27 Feb 2001 jacobsan   » (Observer)

ObAdvogato

Wow, long time no update, eh? Guess I slipped back into putting diary-like stuff on my weblog -- hafta work on that.

C++

I've ended up giving up on the C++ study group at work -- I wasn't really getting anything out of it, and I think I've picked up enough that (a) if I have to hack on somebody else's C++ code I won't be totally lost and (b) I'm not going to be using C++ for any of my new projects anytime soon -- I'll stick with Perl and C, thanks much.

It's still not clear to me how much of my disgust with the language is due to the language itself, and how much is due to the awful C++ Primer, but I'm pretty much beyond caring.

I'm currently making another assault on Goerzen's Linux Programming Bible. Previously, I've crapped out about eight or ten chapters in, but I'd really like to absorb more of the 'C mindset', so I'm giving it another go.

hackery

My recent upgrade to the Helix^WXimian Gnome 1.4.1 .debs broke GMC in a number of interesting ways. This was a PITA, since I'd been storing links to check out later as desktop URL files. So, I sat down, thought for about schemas for about 15 minutes, did a bit of CGI/Perl/SQL hacking, and whipped up a little bookmark mananger. I realize that this has been done tons of times before, but I've played with most of the bookmark utilities on freshmeat.net at one time or another, and found most of them unsatisfying for one reason or another. Plus, it's nice to have a little project like this, where I can hack in new features one at a time, but still keep a decent overview on where the whole thing is going, so that it doesn't end up as a huge mess (he said, crossing his fingers...)

Actually, I think I can see a way to easily extend this into the poor man's CMS/weblogging tool that I've been thinking about for a number of months. Now I just have to decide if it's worthwhile to do -- I'm not sure I'd stick with a tool where I had to do extensive text editing in a browser. OTOH, getting the backend in place with a CGI interface that talks to it is probably a good precursor to making the backend talk to XEmacs. On the gripping hand, I am gonna keep fooling with the damn thing, so I might as well try to plan ahead a bit...

career

It's getting to be time for me to start thinking about what I want to be when I grow up (most would say I'm a bit late...) I've got about one year left in my current post-doc. My options are to extend the post-doc (which I could easily do, for another year, or even two), try to get a Real (scientific) Job at the current workplace, try to get a Real Job somewhere in the biotech/bioinformatics industry, or try to get a job completely unrelated to science -- systems administration is the current leading contender in this category.

The Big Decision I have to make is between one of the first three and the last one -- I'm reasonably sure that any of the four alternatives are open to me, but the last one is a much, much bigger step than staying in science. There are quite a few things about sysadmin work (or what I've seen and heard about sysadmin work, anyway) that appeal to me -- I like making things work the Right Way, I like having a variety of different issues to deal with during the day, and I like 'interrupt-driven' work. The money would be as good or better than staying in science, so that's not really a factor -- it's just going to be a pretty irreversible step.

Ah well, it's certainly not something that needs to be decided overnight. Any advice?

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