18 Aug 2000 fuzzynerd   » (Apprentice)

Someone needs to come to my apartment, and confiscate my Diablo 2 CDs, or I'm never going to get this laptop project done. I wasted a few hours playing, but it helped me relax for a while.

Jon still has the loaner T20. It looks like the problem with the ethernet card was some random data written to the EPROM during some of his testing. He fixed it, and now I don't have to buy RPI a new ethernet card. I'm happy.

My former employer sent me an e-mail, asking when I'm going to "visit". He left the Albany Stratton VA Medical Center in New York State to go work for a VA Med Center in South Carolina. "Visit" means setup his new computer network in SC. I have no great motivation to fly down to do his system administration. The problem seems to be that he can't find anyone to replace me. I setup an OSX server, and a Linux server (later moved to FreeBSD) to provide file and print services for his heterogenous network of MacOS and Win98 computers. After working for him for around two years, everything finally worked the way it was supposed to. I was able to reduce my visits to his lab to 1-3 days per month, to rotate tapes, and solve some cosmetic problems. Now everything has been moved, and the physical layout of the network is completely different. This is much more than a weekend job, but he doesn't know that.

If anyone in the area of the University of South Carolina wants a job doing system administration for a network of ~14 machines, half Win98, half MacOS, plus one OSX and one FreeBSD box, send me e- mail. I started this job during senior year of high school, and continued through freshman year of college. Someone of a similar age/experience level will probably be welcomed warmly.

I wrote some Perl last night for the Thinkpad 600e installer. Nothing fancy, but now it handles network problems better than it would have. I need to add a few more packages to the install, and I think I might be done. Some things are never going to be truly up to par, but I have to learn to live with "good enough" on some things.

I can't believe that when CIS was presented the choice of "put FreeBSD on the laptops now with full ethernet support" and "wait a few months and try it with Linux", they chose Linux. It's not definite yet, but it's crazy to hand these laptops to the freshman with Windows installed, let them play around with partitions, hardware, etc., and then try to make a uniform installer for Linux two months later. If they did things correctly now, it could spare so many headaches.

Work was...mildly productive. I spent two hours fighting with 'kdm' and 'xdm' because I wanted to provide a graphical login to the FreeBSD workstations that I'm responsible for. I ended up deriving an Xsession file from redhat's KDE install, to make it all work. The two hours were spent trying to figure out why no window managers were getting loaded on login. The problem ended up being an error in the shebang line of Xsession. /bin/bash should have been /usr/local/bin/bash. I wanted to kick myself. Hard.

I made a $100 order from Copyleft today. The news about the DeCSS trial was enough to convince me that I better buy a DeCSS shirt while I still can. Since I was buying one shirt, I decided to buy a whole bunch. I even picked up a Debian frisbee. Although my last experiences with Debian were less than amusing (I wasn't quite ready for it), the frisbee will come in handy when it's time to play the next 3am game of Frisbee Golf on RPI's campus.

A friend of mine, an extremely intelligent CS grad student, is talking about making major modifications to perl, in order to write a game. He has some cool ideas about designing the engine for a MUD that could be fully graphical, and span multiple servers. If he ever gets to the coding stage, I'll try to provide some help. Currently he's talking about making some changes to perl's 'magic': the way perl can decide what type a variable is being used as, based on the context of that variable. Way over my head. Game sounds fun, though. :)

It's been so long since I've read a book, cover-to-cover. I love to read, but I read so painfully slowly, compared to most people I know. There is so little time, there days.

Louis has secured air-fare for FreeBSD-Con. I'm horribly jealous. Falls right in the middle of midterms. I'm probably not going to be able to go. Maybe next year.

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