Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Halloween


Pumpkins carved by my Sister and my Father


Looks like we've almost made it to November.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Weekends are for reflection

frosty grass



Listen! the wind is rising,
and the air is wild with leaves,
We have had our summer evenings,
now for October eves!
- Humbert Wolfe


Recycled photos and a quote found on the internet. It doesn’t make for the most original of blog entries, but it will suffice for the day. When I went out to my car this morning at 8, there was still frost on my windshield, not the kind that can be wiped off with the windshield wipers, but the kind that had to be scraped off. I suppose this means that fall is really upon us, and winter is just around the corner.

School marches forward.
There was so much to do last week, that finding time for it all really was a mess. Hopefully this week will be better. On the plate are preparations for an exam in Operating Systems, making progress on the OS kernel, and a checkpoint in Databases.

It’s not a bad thing, but school is requiring much more “thinking” at this point. The mere accumulation of facts isn’t going to be enough to make it through the semester. The requirement of “thinking” is a good thing, but it isn’t something that can be crammed in a Saturday afternoon. It usually takes days and weeks of careful and “thoughtful” preparation.

But that’s enough of school, now, back to the weather. As I cleared off my wind shield this morning I couldn’t help but remember “Autumn” from Antonio Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons”. Specifically Op. 8, Concerto No.3, “Autumn”, II. Adagio. The way the harpsichord contrasts with the subtle strings is really quite sublime, and I think it paints a very nice aural picture of the frost that drapes the world, early on a fall morning.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

I've Been Thinking (a very little bit)


  • It really would be fun to work on some hobbies again. Like photography, recreational reading, or web design.

  • Most things that are worthwhile don’t happen over night, or even in the span of a couple of days or weeks.

  • 13 hours of coursework taught at the graduate level, is not the same as 13 hours of coursework taught at the undergraduate level, even if you are only getting undergraduate credit for them.

  • Every good coder should either learn to be proficient at UI/graphic design, or they should make friends with someone who is.

  • Good intentions don’t get the project done, nor do they make for good excuses. People (professors and bosses) want results.

  • Though important, sleep is over rated, or maybe if you’re so busy that sleep doesn’t fit into the schedule well, you’re doing too much.

  • All of the “academic” “sanitized” reading in the world won’t teach you everything that you need to know about a topic, as much as Amazon is great, sometimes you just need to get out there and get your hands dirty with the practice of the art or trade.

Friday, October 13, 2006

10 Days Is Too Long...

To go without posting around here. I used to be so much more dedicated to this venture. I still think it has value, but there is this odd combination of not feeling like I have anything valuable to say along with this really crazy business of late that keeps me from writing.

I had a test in my Data Bases class this week, it was far more theoretical than I had prepared for. Unfortunate for me. I guess I need to spend some more time "thinking" about the implications of the material presented in class.

Next week presents an exam in Networking. It would be nice not to be caught off guard with this class. Right now it looks like Saturday will be spent in the library with a pile of books and some assignments.

Operating Systems is my most interesting class this semester. Not trivial at all, but motivating none the less. I am working on the project with a friend from the class, and we managed to run our first "hello world" program on our OS kernel on Wednesday night. It might not sound like much to you, but it really represents quite an accomplishment. In the next three weeks we need to get context switching up and running.

Work is Work. Interesting and challenging as always.

Four to five hours of sleep each night isn't something one should thrive on. I am living on adrenaline, caffeine, and a prayer.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Informal Update

Started memory mapping in our OS kernel today.

Finished up an interesting Database Systems exercise.

Learned that 87,000 records can create the need for 160 M of heap space in the JVM, and that where I work, that’s too much. Later found that a query with some joins would accomplish the same thing, leaving the memory footprint in the database tier and not the EJB tier. That’s why I’m a noob.

Taking Thursday and Friday off for the university’s fall break. Friday (and maybe Saturday) I’ll volunteer for the Special Olympics though.

I think I’m getting sick. Hopefully the NyQuil will give me a good night’s rest, and the “AIRBORNE” herbal remedy will kill this funk ( I really hope I am not getting sick).

- The one who needs more sleep.