Archive for April, 2003

I hate my computer

Wednesday, April 30th, 2003

The subject says it all. My computer continues to piss me off on a daily basis. My old theory did not pan out (read the news before this one for more info on that), so my latest theory is that either my RAM sucks or my motherboard sucks. I’ve got some RAM diagnostic software to run when I get home to see if I can’t narrow it down. If this does not produce any results, then it’s onto the next phase where I take out all the unneccessary hardware and it put it back in one component at a time to see if I can’t locate where the problem is. Then I dunno, maybe I’ll swap out a hard drive, or reinstall the OS. The painful options left to me are endless! I guess I should be glad I at least have options. We’ll see how it goes, and as always I’ll keep you posted.

In other news, I took my math midterm today, and I guess it went all right. Our prof felt that the test he wrote was too long (none of the 8 of us in the class finished it), so he gave us all a copy to do at home and he’ll compare the two for a grade later. After that I went to astronomy, in which I have a midterm on Friday. Whoopie! After that class I left campus briefly to go out to the mall to get tickets for both X-Men: 2 and for Matrix: Reloaded. In case anyone cares, Megs and I are going to the 22:10 and 22:20 shows respectively on opening nights. Good times.

Tonight there are two hall programs I’m partaking in. One is a complex-wide scavenger hunt, which I think will be fun. It’s set up *my way*, which is the way we did it back when I was a freshman. None of this running around campus solving riddles to find placed objects. Just a random romp around our floors finding random crap in people’s possesions. We had a blast three years ago (and we won), and I’m sure it’ll be fun this time too. Anyways, after that I’m going out paintballing with some residents from 3rd and 4th floors. I haven’t been paintballing in a while, so this should be a blast. It’s not often I get to shoot at the residents, at least, not legally…

There’s other boring stuff going on in my life, but this is what I feel like writing about. Have fun!

New theme

Tuesday, April 29th, 2003

In continuing with this new theme I have of lots of short little updates, I’ve got another one. First, look at the timestamp on this message. Yes, it’s very late at night (early in the morning, for you psycho, gun-cleaning weirdos), and I’m still up. But I’ve made some progress! Some of you may know that I’ve been a bit not myself lately because my computer’s been out of whack. I think I’ve figured it out, and the story goes something like this:

<TECH>
I was running out of ideas on what’s going on, so I watched the entire first season of Red Dwarf (don’t worry, it’s only 6 episodes.) This did NOT solve my problems with the computer, but rather than go to bed after watching TV, I decided to poke around in the system again. I had a suspicion that something was wrong with the hardware, so I set out to find some kind of diagnostic software. What I found was a program that I really seem to like; it provides all sorts of useful information on low-level stuff going on with my computer. For example, it shows DETAILED information on all the processes, threads, modules, and even HEAPS that are currently running on the system, and that’s just a small sample of what this thing will tell me about my computer. In my perusal of this wealth of computer gossip on my machine, I came across the listing of IRQ’s in use and then it hit me: I rearanged all the PCI cards in my machine a few weeks ago (don’t ask why, I just did, OK?) Now, if memory serves, IRQs are assigned based on which card is in which slot, so when I moved all the cards around suddenly my SCSI card is sharing an IRQ with my display adaptor and my USB is sharing an IRQ with my network card. Translation: bad and random things can occur when these cards are active at the same time! I have not tested this theory yet (it’s almost 5am, people! I got up at 9am!), but I hope it’ll pan out tomorrow. If not, then at least I’ll have this night of euphoria and generally feeling like I’m really, really clever.
</TECH>

So, to sum up that last paragraph, my computer could be getting better soon, and I’m pretty stoked about it because I may have solved the problem. I’m going to bed now.

Totally not my fault!

Monday, April 28th, 2003

In case anyone tried to access this site on Sunday, you may have noticed it behaving strangely. It was not my fault! I emailed the department systems folks and they confimed this:

Thanks for your reports. I fixed the problem and got it running again at about 7:30pm.
paul

So there.

