July 28th, 2003


Weekend Review

Paul called Friday night while I was out with kithkanan (we went over to Ced's house for homemade pizza...yummy!). I didn't have time to talk to him then (it wouldn't have been appropriate in front of other people anyway), but it is encouraging that he called. I need to call/email him back soon. We have both been a little too busy to connect.

* * *

Saturday, kion, muleherd and I went out for dinner and a movie...this is the first time in several weeks I've seen Mule. Of course, he's been getting behind in his LJ posts again... *glare* ...but I'm sure he'll be catching up soon. >:-D

Pirates of the Caribbean was a good movie; from the previews, I thought it was going to be one of those dark and scary movies, but they kept a thread of humor running through the whole movie that served it very well. The plot was substantial and involving, and the humor augmented it without being overbearing or distracting. The graphics were done very well...I'd really like to know how they did the skeletons.

* * *

Today was fairly quiet and boring. At about 1:30, I decided I'd had enough of my apartment, and drove down to Montana de Oro for a while. I went out to my special "secret" (but not really) place at the end, and wandered around for a while. I thought about various things...though none of them had much to do with anything (as usual). Thought about alternative UIs for computers, and oddly enough, one of my exes.

Then came home and proceeded to wipe FreeBSD off polaris, because ipfw just seemed far too primitive for me to be able to use comfortably. Iptables may make things too "easy", but I find the flexibility in iptables to be far better than anything ipfw had to offer. OpenBSD's pf might be better; I didn't have a chance to try it out.

So polaris is going back to being Gentoo (stable). It's the old "it's what I'm familiar with" bug. I'm sure I would have been able to do fine with FreeBSD, if it weren't for the fact that this box needs to be a router, and hold Des-critical stuff on it (like E-Mail and CVS). I'm not comfortable enough with FreeBSD to use it in a production environment.

northing called tonight, which was a pleasant surprise. I had been wanting to talk to him for a few days, but hadn't heard much. I figured he was probably doing the usual this weekend (i.e. traipsing off to some random part of CA to visit friends :) ). Turns out I was right.

My mom also called, which went well enough...although I can't seem to get her to understand that 16 units is more than I'm willing to take at this point. Given the fee increases, however... I may not have much of a choice, for monetary reasons. Also listened to an applicable when-I-was-your-age blurb about how she took 16 units on the quarter system from CSU Hayward, and worked full-time. Knowing my mother, I can actually believe it...

I just wish she would understand that I have no desire to expend 150% of my available energy on school. I feel as if I'm to the point where classrooms hold very limited value for me; getting out and working on things in real life would be a far better learning experience. Having to deal with the consequences of my failures is at least as instructive as failing itself.

And yet, there is so much I want to learn, which seems to be only taught in classrooms. I don't think I'm to the point yet where I can understand some of those really tricky algorithms (cryptography, database storage and queries, etc) except in vague, layman's terms. As a counterpoint, I don't have enough real-world engineering experience to be able to lead a software project of any non-trivial size -- and that certainly isn't something you learn in a classroom.

-- Des

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