November 11, 2003

Bulk view


Spent most of today working on the lab computers. The teacher’s
computer in F227 has Linux and assorted goodies now, but the students’
computers are proving a bit of a headache. Suspect the mouse.

Pleased to see Dominique had written
an article on school laboratory management blues. Prefer rsync-based
solutions over dd ones because of uncertain partition sizes. Should
check out if lab computers can netboot, or will just make bootdisks
that will repartition and rsync. (w00t.) Solution of X problem
optional, as can mirror Windows FAT32 partitions easily. apt-move also
very cool.

He says I should write it up. Soon, soon. Would very much like to
sneak Linux into the labs.

Am looking forward to meeting with PLmar (Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng
Marikina). They want help in improving their curriculum. Teacher
training, finding creative examples… challenge!

Maybe can get students to prepare learning materials like that study I
read recently…

Have plans for tomorrow. No projector, no computer, no problem! Will
do class-wide mind-map and sneak operating systems concepts into the
thing too. Looking forward to bouncing ideas off Jerome as recently
had chat with him about real-world relevance of operating systems.
Walking around, had brilliant-but-completely-obvious-to-everyone-else
insight that operating systems is not just about managing programs –
many of the principles can be applied to everyday life. Find self
specializing in drawing far-out but semi-plausible connections between
computer science and “real life.”

Have amazing amount of time. Don’t know where it came from. Perhaps
coming home to cook forces me away from distractions. Must continue if


I’ve successfully installed Linux onto the main computer, but I’m
still having problems with the workstation – to wit, the mouse is just

First of all, it’s a serial mouse, not a PS/2 mouse. Second, gpm and X
both freeze. It’s weird! X displays happily. No keyboard input, no
mouse motion, nothing – not even Ctrl-Alt-Backspace! I have to ssh in
to kill the offending process.

The mouse name is “IdealMouse”, so I’ll Google tomorrow and see
if there are any issues. Doubt it, though.

CookOrDie: Day 1

Survived my experiment. (I think; I feel a little bit bloated, which could be a good thing or a bad thing.)

Passed by the supermarket before going to the dorm. Still no large potatoes.

6 pita pockets 39.99
5 native tomatoes 7.65
4 Hungarian cocktail sausages 36.40
Cheese lying around ref have no idea, but I know I must have bought it before

Best result today:

  1. Put cocktail sausage into toaster and set for four minutes.
  2. While the sausage is cooking, wash and chop a tomato.
  3. Slice some cheese into thin strips, too.
  4. Slice sausage.
  5. Distribute tomato, cheese and sausage over the surface of one pita, concentrating on an axis.
  6. Heat the pita for a minute or two in the toaster.

Couldn’t buy just one sausage – minimum is 100g, which is approximately 4 cocktail sausages. This may have been a good thing, though. Hungarian sausage made concoction pleasantly spicy.

Experimented with leaving the cocktail sausage whole. Less work, but sausage taste overwhelming and somewhat monotonous because you know where it is.


Approximate cost of one pita: (+ (/ 39.99 6) (/ 7.65 5) (/ 36.40 4)) ~
PHP 17.25 Two pitas made me somewhat full. Actually, I had three pitas
and two sausages, so that’s ~ 42.75. If I had only two pitas,
(* 2 (+ (/ 39.99 6) (/ 7.65 5) (/ 36.40 4))) ~ 34.50 isn’t too bad.
KFC’s original-recipe 1-pc chicken is 49, though, and it comes with water.
Still, KFC’s original-recipe 1-pc chicken is _not_ going to help me
Learn How To Cook, and it won’t satisfy my CookOrDie constraint.

Possible next step:

Bacon, mushroom and cheese pita

Future recommendations:

  • Match the number of ingredients. Then again, this could be the coding practice of leaving something broken, as mismatched ingredients + CookOrDie constraint spurs creativity.
  • Heat pita while slicing sausage? This requires too much back-and-forth, though, so it might not be worth it.
  • Move chopping board to kitchen table.
  • Should experiment with non-pita bread to see if it is worth the difference.


The CookOrDie! plan involves eating out at most one meal a day. If I
don’t want to starve, I will _have_ to learn how to cook.

I was thinking of making baked potatoes today, but the supermarket is
out of large potatoes and only has regular-sized ones. I suppose, if
absolutely desperate, I could just cook and eat them.

Think. I have a toaster. I have a microwave oven. I _should_ be able
to get something that resembles food.

Brilliant idea. Buy food before dinner. _Must_ do something with it or
starve. This looks promising:

– whole wheat pita bread
– grated cheese
– tomato
– lettuce


SOUP: Boil water in a medium-size saucepan. Add chopped vegetables of
choice (such as onion, a carrot, a potato, parsley; frozen veggies are
OK). A bouillon cube is optional. Let soup return to boil. Add a small
handful of spaghetti (about 1/4 cup) that you have broken into 1-inch
or smaller bits.

(Do we even have a saucepan?)



There’s, like, 19GB of free space on this hard disk! I’d defragged for

7 gb for main, 2 gb for data, 512m for swap, and everything else for
backup of the above? We’ll leave it unpartitioned for now.

Installing base Debian system. I hope the network works.

Decisions, decisions… I think we’ll run on unstable. <evil grin>