This.

Dec. 9th, 2009 11:57 am
tcepsa: (PoiArcBlue)
(Minus a couple of personal-life details ^_^)

First off, I’m actually perfectly well off. I live in a good-sized house, with a nice yard, with deer occasionally showing up and eating the roses (my wife likes the roses more, I like the deer more, so we don’t really mind). I’ve got three kids, and I know I can pay for their education. What more do I need? The thing is, being a good programmer actually pays pretty well; being acknowledged as being world-class pays even better. I simply didn’t need to start a commercial company. And it’s just about the least interesting thing I can even imagine. I absolutely hate paperwork. I couldn’t take care of employees if I tried. A company that I started would never have succeeded -- it’s simply not what I’m interested in! So instead, I have a very good life, doing something that I think is really interesting, and something that I think actually matters for people, not just me. And that makes me feel good.
-- Linus Torvalds -- 8/15/07 -- http://www.itbusiness.ca/it/client/en/TechGovernment/News.asp?id=44682&PageMem=2 --
tcepsa: (Computation Suspended)
I'm working on my final project, which is due on Friday, but took time out to say goodnight to [livejournal.com profile] gipsieee. We snuggled in bed for a bit and talked about Robert Frost's The Road Not Taken. As I climbed out of bed to return to my project, I told her I'd be back in an hour or so unless I got really caught up in things, which got me the following in response.

"Yet knowing how code leads on to code
I'm thinkin' I'm gonna be sleepin' alone..."
tcepsa: (Cake)
I am thankful for [livejournal.com profile] gipsieee. For her support of my hobbies, and my geekiness, and my wackiness. It makes me incredibly happy to know that she's looking forward to our next camping adventure, and that we have Bromptons, and that we're seriously looking at making or buying a tiny house in the soon-enough-that-I-can-keep-being-excited-about-it-rather-than-tell-myself-no-you-have-to-wait-it's-too-far-away-to-really-think-about-yet timeframe ^_^ I'm also thankful that she's been encouraging and helping me learn how to cook since we started dating; I think dinner yesterday has been our biggest triumph so far. We're going to be eating well for quite some time!

I'm thankful for my job and my coworkers. Last year was not so great as I spent most of it working on things that I'd really rather not have been working on (realistically, the tasks themselves were fine; it's the codebase that I really wish I hadn't had to deal or interface with). This year is shaping up to be a lot more fun and more interesting and less wondering "what am I going to break with this?" and I'm really looking forward to it. I'm also really glad that they're putting me through a Master's degree; I'm loving the classes that I've been taking so far, and I think they've helped me develop as a, um, developer. So that's good. ^_^

I'm thankful for my family, both sides, who called me up to wish me a happy birthday even though Thanksgiving was the next day, and who did so much towards helping our wedding be the wonderful occasion that it was.
tcepsa: (Cake)
(Posted to the local Java Users Group mailing list. Reposted here for your edification, or at least hopefully enjoyment ^_^)

There are lots of reasons why polymorphism (one object being treated as a different kind of object) is a valuable thing to have in a programming language.

Centered around a certain clandestine theme... )
tcepsa: (I'll fix it!)
Oh AutoHotKey, is there anything you can't do?

My capslock key is now a middle mouse button and I have smooth scrolling whenever I want it despite my two-button trackball. All it took was Capslock::MButton.

UI tweaks FTW! ^_^

Further ruminations on smooth scrolling )
tcepsa: (PoiArcBlue)
Yesterday was awesome, but overwhelming. We opened most of the windows downstairs and had a cool afternoon/evening while repeated rainshowers swept the neighborhood and I alternated between cooking, reading, and kitchen maintenance. I made a batch of spaghetti sauce from a recipe from Mom that turned out deliciously, oatmeal chocolate chip cookies that were fantastic, and my very first ever pandowdy. While it was a little overkill, I can maybe see myself getting to where I'm not completely burned out after a day like that. (The combination of reading interludes and not having to do much else in the way of work contributed a great deal, I think, to my overall sanity)

Pet Sitting

Aug. 6th, 2009 01:17 pm
tcepsa: (Computation Suspended)
Would anyone be willing to house or look in on our cat and/or hedgehog while we are away for the wedding (ie the 2nd half of August)?

Zhenya, the dog is already taken care of. He'll be going to stay with one of Tcepsa's coworkers and their pets. They've met and did quite well for a weekend earlier in the summer.

Hazel, the hedgie is very easily transportable to your location as she lives in a habitrail.

Misha, the cat is adaptable and so could follow you home for the duration, but I'd be leery about introducing him to new pets.

Otherwise they need checking in on every couple of days. We'll give you keys and would appreciate if you would check for packages when you're here so they don't sit on the front porch too long.

Thank you!
tcepsa: (Computation Suspended)
A little gem that [livejournal.com profile] gipsieee pointed me to earlier this afternoon.

Don't Wake The Programmer

I never thought of programming like this before, but after thinking about it, and about how it works for me, holy crap he's exactly right! No wonder I get so irritable when I'm interrupted abruptly--or why I can handle little interruptions reasonably well, but as soon as it goes for more than a few minutes or takes a higher level of concentration, the dream falls apart.

