Older blog entries for zeevon (starting at number 184)

17 May 2003 (updated 17 May 2003 at 15:26 UTC) »

My last entry was almost exactly three months ago and much has changed. I completed my B.Sc.A. in computer engineering at the University of Ottawa and I am now unemployed (at least for the time being). It does however feel good to be out of school and although having no cash flow isn't fun, it's nice to have some free time to read, code and just do whatever I want each day (though most of my weekdays are spent job hunting).

I also moved from just west of downtown to a very central location which I prefer. I went from living alone to living with two other people which takes a bit of adaptation. So far, so good. I even managed to paint my new room fairly well.

Meanwhile, my free software activities were dormant during the school year. Now that the move is over, I'm starting to get back into it again. Just today I fixed bugs in two of my Debian packages (one of them release criticial). Perhaps I'll spend Monday (Victoria Day holiday up here in Canada) re-working my login.app package, which is in need of some attention (and has been for some time now).

OCLUG held another key signing at the May meeting, which means that this is now an annual event. Matthew Wilcox ran it this year which is great. I ran the inaugual event last year but I hadn't even thought of it this year, what with all of the other stuff going on for me. Fortunately, the event seems to have grown in interest and the OCLUG web site now has a pretty graph and tables of the rankings. Cool! And guess who is ranked number one at the moment. :-)

Just over 30 days until I get my iron ring, and then I will finish my last exam on April 30th. I must say that my university experience has been very different from what I expected when I entered nearly four years ago. I'm not sure if I'll ever return, but if I do, it definitely won't be next September, and probably not even the following September.

Meanwhile, Karine was just introduced to RSA in one of her math classes. That's pretty cool because our degrees don't overlap very much, even if many of our other interests do. Sometime this week, we're going to sit down and go over it together so that she can review it for her class, and I can review it for fun. She's a little stronger in math than I am, so maybe she'll point out something that I overlooked during my self-study.

Not much else to say at the moment - still busy with school. Hopefully I will be busy with a new job come May.

I think I was the first person to register for OLS this year. Money seems to be flying out of my bank account at a frightening rate, so I want to make sure that I pay for it before I find myself broke.

Overall, though, it's probably my best semester of university so far. It took me a few years but I think that I have now found a good groups of friends, which is definitely something I have missed since leaving high school (although our group of friends from high school is still very close, we don't see each very often).

It was disappointing to miss the Open Source Weekend here in Ottawa. Quite a few of my friends attended and said that it was great.

dyork: With the wind it was actually -39 Celsius this morning when I woke up. Gotta love Ottawa in January, eh?

As for the last question regarding the US and North Korea, my understanding is that the US can't throw its weight around as much in that situation because of China. In the Middle East, the US has quite a bit of influence through Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Israel. It can station its forces around Iraq without upsetting the governments in that area (though others, such as Osama bin Laden, took exception to this last time). If the US were to try to station the same amount of troops near North Korea, China would probably start feeling a little frustrated since it fancies itself the superpower to be reckoned with in that part of the world (and therefore doesn't need to be protected by US forces, nor told what to do by them).

Take the above analysis with a grain of salt - I'm not paying full attention to the news these days and I may be well off the mark. Hopefully it's still food for thought.

13 Jan 2003 (updated 13 Jan 2003 at 19:42 UTC) »

Fixed the weird key mapping that I had in X on my iBook. The only alphabetic characters that changed were 'z' and 'y', which were switched. Most of the special characters were messed up, though. Turns out that, for some reason, my XF86Config-4 file had its XkbLayout set to "de" - I have no idea how that happened. Anyways, it's fixed now and I can go on working on my projects.

My NetWinder's hard disk started to act up as this weekend, as I was about to install Debian on it. It keeps saying "hda: lost interrupt" or something similar. Hopefully it's not beyond aid.

Open Source Weekend is almost here! If you are in Ottawa on the weekend of January 25-26, you might want to drop by.

7 Jan 2003 (updated 7 Jan 2003 at 13:58 UTC) »

Spent Christmas vacation relaxing and doing very little and now I'm back at school again. Four months to go!

I haven't been very involved with free software since September. Hopefully that will change come May. There is a group of us kicking around some ideas for the summer but I'll talk about that once it gets underway.

18 Oct 2002 (updated 18 Oct 2002 at 14:55 UTC) »

I love school - we're finally doing some real UNIX programming (specifically, SMP programming on a 4 processor Sparc). After 3 years of Java bullshit (including the use of Java to teach an OS class...sheesh), it's nice to be doing real work.[1]

I also accepted a coaching job over the Christmas holidays. I will be an assistant coach for the freestyle skiing development league. Since I started university of few years ago, I have really missed being involved with the sport. I'm very happy to be returning, albeit with a different role.

[1] In other applications, such as JSP, I actually don't mind Java very much. I just hate having to use it constantly in school when C is more appropriate for the subject being covered.

16 Sep 2002 (updated 16 Sep 2002 at 01:12 UTC) »

School started and I began ignoring advogato (and I will do so for long periods of time until next April). I must say that, so far, this last year looks like it will be my favourite. I like all of my profs, the projects that will be assigned are finally interesting and I seem to be a little more social this year. This semester is almost equally divided between AI robotics and computer security, so I'm quite content.

Back in a few months...

My power supply bit it this past week while I was away in Cornwall. It's fun coming home to a crashed Linux machine and saying: "Gee, must be a hardware problem" (and being correct). This also reminded me that it's about fsck'ing time to start using ext3.

The past month has been relaxing. I spent two weekends at my dad's cottage and, without work, I haven't spent all that much time online. I did manage to send my follow-up questions to Biella, but it took me nearly a month. I have also spent a lot of time with Karine, which is always nice. Hopefully it won't be too much of a shock when school starts up again in two weeks.


I sent out the proposal for the Security SIG to the oclug-board mailing list, so now it's time to actually get things done. It was suggested that OCLUG have a security-themed month (most likely November, as all the meetings until then already have speakers). This would most likely include a talk at the regular meeting, in addition to a tutorial near the end of the month (most likely a FreeS/WAN tutorial, courtesy of rgb).


I finally got my survey questions off to Biella on July 19th, and she has since sent me some follow-up questions that I have yet to answer. Fortunately these new questions aren't as long as the ones in the original questionnaire (questions and answers combined totalled over 700 lines).

175 older entries...

New Advogato Features

New HTML Parser: The long-awaited libxml2 based HTML parser code is live. It needs further work but already handles most markup better than the original parser.

Keep up with the latest Advogato features by reading the Advogato status blog.

If you're a C programmer with some spare time, take a look at the mod_virgule project page and help us with one of the tasks on the ToDo list!