December 2002

Marcelle’s blog

December 10, 2002 - Categories: connecting

Someone I know referenced me in his blog. Marcelle – remember him?
Right. I never could quite figure out why he was going nuts over the
fact that I’m simply not the kind of person who can arbitrarily become
best friends with people, and certainly our lack of intersect would
make it rather difficult for us to get to know each other. Anyway, he
seems to have dealt with that issue fairly well. His blog is over at
http://www.mistervader.blogspot.com , and is – as he admitted in
e-mail – fairly angsty, although I find it really just more concerned
about things like Otaku Boards (http://www.otakuboards.com), which I’d
visited but haven’t really felt at home in. I am surprisingly less
anime-centric than the stereotypical geek, I suppose.

Gadgets

December 10, 2002 - Categories: geek

Must find a way to clean mouse point.

Ah, yes, the wireless card. =) I am a very lucky girl. My parents got
me a wireless card for my Christmas gift (in addition to my beautiful
subnotebook, of course). One of the things I really like about my
parents is that they won’t actually wait until Christmas to give it to
me, since I can very well use it before then. =) I have clueful
parents.

Got my wireless card working. There was a bit of confusion about eth0
and eth1 – turned out to be my fault. Once I had gotten my dhclient
all sorted out (I was mistakenly calling it from intuitively, and that
turned out to be a Bad Thing), it Just Worked. For reference, I’ve
got a Linksys WPC-11 Instant Wireless card. It’s supposed to be a
Prism2, so has limited functionality but can act as a wireless access
point with the hostap tools. Coverage in Faura is not bad, but I
haven’t checked other areas for decent signal. Should improve if
Dr. Sarmenta manages to get Microsoft to agree to blanket the campus
with wireless access points.

Speaking of Dr. Sarmenta… He was in a meeting earlier, so we didn’t
have ThesisProject class. I want to change advisors. ;)

Microsoft and wasted PR opportunities

December 10, 2002 - Categories: geek

Back to Microsoft. I really, really hope they push through with the wireless thing. I don’t understand why Microsoft isn’t very actively courting us. C’mon, if I were an evil empire and I wanted to ensure my hold on the future generations, I’d get them while they were young. I’d give freebies, training, cool gadgets, lots of publicity… Microsoft’s a large company with plenty of budget to spare. We just won an international competition – you think they’d take advantage of that wonderful PR opportunity. I suppose their marketing is losing their edge. ;) Of course this is all just personal opinion, since our school obviously believes in Microsoft enough to go for the Academic Alliance and that .NET stuff, but still…

If you think about it, many of our classes are too vendor-centric. Take Contemporary Databases (translation: Oracle), or Enterprise Java Programming (guess), or even Intro to C++, which was actually pretty okay if not fairly boring, and had a sliver of MFC tacked on at the end but didn’t cover other toolkits). On the plus side, we do actually have Systems Programming, which is Unix-based thanks to the strong push of people like William Yu, Sir Marco and Doc Mana if I’m not mistaken. w00t!

(Update 2003.09.24: Come to think of it, we’re remarkably not vendor-centric – at least the classe I’ve taken.)

Anyway, I really should be going to bed now. My roommate has borrowed my alarm clock again – it’s apparently the loudest in the dorm… =) Hopefully I’ll remember to wake up tomorrow. Good night!

From the Philosophy handout just distributed today

December 11, 2002 - Categories: school

“A human being who is weaned from all attachment to internally unstable
pursuits such as love, sexual activity, power-seeking, and
money-making is automatically at the same time rid of many of the most
common grounds of value conflict. In part, the superior harmony of the
philosopher’s life results directly from this reduction in the number
of his or her commitments. The pursuit of mathematics and the pursuit
of love will not come into conflict for a mathematician who does not
care about love or a lover who does not care about mathematics. But
the philosopher or mathematician’s particular choice of content
contributes powerfully, too, to his harmonious condition. He chose
these pursuits precisely because they were always available and did
not require any special conditions for their exercise. He can think
about theorems in all kinds of circumstances; they are always
available for his activity, regardless of his political circumstances,
regardless of the activities and attachments of other human beings. So
how often will he be forced to make a painful choice? The
self-sufficiency of individual pursuits leads, then, to a reduction in
conflict.”

