It’s been a while since I’ve actually blogged anything. Like Jon observed, you get used to a routine, and if blogging isn’t part of it, it’s just not gonna happen. I’m less likely to spend time on the computer when I get home from working with a computer all day. Been spending more time with the idiot box, actually – I guess I find it more relaxing. 🙂 I still use the computer, of course, (I still have a pulse, after all), but blogging hasn’t been high on ye ‘ol todo list.
Let me see… what’s happened, recently?
Somehow, I got conned into joining an indoor soccer tournament at work. Practises are about once a week at a place called SportsTown, in Richmond. I didn’t know what I was getting into; these guys are good… really good. I used to play soccer, but that was ages ago, and I was never that good! I feel totally out of my league, but my team is in pretty desperate need of players, so there I remain. We played with some other soccer team at Slocan park over the weekend, and it was really fun. My main concern is disappointing my team mates. 🙁 We got a tournament game, this weekend. We (they) are defending champions, so there’s a lot of pressure. But I’m just gonna play my best and have fun – can’t do much more than that. I’ve suffered a ridiculous number of injuries due to my jumping into this, but I am glad I joined.
Inspired by Shirley’s photo-realistic South Park personality, I created my own. Unfortunately, he looks nothing like me… but It’s as close as I could get without making him naked… and trust me, you don’t want that.
After my first (or maybe it was second) paycheck, I bought a cheap desktop computer. Pretty much a bare minimum at $600 after tax, sans monitor. I’ve since bought a nice 19″ LCD flat panel monitor (cost almost as much as the desktop), a friend’s old graphics card (so I got 3D acceleration now! – thanks, Haseeb!) and a wireless PCI card. Oh, and a 10′ DVI cable. Did you know 10′ DVI cables are cheaper than 6′ DVI cables? Crazy, I know.
Getting all the hardware was the first step. I actually built this computer, which is a first, for me: I figured, if I’m supposed to get a degree in Computer Science, then I owe it to myself and that piece of paper in my distant future. There were a few kinks, and I had to complete a quest for thermal paste, at one point, but everything seems to be working now. I must go out of my way, however, to say that mother board manuals are completely useless pieces of shit. I respect a good piece of documentation, but motherboard manuals get no love from me. None.
I’ve installed the latest Ubuntu on my new desktop. It’s zippy and I like it. I had gotten so used to my laptop having to page-swap all the time, I thought it was normal. I’ve been really impressed with Ubuntu, despite having a few problems, but I will write about those later (and possibly somewhere else). With my new found space, I’ve also started migrating all my personal data to one location (to rule them all -sorry). This is an extremely long and boring task, but it simply must get done.
Some quick software I recommend checking out:
- Newton – I like it better than TomBoy, at the moment,
- Neverball – very nice monkey-ball-ish game,
- Automatix – an install script for some more inconvenient tasks.
Learning New Things
Recently, I’ve been spending time with a few interesting things, including:
- Perl (yup)
I also reviewed Java, but didn’t use it that much. I’ve been working a lot with web-related stuff at work, I encountered the need to write scripts, hence, the Perl. As someone who likes clean, and well structured things, it is my duty to loath all that is Perl. I have always hated that vile language. There is a well known (among the Perl community, at least) acronym that sums up the language quite accurately: TIMTOWTDI (pronounced TimToady). It stands for: There is more than one way to do it. And with Perl, there really is; for absolutely anything, there’s a thousand ways it could be done. And I don’t mean algorithmically, I mean syntactically. To me, this is a huge problem.
A simple example:
1. print "hello";
2. print ("hello"); # parentheses are optional
3. print 'hello'; # single quotes are significant, but not in this instance
4. print qw(hello); # just like single quotes
5. print qq(hello); # just like double quotes
6. print qq.hello.; # here you need something, but who said anything about parentheses?
1. door->open("a little");
2. open door "a little";
That being said, it has been extremely useful. 🙂 Especially regular expressions (a whole other language in itself!)