Older blog entries for bgeiger (starting at number 135)

13 Sep 2002 (updated 14 Sep 2002 at 11:10 UTC) »
post early, post often
I'm gonna try to start writing smaller diary entries. And there was much rejoicing.
responses
nymia: I used to agree, then I realized something: I'm never going to have to get my hands inside of a laptop anyway, so a Mac's as good of a machine for that as any.

rillian: I'd definitely have to use both a 12" iBook and a full-size TiBook before deciding.

mglazer: Knock off the flamebait, please. While I'm not of Arabic origin, I have many friends who are, and I take offense at your constant vitriol.

And as far as the whole "knowing the difference between good and evil" idea goes, whose standards for good and evil am I to use? My morality and ethics tell me that using various forms of birth control is a good idea, and the Right Thing To Do, because I don't want to bring a child into this world that I can't support. However, the Roman Catholic Church condemns birth control altogether. Am I supposed to listen to them? After all, they do claim to represent God...

I don't lead my life according to what supposed 'holy men' claim that God wants. Most of these people can't agree, even among the same religion... the baptists don't like the methodists don't like the presbyterians don't like the catholics don't like the episcopalians don't like the anglicans don't like the pentecostals.

janschrage: But... but... but I want ALT text as popups!

redi: That doesn't do me much good if J. Random WebDesigner doesn't include the TITLE= attribute, and AFAIK, very few do.

Why not make this configurable? I think at some point we have to make concessions to popular practice as a de facto standard. (Not to mention I can think of a couple of time just within the past week when having a way to view the ALT= tag would have come in handy.)

Seriously, why doesn't Mozilla have it? I can understand ignoring the kiddies ("J00 G0Tz 2 H4V3 P0P-VpZ 0R j00 SuX0R!") but why ignore those of us who calmly and politely request features?

Also (another feature request...) the bug-tracking system needs to have some sort of way of specifying "me too" on wishlist items without adding an "AOL!" comment. (or j00 sux0r ;-) In other words, some way to gauge the popularity of suggestions. It might help you fine folk implement the most widely-clamored-for things first.

dorward: Ah, I didn't realize that. Thanks for filling me in.
un-jobs
I'm again the webmaster for the PCC International Circle. I won by a landslide. That tends to happen when you're the only candidate.

Someone else put up another website design in my absence. I'm going to have to go back and fix some of the FrontPage-inspired braindeadedness issues.

I'm still wanting to write a decent interface for posting and editing these stories, but small enough that the Powers That Be won't freak out. I haven't done it yet because I'm lazy.

school
I got a grade of 100 on the programming assignment I turned in. (By the way, the TO_THE_LETTER macro is there because I originally wrote the program to accept any number (within the range of an unsigned long int, which it prints in the prompt), but I had to fix it to only accept numbers between 100 and 999 inclusive. I also had to cut out the main loop.)

That assignment wasn't difficult anyway, but I was worried that the TA would object that I took some... liberties... with the style guidelines he suggested. (he suggests 3-5 space indents and the Allman indent style, but I used K&R-style, 8 space indents. I also never use camelCaps, preferring other_methods.

At least he was reasonable about that.

9/11
Ashcroft has done what bin Laden could not: turn America into a state controlled by fear. I sent my mother the quotes that goingware posted. She immediately came back with some rhetoric about how I'm incredibly anti-war and should let the terrorists walk all over us.

I don't have much of a problem with war overseas. Personally, I think (in the words of the legendary Larry the Cable Guy) we should "take that towel off of [Saddam's] head and pop his ass with it a few times". (Yes, I'm aware that he doesn't actually wear a turban.) This doesn't mean I hate all Muslims; I only have trouble with those who have trouble with us.

But on the other hand, we can't let our fear drive us to sacrifice that which makes this country great: freedom. Most Americans today are willing to give up all of their liberties after being promised safety, which the government can never deliver. As Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson are both claimed to have said, they truly "deserve neither".

o/~ now i need you to tell me the truth, you know i'd do that for you, so why are you running away? o/~ -- Hoobastank, "Running Away"

classes
  • COP 3514, "Program Design":

    This class is beginning to suck more and more as I go along. I've rewritten the first assignment about four times, as I keep finding faults with it.

