2001-11-30, Fri (Day 519, temperature at 07:32: 24.8°C, difference: +0.1°C): I went to comparative and calculus today but I didn’t go right to MedX; rather I went to Beardsley to do my stat problem set. Jesse told me earlier that it was easy, which I found out to be the case. I planned to work as close to 14:00 as possible to give each problem the most time it should reasonably get.
I took a break for lunch at 11:30 and continued in Beardsley for the early afternoon. I went to Whittier 3/5 right before 14:00 to turn in the problem set I had just finished and printed out. Other people in my class were also turning in their work so apparently a number of people complete the problem set at the last minute. My RA assigned the problem set as an infinite item in the to-do list on her whiteboard.
I stopped by Worth briefly and then went to Mullan. The forecast high for today is 70°F (21.1°C) or above so I was able to wear shorts and a T-shirt. I haven’t been able to wear my psych T-shirt since I got it in the spring as it got lost somewhere at home. A few weeks ago Mom found my shirt and gave it back to me. I wore that shirt today and Jessica did as well, which I pointed out to her this evening.
Doing the stat problem set for today in such a compressed state got me pumped up for the rest of the day. I blew through the MedX machines while others just sort of sat on them, which you are not supposed to do.
John and Tom stopped by when I returned to Worth. In the evening John, Tom, and I saw “American Pie 2” in LPAC Cinema. This is the first movie I saw this semester in LPAC since the wall was broken and then fixed. Afterwards we went to Tony Luke’s in South Philadelphia to eat and then we drove to Delaware briefly. We then went by my apartment so John and Tom could see where I live. Back at Swat we hung out in Tom’s room and recorded alienesque videos using his laptop.
2001-11-29, Thu (Day 518, temperature at 07:32: 24.7°C, difference: +0.5°C): I got up this morning and moved quickly to get as much of the paper draft for psych of language done. Despite my push it got to 09:40 and I wasn’t actually done so I just had to print out an in-progress draft that I proofread while in Kohlberg 115 before Stat 2 started. I sat with Kai, Kevin, and Nelson at lunch. Kai and I had a discussion about Student Council apathy. He got the idea to put up signs so I went back with him to Mertz to make the sign on his computer. After photocopying in McCabe, we went to research design.
Phoenix editorial board was at the usual 19:30 tonight but after the meeting adjourned most of us hung around to reminisce as our last issue for the semester is next week. It was also a staff member’s birthday so we had cake.
I then talked with Nathan about various online and technical things from 21:00 to after 01:00. We didn’t intend to stay this long, but a year from now Nathan will have graduated so the time to dialogue is now. We also fixed the extended delay at boot on the server. The Milhouse volume was not selected in the Startup Disk control panel so the G4 needed to query all of the drives for a System Folder.
I planned to finish my stat problem set before going to bed tonight but I didn’t even start since it was so late. Instead I am going to go to MedX class in the afternoon and work on the problem set when I normally have MedX and around lunch.
2001-11-28, Wed (Day 517, temperature at 07:38: 24.2°C, difference: +0.7°C): Today was expected to be a rough day but complications developed that made it even more difficult. I did know that I needed to write a draft of a final paper for psych of language and I had a Math 6c midterm in the evening. What I didn’t know was the power was going to go out in the middle of the afternoon.
I sat with Betsy this morning at breakfast. Sitting with her is sort of a signal that the day is going to have or is having an event, compare with --09-11, Tue. I sat next to Liza in comparative. In the afternoon I went to McCabe to write my psych paper draft. The computers on the second level were taken but the ones on the fourth level by the old honors reserve were empty. I met with Karen at 13:30 and when I returned to McCabe there were fewer computers available so I had to use one on the first level.
At around 15:30 (after 15:24 but before 15:36) the power went out. For a few seconds it was completely dark on the first level, as there were no windows immediately present. The emergency generator turned on and the exit lights and a couple lights turned on so it wasn’t too dark.
The power briefly came on a few minutes later but then went off again. I went upstairs soon after that and talked with Hofan, which I also did on --09-11, Tue at lunch after the attacks. The second level wasn’t as brightly lit even though it was renovated. Hofan hypothesized that the lights were of higher wattage so fewer of them could be used on the emergency power circuit. Also, there were more windows so it wasn’t as dark overall.
