Older blog entries for fatjim (starting at number 24)

fishsticks, please:

Still sick, though getting work done. It turns out that PHP works if you don't try to code sensibly. So now my web-based interface works, which is a plus, 'cause now the fiddly work of making it look all nice can go to someone else. Haleluyah!

mind-altering drugs

I bought the Design Patterns book. I recommend it to every coder out there. (not that my recommendation carries a lot of weight.. :) My first reaction to skimming the introductory chapters was, "Wow; so that's where the Berliners got their inspiration!" Turns out that Berlin in fact inherits code directly from the same pool that Design Pattern's example comes from.

toner thief

As we speak, I'm printing out the "Gnome & CORBA" docs on my nice personal laserprinter. This is in preparation for my upcoming attempt to meld some CORBA and Bonobo magic onto Entity; for I am running short of cookies.

i am a wimp

I am also taking this opportunity to be a weenie about my girlfriend going away for four months to work in Jasper. I'm unable to function without her; I'm sure I'll forget to eat and sleep and those other things that seem to be important but I always forget.

Ugh. sick and unhappy.

Was at school until 3am last night finishing projects (didn't finish everything,either)..

Biked home in the snow (i can't believe it's snowing).. now I am sick in myriad ways.

No coding except for obligatory school shit :/

Thank god this is the last day of class!

Was thinking of the animation system for my little SDL game.. I wonder whether it would make sense to implement a state-machine for animation rather than having the control subroutines for each sprite control everything directly.. state machines is cleaner, nicer cooler; but they'll only ever be used by this game in the subroutines, so there's really no need to generalize so much.

I like to subscribe to a simple principle I learned years ago (if someone could remind me who said this, I'd give you lots of imaginary cookies; note that the quote is a rough paraphrase at best):

A well-behaved person should be like a well-behaved program: flexible in it's input, strict in it's output.

That's a good rule to live by. I have a feeling it might be Knuth, but I don't know at all.

Starting tommorow: Free Time!! Who wants to offer me a job? *grin*


PHP sucks ass! Why on EARTH did this language get popular?!?

I'm probably just being bitten by minor misunderstandings. I get upset when the world doesn't bend around my own understanding. So, PHP folk out there, please calm down. I'm not insulting you.

I'm just really GRRRRRR! <0.5 *grin*>

Graydon: I've found out that I'm convered for at least an initial consultation with a chriropractor and am going to look around for a recommended one tommorow. Good advice, thanks. Though I'm sure at least 80% of what he'll say will be "well, don't use that lab/that desk/computers at all".

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.

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