Monday, December 10, 2007

Interesting...

So, if you're a fantasy reader, you've probably heard of Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time. Chances are, you also know that Jordan died before he finished the series. Well, apparentely Brandon Sanderson ( author of the amazing Elantris and Mistborn books ) has been chosen to finish the series. 

It'll be interesting to see where Sanderson takes the series! ( Possibly interesting enough that I might have to read the series... )

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Ezra is sick

Arg! 

I was going to add a 120Gb hard drive ( actually, remove the 13Gb drive that's in there and replace it! ) I've had lying around in ezra, my home server. I wrote out a good plan ( since there was some important data on the old drive, and ezra has a relatively complicated partition system ), and shut down the machine, hooked up the drives in the intermediate configuration, hit the power switch and walked back to my laptop so I could ssh into the machine again. 

... and waited ... and waited ...

The machine didn't come up! I remembered I had heard a beep, so I hooked up a keyboard and monitor and rebooted the machine. Lo and behold, the system fan apparently wasn't working, so the machine refused to boot. 

I tried cleaning the fan, I even tried removing it an using a fan from my desktop, but I didn't have a fan capable of reporting to the motherboard that it was working, so ezra refuses to boot.

So unfortunately ezra ( and all related services - svn, http, ssh, etc ) are down until I have a chance to pick up a fan. If I'm lucky, that's tomorrow. If not... suck.

So, I need an older style 3 inch system fan with a power & reporting connection cord. Anyone have one?

Update: Got a replacement fan, but unfortunately the drive doesn't work... Lesson learned: no matter how good your plan, if you could be inconvenienced by a failure, it'll fail.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Python vs C++

Writing code in C++ after using Python extensively for a while is like doing long division by hand after you've learned to use a calculator. It's not hard, but you keep missing steps because they feel redundant.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Wedding Photos!

So, the photographers finally got our photos to us! There were several hundred of them, but here's the batch that stood out the most to me on a quick perusal:


What a day

Enjoy!

All right, back to work for me!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

school site

Just a quick note, if you're interested in trying to following what's going on at school, I've set up a little website to try and track classes & assignments. 

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Scheduling

Sorry, been a while - I sort of got ambushed by my new schedule & school :)

Here's roughly what my schedule looks like lately:
  • M,W,F - Work from 6am to 7pm, with a 2 hour break for karate @ lunch. ( Fridays I finish @ 6pm )
  • T,Th - School from 9am-3pm, with a 2 hour lunch that I spend working in the CS Grad Students lab. Work from home from 3:15pm - 7:15pm. 
So far it's been pretty managable - but I haven't had much homework yet. I've just gotten my first assignments & I've got work to start for a class project, so the free time after 7 & weekends is pretty much shot for a while I think. 

ANyways, that wasn't really why I meant to start writing, but I sort of got distracted! No more time now, maybe I'll write something with meaning later :)

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Just like a little Brenton!

This comic totally reminded me of Brenton!

( Bad Megan! You found another comic I have to read! ;) )

My motorcycle!


I bought a motorcycle last weekend! It's a 2001 Suzuki SV650. I love it! 
It scares me a bit, since it's way bigger than the bike I learned on, but it's a lot of fun! 
I don't have any pictures of mine yet, but I'll try to get some up this weekend!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Brawl & WiFi!

So, despite most everyone's expectations, Smash Bros. Brawl will be networked! That's crazy news!

Eric, there's no question now, you and Kerby are getting a Wii by the time this game comes out. Colin, that goes for you too!

In other news, I found Scott Adams' post today about suing God quite funny. 

Sunday, September 16, 2007

I know how to ride a bike!

I just finished my Motorcycle Rider Safety program I mentioned a while ago. It was a ton of fun, and I feel like I'm not going to break anything just by sitting on a bike anymore :) . My waiver for the DMV riding test is due to show up in 7-10 days, so I can get my license then. I'm considering getting a permit earlier than that so that I can get a bike before school starts in a couple of weeks. 

These are the bikes I'm looking at primarily:
But I'm feeling pretty flexible. 

On an odd note of the same topic, both of the major motorcycle stores in Goleta are open Tuesday through Saturday... not Sunday! Weird.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

WGR614 & PPTP

If you're not a nerd, or not looking for information on setting up a VPN over PPTP with a Netgear WGR614 (v5), you're probably not going to want to read this post. 

