August 26th, 2003


tset must die

I used to have a number of odd systems which didn't agree on whatcharacter the backspace key should send, and so I manually stuckinvocations of tset all over the place, forcing it to do what I wanted.Unfortunately, although that seemed to work for a long time, it's breakingnow, and I'm not sure why. Pretty universally, removing the tsets seemsto fix it (!!), so now it's just a matter of finding all the places whereI put them and digging them out. Kind of frustrating. In the future, maybeI'll start keeping notes of systemwide configuration changes that I make.Oh, yes, in case I haven't talked about it before, here are some tweaks Ialmost always make on Unix boxes that I want to feel at home on...

  • mkdir /media -- I tend to keep music, graphics, and occasionally shared documents in here. On my home systems, it's shared via NFS. It's generally world-readable, and writable by (at least) my account.
  • mkdir /backup -- A recent innovation, I tend to have cron drop stuff off into here, so scp can regularly grab this stuff and store it on a central system, for backup. I really need to start doing those backups again.. ....
  • chattr +i /etc/resolv.conf -- Too many programs think it's ok to rewrite this as they see fit. Not gonna happen on my box.
  • chattr +i /etc/hosts -- Same here
Hmm. I had more, but, moving on...

During the trip home, I found some long lost stuff. One of them was myJamiroquai CD... and the other was a lot of stuff from when I was very veryyoung.. some stuffed animals, some early book reports, etc. I brought someof it back with me.

Oh, yes, the mod_perl version of this blog is now online. Go visit can start indexing me again. I can do custom color stuff soon.As always, although the code isn't put up for download anywhere, that's justbecause it's a moving target. If you want it, just email me. At some point,the default page will be that version, and at another point the CGIs willredirect you, and at another point, the CGIs will be gone, and at anotherpoint, hopefully not too soon, you and I will crumble into dust. No rush.

Some cool stuff:MailinatorWater Spiders

Yesterday, I had 2 classes. The first, a Stat class, was way too basic, so Idropped it. I replaced it with a philosophy class that looks interesting andmight be relevant to my field .. maybe. Maybe it's just an excuse to take aclass that looks interesting. My schedule is slightly less insane.It's updated on the web.. Ahh, yes, the other class, Cognitive Psychology,is looking to be interesting. The class doesn't look like it's going to bevery deep, and there are a bunch of bozo students in there, inarticulatelywringing their hands at the thought that the brain can actually be studied, andthat humanity's soul can actually be pried apart with scalpels and such (forthose of you who don't know me, understand that I mean soul in the figurativesense, as I don't subscribe to any other notion of soul). Yeah, when I hear peoplemaking a big deal of the difference between mind and brain, I hear someone whokeeps adding more characteristics to their invisible flying monkey, in order toavoid parting with their imaginary childhood friend. Anyhow, I'll find outwhat the philosophy class is like later today. As an added bonus, the stats classhad a lot of busywork, so when I dropped it, my schedule not only blocks better,as noted above, but also has slightly fewer class hours.

I don't like using this as a TODO list, but like how I email myself, it meetsthe purpose pretty well. Hell, given how I blog almost every day, I'm sure myreaders have a fairly high tolerance for boring stuff, have some strangeobsession with me (hmm..), or they've learned to skim. Or perhaps I don't haveany readers at all. I could go look at the logs, but I'm lazy, they're hard tolook at, and I have better things to do. Maybe sometime I'll write a parser.It'd be funny -- I learned Perl by writing something to parse BIND logs forthe OSU Networking group, ages ago. Heh, my first code was really crappy codethat was very much in the C style. Nowadays, my Perl coding style is fairly closeto the standard Perl style, and has influenced my C style quite a bit, althoughI do tend to use prototypes in Perl, and almost always stick main program flowinside a main sub.

Ahh, yes, todo..

  • Improve PSMail so it summarizes filter usage, can store filters in a scriptable format (dbm?), can do MIME, and logs stuff.
  • Start looking for a house, maybe for next year?
  • Put some more time into TOME
  • Get books for school

Yesterday, at the close of my day, I was at CoffeeTree, and I lay back in my chairand stared at the tree for about 10 minutes. It was very relaxing, and althoughit was probably mostly the visual effect of the wind on the leaves, it seemed likethe tree was slowly rotating.


Stale school handle

I had an interesting day, schoolwise. I found out that I had totallymisunderstood my schedule, when I showed up for the second cogsciclass, and got another syllabus. It turns out that CMU and OSU usedifferent notations in their course catalogs, and so what I thought wasanother mandatory part of a class was really another section. So, I'vereworked my schedule yet again (having figured out which section I reallywant to be in), and it's not nearly as bad. I'm keeping the monday push,but tweaking the other days so that I get thursday and friday off earlierthan I ever did before. Sweet.

I also feel compelled to again mention that university jobs rock. I'masked again and again by everyone I know when I'll be switching into beinga fulltime grad student, and recruiters bother me. All I can say is thatI really am happy with CMU, and with where I work, and who I work for.The pay's decent, the benefits rock, the coworkers are nice, theenvironment is relaxed, and people arn't thinking about money all thetime. People actually are interested in helping other people learnthings. People can pursue their interests. It's by no means a quietenvironment, and there certainly are debates and occasional bits ofbrain-damage, but Universities, from my experience at OSU and CMU, areabout as close to utopia as humanity has, in my knowledge, attained.

Well, I'm off to go to the coffeeshop. I was going to go to philosophytonight, but I ended up chatting with a friend on AIM instead. Srees hadyummy tofu today. I wonder how he cooks it -- he was a doctor in india,and claims that his food is pretty healthy.. I might ask when I stop byhis Sq Hill restaurant in a few minutes. Also, I've been thinking aboutcooking pasta at my place. Easy, tasty, not too expensive... Once paydaycomes, I'll probably make a trip to giant eagle, and stock up like there'sno tomorrow. As for right now, I'm so near being dead broke that it's reallykind of sad. I have rebates, and reimbursements, and payday all in thepipeline, but for now, unless I touch what remains of my savings, whichisn't much, I can muster about $60 at best. Once the pipeline is emptied,chances are good that I'll be slightly better off than being at a zeropoint, and apart from living in comfort again, it'll be a big priority forme to recharge my financial batteries as quickly as possible.