Interesting thought, isn’t it?

Notes

December 13, 2002 - Categories: life

Heavy traffic on the way home. Much work still to be done, but at least my Linuxchallenge stuff sorta works.

I don’t know about my core subjects this semester. I really have to learn how to write focused papers. I think I will redo my theology papers until I get them right.

One of my friends gave me a particularly neat gift – chocolates for programming, a stuffed toy for company and a ticket to LOTR in order to unwind. Nice, right? (Thanks, Byron!)

Another of my friends is doing me a christmas favor by bringing me a Square1 and cooki[es?]

Rant

December 30, 2002 - Categories: family, life, reflection

I’m here in Legaspi, so far from Makati and from everyone else I know. Got dragged off by my parents.

Looks like we’re not very sure about what date we’ll actually make it back.

I have a hard time dealing with that sort of thing. I would really, really, really like to go home today. In fact, I would really have liked to go home yesterday, or even not gone anywhere at all.

It’s just that I have a hard time dealing with unanticipated plans. This whole thing was an unplanned excursion. We were supposed to attend a wedding in Tagaytay – accepted, planned for, and scheduled around. We were supposed to stay there overnight – again, I had fair warning, so I was prepared for that. Then my crazy dad thought it a good idea to go south to Bicol.

I want to go home. I want to go home.

Now they’re talking of staying until Wednesday.

My family is quick to reassure me that we will find an Internet cafe sometime. As if that’s what’s bugging me. What would I do on the Internet? Check Slashdot? Earn good karma on #linuxhelp?

It’s not about that at all.

I am just not an adventure person. My idea of a good social activity is a quiet conversation over good food, and a nice game afterwards perhaps. I do not like substituting activities for conversation. I do not like going on great adventures.

One of the things I do not feel comfortable with on this trip is that I have no choice but to be here. I have no control. Even if I really wanted to go home – which I do! – I can’t do anything about it. In fact, my family seems to have acquired the idea that this adventure is a Good Thing for me.

I hate it.

I want to go home.

My parents think I have some previous appointments that I want to keep.

I’m used to having plans. I’m used to knowing where I’ll be in the next few days. I’m used to knowing what will happen.

And even if something unexpected happens, I’m used to being able to decide what to do about it. I do not like not having control.

And I just get the feeling that they don’t really care, which makes perfect sense of course because they finally have my two sisters together in one place, and that my parents have taken time out from their ultrabusy schedules. I’d rather that we _didn’t_ have these adventures and that we just regularly got together instead. I’d rather we didn’t have to treat it with such fuss. I’d rather that we didn’t have to make it such a big thing.

Yes, I know my sister will be married next year, and will henceforth probably have little time for our family. How is that any different from now? And yes, we so rarely go out as a family, and that I should value the time we all have together. Why have to guilt-trip me?

I want to be home.

What would I do if I were home, anyway? Nothing much, probably. Play Nethack. Talk to friends. Read the assigned work. Continue with life as usual. It’s not much, I know, but I can choose, and so I am fully present. Here… well… My sisters want to be off surfing and kayaking. My dad is going around taking pictures.

I suppose I resent being uprooted and my plans being changed. I do not like this uncertainty at all. I do not like not knowing where I’ll be the next day, or how long it will be until I get back. I do not like having to buy clothes one day at a time. I do not like it at all.

This is one of the things I will have to learn how to deal with eventually. But it will be hard to counter the effects of an upbringing that has always emphasized planning. You know what it’s like to show talent at an early age. People will have great expectations, and all your life is part of a plan. How unfortunate it would be if you were distracted, if you deviated from the course that had been set! True, the plan may change slightly, but in general you are not supposed to do anything that does not directly contribute to your plan.

Do only that which furthers your goal.

This is something I must change.

Okay, I feel better now.