    Believe it or not, it's actually easier to write code that accepts a number of any length (within an unsigned long int) than it is to specifically limit it to 3 digits. I have a TO_THE_LETTER macro that controls all of the "extra" features; among the things it does are causing an error if the number entered isn't between 100 and 999 inclusive, removing the loop and related constructs, and a few other minor changes.

    People I've shown the finished product to have complained about the excessive commenting required by the professor. Basically, even though we're not supposed to write a single comment until after the code is completely written and debugged, we're supposed to go back in, after the fact, and add a comment to damn near every line of code. (Who the hell comments a printf()?)

    Then again, we're not supposed to "over-comment"... which in her mind means having a comment of more than one line, which leads to this problem:

    /* get input */
    int get_input (void)
    ...
    
    I'd rather have one long comment at the top of the function describing exactly what it does and why, instead of having to comment each and every little operation with a redundantly obvious message. (Apparently, Linus said it better.)
  • CEN 4721, "User Interface Design"

    I'm working on the paper required for this class. I've decided to write about the evolution of text editing and word processing, from the era of the teletype and tape punch, to vi, emacs, and the like, all the way through troff/groff and (La)TeX to modern WYSIWYG systems such as WordPerfect and AbiWord (oh yeah, and that one Microsoft makes, too).

    The paper has to be at least 10 pages long, with at least six references. I think this is a wide enough topic that I can fill out at least that much.

  • CDA 3100, "Computer Organization"

    Fun stuff. Had to take a quick diagnostic quiz during the first class session, but it was fun stuff. I'd say the hardest part was trying to manually add two 16-bit numbers in binary without a calculator. (It wasn't difficult, just tedious and error-prone.)

  • ENC 3211, "Communications for Engineers"

    Class was cancelled last Saturday because the professor was ill, so I don't know how this class will go.

droolage
I want an iBook. I really want a TiBook.

Having a laptop would make things very convenient (instead of having to rely on oft-broken and always-misconfigured school machines) and I figure if I'm going to spend the cash on a laptop, I might as well get one worth the money.

Which brings me to my question: a top-of-the-line iBook (14.2 inch screen, combo drive, the works) would cost about $1,700 US (with education discount). A similarly-equipped TiBook would cost approximately $2,200. Is the G4 CPU and the sexy titanium case worth the $500 difference in price?

Then again, this is a moot point... I have to get a job first (and as most of you know, that's difficult in today's economy), and even when I do, it'll be about 3 or 4 months of saving all my pennies before I can even begin to dream of getting one.

music
My uncle loaned me his electric guitar and amp. I didn't learn to play it.

The guitar just doesn't excite me. For some reason, I've always felt that if I were given a chance, the violin would be second nature. I've never felt that about any other instrument, except maybe the trumpet.

Actually, my uncle gave me his guitar. However, because he was drunk when he did it, and because it was a birthday (I think) gift from his son and daughter, I'm not going to keep it. In fact, I'm probably going to have it tuned and get him a pedal to go with it.

hair
I didn't realize how much of a hassle long hair could be. First of all, there's hair everywhere now, no matter how I try to clean it up, it just keeps showing up everywhere. Also, I'm used to being able to step out of the shower, quickly towel off my head, and have my hair dry by the time I get back to my room. That doesn't happen any more.

Oh well...

o/~ girl, i thought you'd realize i'm not like those other guys... o/~ -- Craig David, "Walking Away"
30 Aug 2002 (updated 1 Sep 2002 at 10:18 UTC) »
responses
jeremyw: The term "open source" has a long history in intelligence circles. It refers to publically-available information (such as newspapers and other media, usually).

badvogato: I don't own any of that clothing, but even if I did, I wouldn't return it. Why should we let the neo-Nazi assholes dictate what things are supposed to mean?

"88" means exactly one thing. It means "the number that is one greater than 87". Nothing more and nothing less.

Update: i0lanthe: Ah, I stand corrected. One would think that as a ham, I would remember this, but I haven't done CW in a long time...

dance dance revolution
I'm getting into double mode (where one player uses both pads). It's a lot more challenging, and definitely more of a workout.
school
Why, oh why, do I get stuck with the incompetent professors?

