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User Journal

Journal: *whew*

Journal by penguin_nipple
It's been 9 months since i last wrote in here. It never ceases to amuse me how quickly time flies. Quick synopsis of my life:
  • Hit the big 3-0
  • Now work as an embedded developer at nID Solutions
  • Have 2 weeks off for the first time in ohhh 6 years
  • Moved into a loft apt with my gf
  • Got 2 kittys, Frodo and Lilo
  • Thats all for now...see ya in another 9 months =P

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Journal: Today, not as bitter

Journal by penguin_nipple
Ok , so today I am not nearly as bitter as yesterday. Watched some movies with my gf, ate pizza, chips and stuff. Feel much better today. I must've been grumpy or something.

Such is life.

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Journal: Bitter

Journal by penguin_nipple
Ok, today I am bitter. Let's not get into it. I am seriously considering moving all my shtuff out of my 'office/cubicle' space at the university. blah
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Journal: set up a phpNuke site

Journal by penguin_nipple
I set up a phpNuke site on my home server, to hold my digital photos, and manage my bookmarks mainly. There was a bunch of stuff available pretty much out of the box, which is quite cool, and very easy to set up.

At the very least...damn cat might just be knocking over my laptop any second if he's not careful :) but he's cute so he gets away with it...so long as he maintains that feline agility...*crosses fingers*

Anyhow, at the very least, I can use slashdot as my journal and my nuke site as my personal rubber room...

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Journal: Beowulf Update

Journal by penguin_nipple
Ok, yesterday recieved the DB50M to DB68M external SCSI cable which will interface with the Seagate ST-39216W 10gig SCSI UW Drive I managed to find for 150 bucks. So installation looks good so far. I am currently working on the gateway node untill my purchase orders come in from the school for my 16 port switch and 21 cables. The pisser of this whole operation is the fact that everyone pretty much seems to think that this project is neither research nor serious.

I may appear to enjoy this operation, which I do, it's frikking fun. However there are serious groups doing parallel computing research although everytime one of the 'smart people' talks to me about it, i get this condescending attitude regarding a beowulf cluster. Now remember these are people with PhD's in computer science and some of them even specialize in distributed and parallel computing.

It should be reiterated that my university is tiny and the program here kinda..well....sucks...

The entire place has become a Microsoft Point and Click program. Which is so so sad. But anyhow, I could rant on this for many many pages. But what's the point?

I am in the process of apt-getting my debian stuff. Once the base system is up and running, then I'll grab some new kernel sources and do some patching of the source for beta-unstable stuff and give recompiling a shot. I am also going to figure out how to controlled the 4 video cards in the SUN bios. I want the default to be the sweet TurboGX video board, currently its the crappy default SUN card thats on the board. Oh well, again, later. But I think I might grab the XFree 4.2.0 source and do a build from source. Heck, maybe I'll figure out how to package the silly thing...

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Journal: Replaced Laptop and other tidbits

Journal by penguin_nipple
Well today seems to be fairly exclusively devoted to setting up my new HP5415, which was replaced last night. I had it replaced as my original unit had one pixel stuck in bright green mode. Anyhow, same machine, everything is perfect. I am working on XP first, then gonna go with Slackware 8.0, although the recently referred to story on /. regarding Sorceror Linux seems interesting.

Interesting from a curiosity standpoint though. I generally rebuild my software from source (kernel, libs and desktops) anyhow. But from an installation and curiosity standpoint, I am considering giving it a whirl. Why not eh?

Even though the best distro's for me are (1) Slackware (2) Debian, I have a place in my heart for doing things in Linux by hand. See, I am not an OSS zealot or anything. I actually use windows on a regular basis. I need to in order to do work, porting software to win32 is hard on a linux box :) I also like Solaris alot too. So anyhow, yes, I use windows, I don't mind it too much 2K is a stable client at home and XP on my laptop seems stable thus far. XP is irritating, popping up bubbles and registering me for stuff, etc. But thats a normal MS thing and is solvable via tweaking things about.

Since I am on the topic of Distro's and OS'es, I would never even consider running an NT server. Now thats just me. MS makes a decent client, a crap server which is over priced, under functional (unless you buy thousands of dollars of add ons) and not nearly stable enough to be considered useful. I much prefer either FreeBSD or Slackware Linux for server side duties. Both simply because I am extremely comfortable with configuring and locking down both....

Anyhow what was I talking about before I started rambling? I dunnnnno....*yawn*

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Journal: Someone read my jornal and more beowulf madness!

Journal by penguin_nipple
Well, it would appear that first real live breathing, functioning human being has read my jornal....*gasp*

Hiya Bob...

Anyhow, today I got a sweet deal on 10gig SCSI 7200RPM drives for 150CDN. Nice, so I bought 3, one for rich, one for me and one for the cluster...foreverafter to be referred to as "Becker" in honour of the guy that started the whole thing, Donald Becker. Now imagine a beowulf cluster of that guy.

