The Recap Post

Yeah, I haven’t been too good about posting here lately. Here’s a recap of anything moderately interesting that’s been going on the past couple of weeks.

Since Chuck graduated last month, the Purdue Improv Club (of which the Ship of Fools is the performing arm) held elections to choose a new President in December. So now I’m President and no longer Treasurer (since the university doesn’t like the same person to be President and Treasurer of a club). And, since no one else was willing, I also ended up having to appoint myself Webmaster. So I’m working on updating the site and migrating it to its new home on Purdue’s servers. (I’d link to it, but it’s not there quite yet.)

Over Winter Break, I moved everything important onto kryten and shut holly down. This was quite pragmatic: I wouldn’t have network delays when reading my e-mail, and kryten is by design far easier to carry 300 miles than holly is. As a result, I ended up getting used to using kryten as my main computer, and that’s still going on. holly has effectively been relegated to combination print server (since kryten doesn’t have a parallel port without its docking station) and shelf (since it’s got a pile of papers on it).

I skipped out on almost all my classes the first week of the semester, since I had to go to a job fair in Washington, DC. Not a whole lot to talk about re: the fair itself, but I did get a chance to wander around the National Mall for a few hours before heading back to campus. I didn’t have enough time to see nearly everything I wanted to see, only really visiting the monuments on the western half, roughly from the Washington Monument (which was closed due to the grounds around it being renovated) to the Lincoln Memorial (which is huge). I only got to see the White House and the Capitol from afar. Oh, and Arlington on the plane ride in.

One thing about the Lincoln Memorial that I had never really noticed in pictures before, but that was obvious when standing by it, was how dynamic the statue of Lincoln is. He’s not just sitting down.

Would you believe there’s a copyright notice engraved on one of the soldiers in the Korean War Veterans Memorial? Whose idea was that?

It’s also worth noting that I managed not to get lost, despite not carrying any sort of map around with me. No camera either, so no pictures.

The trouble with being out of town for the first week of classes is that you come back with a backlog of work to do. Yep, one week in to the semester, and I was already behind. Most of it was just reading and reviewing lecture notes (but what a load of reading it was!), but I’m pretty much all caught up now, except for one book that I don’t yet have (but that Amazon shipped today).

Speaking of which, I had planned to order my books online before leaving for DC, but realized I hadn’t about thirty minutes out of Lafayette. And the hotel didn’t have Internet access that was worth paying for ($10 / day? Screw that.) The campus bookstores were pretty picked over, and Amazon was on the verge of being out of stock of half the books I needed, so I broke down and snapped up what was left in the bookstores. Yes, I’m overpaying, but I didn’t want to wait another week, and paying for non-slow shipping would’ve made things more expensive than the bookstores anyway.

And to make matters more interesting, this past week my cable modem was wigging out on me, losing its connection for several minutes at a time and seemingly at random, for no apparent reason. Consulting with the docs I found online, I assumed that it had somehow forgotten how to connect to the ISP properly, presumably since it had been powered down for a good three and a half weeks. It seems to be fully operational again. I had written a script (called insight-sucks) to ping the DNS server roughly once a minute in order to measure my uptimes. Yesterday was still like a yo-yo, but I’ve only seen one disruption, for only about 8 minutes, today. Here’s hoping that’s all working again.

Also, apparently the antiquated version of ndiswrapper (0.6) I had been running on kryten doesn’t play nicely with the 2.6.9 kernel, which I had upgrading to right before break. I only noticed recently, since at home I plugged into the network over Ethernet instead of a wireless connection. By “doesn’t play nicely” I mean starting to spew out “hang check failed” errors, freezing the kernel for several seconds at regular intervals, hosing the network connection, and generally making the system near-unusable. Upgrading to the latest ndiswrapper in Debian unstable (0.12) didn’t work, since the kernel module refused to load — it kept claiming I wasn’t root for some reason. No matter; I replaced ndiswrapper with the relatively new (at least, relative to when I got kryten) ipw2100 driver, and that’s been working quite nicely now, with the added bonus of being able to see the strength of the wireless link.

Thanks to the miracle of a three-day weekend, I should be caught up on pretty much everything once again. At least, there aren’t any past-due items on my to-do list at the moment.

And maybe I’ll start posting non-QOTW content with a little more regularity from now on?

2 Responses

  1. I have never noticed a copyright on the Korean War monument. Good eye! I had to be told about the symbolism of counting the number of soldiers and multiplying by two (since they produce a reflection on the wall at night) equals the parallel that they fought on.

    Hopefully you had the chance to see the WWII memorial. I liked that one on my early December trip.

  2. I got to see the WWII memorial briefly, but since that was during the “I need to get back to the hotel before checkout time” phase, I wasn’t able to linger for too long.

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