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note to self

Certain BIOS configurations, including those on my primary computer, will silently deprioritize drives which have been disconnected. Consequently, after disconnecting the drives so that an attempted Windows install to an external hard drive can’t possibly mess up their MBR, it is important to disconnect any other USB drives simultaneously with reconnecting the primary RAID. Failure [...]

Sorry to hear

So, it looks like I’ve rendered two computers unusable in five days. On the plus side, I have a reasonable hope that I’ll be able to send in the old motherboard (which I’ve determined was the point of failure) and have it replaced under warrantee. It’ll only cost $60, plus shipping both ways. Now, this [...]

so what happens when the ghost in the shell hatches?

Less than three months ago: I decided that, because my current computer was unstable and refused (for non-obvious reasons) to run 3d games, I would assemble one from scratch. Five weeks ago: Final components arrive. Four weeks ago: System is assembled, up, and running. Ten minutes ago: while playing a game, the system spontaneously reboots–or [...]

restoring connectivity is like breaking a dam

My internet connection is back, which makes me very happy. Below are some entries that I wrote while the connection was down: 20050721 Last night, my students took me out to eat for my welcome party. It was a traditional Japanese restaurant, so the table was about 30 cm off the floor, and we had [...]

personal statement re:becoming a CS graduate student

This is the first draft of my personal statement, which is the only essay I get to write for my graduate application. I’m curious what you think of it. Your Personal Statement should be a brief but carefully written essay regarding: 1) your reasons you want to do graduate work in this particular field, 2) [...]

note my extreme reluctance to apply myself

On the plus side, the server is now back up. I did accomplish something this week, in terms of the project. Plus, I think I configured it so that the sshd, apache, and mysql daemons start automatically at boot now. Then again, it’s Linux, so I’m not sure that following the documented steps will actually [...]

eudora is not cutting it

Do any of you have an email client that you particluarly prefer, that runs on Windows? I really liked KMail, but getting it to run within Windows is troublesome, as it’s a Linux application.

of course, it MIGHT not have been entirely Gentoo’s fault

Two days ago, my computer freaked out and died. The first thing I noticed was that the ‘su’ command no longer worked. This command, for those of you unfamiliar with Linux, allows you to become ‘root’, i.e. the only person with the power to affect the computer in significant ways. This was bad, but not [...]


It’s funny, because the moment you add the graphical element to a program, its size grows ridiculously. It was true when I was programming them out of hand-drawn ascii art with QBasic, it was true when I was still using QBasic to create simple 320×240 graphics, it was true later with Visual Basic, and it’s [...]


Turns out that when you go on vacation, you end up with a lot of free time on your hands. Today I started working on a program to simplify and partially automate the design and construction of vehicles for the game Car Wars, not because I particularly need such a program, but because it’s something [...]