Tuesday, August 23

More things to do.

Current list of stuff I'm interested in looking at on my iBook:
  1. NeoOffice/J
  2. MacTheRipper
  3. talk.google.com
I'm pretty confident MacTheRipper will do what I want, not as confident about NeoOffice.  Google IM is just a curiosity at this point.

Any comments or suggestions would be welcome.

Sunday, August 14

Now I can do this in my pajamas

First off I have to say I love my wife. I really don't deserve her. Really. She is to good for me. I know you guys are all sorry I got her first. Why am I so enamored with my wife you ask? well...
This post was composed sitting in my living room on my new 14 inch iBook! I am so exited. Harry Potter and Sorcerer's Stone is on the TV. Hopefully I will be able to post from the living room more often. Previously I had to go upstairs to the computer and be away from my family. Now we can spend time together and I can indulge my geek tendencies.

Wednesday, June 22

Current Status

According to the essay Ten Things You Can Do Today to Jump-start Success we should re-write our goals every day. Well, I'm not going to do that here but I have wanted to use this blog to keep track of the things I am doing. So, today I am going to treat you to a copy of my todo list.

  1. Create the config and control block diff data I promised Becky.
  2. Finish exercises from section 2.1 of Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs (SICP) Exercises 2.13 - 16.
  3. Work on the broach candidates study.
  4. Do wrist physical therapy exercises
  5. Work on "The space of solutions ought to be continuous in the space of problems." blog entry.
While I'm at it here is a list of books I'm reading ,or planning to read, and my current status.
  1. SICP [Section one of chapter two; out of five chapters, and 22 sections (I have personally done every exercise up to this point)]
  2. The C++ Primer [Finished three chapters of eighteen (I am doing just a few of the exercises)]
  3. The C++ Programing Language [I have read up to ch. 18, but I keep starting over. Currently in ch 14 of 25 (I am doing just a few of the exercises)]
  4. Higher Order Perl [I don't have a copy of this yet. Hint, hint.]
  5. The Global Positioning System and inertial Navigation [Reading chapter two of seven]
  6. National Industrial Security Program Operating Manual [Ugh!]

Tuesday, June 21

Rumors of my death are greatly exaggerated

Not that there were any rumors, but I haven't been posting as much as I'd like.

The Man is keeping me down! They blocked my web access access to Blogger from work.

I posted the last post using the e-mail interface to blogger. I sent the post using my Gmail account using the plain text format. I think that is what caused the strange line wrapping in the last post. Since I didn't like the funky line wraps and I couldn't use the blogger interface to get rid of them I didn't post anything for a while. (No, posting from home is not an option for reasons too complicated to go into here)

Now I am still using my Gmail account but I discovered the rich text option. I think that might overcome the line wrap problem. So I am writing this post to test if it does.

Sorry to waist your time.

Update: I fixed the line wrap problem in the previous post using the blogger interface from home.

Saturday, February 19

Thoughts on organizing

I'm cleaning up my office here at work. I'm a "knowledge worker" so I accumulate a bunch of "knowledge" (notes, paper, documents, filesetc.) and they tend to accumulate in piles on my desk and floor.

The sedimentary effect of a pile of papers can be quite interesting. If there is a pile that has built up for several months or years the recent papers are on top and as I dig deeper into the pile I dig further back in time. There is a strange cross of archaeology and This-is-your-life while I clean my office.

There is a progression of states I go through as I dig down into a stack once I get past the era currently stored in my short term memory. The first state is the, "what the hell is this?", state. This occurs when I pick up a piece of paper that that I swear I have never seen before. I wonder "how did this get in here? Why is this in here? I had nothing to do with this." After staring at the document for a few seconds the fog of memory pulls back and I remember "Oh, yeah I worked on that with Dave. He was wondering if the frequency of the frob-nitz was dependent on the thickness of the thing-a-ma-bob." Then comes the realization, "Hey wait a second! I wrote this! This was a memo to Charley describing the unintended dependency of the frequency of the frob-nitz on the thickness of the thing-a-ma-bob. Look, there is my name on it!" Then comes depression. "This was only six months ago! I worked on this study for at least a month. I spent a week alone trying to figure out how to correlate the frob-nitz frequency to the thing-a-ma-bob thickness. What else have I forgotten! Am I getting senile. I am getting too old!" Luckily this doesn't happen for every document but it does happen more often than I like, and it happens more frequently the deeper I dig into the stack.

Some of the people I work with have an office full of "knowledge stalagmites". I don't know how they can work that way. If I have more than four or five piles that are more than two feet thick I haveto go through and weed out the junk, or my desk becomes useless.

