Give a man a fish, the expression goes, you feed him for a day. Teach
a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime. If, on the other
hand, you slap a man with a fish, just wind up and give
him a big trouty gill-to-gill smack, then you can sleep content;
this man will never forget you, and will learn to fish on his
own, just so that someday he can whallop you with a tuna or run
you through with a Marlin or something. Do it, I say. You’ve got
to spend the rest of your life looking over your shoulder but hey,
you got to clout a guy with a halibut. Good on ya.
I’ve got try and calm down here, but this isn’t going to be a pretty
week or two. There’s a couple of people that are getting on my
nerves, and there’s no three-day waiting period for a mackerel. My
“Intro To OSes” prof has given us a dandy little assignment,
possibly the stupidest thing I’ve ever seen, that involves writing
a sixteen megabyte file to /dev/null (the great void, for you
non-unixey folks) and then timing and graphing it. Whee. Four
different methods on five different operating systems. Double, nay,
quadruple-quintuple-for-a-total-of-twenty-whee. Those of
you who are saying “So he wants you to do nothing four different
ways in five different environments, and time it?” are correct -
we actually have a sixteen-megabyte file which we are going to read
and subsequently do nothing with, because these newfangled computers
being what they are, they can do nothing at a horrific rate.
Now, 16 megs isn’t a lot, but I’m not on broadband, and 16 megs
is much, much larger than a floppy. Not nearly as big as the
Zip drive I recently acquired, though. This is marginally sweet:
I don’t know why Zip disks still costs four or five bucks apiece,
when CD-RWs cost about 50 cents each, but enh, whatever, and it did
force me to go and deal with sysadmin at the Carleton’s SCS, which is
unpleasant at the best of times. It’s surprising that he’d decide to
work here when he’d obviously be much happier peeling bananas with
his feet or flinging dung at tourists, but I guess an MCSE doesn’t
really qualify you for that. So the Zip drives aren’t working,
and unless they have broadband or a Superdisk, my classmates are
pretty much hosed for working at home, until the nebulous “later”
that he gets around to fixing it. At least this time he didn’t say
“You’re in computers, fix it yourself”.
This is not all bad. The code itself takes about twenty minutes
to write, it turns out, and ANSI C runs, in theory, just about
anywhere. The graphing, the write-up, though, these will be tedious,
I’m going to Markham next weekend, looking for a killer showing with
Carleton’s Ultimate team. Between now and then, books books books.
Important news today: this is Arlene’s Birthday, which I have
not forgotten, because I am smart. She’ll be on call
tomorrow, and on Sunday, so I won’t have much of a time to call her
this evening. While she is in all regards a kind and gentle person,
if I forget to do so she will no doubt rake me with her fearsome
talons while I am scalded by the fiery beams that shoot forth from
her eyes, so I should probably write that on my hand or something.
UPDATE: It’s hardly a weblog without some links. Otherwise it’s just a
high-maintenance post-it note.
Astronomy Picture Of The Day is going into the bookmarks on the
strength of some of the most astonishing imagery I’ve ever seen. One
fascinating bit target="_top">here is exceptionally cool.
- Hollywood has apparently
decided to continue their grand tradition of href="http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story2&cid=91&ncid=786&e=4&u=/bpihw/20020925/en_bpihw/_doom__looms_at_warners"
target="_top">movies based on href="http://www.idsoftware.com/games/doom/doom-final/" target="_top">
video games. Movie fans and ardent gamers alike can expect the same
delicate, respectful treatment of the genre that we have come to expect
from the creators of such fine movies as
target="_top">Tomb Raider, target="_top">Mario Brothers and, well, ah, er… Hrm. We should
never, ever talk about Street Fighter, Double Dragon, Mortal Kombat
or Resident Evil ever again.
- Interesting technical and/or karmic tidbit: clicking on the “Memorable
quotes” link on the target="_top">Mario Brothers page actually crashes my browser. This
is probably a feature.
- If this zip-drive problem doesn’t get fixed in the next 24 hours, I’m
going to set somebody on fire.