Oh, the power…

Sunday, April 27th, 2003

Heh. Check me out. I’m a Nation.

Bureaucracy

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2003

First off, I had to look up how to spell that headline. I’m gonna graduate from college in two months, can you believe it? 😉

Anywho, the reason for the headline is mostly due to the organization I work for, namely the University of Oregon. Doing anything with these people is a huge hassle. I want to take a trip to the coast with my residents in a month, so lets review the hoops I must leap through. I need to secure a place to stay, food to eat, and transportation. For a place to stay, I need to reserve a place large enough, near to the beach, and with a hottub–my residents have standards. Anyways, this place won’t take purchase orders, but they will take a check. Cool. They need to hold a credit card for security… OK, they have mine now. Housing takes a long-ass-time to cut a check, it seems, so I hope I can get it to the property management folks when they want it. Anyways, I think I’ve almost got the lodging worked out. Next is food. I need to get a sign-up sheet from Catering so that I can get all the food paid for with student meal points. Speaking of paying, I need to collect money from all of the residents who are going on this trip. Joy. I love tracking down 20 busy college students. Anyways, food’s in the future. For transportation, I’ve reserved two 15-passenger vans from the Oregon State Motor Pool. Another resident and I are already certified, and I need two more (two per van). So I need to find out when the next certification class is and make sure some people go. Once I get enough drivers, we should about have it all figured out. Oh yeah, and I need to submit a trip plan to the Director of Residence Life and have it accepted, otherwise this is all vetoed. Oy. In the end I just hope that all my residents are happy and I don’t end up eating $620 for a house we are not allowed to go to.

So, yeah, that’s fun. Classes are going all right, but I feel bad because I couldn’t sleep last night so I slept through two classes today. I’ll go Friday, I swear! Bad habit, skipping…

In other words the job hunt continues… poorly. I have most definatel NOT kept up with my ambitious plan of applying for one job per day. Most jobs want 2-5 years experience, which of course is hard to get if no one will hire an unexperienced college graduate. We’ll see what pans out. As usual, if anyone knows of a good entry-level computer type job for me, let me know and I’ll check it out. Damn economy! girrr….

Well, enough of that. I hope everyone had a Happy Easter and/or Passover last weekend! I had a nice time with Megs and my family. Thanks everyone who made my Not Eating in Housing Weekend a wonderful treat! The food was all excellent!

I need to upload some more pics here. It’s been a while. Don’t let me forget!

Adventures in the dark

Friday, April 18th, 2003

EDITOR’S NOTE: This was originally written by me on a scrap of paper I found in the trash. I copied it to this web site roughly half an hour after it was written. FYI: Earl is the building next to mine (still part of my territory), and Morton is a hall within it.

Well, it’s now 3:12am Friday morning, and I’m sitting in the Morton lounge watching an open door. I’m writing this on a piece of scratch paper I found in the the next room; there’s chemistry equations on the other side. Now, while this may not all make perfect sense right now, I assure you that all will be made clear soon.