The woman who teaches COP 3514 ("Program Design") here is crazy, I think. For example, we're not supposed to document anything -- no comments -- until the code has been written and debugged. Then, we're supposed to go back and write exactly one comment line for each function and each block. (We write in C.)

I comment quite a bit anyway, on things that aren't completely self-explanatory, but this is ridiculous:

#include <stdio.h> /* Include the stdio.h header file */
That's the kind of commenting she asks for.

Add to that the fact that the book is blatantly wrong in some places and strange in others (since when was it a good idea to put function prototypes inside the calling functions?), and you have a generally bad class.

CEN 4721 ("User Interface Design") isn't too bad, but it baffles me how we're going to discuss computer interfaces effectively without a computer. I also have to write a ten-page paper. I think I'll write about the evolution of text editing and word processing, from teco and ed to vi and emacs to TeX and LaTeX to Word and WordPerfect.

Yesterday I had CDA 3100 ("Computer Organization"). It looks like it'll be the most enjoyable class I have this term, unless COP 3514 changes really fast.

pygame
Decided to create a pong game, just to prove I could, and to keep my skills sharp. It took me about 2 hours to go from nothing to having two controllable paddles and a ball that bounces properly. Not too bad for a beginner...
o/~ we did it all for the glory of love o/~ -- Peter Cetera, "Glory of Love"
Written over the past few days.

responses

raph: I guess I have to read that book, too. (I was the "child that doesn't fit in to any of the neatly defined categories that schools are designed to handle".)

I was labeled as a 'troublemaker' very early in my education. In fact, the teachers in my elementary school would nearly get into fistfights over who had to teach me. Most of my problem was due to perpetual boredom; it's not hard to get bored when you figured out (very basic) long division during the first day, and the class is going into its third week of covering the exact same thing.

I know this sounds egotistical, but it's true: I was smarter than 99% of my teachers in public school. During my seven years of public schooling, I was continually correcting the teachers about basic aspects of their subjects. (It's bad when you have to explain to a math teacher why their long division isn't working...) Eventually I spent more time teaching other students than I did learning things myself.

There were exceptions, of course. The teacher for the "gifted class" actually understood what it took to teach an intelligent child. I was only really happy when I was in her class.

However, there were also teachers worse than average; case in point, my sixth-grade reading teacher. (Yes, in sixth grade we still had to practice reading!) Each of us had to read out loud. Every day, I would get bitched at for 'not keeping up', making it sound like I was the dumb one, when in reality I had read the entire book by the end of the first week. I couldn't make my mind work slowly enough to 'keep up' with the rest of the class.

Luckily, this story had a happy ending: after sixth grade, my mom pulled me out of public school and started teaching me at home, with the help of a correspondence course. Two years later, I had completed the course (meant to be 4 years), and enrolled in college.

Anyway, this has gone longer than I planned. My advice is to keep constant track of how the school system is treating Alan (and later Max). Don't let them make a big deal out of his intelligence, but make sure they take it into account.

Oh, and by the way, if they suggest putting either of them on Ritalin (and if a child is remotely intelligent, they will), refuse. Although it helps some (very few) children calm down, it made me into an unholy terror. As a general rule, when I was off of it, I had to go to the principal's office about once a week (usually for "goofing off" or not keeping track of what the class is doing), but when I was on it I was there once or twice a day.

chipx86: That looks an awful lot like FreeBSD's bootloader.

freenode
I don't see why everyone gets on lilo's case about the fundraising messages on freenode. What next, are you going to picket the local PBS station because they have their infamous "beg-a-thons"?
mozilla
Spent the past couple of days trying to trick Portage into installing Mozilla 1.1 (from CVS) for me. It didn't work. I guess I'll just wait for 1.1 final and the 'real' ebuild.
code
None. Actually, I've banged on pySpaceWars for a while, but nothing really came out of the effort.
dance dance revolution
Ooof. Today (23 Aug) I finally passed "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" on Trick, 8 stars/feet. The dance meter was completely empty, but the screen said "Cleared". Wheee. And you know I'm excited about it because I actually spelled out the whole name of the song.

Also, I full-comboed La Senorita on basic (4 feet, but the machine's picky). I'm working on getting better scores on easier songs instead of pushing ahead to more and more difficult ones without having the important scoring skills.

