Older blog entries for bgeiger (starting at number 157)

13 Feb 2003 (updated 14 Feb 2003 at 10:50 UTC) »
The more I read about Asperger's Syndrome, the more the label fits. All sorts of little quirks --- things I've always done that I just thought were because I'm just weird --- turn out to be common to AS sufferers, and a few even turn out to be defining factors.

Granted, I'm a mild case, but it's nice having a name to associate with my symptoms. Besides, it helps employers, coworkers, and friends to understand just what's messed up in my head, and reduces the "you're making it all up" factor.

Great... I've been hooked by the go bug.

You know, go might catch on a lot more quickly if it were easier to find the equipment. I'm not talking about kaya boards and slate and shell stones (not that I could afford it)... even a cardboard board and plastic pieces would be sufficient.... and I haven't even found those for less than $30 or so, on the Net. None of the N stores I've been to have anything resembling go... and when I try to describe it: "Oh, you must mean Othello/Reversi."

I'm seriously tempted to make my own board and stones. For a board, I can just put lines on a piece of plywood, but the stones will be a bit more difficult; it's hard to find suitable pieces, and the fact that you need 361 of them (181 black, 180 white, for a full set) makes it harder.

Not only that, but nobody around here seems to play... maybe this is due to the lack of equipment, which is (in part) due to the lack of players... ad nauseam.

Maybe I can convince some of the local chess players to try something new. If not, there's a go club on the other side of Orlando, about an hour away.

Update: I finally found a go set. It's a pocket-games type of game, magnetic. 19x19 in about 8 inches square. And to get it, I had to go all the way to Japan... Epcot's Japan pavilion, anyway.

gnome 2.2
Pretty damn good. Thanks to everyone who made this fine environment.
The TA for my Data Structures class is incompetent. Worse, he has no taste.

For example, he's been docking people 5-10 points for not having a "divider line" between functions in a C source file. (No, the top-of-function comment doesn't count.) Instead, I just put every function into a separate file, even though this means I have 19 source files for a simple assignment.

He also docked me 5 points for having a single goto in a source file, even though it's used to break out of three nested loops.

To annoy him, I've been doing various things, like liberally sprinkling my comments and debugging output with profanity.

o/~ i never thought i'd die alone, i laughed the loudest, who'd have known? o/~ --- blink 182, "adam's song"

1 Feb 2003 (updated 1 Feb 2003 at 18:10 UTC) »
To the brave fallen: farewell and Godspeed.

I've topped the windswept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, or even eagle flew -
And, while with silent lifting mind I've trod
The high unsurpassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand and touched the face of God.
     --- Pilot Officer John Gillespie Magee Jr., "High Flight"

30 Jan 2003 (updated 8 Oct 2004 at 23:38 UTC) »
Still having trouble with Pango and Xft2.

When I have GDK_USE_XFT=1, all Gnome2 apps segfault in XftCharIndex, after complaining that Lucida Sans 10 (the default "Sans" on this system) couldn't be found. (I've changed Lucida Sans to Arial, and to Luxi Sans, with the same results. All of the fonts are listed when I run fc-list.)

This is hella frustrating.

dumb americans
For some reason, we Americans seem to idolize idiocy.

Examples? (I explain these, for those already not sufficiently drowning in American culture.... I'm not trying to patronize.)

  • "Jaywalking", from the Tonight Show. Jay Leno goes out and finds stupid people on the streets of New York.
  • Street Smarts. A game show where people have to guess whether certain people will correctly answer (very easy) questions.
  • Jerry Springer, Howard Stern... Need I say more?
Keep in mind, though, that the makers of these shows go through a good number of reasonably intelligent people to find the idiots... though nowadays I'm convinced that the idiots-to-normals ratio is going way up.
Data Structures class is moderately fun... at least I get to code.

Comp 2 is hard work, but okay. (Again, it's a web-based course... I think the professors think that means it's going to be easier, and compensate accordingly. That's why it's so tough.)

True story: as an assignment, we had to evaluate sources. One of them was about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.: "Martin Luther King Jr. - A True Historical Examination (http://www.martinlutherking.org [caution, may be offensive -- link removed to reduce googlejuice]).

Glancing through the site, I noticed that it seemed very slanted... my suspicions were confirmed when I saw that David Duke wrote one of the pages. I knew immediately that the site couldn't be trusted.

The saddest part, though, is that people believed it! The general consensus of the rest of the class was "well, it looks professional... I'd use it as a source."

