Older blog entries for olandgren (starting at number 215)

School

I'm sure my response to shlomif's article is probably unjustified. Maybe I'm just lucky to be at an institution where I do learn things in my classes. I just have a hard time understanding how someone could feel that they would be learning more outside of an institution dedicated to teaching you things than inside it. Maybe it's a personal hangup or something: I have too much invested in the system to be able to divorce myself from it.
Within the system, as it were, life goes on. I'm giving a presentation on one of several proofs of Turan's theorem tomorrow, as are the rest of the people in the class. After these are complete, we're going to debate which is the most elegant mathematically. The networks test seemed to go fine -- studying hard for it really did pay off quite well. I felt comfortable, which can be so critical.

Hacking

I'm trying to find time to implement a friend's protocol for game communication. I've had about half an hour to look at it, and it should be doable, if not the simplest thing in the world. Personal note: docs found here.

Life

Life has been somewhat complex. Women are very complex. I'm not sure how badly I screwed things up, if I screwed things up, or if I'm doing OK. Who knows? I'll just keep doing my best.

Listening

Smashing Pumpkins - We Only Come Out at Night

School

School goes on, if not completely spectacularly. I think the biggest problem I have right now is the fact that I'm so worried about my networks test tomorrow I've actually made flashcards. I haven't done that in a long, long time.
Other than that, I get to go fight with our student government over how much money the ACM gets this year. It should be very interesting, and I'm not sure that we're going to get enough money. Ultimately, it might be worth it to simply stop being a student organization within those confines and just go back to being a departmental organization.

Hacking

Not a terribly exciting stretch of time. My first cron job is still working, so I guess I didn't screw it up. I get to hack on a bunch of output parsing later today, so that should be a lot of fun. I did a presentation to my programming languages class on GOO, which went OK, but the problem came in that I wasn't really able to experiment with the language at all before it, so some of the behaviors I had to extrapolate from the documentation, not code. *sigh* I guess he'll release it eventually.

Life

Aside from the fact that my social life has been greatly curtailed by the amount of studying that I've been doing, not much else has been going on. I demonstrated my impeccable sense of timing last night when asking Emilia to coffee. I showed up 10 minutes too late and she was already in editing mode on her honors thesis. I can completely understand that, so I'm only a little sad that we didn't get to go. Maybe next time.
A couple other tensions have been wandering around my group of friends. I'm not quite sure what to do, since I agree with the sentiments wholeheartedly, but at the same time recognize that those same sentiments didn't really help all that much in the past. Hopefully everything will get worked out in the end. Pah. Social interaction is so messy sometimes. I guess I'll just go back to practicing backrubs on people and not worrying about how it turns out.

Listening

Cylob - Sun-Day

Placeholder

My last entry was a little long, so I thought I'd do this. Being able to build diary entries in Emacs is seriously convenient, and advodiary is even cooler. Bring on the new versions. <grin>

School

Quite a bit of homework needs to be done, and I've not much time to do it. In order of priority, I have half a combinatorics homework assignment(well, a little more but I'll be generous), a 3-5 page draft for Economics of Gender, and a presentation for my programming languages senior seminar.
I've already figured out the topic for my presentation -- I'm going to talk about the new and interesting features found in GOO. Yeah, it sounds like a bad joke to some extent, but it's actually quite interesting. The language is the logical extension of Scheme into a purely object-oriented, typed language. It should be interesting to see how the ideas for its design fit together in my head with what I've learned thus far this semester. Articulating those ideas should be even more interesting

Hacking

Aside from setting up my first cron job ever, dedicated to running rdate -s -p time-b.nist.gov, not much. It's pretty cool to get an email once a night that says "Yup, everything is ok." I guess I'll learn to like cron more in the future.

Work

Quickie Perl is fun -- I got to write a script that moves inboxes to a new location on the system to alleviate overcrowding in /var/mail, and tells users what it did. Hopefully people will move their stuff elsewhere and won't get whacked by it, but you never know.