My computer is supposed to stay up a few minutes into a power outage but then the UPS dies and the computer goes down. When the power comes back the iMac should turn on automatically, which it did. Looking at the firewall log, which the stat server log agrees with, the SCCS web server, Osprey, stopped working sometime after 15:30. LimeWire incoming requests lasted for another 15 minutes. After 15:45 my computer lost backup power from the UPS.
My firewall resumed operation at 17:06 so the power came back on a few minutes before that. Osprey started working again soon before 17:13. It’s worth noting that when file sharing couldn’t start up on the iMac backup partition, the dialog the Finder threw up on the screen prevented idle-usage.log from logging. However, the computer still processed network requests (web, Gnutella, file sharing).
After Hofan left McCabe I went up to the student publications office early since the power was still out and I figured things for The Phoenix were reaching a critical stage since the power didn’t come back on right away. Nathan, Jeff, Justin and others were there working out a contingency plan. I ended up going with Jeff and Liz with the server, monitor, Zip disks and supporting materials to Beardsley. The ITS network offices had power so we got the current issue data off of the server onto Zips. After this point we were going to take other computers with the data somewhere with power to finish the issue.
The data transfer was mired with prep problems. For one the overhead light in Bob Velez’s office wasn’t working so we had to set up in the dark. We neglected to bring a SCSI adapter so I met Nathan midway between Parrish for that. The server as usual since the reformat took five minutes before getting to the happy Mac and also was not successfully loading the startup items and crashing.
The room was uncomfortable partly because it felt hot and humid due to the network equipment two rooms away that was no longer air-conditioned. At one point more lights came on but then they went back off again. The college had partial power but not enough to power everything.
I called home and Mom said that she didn’t lose power and I later learned the outage affected the Media and Springfield area due to a mechanical problem at the Media substation.
Jeff finally got the data off the server and we took everything back to Parrish. One of us got the idea to use the dumbwaiter so we put the stuff in the cab and went upstairs to the fourth floor. Jeff couldn’t open the dumbwaiter doors on that floor since it still should have been going upstairs. Liz had the insight that since the power was out the dumbwaiter wasn’t working. Liz went upstairs and Jeff and I went back to the first floor and sure enough the computer was still on that level.
We get up to the office and we enter the next planning process where we soon decide to go to Mary Lyon since they had power. Apparently the Swarthmore borough never lost power, just the college. We started to breakdown computers to go to ML but then the power came on. It stayed on for a few minutes and a call to facilities said things should be fine now. This happened at around 16:50, according to the Phoenix article. We continued working up in the office. Apparently we were ahead in production so the outage was not too great of an impact since it only lasted 80 minutes.
However, the outage adversely impacted my scheduling as I had little time left to finish my paper draft before it was due tomorrow. I blocked time in the afternoon to do my paper and I didn’t have many spare blocks so when I lost the time in the afternoon it was difficult to recover the lost time later. I ended up doing what I could before stat tomorrow but the draft I turned in was rather short and fragmented.
I wanted to stay up in the office since I wanted to eat and export the 17:00 pages. I finished both by 19:00. Next, I returned to McCabe to recover the journal volumes I took off the stacks for my paper. I checked them out since I wanted to finish the paper in front of my own computer to save time if the power went out tomorrow. I then worked on The Phoenix Online early edition. I had enough time before my Math 6c midterm in DuPont to get the articles up but not the cover.
The midterm wasn’t that bad considering that I had practically no time to study for it. I left at 21:30 at the conclusion of the exam period to return to the office. I figured that since the first deadline wasn’t met very well, production would be ahead for the second deadline to compensate. In fact I get up there and they were really behind now.
Jeff and I had good conversation after the 22:00 deadline about responding to questions related to application usage for the various publications. I didn’t get out of the office until after 23:00. By this point I felt like I hadn’t got a good night’s sleep even though I did. I also needed to update Phoenix hiring info since there was a house ad in the print edition that referred to the out of date hiring web page.
What I did when I got back to Worth was put up the rest of the articles and update the hiring pages but not do the art, as by this time it was 01:00. I needed to get up at 07:30 and also feel like completing my paper draft.