Today (23 Aug) at Epcot, the Cast Member in charge of the DDR setup assumed that I didn't know how to play and started me on "Mickey Mouse March", 1 star/foot. Once I finished with that, I took charge and played "Night of Fire" basic, 3 stars/feet (to warm up properly), and then "It's A Small World (Ducking Hardcore Mix)" [No, that's not a typo] on trick, 8 stars/feet, and failed miserably.

disney
Took advantage of my Annual Pass Wednesday (21 Aug) and today (23 Aug). I ended up playing DDR at each of the parks that have it.

I'm glad to see that the attitude of "if the Cast Members are having fun, the guests will too" still lives on, in a few isolated areas of the World. For the most part, though, the constant focus on sales^Wmerchantainment is slowly but inevitably turning the Happiest Place on Earth into "Welcome to Disney World, may I take your order please?" (Maybe it's telling that there are actually McDonald's restaurants inside the parks.)

"do you want a plush Mickey with that?"
17 Aug 2002 (updated 18 Aug 2002 at 00:10 UTC) »
responses
criswell: I have three words for you: people are idiots.

That's one reason I don't go to drive-through windows, especially if the dining room is closed (Taco Bell after 10pm...): if the idiot behind the counter makes a mistake, I can't dispute it effectively.

Bram: Uh, in the version of Roshambo I'm familiar with, there is a definite strategy: GO FIRST.

(The link that *was* here was to a .wav from South Park: "I guess we'll have to roshambo for it." "What do you mean?" "Well, first, I kick you in the nuts as hard as I can, then you kick me in the nuts as hard as you can, and we keep going back and forth until someone falls.")

jpablo: Hey, it could be worse. I have had professors who claimed that Micro$oft invented TCP/IP, C++, HTML, GUIs, the list goes on. Basically, anything that M$ implemented, they 'innovated'. (Funny, that's how M$ thinks, too...)

school
Got a couple of books:
  • Principles of Computer Hardware, 3rd Edition, by Alan Clements. (For CDA 3100, "Computer Organization".) From my early readings, it seems like a fairly comprehensive guide to the inner workings of computers. It covers 68k and ARM assembly language; that scares me...
  • THe MIT Guide to Science and Engineering Communication, 1st Edition, by James G. Paradis and Muriel Zimmerman. (For ENC 3211, "Communications for Engineers".) Hallelujah... finally, I get to take a composition class that doesn't focus on writing inane essays and book reports; this book covers the actual writing done in science and engineering: journal articles, proposals, progress and final reports, memos, etc. At least I don't have to worry about catching sub-sub-subplots between two characters in a journal article. (I can't seem to handle plots and themes well in 'normal' composition and literature classes.)
I have two other classes, though. For COP 3514, "Program Design", the textbook is yet another C book. I didn't buy it. If I need it, I'll get it, and if I don't, I'll have saved about $90. The instructor of CEN 4721, "User Interface Design", hadn't submitted a list of required books by the time I was there.
pySpaceWars
It's nearing completion, and I haven't released it yet. I apologize for not sharing in the true 'bazaar' spirit of Free Software/Open Source, but I'm doing this mostly as a challenge to myself. If I asked for outside contributions, it would be tantamount to 'cheating'.

Anyway, I have an explosion animation. Wheeee.

security
I've always been fascinated by locks, for some reason. Maybe it has something to do with the simple-yet-complicated physical hardware, or maybe it's the idea of how something so simple can turn into millions of possible variations.

I thought it would be interesting to learn to pick locks. It could be a handy skill to have, and maybe a way to meet people. ("Locked your keys in your car? Let me help. By the way, what's your name?")

However, before I start with any real learning, I need to see what Florida's laws have to say about possession of 'burglary tools', and whether I have to be a licensed locksmith before being allowed to have them. If someone could point me to a relevant URL, I'd appreciate it. (I already googled but nothing came up.)

dance dance revolution
I haven't played in over a week (I've been sleeping days) but I've come to a major realization: I need to use the balls of my feet. Up until now, when I would hit a pad, I tended to hit it with my heel. Not only did this send shockwaves all the way up to my back and also make my feet hurt more, but it more than doubled the amount of effort I had to expend: not only did I have to step down onto the pad, but I had to work to lift my leg back up off of the pad. If I use the balls of my feet to step, my ankle can work as a spring and my leg will bounce more easily off of the pad and onto another.
o/~ so make the best of this test and don't ask why... o/~ -- Green Day, "Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life)"
10 Aug 2002 (updated 10 Aug 2002 at 06:20 UTC) »
responses
Stevey: No piercings or tattoos here, although if I had to choose, I'd probably get something pierced; as long as I can take it out if I don't want it anymore, it's fine. Tattoos are permanent (barring surgery), and I know that if I get a tattoo I'll regret it later. (Besides, I'm very overweight right now, and when I lose the weight, my tattoo will shrink to a tiny replica of itself.)

