October 2002

September 2002 -- 2002 -- November 2002

October 1, 2002

Slashdot turned 5 today, which really isn't that long of a time in the grand scheme of things. But I've been visiting for probably 3 or so years, and it's still my homepage. I also have to credit /. for getting me into Linux, as that's where I always heard about how great it was. Not to mention I find many of the stories I link to on here on Slashdot. So Happy Birthday to Slashdot!

There's an interesting article about Fark on a webzine; how the website got started and an interview with the webmaster. If you're a fan of the kooky website (who can't love the photoshop threads) then you'll enjoy the article.

Rebate checks rule! I'm finally getting them in from the stuff I bought back in August.

October 6, 2002

It's been a fun weekend. Thursday two good friends from high school came and visited, so it was a wild night of partying and Pokey sticks (oh the ever glorious pokey stick! (suprisingly there is not some "Bestest Fanpage for the Pokey Stick Website!" that I could find, so basically a pokey stick is some really good breadsticks that Gumby's makes.)) and walking around campus at 4 in the morning. Thank goodness for no class till noon. Friday went to the mall to reserve DDR Max when it comes out in November, and then ate some great Mexican food. Saturday I went to a play with a friend of mine, which was quite good. It was 3 seperate but semi-intertwined plays about delusions, and while it was VERY long (a total of 3 and a half hours) it was really cool. It's what I love about college, being able to see plays and stuff for muy cheap, and only a 5 minute walk from my dorm. Today was studying for my huge digital logic and physics tests on Wednesday though, so I spent a lot of time in the library. I know that place faaaaaar too well for my own good.

Napster: The Movie! Coming to a MTV near you. At least it's somewhat music related, unlike most of the other crap they show on MTV. It was rough in the pre-Napster days. You yougin's don't know how good you have it.

If anyone is subscribed to Salon Premium, be sure to check out their article on the war with Iraq. It's an opinion piece about the dangers and risks, but also the rewards of going to war with Iraq. It talks a lot about how Iraq is a threat, that Saddam isn't quite all mentally there, but also that it would pose huge risks into destablizing the region and causing a lot more hatred toward America. Really great article, but it does require that $30 a year payment to read, which IMHO is well worth it for Salon's great writing.

I'll never understand females.

October 11, 2002

Two major tests this past Wednesday in physics and digital logic, and then two more tests Tuesday in Statics and Discrete. Midterms.... ugh. Discrete is the one I'm the most worried about, since that class tries to make the logical illogical. Where you can count an infinite set of numbers. Where they make division into a confusing proof and turn common-sense into mishmash. It's crazy. So much studying this weekend for that.

I recieved my absentee ballot in the mail today. I really ought to just say my residence is in Gainesville since I consider it my "home" and legislation here affects me a lot more than Tampa legislation does. But for the Nov. 5 elections I'm registered as living in Tampa, so I requested my absentee ballot a month or so ago and they mailed them at the beginning of the month. There's a bunch of admendments on it, some I've heard of (banning smoking in restaurants) and others I hadn't (animal cruelty to pigs). So needless to say I have a lot of research to do, to find out what exactly I'm voting on, and who I want to vote for. Since I consider myself one of those "moderate" voters, I don't like voting a straight Republican/Democrat ticket. I want to see what they really stand for. It's one of the nice things about absentee voting, I can search on Google for different viewpoints and have time to think about what I'm choosing instead of semi-randomely choosing something in a voting booth. Google's been extremely helpful in this regard. And speaking of Google, gotta love Google News

Also went to an orchestra concert tonight, which was really cool. A guy on my floor was the first chair for cello, so my RA organized a walkover to see it. This is why I love college, free interesting stuff is only a 10 minute walk away.

Midnight Madness is tomorrow night, so looking forward to that. Go Gators!

October 14, 2002

While looking up the proof to the most beautiful equation in math, e^(i pi)-1=0, I came across this site which debates is better: e or pi. Personally I'm a fan of pi. e is just too funky for my tastes. I do like calculus with e though, since it's so easy to differentiate.