I'm writing this post because I spent hours on multiple occasions trying to figure out why my VPN connection to work had stopped working, seemingly spontaneously. ( I don't use the VPN all that often, so I couldn't figure out when it may have stopped working, and what I might have done. ) I'm hoping that this post will save someone who runs into it on Google.

It turns out that it was a silly change in my Netgear WGR614's settings that I had made to play a game online, compounded with other futile attempts to solve the problem. In essence, you need the following to make a PPTP VPN connection work with this router:
  1. Setup an Address Reservation for your VPN Client machine. ( This isn't strictly necessary, but it makes the next step much more reliable, since your DHCP address won't be changing all the time. )
  2. Add a port forwarding rule for PPTP to the address you just reserved for your client machine. This will make all traffic on port 1723 get past the router and to the client machine.
  3. Make sure that there is no port triggering related to PPTP or port 1723 setup! ( I had tried to set this up, and forgotten about it ( because of the crappy Netgear UI ), and it blocked me for a long time! ).
  4. On the WAN Setup page, ensure that the "Disable SPI Firewall" checkbox is UNCHECKED. ( Some games, in my case GuildWars, require this to be checked to work properly. I now have to switch back and forth on this setting to play GuildWars or use the VPN. Ugh. )
Don't bother trying to setup Port Forwarding or Port Triggering for GRE (protocol 47) or ESP (protocol 50). It won't do any good since the type of traffic you're trying to use there isn't TCP/IP or UDP traffic, and it may actually cause some harm. You also don't need the "Respond to ping on internet port" setting enabled either.

I hope this helps someone sometime in the future. Let me know if it does, or if you need further assistance in getting your setup to work.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Mistborn, FF12, and Motorcycles

Well, for any of you that haven't read the Mistborn books, drop whatever you're doing, go get them, and read them. 

What are you doing here still? You're supposed to be getting Mistborn!

Well, I just read both of them ( the first one was a re-read so I could get back into the flow of the series ). Each book was started and finished in about a day and a half. Now I've got to wait for who-knows-how-long for the last book to come out! Arg!

Oh, and I've also finally gone back to playing Final Fantasy XII - it was remarkably easy to get back into the story despite being over 40 hours into the game when I set it aside for a few months. It's quite enjoyable, if a bit sadistic at times. ( Eric, I'm trying to finish it before I go back to school! )

In other news ( since my wife apparently leaked the story already! ), I've signed up for a motorcycle riding course. ( Yes family, I'll be careful! ) Everyone having their motorcycles has gotten me really excited about getting one! Megan and I actually went out to Santa Barbara MotorSports the other day to get some gloves, and I talked with a salesman there about different bikes. Unfortunately, I think my price range got moved up during that conversation... 

Anyways, off to work... piles of emails to deal with!

Monday, August 27, 2007

End of House Season 3

Melissa, we can talk about the third season of House now. :) 

So, is there going to be another season? What do you think?

Tough Love

I feel quite sorry for whoever has to follow this password policy:

( Thanks to worsethanfailure.com for the image! )

Thursday, August 23, 2007

By orders of His Majesty

Brenton ordered everyone to make a blog post right now so I'm doing so.

Unfortunately, I don't have time write now to think about something important to write, so I'll leave you with what's entertaining Megan and I this week:
  • We're watching House, M.D. - Season 3 ... about 5 episodes a night!
  • I'm reading the Halo series, since I only got to read the first two books last time. ( I have all 4 now! )
  • Megan's working on the sequel to Mistborn! I'm really excited to read this, because Mistborn was SO INCREDIBLE!
Okay, got to get back to work... I hope I've met Brenton's requirements!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Compiling

Just because I like it :)

Who wants a twin bed?

Santa Barbara has got to be one of the only cities in the world where you cannot give away a perfectly function twin bed! I've been to three different thrift stores and none of them would take a bed that wasn't brand new.

