Older blog entries for nullity (starting at number 25)

Ah... It has been far too long. :-) I'm not entirely disillusioned with the art of the public diary, though I have realized that I must compensate for the lack of physical and description and life-story narration with more of the ecletic jumble contending with reality for my mind in fragile equilibrium. Oh yes! I am indeed teetering on the edge of insanity.
And in the land of dark hackery I have little of note to report, being caught in the doldrums of bug fixing. Upon the distant horizon I see hopes of spending meager amounts of time on a drag bar (e.g. an alternative to cut-n-paste), but we shall have to see. A lot of what I am doing is writing testing tools to verify others', erm, less than perfect implementations. Not the most terribly exciting stuff in the world, but it does engage my time :-)

This was a while back, but it does have some reflection on directions my life may be heading in the near future. I talked with Rebecka Schulman (sp?) for quite a while one night while we both worked late at Eazel. It was somewhat disheartening for I found that she has shockingly similar interests to mine...but developed several more years (e.g. I am at the beginning of my undergraduate experience, and she has already done graduate studies for a while). So the more I discovered similar interests and goals the more I became disheartened by her apparent disillisionment with much of computer science. This is not to say that I was merely depressed by her lack of enthusiasm, because she is doing many very interesting things with Medusa in great earnest. Rather her perspectives as somebody who has sampled my dreams already was worrisome - simply because it robbed me of some measure of foolish idealism. The issues she raised I have already heard, they are obvious. But hearing "myself" in a sense uttering them, or rather somebody who I sense would have similar views as myself with a great deal more experience (eg Rebecka), I was forced to actually consider them, and I found much of it to be true.

Computers are a rather trivial pursuit. If you are not doing something with them that makes them work towards other more worthy ends - you must acknowledge that what you are doing with your life is playing. That is not necessarily a bad thing, but in my particular case it is difficult to accept. I think this may mean that I need to find out why I'm doing what I'm doing. Part of it...is because I do derive pleasure out of architecting elegant solutions, yes. But is immediate pleasure sufficient impetus to purse something as my life? I don't know, but I think not. So now I am left with either attempting to deduce a meaningful rational for pursuing computer science theory, or I must supplement it with other pursuits...or I must shallow myself and accept it as is. I doubt I can do the latter, or rather I wish not to and so choose not to consider it a viable option.
Being therefore disillusioned concerning the nature of computers by talking too much with Rebecka...I have decided to pursue other venues of expression and general temporal consumption. Perhaps the most easily doable for personal edification is to write. Now I have engaged myself quite thorougly this summer in writing poetry, but as I am not exactly an epic poet :-)... this is a disjunctious process. So I have the grain of a novel and intend to start work on it. It is rather frustrating for beautiful sections of writing pass fleetingly through my mind as I work upon the mechanisms of the world itself...frustrating because I rather suspect myself to be at a loss for such passages once I apply myself to the pen (I don't much relish writing fiction at a computer for some odd reason, yes I know its silly but...I am a beast of whimsy and it makes me feel more, oh I don't know, more...poetic? to write in such a primitive fashion :-).

We (Nick Wei, and my roommate, and yes me) walked to Palo Alto tonight. Then we rented a movie, and found an unlocked projection room on campus and watched theatre style...but there were only three of us there. The sound wasn't quite as good, but the screen was really quite large, and the room was nice. Then we played Starcraft for an hour and ate pizza. Fun! Even though I'd seen the preview for True Lies like 20 times I'd never actually seen the movie ... which was really as funny as the preview made it out to be :-) We also watched Star Trek IV, which wasn't quite so exciting... Seen it too many times, and it really isn't all that great.
Actually took the day off other than helping some people on IRC :-) You should be proud of me! It took immense restraint...

Helped situate computers in their new home at Eazel's new office. The new office is really nice...except for strange purple/violet squares of carpeting every so often ... and the bathroom. the bathroom is freaky. Its a combined effect brought upon by small gleaming checkerboard black & white tiles, above which is placed a brilliant 4ft strip of purple paint. Then the mirror is perfectly round and placed in such a way that you are surrounded by this checkerboard/purple theme. Its freaky. Lesser things have driven men mad, enter at your own risk. :-)
I'm sleepy, so I'll probably be getting a good 10hrs of sleep tonight (wow!).
Eskil has plans for a game-room including a pinball machine, a foosball table, and pool (and the obligatory non-dart dartboard). The new office gives room for such amenities ;-) Hats off to Rick, Scott, and Jurgen for making the transition (computer wise) so smooth!

Put some dovetails and detail into my Java-based, multi-machine, multi-processing system. Or at least that's how it started... Flipped everything around to try a new model of remote messaging which seems to have some significant performance gains. Too bad...but this is no longer a "look mommy how amazing Java is, I only wrote 200 lines and I have a multiprocessing system" project. Instead I'll try driving it the point of being useful. Ah well ;-) Practicality will snag all of us sooner or later.
Feeling much better in other areas. Particularly nice is that I will get to move from my current place in the outback into the same cubicle as Ramiro, Gene, and Pavel. Let the learning continue!

