I fear spreadsheets. I never saw the point of using them, and have very little proficiency in doing so (I'm great with SQL databases, etc etc) apart from as simple grid objects. That, combined with the DiffEq-ness of my upcoming BioInformatics homework inspires great fear. It's due Thursday. Speaking of spreadsheets as grids, I have some interesting candidates for places to live next year, and will be making some phone calls early next week. Not many of them are quite where I'd like (the 2 most promising are not quite properly in Squirrel Hill, one being on the other side of 376, the other being out by the Cemetary near Frick), but I'm prepared to sacrifice. I'm still hoping to find a better location though, as that's one of the biggest concerns I have. As I kind of expected, my blog has proved to be utterly useless in finding any leads (thanks, guys!).
A pet peeve: Electronics that want me to hold in a button for 30 seconds, for any reason. UI designers, *NEVER* do this. I can't count to 30 seconds, and I don't want to wait that long for anything to register input. Culprit: My Linksys router/wireless bridge/NAT device occasionally hangs, and needs that to reset itself. Feeding the pet peeve: After many tries, I am forced to conclude that the bloody thing has finally met heat death (probably thanks to Beefalo sitting on it one too many times). Oh well. I ran out today to get a replacement, and also a 2G USB stick.
My contract programming thing is now starting to actually work in interesting ways. It still needs a lot of work, but it's always easier to program on something once it's partly working. According to Subversion, I now have 256 commits to the respository.
Recently, apart from being on a country music kick, I've been on a thinking-about-neocolonialism philosophical kick. One of the largest tools I've been using to prod at things is to imagine if certain (or all) international/interregional ties were cut, or certain legal/ownership ties. The actions of the World Bank, which are stunningly political and class-barrier establishing, are also of interest. Practically all the pro-free-trade arguments, at least as actually used in discussion, fall apart (or at least have serious enough "but"s to cast doubt on the entire affair) on cursory examination. The presence of few enough open value assertions and little enough of an uncertain tone mark one as a child in philosophy.
I am amused and pleased to see that BushJr is finally being taken to task for the things he's done. Of course, it's all just playing politics, but when the game is sufficiently corrosive (politics, capitalism, etc), we need to stop saying "it's the game" as an excuse. It would be more interesting to see serious discussion of his more serious abuses, but perhaps that can come afterwards.
Some yahoo (Scott M Fulton III) on TGDaily has a humourously bad article on Microsoft and the Open Source Movement. Quote of the idiocy:
In a very strange way, Microsoft pioneered the concept of open-source
software. While you're still swallowing hard after that last sentence,
take a few moments and some deep breaths, and just think about my
explanation for a moment: Microsoft's cornerstone product was its BASIC
interpreter. To have learned to program in BASIC during the 1970s, as
many of us did using TRS-80 Level II BASIC, or Applesoft BASIC - both of
which were made by Microsoft, and co-authored by Bill Gates himself - you
printed out program listings on an old Centronics dot-matrix printer, and
you shared them with your friends and colleagues.
Why is this stupid? First, Microsoft was not interested in creating that environment, and Secondly, unlike much other software that was being passed around at the time, Microsoft actually created controversy for keeping their sources (for that basic interpreter) closed. Microsoft made a conscious effort to close sources with the intent of pillaging the commons -- the fact that some people used some of their newly-antisocial software for social purposes does not vindicate them.