Older blog entries for topher (starting at number 5)

abstrakt: Fear not, for you are not alone in your shell scheming. In fact, I recently came across scsh, or the Scheme Shell, which was designed specifically for such a thing. ;-)

I also remember hearing mention of a project called guile-scsh, with the intent of using Guile as the back end for a Scheme Shell (I believe, though I'm not certain, based on the project mentioned above).

Niftiness...

It seems that whatever was messing with the certification levels has been fixed, and I'm no longer an observer. I guess there goes my excuse for putting off some pathetic attempts at a few articles, so expect to see those posted in a day or so. My thanks to whoever fixed the bug. ;-)

School...

The worst thing about school is when you have to do both sides of it. Dead week is next week, which means that finals will immediately follow. That leaves me with just over a week to read a combined total of around 20 chapters of various texts. Fun, fun, fun.

I also have to sit down sometime in the next day or so and grade tests for the computer class that I teach. More fun. I wonder if I could get some kind of assistant to grade them for me....unfortunately, though, I don't think they give assistants to part time professors at community colleges. Oh, well.

Fun Time...

Putting another hour or two into playing with Scheme later, I think. I'm really getting into this language. It plays with your head in that nice way, although it does seem to lead to headaches after prolonged exposure.

Books...

I'm currently in the process of compiling a list of links to any and all online books that I can find. I'm primarily looking for full text online, free, published books. I've currently got around 16 links, and another dozen or two tutorials and references. If anyone knows of any, please post 'em here, or e-mail me at 'topher at zyp.org'. I'll post the full listing in a couple weeks, when I feel like it's closer to completion. I'm especially looking for less well known books, as I have the more publicized recent ones, like the Samba book and Open Sources.

My main focus right now is technical books, but I'll include links to novels, as well, if anyone knows of any. Perhaps with some help, I could get enough books to justify organizing them into some sort of catagories.

Entertainment...

I'm thinking of going out to see a movie tonight or tomorrow with a couple of friends. Anyone have any suggestions or oppinions on what's good in theaters right now?

Also, I rented "New Rose Hotel" last night, although I haven't watched it yet. It's based on a short story by William Gibson. Anyone seen it, have anything to say? I'm not sure what to thinka bout it, yet. I love Gibson's novels, but the only other movie I've seen based on one of his books, Johnny Mnemonic, was a bit dissapointing. I actually did like the movie, although I know a lot of people didn't, but I felt like it had a ton of potential that went unrealized. I look at what it could have been, and I see something like the "Matrix". Oh, well. "New Rose Hotel" does have Christopher Walken in it, and he's just plain cool, so maybe I'll give it a shot later. I'll prolly post my thoughts on it after I see it.

Annoyances....

I remembered today why I hate politics, even at the University level.

Today, I was appointed to a position on my School's Student Government....and I beat out 7 other applicants for it....only thing, is it was pending approval from the student senate....

The problem is, the runner up candidate happened to be a member of the senate....which means he got to talk while I was out of the room during the debate about my appointment....

And, being on Senate, everyone there knows him....while less than a dozen of them know me.

Result: Proof that it's not what you know, but who you know.

Further proof is in the fact that while I could have handled the position entirely on my own, immediately after the meeting, the person who got the position came up to me and asked me to be his assistant because there were aspects of it he couldn't do.

I got slammed for my 'possible' lack of PR experience (as a CS major, they weren't sure about it, so basically just assumed it was nonexistent) while he can barely turn on a computer....

The position is Legislative and Public Relations Director, and one of the primary jobs is the Student Government website...

So, instead of choosing someone with unknown PR skills, they chose someone with well known non-existent computer skills....

I'm just annoyed at the whole thing, especially the fact that since I'm not on senate, I never got to say a word, just sit there, while my opponent got to talk and comment the whole time.

I just really wish I would have at least had a chance to speak and defend myself....it's tough when you're competing against someone everyone there knows, and you don't have a real chance to tell them what you can do.

"It's not what you know, it's who you know."

I'm just not sure if I even want to bother now....there's another position open that has pretty much been given to me, if I want it....

I don't know how well I'd like working with people knowing that they play politics as much as they do...

It was funny, my appointment was about the only one that involved a person not already on senate...