=P

I had to say it....

Anyhow...I have to vaccuum Becker out...oh god that sounds bad. Back on topic, the machines are beauties, it would appear that they hadn't been opened in the 7 years they were running stock tickers, which bodes well for the machines. If you yank open the pizza box profile, a light dust filters through the air, quite pretty, but turning on 16 of them at the same time might just kill someone.

More paperwork to fill out and ordering to be done , so hopefully next week, I can begin , well....installing things...

Really, there could be worse things in life than doing this!

BTW if you have a pulse and you're reading this, do ya wanna see some pics of the machines? huh huh do ya? If so, reply and I might actually get off my butt and throw them up somewhere...

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Journal: Beowulf Clustering

Journal by penguin_nipple
Well, on Thursday of alst week, I finally recieved my donated computers from Goldman-Sachs in toronto. I got 20 machines, all Spacrstations, 5/10/20. They are gorgeous machines, a bit dated, but so is a 1968 corvette...:o)

So I am currently installing one machine with an old SCSI 1 gig HD to test out how well Linux runs with it. So far, perfect, I am currently apt-getting my distro. Install was smooth as silk , all hardware immediatley detected. So looks like I will be able to focus primarily on the optimization of the cluster. So far it appears that I will make a 16 node cluster. A nice starting point. I have also documented alot of the work thus far and will be making a website to contain all the information thus far. It has been a long time coming. One year of trying to secure funds and equipment and it looks like I am there now. No comment on the participation of the university though. More aptly put, they want the marketing value but shy away from any financial involvement. Oh well scrwe 'em, I doubt they could build a cluster with a budget of $800!

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Journal: Saw LOTR tonight

Journal by penguin_nipple
Finally got a chance to check out LOTR tonight. Although I am somewhat biased since I have read the book so many times, I thought it was well done. Here are my gripes tho:
  • Elrond is not nearly as anal, in my opinion, as Peter Jackson made him out to be.
  • Arwen flooding the River Bree while fleeing from Ringwraiths? hrummph
  • Sam Gamgee is made out to be somewhat simple, but Merry and Pippen were well done, so that's even
  • Saruman was made out to be simply evil, not nearly as pragmatic as the character really is in the book. IMHO, Saruman wanted to control the Ring, play for both teams as it were. That doesn't come across at all in the movie. Although, Michelle pointed one thing out to me, that never occured to me during the movie. Saruman, maintains his white robes throughout, which might seem minor, but he is no longer Saruman of Many Colors, right? She explained to me that the implication was that he was playing both sides, just making a bad judgement call in attempting to take control back later on. hmmm...that is interesting.
  • No Tom Bombadil, oh well, although it is small plot point, I believe it is a large statement for the book. To me, it is all about TB being possibly more powerful than the power of the Rings, and he is wiser and non-affected, yet aloof to the world outside his realm. He does speak alot to me about arrogance and being aloof to things...

All in all, I was highly impressed with Peter Jackson's interpretation of the book. There is just so much there, that condensing it into a hollywood flick is simply impossible. But for once, thank god, fantasy has not been simplified down to the level of a 3 year old. The elves are elvish without being panzies running around in stockings, as most films depict elves.

Special effects, battle scenes...well...sweet...

I usually look for points in a movie where in a few years I'll look back and *sigh* at the cheesie special effects. Only found one bad looking scene. When the Fellowship are running from the demon in Moria, they turn a corner and there are flames behind them. Looks really cheesie. But one 15 second scene in 3 hours is damn fine :)

Had to say, all in all ...loved it...well, time for some Tribes 2 and bed...

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Journal: some people have all the nerve

Journal by penguin_nipple
Ok, so today my boss...whom I also have endearing job of marking for (you can shove grammar you know where at midnight'ish)...came to me today with a few papers that students sent back for re-marking.

It suffices to say that he didn't want to have anything to do with them. Seriously in 2 years of god-awful pain of having to mark this course, I have never seen a downright worse group of morons.

Oh well, I'm not gonna go on and on about it. I just realized when a (minimum) 2nd year Computer Science student can't do Gaussian Elimination on 3x3 matrix and then solve the determinant, then there is something seriously , ass cracking wrong with them. I mean hell, the first time around I was nice, all they had to do was solve the damn things and they would have gotten a good chunk of the marks. Now, unfortunatley, they forced me to waste my time. In kind fashion, I will oblige them by thoroughly remarking their papers, step by step, in fine detail.

Sucks to be them I suppose

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Journal: today is going better

Journal by penguin_nipple
Ok, I was whining yesterday, maybe I was tired, cranky, pms'ie...whatever.

