Pat Gunn (dachte) wrote,
Pat Gunn

Metroid Beanbag

I tried out my running shoes today, and am delightfully tired. The trails were pretty. I am not at all in good running shape though -- that'll be something to work on. While I was making my way by the Schenley Golf Course, I remembered something a coworker told me -- Schenley was apparently deeded to the city with the explicit instruction that it be a park. The city, at some point, perversely decided to take a mandate like that and interpret it to mean "Expensive Golf Course managed by CMU". I don't have a good way to verify the deed (or the deed.. hehe), nor am I certain that I would be able to sue to enforce somebody else's contract, nor am I sure that it would still be binding or that restriction be eliminated "for the (rich segment of the) public good" nor if golf courses might even be considered parks in some legal sense.. but it would be interesting to see if legal action could be taken to close Schenley Golf Course and actually turn it into another nice park. That would be quite cool. On the rare occasion that wealthy people give away their (often ill-gotten) gains, it's irritated to see it twisted like that. On the other hand, as a CMU employee, this might not be the best thing to have my name attached to.

I recently discovered Metroid for the SNES. It's better than the original Metroid (which is a pretty tough feat). I would love to have a giant plastic metroid beanbag.. although it might be freaky to look at for those who would "get it".

It would be interesting if everyone had to assemble a band from their friends and do a cover album once in their life.

I was talking with a friend who's a bit nuts about overclocking (one of the 3 E-brothers), and we collectively had an idea that might get built -- very strong case fans attached to a light body carrying a battery, a Gumstix, a wireless ethernet thing, and some tilt sensors. With strong enough fans, this could make for a flying platform, direction controlled through using the tilt sensors and varying power to the fans slightly to give the thing a slight angle. The intersting challenges would be to find a battery that could supply enough power without weighing too much and writing software to control the flight in a way that wouldn't regularly cause the thing to fall to the ground. It might make for a wonderfully interesting project.

I thought it might be interesting to do one of these things..

X ago, I used computers differently:1 year ago:

  • I was still using my old laptop (plain ol' x86), and also had no (frequently-on) desktop
  • I didn't have the gnome toolbar at the top of my screen, so I had a terminal running "watch acpi -V" to check on my battery and temperature every 2 seconds
  • My mouse was unreliable
  • I didn't use a lot of the non-search google stuff yet (like the calendar, notebook, etc)
  • I was able to view flash content (no amd64 port of flash, and the spooky 32-64 plugin bridge stuff doesn't work for me on my current box)
  • I was using rxvt
  • I wasn't doing cool Unicode stuff yet (I don't think)
2 years ago:
  • I wasn't using much Java software
  • My old system's mouse was reliable again (kernel update hadn't yet broken it)
  • I wasn't yet on firefox, was still using Mozilla with my old bookmarks file that was probably generated on Netscape 2.0
About 4 years ago:
  • I was on my much older blueberry iBook running YellowDog Linux, which was rapidly dying
  • I had no experience with wireless, nor any hardware that did it
  • I used a CMU computer at work, with two large LCDs
  • I had a radically different set of vim mappings for the large amount of C programming I was doing at the time
  • My old workstations at home (NeXT Turbomono, Alphastation LX164) were still working fine and I used them, using NFS to share data. I wasn't purely running Linux on all my systems at the time yet.
  • Switched from Altavista to Google as my search engine
About 8 years ago:
  • I was in University, and had 2 workstations and a 486 Winbook laptop that was starting to wear out
  • I ran a mix of WinNT, OS/2, and Linux on my workstations, with occasional experiments with Minix, SunOS, and other things. I also had 2 alphas that ran Digital Unix for awhile, then NetBSD, then Linux
  • I had access to NeXTs and SUNs at OSU, and was slowly absorbing Unix knowledge
  • I didn't know Perl yet (I don't think), and did all my programming projects in C, ObjC, shell, ReXX, and occasionally assembly
  • BNC-style thinnet ran across walls and ceilings of everywhere I lived. I thought of it as functional decoration
  • On Unix, I hadn't yet discovered Windowmaker (I don't think), and was still running a version of 9wm that I was tweaking per my preferences
  • On OS/2 I had a wonderfully intricate desktop, thanks to Stardock's Object Desktop
About 10 years ago:
  • (still at home)
  • I had my own desktop, seperate from the family computer. The former family computer was my bulletin board system, which had its own phone line.
  • I was using an 286 laptop running DOS to take notes (and play moria when I got bored) in class
  • Everything pretty much ran DOS, although I had (some illicit, some not) access to unix systems that I dialed into and OS/2 1.x that I sometimes played with. DesQView seemed much more awesome than windows at the time
  • I was programming in C and assembly, and had recently given up on Microsoft QuickC for DJGPP, a port of GCC to dos that integrated more easily into DOS extenders
  • I was beta testing various versions of PC-DOS for IBM at this time
  • I still was a major PC zealot
  • RIPScript was really cool
  • My internet access was either through Delphi (the best way to get on the internet back then) or through dialup to local freenets and BBSs (and illicit sources of connection)
About 20 years ago:
  • I started using computers
  • My grandpa had some variety of Apple II, my dad had a souped-up original IBM PC. I used both.
  • I initially became interested in computers through offers of vanilla ice cream to solve math problems in Lotus 1-2-3. Not long afterwards, I learned BASIC and later x86 assembly.
  • I started to go on BBSs using our acoustic coupler, soon to "hang out" online with people I probably shouldn't've

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