And mine was the only one that the discussion lasted for more than 2 minutes (literally, including the time to count votes) on.

Everyone on senate who was up for approval of their appointment got it without disucssion, mine was debated for a half hour (without me there to defend myself) and then struck down in favor of one of the people who was on senate and could speak against me.....Ugh. I just don't know if I want to bother with it....

I'm really thinking I'm just going to move on and find something else to occupy my time.

Too much... ;-)

Okay, and now I'm really just ranting, and I'm gonna shut up. Hope you all enjoyed my midnight whining, and I hope I didn't bore anyone too much.

Have a nice evening. ;-)

Musings....

Hrm....it seems that I'm still stuck at 'Observer' despite being certified above that...it wouldn't bother me much, except that I'd been considering posting an article. Oh, well, I guess it'll just have to wait...

Distro Wars, distro wars, let's all play in the distro wars....

I was gonna write up a big oppinion piece on the different Linux Distributions, but then I realized that I didn't care to write it, and no one would care to read it, either.

I think we all just need to remember that fanaticism in any form is a Bad Thing (tm). Personally, I've never seen much in the way of Debian users bashing Red Hat. In fact, my experience has been that Debian tends to be one of the 'quietest' distros around.

It reminds me somewhat of NetBSD, among the *BSDs. FreeBSD pushes themselves fairly strongly, and they work actively to promote themselves and their OS. OpenBSD pushes themselves as the most secure OS (Personally I feel administration is a *much* more important factor, and consider OpenBSD to be more Hype than real, but that's just my oppinion, and not the topic I'm discussing here).

NetBSD, on the other hand, just runs. In fact, it runs on more hardware platforms than any other OS. But, most people, even those who've heard of Linux, FreeBSD, and even OpenBSD, don't know about NetBSD. They also don't know it's the oldest of the three *BSDs. NetBSD is more concerned with themselves, their quality, and getting their jobs done, than they are with making a lot of noise.

Debian tends to be the same way, in my oppinion. They have no commercial backer, they have no publicists or marketing people, and they aren't well known among the media or public. They don't try to be the 'end all, be all' distribution for everyone. Instead, they quietly work towards making their distribution as good as they possibly can, for what they want to do with it.

This is the first time I've heard someone claim that Debian users looked down on Red Hat users. The few times I've heard that complaint, it was usually FreeBSD users looking down on Linux people, or Slackware people looking down on Distro-With-Package-Managers people. Or, more often than either of those, it's Linux people looking down on Windows people. Luckily, not everyone is like that. Let's all try to remember not to look down on others as well.

Life....

Okay, in other news, I only slept for an hour and a half last night. (The joy of finishing a 20 page group report, doing 2-3 page reaction paper, and then reading nearly 5 chapters and studying for a test at 9am this morning.) Needless to say, I'm rather exhausted, so I'm going to bed. G'Night everyone. ;-)

Time Wasting...

Spent a good portion of the day Scheming. The language was something of a mindflip at first, since most of my experience is with imperative languages, but I'm really starting to like it now. I think I'm definitely going to play with it more in the future.

Ponderings....

I'm thinking of resurecting my old popcheck program. It was a simple command line program that connected to a pop server and told you if you had any e-mail. If you did, it would tell you how many, who from, the dates they were received, and the subject lines. I'm thinking about rewriting it, as I first wrote it when I barely knew what I was doing.

I'm also considering rewriting it in alternate langauges. It was originally written in C....I'm thinking it might be fun to rewrite it in C++ and Perl. A good learning experience, and it might also be helpful for others to see how a program can be implemented in various languages.

Curious...

One thing I Just noticed about this site, is that I seem to have lost my 'certification'. Last time I was here, I was certified as a Journeyer. Now I'm not showing myself certified as anything when I check my page, and the full listing shows me as an Observer. I have a couple people who've certified me as Apprentice (people I don't even know, interestingly enough) and a few more who certified me as Journeyer. Seems odd. Everything looks like it should check out. Oh, well, prolly just a little bug or something.

Spent most of the day learning Scheme. It's definitely something of a mindflip when all your previous experience is with standard procedural programming languages. It's fun, though. I'm starting to get the hang of it, I think.

Gonna try to put some work into popcheck later (description and info on it posted then).

Planning to try to Debianize Ankh's lq-text project next week, too.

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