Home Brewed Goodness

Filed under: neat!,news,server @ 11:36

So after a few days of compiling, my latop (~Dell Inspiron 7000) is up and running with Gentoo. Perhaps the biggest hurdle to usability was the button on the case that the lid presses when closed. This button suspends the computer. Since I wanted the laptop for a server, and since servers serve fairly poorly when suspended, this was unacceptable. I tried to install ACPI, but the daemon consistently refused to load no matter what kernel I used and no matter how completely I saw ACPI support compiled into those kernels. I finally decided my laptop was not compatible.

So I tried APM. The only useful feature that APM allowed was turning off the screen’s backlight. It had no control over the lid-close-button event. So, hell, I don’t need the button there, anyway, I thought. I’ll just take it out. I disassembled my entire laptop, removing drives, keyboard, screen, various bits of thermal shielding, etc. As it turns out, the button is not easily removed. This is an understatement. Not wanting to break out the soldering iron, I, after hours of attempting software control, and an hour or so of taking apart (and putting back together) the laptop, decided to cut off the button.

So I cut off the button. It works great now; I can close the lid, have the screen turn off and let the thing run as long as I want on less juice than a typical light bulb.


Life is Like Compiling a Linux Kernel

Filed under: news,server,slice @ 01:58

There’s no progress bar.

I’ve been sitting here for the past – I don’t know – 6 hours? installing gentoo on my old laptop (a Pentium II 366). I could have made the process faster, but I wanted everything built from the ground up, specific to my system. So I burned the minimal install CD, repartitioned everything, downloaded an immense package list, and bootstrapped into a base system (that’s right – as few binaries as possible for this install). More accurately, I should say “I’m bootstrapping into a base system” since I’me not now finished. Better yet, “attempting to bootstrap into a base system” since I don’t yet know the outcome. Checking just now, I see that I’m currently compiling glibc stuff. Glibc. Ugh, how many more packages must come after glibc?

Next up: the actual kernel.


I spoke too soon.

Filed under: a group of folks,neat!,news @ 17:12

Paul.za is already missing, presumed confused. He left for Ikea approximately twenty-two hours ago and has not be seen or heard from since.

UPDATE.11.40pm: Paul.za broke Greg’s car and got stranded in the Ikea parking lot. Greg and Laurel rescued him in my car and had Greg’s towed to some sort of automobile rehabilitation center. Meanwhile, I was eating dinner expertly prepared by Jeff and Ariele and the girls’ and replacing dixie’s brain at Evil Ltd. After coming back from Ikea (with only half of his purchases), Paul.za, Greg and Laurel joined us at the girls’. Simply to complicate, I had Paul.za drive my car back to our place, and Greg drove Heidi’s car.

Now Greg’s measuring his penis online.


Paul.za is back from .za. Claims to have had a lovely time, but I fail to see how he could have what with all the green rolling hills, white sand beaches, dolphins and five course meals.

Immediately after coming into town (immediately as in he and Greg were just pulling into the parking lot), Michelle, Dixie and I accosted him and forced him to go to dinner with us at Father Nature’s (a pretty good Armenian place). Though he had been travelling for 31 hours, we also convinced him to hit up the GSC new student party in the cats:

“Rum and Coke?”
“We’re out of Rum.”
“Gin and Tonic?”
“No tonic. Gin and Coke?”
“Uh… No – Gin and Sprite?”

Ah GSC parties.


Pub Crawl

Filed under: a group of folks,shenaniganity,slice @ 09:44

The annual Caltech first year orientation pub crawl was last night: Yardhouse, 35er, McMurphy’s, and Jake’s. I picked up some random first years on the way home and dropped them off at the Yardhouse before joining them. They may have thought I was a crack dealer. Oh well – at least they got free beer. Hung out with some cool people – Kristen and Wolf notably – but, as is typical for these orientation events, I will probably never see them again. Graeme was organizing the whole deal. I should ask him how much he ended up spending (and how overbudget that was).