2001-11-27, Tue (Day 516, temperature at 07:30: 23.5°C, difference: -1.8°C): Psych of language class is now more discussion based, which means that doing the readings is more of a factor but the discussions are good. In the early afternoon and after research design I made a formula sheet for tonight’s stat midterm. I needed to know what I was writing down but other than that I did no other real studying. I felt really bad at this point in general. The midterm was in Kirby at 19:00. There were two multi-part problems on the test, which made things more dependent but it also made it easier to complete the test. I felt better this midterm than the last. Afterwards I eventually got to bed although since I finished before 21:00 I got to bed at 23:00, the earliest I have done so in a while.
2001-11-26, Mon (Day 515, temperature at 07:35: 25.3°C, difference: +4.5°C): I got far less done today than I anticipated. The morning class run as usual was a drag. The Mullan Tennis Center has not been well attended recently although today was somewhat better.
In the afternoon I expected to start studying for my stat midterm tomorrow night but I remembered that I needed to merge old e-mail addresses in the distributed.net stats database and join the Libertarians for Privacy team. I first made web saves of related stat pages, which took longer than expected. I didn’t finish the changes until right before 19:00, which was a double deadline. The review session for stat was at this time but it was also 00:00 UTC, which is when the stat run on the server starts, meaning the web saves would had been slightly different had I taken longer.
This evening at the review session I walked into Kirby close to 19:00 and didn’t see anyone that I know so I sat down.
I felt pretty bad after the review session as I don’t feel like working but I really need to. I returned to Kirby at 22:00 for “Orlando,” which is the SWIL movie this week. I fell asleep during this movie too and I think two other people may have done the same thing.
2001-11-21, Wed (Day 514, temperature at 08:13: 20.8°C, difference: +0.9°C): Each day since Friday I have been getting up feeling worse. I got a sore throat Monday afternoon simply because I didn’t take a nap then as I was short on sleep. I haven’t really recovered the lost hours and in fact I have added to them, under the assumption that I will recover over Thanksgiving holiday. For today I don’t even know how I managed to get to my 08:30 class on time or at all.
Somehow I got up at about 07:30 although I didn’t remember to take a temperature reading until after 08:00, which is normally when I am in Sharples. I went to the bathroom sometime after waking up with my watch on and in some state of dress. I came back to my room and gained enough orientation to finish getting dressed but realized after putting my clothes on that I didn’t put my MedX clothes on first so I just put them in my bag. I didn’t have enough time to go to Sharples so I ate some crackers. Also, my room felt cold, but I think the bathroom felt even colder and my socks felt really warm but I am not sure why. Perception of temperature differences was more pronounced this morning while trying to get out the door.
Getting through class was difficult as I dozed in comparative politics, calculus started making use of derivatives that I didn’t remember, and MedX was slow because I had less food in me. I also stayed in Mullan ten minutes later since I arrived late by that amount. I still cannot get through all of the machines in the 45-minute period.
In the afternoon I caught up my journal in a tired state and started prepping to go home. Unlike my October break idea of staying over, there is so much work a few extra days at Swat probably won’t make a great difference and I need a break. A fair number of people are going to stay on campus for Thanksgiving although not as many as did for the October holiday.
Over break I intentionally did not do much. I didn’t bring any computer-related stuff home so I could only do so much on the computers. I got more sleep compared to earlier in the week but I didn’t completely recover from my sickness partly because my siblings were sick too.
On Thanksgiving I spent a good amount of time on the distributed.net site learning that a new version of the distributed.net client was released for the Mac in August. I also read parts of the documentation online and learned stuff along the way. My family went out to a diner in Chester County for Thanksgiving dinner. Like many Sharples meals, I was the last to finish but today I also took my time and ate a large amount of food.
On Friday I lounged at home while Dad was out at work. The following day I went with Dad to pick up Aunt Robin in Montgomery County to take her to Nana’s apartment in Center City Philadelphia. She is going to stay over there for the weekend.
I returned to Swat on Sunday. It actually rained today considering the full northeast U.S. is on the low end of stream flow. I also increased the freeloader threshold in LimeWire. I have been noticing that the number of hosts I can peer with has gone down. I think as I raise the freeloader value I am excluding a greater number of hosts I can connect to. Originally I thought the setting only influenced uploads but apparently it also has a bearing on whether a connection with a peer will even be made.
In the evening I went to McCabe to do problems for Math 6c.
2001-11-20, Tue (Day 513, temperature at 07:31: 23.7°C, difference: +0.9°C): Stat 2 was sparsely attended as it seemed that some people have already left for Thanksgiving break. This low turnout is unlike previous years probably because of the longer lines at airports due to --09-11 and possibly due to repulsion towards the campus causing people to depart early.
