Pat Gunn (dachte) wrote,
Pat Gunn

Living in Check

Sometimes, it seems like I have managed to put myself in check in life -- I don't feel as free as I really want to be, and it feels that every move I make is either to escape something or to meet a need. My motions are nestled by necessity, and this is not entirely comfortable. I think I'm starting to understand more about why this is. Somewhat but not entirely related, there is a fascinating (and long) conversation on livejournal that I wish I could share with y'all, but it is friends protected by the original poster for the safety/comfort of all of the people involved. Sometimes people are good enough to ask, in a concise way, questions that are close to things that I've either been curious about or things that are otherwise of practical (and philosophical) interest to me. It is a wonderful gift when this happens from someone with more of an audience than my blog, and I see answers that I would probably not get if I asked myself. I don't think being in check necessarily means endgame is near, at least in life, although it may indicate that some larger changes are in store before one emerges into the clear again. Am I making them yet? I am not sure.

A coworker recently had a disk fail on them, and they did not back their data up onto the shared space I provided. After much testing, I believe the disk is largely toast. Fortunately, some of the people in Psychology computer support know of a company called Gillware that does data recovery for very attractive rates/conditions. Given that this is at least a year's worth of research for the coworker involved, it is probably worth $400-$700 to try to recover. Let this be a warning to everyone though -- back your data up. You never know when hardware is going to fail on you, and if losing it all would be incredibly painful, invest a bit of time every now and then to do backups of the important stuff.

I am increasingly convinced that named parameter lists in Perl are a good thing. They're a bit of a pain to set up, and they uglify all the code they touch, but there's no beating the convenience they offer in calling syntax, offering defaults, and as a surprise, generalisability. As an example, I do a lot of mod_perl coding that glues databases in various forms to the web, typically with a lot of additional specific functionality. In starting a new project of this type, I normally copy a lot of code out of POUND (my Wiki/BLOG software) into the project repository (I use subversion now for version/code management), tweak it, and then start customising for the application. This works well, and saves me a lot of effort. However, sometimes I find myself extending something in one version that isn't applicable to the other. It would be nice to be able to pass a "personality" flag to those functions and have them be truly shared, and to add new parameters without worrying about parameter order to old functions. Named parameters break down borders between code, and fluidise things, which is generally a good thing (if sanely done). I wish perl helped me out a little bit more with the gruntwork at the top of each header. I could use source filters, but those modules are very .. scary.

It is officially spring now, and so we really missed most of the winter unpleasantness this year in Pittsburgh. Weird.

I have a few resolutions I am going to try to meet.

  • I will try to be more pleasant to be around
  • I will try to keep my apartment cleaner
  • I will clean my home directory and my inbox, and try to keep them cleaner
  • I will try not to get behind on important things
  • I will try to go to sleep at a slightly more reasonable hour
  • I will try to write somewhat less in my BLOG and much more on my website and Wiki
  • I will try to eat even healthier, and exercise more (the latter will be easier because the weather is probably on its way to getting nice again)
  • I will play more intellectually
  • I will try to be more smooth when I am attempting to interest people in relationships
  • I will continue to stand for integrity and not follow my drives when they would lead me towards things that would make me less able to respect myself
Tags: programming

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