Curiously it doesn’t render at all in Internet Explorer. I don’t really care to try and fix it. It works in Firefox, I assume it probably works in Opera. It passes W3C validation for HTML and CSS so I’m going to blame this one on IE and not me. Enjoy.
Enjoy the Penguins!
I need Windows for class. I don’t want Windows back to be honest, but I don’t really have much choice. It Windows or an F at this point. So I broke out my only legitimate copy of Windows XP Pro. I popped it in my drive and rebooted. Everything was going smooth. It loaded the CD on boot, began loading various drivers for things I don’t have in my computer then asked me what I wanted. Not really a bad install process per say but Microsoft could definitely learn something from the open source world about installers.
Anyway, I selected to install and boom, I can’t. No surprise here. I had forgotten that the XP install disk (at least my version of it) does not support SATA hard drives. So I went through the trouble of pulling out my old IDE hard drive. I put her in my box and booted up again. To my immediate surprise nothing happened. My BIOS claimed there was nothing to boot. In my infinite wisdom I had set my disks up as either master or slave instead of cable select and had put the hard drive on the wrong connector on the cable. This all compounded by forgetting to get the install CD out of the drive and having to pull it out with a paper clip.
Finally, after taking my computer apart for the third time and losing my paper clip twice, I had the hardware setup and ready to go. I reboot, I actually get XP installed this time, and it, in its infinite wisdom reboots without warning while I’m not looking. Thanks Microsoft I appreciate that.
Well, it attempts to boot the CD again but it freezes instead. Okay, no biggie I thought, I’ll get the CD out and try again. Fail. I reboot, change some BIOS options and try again. Fail. I reboot and try more BIOS options. Fail. It kept failing at the “Updating DMI pool data…” or something like that. Meaning it hadn’t even had a chance to boot off of any device before it would fail. This would indicate a motherboard problem in my opinion, so scared, I put everything (my hardware) back the way it was before I started this fiasco and rebooted. Not only does it boot, but I log back into Linux as if nothing had ever happened.
I can’t explain it, other than the XP install blows. Thats what you get for not using open source and thoroughly demonstrates the need for regular releases of all software not just Word and PowerPoint. Again, thanks Microsoft.
Enjoy the Penguins!
I’m currently enrolled in a course on databases. In my case we’re working with 10g from Oracle. Well, thats all fine and dandy. Oracle doesn’t hate the open source world and will let anyone download a free personal edition of their database. Its everyone else that hates me. The text book comes with two CDs. Both are install disks for the Oracle database and some other pointless learning material I have to have to get an A. I don’t know about the rest of the world but here we get As. Well, as you might imagine, I have to have Windows to install the disks. I tried Wine, it doesn’t work. Sometimes it gets farther than others (which is strange) but either way it never finishes. So now I’m out acquiring a copy of Windows to do my homework on. Its a remote course so I can’t use the lab computers. This is driving me crazy.
Enjoy the Penguins! (if you can)
As much as I wish I could say “I hate school” I don’t. I enjoy school. So after a semester off I’m back baby! I’ve enrolled in two computer sciences online. One in web programming (boo) and another in databases (sort of yay). Wish me luck I need it to get into a(nother) master’s program.
Enjoy the Penguins!
First on my list. Paludis. Lots of small Paludis updates. First I was added to Planet Paludis. Very sexy, though I do need to work on this hackergotchi thing again. It looks terrible on Planet Paludis for some reason. I’ve already made like 6 versions of it, one for every website I upload it too. Oh yes, and since I already spread propaganda =) I found my new cloak on IRC fitting,
[steveno] (n=steveno@paludis/cheerleader/steveno): Steven Oliver
Oh yes, I almost forgot. I also found on the hard way your not allowed to discuss Paludis on #gentoo. Because its not officially supported. Says who? So all of those people having trouble with masked packages in the tree can’t get help there? That’s all Paludis is. Another masked package in the tree. I have not yet tested to see if its a conspiracy or not. I will soon though. If I get bashed for recommending pkgcore I’ll be satisfied.
I have decided that you can’t really beat g/vim. And I have also decided that while regex is a very powerful tool, I don’t really like it. That might having something to do with the fact I didn’t come up with it so I find it awkward and a regular expression of pain. Yes, that was an intentional pun. I like to run things on the K.I.S.S. principle. Keep It Simple Stupid. I don’t really find regex simple. If it were simple more people would master it. Sort of like awk. If it were easy everyone would do it.
In not such small news. I got a job. Thank goodness! I was afraid I would be penniless and bankrupt. So pray I can do whatever it is they expect me to do. Wow, I guess it sounds really bad I’m not even totally sure what I’m about to get paid to do.
