Older blog entries for jcv (starting at number 14)

7 Apr 2002 (updated 7 Apr 2002 at 12:57 UTC) »

Home fixin's

cmiller and his lovely bride Mary Ellen came over yesterday to help me work on my kitchen. I've been stripping wallpaper and spackling and sanding and generally making a mess most Saturdays for the past two months, all because I didn't like the wallpaper and wanted a nice yellow paint in the kitchen. That'll show me!

I'm so glad to have friends like that who will show up and help. We didn't get much done though. I'm not sure why.

Hey! You know on the bucket of drywall mud where they emphatically state "Avoid Sanding!"? They aren't just blowing drywall dust up your hiney. It will enter most other orifices, though.

Most of the problem was that I had to sand some of the patches I had made in the drywall, and airborne gypsum ain't fun. We took a couple of hours cleaning it up. Then we spent a couple of hours masking stuff off, and then we tried the "rolled on plaster of paris texture technique" someone had recommended. It looked really bad, so we didn't go forward. Good thing I tested it behind the refridgerator.

So, then we ate steaks off the grill. I love my friends, even if I'm a bad host.

Daylight savings time

Who the heck thought this was a good idea?

It's summer, it's hot. Who the heck wants to save daylight? I'm all for donating it to less fortunate countries, like Alabama.

My Trip To UCF

The most interesting thing was this statement by Dr. Hua.

As a undergrad, you are taught how to solve problems, and when you graduate, you should be able to solve any problem in the world, thoretically. As a PhD student, we teach you to be a trouble maker.

So, according to Dr. Hua, asking interesting questions is more important than giving interesting answers.

I sorta like that.


Dang! It's early for me! I'm leaving in about 30 minutes to go visit the University of Central Florida, and Dr. Kien A. Hua specifically. I'm more nervous than I should be.

I've got my handy GPS, though, so directionally, I should be fine. I've gotta stop at the bank on the way out, since there are numerous toll booths along the way.

3 Apr 2002 (updated 3 Apr 2002 at 16:10 UTC) »


Re:Delitalk - angelfire is disallowing your links into your x86 and src directories, so the two links under your "Download:" section don't work.

It's funny, I've had similar ideas about a true OO operating system. I haven't written much up about it, but here is what I said in my grad school application personal statement:

I am interested in object oriented operating systems for their potential to reduce application complexity. The current abstractions we use for interacting with the computer do not do enough to manage repetitive and error-prone tasks. For example, should application developers have to worry about persistence at all? An object oriented operating system could handle that. Application developers would simply request an object from the backing store, manipulate it in some way, and forget it. There is no need to keep track of different types of memory, such as disk and RAM; virtualizing all memory and having the OS deal with the difference between volatile and non-volatile storage reduces complexity for all software using its services.


Programming is art for people who can't draw. :)

2 Apr 2002 (updated 2 Apr 2002 at 20:05 UTC) »

Regarding how to take donations for your web site. It isn't quite the same as PayPal (ie: people can change their mind and get a refund automatically), but Amazon.com's Honor System sounds like it will do exactly what you want.


Well, I'm pretty hopped up on caffeine right now. Of all the legal mind altering chemicals, it's my favorite.

I'm planning a trip to Orlando to see the UCF CS department. I'm honored beyond belief by their offer, I'm just still debating and praying on what's right for me right now. I'm going down there Thursday. If any UCF CS grad students are reading this... any of y'all want to give me a real tour?

Yay! Band practice tonight!

1 Apr 2002 (updated 2 Apr 2002 at 15:46 UTC) »
  • I just finished All Tomorrow's Parties last night. Well, maybe finished is too strong a word. I think Gibson just got tired of writing, because nothing seemed to be explained or resolved. The whole book seemed to build to a climax that never happened. Weird.
  • I hate April Fools Day.
  • gstein:, the python script you are thinking of for posting to advogato was advodiary by cmiller.
29 Mar 2002 (updated 29 Mar 2002 at 22:52 UTC) »

Hey Yahoo! Mail Users!

As you're probably aware, Yahoo! is going to start charging for pop3 access to your account. If you're like many, and haven't enabled pop3 access until now, you are probably discovering that they aren't making it obvious how to enable pop3 forwarding for you. Makes it kind of hard to get your email off their system before it becomes fee based, doesn't it?