Then again, I've made it a point to never try to follow fashion, and I strongly believe the adage "form follows function". Well, to a degree, that is. For example, I tend to carry a small backpack wherever I go with everything from cologne to a notepad to a spare shirt and socks, and a washcloth in a plastic bag. (Those are for when I play DDR. It's nice to be able to duck into a bathroom, quickly wipe myself down, and put on a clean, non-sweat-soaked shirt.)

My point is, I don't carry the backpack to look cool (because I don't), and I don't carry it because everyone else does (because no one else does). I carry it because it makes my life easier. Tattoos and piercings won't make my life easier.

Stevey (again): My GUI mail client is mutt + gnome-terminal.

dyork: Hmmm. I'd have trouble with that, I think. Usually, when I try to put on a backpack without help it gets swung around fairly violently.

wingo: I suggest you read Mastery, by George Leonard. He says the same thing you do, but goes into a great deal of detail about it. That book helped me when I got frustrated with my slow progress in learning to code.

nymia: If this super-advanced race existed so long ago, wouldn't somebody have found some remnant of its technology? Even a house? Maybe just bones?

The dinosaurs vanished millions of years ago. We can find their bones. It stands to reason that we could find something from a civilization that could wage intergalactic (hell, even global) war.

languages
All languages suck. Just choose the one that sucks the least with respect to what you need.
hardware
The fan on my video card died. I removed it and am now running with only the heatsink. It's a TNT1 and only came with a heatsink (one smaller than what I have on there now), so this should be passable until I get another fan.
school
I just realized that I have to learn m68k assembly language for one of my courses. I have absolutely no idea how to code in assembly language.

I'm currently brushing up on my (La)TeX skills, because professors seem to want everything typed, even with formulae. And I won't use M$ Word.

projects
pySpaceWars is coming along fairly well. I added a rudimentary respawning system, but no scoring yet. Animation is another sticking point; I'm trying to figure out how to handle explosions and engine fire.
nonconformists all look alike
6 Aug 2002 (updated 8 Aug 2002 at 03:48 UTC) »
responses
4am: Yeah, that's pretty much the way it works. The way I understand it, you're judged mainly on your contributions to the FS/OSS community. I'd say working on Zope is a pretty big contribution.

dyork: How do you get the backpack on and off of your back? Rather, how do you get Chloe in and out of the backpack without swinging it (and her) around?

negative: The only problem with his statement is that most people associate the term "freeware" with gratis closed-source software. The vast majority of those tend to (rightly) associate gratis closed-source software with low quality crap. (Unlike expensive closed-source software, which tends to be high quality crap.)

mglazer: Lest we forget, the "savage Indian" myth is exactly that. It was spread so people back East wouldn't feel so bad about 'eradicating' them. I charge that the "savage Arab" myth is, likewise, just that.

I'm not saying there's not some kernel of truth in either myth, but don't jump to conclusions without listening to both sides of the story.

(Yes, I know I'm feeding the troll. I'm not trying to say that the Palestinians are blameless in this whole affair, either, but you have to listen to the propaganda coming from both sides before making a decision on whose lie to believe.)

school
Good news! I spoke to the undergraduate advisor for the Computer Science and Engineering department of USF. He told me that even though only the first attempt for the six prerequisite classes is recorded into my GPA, the department looks at the best attempt. Better yet, it shouldn't cause me any trouble when trying to sign up for department courses.

