Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Day 2

I don't know if this applies universally, but if you ever fire up Pine to check your email, and all your messages disappear from your other IMAP client, try issuing the respool-email command from the terminal you opened Pine in. Scary.

Last year, in my technical writing class, I had to write up a mock proposal to some person/organization. I happened to address mine to Brian Behlendorf because of his involvement with the Apache Software Foundation. My proposal had something to do with the Apache web server. Anyway, today, I sat in front of him as he gave a talk on software as a service. Cool. Another random note is that Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook.com fame is strolling around campus recruiting people. The newspaper ran an article on him and how his company is providing substantial salaries to students who leave school and go work for him instead. They're doing pretty well I guess.

In class, we were given examples of logical reasoning patterns. One of the basic ones is that if x is greater than y, and y is greater than z, then x must be greater than z. Except it doesn't always work out in the English language due to its ambiguities. The example was if bad sex is better than nothing, and nothing is better than good sex, then bad sex must be better than good sex.

Sunday, September 25, 2005


The CS department loves Google. I think the company came up at least 10 times during the "Welcome to Stanford" presentation.

One of the questions asked was who traveled the farthest to get here? "India" says one student (many others could've said the same thing). "Okay, is anyone from somewhere farther?" asks the professor. "Pakistan" says another student. Pwned.

I met a guy from University of Washington. He got his BS in EE and explained that at UW, the CS and EE departments are basically the same. He presumed it was the same at Stanford because he saw EE professor teaching CS courses. So he applied to the CS department only to find out that the departments are very much not the same. Now, he doesn't know what to specialize in since nothing deals directly with hardware. I think it's pretty cool he still got accepted.

It was an enjoyable day, apart from the time wasted by students asking questions that had either been covered in the presentation or already been asked before!

By the weekend I'd met enough people to start hanging out with some of them. I've still met more Swedes than Americans: 4 vs 2. Other than that there are plenty of Indian, Chinese, and French students. We've been hanging out at the on-campus bar which is fortunately rather good because there's not much else around the campus area that we've found yet.

This weekend we

  • Got an early buzz going thanks to Google (again) putting in a couple of hundred dollars towards beer, bread, cheese, salmon, and other snacks. Somebody forgot to buy the wine. It's a weekly thing so maybe next time.

  • Watched the women's volleyball game. Great atmosphere. A+++

  • Watched the men's soccer game. Not quite as cool.

  • Grabbed a free dinner at some freshman event. They introduced the fall sports teams and taught us some of the cheers they use. They're supposed to reflect the "intellectualism" here. You have "traverse the field, traverse the field... increase the aggregate yardage" or "pursue them, pursue them... make them relinquish the ball." Or Shannon's favorite: "hit them with the axe, hit them with the axe. where? in the neck, in the neck, the neck, the neck, etc."

  • Assembled the road bikes and used them to get to campus for a change. Shaves a lot of time off the commute when you actually have gears to use. I normally ride a fixed gear.

  • Played some killer 4v4 beach volleyball. At NCSU if I'd ever done that, I'd have girls laying out all around me. At Stanford, the girls lay out in front of the bookstore.

  • Cooled off in the pools at the Avery Aquatic Center.

Next weekend: football and problem sets?

Tuesday, September 20, 2005


Originally uploaded by martin.davidsson.
I came out of the bank and saw this in the sky. Must've been what Mr. Searls blogged about because it's been raining fairly heavily this afternoon.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Presentation styles

I watched some of Dick Hardt's keynote at the 2005 OSCON. It's hard to not pay attention to this style of presentation--for me at least. Sort of reminded me of one of the last presentation Lawrence Lessig did. They both happened to take place at OSCON. I'll have to try to go one year.

Dashboard Sleep Widget

I like to listen to stuff when I go to bed. The stuff is usually played from my laptop. The problem is that I don't want the laptop to play music all night. Nor do I want it to cut off before the audio is done playing in case I happen to be listening to a Spanarna episode. Now there's a Dashboard widget to meet my needs. I'll call it Sleeper Snooze for now. Somebody pointed out that there's already a "Sleeper" widget on apple.com.

You might find it more useful for other things such as putting the computer to sleep after your 37 minute download complets and you're already out the door.

Anyway, some links that came in handy while doing this for the first time:
Dashboard Programming Guide (everything from style guidelines to javascript callbacks)
Debugging Dashboard Widgets (especially if you have to use an Objective-C cocoa plugin)

The (X) to close the widget positions itself offset from the corner.
Implement buttons using the -apple-dashboard-region controls.

Source also available at http://github.com/emtrane/Sleeper

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Tuesday, September 13, 2005


Mom: Eddie?
Eddie: Mom! We are on high alert here. I almost killed you right there! You do not even realize.
Mom: Okay, nevermind.
It loses something in writing but if it makes me laugh after I have to get up on six (!) hours of sleep, it's funny. America West in short: 43 min early, Airbus plane, good movie (Mr. and Mrs. Smith). The drawbacks were that you had to rent headphones and buy breakfast. Being early wasn't all that great. It extended my layover and my luggage was flown to San Jose with an earlier flight so when I arrived at my final destination I thought they'd lost my luggage.

On the topic of quotes, I overheard this on the TTA bus in a discussion about doing away with daylight saving(s) time:
We can't get rid of it because..... the VCRs automatically switch their time over. That would be so confusing.
If you're looking for a large luggage piece, I'd recommend this one from Atlantic. I've only used it once so the only thing I can't speak for is durability but the rating on that ebags.com link can. I also saw a crew member with an Atlantic bag which must say something.

I bought my $5 Caltrain ticket with a $20 bill. I got $15 of change in coins. Luckily it was in one dollar coins but it's still pretty weird. Also fortunate is that the busses accept the coins so now it's pretty handy to have the coins for fare instead of having to mess with feeding bills into the machine. It cost $6.50 to get from SJC to the major road outside of our townhouse which is about 25 miles. Not bad.

Thursday, September 08, 2005


There are at least 150 wireless hotspots on TTA's 302 bus route between Cary and NCSU. Made me wonder if there is a Google Maps / Wifi location mashup. Of course there is: gWifi. It's pretty lacking, however. If I happened to have a GPS device hooked up to my laptop on the bus this morning, I should be able to upload the resulting log of captured signals and coordinates for others to benefit from.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Prediction Markets

I want to see this but for songs instead.

Apple Cider Vinegar

My mom drinks this stuff, for whatever reason. I think it's supposed to be a wonder drug within the world of alternative medicine. It was sitting out on the counter today when I got home, so I had a glass. Bad move. It's awful. Now you try it.

Friday, September 02, 2005


CSS3 has a lot of crazy selectors, like E:nth-child(n) meaning an E element, the n-th child of its parent. I need something simple/basic like E < F meaning an E element parent of an F element, and I need it in CSS2.