Speaking of not knowing what I’m doing. I have come face to face with a terrible dilemma. I am, as you may know, enrolled at Hood College in Maryland to start my Master’s. Living in Fairmont puts me all of 20 minutes from West Virginia University. That opposed to three hours from Hood. Tough one huh? I’ve never been a huge WVU fan but this is like looking a gift horse in the mouth if I don’t at least look into transferring. The question is though, do I really want to??
I got my Java textbook in the mail the other day. I hate it already and I haven’t written the first line of code. It looks so much like Visual Basic its disgusting. I think comparing anything to VB is large enough of an insult that isn’t a need to go much further.
Enjoy the Penguins!
My very first programming language was actually some kind of files that had file extensions with a b in it. It was crude and I only spent about hour working on it back in the Windows 98 days. It wasn’t till I got to college that I had my real first dose of programming. I mistakenly (or so I thought soon afterwards) took Visual Basic.NET. It was fun and I learned a lot. That learning eventually led me to learn that VB was worthless outside of Windows and only to find out that VB was slow and overly wordy (in my opinion anyway). Learning VB first did have its advantages looking back though. It taught me a lot of computer programing basics without getting overly involved in how things worked before I was ready. It was an excellent primer language.After that I eventually taught myself some C++ followed by an actual course. Quite frankly, teaching yourself C++ with no one else’s help or guidance is about as hard and as fun as sticking dull bamboo under your fingernails. I did it though, and afterwards while taking the course, I realized I had taught myself a lot more than I had thought. C++ I felt like was a good second language for me. It taught me memory management. It taught structure, flow and control. To this day C++ is still one my favorite languages I’ve learned or toyed with.
Now finally here I am teaching myself Java (to get a heads up on school) and Ruby. Ruby is awesome. I have fallen in love. With Ruby I write code quickly, efficiently, and I have fun doing it. Java, not so much. Oh well. I can defintily feel the benefits of having learned other languages before Ruby though. VB taught me how to guess what the next word or name for something was along with the basic ideas of programming. C++ taught me real programming skill and method. Between the two my amateur code is top notch for code that sucks (aka CTS not to be confused with the car).
Enjoy the Penguins!
Now that I’m an IRC regular hanging out in #gentoo and #tuxforums I’ve come across one very disturbing popular trend. Well, let me restate that. I have no doubt this is not a trend as much as a standard but it is still none the less disturbing. A great many newbies to Gentoo, and even some who appear to be Linux regulars, want to put every USE flag they can muster into their /etc/make.conf file. Now as a Gentoo regular you immediately see the danger in this. As a newbie, and as a newbie I would have concurred, that the more the better. After all you want to be prepared. In reality choosing a large number of USE flags during a clean install is very bad idea. When I do a clean install I use 4 to 5 USE flags at most and then only add new global ones as needed. Trust me I’ve handed this advice out to a lot of people and its worked for every single one of them. Perhaps this should be in the handbook? Then again maybe not. The handbook tells you not to play with your CHOST variable but people do that anyway as well.
I seem to get a lot of hits on my blog about the nimbus theme. Well, Flameeyes has updated his repository and version 0.0.7 is out. I don’t know how long its been out but I just found it myself. Enjoy! (I’ll link later, I can’t seem to get to it now.)
Yesterday I looked up the price of my books for school, yikes! I’m starting to be glad I didn’t go to some of the other schools I applied to that cost anywhere from $100 to $400 more per credit.
Enjoy the Penguins!
Since school is starting in roughly a month I’ve been trying to do as much programming as possible to refresh my brain. It has, after all, been a while since I’ve done any serious programming. The only real problem is what do I write? Its like writer’s block, only for computer scientists. So I decided I’d pull out the only C++ textbook I own, Absolute C++ by Walter Savitch. Now, it didn’t make “the list” but its good enough for now. I’m anxious to buy my Java textbook actually. Though I’m not a fan of Java (based more on the programs I’ve used written in it than my actually haven written it) its what they’re going to be teaching me so I might as well get a heard start. Yay Java I guess.
Ever since we started #tuxforums on Freenode I’ve been spending a lot more time on IRC. Because of that I actually went through the trouble of configuring xchat to make more the way I like it. Truth be told there is a lot you can do it, but not a lot you want to take the time to worry about. It only takes a couple of minutes to go through the menu and see all your options, but do you really want to go through all of that trouble? Nope. I did find some nifty tricks in their FAQ, perhaps I’ll post more on that later. Finally, I did a cloak put on my name. I am currently unaffiliated. Anybody want to claim me? I’m free.
Enjoy the Penguins!
