledge, "Cranium Command", Epcot, Walt Disney World

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