It also explains why thinking about a problem that I'm trying to write code for and daydreaming feel so similar ^_^
tcepsa: (Cake)
This didn't actually happen to me at the time, but it would have been incredibly apropos of my mental soundtrack to be playing Weird Al's "Everything You Know Is Wrong" while I was trying to figure out why my Elevator Simulation Project (the last one for my C++ class) wasn't working:

Everything you know is wrong
Black is white
Up is down
And short is long
And everything you thought was just so important
Doesn't matter

Everything you know is wrong
Just forget the words and sing along
All you need to understand is
Everything you know is wrong!
tcepsa: (Inconceivable!)
Brought to you by [livejournal.com profile] tcepsa and [livejournal.com profile] rtdean:

R: Why do they call it a syntax?
R: I mean, why apply a tax to syns?
T: Because if you don't pay your syntax, horrible things will happen to your grammar, and I assume you care enough about your relatives that you wouldn't want that to happen.
tcepsa: (iSquared)
Would you see anything interesting if you were to do signal analysis on the prime numbers?

Is it unrealistic to think of the primes as a sort of hologram for the integers, since you can generate any integer by multiplying the necessary primes together?

Isn't it interesting, given the ease with which they can be used to create all of the other integers, that there is apparently no direct way to generate the prime numbers from themselves? (Is there a name for that?)

These thoughts brought to you by the fact that I just implemented an algorithm to find all the primes using a method inspired by the Sieve of Eratosthenes. (Start with 2 as a known prime, testing 3. Attempt to divide the test number by all of the known primes. If any of them divide it cleanly--no remainder--discard it. If none of them divide it cleanly, it is prime; add it to the collection.) This is sufficient because all of the non-prime integers are products of some collection of prime integer and therefore a number is divisible by a non-prime integer if and only if it is also divisible by a prime integer. So you can save a lot of time by not doing the checking of non-prime integers.

That having been said, I'm only up to the high 60000's. The fact that I'm doing this with a HugeInt class that I wrote myself to remove the limitation of the computer's native 4-byte integer appears to be moot, as I suspect that even if I left this to run forever I might very well die of old age before that became relevant.

~ponder~ I wonder what would happen first: me die or the computer use up all its RAM. (Annnnd we're back to signal processing and frequency analysis ~grin~)
tcepsa: (Computation Suspended)
I have traveled the Woods. I gained entrance with a single coin. One side of the coin was Faith, the other was Frustration. I wandered down several dead-ends. I thrashed through thorny thickets. They tore my trousers, and left my ego bleeding. Many times I found myself at Despair's abode, in the deep shadows surrounded by dank and rotting leaves. I never tarried long; the glint of one of the few shafts of sunlight there would reflect off one side of the coin or the other and I would find myself backtracking once again, trying another path, gritting my teeth with determination to overcome the chaos or certainty that one of these paths must surely take me to the other side. This morning, almost a week after entering, I found a signpost that directed me back the way I had come. Frustration glinted as I thought about ignoring it and attempting to plow on, so I decided to follow its instruction; at least it wasn't pointing me deeper into the woods, and I was reasonably certain I could find my way back to it if needed. As I returned almost to where I started but coming from a different direction, I realized that the path had forked at that point and I had simply taken the route that seemed most direct. I may not have even consciously realized the other option existed, but upon closer examination it did seem promising. Faith flashed brightly as I stepped onto it, and a few hours later I found myself emerging from the Woods on the other side.

The moral of the story: Faith and Frustration can be a valuable combination.

(And now I know how to recover if a svn commit crashes halfway through).
tcepsa: (Inconceivable!)
Smithson held himself closely to a writing ritual. His workdays always consisted of the same steps, though he let himself vary somewhat on the details. For example, first he prepared himself a beverage. Perhaps water, perhaps tea, perhaps coffee, perhaps a can of root beer or, on rare and adventurous occasions, perhaps a mug of his most recent batch of kefir mead. Drink in hand, he would enter his study. It was a beautiful room, all full of dark hardwoods and books and fun little toys and gizmos scattered about. He had purchased most of the items himself, though some had been sent to him by friends or fans, and he had even made a couple of them personally. Many of them were clockwork gadgets of some sort, and the overall effect was very reminiscent of something from the Victorian era, when the world was just beginning to discover the wonderful, crazy, ridiculously dangerous things it could do with steam. He would pause a moment to survey the room, relishing the glow of the light off of the wood and the smell of the books, before crossing to his desk and lowering himself into his chair. He would place his beverage on the clay coaster his daughter had made for him and consider for the umpteenth time whether there was a way to consult her, without hurting her feelings, about whether she had deliberately constructed it to look as though he had just crushed some large insect with his glass or if that part was just a Rorschach coincidence. If the former, he would wonder, what did that say about his daughter's mind? If the latter, what did it say about his own? He would then shake his head and, if he had prepared himself a hot beverage, set a little Stirling engine on top. It was a beautiful engine, all brass and crystal and shining steel, and after he put it in motion it would let him know by its slowing that his drink had cooled enough for him to consume it.

