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User Journal

Journal Journal: Hello world

I suppose I'm writing to procrastinate finishing my current software project, specifically the transitory period from the last chunk of new code being added and the first chunk of testing. Testing your own software of any reasonable size has always struck me as comparable to washing a pan full of silverware or assembling an office chair, a soulless task that one is nevertheless forced to undertake in order to sit down comfortably and eat like a human. This project defies unit testing without completely denying it, dangling the possibility of efficient and consistent error-checking in my face with the sure knowledge implementing such a system would in this circumstance be far more trouble than it's worth. AJAX may be pretty but it's also the third greatest atrocity the world has ever seen.

Lately I've been on a reading binge. Rather, I've fit it in amongst my other binges/benders. I'm pushing through a number of different sci-fi and fantasy series that I read long ago, just buying whole trilogies+ at a block where I can so that I can maybe find out where things wind up. More often "wind down" is the more appropriate term, given the propensity of authors in this genre to write a series till they can't. It's been interesting to reread some books for style and with a new perspective.

If I may make one request of now and future authors, tucked safely away in this journal entry where no one will ever see it: if you must proselytize, can you try a light touch rather than a cram down the throat?

I've just made it through all of the Ender books, Ender's Game -> Ender in Exile. I'd finished the first four quite a while ago, then as part of the aforementioned binge decided to go the next five. I don't know what happened to the author in the intervening timeframe, but he LOVES the word "babies". So much so that not only does the plot revolve at one point around finding stolen babies (fertilized embryos, specifically, but as we all know and agree life begins at conception), but the topic of "making babies" comes up frequently and in verbally jarring fashion:

"We really don't want to have to start all over, making babies."

"I want you to help them make babies that don't have any of the father's gifts or problems."

"Lie down with one of our young men, or one of our old ones if you want, and make babies."

"...and what would happen to her plans for making []'s babies then?"

These are all in the same book! Don't get me wrong, I'm not against reading different perspectives, but in the age of the cheap thesaurus this just felt inelegantly done. If you had told me halfway through Lord of the Rings that it was an allegorical protest of industrialized farming, I never would have believed you.

At any rate, it's good to be back reading fiction. I've been hoping for a while now that the e-ink readers would come down to Earth so I could roll through Project Gutenberg, but until then used paperbacks will do.

It's funny.  Laugh.

Journal Journal: What the hell? 1

OK, I've been out of the loop for a year or three, so what's the criteria to get this box?

[ ] Disable Advertising
As our way of thanking you for your positive contributions to Slashdot, you are eligible to disable advertising.

I have to admit that it really made me laugh when I saw it, though I suppose not pouring shit into the comment area could be taken as a positive contribution in a relative sense.

The site feels a little strange with this new interface, but I do like that they didn't incorporate the "dumb it down" portion of Web 2.0 even if 500 different functions can get a bit unwieldy. Given how poorly the art of conversation is faring on the Internet these forum sites could do with a bit of a test before you're permitted to add your two cents; captchas are all well and good, a literacy test would be better, and requiring people to write every comment in assembly language would be just plain silly -- or the next billion dollar Web business. I still don't get this whole Internet thing.

User Journal

Journal Journal: twittin 6

twittin as Blackneto now.
stalk me.

User Journal

Journal Journal: [Update] Memeprisal: "Tis the season" 5

Via slashdot users RM6f9, Jeremiah Cornelius, Shadow Wrought, Captain Splendid, Fort Knox, OldHawk, Johndiiiiiiii, smitty_one_each,

Post a comment to this thread, and I will:

1. Tell you why I befriended you.
2. Associate you with something - fandom, a song, a color, a photo, etc..
3. Tell you something I like about you.
4. Tell you a memory I have of you.
5. Ask something I've always wanted to know about you.
7. In return, you must post this in your Journal/Blag/whatever.

Sun Microsystems

Journal Journal: Sun Certified Network Administrator 6

I finally passed the bastard, has anyone ever actually used Sun's DHCP daemon as opposed to ISC? Now to schedule my Sun Certified Security Administrator course, and hopefully pass the cert before review time in July.

Journal Journal: Anyone here on LinkedIn? (or Xing) 8

We went through this a few years back when it first started, and I'm already linked to about 20 or 30 of you, but I thought I'd check if there's anyone I missed. You should be able to figure out my "real" email address from my slashdot profile.


Journal Journal: turg's rule of computing #42 (and more dumb questions) 8

turg's rule of computing #42: Don't partition your hard drive at one o'clock in the morning.


So I thought I'd make an Ubuntu partition on the new hard laptop -- just to play around with it a bit.

So I pop in the CD and boot it up, choose install and start answering the questionnaire. The question about what size to make the partition is confusing (e.g. is it asking what size to resize the existing partition or what size for the new partition) and after I answer it I realize I've answered it wrong and hit the back button (got an "Are you sure?" and said yes) and gave the right answer. I didn't realize that it had started partitioning immediately -- I thought it wasn't doing anything until I finished the whole questionnaire.

So what I wanted was 45 GB for the WinXP partition and 15 for Ubuntu.

What I got is:
-Windows thinks it has a 15 GB hard disk
-Ubuntu thinks it has a 60 GB hard disk with a 15 GB Ubuntu partition and a 45 GB WinXP partition -- except it shows the WinXP partition as 5 GB used and 10 GB available.

Presumably there's some tool I can use in Ubuntu to fix this? I haven't done anything more with it so I haven't tried connecting Ubuntu to the intarwebs yet.

Also, How do I tell Grub to make WinXP the default?

Though, now that I'm thinking about it, I have since decided to make the laptop the primary home of the music collection so maybe I just want to blow away the Ubuntu partition and give the whole 60 GB back to WinXP. I can find someplace else to play with Linux on the desktop.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Dumb WinXP questions 17

So I've got my new (that is, new to me -- refurbished lease return) laptop.

Last time I was in this position, the first thing I did was go online to download all the Windows updates. Even with the Windows Firewall turned on, I had several worms, etc., by the time the updates were complete. This time I want to avoid this. Though that was with the original WinXP (home) and this is SP2 (pro).


1) What's the simplest procedure for getting the updates safely?

2) It's possible that this machine already has the updates. How do I find out if it does?

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Refreshed by a brief blackout, I got to my feet and went next door. -- Martin Amis, _Money_