After lunch but before research design I continued looking into the desktop picture update bug. While I was doing this, the Save file comments script was doing another run since for the early morning run it was logging some files twice. I think this problem had to do with me running the script before the early morning backup and then when Synch Retrospect setup called Save file comments the script sort of ran again within itself, which I didn’t want. The second run independent of what happened early this morning turned out to be worse by taking most of the morning and afternoon to run and timing out in the end. The script ran fine early the next day.
For the desktop picture, I made two tests to catch incomplete images. One test checks the file size to make sure it is a certain amount and the other looks at the last byte of the image, which for the weather.com radar image happens to be the same character when the file is complete.
Kate sat next to me in research design although the placement encouraged it. At the beginning of class she also initiated a conversation with me, the first time either one of us have done so. She was simply telling me that this lecture was going to be like the first day of Stat 2.
My computer crashed twice today and the crashes were spectacular in that it is rare for my computer to crash when doing the things that I was doing. After confirming that Analog 5.1b worked without serious bugs, I pruned my MP3s.
I am noticing that the recent versions of LimeWire or the network configuration are causing numerous “Transfer Interrupted” messages for uploading. If people keep trying they do eventually get the file but it can take 100 attempts.
I didn’t finish for the day until after 04:00. Fortunately my computer didn’t crash again even though I was doing a great amount of network transfer and disk activity. It seems that my computer tends to crash when fewer applications are open, oddly enough, or after quitting many applications.
2001-11-19, Mon (Day 512, temperature at 07:31: 22.8°C, difference: -0.2°C): I felt tired this morning since besides getting up early this weekend I also went to bed late so classes felt like a drag. I had a quiz in Math today, which I felt fairly good about.
I found out my Save file comments script didn’t like folders located on the desktop but not part of the startup drive. I knew previously that the path was wrongly given as belonging to the startup drive but the script still ran. Now the script stops early since the desktop section is first. This afternoon and evening I fixed the bug with the desktop and added error logging.
Meanwhile as I am fixing this bug the network was slowing down and causing the desktop picture to partially download. The Appearance control panel would try to update the desktop and would be unable to display the image but it did slow down the computer until the picture was changed. This happened several times to the point where I temporarily deferred a few times the script action to run “radar + logger.” This problem happened earlier this semester although I didn’t know exactly what was going on then.
I went to the SWIL movie at 22:00, “Escaflowne,” an anime movie. We watched the movie via a laptop and Windows Media Player. I was tired at this point and the dark room encouraged me to doze off for a good portion of the movie. I felt uneasy that I fell asleep during the movie as I did the same thing on 2001-09-10. I also felt bad about falling asleep during the movie since it started off good and I probably would have enjoyed the film.
2001-11-18, Sun (Day 511, temperature at 07:33: 23.0°C, difference: -2.0°C): I’m noticing that the changes to the bandwidth shaper don’t have a great effect on peer-to-peer throughput but the serving hosts do. It seems that some servents are heavily loaded on slower connections to make downloading slow. Files from the cable block (24) go slowly probably due to the limited upstream bandwidth of a cable modem. Some transfers such as from the 60-block range go at 30 KB/sec, which is pretty good. Many go at about 2 KB/sec though.
When Jesse was backing up his hard drive to my USB drives it slowed my computer down so I did a fewer number of events in a given period of time to avoid a crash. My computer did freeze when Jesse just finished reading from the USB drive and I was opening an MP3 in the Finder associated with Audion while Audion was playing something else. I think the latter action caused the freeze although previously I thought that Audion needed to be at the very beginning of a song or switching songs for the freeze to occur.
I noticed my computer didn’t slow down when Jesse was reading from the drive and the activity light on the drive was on steady while during the writing period the light would burst every so often and be out for the balance of the time.
Jesse finished copying the data back soon after dinner. In the evening I went to McCabe to work on Math 6c. Even though I didn’t need to use a computer I worked on the second level at one of the tables. I did this partly to remind me of Cornell when I would sit at the large tables on the lower level. Also, being around other people tends to make me work faster and the second level environment has more activity than the carrels on the other McCabe levels.
I found the math problems confusing and other people in the class had difficulty with them as I found out tomorrow. As a result I didn’t get back until 23:00. I didn’t bring a watch with me since I expected I wasn’t going to be staying in the library long but when I ran into difficulty having a watch would have been nice.