I don't know which is sadder: people trusting that site, or people believing that PETSorFOOD was real.

My Comp 2 class requires M$ Word. So, I had to get it. (I normally use OpenOffice.org, but it doesn't support some of the features I'm required to use ("track changes" and comments, specifically).

I feel so dirty...

o/~ roaming through this darkness i'm alive but i'm alone o/~ --- 3 doors down, "when i'm gone"

26 Jan 2003 (updated 27 Jan 2003 at 13:52 UTC) »
#gnome and gentoo
Yep, I triggered the "anti-Gentoo" sentiment in #gnome that voltron mentioned. Basically, nobody would help once they found out I used Gentoo. I had to struggle for 14 hours before I found someone who both knew the answer and was willing to help.

I'm sick and tired of the "j00 u$3 g3nt00, s0 j00 $u><0r" sentiment. And it's kinda funny that the only thing I've ever had problems with is Gnome...

data structures
Class is simple. I finished the meat of the last project in class... now all that's left is the UI.

Trust me, doing UI work in C sucks without a specialized toolkit.

Maybe I can turn the central code into a Unix-style utility and write another program, in another language (Perl? Python? INTERCAL?) to call it.

sue purr boll
Today. Yay. Go Bucs.

Update: Buccaneers 48, Raiders 21, final. w00t.

Played yesterday, at the Magic Kingdom. Since I didn't want to play in my jeans (they're heavy and confining), and I don't have a decent pair of shorts, I ended up going to a tourist trap on 192 and buying a pair of swimming trunks that look approximately like 'normal' shorts.

I look like an idiot in them, but oh well. I'll get some real shorts soon.

for lunch you can have three martinis,
what better lunch is there than that?
but caution, do not eat the olives,
'cause olives make you fat
     allan sherman, "drinking man's diet"

21 Jan 2003 (updated 21 Jan 2003 at 12:10 UTC) »
chalst: Ooh! Ooh! I know! I know!

We've all been given a diary rating of '1' by mglazer! (Apparently, we've all criticized him for his racist diatribes, and he's trying to get back at us.)

Proof? I got yer proof right here!

I had a half-written diary entry from right after I got back, but it's all out of date now.

Got back from Georgia on 4 January, after spending Christmas and (unexpectedly) New Year's with my mom and brother.

Had some trouble with school. Turns out that one of my schools didn't send a transcript I had requested a month before. I had to threaten legal action, but once they got the picture, they FedExed it, by God. (It's all in the tone of voice... "If the University of South Florida does not receive my transcript tomorrow, I will have no choice but to pursue legal action. Good day," in a level tone, worked wonders.)

Anyway, I'm now in two classes: Data Structures, with the same professor I had for Program Design, and English Composition 2. I was going to go to PCC to take the English class, but for some strange reason they won't let me retake a class I've already made a C in... so, I had to apply to be admitted to a closed session of Comp 2, over the web.

(Don't let anyone tell you that web-based courses are easier or have less work than 'normal' classes... the actual workload is much higher.)

No job yet. That's gonna change, real soon.

Nothing open source; I've written some crappy code for Data Structures, but I don't think this counts.
o/~ all God's children shall be free in pirates of the caribbean when we reach that magic kingdom in the sky... o/~ -- da vinci's notebook, "magic kingdom in the sky"
my new year's resolution
... is to make no new year's resolutions.

Just kidding.

Actually, I'll stick with the usual; lose weight, exercise, et cetera. I had my blood pressure read the other day; it was something like 160/100. I seriously need to get that down.

i do the 12-oz curl

29 Dec 2002 (updated 30 Dec 2002 at 19:35 UTC) »
status report
Gotta keep this short, typing from Mom's work computer...

I've been on vacation since about 18 Dec. Spending my time in the glorious mountains of northern Georgia and fighting this godawful illness that has me in its grasp. (Fever, headache, sore throat... I'd suspect strep throat but I haven't been vomiting [knock on wood].) Actually, I'm beginning to think the sore throat is due to the kerosene heat that we have to use up here; I'm not used to it.

Got my mom and brother a DVD player for Christmas (just one, not one each). They watch a ridiculous number of movies, and I figured it was time to get them into the 21st century. Besides, many of their VHS movies were wearing out. (I tried to find Forrest Gump (theirs is wearing out fast) (are movie titles italicized, underlined, or quoted?) on DVD, but I couldn't, so Beauty and the Beast is a good second choice.

Well, more later, probably once I get back.