That having been done, he would turn on The Machine. )

To be continued?
tcepsa: (PoiArcBlue)
Okay, gotta do this while the hoomins are at work. I think I've watched them do this enough that I can pull it off. This is Zhenya, [livejournal.com profile] tcepsa and [livejournal.com profile] gipsieee's dog. They've been making plans to go to New York next weekend and they're going to leave me behind, I just know it!

Unfortunately, while I have figured out how to use a keyboard, I have not yet been able to get the doors open (the knobs are too slippery and I can't get a good angle on them) so there's no way I can let myself out to go for walks (and attend to other outdoor matters), to say nothing of being able to get into the closet where they hide my food!

Would someone out there in LJ-land be able to help me out? I'm very friendly, I don't bark, I'm housebroken, I'm current on my vaccinations, and I get along well with other dogs and even cats! I need to be fed and watered, and I need to go outside twice a day. Petting is also wonderful, though not strictly necessary; I can survive without it for a day or two... somehow...

If you're able to stop by my place twice on Saturday and once on Sunday morning and let me out for a little bit that would work, or I'd be happy to come and stay with you for a few days; I do just fine in strange places--I'm almost as well-traveled as my owners! I would need to come over on Friday night, and would go home again on Sunday night. If you're thinking of maybe letting me visit but you're not sure how I'd interact with everyone else, I can try to come by earlier and meet the rest of your family to see whether we'd get along.

If you're interested, please either respond to this post or send an e-mail to one of my owners.

Thanks!
Zhenya
tcepsa: (I'll fix it!)
I spent far more time than may have been prudent playing with electronics last night.

I now have a square wave generator in the form of an astable 555 timer circuit (I've wanted one of those for years!) If I remember right, I could also use that in combination with the proper op-amp arrangement to make a triangle-wave generator (square wave + integrator = triangle wave).

This is, however, merely the means to a larger end. I then went on to try to get that to drive a resonant LC circuit. This consumed the majority of the time, and while I am not sure I have come out all that much wiser for the experience, I think I finally got to the point where I understand enough about what it's doing to actually attempt to create a receiver for it. Yes my friends, I have taken up my electronic lance and am heading full tilt at the windmills of wireless power transfer.

The irony of all of this is that it, in turn, is merely a cog in my greater scheme for an advanced human-computer interface device, which would be much more convenient if it were entirely wireless and did not need a battery (or could run off rechargeable battery and run or charge off of wireless power).

I was actually inspired to look into this by [livejournal.com profile] adularia's ongoing project, as I am hoping to do an implementation of that concept, but wireless and probably with a different sensing mechanism.

It was a good night ^_^

Cut for tangent about time management skills )
tcepsa: (Computation Suspended)
I am primarily writing this for my own edification. If you find it useful as well, so much the better ^_^

I have either been missing or unable to retain a rather important piece of knowledge pertaining to the usage of electrical measurement tools. If you've ever looked at a digial multimeter, for instance, you've probably noticed that around the dial the settings are marked in units like "2 V" "20 V" etc. I could never figure out why they were marked with a leading two; my brain kept trying to go "Okay, it reads .50, but we're on the 20 V measurement so that actually means that the value being measured is 10 Volts."

This is Very Much Not True.

The value is actually .50 V; the only thing to actually look at is the units on the display and the main number being displayed. The 20 is a reminder that 20 is the upper limit for that scale (actually 19.99). This is because the display is a "3.5 digit" display, meaning that it has 3 full LCD digits and the leftmost one can only display a 1 or be off completely. To help compensate, they shift the decimal point around (which is why you should not pay attention to the fact that it says "20"). When the scale is set to 20 V, the decimal point will be in the middle. The leftmost two digits can go up to 19, and the rightmost can go up to 99, giving you a total of 19.99 V, just under the maximum of 20. (Think of it as a mathematical "open" upper bound).
tcepsa: (Inconceivable!)
This topic somewhat perplexes me, probably because it seems to encompass a social minefield scattered with little bits of gold and precious gems.

It seems like it can have positive effects. Occasionally one of the other members on the team will say something about "long haired tree-huggers" in response to something I've done, but it either doesn't bother me or it strikes me as funny and we get a laugh out of it and carry on. Afterwards, it seems like it's brought us a little closer together somehow, but I'm not entirely sure why. Possibly because the way they say it indicates that they don't really mean it or, at worst, that it's something that they don't personally agree with as a way of life for themselves but they don't really have a problem with the fact that I do it. Maybe it's something else.

On the other hand, it can also be a very short step from that to someone saying the same thing, or almost the same thing, but meaning "I disagree with your life choice and look down upon you as a result."

Why does this sometimes work and sometimes blow up so spectacularly? Do people who use it to hurt others realize what they're doing or are they just that clueless? Do they actually think that it is helping them to bond with that person because they've seen it work that way with others (possibly when others do it)? What separates the two?
tcepsa: (Default)
Hypothetical Question for anyone out there using Subversion:

If I make a "backup" of a project with the following command
$ svn copy http://svn.server.org/project/trunk http://svn.server.org/project/tags/20090417_trunk_backup

And then I mess up the trunk, what do I do to restore the trunk to the backup that I tagged?

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