It was one of those nights where one thing just lead on to another. Somewhere during our weekly staff meeting, the Earl building lost power and I mean really lost it. Not just a breaker or something; from what I hear an entire transformer blew and EWEB had to come out to fix it. They’re still fixing it. Now, there’s some protocols that we as RA’s have to follow when the power goes out for an extended period of time. First off, since the power’s out, the fire safety equipment is compromised. Secondly, the lights are out, so residents might fall in the dark and hurt themselves. What this boils down to is rounds through Earl every half an hour (roughly constantly). We all signed up for shifts in pairs, and I just did two sets at 2:00am and 2:30am. Note how this still doesn’t explain why I’m watching an open door at what is now 3:22am. Well, since the power is out, the lights in the stairwells are out, and for some reason the emergency flood lights aren’t on. So, Facilities has set up two generators with strings of lights for two of the stairwells. [EDITOR’S NOTE: At this point I begin writing on the other side of the paper, over the (pencil) chemistry equations.] The problem is that the (noisey) generators must run outside and the lights go inside. Hence we need an open door to run an extension cable. Yes, that’s right, I’m here guarding an open side door in the middle of the night so an extension cable can have the right of way to the stairs. I just have to repeat to myself, “I love my job. I love my job. I love my job.” What I don’t get is why these two stairwells? I mean, there are 10 dark stairwells in Earl, so why these? Were they more dark, thus in more need of noisy nightlights? Oh well. I do my duty, ’till sleep do us part. If you haven’t already guessed, this is how I’m staying awake. My relief gets here soon, and then I can go. At least I have a good excuse for my math teacher on why my homework isn’t done. I’ll probably sleep through class tomorrow anyways, since it’ll probably be 4:30 or 5 when I get to sleep. I hope I can see Megs tomorrow. A happy face would be wonderful right now. I hope she’s not too tired after work.

OK, where the hell’s my relief? I’m almost out of paper here and it’s past time. They say the power should be back soon. 3:30-4:00’s the latest estimate I heard. We’ll see how good On Call EWEB Technicians [EDITOR’S NOTE: I am now writing sideways in the margin.] are at estimating time at 3:00am. Actually, I’m kinda enjoying this now. It’s like being with your family during a storm or something.

EDITOR’S NOTE: At this point my relief arrived, and almost imediately after I returned to Carson, I received word that the power came back on. Of course it would only come back after I had done all my shifts and not a moment before. *Sigh* Oh well. It’s all over now, so now I go to sleep. Before I go, thanks to all my fellow staff members who suffered through this with me, especially all those who came from other complexes to help out. You all rock!

I walk in the rain

Wednesday, April 16th, 2003

Since it’s always raining for at least part of every day this week, I figure I have no choice but to walk in the rain. It’s not too bad, and today I actually wore my trench coat, which I haven’t worn a lot lately. But enough about the weather.

I’ve been planning on taking a hall trip this May, and things are looking good on several fronts. We had a hall meeting last night and the residents seem to be fairly interested in the idea. I’ve already had about 14 people sign up, so that’s good. Also, I’ve discovered that we can pay for the house on the beach with hall funds! Yay! The U of O will cut them a check and everything, so it’s all good. The only bad news I’ve had so far is that the house I was originally looking into is booked the weekend we’re going, so I’ve got another one in mind. My only concern about this one is I’m not sure how much actual beach it’s got. It’s on the ocean front, but there might be no sand. I can’t really tell from the pictures. Anyways, I figure I can spend $300 for housing from our hall account, which would still leave us with another $300 for other things for the rest of the year. I’m not sure how much van rentals will cost, but it shouldn’t be too bad. Food we’ll do through catering. I’m sure you all care about all of this, but this is as good of a place as any for me to sort my thoughts out. I’ll be sure to keep you posted with updates.

In other news, classes are going good, I think. I don’t go all that often, but when I do it’s not that hard and I get all my work done. I had a midterm in astronomy 121 today, and I think it went all right. I’m about half way done with my math homework for this week, and I’m gonna turn it in on Friday. And I’m almost done with my CIS 111 project, but I’m a perfectionist, so I’m gonna tweak with it a bit more before I’m satisfied.

Thursday night is our weekly RA staff meeting followed by a complex-wide program that I’m helping to set up. I need to remember to get the projector from ResNet tomorrow after work. Other than that, this week shouldn’t been too difficult. Just a few little administrivia things to take care of.

In case I haven’t mentioned these before, some up and coming activities for me include the hall trip to the coast, going down to Cali to get Matthew, and going camping at Egils with Kimi and Friends. All of these things I will write more details about as I get them. OK? Cool.

Link stole my girlfriend!

Wednesday, April 9th, 2003

I’ve started writing this thing, like, three times now, so lets see if this one actually makes it up to the site.

