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Journal Journal: I am not normally a big fan of Phil Hunt, but...

...You really ought to read this. Working in Berkeley and Oakland has made me believe a lot of what he's said.

Normally Phil pisses me off. However his comments there match reality in the Bay so well, this link has to be put up.


Journal Journal: We're hiring

Look here and plug-in NERSC for the division search. There is one listed opening for the sysadmin section, but there are really going to be two or more.
User Journal

Journal Journal: WalMart and the illusion of low prices 7

I have now entered WalMart three times in my life.

Before I go on I should mention that I really don't have time to be shopping today. I am moving today and tomorrow. I have other things to do.

Yet I was a WalMart today at 4:10 am. The prospect of a $378 laptop was too much to resist. There were about a hundred people in line in front of me. Assuming that they didn't all want a laptop I figured that I would be ok.


First, the line got mysteriously thicker as time went on. There were easily 300 people in front of me when the doors opened at 5:00 am. This does not include the people that stood in the parking lot and simply sprinted at the door when it opened. What kind of jerk do you have to be to do that?

Second, they put the laptops in the grocery area. At least this is what I was told. I never saw a laptop box. I went to the electronics area which was a mob scene but lacked laptops for some reason. According to a helpful WalMart employee, the laptops were gone from the grocery area before I got into the store anyhow.

Now if you claim to be selling a sub-$400 laptop but can't/won't sell anywhere near as many as people want then you really aren't selling such laptops. You are simply claiming to. Maybe if they offered rainchecks I would believe them, but they don't and thus I am convinced that it is a scam. Classic bait and switch.

I walked out of WalMart at 5:10 am vowing to never return. Unless they will give me a raincheck, which isn't going to happen.


Journal Journal: NERSC puts into production new Linux Cluster

Read the pressy thing here.

Getting this machine through acceptance sucked Korean century old eggs. We had to change cluster file systems (an fs that eats user data is baaaaad), found bugs in AMD chipsets, had freakin weird project management from the vendor, and worse.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Oh Why not...MEME!

( ) smoked a cigarette
( ) crashed a friend's car
( ) stolen a car
(x) been in love
(x) been dumped
( ) shoplifted
(X) been fired
(X) been in a fist fight
(X) snuck out of your parent's house
(x) had feelings for someone who didn't have them back
( ) been arrested
( ) gone on a blind date
(x) lied to a friend
(x) skipped school
( ) seen someone die
(x) had a crush on one of your internet friends
( ) been to Canada
(x) been to Mexico
(x) been on a plane
( ) purposely set a part of yourself on fire
(x) eaten sushi
(X) been skiing Cross country counts, right?
(x) met someone from the internet
(x) been at a concert
(x) taken painkillers
(x) love someone or miss someone right now
(x) laid on your back and watched cloud shapes go by
(x) made a snow angel
( ) had a tea party
(x) flown a kite
(x) built a sand castle
(x) gone puddle jumping
( ) played dress up
(x) jumped into a pile of leaves
(x) gone sledding
(x) cheated while playing a game
(x) been lonely
(x) fallen asleep at work/school
( ) used a fake ID
(x) watched the sun set
(x) felt an earthquake
(x) slept beneath the stars
(x) been tickled
(x) been robbed
(x) been misunderstood
( ) petted a reindeer /kangaroo
(x) won a contest
(x) run a red light/stop sign
( ) been suspended from school
(x) been in a car crash
( ) had braces
(x) felt like an outcast/third person
(x) eaten a whole pint of ice cream in one night
(x) had deja vu
(x) had deja vu
(x) danced in the moonlight
(x) liked the way you looked
(x) witnessed a crime
(x) questioned your heart
( ) been obsessed with post-it notes
(x) squished barefoot through the mud
(x) been lost
( ) been on the opposite side of the country
(x) swam in the ocean
(x) felt like dying
(x) cried yourself to sleep
(x) played cops and robbers
( ) recently colored with crayons
( ) sung karaoke
(x) paid for a meal with only coins
(x) done something you told yourself you wouldn't do
(x) made prank phone calls
(x) laughed until some kind of beverage came out of your nose
(x) caught a snowflake on your tongue
(x) danced in the rain
(x) written a letter to Santa Claus
(x) been kissed under the mistletoe
(x) watched the sun rise with someone you care about
(x) blown bubbles
( ) made a bonfire on the beach
(x) crashed a party
(x) gone rollerskating
(x) had a wish come true
( ) jumped off a bridge
(x) ate dog/cat food
( ) told a complete stranger you loved them
( ) kissed a mirror
(x) sang in the shower
(x) had a dream that you married someone
( ) glued your hand to something
( ) kissed a fish
(X) sat on a roof top
(x) screamed at the top of your lungs
( ) done a one-handed cartwheel
(x) talked on the phone for more than 5 hours
(x) stayed up all night
(x) picked and ate an apple right off the tree
(x) climbed a tree
( ) had a tree house
(x) scared to watch a scary movie alone
( ) believe in ghosts
( ) have more than 30 pairs of shoes
(x) worn a really ugly outfit to school
( ) gone streaking
(x) gone doorbell ditching
( ) played gay chicken?
(x) pushed into a pool/hot tub with all your clothes on
( ) told you're hot by a complete stranger
( ) broken a bone
(x) been easily amused
(x) caught a fish then ate it
(x) caught a butterfly
( ) laughed so hard you cried
( ) cried so hard you laughed
( ) cheated on a test
(x) forgotten someone's name
( ) french braided someone's hair
( ) gone skinny dipping in a pool/hot tub
( ) been threatened to be kicked out of your house
(x) loved someone so much you would gladly die for them
United States