Ported the win32 version of my project to Linux today, thank the gods I don't have to work in windows for a bit. I mean I have done everything I can to customize my win32 environment, from litestep, xeamcs, gvim, cygwin tools (complete install). So it kinda looks like I am working in a unix'ie environment. But it's just functionally to different to make completely comfortable. I am accustomed to a POSIX system. It's how I think, how I enjoy working, everything about it makes me feel in control of the system. Which may be a perceptual thing, however I don't think it is. I have far more control over my Linux or BSD box than I ever have had or ever will. The thing I like is my window manager switching capabilities.

If i want a nicely integrated desktop, I use KDE, antialiasing and everything. If I am debugging code, I switch to blackbox, no distractions minimal resources. If I am compiling a kernel, I go into text mode and have all my fun tools to while away the time, mpg123, lynx, licq console...

I know I am a junkie but there are some valid reasons here.

When I code, I am always in debug mode until ready for some kind of release. VC++ has a bad debugger, IMHO anyhow. The code should run the same through a debugger as it does on it's own. However I have noticed some remarkable differences between the two 'configurations' in Windows. I also have the fairly frequent IDE crash in VC++.

In my opinion, DDD or even kdbg are superior systems for debugging, I can more detailed, accurate information from these two debuggers.

As a developer (ie code monkey) by trade, I do not have the luxery of working in specifically one OS. Wish that were the case, however , one of the reasons I have a love affair with QT is the portability. I can develop 95% of my app in Linux. A superior development platform and port changes to win32 later.

I could care less about GTK. Say what you want, it was a kludge then and it's a kludge now. I don't mind GTK apps, in fact i like them. But the framework is flawed and needs revision.

For what it's worth QT was initially designed properly and continues to grow due to those design decisions. A wonderful real world example of software engineering and it's future implications.

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Journal: boredom

Journal by penguin_nipple
I am suffereing from boredom...maybe it's simply the drudgery of everyday life. Not that my life drudges (sp?) or anything, it's just that every once in a while I feel like I am in a bit of a rut. Then I get bitter :o) Constant bug fixing at work, same ol' routine in my spare time, life moving more slowly than I want it to. Things like that. Of course last week was so busy that my body literally shut down on Friday. My brother and his wife came into town friday. I felt ok when i got home from the office. But after waiting until 8pm for dinner (don't ask!) , I started feeling extrememly nauseous. Like hung over, drank a case of beer the night before nauseous. I have no idea why either. Maybe it was hunger, maybe it was stress. Regardless, it felt like someone forgot to pay the gravity bill and I was heaving gooey chunks at the alter of the porcelain god in no time. Damn, maybe I should have been drunk - at least I would have gotten something more out of the whole experience.

After my little episode, i went downstairs to lie down and ended up crashing at 9pm. 9pm on a Friday! Man - I am getting older, I must be. But it was great, thats the thing. Friday night:
go clubbing?
nope
strip club?
nope
pub?
nope
live music?
nope

....sleep in all its beauty and majesty.

Oh well, I never claimed to be exciting...

Woke up up at 7am on Saturday (another sign of advancing age) and did my normal thing, Slashdot browsing, Aliens versus Predator 2, coding. Lately coding has been driving me insane. My current project is fairly mature ie not alpha anymore. Therefore the bugs are smaller, more difficult to track and thus far more infuriating. Why me oh god...

;o)

Anyhow, wash rinse and repeat for Sunday, except I slept in until about 11am. Sundays are great for that - I actually tend to awake about 9am, but lie in bed and watch all the decorating and design shows on cable. Again, another sign of advancing age...

So here we are , sitting in office on Monday, filling in a journal entry. Oh yes, I managed to kill a plant in my cubby hole. Forgot to water it well on friday. It's a flower type thing, unlike the other low maintenace ferns and plants I have in here. Therefore requiring a touch more care. I should also point out, it's not fully dead-ified, just dropping badly. Maybe after afew dousings today it will pop back to life....here's to hoping I am not Death incarnate

=D

What a life...

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Journal: another day

Journal by penguin_nipple
Ok, today marking is blatantly falling behind once again. Oh well, I did manage to get my code back up to schedule. Which is somewhat nice for once - I now have a few minutes to breath. Woohoo. =P

What else is new? Not too damn much, still the normal hopes and dreams. Money, wealth, numerous skinny tall blondes banging down my door...

Oh ya, did another TOC for a guy opening a law firm. Don't really wanna do it, but I need mo money. Damn, Still shotting for that magic solid $80K. Getting there though. Wish I didn't have to make that a priority, but what are ya gonna do?

As for those knobs posting in the Open Source Companies going closed article. Grow up you asses , get a life. A company needs to make money, Open Source is not FSF, there's nothing wrong with a closed license so long as everything being done is above board and honest...

Gripe gripe bitch moan, just wait kids, until bringing home money to pay those bills becomes a priority...then you'll all be singing a different tune.

One picture is worth 128K words.

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