Highlight of the night: At McMurphy’s when “Tom”, the manager for a band which may possibly have been called “Reefer Addicts” randomly came up to Rogier and asked for some “MoTow”. He was told Rogier was the person to see about aquiring such. Neither Rogier nor I knew why Tom was informed Rogier could help him out, nor did we have any idea that the kids these days were using such odd slang.

UPDATE.9.23.2004: I asked – Over $1000 (so about $400). He kept buying until they rejected his credit card.


Ok – before anything upsets the situation

Filed under: a group of folks,academe,news @ 16:16

I want to get this down in writing. (The oh-so-permanent media that is the internet)

Preskill has signed the forms. As far as he’s concerned, I’m officially a Physics Ph.D. advisee of his.

Now if only I can find Porter and convince the Physics Option of the same thing.

The Night of the Convenience Store

Filed under: a group of folks,shenaniganity,slice @ 15:53

Three Dudes… Twenty-Five Cigarillos… One Night…

Greg and Jeff roll in at about 11:15pm last night with a five pack of plastic tipped Swisher Sweets (don’t try to pretend you don’t know what I’m talking about). After relating the story of their evening (which may or may not have involved Greg passed out in the Slushee machine of the 7 Eleven on Sierra Madre – head stuck under the spigot as Blue Raspberry continuously oozed over his shoulder), we hit the balcony, the brews, the mate and, of course, the cigarillos. Now – it was a five pack, and there were three of us.

The logical solution: As soon as we’d each had one, I drive us down to the 76 and we pick up four more five packs. You may as why this is so logical. Neither five nor twenty-five is divisible by three. I can assure you not only that the decision was made with great care, but that you are thinking way too hard about the situation.

What followed was a good six hour marathon of mate sipping, beer swilling, cigarillo puffing, and smoke ring blowing – along with the requisite amount of BS needed to tie everything together.

My taste buds are now temporarily (I hope) dulled, my right hand still smells like cheap, sweetened cigars, and, to be honest, I feel a little queasy. But it was worth it. Just do’t go barefoot on our balcony for the next day or two.

The 1998 Saturn SL1: A lesson in self love and ambiguity

Filed under: a group of folks,slice,thoughts @ 15:42

Or as I refer to my car: my pimped out, sexed up, undone, tricked out little ’98 SL1 that unpimps, out sexes and in general does up everything else on the road.

Of course, not everyone views my ride in the same way. Last night, Jeff tricked me into admitting that Love (pronounce à la Barry White) was not included standard, and that my car was “all about self serve”. I think I was trying to say that car’s lady magnet was capable of being ramped up to any strength, but that that strength was entirely dependent on the car’s owner and driver. Clearly, however, it came out as “I masturbate a lot in my car”.

Think before you speak.


Yerba Mate

Filed under: a group of folks,neat!,news @ 20:22

I have recently been introduced to a moste excellente beverage. Yerba Mate. My fellow greg has learned of it and it’s properties through his colleague and friend in the Adami group: Alan, a native af Argentina.

This South American drink has a pleasantly bitter taste and leaves the drinker with not only a caffeine like buzz, but a deep yen to explore the villas y calles of our sister continent.

Apenas nunca pida el azúcar.


Filed under: academe,thoughts @ 20:01

So I never registered for Fall classes. Who cares? Well, apparently the registrar does. You’d think it’d just be one fewer student to keep track of for them if I never registered. Something tells me they’d say it’s just one more to keep track of. I wouldn’t be worrying about it – the registrar is one person who seems like can make things happen retroactively – except that a necessary (sufficient?) condition to receiving helah benefits is actually being registered.

Thus, if I don’t register soon – I no longer have health coverage. And I am positive I will have some sort of horrific accident the day after I lose coverage. So I guess I’ll need to deal with that tomorrow.

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