Journal Journal: The Beating of the LANL Whistleblower

When I first saw the story about Tommy Hook getting beaten up, I freaked out. I grew up in Los Alamos. It was home and the Lab a nice place to work (I did my senior year of HS for that matter). My first reaction was no fracking way! THAT is not Los Alamos (unless you're an HS boy, but anyways...different story there). THen more and more information started trickling in. Then the police came out with their investigation results.

Either way, his credibility is shot. We'll see what happens and if anything else comes out...


Journal Journal: May Reading List

I haven't posted my reading list in a while. Truth be told, I've not been reading as much since the finals days of pregnancy. That's changing back some. The books listed might end up both my May and June reading list.

Centauri Dreams : Imagining and Planning Interstellar Exploration
Charlie Stross' Singularity Sky
Sea Dragons: Predators Of The Prehistoric Oceans
Gregory Benford's Tides of Light
The Pentagon's New Map
Dictionary of Angels: Including the Fallen Angels
AI for Game Developers. An O'Reilly book.

I am finishing _Phytoremediation: Transformation and Control of Contaminants_. It's a collection of papers educating about phytoremediation. I didn't know that there are already two nickel extracting phytomines in the US! *boggle*


Journal Journal: The NY Times Notices the Hacker...

This guy is the hacker we've been so fraking nervous about. He's heen eating supercomputing sites for some time now. We held him off. However, all it would have taken was a single oops and he'd have eaten us too. Well, iirc, I warned people hear he was loose and to patch! patch! patch! I also seemed to remember saying I was surprised that the mainstream media hadn't said anything...well, it seems that the NY Times finally caught on to what was going on. Sorta. Their story is only a small part of the real story.

Edit: PS. The /. story (that I missed) had it rather wrong. The cracks had nada to do with the Cisco code and the story only scratches the very, very surface of what happened. This cracker was bad for HPC sites.


Journal Journal: Usenet Succesor: what would /you/ want?

I've been thinking about a Usenet successor medium. My favorite newsgroups are choking a bit from spam and declining membership (UN in general is having issues).

What would you put in it?

User Journal

Journal Journal: Been a little while...

ObFamilyPict: here.

Wife and I when we were on a vacation to her home country (obviously long prior to baby). What a baby does to a woman's body is...rough.

My wife. I'm damn lucky. :D


Journal Journal: von Neumann, Matter Compiler or Hype?

I tried submitting this to the index, but unfortunately the html keeps getting screwed up for the links. IDK why. Anyways...

Dr Adrian Bower of the University of Bath seems to think that he has figured out a way to modify the rapid prototyping machines to allow simple manufacture at home or even to have the rapid prototyping machine replicate itself. The question is whether or not he'll succeed and if he is making what he thinks he is making. Are we looking at the first Matter Compiler? Or are we looking at the first von Neumann Machine? Or neither?


Journal Journal: Hip hip...hooray! 1

Aurora Devika was born on Feb 28th @ 8:17 am. She is the most beautiful baby in the world.

No biases here! ;)

Mom and baby are doing awesome.


Journal Journal: iTunes Vizualiztion - First Draft - Mac Only! 2

So I found the Apple iTunes developer stuff. Contrary to what I remembered it is free to download the API for iTunes. While they give you working code, it is pretty ugly as far as being a visualization. I have hacked it a bit to get a feel for it and have re-implemented the effect that I created way back when by rewiring an Apple // monitor and running my the wires to my stereo speakers through the coils.

So if you have a Mac you can see it. This similar to the WinAmp viz I posted before, but this version is much better. It scales properly and is green on black. Grab it here:

As usual, unzip the file and place it in the user/Library/iTunes/iTunes Plug-ins/ directory.

If the direct link doesn't work, there is a link in the "links" section towards the bottom of this page

As I put more effort into this I will probably make a page for it, maybe on a .mac account. We'll see what happens.

Edit: corrected second link. It is probably the one to use.

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The road to ruin is always in good repair, and the travellers pay the expense of it. -- Josh Billings