If no one volunteers to take it, it's going to the dump. ( Which means I have to spend $15 to get rid of it... how lame is that! )

Code Monkey

A friend at work just pointed me at Jonathan Coulton's work. I really like the Code Monkey song! I'll leave it on auto-play for a bit, but I'll probably turn that off once everyone's heard it a few times :)

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Freaking reporters

Here's my personal list of problems I frequently find in bad reporting, sorted in order from most to least harmful:
  1. Intentional mis-representation of facts ( lying )
  2. Negligent mis-representation of major facts ( negligence )
  3. Exposing personal bias irrelevant to a story
  4. Exposing personal bias relevant to a story
  5. Poor grammar, spelling, format, or organization ( elementary mistakes )
From time to time, I may mention a story that demonstrates one or more of these flaws. The reason I bring this up now is a relatively minor flaw in the grand scheme of things: 

I just read a story from CNN about some tourists who were injured by the wave caused by a collapsing chunk of ice from a glacier near the North Pole. The story moves along quite well, providing the facts regarding the incident and other related useful information, until the last paragraph. The final paragraph consists of one sentence, which begins with some useful information, and descends into a political viewpoint of the author that provides at most very little further value to the story. It's a case of either #3 or #4 from the list above, rearing it's ugly little head.

I'll try to point out more of these types of problems in the future - at the very least, it should provide some small measure of entertainment. At the best, who knows? Maybe it will inspire a reporter to provide better reporting in the future. 

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Photos

Just a quick FYI update: I've placed a bunch of photos from our wedding reception and honeymoon up on http://photos.chphilli.net ( Yes, photos is a cheap URL forward to picasaweb; no, I'm not sorry ). 

There are two albums: 
Sorry, I haven't provided any comments or captions on the photos in those albums yet. Hopefully Megan or I will have time to add some notes to them sometime in the near future.

I hope you enjoy them as much as I did! 

Monday, August 06, 2007

On Romance and Adventure

Gosh... so I have a ton to say - I'll see if I can keep it down to something that someone might actually be willing to read.

If you're here, you're probably well aware that Megan and I were joined in Holy Matrimony by the Most Rt. Rev. James Provence on July 22nd. Yup, that's right, I'm married! The ceremony was absolutely incredible! I don't know what else to say about it!

Afterwards, our reception was fantastic! Our photographers actually managed to make me not hate being in a gazillion photos, our DJ kept things moving at just the right pace, our food was incredible! Eric gave a brilliant speech ( in fact, I'm not even sure I'm entirely convinced it was Eric giving the speech! ), Kerby speech was hilarious! ( Even admitting that Megan is as funny as he thinks he is! ) So many people there to celebrate with us - the only downside was that I couldn't spend more time with everyone!

Afterwards, we spent a day and a half lounging in a hotel by the beach in Santa Barbara ( saw Die Hard 4! ), and then dropped by the condo to finish packing, and hang out with Michael, Becky, Colin, and Eric for a couple hours, then off to Alaska in a full day of planes and airports.

I'll be brief about the rest of the honeymoon, since Megan will do a better job explaining details, but in short: our weather was great, we loved the people guiding and serving us, and we had a blast for 10 days in Alaska. Yet, it was about the perfect length, because we were both ready to come home by the time it was wrapping up.

Now we're back in Santa Barbara, trying to restore some sort of order to our condo, which was thrashed by guests and the remains of moving from the Jesmary house. But it's so nice to have a place to share with my lovely wife that we call our own!

Friday, July 13, 2007

Back to Basics

Hi! 

If you're thinking you're in the wrong place, you aren't! ... Well, I suppose you might be, but if you're looking for the blog formerly found at www.chphilli.net then you're in the right place!

As you've probably gathered by now, I have, once again, changed blogging systems. Why? Good question. In essence, I got bored with the other one. Also, I decided I don't particularly want to manage a webserver/blog service on my home server.

Another reason is to try and re-ignite some interest in my writing - both for myself, and for anyone who comes around. To this end, I will be playing around with some of Blogger's features to see what seems to work best both for myself and for my readers.

One of the things open for discussion is, somewhat ironically, what to discuss. What do you think I should spend time talking about here? Here's a loose laundry list of things that I have tended to write about in the past, and will most likely address here in the future:
  • Life in general
  • Computers ( programming, concepts, applications )
  • chphilli.net
  • Philosophical and semi-philosophical ramblings
  • Gaming
  • Current events
I'll try to be responsible and tag each post with appropriate labels, so as to make it easier for readers to find content that they are actually interested in.

So, please, feel free to leave comments and let me know what you are interested in hearing about from me!