For the past week or so I’ve been trying very hard to get back into the writing of code. After the end of my last actual course in computer science I haven’t really done any coding and I’ve discovered much to my horror that while I remember the theory like when and how to use various features of C++, I have almost completely forgotten the syntax. For example, I’ve been working on trying to write the Sieve of Eratosthenes in C++. So I’m writing out my functions and I goto compile it to make sure what I’ve written at the very least compiles and it comes back with somewhere around 10 or more errors. For somewhere around 20 lines of code that terrible. So yeah, the more I write the more that comes back to me, but its scary to think how much I have semi-forgotten.
That of course leads me to the real theme of the post. Pseudocode is absolutely worthless. I think I’ve actually read another blog somewhere about how they hated Pseudocode too and now I understand why. It, at least on Wikipedia, tells me absolutely nothing. The whole idea is to write out code in plain English only following the most basic of programming standards so that no matter what language you intend to write it in, you should be able to read the pseudocode and then translate that to the language of your choice. Sounds nice doesn’t it? Its not. The Sieve of Eratosthenes is a prime example (no pun intended). If you read the pseudocode for it on Wikipedia you’ll soon find out you just wasted the past 5 minutes. The example they give on the Pseudocode page though is better. But it also extremely elementary and provides no real world help either. My Mom could of written that. I suppose someone must get something out it, if not a lot of people are wasting their time.
Enjoy the Penguins!
So, I have, naturally, been reading my new books Effective C++ and Effective STL. The worst part about reading books of this nature is not how dense they might be or how technical they are but how much they show you don’t know. I spend more time looking through my C++ figuring out what he’s talking about then I do really reading his book. Perhaps that’s a hint, huh?
In other more interesting news I am thinking about becoming certified. Cisco, at the current moment, is the one I am considering the hardest. Many, many, many others exist so I’m still unsure really which one is for me. CCNA has a nice ring to it, and I’ve always wanted to be one, but now that the time has come to earn one I’m not sure if I really should do the CCNA or should I look at the different Microsoft certifications? After all it is MS software that most businesses out there use. I asked my advisor at Hood and he basically told me that if I wanted to get one to do it, but it wouldn’t help any with school, only with work. Somehow I think I saw that coming.
Enjoy the Penguins!
So you may or may not know I am about two weeks away from having a B.S. in Mathematics and a B.A. in History. As a historian I’m spot on. History always and probably always will be one of my strong points. I find myself naturally inclined toward it though I don’t really envision myself ever becoming a professional historian. On the other hand mathematics has always been one of my weaker subjects. In fact, part of my motivation in getting a mathematics degree was that people (note the plural) have told me on several occasions I wasn’t good enough, smart enough, etc. to do it. So I did it anyway to spite them . After its all said and done I’m glad I’ve done it. Especially after completing my presentation for my mathematics capstone project. I picked cryptography for my topic because I wanted something computer related. What I found was that I was only able to really understand a lot of the computer code, along with a good portion of the theory behind the code, because I could understand the mathematics laid out behind it. Now only having a B.S. in mathematics there is still a lot of math I still don’t know, but I know enough at this point I can get through just about anything of interest to me. So, I don’t know where this is going to lead me in the future, but I’m hoping for something good.
On the other hand after spending a considerable amount of time in the open source world I’ve decided that being an open source developer isn’t all that newbies dream it of being. In fact I don’t really know if I ever want to become a full dev on any project. I am at this point a pseudo dev on the Wolvix liveCD. If I were a real dev wolven (the alpha male) would probably kick me off the team. Instead I contribute what little I can when I have time and everyone is happy. I don’t even know at this point if he is even including any of the work I’m submitting but its not relevant. I did it, its available to the public if they want it. And that is all that matters.
So why not become a dev? I hate the deadlines. Gentoo, the only distro I’m even semi-aware of policy for, for example kicks you off the team after six months of inactivity. Now, not that that is a bad thing, but I don’t think I want to be forced to volunteer personally. I’ll submit patches, bugs, etc. when I please. Not when you tell me too. Thats my personal attitude toward but I think sometimes there are certain situations where a policy like the one Gentoo has in place is necessary. But that is not the kind of policy I, at this point, want to volunteer my time to. In fact it is the people like McCreesh and Brown of the paludis project that really amaze me. I wonder sometime why they really do what they do. McCreesh especially. He’s not even actually a dev anymore. Instead he’s now, as far as I know, just a lonely user. Banned from the forums even. Yet he still writes, patches, and maintains paludis like a full time job. Not only do I not really have time, right now anyway, to do that but I have no desire to either. Why would he do it? Personal gain is the only motivation I can conjure. He writes the program primarily for his own benefit, i.e. he’s sick of portage and the wants the replacement, and out of the kindness of his heart he lets the rest of us use it, and contribute to it, as well. Pretty darn nice of him, and the rest of the crew, if you ask me.