In case any other USF students (or other CS students at Florida universities) are reading, here's what I'm taking during Fall 2002:

CDA 3100        Computer Organization         3.00 CR   R   0600-0850pm
CEN 4721        User Interface Design         3.00 CR   MW  0430-0545pm
COP 3514        Program Design                3.00 CR   MW  0300-0415pm
ENC 3211        Communications for Engineers  3.00 CR   S   0900-1150am
dance dance revolution
I've really been testing my limits lately. I managed to pass "Kick The Can" on Maniac (7 feet) after about five tries, and "AM-3P" on Maniac (8 feet), on flat, mind you, after six or so. I'm close to being able to pass "catas", or 9-foot songs. (It's short for "Catastrophic", plural, but I'm sure the allusion to the martial arts wasn't purely coincidence.)

Turns out that an arcade a block away from USF's Tampa campus has a 4th Mix Plus and a DDR MAX2 machine for 50 cents a game. It's only a 60 mile drive each way. That, or I can drive 50 miles the other way to an arcade in Orlando with a 4th+ and a DDR MAX for 75 cents a game, or I can go to the Disney/MGM Studios (20 miles) and pay $1.00 per game on a DDR USA machine (which sucks) or I can go to DisneyQuest and play a 1st Mix machine (which sucks even more) for free.

I guess it depends on how rich I feel at any given moment.

pyspacewars
I have weapons implemented, but I had to make each ship immune to its own weaponry. I still need to handle respawning and scorekeeping.
car
Took the car in for maintenance. Apparently some sort of metal frob holding the wheel to the axle was out of round, causing the wheel hop. They also found a leak in my radiator. I'm having that fixed today. Thank goodness for that extended warranty.
pledge of allegiance
It's amazing how many people don't realize that the "under God" part of the Pledge was only added in 1952. The attitude is, "I had to do it, so you do too."

A couple of other attitudes piss me off:

  • "Well, He has many names, and any of them work." Most 'devout Christians' would blanch at the thought of having to say "one nation under Allah" or "under Krsna" or "under Zeus". Besides, what about atheists?
  • "No one is required to repeat the pledge. They can just sit down." In school, peer pressure is a major factor. Anyone who doesn't "fit in" tends to be shunned; why would a kid make himself stand out, and face being ridiculed?

    Besides, the pledge as it stands now automatically ties Christianity and patriotism together, in most peoples' minds. "Oh, you don't repeat the pledge? What are you, some kind of commie?" It brings to mind what George Bush, Sr., said during an interview: "No, I don't know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered patriots. This is one nation under God."

  • "The pledge has always had "under God", why hasn't anyone complained yet?" People have been complaining since the Knights of Columbus fought to have the phrase added. It's just now that the courts have seen the light.

Sorry, I just needed to get that off of my chest.

o/~
Got in a little hometown jam
So they put a rifle in my hand
Sent me off to a foreign land
To go and kill the yellow man
o/~
-- Bruce Springsteen, "Born In The USA"
26 Jul 2002 (updated 26 Jul 2002 at 02:52 UTC) »
health
Got The Cold From Hell a while ago. My nose still hasn't recovered.
responses
wardv: -f overrides -i. Personally, I alias 'rm' to 'rm -i'. It's generally effective and it doesn't litter my directory tree with extra files.

sab39: This begs the question... how are YOU going to read what you're typing?

I just got a crazy idea if you're really fanatic about not having your text read: they sell "3D Glasses" for fairly cheap (a store around here sells them for approximately $30). I'm sure it wouldn't be difficult to make them work for 2D only... and of course, they sell filters that prevent anyone from reading your screen from an angle.

school
I am now officially a USF student. And there was much rejoicing.

Anyway, no one ever bothered to tell me that in order to get into the Computer Science program, I would have to have a 3.0 average when calculating the grades from Calculus 1 and 2, Physics 1 and 2, and (get this!) English Composition 1 and 2.

My average? 2.986. I'm excluded by fourteen freaking thousandths of a point, thanks to the two Cs in the composition classes.

In other words, I have to retake one of the physics or english classes in order to get in, and of course, USF isn't offering any of them in Lakeland this term. This means that I'll either have to take one at PCC or take it next term, delaying my progress. Tomorrow I have to go to PCC to see if it's too late to enroll for Fall term on a 'transient student' basis.

I also got my NetID (essentially my username) the other day. Problem is, ever since I've been on the net, I've had the username 'bgeiger'. I chose that when I first signed up with Young Harris College, back when they sold Internet access. (For a time reference, I actually began attending YHC in January of 1997, and I had had that username for at least a year before then.) For the whole time, I've had this username.

