Older blog entries for clausen (starting at number 6)

Wheee! Exams over, and I have some time for socializing and hacking! And I'm off to Brazil in 2 days...

Parted hacking: ported GPT support to 1.5.x (net change of -1000 LOC!), and wrote MIPS support.

Sister's engagement party: lots of fun, but I got a bit drunk (and felt a bit ill for 1/2 hour) :( Her boyfriend/fiancee ROCKS, and his GNU/Linux brainwashing is progressing well :)

Latest ponderings:

  • modernism vs post-modernism. Of course post-modernism makes more sense, but modernism is so much more fun!
  • social engineering / personal energy: how do you show interest, without dominating?
Maybe I should write some rants about the above.


  • Spent (literally) half of 2 weeks of holidays writing a compiler for a uni subject. It did some nice optimizations, but more importantly, I was experimenting with DAGs / blocks (as opposed to, say, 3 address code) as the intermediate form. All good fun :) Then, I find out the next project is to write an optimizing compiler... and the optimizations, etc. are completely different! :( More work to do!

  • Spent half the weekend on a tedious uni networks project (now "only" 4 more left to do for the semester, i.e. 3 weeks), and Parted maintainence. Such excitement.

  • Still planning my Brazil / Mexico trip with ralf. (~3 months in .br, and ~1 week in .mx). Yo preciso amigos del México para me ajudar decidir! A friend recommended Baja California... Really looking forward to .br, where I'll hopefully have time to write an NTFS resizer, in between getting drunk on the beach, etc.

Advogato seems to be doing strange things. Doing some experiments (so don't downgrade trust!). Basically, my certificates at apprentice level seem to do nothing. At higher levels, they seem to have more "force". I would expect it to be the other way around!

In other news, uni is fun this semester. There is a subject called "Frontiers of Computer Science" that involves a few lecturers having a rant on their latest obsession. Very fun :) This code optimization stuff is so cute! Too many interesting things to do!

It looks like I'm going to .mx from 6th-9th dec, then to .br until end of feb.

Uni starts tommorrow.

Spent the day doing data recovery (someone else's data ;) Waste of time really. Just, I need to figure out how to do it on someone else's time ;) Seriously, data recovery is an interesting problem... I probably want a logical language like Mercury (good excuse to get into task-academic-crap!)

All my friends are running away overseas! Come to think of it, I want to run away to Brazil too...

I've been procrastinating (wasting time) today. I've been thinking about writing an article about how one should write file system resizers... the obvious method (basically: defrag + update metadata) is fundamentally Wrong, and I've seen many people fall into the Obvious trap (I did myself, the first time around).

Which raises the question in general: should free software hackers write more technical docs / papers (i.e. targetted at hackers)? I think yes... reading over mail archives is often rather difficult, unless you already know a lot about the particular area. And even if you do, it's a lot of effort. Also, I think writing technical docs for hackers will make it easier for the newbie-hackers to see how different hackers think about problems.

So, I've decided it's a good idea, so, now I need to waste some more time to do it ;-)

  • Went out with the family today on a walk. Pretty boring walk, so me and my brother turned back early, and played with my soccer ball (gotta get good, for when I go to Brazil ;-) Also sang some songs (Radio Activity, Colin Zeal, Down Town, Savin All My Lovin) really out of tune, which really annoyed my brother ;-)

  • Updated my web page somewhat. Now has a new Clausen Profit Systems TM press release, and some photos :-)

  • Bought a CD - Stereolab's "Transient Random-Noise Bursts With Announcements" - really good, but I still like "Dots & Loops" better.

I added the home page of Clausen Profit Systems, Inc. to my home page (a spam send-up). Enjoy ;-)

Also, had a conversation with pfh about AI. "Godel, Escher, Bach" / "Metamagical Themas" promotes the idea that creativity is the ability to find something that is relevant (which is rather loosely defined). This sounds about right to me. For example, thinking up a joke in conversation, or just coming up with a new idea. But there seems to be a difference between this, and, say reading, where you have to come up with the relevent meaning from text. But perhaps it is the same thing... (they're both HARD problems from a computational point of view)

Open question: is finding a relevant object the same as pattern matching? Or is pattern matching the equivalent of determining if something is relevant, given the object and context?

Also, methinks good music composition (i.e. good by my standards ;-) is AI complete. Good musicians come up with material that is "new", in the sense that you don't get bored of it, because it sounds like something you've heard before. Yet, it's still similar (eg: same instruments, similar tone, etc.) to what came before. (Here's a paradox: good music must be different, yet it must be the same). Anyway, I think coming up with new things is linked to finding something that is relevant (as I waved my hands about, above).

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