I haven't really been very retrospective lately, so my blogging has suffered a bit for it. Perhaps that's a good thing; I guess it implies that I'm pretty happy and keeping busy with the stuff in the present. Here are some updates:
Make way for the flooding! The oodles of snow (by Western Washington standards) we got in the last few days is now melting. I went over to Ed's house tonight and since he lives at the bottom of a big hill, his house ought to be on stilts so it won't wash away. After wading through the sidewalk and front yard, I made it inside.
Classes at Evergreen have been cancelled the last three days, so I've yet to start. I'm taking 12 hours this quarter, which is full time, but a little less than I normally do. I want to sort of ease in and make sure I have a good start. This quarter I'm taking American Sign Language (looked interesting, and they don't offer Chinese, which is something I did want to take), Visual Design for the Web (they cover raw HTML as opposed to using a tool, although they touch on Dreamweaver apparently, and they're supposed to be covering CSS), and a Linguistics course. Lisa is pretty interested in the linguistics course. I hope they're good courses. Since I drove all the way to Evergreen on Monday and then found out classes were cancelled, I ended up buying my books to make some good out of the situation. I've since been reading Train Go Sorry, which is one of the books for my sign language course, and is about deaf culture. On a education related issue, the VA still hasn't paid me my GI Bill benefits from last month. I hope there's not a major screwup; the last thing I need right now is a monetary interruption.
Yesterday was just one of those days when no matter what you try, it's not going to go particularly well.
I decided to title this entry in homage to an excellent Sir-Mix-A-Lot (warning, his site has way too much Flash) song, since I once again own a fine Hooptie product. The story goes like this: my Honda has been suffering a bit of bipolar disorder; sometimes it runs fantastic, and sometimes it runs so poorly I can barely climb the hill on the road to my house. It's carbuerated, which adds to the confusion because the late model Honda carbs are some of the most complicated things I've ever seen, period. To really troubleshoot it requires more specialized tools and expertise than I really have. So I'm going to turn it over to someone who does. The problem though, is that I can't get the problem to reliably repeat itself. Originally Ed and I traced things to a stuck choke, but now the problem is occuring with the choke operating properly. We thought we were sly when we replaced the fuel filter and the car ran great, but alas, later that night I went over to help Greg try to recover some Linux partitions and I almost didn't make it there.
I have to do the obligatory "Happy New Year" post. So here it is. Be merry....
I'm spending this afternoon trying to install OpenBSD 3.4 on my Sun Ultra 1. It doesn't have a CDROM, and I really don't want to set up netbooting stuff (tftpd and other stuff) on my router, so I was trying to boot off of the floppy. I keep getting ".Inode not directory" and the standard MMU barf message (I don't remember the exact wording). Since CD and Netbooting are out, and the floppy doesn't seem to be liking things, I guess that leaves miniroot installation.
I realize that I forgot to make an entry regarding another Christmas present. On Christmas Eve, as I was stepping out of my house, a FedEx truck rolled up. The driver gave me two boxes, from Tower Hobbies. Inside one box was a whole bunch of plane building stuff, and the other had a brand new Duraplane kit!
On a related note, Neil is the man...
I'm going to put it together just as soon as I'm done salvaging the Avistar. Then stay out of the skies!
The weekend is 40 minutes from being up, and I know that I accomplished quite a bit, but I still don't feel like I got that much done. On Friday, Ed and I worked on Lisa's car. We changed the passenger side half-shaft, the front brakes, and the oil and transmission fluid. It's doing well. The only remaining items are all belts (including the dreaded timing belt) and little tune-up stuff, like an air filter and spark plugs. I also need to fix the seat belt dinger (which has a habit of going off when you're actually wearing the belt), and the passenger side seat-belt, which is one of the motorized automatic variety that were so popular in the early '90's.
Well, I'm not going to do a Christmas wrap-up, since Lisa did a decent job of that. I got a new toolbox from Lisa's parents, a 128MB Sandisk Cruzer keychain drive from Penny and Travis, and Lisa got me a sweet Mini-DV camcorder. When I have some money again, I'm going to pick up a Firewire card for my Linux box and do some video transfer and editing.