So I finally finished my symlink support code... Now working on remaining bugs, and then probably adding support to Nautilus. The move is hapenning tomorrow, so I'm scrambling to get a working build setup at home.
I'm once again mired in a situation where I can't tell if everyone is just laughing behind my back...or whether people who are really nice actually are. It was easier before people grew up and became political... You know, like maybe I annoy everyone. Maybe everyone sort of mutually agreed that I sould be banished to the corner of Eazel in the new building. I don't know, I have to guess because people don't give me hard feedback. I'm getting tired of people rapidly again. It was so much simplet over IRC.
Eric and Anthony stood us up! Brian and I are wondering if they forgot or...(?) Maybe we had the dates wrong :) Brian's computer (well, HD) just bit the dust so we lost a bunch of contact information.
In further news...my wallet was taken. The story will come later, but basically it disappeared in a span of about 50ft and 1 minute (!!!). YARGH! that makes a bike, a Newton...and now a wallet taken :-( There wasn't much money in it, but now I get to deal with the hassle of notifying two banks, getting a new Stanford ID card - and worse I hadn't taken my Social Security Card out after hauling it to eazel to prove my citizenship (!!!). Fortunately I'm fine on cash until I get my new ATM/credit card because I have a couple checks I need to cash.
Added all the missing pieces for symlink support in GnomeVFS. Finishing off the "test suite" that verifies symlink support is working 100%.
Finally availed myself of the In-N-Out located right by Eazel...yum! Must restrict myself to only utilizing once a week or so ;-) Of course...the great thing about In&Out is that their menu selection is limited enough (more than is posted, but not that varied) that you can't eat their too much w/o getting sick of it (or maybe not? is it possibly so good? ... nah).
Eric Pai, who lives in the area, will be coming over... That should breathe some social life into things (right).
Cooking was the highlight today...

Made biscuits again today. Yum. I forgot how fun baking can be. Tomorrow we will do cinammon rolls (sp?). Anyway...its nice to eat food that didn't come straight out of the package and into the microwave. Not that that's what we've been eating, but I think this is the fourth time this week we've actually used the stove...must do that more.
The primary issue is that we don't have a pot yet :) As soon as that occurs I'll be cooking vegetables, chili, pasta, etc. That should impove the variety of our diet significantly. Currently it consists of burritos, various sandwiches, nachos, and YOGHURT! We have like a huge pile of yoghurt. Brian (my apartment-mate) drank 2 jugs of apple juice in 3 days (!?!?). He was serious about really liking that stuff.
I glanced over gnome-vfs APIs for a while today...but spent most of my computer time trying to tunnel X through ssh with Rick. Partial success, but not enough to try builds off my home machine. Oh well, text-mode emacs is still emacs.

I feel better today. A little...

Ok... This is a major depressive time. Its probably compounded by being on such a high throughout the week, combined with stress combined with lack of sleep. But I'm also under a good amount of social pressure. On the one hand I have Sandra who's been very frustrating to deal with because I felt like I was just starting to connect with her when she left. What a change from the "I can never be close to you" a few weeks before! I feel like we've both grown in some ways, but more importantly we finally got things out on the table. That sounds good, no? But the thing is that now she's away over the summer...and most of what I see of her every day is a message that she was on ICQ for like 3 minutes! I feel like if things die now they'll be dead because we are going to be living in very different housing next year. :-( Why do I always feel safest with the people who end up causing me the most pain?<sigh&rt;
This is compounded by my working at Eazel...which started out as a really good thing. And I realize that maybe I've been a snot or something (and I know I'm sometimes annoying)...but I feel like I'm really unwanted by Arlo, Andy, and some other people. I mean, I realize that there's such a huge split in experience etc...but ... I don't know. It feels like I'm the only person who's getting this. Fine so I'm the lowly intern...but it doesn't hurt to treat me like a person with feelings. And maybe they are joking...sometimes it seems Arlo is (sometimes he says he is) but I still have this general impression conveyed. Its like a feel like I'm the only person who doesn't have a a niche, and therefore people just wish I'd shrivel up and go away. But the thing is that I'm working hard and fixing lots of bugs. Good grief... I've probably worked more hours this week than almost anyone (an entire all-nighter...10+hr days other than that). And I've fixed a bunch of stuff. At least Darin, who was the hardest to deal with at first, is somebody I now feel comfortable with after meeting him (its amazing how important that can be sometimes).
sniffle, boohoo for me. OK. I'm done being a whiner.

I'm now stuck at Eazel because its 3am and my bike doesn't have lights And anyway I'm too lazy to ride 7mi when I'm this tired. The logistical issues is that Maciej has the couch. Maybe if I pull a fire alarm or something he'll wake up and move and I can steal it? That sounds like a good plan to me except that I'm guessing he wouldn't wake up.
Doing a search for fast food places in the area that might be open... I actually like McDonald's for breakfast...but none nearby as far as I can tell
Got a lot of hacking done today. Fixed an evil strange bug with something of a kluge. I'm contemplating moving the gimp gradient code into nautilus. Oh well... I have a new bug telling me to fix it right. (written by meself off carse!) I still want the couch. Grr. Guess I'll take the floor. Also on the list today is to finalize (?) the link APIs for gnome-vfs and go implement them. The good news is that I'm getting bike lights soon and panniers so all this will be null and void. Whooohooo!
Update 7am: I decided to just spend the night working (slowly of course...I'm putting in looooads of extra hours here ;-) YAWN. But there's coffee brewing...I'm normally not a coffee drinker...but put a little chocolate in it and presto the stuff is pretty good.

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