Older blog entries for fatjim (starting at number 21)

Kelly: I apologize for brining up memes. It was just something I noticed :)

Urgh.. activity log:

* hours and hours and hours of school work (non-computer related), getting myself dirty in the printmaking department.

* enjoying my little game. SDL isn't perfect, but it's effective. will post code soon, even though no one will want to look at it :)

* more work on work-for-money. PHP sucks. Majorly. I'd prefer an embeded python or something. But the big problem there is parsing.. if i wrote a pre-processor that took a page with some embeded python and produced a page with some embeded python byte-code, though, that would be taken care of. Or maybe a cache for the compiled pages. Much nicer.

* Body feels better, no more using school labs for me. biking helped, although the only thing dry enough to ride on right now is the paths along the river (not that they're bad -- i just want to ride my hills and such!)

* finally got a home network set up. now my familly can't bother me while i'm working to check their icq or email or such. also means that the good machine is on the net .. which implied time loss due to getting wasten in QuakeIII :)

* ok bye

If the chair wasn't from the 'champagne' region of France, then the pain you feel is only 'sparkling nerve pinches'

I spent three hours in the undergrad computer lab on campus. I am seriously considering gathering students for a lawsuit or something.. I still am having back and arm pain, and that 'sparkling' feeling you get from pinched nerves. My body hates me, and I blame the cheap plastic chairs, cubicles sized for three-year-olds, and the keyboards which are at the level of your knees and the monitors which are at the same height as the keyboard (and illegibly fuzzy at even low resolution.)

Yes, I'm pissed off. I missed out on some wonderful cuddling because of body pain ('Augh! Sorry, I can't contort like that today.')

On the other hand, that session resulted in a neat little html-tag eater. In no-frills java (it's for a class). And, it worked the first time I tried running it! That's right, no semantic bugs. Woo! Of course, I proceeded to change and break it some, but that doesn't change the fact that I get to award myself the "supercool hipster dude" trophy for the day in question.

fall in line

Woohoo! The college debate has turned advogato into what I used to love most about the old BBS days. So, I'll give my take, short and sweet.

  • finished highschool with good marks by zero effort. mind was bored.
  • was so sick of the aimlessness, clan-herd minds, and worst of all the lack of curiosity or imagination, that I gave up on school
  • got a job at the best place i could. worked for ~1.5 years in a small room getting cancer from a dozen old monitors, getting payed minimum wage, on the graveyard shift. brain went numb
  • realized that I needed to get out of that sort of life. applied for college.
  • mind is wide awake. Or as much as it ever was, and getting better.

Maybe my experience with the world of work was different than a lot of you. I never had much confidence, nor any real contacts in the real world, so I never even got a chance to get an 'interesting' job - I had to take shift work. And I will never, ever work that sort of job again. I think it nearly killed me (that's killed in the important sense).

College, though far from perfect, saved me from that.

So, what the hell does that come to on the 'time off before college' question? I say, do whatever you want; But think and feel and live every part of your life, no matter what your choice. Never take where you are and where you must go as given. That's robotic. That's what ants do, not what humans.

Ok, I'll shut up about that now.

report from the comittee for a 6-bit character code

So many computer languages pick up the worst features of popular languages in an effort to 'reduce the learning curve.' That's lazy, not thoughtful. PHP, for example, picks up from both C and perl. It picks up syntax that just makes things more muddled, it picks up a mishmash of semantics that is simply ugly. Many other languages do this.

It's stupid. We have a large base of languages to choose from; why can't we pick the good elements from them and evolve better, more legible, more sensible languages?

jwz's page has a neat rant about this sort of thing.

damn dirty apes

CentralScrutinizer's web site has a neat quote on the 'contact' page:

Some day, I will automate the process of sharing my life with you. But that day is not today. So it goes.

I can see a large-scale sentiment in it that I often pick up from people who use computers a lot; in fact, usually from the very smart people. Does it have to do with the fact that as computer-folk, we're prone to less social contact than others? I don't think so.. I think it's a seed of the future: of the meme superseding the gene in evolution's game.

that's enough from you, smart ass

I've gotta stop now because A) I have nothing left to say and B) My arms (esp. wrists) are killing me. Where can find canadian laws on the subject? I would think this falls under the 'injury by extreme inaction' area, or something.. I would just like a) a chiropractor, and b) (for the others who must use that lab because they can't afford a home system) the entire lab redone for usability.

sleep is for the week

I've started using xterm again instead of gnome-terminal, because I picked up some really nice Xdefaults some time ago. Nice stuff.

Having some fun recreating the first 'good' game I ever wrote, using C, SDL and Gimp rather than QBasic, "put", and homemade-graphics-program-controlled-by-joystick.

Went to the local linux group's meeting, something I haven't done for two years (ie, ever since it got lame.) Well, it's still pretty lame, but I did manage to meet some people who are A) smart B) friendly C) good at consulting. In other words, people I'd like to learn from.