2001-11-17, Sat (Day 510, temperature at 07:33: 25.0°C, difference: -1.5°C): I dreamed I was in Macy’s in the Springfield Mall with Dad. I had a hard time finding socks for adults but I end up finding them on the bottom shelf behind a display. I also see boxers next to the socks too.
Then I dream I went to a playground still under construction on the old rugby field by the DuPont parking lot. Now the science center construction is taking place at that location.
I got up at 07:30 both today and tomorrow since I wanted to make use of the lighter network traffic in the morning. I didn’t anticipate spending a lot of time utilizing this added bandwidth but like most things it took longer than expected.
I met up with Jesse for a concert in Lang scheduled for 20:00. John was in the performance. The queuing reminded me of the “Safe Sex” debacle although Jesse and I were not turned away. Like recent concerts in Lang, the doors weren’t opened until right before the performance so people crowded in the lobby. What complicated things was half of the seats were reserved so those people had to filter through the front of the crowd. Additionally, there was a larger than normal crowd in the lobby creating tight conditions. Also, it seemed like the ushers were limiting how quickly people could enter the auditorium.
Considering the large crowd that was still in the lobby ten minutes after the doors opened I thought there would be hardly any seats left. When Jesse and I entered though there still were a good amount of empty seats. The concert didn’t start until 20:20 and nearly all seats were eventually taken. The concert was very long.
Jesse told me while we were waiting in the lobby that he needed to reformat his hard drive since it was in HFS format resulting in small files taking up a large amount of space. I offered my Spare USB drives for temporary storage, which he accepted. I did preliminary file sharing setup this evening and tomorrow morning Jesse copied over his existing hard drive, reformatted, and copied the data back.
2001-11-16, Fri (Day 509, temperature at 12:52: 26.5°C, difference: -3.0°C): I did get up at 07:30 today but for some reason I didn’t get a temperature reading then. My forgetfulness is likely due to me being slow this morning.
The journal seems to be in sort of a slump as I am not writing entries the day after but I will wait and do several days worth in one day. For example I wrote this entry on Wednesday.
Poly sci at 08:30 met in the computer classroom in McCabe to learn where to find information for our final papers. The rest of the morning was typical but it seemed like a drag. In the afternoon I brought my journal up to date. I also tried upgrading to Analog 5.1. It appeared that the SUBORG bug got fixed, but I had a hard time specifying a logfile. I subscribed to the Analog list again and sent a message describing the bug.
Jason Linhart made a revised version of Analog (5.1a) a few hours later, which fixed that problem but the archive was corrupted. He fixed it tomorrow but I found another bug where I couldn’t traverse up the file structure when specifying a logfile. Jason made another version 5.1b on Monday afternoon, which fixed that problem. I planned on doing Analog stuff this weekend but I didn’t expect to spend that time tracking down and reporting bugs.
Since it is near the end of the semester, which means more academic work, the Analog project will probably roll into the winter holiday. I find that reality frustrating as the stat upgrade project is holding up everything else from moving at full speed. Also, I associate finishing this project as moving on from the events of Sept. 11 as I was prepping to upgrade Analog the morning of the attacks.
I went to a concert by Maria del Mar de Bonet in LPAC at 20:00. The concert was in Spanish and I sat next to Brendan who was speaking German to people nearby him.
Following the concert I cleaned out the Spare partition so I would have more room.
2001-11-15, Thu (Day 508, temperature at 07:33: 23.5°C, difference: -0.5°C): In the gaps between classes and before dinner I finished the art for this week’s Phoenix issue. After dinner I finished my stat problem set in McCabe and went to ed board at 19:30. I also made a data summary as opposed to a data table for my Stat2 Analog project in the late evening. That was a bear, as by this point I felt pretty unmotivated. I only did it then since I didn’t feel like doing the summary tomorrow afternoon.
2001-11-14, Wed (Day 507, temperature at 07:32: 24.0°C, difference: +3.1°C): I worked on my stat problem set this afternoon around an advising meeting and meeting with Andrew about research design class. I went up to the publications office soon after 16:30. The office was slightly more crowded than normal and things seemed to be OK.