Have recorded and released more songs. Straight from the 4-track into my Linux box; recorded and encoded using only the finest in open-source tools, naturally. Available in Ogg and MP3. Check them out at the music page of our website.
Don't forget, we have a show this Saturday at Old Town Pub in Silverdale, if you want to show...
Seattle has a new radio station! 96.5 FM is no longer "The Point," (aka the Jeff Mowrey station), and has switched formats to mostly early '90's alternative, and is calling itself K-Rock. (K-Rock is an oft-used name in a lot of American radio markets, but it appears to be a bit different here in Seattle.) They play quite a bit of the music that saturated the radio in my early years of driving (Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains) which is simply fine by me. Check it out here.
Yup, been getting my first up-close-and-personal taste of SMP Linux lately. I've always had a dream of running having 2-way home boxen, but this beats all. I as given an NCR S50 to put OSCAR on (read previous blog entry for description of OSCAR) and although the beast was absolutely full of dust and looked as if Grace Murray Hopper cut her octal teeth on it, I soon discovered that it was more than just a ~80-pound hunk of steel. The dust was easily accounted for once I opened this baby up and saw the ~9 cooling fans blowing on what I soon found to be quad PII Xeons (450 MHz apiece). This is pretty marvellous (OK, OK, your Athlon 64 FX still rocks it, but seriously, this thing is MASSIVELY PARALLEL=EXTREMELY COOL to me!) to start with, but this was hardly all. I still haven't figured out exactly how many SCSI controllers it has (!!), but including the four-channel card for the 10-drive external (monstrous 100-pound) array (with 5 18GB 10K Wide SCSI drives) it has at least 10 channels on at least four controllers, ranging from 10MHz Narrow to 160MBps UltraWide. Plus the very-decent 1GB ECC RAM. Oh yeah, and triply-redundant power.
I just got done viewing a "so bad it's good" hacker movie called Code Hunter. I think it went straight to video here. Anyway, it's great. If Biff was still around, we would have been cackling about this for a while. It's got all of the elements of a good-bad hacker movie, such as virtual reality scenes, hot asian women, and rappers playing characters (stars both Tone-Loc and Coolio). How can you lose?
In spite of college being over, this week has still been pretty busy. The band practice schedule has stepped up a little bit to get us ready for the upcoming show. I'm also taking care of all sorts of stuff that has sort of accumulated while finishing up with final exams being over. School stuff, tax stuff for tha biz, and other stuff.
Yesterday we were blessed with a really nice, mild sunny day.
I just don't know where to start.
I got done with my final project for Flash and turned it in. It's a really cheesy Asteroids type game that I've entitled "Blasteroids." I spent about seven and a half hours last night turning Blasteroids into something sort of barely functional. Limitations? Oh yes. One asteroid to shoot at, one laser blast on screen at a time, no sound. (I didn't want to tackle dynamic array allocation in ActionScript in one night.) Oh, and the ships have a marvelous prepensity to explode without warning (which goes well with the butt-rock themed music I was thinking about incorporating into game). Part of this is rather sloppy boundaries between symbol instances that Flash uses for the hitTest method, but the other part was my own dumbassness in picking the objects to explode with a huge debris field (causing an exploding asteroid to take out the ship about half the time). To counter this, I had the forethought to give you 69 lives for plenty of playing enjoyment. A few points of advice for those ready to play it:
For those of you just dying to play Blasteroids, here it is.
Yesterday was one of those days that just went well from start to finish. After sleeping like a baby the night before (and I almost never actually sleep at night), I woke up at 6am, ready to go. After exchanging some email and some other stuff, including my customary morning web-surf, I called my parents. The call went pretty well for a parental call. I got some breakfast. After that, I got down to writing the book review I have due for my poli-sci class and trudged on that for a few hours (using OpenOffice on my Linux box, of course).