As you can probably guess, none.
God, I hope things work out; I'm really racing against the clock to get registered and into classes. If I can't get into classes, I'll come back up here to Georgia and have some words with one of my former schools. (Some of those words will probably be, "you'll be hearing from my lawyer.")
by the way
If you want to respond to this, please send a copy to me via email; I can't keep up with the recentlog, since I only have access to a computer once every couple of days.


responses - much later
jfleck: Feeling a bit "booty-licious", eh? ;-)

mglazer: Go away. You and your racist speech are not welcome here.

only adults have trouble with childproof caps

11 Dec 2002 (updated 11 Dec 2002 at 13:58 UTC) »
abg: I like the idea. However, the biggest problem that I've seen is the one you list as #1: the words aren't ideal for speaking.

I, personally, speak with somewhat of a drawl. "and" and "ant" aren't going to be very distinguishable. I agree somewhat with jbucata, in that the number of letters seems less important than the speakability of the resulting words.

Also, what happens when IPv6 takes over? I really don't want to rattle off sixteen words...

mglazer: Jimmy Carter is highly respected. He may not have been an effective President (and I don't think anyone disputes that, even him) but he's been one of the most effective former Presidents we've ever had.

(Am I the only one who finds it strange that the same people lambast Carter for 'lusting in his heart' but support Clinton, who acted on it? (Don't get me wrong, Clinton was a great President, and what he did with Ms. Lewinsky was his business, but geez, get rid of the double standards already...))

When will I ever learn to stop feeding trolls?

OK... in the last week I've turned in the three assignments that have weighed the most on my mind. (UI Design website and paper, and Communications for Engineers group directions assignment)

Got the UI design paper back on Monday, got a 95. I'm happy.

One more final and I'll be done with this term.

However, registration for next term's classes has been a problem. Since I haven't been able to get my transcript from North Georgia Tech, USF won't let me register.

I just hope the courses are still open when all is said and done.

Just got a CD binder. It holds 208 CDs. I have every CD-ROM I have in it. They come up to 160 CDs.

Audio CDs aren't in the binder, because I'd prefer to be able to keep them in my car, or in my bookbag, or wherever else they're needed.

I'm heading up to visit my mom and brother in Georgia again. I'll probably be leaving around 18 Dec.

screw your courage to the sticking-place

(edit: it's ngtcollege.org, not .com)

4 Dec 2002 (updated 5 Dec 2002 at 02:54 UTC) »
It's done!

It's a 21-page monstrosity. (Title page, 15 pages of body text, 3 pages of 'sites referenced', 2 pages of endnotes.) It's full of BS. But it's done.

I like what I see so far, but I'm having trouble getting the winblows binary to work right.
Going up to visit my mom and brother later this month. I'm definitely looking forward to the trip.
People who drive really slowly, especially when it's impossible to pass.

Correction [10PM local, 4 Dec]: people who come to a complete stop to turn.

caution: i drive as bad as you do

robocoder: You put way too much thought into this.

But I agree completely.

Yesterday, a friend of mine returned a joystick I had loaned him and subsequently forgotten. I had a second when I loaned him that one. In the meantime, I bought yet another. This means I have three joysticks, and one gamepad.

Why do joystick manufacturers put the grip so far from the axis? My Gravis Blackhawk analog stick (the one I got for $4 at the Goodwill store) is the only one that even makes an attempt to keep it close. For that reason, my arm fatigues less when using it, and my reactions are a bit quicker. It doesn't have rudder control, though, so it has a major strike against it.

turkey day
... but no turkey.

Instead, my dad and I cooked a small chicken each. Not only were they cheaper than a turkey, but they took less time to prepare, and left fewer leftovers (although this can hardly be considered a major benefit). As a small side benefit, we could function that evening, instead of fading into a tryptophan coma.

My ten page paper has turned into a fifteen-page monstrosity with no end in sight. I still have to discuss the actual development of the user interface (nominally the topic of the paper) with respect to PCs.

Also for UI Design class, I'm half-done with my pseudo-website. Designing "shopping cart" systems is such a pain (and I have to write it myself, I can't use an open-source shopping cart system). I'm tempted just to have a static "coming soon" page. (Hey, it fits... the site is "Useless Junk By Mail"... that page is as useless as it gets...)

Why is ` (backtick) rarely, if ever, a mirror image of ' (apostrophe) ? This isn't a problem, except for when I'm writing LaTeX documents, and quotes don't visually seem to match.
nullum magnum ingenium sine mixtura dementiae fuit (there is no great genius without madness) -- seneca

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