Weeding out the junk, of course, requires deciding what to throw away and what to keep. I keep things based on the probability of using it in the future. If I am pretty sure I will never need a tidbit of information again; In to the round file it goes. If I am positive I will need it again I have to keep it and figure out a new place to put it. (Sometimes the new place is the foundation of a new stalagmite, or an extension to an already existing stalagmite (This disrupts the implicit chronological information of a stalagmite, but archaeology isn't an exact science anyway)) Most of the information I have falls some where in between "I will need it", and "I won't need it", and requires a judgment call. For the older things the decision is easier that for the newer things. I have a better sense of whether or not I will need older documents. Sometimes they have entered into a formal document tracking system and when I need them I can get them from there, so I can throw out my copy. Other times the whole project has been scrapped, and my notes don't amount to a hill of beans. In these cases I am pretty safe throwing the stuff out. The newer stuff is trickier. Will a project that has been put on hold ever restart? Will there be a problem with or a question about the changes I made to the doohickey project, so I will need this piece of information? Newer information frequently ends up as a new stalagmite. Older information that no one else has or frequently used reference information gets filed for the future.

Another rule of thumb that I use to help me justify throwing out a piece of information is:

If I can't find this when I need it, it is worse than not having it at all.
My rational for this is as follows. I am pretty good with computers. Computers are pretty good at generating information and data. If I am not careful I can bury myself in information, and none of it will beuseful because none of it will be accessible. In the end the only useful piece of information is the information in my hand. When I want a piece of information that I know is stored in my stalagmites I have to dig through all the other pieces of information looking for the one I want. The "what the hell is this" process described above happens during this search and distracts me from what ever it is I'm trying to do. The worst case is the flip side of the "what the hell is this" process. I need a piece of information, and I don't know I already have it in one of my stalagmites. I have to go through the whole process of creating it again. Some times I remember "hey! I've done this before" and then I remember the information I am looking for is in my stalagmites. Other times the absence of a piece of information completely stops an activity and with so much else going on something slips through the cracks. Later, when I'm cleaning my office I stumble on the piece of information and go through the "what the hell is this" process with the added state of "Oh I'm a doofus! This answers the question Phil had about the whats-a-ma-giger."

Now I'm all motivated to clean my office. So, I guess I better get back to it. Oh wait, it's time to go home! Imagine that! I'mprocrastinating cleaning my office until tomorrow!

Tuesday, January 18

Well here is a picture of me with my boys.

My fourth annual 29th birthday Posted by Hello

Hey this picture stuff is pretty easy! I like it!

First Picture post

Here is my first picture post to the blog.

I mentioned using hello and picassa to post pictures to my blog, well now I've done it!

Lightsabers in hand
Posted by Hello
Atop the lush hilltop the jedi take a moment to catch their breath, refocus on the force and survey the battle unfolding before them.

Tuesday, January 11

WOW! Apple has really done it now!

Can I please please please have one of these. Please!
I am so in LUST it hurts.

My favorite quote is near the bottom of the web page on the right.

Perfect for Programmers
Set a space-saving Mac mini atop your workstation PC and add a KVM switch to share keyboard, monitor and mouse. Mac OS X includes free developer tools for Mac, UNIX and Java. Test out a Mac version of your latest creation, instantly. Pretty soon you’ll be using the Mac full-time, with that PC relegated to the testbed.

OH! don't I wish!

Right now the lowest price computer at Dell.com is the Dimension 2400 for $449. Just $50 dollars cheaper! To be fair, the Dell does include a mouse monitor and keyboard, worth around $150. However, with a $40 KVM Switch you can use the keyboard mouse and monitor you already have (you do already have a computer don't you) !

Tuesday, January 4

Happy New Year 2005

Last year I posted fifteen blog posts. Fifteen posts per year was much less than I hoped I would post when I started this blog. So my blogging new years resolution is to post at least once a week. There should be fifty two new posts here by the end of the year.

I think this is attainable because I have changed the way I think about this blog. When I started I planned to write stuff the world, or at least a couple hundred people(what's the difference really), would read. Now I'm pretty sure absolutely no one reads this. So it's actually rather private (in a public sort of way). When I first started reading and writing blogs I thought there were very few blogs so I thought my blog would constitute a non-trivial part of blogdom. But there are a billions of inane, narcissistic blogs out there. So now pseudologic will be just one more of trite blog lost in the sea of trite blogs.

This change of perspective is good because it allows me to be as useless and conceited as I was before, but only more so, specifically more frequently.

The upshot of all this is I will be practicing writing in a "public" place more often. And really, that is the reason I started this blog in the first place.

I also plan to write quicker and revise less. Some of my previous posts took a couple of hours to write. I now plan to write and publish the majority of my posts in less than half an hour.

So, dear reader, your part in all this, if you exist, is to expect a drop in quality equivalent to the increase in frequency.

Uh-oh! I think I just commited to posting more frequently once again.