For a school assignment, I wrote a (simple) HTML parser in java. Not amazing per se, except for the fact that it worked the first time I ran it, without a single bug. Woohoo!

caveman goes hunting

Work-as-in-get-payed-work is finally starting to progress; I just need to explain to my partner why he should check his email more than once a week. (/me imagines root-window sized biff..). Since Database Server licensing prices are ridiculous (obviously aimed at far, far larger projects then this one) I'm going to stick to an open-source one like PostgreSQL or MySQL, and make some sort of donation to the project I choose. (If anyone has good or bad things to say about these, please let me know!)

analog signals

Still reading AI stuff; have diverted mostly into NLP books. "Language as a Cognitive Process" by Terry Winnograd (the SHRDLU guy) is pretty cool. Hoping to have enough theory soon to make BillyBot check his(it's?) output for gramaticallity.

It snowed!! Dear LORD what did I to to deserver this!. It melted right away, but I was not pleased. I've promised myself that when I can afford it, I'll buy an SUV -- an old one with no catalytic converter. That way, I'll be doing my part to ensure my descendants never have to worry about winter again. (that was a joke. really.)

So long, and thanks for all the fish!

Oh yeah - happy birthday to me. I'm 20 now.

It just goes to hammer home the fact that I'll never get lego for christmas again..

  • Haskell bends my mind. I like that.
  • I think a large computer science graduate student department could all find thesis topics just by listening to graydon for 10 minutes each.
  • Decided to start fooling with entity again, only to find that it's build process is b0rked and the python stuff's been neglected. Oh well, stuff to play with.
  • Installed xemacs-win32 on my space at school. Quite worth the many,many megs it takes up.
  • Memo to self: attending classes is good. do it more.
  • Learning Haskell
  • Reading AI books (Schank's natural language parser is neat)
  • C.A.R. Hoare .. does anyone else think this is a LISP joke??

I'm writing this in mozilla.. I like it a lot; but I'd like it better if it used a native widget set, rather than their own silly stuff. The html (is that right) dialogs are excellent though.

Finished writing the philosophy essay which will count for much of my final mark in that class. Thanks to everyone on gimpnet who helped out with critcism and proofreading! I've got more imaginary cookies any time you like.

Feeling better about not having time to do any work on fun projects like entity. Got to talk to slow yesterday and even if I'm not doing anything, I got to talk as though I was.

During the IRC session where I was selling my imaginary cookies for proofreading, I got into a talk with a guy in #ai on EFNet who told me that real, thinking AI had been done back in 1977 by Roger Schank in a program called SAM. He also managed to fit in some conspiracy theories about the government and universities hiding it from us. And, on top of all that, he works for Microsoft (yes, I checked this).. Wow. What a night. :)

After reading Graydon's web pages again, I've borrowed "Introduction to functional programming with Haskell" from the library. Already, near page 30, my brain is fried. Haskell (and functional languages, i suppose) are for people who know their math. I'm going to stick it out though, because I can see some of the advantages it has.. plus, "Haskell" will look good on a resume when everyone else is putting down "JavaScript". Chuckle.

So that's about it. Oh, set up MySQL and some python scripts for a database for a friend. He'd been struggling for weeks trying to get their database web-ified.. hoo boo, that guy has got to learn to stop biting off more then he can chew.. he always bullshits himself into situations like this. Oh well; it was fun getting used to MySQL and writing simple brute force python scripts.

Wrote a better CSV parser than the csv module in the vaults of parnassus. Will upload it if anyone reminds me to.

Wrote some stuff for philosophy.. I really think that anyone who is taken in by Searle's "Chinese Room" argument is a bit of a bonehead.

Updated web page a little bit.. try going to simulation and playing with the toy there. I fixed the silly permissions problem with the second story. And I've discovered a zillion bugs of the kind that don't happen when you don't code at 4am.

Once I get Python-MySQL installed under Debian, this'll all be good. (there's something wrong with the dependancies for it.. it told me that I had to remove netstd and proftpd to install python-mysql.. a bit odd)

Finally some progress on the work-for-money front. Some meaning a tiny, insignificant amount; but that amount is > 0, so I'm somewhat happy. IF we ever get moving on this, we should have a sensible, usable solution.. IF.

So. Tim 'decided not to go'... I'm wondering what the hell is going on.. I wish I knew stuff about offices and sales and shit so I didn't need to deal with him.. he's a salesman down to the soul (The only reason he's trying to get into IT is because he doesn't want to work too hard. HAHAHAHA..)

On a totally different note.. I've decided to renew my quest to get my DECserver 300 working as a terminal server to my dingy old vt220. Right now, the vt is hooked to the serial port of my box via a long chain of extension cables (ie, lots of transmission problems). I could reduce that to one single good cable, connected to the DECserver, which would be connected to the machine with a good, highspeed (!) ethernet cable..

Does anyone know about these things? As far as I understand, I need a MOP (acronym unknown) server to send it a system image, and a copy of that system image itself. Any ideas?

I'm dropping a class. It's pretty damned late in the year, but it took me this long to admit that I neither enjoyed nor had any talent for the subject.. too bad, 'cause future classes in that vein (linguistics) look exceptionally interesting. Oh well - there's always books. The only thing is, it's pretty late for dropping a class. So I get to choose between a "Withdraw/Fail" (counts as 30%) or an actualy 30-45%. (No, there's no way I'm gonna pass.)

Crappy.

Almost forget; the new logo is neat! Kinda feels a little out-of-place with the traditional simple-box aesthetic of advogato; but - now we have a mascot. And when people from other online communities come and say we're being overzealous, or disrespecting them (ie, slashdot), then we can point to the mouse and say, "The mascot made us do it!"

Or maybe I'm very tired.

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