Monthly Archives: December 2006

Almost

I finished my homework assignment for my programming class. It doesn’t quite work, and I can’t quite figure out why, but it’s definitely good enough. I’m not actually sure that it could be made to work any better.

I went to the bicycle store with my dad to buy a new chain for my bicycle. We fitted the new chain, but now the highest gear doesn’t work (it skips). We have no idea why.

Queen

Last night I saw “The Queen” with Paul, Rebecca, and (accidentally) Graham. I thought it was really excellent. There’s not much about it to describe, except perhaps to say that it is very traditionally British in its complete and careful understatement. Worth seeing, but certainly not for the easily bored.

Break

I broke through the major roadblock on each of my two major projects of the moment (homework assignment and Dad’s office installation). Both are now in the same state, with the initial step finally complete, ready for the real work to begin.

I went out to a bar/lounge in Fairfield whose name I do not know, with Erik, Kieran, and Brian. We ran into a huge number of other Staples graduates who were hanging around; it was good fun.

I am not at all tired, but it’s 3 AM, so I should probably go to sleep. I can’t decide if I’m hungry enough to trump sleep.

Work

I spent today hard at work. I went in to my dad’s office to start on the system upgrade project.

Progress was slow. It took an hour and a half for the RAID controller to initialize the new drives (two 73GB SCSI disks). Then Fedora Core 6′s graphical installer crashed hard mid-install, and we were forced into the text-mode install, which worked but did not boot into X by default. We also found that the names of eth0 and eth1 were reversed compared to the same hardware under Redhat 9, which caused some confusion. Once the server was fully configured, we started work on setting up Linux Terminal Server, the thin-client system on which the whole office runs. This was particularly difficult as neither of us knew how it was supposed to work. We eventually puzzled out how to install it, but the clients still hang mysteriously on boot. Getting that working is the next step, and there are many more steps after that.

This is quite a big project.

Christmas Eve

My dad and I went to my cousins’ house for christmas eve. It was lovely and fun, and the annual feast was excellent (home-made pasta!). They gave me a messenger bag as a present whose fashion value exceeds my entire wardrobe combined. It’s great.

Tomorrow my dad and I are starting in on our software upgrade project for his company. It should be fun.

Fortran

Fortran is a strange language. For example, you can pass a function to a function, but you can’t return a function from a function, so functions are halfway first-class objects. And you can only pass a function as an argument if that function was defined in a different module. If the function was defined in the main program, it’s an “internal function”, and this somehow makes it ineligible to be passed as an argument, though it is indistinguishable in any other circumstance.

This language really needs to be redesigned.

Boondoggle

Today I dropped in at my dad’s company for an hour, for free Christmas lunch and to prepare for helping out with an office software upgrade. It seemed kind of alien, as it always does when I visit the company.

This afternoon my mother decided that she wanted to return the gloves she’d bought me at Lord and Taylor, so we piled into the car and drove at least 15 minutes down the Merrit Parkway before we realized that nobody had taken the gloves. We turned around and went home, ultimately spending an hour for no reason at all.

I’m retrying something I’d attempted over the summer; organizing our old home movies online so that the other people in the videos can access them. I’m currently fighting with some very strange technical problems, but hopefully this will be resolved soon and I will start handing out passwords for accessing the video website.

Break

I got home (to Westport) last night. I spent today wandering around my high school, meeting all my old teachers, which was tiring but fun. The school’s facilities are fantastic, almost ridiculous.

I left a key homework assignment in Boston that I had planned to do over vacation. Hopefully the teacher will send me another copy; otherwise it’ll have to wait.

Events

Last night I went out to dinner with my Grandparents, which was lovely, as always. I spent meeting with my math professor and doing a (unrelated) assignment for his class. The assignment may mark the first time that I have had to turn in an equation that, when typeset, requires three lines on a page. Most of my professors (and high school teachers) took great pains to give us homework problems whose answers demonstrated the appropriate principle without deteriorating into arduous algebra. Not this one.

Luckily, the material is in fact very interesting and presented very logically. I’ve learned quite a few interesting things by doing the problems.

I’m going home Real Soon Now. Maybe tomorrow.

Done

Term is basically over. I took my final today (terrible), and just sent in my paper. All that’s left to do is two big homework assignments start to finish before monday, and then another paper for January, all for my computing class.