But at USF, I'm "begeiger".

I could handle "bgeiger2". I could handle "benjamin.geiger". I could even handle "frobnitz" if I had to. But "begeiger" is too similar to my 'real' username, and I'm always typing the wrong one in. Not to mention that they don't allow passwords longer than 8 characters. (It's not like I want a passphrase... I just want something that's not immediately crackable!)

pygame
Well, pySpaceWars has had absolutely no development recently, partly because I haven't really been in any mood for coding and partly because it's down to the really unsexy stuff.

I'm considering writing a Choplifter workalike in Python/Pygame.. I'll tell more once I know it.

ddr
I've completed Trip Machine on both Basic and Trick. I've done quite a few songs in Trick. I've even done AM-3P in Double Basic.

I'm proud of myself, but there's so much more room for improvement.

o/~ I don't wanna be my friend no more, I wanna be somebody else o/~ -- Pink, "Don't Let Me Get Me"

my computing environment
Well, I have my system set up. 40GB HD and Gentoo 1.2. Life is good.

Gentoo is a very nice distro, from what I've seen of it. The only minor gripe I have about it is the lack of reasonable default configurations for everything. With Debian I could change one or two entries in a config file and start without delay; with Gentoo I have to generate the whole file first. Is there something I'm missing?

nic troubles
For some reason, my NIC will occasionally start dropping all received packets. I'm not sure how to trigger the problem, and it always seems to happen when I'm not around to diagnose it. Gah. Such is the price of progress.
gnome 2
Very nice. I have almost zero desire to return to 1.4.
hang yourself with red tape
More hassles with USF. Now they want a copy of my transcript from North Georgia Tech, even though it was a technical school when I attended. (They've since earned accreditation to offer Associate degrees.)

Signed up for orientation and registration sessions. Woo woo.

I need to prove to them that I've been immunized against various diseases in order to register for classes. Instead of going through the list of doctors I've been to recently (many) and trying to see who administered each shot, I decided to simply have a blood test done. This opened a whole other realm of red tape.

I had to go to a (I originally thought "the") Polk County Health Department clinic. Ugh. Anyway, to make a long story short, I ended up spending about two hours there, only to be told that they couldn't administer the test I needed and I had to go to another clinic.

The idea of tracking down all the doctors I went to is looking better and better.

P.S.: I ended up going to the hospital to get the blood test done. $104 for two blood tests (measles and rubella). Huzzah.

pySpaceWars
Fixed a minor bug and added self-destruction to the teleport mechanism. Still trying to get the "feel" to match. I haven't even started on niceties like a menu, or respawning, or scores, or even firing, for crying out loud.
editors
Hmmm... XEmacs/GTK is fairly nice, but there are a few annoying bugs that still bother me. I think I'll go back to the original version.
so i dub thee 'unforgiven'
responses
RossBurton: Looks like there is a bug in recentlog.html. If a user posts more than once, only the latest entry appears on the recent log list. That's not a bug, that's a feature!
hardware or lack thereof
Still don't have a replacement HD. I'm tempted to grab my old 5GB HD and put that in there instead, but I had more than 5GB of... stuff... on the dead 27GB HD.
distros
Since I have to reinstall Linux anyway, now might be a good time to try something new.

People have been raving about Gentoo. While I agree that the ideas are interesting, I had always been happy with my Debian installation. Now that installation has disappeared, and it'll be just as much work to set Debian back up as it would be to install Gentoo. And I have to admit, I'm intrigued by the idea of having everything custom-compiled.

ddr
Since I started playing DDR, I've seen Paranoia as the 'holy grail' of competence. Now I can clear it in basic mode consistently; so far five times, once with an A.

Onward to more challenges... I've been working on Trick mode, and I have yet to conquer Trip Machine on basic. This should keep me occupied for a while.

pyspacewars
Development is in hiatus until my Linux box is set up again. As soon as shots and respawning are implemented, I'll release it to the world at large.

o/~
now I am a grown man
with a child of my own
and I swear I'm not gonna let her know
all the pain I have known...
o/~
     -- Everclear, "Father Of Mine"

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