Saturday, September 28, 2002

To-do list, redeux

Ok, let's see...

  • Get tuxedo measurements from groomsmen

  • Try to contact the few people who didn't receive invites because they've fallen off the face of the planet

  • Finalise caterer contract

  • Make some prototypes of constraint templates

  • Get noise canceling headphones

  • Give Tam feedback on honeymoon plans

  • Order rings

  • Get marriage license

Thursday, September 26, 2002

I am back.

And I'm exhausted.

My grandfather passed away at 1 pm on Saturday. I'm glad that I could be at his bedside.

The funeral was yesterday. I was one of the pallbearers; it was an honor.

I didn't touch a computer for a week, and didn't miss it one bit. Though now I have 450 emails to catch up on, and don't have a clue as to what's going on in the outside world. I also am now way behind on wedding planning. I need to get back into my routine.

I think that things are going ok with my family. They're figuring out what to do with my grandmother, who needs near-round-the-clock care.

Drove back from Chicago yesterday; got to Pittsburgh around 1:20 am.

Most of all, though, I miss my grandfather.

Wednesday, September 18, 2002

... well, to-do list will have to wait. I have to head out to Chicago... looks like my grandfather only has a couple days left. :-(

My to-do list

Things seem to be cropping onto this faster than I have been taking them off as of late. Not that I couldn't keep up; I'm just being lazy.

This is my attempt to break my laziness through public humiliation.

  • Get tuxedos

  • Get addresses for remaining invites that were either returned or never sent

  • Call caterer (where's my menu?)

  • Get prescription filled

  • Water plants

  • Make curry

  • Implement MTM query functions for NeoCell

  • Make some prototypes of constraint templates

  • Get wedding program to Pastor Janet

  • Meet with Tom regarding professional development

  • Get noise canceling headphones to drown out loud damn annoying tech writer who sits in front of my office (just had to shut the door... grr...)

  • Make honeymoon plans more firmish (plane tickets?)

Monday, September 16, 2002

I've just about had it with Linux.

It's not as great as the proponents claim. I can't believe an environment this buggy and architecturally flawed will ever be accepted into the mainstream. The NFS implementation is god awful... it's been losing my home directory every 10 minutes this morning. (No problems from our Sun or HP boxen.)

And the device drivers... eaugh.

I'm close to the snapping point and either installing FreeBSD or writing my own microkernel system from scratch.


Saturday, September 14, 2002

It's Saturday... the band is playing... honey, could you ask for more?

Today's A Prairie Home Companion was a reply of a May 2000 show they did at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium.

Just listening to Garrison Keillor describe Pasadena made me miss it. And Caltech, as well.

And I'm starting to enjoy Nickel Creek (one of the guest bands on the show).

Thursday, September 12, 2002

The social aspect to IRC and fora...

Ok, Josh, post your comment *here*. :-) I'm prolly going to take some flak just for talking about this, but here goes.

It's difficult, if not impossible, to put out an entertainment product (e.g., Avalon) and manage the fan forums (and by this I mean discussion boards, e-mail lists, IRC channels, chat rooms, ...).

Managing a forum when you're the creator makes it (seem) official, regardless of whether this is intended. If (when) the people on it get out of hand, it makes your product seem less polished. Take steps to correct this, and you're accused of trying to stifle "free speech" or manipulate people or other nasty things. It's ends up being a lose/lose situation.

Which brings us to the #avalon "problem." It (the version on Nightstar) was once the official real-time discussion forum. Of course, some people hung around quite frequently, and a community/clique (you choose the connotation) formed. Time passes. Those people have now gotten to know each other. Any newcomer is going to feel, well, like a newcomer. He/she will be at a disadvantage. Some people enjoy being in those shoes, but many do not. If the channel is still "official," this presents an image problem...

I'm beginning to understand why products which have garnered a fanbase -- whether it's Star Wars, Macintoshes, Porches, Sunbeam Toasters, etc. -- do not attempt to have any sort of "official" fan forum.

Now, Keenspot provides a forum for webcomics hosted there. I think it's best to prevent any sort of community/clique developing there for the reasons listed above. But people are going to want to discuss and form social groups, so it's good to provide links to unofficial, fan-run areas (with a huge "this is not official" disclaimer). If someone is turned off by one group, he/she can just go to another. If none of them are appealing, a new one can be formed...

With regard to the Keenspot-hosted Avalon forum, I think it's too late. If Josh tries to move it off-site, he'll be accused of those things mentioned above. Hopefully, this won't be too much heartache since Avalon is due to run its course soon.

Josh's earlier comment (posted to the previous entry) was along the lines of, "I thought that I was the only one with the thorn in my side, and that was 4-5 months ago" [i.e., it's not a thorn in his side anymore] [Sorry, Josh, I've lost the actual text! Let me know if I'm misremembering.]

Anyway, the impression I've gotten is that others want the connection removed because {they don't want it mistaken for an official forum, they don't like Josh, much of what takes place isn't Avalon-specific, just because, ...}. My intent was to provide a technical solution to the "you can't rename an IRC channel" issue. If people want to keep the #avalon name, fine by me.
It has become clear that the naming of the #avalon IRC channel has become a thorn in the side of many.

Before, it was mentioned that renaming a channel is not technically feasible (e.g., infrequent visitors might miss the announcement that it had been moved). However, I believe I have come up with a solution to this problem.

Visit #test30 on The ChannelMover bot will inform you that the channel is no longer in use and mention its successors. You will receive in invite to join #test50 (which on some IRC clients will cause you to automatically join the new channel). After a short delay, you will be kicked off of #test30.

This, of course, does not answer the question of what #avalon (on should be renamed to.

Questions and comments regarding the technical aspects of this are welcome (post a comment to this entry). Anything else will be deleted.

Monday, September 9, 2002

Hm. Interesting morning.

Been doing some build system setup here, trying to reduce the amount of network traffic going to our poor overloaded server. Problem is, compiling a compiler takes an awful long time...

Went to Waterworks Mall to deposit a check and do some browsing (Barnes and Noble, Radio Shack, etc.). Lots of police and media at the Ames store there; seems that an employee was stabbed while trying to stop a shoplifter. No ambulance when I got there, so it must have happened well before I arrived.

Got an Uncle Sam's pizza cheesesteak sub for lunch. Mmm... Not good for my waistline, of course, but my stomach is in bliss.

Tam's sick. We have the filters running full blast in case it's allergies, but it sounds like it's more than that. :-(

Wednesday, September 4, 2002

Intel Reduces Q3 Sales Forecast

Santa Clara, CA (DACWIRE) - During a mid-quarter analyst meeting today, Intel
Corporation executives revised their third-quarter sales forecast further
downward in a widely anticipated announcement.

Citing weak demand for personal computers and consumer items, Intel spokeman
Mark Wittenberg stated that the company hopes to sell "six, maybe seven,
Pentium 4 processors this quarter" after slashing prices on their main
product by up to 28%.

Sales of server and low-end processors followed the trend, with Celerons
targeted for eight units sold. Wittenberg declined to forecast sales for
their Itanium server products, but many analysts note that most server
vendors are refusing to use the chip even for free.

Hewlett Packard, which assisted in the early stages of Itanium's development,
reportedly "won't even touch it even when Intel is offering them $10/chip"
to incorporate them in their servers, according to Merrill Lynch analyst
Joe Osha.

Should sales of the Itanium chip continue to remain flat, Intel may be faced
with a tough decision regarding warehouse space. "We're evaluating our
options, but burying them in the Nevada desert seems to be our leading
choice," said Wittenberg.

A call seeking comment from Atari, which faced a similar decision in 1984, was
not immediately returned.