It got close to 17:00 and one of the color pages stalled in distilling to PDF, causing four or five other pages to wait in the queue. It was like this for eight minutes so Jeff concluded the server crashed. He restarted the server and file sharing didn’t come back up right away and by this point it was after 17:00. Meanwhile the server processed the backlogged pages but pages 8 and 20 were screwed up. Before the server went down I flagged page 20 as it didn’t export to EPS since it contained an RGB image. Images need to be in CMYK. Page 8 was missing certain style elements.
Dee needed to use Troy McClure to distill the two problem pages while the server was still getting together and since Quark wasn’t installed on the server. Troy still had the temporary server data but it took some searching to use the right copy of Distiller. Then partly due to a seriously mangled PDF of page 20 Troy crashed and then the server crashed. Meanwhile I realized that all the client machines that were still trying to connect to the server were messing it up so I said the Phoenix drive should be unmounted from all of the desktops. File sharing started up soon after that.
All of this caused almost an hour delay. However, it sort of showed that technical knowledge on staff is not that great. In effect everyone who helped with the crisis played an exclusive role. Fortunately Jeff was already in the office, as he was needed to restart file sharing on the server since he said a password is now needed. I don’t even know if page 20 would have been exported to EPS if I didn’t do it. Finding the right copy of Distiller and modifying the PDF page script seemed like something that only I knew how to do in this time pressured condition. The environment was not Nathanesque with lots of shouting but it certainly seemed tense.
I was about an hour behind doing The Phoenix online edition and I got tired after 01:00 so I went to bed, stopping for the night in the middle of the art stage.
2001-11-13, Tue (Day 506, temperature at 07:32: 20.9°C, difference: +1.3°C): I wrote last week’s journal entries this evening but I fell asleep while proofing them so I didn’t really catch up.
2001-11-12, Mon (Day 505, temperature at 07:32: 19.6°C, difference: -2.5°C): Today was another one of those bad days but after Sept. 11 it takes much more to create that sort of shock impact.
I had a somewhat recallable dream but it was difficult to put down into words. After singing the song which I think was Tears for Fears “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” in the bathroom I was able to recover what my dream was about. I was in different Ridley Middle School classrooms. The first classroom I was in was on the north side of the building on the 3rd floor. The room was brightly lit and painted white. There was some disorder in the halls due to a scheduling change and the dean was yelling.
I went downstairs to a 1st floor south side classroom (not in the new addition). In this room, which could be best called either Ms. Cleghorn’s or Ms. Black’s classroom was a Claire sponsored party. I think Adrian (from Ling 1) near the front of the room far from the door asks me about The Phoenix Online relating to when an article is added to the site when it shows up in the search database or to some other database structure. The party was starting so I told Adrian I needed to tell him in detail later. The lights went out and loud music started playing but students were still sitting at their desks in rows. I sat down in the back on the far side of the room from the door, furthest from the door.
I thought that since I was able to remember what my dream was about it didn’t count as a vague dream. A vague dream is when I remember having a dream but not what it was about. What made remembering the content of this dream interesting is I went to bed late and I slept straight through. When these two things are true I am less likely to remember my dream, especially at this level of detail. I also had vague dreams the day of and before Sept. 11. As a result I felt less easy but I reassured myself that I was able to get the content of today’s dream so it wasn’t exactly vague.
My early morning routine was also kind of weird. I didn’t need to lookup thousands of IP addresses as I didn’t need to run the startup script this morning and Retrospect didn’t complain that the backup drive was read only. What was weird is the ‘save file comments’ script was already finished when I woke up at 07:30 but it finished in slightly over an hour. I was shocked. I thought that the file was incomplete but it was about the right size. The only significant change I made was I added numerous files to the stat2 folder in the Analog 5.0.3 folder. However, adding all of these files and folders should have made the comment saving script take longer to run, not less. My guess is adding the files simplified the directory index making the script run faster.
Even though it was weird that a script unexpectedly and unusually ran faster that seemed like a good sign as on Sept. 11 I was wrestling with the expel commands in the Synch Retro setup script. However, I was running behind in general before breakfast since I was tired and confused so that was bad.
Near the end of political science in Trotter 303 I looked at my watch, which said 09:18. I wanted to know when to start packing up to go to my next class. Within this minute an Airbus plane crashed in the Rockaway section of Queens in NYC. The cause of the crash is uncertain ranging from terrorist sabotage to catastrophic engine failure to, as given by CNN.com on Tuesday evening, ‘wake turbulence.’ The passengers on the plane were killed and significant damage was sustained to the residential neighborhood below. Several homes were on fire.