Life

Wow, is life ever complicated. Yesterday it seemed like everything I touched was turning into ash. Shot down for a job, was a complete and utter bastard in front of the girl I like a lot, got specifically targeted by a professor in class when I was trying to lay low. Everything seemed to be crashing down on me. Then, today was the day of Owen doing/saying stupid things. I managed to work three into a conversation with Emilia in under a minute. I don't think I've been on such a roll for a while, so it was nice, in a very twisted sort of way.
The idiocy starts about 2:00 in the afternoon, when I stop by her place, only to discover she's not home. Not daunted, I stop by at 4:00, with approximately the same results. Then about 4:30 I leave a voice mail message suggesting that she call me and we try to do something. However, as fate would decree it I don't see her again till dinner. College cafeterias are interesting places, and at a school as small as Macalester you can't avoid running into people at times. So, I see her at supper, but she's sitting with a guy that I really have some serious issues with. He's not a bad person per se, we just have personal difficulties. This makes it sorta hard for me to walk up and ask if she wants to do something tonight. So, I don't, and instead diddle around trying desperately to catch her when she's not around him. This doesn't happen, sadly, and so I run home. There, the mistakes begin(the real ones -- the ones made at supper were simple by comparison).
To begin with, I pick up the phone and call without checking for messages. I sorta have plans for the evening, but they would very much be malleable depending on what she wants to do. In not checking my voice mail messages, I miss the one she sent saying that she hoped to see me at destination X this evening. So I call, and ask her to destination Y, phrasing it such that it sounds like I'm planning to do Y regardless of what she says(which wasn't true at the time). This, by itself, isn't mistake number two. Mistake number two is asking her which she thinks I should do. She suggests Y. Slightly flustered, I only semi-jokingly ask if she "wants me to stop asking her" This is mistake number three. Yeah, I'm dense. Luckily, she's an absolute sweetie, and responds with something along the lines of "I like spending time with you, but it looks like not tonight." I think I managed to escape without making any more mistakes. Y was indeed fun, but I'm sorta stuck wondering about how X went and whether she's still busy writing her paper right now. Ah, well. I seem to have survived, though I'm covered in egg. It should be interesting to see what kind of hard time she gives me tomorrow.

Listening

Pete Namlook - Molecular Progression

Work

One option down and out. They're not going to extend me an offer at this time. Who knows how things are going to work, but I guess I'm of two minds about it. Part of me thought the job would have been really interesting, but the other part of me was shuddering inside. I guess that since the decision got made for me, I don't have to worry about it. Oh, well. Off to celebrate the weekend.
5 Apr 2002 (updated 5 Apr 2002 at 09:38 UTC) »

Hacking

In the I-really-shouldn't-but-I'm-going-to-anyways department, I set up advodiary and emacs to work on my Windows box. The process involved the following for me:
  • Setting two environment variables ($HOME and $EDITOR)
  • Installing the new version of ActiveState Python(because I couldn't figure out how to make my Cygwin install correctly spawn a shell before running scripts when double-clicked)
  • Stripping down my .emacs file to the absolute bare-bones stuff I need(CUA-mode, HTML-helper-mode, bindings for home/end/, parenmatch stuff)
  • Setting emacs to not use an init file and instead load this new barebones .emacs with the -l commandline option when invoked as EDITOR
  • Defining a function which will insert the skeleton of my diary into the buffer when called
I didn't particularly think I had it in me, but it ended up working great. Advodiary is quite cool, though I must admit it's a pity the emacs-mode I saw only works with emacs 20.7. 21 is just so much nicer on Windows. Yaay for sleep-deprived hacking.
Edit: Not only did I do that, but I was on such a roll I decided to set up Ispell as well. So now I can spell-check my entries before I submit them. Thanks to cmiller for such a cool toy. Whee!

School

School is going fairly well, such as these things go. It's crunch time, and I really should be working on combinatorics right now, but I haven't made an entry in a while. My last couple of exams have been a lot of fun, in that I kicked ass on them. High score in the class, and the teacher liked my paper enough that it was the one that got sent around(sans name of course). I guess that's a sign of a good job.

Hacking

Aside from some more work with AspectJ, not much has been going on. It's really rather sad -- I quite enjoy programming, but other homework has been getting in the way. Lots of papers to read in my senior seminar class.