And speaking of math, I have a discrete math test tomorrow (hence why I'm updating, I don't have to study then :)) which I can sum up pretty well by this quote: "Mathematics consists of proving the most obvious thing in the least obvious way." - George Poly�. The whole test is pretty much proving various things that make logical sense, but when you actually try to prove that a set is infinite countable, or prove that the big-O of an nth degree polynomial function is x^n it gets really messy. So any future computer engineers/scientists, you have been warned. It's also one of those courses where you can think you aced it, and it up getting a 50. Happened to me on the last 2 quizes. In better news though, with the curve on our test, I got a 100 on my digital logic midterm, which gives me a 100 average for the course midway through. So I'm muy happy about that :)

Midnight Madness on Friday was awesome. I went with a few friends and had a lot of fun. I'm definitly looking forward to the basketball season, which starts in early November, especially now that our football team is doing so miserable. Of course I've always like basketball more than football, and would have gladly given up my football season tickets for a guarenteed seat in the Rowdy Reptile section each basketball game. Instead I get to stand outside the O'Connell center for 4 hours before the game, but stand I shall! Go Gators!

I hate it when people use those handless cell phone adapters while walking. It looks like they're talking to themselves (or maybe to you?) until you get close enough to see that they're actually talking into a microphone hanging from their ear. And on a related note, I also don't like when you're walking and you hear a "Hey!" right behind you, only to turn around and relieze it was someone just talking on their cell phone. Happens way too often. Or mabye I'm just spiteful since I don't have a cell phone. Of course I never use the phone anyways, so I'm not sure what good a cell phone would do me. What I need is portable AIM, and none of this text-messaging type stuff, I need a full portable keyboard. Yep yep.

October 19, 2002

That wonderful little law known as the DMCA is back, this time preventing a Linux kernel security patch from being fully explained to US citizens. You can still download the patch, but "RHSA-2002-158 is an errata kernel which addresses certain security vulnerabilities. Quite simply, these vulnerabilities were discovered and documented by ppl outside of the US, and due to the Digital Millenium Copyright Act legislation in the US, it is potentially dangerous to disclose any information on security vulnerabilities, which may also be used in order to circumvent digital security - i.e. computer security." So to find out (legally) what those security vulnerablities were and how it was fixed, you can't be a US citizen. If you're willing to risk prosecution however, you can get it from TheFreeWorld.net after you click through a waiver saying you aren't a US citizen. When will we stop passing stupid laws?!?!

Need an arguement settled? GoogleFight is your answer. At least if finally proves that the pen is mighter than the sword.

It's been exactly one year since October 19, 2001. Just FYI.

October 22, 2002

It's that time of the year again to make up the schedules for next semester, and so I'm trying to figure out what to take. I found out that with just two extra 4000 level math courses, I can get a math minor, and those extra courses will even count toward my computer engineering major. Plus there are several interesting sounding math courses that I'd like to try, though I"m worried they may be a bit hard. Intro to Number Theory would teach cryptography and hashing, and then Theory of Computing would deal with turning machines, finite and infinite state machines, and other cool topics. So I'm leaning toward getting it since I think it'd be interesting and a nice little addition to my resume. I'm such a nerd :)

As for the classes I'll be taking next semester:
Intro to Computer Organization
Data Structures
Intro to Computational Analysis
Circuits 1 w/ Lab
For a total of 13 hours, which is the fewest number of hours I've taken so far in college. Should be an interesting semester though.

Someone is looking into the future, and into the time when we can download our minds into a computer. He figures that by 2039 it'll be possible to put our minds into silicon, thus making humans immortal and infinitly more powerful than we've ever been before. It's a facinating 18 minute radio piece and well worth a listen to if you're wanting to know what some of the top minds in computer science are visionizing for the future. Some even see putting our minds onto silicon as the next evolution of humanity. Absolutly facinating topic to me, and one where I look forward to see what ends up happening.

October 23, 2002

I did my voting today ,via absentee ballot. It let me use Google to try and figure out who I really wanted to vote for, and so I ended up voting about evenly for Republican and Democratic canidates. For governor I went with McBride since Florida schools are horrible and Bush with that stupid FCAT isnt' helping matters. McBride isn't much better, but at least he's not Bush. I hate standarized testing, I think it proves nothing and is a complete waste of time for anyone who isn't failing regular classes. Plus I didn't like how Bush planned to "decieve" Floridians and that he thinks gay couples shouldn't be allowed to adopt. The other offices I'd either had no idea what they did or had never heard of the canidates, so the Internet was incredibly helpful once again. There were also a ton of amendments to the Florida constitution to vote on, some of which I think had no place being in the consitution to begin with. As one site put it, "If you want pigs to be constitutionally protected, vote yes. Otherwise vote no". Pigs are important and all, but it doesn't belong in the state consitution. My favorite amendment was the one saying that any future amendment would have to lay out how much it would cost on the ballot, so that way we wouldnt' get people voting for that stupid high-speed rail system that costs millions of dollars we don't have, but gee golly it sure sounds cool so let's all vote yes! Which is also why I voted no to the amendment to limit class sizes. Sure it's a good idea, but where do you get the money for this? It's much better for something like that to be made a law rather than in the consitution. All in all it took about a good hour or so to complete the ballot, and it was pretty cool since it was my first time to ever vote in a "real" election. Every vote counts, because it's a lot of single votes that make up a majority (or minority). So be sure to vote on Nov 5th if you aren't doing absentee voting, enjoy your freedom of living in a democratic society!