Thats all I have really. Not a very happy post. Sorry about that.
Enjoy the Penguins!
Alright, so I’ve finished my presentation for my mathematics capstone, but not my paper. The paper is probably more important and I’m hoping to make huge headway on it tonight. I also need to write my math history paper, do my math history presentation, write my english paper, and finish my history paper. So I’m busy right now to say the least. Most of this is my fault. I’ve had all semester to do all of it I just haven’t.
While working through the RSA algorithm I found out the hard way that the size of the prime numbers used determines how large a message you can encrypt. I trying to keep the primes as small as possible in order keep it simple for a demonstration. My message ended up requiring numbers larger than I wanted. Oh well I’m keeping my message.
I’ve pushed back the decision to buy a new laptop till Apple releases Leopard. I see no reason to buy a new laptop, especially a man, when they’re releasing a new version of OS X in a couple of months. I am after all in no hurry.
Another Gentoo developer quit the other day for the same reason everyone else is quitting. No offense to anyone but quitting because someone wasn’t nice to you is getting old. The first time was a bit shocking, the second was expected, but number three is starting to look sissy.
Enjoy the Penguins!
So I’m in the process of writing my capstone paper and preparing my power point presentation on cryptography. I can’t really say I’m a big fan of cryptography but it is defiantly more interesting as a computer science endeavor than it is mathematically. Which leads me to the whole point of this post. I am not currently in the process of writing any program that uses or needs any sort of cryptography but running on to a site that contains a mountain of source code on how to implement various forms still makes me giggle like a school girl. Aw the inner nerd in us all.
Enjoy the Penguins!
First things first. I would like to apologize to Alex Bogak for my rants on PlanetLarry and my hackergotchi. Though it was frustrating I had to send it in three times I only sent it to him once and he put it up the first time I sent it. Most of it though was actually directed at my inability to create an avatar that would actually look decent when scaled. If you read this, Alex, I will soon email you a scaled version of my hackergotchi that is exactly 100×100. I’m sorry for being a nuisance.
Now on to the main topic of this post. The semester is winding down, so I’m starting to send more and more home in an attempt slowly empty my dorm room in order to make it easier to move out. So I naturally sent most of my unused books home as they generally take up a lot of space and are fairly heavy. The down side is I sent all of my computer related books home. I had just recently bought a book on bash and programming in bash and now I wish I still had it. There are a lot of small bash scripts I have a strong to desire to write but that becomes difficult without a tome to learn from. I also sent home all of C++ books as well. Which is annoying because I wanted to try to write a couple of programs in C++ as well, but I can’t do that either because I sent my books home. Its just not my day. I know what most of you are thinking right now. Why don’t you just look it up on the internet. Hundreds of free books and tutorials exist on the internet. Well truth be told I hate trying to read books online. I find actual paper copies of material much easier to read, easier on my eyes, and I find a great deal of comfort in being able to quickly flip through pages and browse the index. I just like paper books, sue me.
Finally, Arch Linux has sent pacman ver. 3 to testing. Which is awesome because pacman ver. 2 was missing some things that I hope will be in 3. I haven’t’ actually checked the change log but I’m still crossing my fingers. If you haven’t tried Arch and its package manager pacman yet then I’ll restate my previous thoughts on it. Its nice, its fast, but its new and is still missing some very important features.
Enjoy the Penguins!
So I’ve been looking around at graduate schools. So far I’ve applied to three schools, gotten into one, rejected by another, and still waiting to hear from a third. For most of the major universities the admission for the Fall semester has passed. I didn’t want to attend a very large university anyway so I’m not disappointed I missed it. Many of the smaller to mid-sized institution’s deadlines are still a month or more away which means I still have time to apply if I choose to do so. The question stands then as whether or not I want to. Is it worth it to apply to a fourth or fifth school? I mean is it really going to help me any. The only colleges I’ve ever really visited were the ones I’ve attended. So its not like I really know anything about any of these schools. If anyone who has attended or is attending graduate school reads this and has any sort of recommendations. That would be great! I’ll take your word for it that you actually went.
D. Its a fairly new programming language which appears to want to replace C and C++. I’ve known about it for a long time now but I have never really shown any interest in it. Whats the point of it? Is C or C++ broken? Or are they so old and decrepit that they are of no value today? I am, as of right now, not a professional programmer by any means, so I don’t really see the need for D. Not that I saw a need for Ruby, Perl, AND, Python as well. I mean one or two is nice but do we need all three? I don’t really think so. I say we let Pearl die. No real need to keep it around much longer. Java I think is the worst. What was the point of Java again? All the Java programs I use are slow and major memory hogs. And web pages full of Java content are either slow to load or annoying. So I think we should let Java go too. Perhaps they should refocus D to replace Java instead?