Older blog entries for walters (starting at number 25)

I've finally gotten back into going to the gym on a regular basis, and as I did some rollerblading around campus today, I noticed more girls looking at me. Now, I don't work out solely for that reason, but it is a nice bonus. What I finally realized is that people in general give more respect to someone who has some muscles. It's usually a fairly subtle effect, but it is extremely pervasive.

My dad convinced me to go the YMCA with him one day, and after I stepped outside again, tired and sore, I felt a lot better. That feeling has kept me going back pretty much every other day for the last three years. Before that, I used to think that bodybuilders and the like were just egotistic and stupid, and while that's true of a few, most people think of a toned body as a mark of self-respect. Your body reflects the state of your mind in many ways. Some people, when they're nervous, chew their fingernails. Shy people will probably tend to hunch over a bit. So when you take the time to excercise, it shows that you care about your body, and you're not going to let it go unmaintained. It shows that you have confidence and self-respect.

How much time do you spend doing system administration on your GNU/Linux or BSD machine? How long did it take you to set up RAID 5, upgrade your kernel, or to install the latest version of GNOME 2? Don't you think you should spend at least a fraction of that time (e.g. an hour every few days) doing "system administration" on your body, which keeps you alive? So stop reading this, and go apply for a membership at your local gym. You'll be glad you did.

13 May 2002 (updated 13 May 2002 at 08:01 UTC) »

(not free software related) I often read Wired News, and they liked to this article in the Economist which was pretty interesting. One sentence though particularly grabbed me:

Conditions such as these are the main reason why, every day, there are about 6,000 deaths around the world from water-borne diseases.
That is just crazy. I know there are also plenty of other nasty things which people die from every day, but water? It makes me feel quite strange, as I sit here and drink from my water bottle, which I filled with water from a drinking fountain. Sometimes I think about the relative merits of things. I spend quite a lot of volunteer time working on free software; shouldn't I be spending that volunteer time trying to save lives or something? In the end, though, I'm not sure what good I can do purifying water. But I do know how to program, so I guess I'll just content myself with trying to change the world that way.

Have a killer headache right now. I'm not sure exactly why this motivated me to write an advogato diary entry. :)

Played roller hockey for the first time today. I was rather useless to my teammates. I can skate pretty well, but there's a lot more to the game than being able to skate, that's for sure...

It rather sucks that the Evolution developers still haven't accepted my patch to optionally disable HTML rendering :(

So, I am getting paid to hack with METAFONT. This is a very cool thing. Basically I'm redoing this guy's logo in METAFONT so he can easily use it in LaTeX documents. Not a bad job at all, and it's lots of fun. The tricky part is getting the font to look exactly like the current .gif, at different levels of scaling.

Girls are frustrating.

23 Apr 2002 (updated 28 Apr 2002 at 20:32 UTC) »

Been sick recently, it's no fun. On the other hand, I did manage to squash a few items from my todo list.

I keep having doubts about Debian-CORBA. Sometimes I think that it might be easier to export the data via LDAP or something. On the other hand, though, that precludes doing any of the cooler stuff we could do with CORBA like modifying things.

Yay, one more of my Debian bugs (#135579) is squashed. Now I only have a few normal level bugs left; the one that really needs fixing is 112236, but I just haven't had time to debug it. The Crux GTK+ theme seems to make other GNOME applets go awry too.

Found a research topic for this quarter: advanced macro systems. Should be interesting.

I must say, not having class on Friday rocks!

Woo, first day of spring quarter classes here at OSU. This is when all the attractive women who went into hibernation for the winter quarter come out :)

Did a bit of Debian hacking today, nothing too interesting. Hm, it's really about time I squashed bug 135579...

I noticed SBCL got into Debian/powerpc; very cool.

It was interesting to watch the Debian Project Leader debates. It's very exciting to be participating in a project like Debian and being able to vote on issues like who the next DPL is going to be. I actually originally joined the project because I wanted to vote on the GR to remove the non-free section (I would have voted for it).

I can't believe it has been two weeks since I wrote this little patch for Evolution to make it optionally not render HTML at all, but I still can't get the damn thing to work. It is linking with both libgal19 and libgal20, which I assume is what is making it try to allocate 1 gig of memory at startup (and obviously failing)...

jamesh: That spamassassin-as-a-postfix-agent hack is cool.

An interesting day today. Our club finally got our petition against BitKeeper advocacy sent out. There was only a small amount of constructive discussion, but I think the point was made, which is all we wanted.

This quarter is rapidly coming to a close, and with it graduation draws nearer. A scary thought.

So, today I tried rdiff-backup, and I'm completely blown away. It is the coolest backup utility I've ever used. Backing up my home directory to a remote machine is as easy as:

rdiff-backup /home/walters
walters@monk.debian.net::backups/space-ghost/home
That's it. Please excuse the extranenous newline I can't figure out how to get rid of in this crappy Galeon input box which insists on filling my text for me. Gah.

In another small victory, the Debian boot-floppies build on PowerPC again. Now all we need to do is get Linux 2.4.18 in the archive, and I think we'll be good to go.

One thing that I love about university life is the wide variety of things that can happen on campus. Today I went with SyntaxPolice and others to a cultural food festival, where for only US$3 I was able to try food from the Phillipines, Hong Kong, and Iran. There were lots of other representative countries there, too. My favorite was this fried bananna sort of thing (I forget what it was called) from the Phillipines table. Mmmmm.

Tonight I think my means of procrastinating on school work will be adding an option to Evolution to prefer plaintext over HTML in multipart/alternative mails. And probably another option to not render HTML at all.

Woo, it's very exciting that Debian might actually be releasing woody by next month. I've realized that I've allowed myself to become somewhat complacent, thinking woody was still far off.

I am continuing on my project to learn Dylan. It's a very cool language, and quite ahead of its time. Think of the raw speed and ability to interface with C of C++, the flexibility of Common Lisp, a nice clean syntax, compilation to native code and to top it off, an object system that totally kicks ass.

Ok, time to get off my butt and upload my Debian packages of the XML Resume Library, and try harder to convince the Cabal to let me deploy Debian CORBA.

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