Older blog entries for fatjim (starting at number 29)

graydon has ruined my easy life. Once I was content to sit back and exude slack and indifference, letting my irresponsibility, my slack, ruin things for everyone. Now he tells me that to really hate everyone, i have to work like a sonuvagon.

Well. I suppose i have two choices: work more or stop hating people. And that's not really a choice at all, is it?


chain gang

I'm doing a few graveyard shifts at the security monitoring company I worked for last year. I don't enjoy this at all, especially as it takes up time I could spend with Joanna these last days before she leaves.

Just to make me fell less silly, I read Inoshiro's security articles at kuro5hin. If I'm going to be working security, it might as well mean something.

chatty nonintelligences

There's been a few mentions of IRC bots these last few days, so I thought I'd make mention of my BillyBot. He's a python program that does sorta what JWZ's dada dodo does, only (IMO) better.

He's missing a bit of stuff to make him useful (ie, the HTML input filter should be buffered, and he needs better i/o capabilities) but he's really a lot of fun if you fill him with a large and interesting corus. I recommend Billy Graham speaches mixed with GNOME developer interviews.

BillyBot is here

unauthorized public exhibition
I just had the extremely fun experience of having a private large screen movie showing, with a small group of friends, in an empty art studio. Lots of fun - Andrei is involved with the Art Student's Union, and so got his hands on a digital projector (nice!) and a VCR and sound setup. We pulled all the couches in the studio together and had our own little movie theater going.

Tommorow or sunday, I hope to convince someone to drag their machine up their to watch some old demos, one of my big computer-dreams from being 15 years old that hasn't been realized yet.

will produce valueless streams of abstract symbols for money
I'm still looking for a job. Most of my finals are over now and I can invest more energy into the search. I think I'll likely end up in a crappy job this summmer, though, simply because I have no faith in myself.

I spent all of last year in a hypershitty shift-work job last year, getting paid crap, working crap hours, and never seeing my friends. I promised myself that this year, I would go looking for a real job, in my own field, where I'd be doing good work. But I'm shy and very wary(scared?) of new things and tend to undervalue my own skills. So I'll probably end up flipping burgers or something.

I have a friend who doesn't know much more than how to spell "html" and "unix", but he's the best shit-talker in the world. He's got himself a job maintaing a website for the government, and he's gotten other great jobs before. Same age as me, and less dedicated (to the work). But he knows how to talk, what to put on a resume; he has the balls to get away with it.

It's sad .. i'm semi-anonymously telling people I likely don't know that I have no balls.

Hmm. Time to stop whining about myself.

you can hold out
even walls

Insert proboscis, Suck Blood. Repeat
I paid my many fines at school - the remainder of tuition, my lab fees, and my library fees. Yi. My library fees were an astounding $80 dollars. I've got expensive taste, apparently.

Mafiaboy, Master Hacker
I actually had the 'hacker' vs 'cracker' talk with my parents today. It took a while to explain. Then I realized, it doesn't matter: 'hacker' in the proper sense is a label that can only be given someone by another hacker.. so if you aren't in the community, the label is meaningless. So I say let them keep calling crackers hackers. It doesn't affect anything, and 'hacker' is a cooler word than 'cracker'. (and with less racial overtones)

Joanna, my girlfriend, is working on the other side of the country from me for four months. She leaves in under a week. whine whine whine. Thank you for your patience.

cat /dev/null
More work on entity's python stuff. The Python C API is passably documented and easy to write with; you tend to forget you are in C and need to take care of garbage collection yourself. Oh well, once it's all working that'll be an evening's chore.

Diddling on a few other little, little projects - haven't had much time for anything, since I've been spending most of my time with Joanna.

I am again of the opinion that Delphi sucks. And also that Windows is a horrible environment for people to learn how to code.

Funny thing of the day: Going over someone else's comments for a project I'm trying to ressurect, I came across this comment describing a constructor definition: "{ Set up the internal state of the object }". Wow. Tautological comments.

  • feeling good; coding more. Entity's python support should be live by sometime this weekend.
  • my (pseudo) 'business-partner' seems to think he's found investors. it will fail, i'm sure. but maybe it'll pay me for the summer.
  • Iain seems to be a Weezer fan too. This is a Good Thing.
  • gosh darn it, other than that my life is boring.
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.

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