What they aren't telling you is that until April 24th, the flag they are using to control whether you have pop3 access is still changable by you!

Here's what you do:

  1. Log into your Yahoo! account and go here. This should be the Marketing Preferences page.
  2. Enable the last option ONLY, the one that says "Special offers from selected Yahoo! partners brought to you by Yahoo! Delivers."
  3. Optionally, instead of items 1 and 2, you can just click this link.
  4. Now, you can log into the pop server pop.mail.yahoo.com with your yahoo ID and password and get all your mail off!
  5. Enjoy a pat on the back for beating the system

Hope that helps some of you.

29 Mar 2002 (updated 29 Mar 2002 at 22:32 UTC) »

jcv: One thing I'm starting to realize is that I don't have to have experience in something to have an interest in it as far as grad school is concerned.
jcv: Like, I'm interested in robotics, but I've never done anything with it.
lindsey: True, but you won't really know how interesting it is until you're into it for a while, I think. So you have the best information about your interest based on things that you actually have done.
jcv: But, I have done most of the things I have because they were economically viable, not because they interested me, really.
jcv: I'm a lesser earl of mining the known load.
lindsey: That comment was about CS research, not CS practice.
jcv: Still, it was funny.
lindsey: I think mining the known lode is more about just digging deeper and deeper into some narrow little field that's easy to work on and easy to get publications.
lindsey: Funny!
lindsey: (what a remarkably-ambiguous exclamation)
jcv: Yeah.
jcv: Hygene!
lindsey: But that makes perfect sense; no verbs necessary.
jcv: Why don't you drive down this weekend and give me advice.
jcv: ?
lindsey: Dernit! This one-hour job is taking all afternoon.
jcv: 'cause I keep talking to you.
lindsey: Well, yeah, there's some context switch cost, btu there's just a bunch of bugs in this thing that I'm trying to fix.
lindsey: somebody else's bugs.
lindsey: Sure, I'll be there in a few minutes.
jcv: I don't know who's advice I'd value with regards to this. Most people have their own agenda.
lindsey: It's a computation of goodness and cost.
lindsey: I'm glad I opted to err on the side of grad school, though.
lindsey: though I didn't have house.
lindsey: ^house^a house^
jcv: The more common thing would be for me to stay here and work at Some Local Company.
jcv: But, there is value in following the road less travelled.
lindsey: Dern yeah!
jcv: maybe "common" is the wrong word. "Traditional" or "conventional" is probably more acurate.
lindsey: Yeah, the path of least resistance usually runs to the gutter.
lindsey: :D
jcv: Amen.
jcv: Or the ocean.
lindsey: Well, but lots of sewers in between.
jcv: I like the beach.
lindsey: I don't. Sunburn.
lindsey: Stinging ocean creatures.
jcv: Sharks!
jcv: (that's an exclamation that needs no accompanist)

Yes, cmiller's advodiary is pretty cool. I used it for my Microsoft rant yesterday, as well as this entry.

Speaking of that rant, I think dmerrill missed my point, and thought I was defending Microsoft's position. Maybe I should have made my outrage at the book's claims more clear.

I'd like to get Tomcat running on grump.org, but the machine is an old Sparc 20, and something funky happens whenever I start Tomcat up. Methinks there is a problem with the java runtime I'm using from blackdown.org. I want to do something with the grump.org domain, and I'm most comfortable with java, but maybe this is a good incentive for me to install openACS and learn some TCL.


26 Mar 2002 (updated 26 Mar 2002 at 16:02 UTC) »

I'm reading a book called "Introducing Microsoft .NET".

In the very first chapter, the author starts comparing programmers to alcoholics. He says we are unable to follow good programming practices like unit tests, or documenting our code. We programmers, he insists, are so lazy and undiciplined that we cannot even keep ourselves from wasting four hours a day playing Solitaire on our computers during work hours (pg. 5).

As a solution, he proposes we programmers need to do what people in recovery do, basically follow a "two step" program:

  • Admit we are powerless to manage our lives.
  • Believe a greater power than ourselves can restore us to sanity.

Anyone want to guess who he thinks this "greater power" is? Who is the only one who can save lazy, undiciplined programmers? Why, it's our old friend Microsoft. Microsoft is now our god, according to David S. Platt. Wise benevolent Microsoft and their only begotten son, .Net, has come to redeem us and make us whole, productive citizens again.


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