Back again . . . (for the moment, anyhow)

Yes, yes, I know I haven’t posted in quite a long time. I’ve been busy (well, on and off) since my last post, with work, moving, work, getting started in all my classes, doing all the work in my classes, and preparing for finals in my classes (in approximately that order). I ended up taking:

Overall, the schedule was pretty nice (first class was 6:30 PM Monday, 11:15 AM Tuesday and Thursday, 4:40 PM Wednesday, and 12:20 PM Friday), but when everything lined up, the three csci’s were hell. There were definitely weeks during which I only got to sleep about three times… :-/ But I have survived. That said, I have an algorithms final at 8 AM on Monday, operating systems final at 6:30 PM Monday, and program design final at 4 PM Tuesday. Needless to say, I’m not particularly excited about any of them, but I’m probably the best prepared for operating systems (OS), and least prepared for algorithms.

Despite being somewhat confident about OS, I still ended up getting rather screwed over by my lab partner (who I had never met prior to randomly selecting him as a partner for this class), to the degree of directly losing at least 8% of my final grade because of him (and I directly gave him at least 12% of his final grade), so I’m going into the final (worth 30%) with a very low B. I don’t really have anyone to blame but myself in algorithms, for doing rather poorly on the only midterm and a few homework assignments, which also puts me at a low B going into the final (worth 35%). Lastly, I’m doing the best in program design, with much thanks due to my lab partner. The last project and paper were worth 20% combined, and those aren’t graded yet, but I’m guessing I’ll be going into the final with a high B or low A. My nutrition course was an online course consisting of weekly papers and online quizzes, which I elected to take pass/fail (at least, I certainly hope so); I have about 77% going into the final, which is worth 25%. I think I only need to get about 50% on the final to pass, so that’s not weighing too heavily on my mind (now watch me fail :-( . . . ).

Among other things, I also have a new photo Gallery set up, which is part of my entirely new really awesome server (hosted by xlhost), which I have lovingly named ‘vaughn’ as part of my new computer naming scheme of Alias characters (firewall arvin, laptop dixon, server vaughn . . . more to come). Just tonight, actually, I finally got around to migrating my blog over to the new server, but I have to figure out how to get my old gallery URLs to work with Gallery2, so that everything out the on the internet linking to /gallery/ doesn’t break now that things are in /gallery2/. There’s hypothetically a way to make that work using mod_rewrite, but it didn’t work the first time I tried it, so I’ll have to sit down some time and get that figured out, so I can finally move the address over to the new server (rather than just

Speaking of new computer things (read: `While I’m on a particularly nerdy rant…’), I also got a new laptop. It’s a factory refurbished IBM/Lenovo ThinkPad T41 2373-5U2 (specs) (photos). To make a long story short, I had to give my old tiny Fujitsu Lifebook P-1035 back to my employer, which put me on a frantic ~month-long search for a nice, but relatively inexpensive laptop. I’ve been in love with the T-series of IBM ThinkPads for quite a while, so when I finally found this for $820 on eBay, I was thrilled. Having a fast, nice laptop with an incredible 1400×1050 14.1" LCD is really an unbelievable experience, coming from over two and a half years on the tiny, slow (though admittedly free) Lifebook. It has also been a pleasure to dual boot Ubuntu Linux (my first genuine prolonged experience with Linux as a desktop environment, as compared to the past few years of just using it as a server) and Windows XP Professional with 100% legitimate software (so far, at least). Additionally, since my laptop is no longer owned by alwaysBEthere, I’ve moved from using the screen name aBtL David to omega drh2 while on the laptop (so feel free to watch for me there). A few minor frustrations have come with the laptop, though:

  • Money — or more accurately, the lack thereof, after spending nearly a grand on this small piece of plastic and silicon
  • WiFi — it came with integrated WiFi (from the Centrino chipset, ipw2100), which:
    1. Disconnected every 5-45 seconds from a friend’s AP if I was using a lot of bandwidth
    2. Won’t connect to my 3com OfficeConnect Wireless 11g AP (3CRWE454G72), though it seems like this may be yet another problem with this AP
  • LCD:
    1. As you can see in the last few photos, there’s some weird aura/halo sort of persistent image visible around the edge of the LCD, but only from an angle to the right.
    2. I have difficulty reproducing this, but I’ve also observed occasional image persistence issues, where an image will still be visible briefly after it has disappeared (for instance, the IBM logo on boot-up, or a menu after it disappears).
    3. Lastly, the image will occasionally flicker (cut out) while adjusting the screen angle (closing or opening it more).

    I think I’ve seen a post about the second problem before, but I’ve been unable to track down any information about these issues during my ~15 minutes of googling. If you can come up with any information about any of these things, I’d be greatly appreciative.


Now that it’s 7:16 AM, I’m going to try to cram my remaining thoughts into a paragraph or so, rather than dragging this out for another page. As many of you are aware, we recently got about 10" of snow, and I’m rather confident it’s here to stay this time. I love the snow (mostly), and recently remembered that I’m a downhill skier, so I should really try to get out soon. Though, unfortunately skiing may rank below finals, as well as Christmas shopping. I still have to find gifts for my father, brother, and girlfriend (Adrianne) (since she didn’t seem as excited as I thought she’d be at the prospect of a heated bra; damn). In addition to having moved to my $70/month server (up from $0) having purchased the $820 laptop, and paying for school, housing, and food, my funds are particularly low because I’ve been putting in roughly 0 hours at alwaysBEthere. I’ve been toying with the idea of looking for a job on campus, but a combination of factors (leading the pack is ‘laziness’) has prevented me from landing a position just yet. When I’m not working on things for school, I’ve kept my spare time occupied with Adrianne or one of my many TV shows:

  • X-Files — finished all 9 seasons and the movie
  • Arrested Development — Got hooked compliments of Sweeney, and have watched the first two seasons, and the third as it airs
  • Firefly — Another show compliments of Sweeney, though admittedly only 15ish episodes and a movie
  • Battlestar Galactica — Yet another Sweeney drop-off, I’ve now watched the miniseries, first season, and the episodes of season two that have aired so far
  • The Pretender — I watched the first two seasons of this show, and have been on the lookout for seasons three and four
  • Alias — Season five has begun, and I’ve been watching those as they air . . . I hate to say it, but I’m somewhat disappointed by this season
  • Smallville — Season five has begun, and I’ve been watching those too. I’m actually rather pleased with most of this season, though.
  • Scrubs — I re-watched the first four seasons of this show, and anxiously await its return in January
  • Lost — Season two has begun, and I’ve been watching the episodes as they air. This season has not maintained my interest as well as season one, but I’m optimistic.
  • Dark Angel — I just started watching this (two episodes in), and hope to finish its two-season run before Christmas

Lastly, I feel that I should mention that my ex-roommate Brad (2) has finally given in to the pressure/fad/plague of blogging, and started up Read with caution.


P.S. Reading is for wimps.

2 Responses to “Back again . . . (for the moment, anyhow)”

  1. victrynvengce Says:

    stumbled here on a spin through blogland (from brads to here) good to see you finished the Files. bonne chance on the finals. theyre the devil.

  2. Brad Says:

    You should blog more often.

    Ya cack.

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