Life

Life has been overall excellent, modulo some minor annoyances. Most happily, I've been able to talk with Emilia -- things seem to be going well there. I dropped by intending to stay ~15 minutes and ended up talking for three hours, which was a lot of fun. Put me a little behind the curve, but hey, that's life.
I feel really silly sometimes -- I wish that I could explain to girls in words why they're so incredibly cool/sexy/beautiful/attractive/<adjective here>, but the words just never seem to come out. Or when they do, it's at the wrong time or phrased wrong and I end up coming off smarmy rather than just nice like I was trying to. Oh, well.

Listening

Pete Namlook - Airport Freak

School

School is slowing down, as the nasty homework winnows out the chaff that is busywork. I'm not entirely sure if this is a good thing. I did my presentation on Aspect-Oriented languages today in Sem, which was fun. I really need to learn to tone down the hyperkinetic presentation style I seem to have developed somewhere along the line. That and the fact that I draw a diagram, get halfway done, see that my audience gets the point, and stop, leaving an orphaned diagram or scrap of code, is always fun. We apparently messed up part of our proof for the combinatorics homework assignment, so that's pesky. It'll need to be a fast fix, too. Econ of Gender is fun, though I paid for making a sarcastic comment by being asked a fairly difficult question. Oh, well -- sometimes you're just grumpy. You pay your dues.

Hacking

Retrofitting a school project with AspectJ is really interesting. I've been thinking about how I want to do the design for a while, and it's getting to the point where I think I've got what I want in my head. I wonder if there's an Ant build task for it?
In sadder news, my RSI has been getting worse. I'm a college student -- I'm not supposed to be getting RSI this early in life. I've got a better set up wrist braces, and upgraded to an ergonomic keyboard on my work machine, so hopefully that will stem the tide. I suspect stress to some extent -- I wasn't bothered at all last semester.

Life

Life is proving interesting, as always. As of about 12 hours from now, there will be exactly two months until my entire social life graduates and leaves for parts unknown. It should be incredibly interesting -- I'm reminded how much I love my friends every time we do something. Parties over the weekend were mostly good, with some untoward incidents I wasn't directly involved in, but on the whole much more positive than negative.
As far as the female front goes, I managed to ask her on a date, but ended up not getting it due to scheduling conflicts. She did agree, though, which is at least a positive sign, and she doesn't seem to be repulsed by my company. Hopefully I don't mess this one up. One odd thing: I fixed a friend's computer(the power supply was overheating), and on my way back to my room walked past her house. Emilia was sitting in her living room, face in her hands. I just wanted to give her a hug and tell her that she was beautiful and smart and everything would work out. Funny how that works..
Making peace with the fact that your friend is dating another friendly acquaintance, and that you're really, really jealous about it is hard to do. I understand why Katrina is doing what she is, but there's something that just hurts deep inside when you ask "so why is he good enough now, and I wasn't then?" I guess that's one of those nasty little questions that you can't really answer, because it involves looking at stuff inside yourself that I would rather not. I'm sure that she's right and that it would have ended up a complete disaster, but I guess I tend to be more of a damned if you do type of person. Rejection always hurts.

Listening

Tom Heasley - Monterey Bay

Yes, I am listening to Ambient Tuba. You got a problem with that?

School

Not too much on this front. We get the networks test back on Friday. My Econ of Gender paper got butchered and I'm going to need to resurrect it for tomorrow afternoon so that the preceptor can look it over. What else is going on? Combinatorics went well -- I got a good score(95%) on the last homework to make up for the one I failed. My programming languages seminar remains the coolest thing walking -- we're looking at continuations and the formal denotational semantics which surround them.

Hacking

My Linux box is live again, after a horrible episode with the video card. All is better now, and I've got a shiny new GeForce II MX 64. Damn, those things are dirt cheap right now compared to what video cards were a couple of years ago. Redhat 7.1 also impressed me by autodetecting it and automatically configuring everything.

Work

<sings>Leavin' on a jet plane...

Life

But screw your courage to the sticking place, and we'll not fail.
Let's see, what all is interesting. Still haven't managed the above -- I'm currently dying of inaction. *sigh* Bad Owen, No Cookie. A girl I know through a mutual friend contacted me to let me know it was ok to talk to her, which was interesting. I guess I'd never thought about that particular behavior pattern of mine, but I guess that's just the way things are. I purchased, at semi-ruinous expense, a new pair of wrist braces which will hopefully alleviate some of the newly resurgent carpal tunnel. Fun and games.

Listening

Eels - Beautiful Freak

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