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JANUARY, 2003 → ← MARCH, 2003

28th of February, 2003 POST·MERIDIEM 03:22

Hokay, so I volunteered to buy Cliph’s laptop from him. It’s a schweet piece of machinery—have a look at http://​chicks-dig-unix.​net/​1510Spec.​html if you’re interested. Looks like I’ll be poverty stricken for the next couple of months as well, then, but at least I’ll have something to hack on.

Went nerding and drinking last night (in that order, which is a pity, because nerding drunk is always more fun) and, once again, I’m so impressed with Mal & Jimmy’s network setup. Transparent NAT, dhcp, you just plug in your machine, and you have a connection to the Big Bad Internet.

Dunno if I’ll go home this weekend, but it’s kinda getting late to decide ... hmm, we’ll see.

26th of February, 2003 POST·MERIDIEM 03:35

So, yeah, bank balance is sorted out. I will remain interested in seeing what my net pay is, though, and I’m seriously considering buying a laptop—wonder how long it’d take me to get 1.6k together? Are there cheaper laptop vendors than Dell? (For sundry reasons, it’s not going to be a Mac.)

So, what else ... I’m really tired lately, but that’s more an artefact of not eating enough, I suspect, than of not getting enough sleep. (I am actually too lazy to shop—that isn’t healthy, is it :-) To pass the time in work—whee, 10 calls yesterday, average duration three minutes 51 seconds—I’m reading assorted Umberto Eco related material at http://​www.​themodernword.​com/​eco/​ , which is worth the time spent reading it, anyway.

21st of February, 2003 POST·MERIDIEM 05:38

“Upon graduating from Yale, Bush applied for a position in the Texas National Guard, a coveted spot that required only part-time military duties at home, far from the battlefields of Vietnam. Bush was catapulted to the front of 500 other applicants after a friend of his father, then a wealthy Houston congressman, phoned the Speaker of the Texas House, according to the Boston Globe.

After completing training as a pilot, George W. Bush requested and immediately received a transfer to an Alabama National Guard unit in May, 1972. But Bush never showed up for duty there, according to the Alabama unit’s commander and the commander’s assistant, who were interviewed by the Boston Globe.

Military records show that Bush’s two commanding officers back in Texas reported George W. did not show up for duty there either for a year, and that they believed he had been transferred to Alabama. Meanwhile, when Bush failed to take his required annual medical exam in August, 1972, his pilot status was removed.

It should be noted that reporting for military duty is not something that’s optional, particularly during a war. Those caught shirking National Guard duties were usually punished by being drafted into the real army . the one that landed you in Vietman, where some 350 American soldiers were killed each week. But, despite more than a year absent from duty, nothing happened to the well-connected George W. Bush.

Favouritism is a sore point among those who actually went to war, including U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell. As Powell wrote in his autobiography: ‘I am angry that so many of the sons of the powerful and well-placed ... managed to wangle slots in Reserve and National Guard units ... Of the many tragedies of Vietnam, this raw class discrimination strikes me as the most damaging to the ideal that all Americans are created equal ...’

You’ve got to marvel at Powell’s anger management skills.”

© The Toronto Star, Nov 17 2002

20th of February, 2003 POST·MERIDIEM 01:34

Currently messing with weblog. There may not be anything useful on the front page for a few minutes. :-)

19th of February, 2003 ANTE·MERIDIEM 08:14

The March was interesting. So many people, such a weirdly broad locus of purpose. My reasoning; if the UN can’t stop the war, we surely can’t, but there’s a chance we can stop our idiot government making us into a suicide bombing/anthrax/dirty bomb target courtesy of the United States’ idiot government.

After too long, my agency claim my tax is sorted out. I’ll believe that when I check my balance on Friday morning, but I’m still cautiously optimistic. Whee!

No, since you ask, I’ve no life lately. Has anyone reading this ever had much exposure to “Inside Windows 2000” by David Solomon and Mark Russinovich? It seems like it’s pretty in-depth, and given that these fellas did most of the good work at http://​www.​sysinternals.​com/​ it’s probably going to have a bit more of the computer-people-with self-respect ethic than the Microsoft ethic.

(This is with the general intention of understanding some of the code over at http://​www.​reactos.​com/​, by the way.)

[1] http://​www.​amazon.​com/​exec/​obidos/​ASIN/​0735610215/​

14th of February, 2003 ANTE·MERIDIEM 09:30

Life lesson #374; if a woman, or a particularly spineless man, says, immediately, “Oh, I like your haircut,” with glazed eyes the first time they see your shorn skull, they think you look like a serial killer and/or an idiot.

(May not apply to people who never jeer anyone, ever. :-)

Walking back from German class the other night to the 38 bus stop on Hawkins Street, I just missed the pedestrian green light beside Fireworks[1], and while I was standing there, a minivan pulls in on the single yellow line, right on the corner, and Curly from Coronation street gets out of the front passenger seat, opens the back door, and a gaggle of other people dismount. The normally pretty polite Dublin traffic was pissed off by this, and much beeping of horns took place.

On reflection, that didn’t merit being recorded for posterity at all, did it.

[1] http://​www.​hadrian-inc.​com/​newsletter/​v009i004/​html/​success/​body_success2.​htm

12th of February, 2003 ANTE·MERIDIEM 10:46

“The juiciest bit of news actually happened about a week ago but I was told about it today. A couple of days ago it was rumored that all top officials had their phone numbers changed, well who cares it’s not like I call Saddam every night to chat, but today a friend explained why. Around six days ago the phone lines of the Iraqi air defense units were ‘attacked’. When you picked up the phone in some of the command units you didn.t get a dial tone but a male voice speaking in broken Arabic. What it said is close to what the infamous email said, don’t use chemical or biological weapons, don’t offer resistance, and don’t obey commands to attack civilian areas and so on. This went on for a couple of hours. Now everyone has new numbers. I have no idea how that is at all possible. I do know that for some rural areas we use microwave signals for phone connections but they can.t be so stupid as to use it for military purposes. Way to go uncle Sam. This is going to make one hell of a James Bond movie.”

Heh. That’s from that Iraqi blog which Metafilter pointed to a few days ago, http://​dear_raed.​blogspot.​com/​ , and that particular bit is via Danny O’Brien.

In boring Unix-head news, I managed to compile the Xfree86 Virtual Framebuffer server[1] on Matrix, with the net result that I can do this;

$ Xvfb -nolisten tcp -fbdir ~/.xemacs -screen 0 50x50x1 :30

which starts DISPLAY :30, a 50 pixel by 50 pixel X screen, in black and white. Screen shot is at http://​netsoc.​tcd.​ie/​~hcksplat/​images/​scrn.​pdf . Pretty mundane, except now I can do this;

$ DISPLAY=:30 xemacs &
$ gnuclient

and, when the Random NAT timeout hits, I can reconnect, do a gnuclient(1), and I’m back in the same session, no work lost. Which gladdens my heart, anyway.

I wonder if woher[2] and whither[3] are related? The OED entry doesn’t really clear the matter up. Woher doesn’t mean whither, of course; that would be wohin, the one that sounds like whence. Which is what woher means. Natürlich.

[1] http://​ftp.​xfree86.​org/​pub/​XFree86/​snapshots/​4.​2.​99.​4/​doc/​HTML/​Xvfb.​1.​html

[2] http://​dict.​leo.​org/​?search=woher

[2] http://​dictionary.​oed.​com/​cgi/​entry_main/​00284896