ThinkGeek got a make-over the other day, so the site looks a lot cleaner now. If any of my friends are reading this and there's some event where you want to get me some kind of gift but don't know what, either check out ThinkGeek for ideas or just get me a gift certificate from them :)

October 25, 2002

Reason #83490230 why I love college: Getting pizza delivered at 5 in the morning and there are still people up to eat it.

Tom the Dancing Bug has a good comic this week that sums pretty much everyone's experiance with middle school.

I saw My Big Fat Greek Wedding this evening, and absolutly loved it. It shows life in any large family pretty accuratly, as I know I've seen a lot of the same stuff happen in my extended family since both my parents come from large families. Considering it originally opened in April, and was released nation-wide in June, it's still going really strong for being late October, and it's definitly worth seeing.

October 31, 2002

Happy Halloween!!!

Ok, lots and lots to tell about, so it's gonna be a big update? Ready? Set? Go!

Yesterday (30th) we had Haunted Hume, where we decorated our dorm floor to have a bunch of kids from the Boys and Girls Club come and trick and treat through the dorms. So over the course of the previous week we'd been coming up with ideas and decorating and stuff, and finally decided on a psycho-insane-asylum theme. So a bunch of the guys got ripped white tshirts, put fake blood all over the shirts and their faces, and ran around trying to scare the kids in a strobe light and darkness. I was one of the candy passer-outer persons (in a hall with glow in the dark spiderwebs and black lights), so I got to see the affects of the scaring, which in some cases made some of the littler kids cry, which wasn't cool. But we did an awesome job, and ended up placing 2nd out of 18 floors in Hume, which means pizza party for us! And it was so much fun decorating and then doing the haunted house.

Then in the after-party for all the dorm residents, I got peer-pressured into joining a pumpkin pie eating contest. I now NEVER want to eat pumpkin pie again (or at least until Thanksgiving, whichever comes first). We couldn't use our hands, so we had to dive in face first to try and be the first to eat an entire pie. I got a little over halfway through before I just couldn't eat anymore and keep it down, but it was quite an interesting experience since it was my first food eating contest. The girl across from me decided to shove my whole head in the pie though, and so it got up my nose and so now everything smells like pumpkin pie. Not cool, not cool at all. But such is the price to pay for some fun :) UPDATE: I've added the pictures to the Hume page

They also had a costume contest, with first prize going to a guy who dressed up as "Box Man". He had wooden boxes (with no sides, just the framework) around both his feet, both his hands, around his torso, and around his head. He had to waddle everythwere cause he couldn't really move in it. Definititly one of the most interesting costumes I've seen. Jesus then won for scariest costume, probably just cause of the absurdity of Jesus being in a Scariest Costume contest. But I dunno, Jesus is mightly scary....

And now Halloween day!

It is true, nerds to get the girl in the end! :) Me and a friend of mine got tickets to see Bat Boy: The Musical on Halloween night. So we wanted to dress up, and I was thinking about being a nerd (cause I mean come on, I AM nerd, so it'd be easy and I'd get to unleash my nerdality), and she said she wanted to wear this nice dress that she hadn't had an occasion to wear to yet. But as all nerds know, hot girls do not do things with nerds. So she suggested that I be the nerd that finally got the hot girl, so we went on a "date" to see Bat Boy with me being the nerd (complete with taped glasses, pocket protector, hiked up pants, the works) and she being the hot girl. The play was awesome, and she did the hot girl part very very well. I got a lot of good compliments on my "costume", and had a blast the entire night. Definitly one of the best Halloween's ever.

Pumpkin Pi :)

Having the H-Bomb would be nice, though I'd wonder about any girl who would only start to pay attention to me because of the school I go to. Somehow I'm not suprised that though that saying you're from Harvard gets you girls (or at least the money-grubbing materalistic kind). Interesting article though.

September 2002 -- 2002 -- November 2002