Last weekend starting on Thursday, Megs and I went up to Seattle for SakuraCon, which was a lotta fun. We stayed at Shelby’s swanky apartment and met up with other friends up there as well. I’ll post a link to the pics here when I get ’em up. I don’t really feel like writing out all the details of the con, but it was fun and we accomplished what we wanted to there.

In other news, my class schedule is turning out to be as easy as I’d hoped. I had no class at all yesterday, and it was great! It made it hard to go to class today, but that wasn’t bad. I only have two I actually go to. I’ve already done the first project for CIS 111, so that’s done with, and I turned in my first math assignment today, which I finished in class. I don’t believe we have an assignment for astronomy, but our first midterm in next Wednesday, so I should probably break down and buy the textbook and read it or something. School’s great.

The weather has been fantastic today and yesterday! Precious! We loves it! 😉 I think I’ll write a little scripty thing to automatically translate any standard smilies into little yellow graphics. People seem to dig that stuff. Shouldn’t be too hard to do.

Someone needs to do something about Megan. I’m pretty sure she’s having an affair with Link, so I may never see her again. Unless she ever beats the game I suppose, but she’s very thurough, so this might be a while. I hope she remembers me on the other side…

Blah blah blah… yeah. And then, some stuff. I’m babbling. I do that a lot, but usually I don’t write it down as I do. And I certainly don’t post it to the web so the world can read about it. Oh yeah! Now I remember what I was gonna write (backspace key be damned! leave it!) I’ve got a new goal–I’m gonna try to apply to a new job every day until I get a job I like. Yesterday was Amazon.com in Seattle, WA and the day before was a position at Microsoft in Redmond, WA. I think I might try RealOne today, but I’m not sure. I’ll see what’s out there. If anyone has any good leads, let me know, OK?

Oh, and for a good time, check out Fark’s Photoshop contests. They vary in taste, but we had a good laugh here at work browsing through them.

That’s it for now. Have a great day, everyone!

Wiggity-Wow, another term!

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2003

Last term, baby, here we go! As I’ve previously mentioned, this term’s class schedule has been carefully crafted to be as painless as possible, leaving me a lot of free time to track down a future job for myself and to have fun my last term here. I am pleased with the results.

So, as you can see if you clicked that link up there, I’m taking CIS 111, MATH 426, and ASTR 121, which are Computers and Computation, Statistical Methods II, and The Solar System, respectively. Some of you might be wondering why I’m taking CIS 111, and there are several reasons. One is that I never took it (skipped right to 210 as a freshman), so I’m lacking a few basic skills such as JavaScript and XHTML, which this course teaches. Second is that there wasn’t anything I wanted to take in the 400-level area, and lastly, after my hellish winter term ’03, I wanted an easy term for a change. This CIS 111 class is certainly that. I’ve already done the first project and it’s due in a week and a half. I did it in the last half hour of my shift here at work yesterday. =) Astronomy 121 should keep me busy, but it shouldn’t be too hard, I’d imagine. And the math class should just be more of the same as last term. I got an A last term, and it wasn’t too hard. Rock on.

As some of you may already know, tomorrow I’m heading up to Seattle to go to SakuraCon with Megs and a bunch of other folks we’re meeting up there. Megs and I are crashing at Shelby’s place, to whom we are very grateful for giving us a place to stay. Megs and I have never been to an anime convention before, so it should be a lotta fun. Why, yes we are HUGE nerds! How’d you know? 😉 Anyways, if you need to reach me at all this weekend starting tomorrow afternoon, call my cell. If you don’t know my cell number, then perhaps you are an Internet stalker and I don’t want to use my minutes on you. =P

I haven’t pimped anyone in a while. Here’s the web comics I read often. Here’s Kimi and Kelly’s page. Megs’ has a page too. So does lauren, Bill, Jacques, Molly, and Lia. Anyone else? Leave me a comment and I’ll link you next time. Oh yeah, and I’ve made a new survey for your enjoyment.