July 1, 2007

Weekly review

July 1, 2007 - Categories: weekly

I really enjoyed the Ottawa Linux Symposium because of the hallway conversations and the afterparties that I attended. The conference itself wasn’t a good fit with my interests because I haven’t done low-level programming in a while, but the people were awesome. Again, special thanks go to Don Marti and Simon Law for introducing me to such interesting people!

The OLS may have made me realize that I’m probably not going to be a
kernel hacker in this lifetime, but it did inspire me to check out a
fresh tree of Emacs and re-subscribe to the mailing lists. I also
checked out a Ruby on Rails open-source contact relationship
management system, and I’m looking forward to figuring out its design
and either contributing to that project or using it as a launchpad for
my own. Hooray open source!

I’ve decided to keep hacking on Emacs for a number of reasons. First,
it’s fun. Second, it’s what everyone else mentions when they introduce
me, so it still has some geek cachet. Third, it exposes me to the
crazy things power users do in the userspace, and maybe I can take
those ideas and spread them to a wider audience by writing about the
hacks that people have made for their Emacs. So yes, I am going to
keep being an Emacs hacker. I might even work on becoming more of one.

I did the touristy thing too, of course. I took pictures of the guards
in their bright red uniforms and funky hats, and of the architecture
and statues around the National Gallery. The pics are all on my
Facebook account under pictures. (One of these days, I’ll get Flickr
export working again.)

Somehow I managed to still find time to work on my thesis. I talked to
my supervisor (finally!) on Friday morning, and he gave me advice on
how to handle some of the sections that had been challenging me. My
first draft is up on the wiki and I’ve put it together in a linear
document. The next thing I have to do is to add to my review of
related literature, and I can do that while my supervisor reviews the
first draft. The end is in sight!

I also spent some of the week planning an upcoming trip to Somers, New
York, for an IBM conference on collaboration. A long, hard look at my
schedule and my budget showed me that it probably wasn’t the best
thing to do at the time. Figuring out how to get around Somers without
a car and paying for everything out of my own budget—more stress than
I need right now! I was frustrated, but I channelled that frustration
into looking for brilliant ways to make the most of the situation. I
came up with terrific ideas! =) I can’t wait to make those ideas
reality. I love my life! Being able to tap my frustration and use it
to drive creativity totally rocks.

I picked up a Table Topics game, too, and I’m looking forward to using
that at tea. =)

Next week, I plan to read and review at least 20 additional papers and
to write 15 more pages for my review of related research. For my
personal geeking out, I want to deploy and modify that CRM on Rails
system I just downloaded. As for other people – I want to catch up
with some people who pinged me while I was away in Ottawa. A good
friend’s birthday is coming up soon, and I’m looking forward to
celebrating it with him and with our other friends!

Random Emacs symbol: gnus-methods-using – Function: Find all methods that have FEATURE.