I found out about the crash when I got to Mullan for MedX. I started research for my psych of language prospectus in the afternoon and then took a nap.
I dream during my nap that I am in my Worth room, which is placed just north of Center City Philly although the area is much nicer than it actually is. The window is pointing east. A series of white-gray fighter jets are flying from the southeast to the northwest lower and lower.
Next, I am outside a large garage briefly at night while Dad is trying to back his car out. I talk to the guitarist in the garage, as band equipment is setup there. The garage is subdivided into a few unfinished rooms. I think I ask Dave if I can unwind a quarter-inch sound line going into his electric guitar since it is early in the song-writing period and it is generating an electrical interference field. He agrees to my request but is a little puzzled. I then am in a small [sic] garage (the same one) recoiling a small white horizontal picture book for a woman wearing a white Philadelphia KiXX shirt. Melaku shows up too. The theme song for “Cheers” later plays.
I go to dinner at the normal time, 17:00, but only Jesse is there. In the evening I continued working on my psych of language prospectus and ran into a rush situation near the end but I did manage to get something printed out and still see the SWIL movie at 22:00, “Muppets from Space.” I went to bed an hour earlier than the night before but a little more tired.
2001-11-11, Sun (Day 504, temperature at 07:31: 22.1°C, difference: -0.2°C): I got up at my normal time today since I had so much work to do today. Most of the configuration files for the Stat 2 portion of the Analog project were made today. I sent the JMP data files to Phil slightly after 17:00, being late for dinner again and missing the crew a second time.
I wasn’t done with work after dinner; I also had to do a three-page thought piece for poly sci and problems for Math 6c. I did both of these on the second level of McCabe. It was refreshing writing the paper as I had a clear mind while writing it. I felt rushed doing the problems so they didn’t turn out as well but they are more for my own benefit.
While using the public area Mac I thought of the risk of having my entire hard drive accessible via file sharing. The convenience of accessing my work from anywhere a Mac is available on campus is too great to stop doing local file sharing but as I am a person who likes to log stuff I thought of an idea to write an AppleScript to log file sharing mounts.
I played around a bit on the public area computer since this script would need to be tested while I am not in front of my computer. I was running into difficulty so I went to the publications office since that has unrestricted Macs that I could use to test my script. I wrote and tested the script in little over an hour.
What the script does is ask the file sharing control panel for a list of connected users. I step through this list to make a string of user names and write it to a log. A dialog is thrown on the screen saying people are connected to the computer and an attention alias is made on the desktop pointing to the log file, similar to the Synch Retrospect setup script. I put the file sharing check code in the Auto Single Web Cam script since that is run frequently and renamed the script to radar + logger.
I felt pretty good after writing this script and chilled in my room for some time after 00:00. However, I had the feeling that this week was going to be messed up, as I felt kind of blissful and carefree. I went to bed late and even took a shower as I felt that things were going to be fine at least for a period of time.
2001-11-10, Sat (Day 503, temperature at 12:08: 22.3°C, difference: -0.1°C): I got up late today but considering the late start I still managed to stay on par for the course of the day. Doing the wash in the afternoon was not a problem. A rugby party was going on this afternoon in the courtyard but I don’t think people took their clothes off partly because it is colder this week.
I wanted to work on the Analog project since I have a data summary for stat class due Monday but I got sidetracked upgrading LimeWire in the afternoon. I reached the conclusion that in order for other people’s P2P experience to improve I need to keep my servant up to date. This conclusion is especially acute considering the college’s new bandwidth constraints on peer-to-peer file sharing. LimeWire 1.8 came out recently and even though the inclusion of ads and possibly spyware makes this revision controversial, there were other improvements as well. It turns out only the Windows version has ads.
I read up on the LimeWire SuperNode alpha project and tried that first since it apparently uses less bandwidth by only sending queries to clients that might actually have the requested file. I couldn’t get it to connect to anything so instead I tried the latest final version, 1.8. That plan ran into problems as well since each time I would start the program it would arbitrarily choose to listen on either port 6346 or 6347. I only want it to consistently listen on one port and changing the port in the options caused the program to crash more than once.
I was late for dinner by at least 15 minutes and to my surprise Jesse, John, and Tom weren’t there. In the evening I went to try and see the 20:00 performance of “Safe Sex” for a third time and succeeded. I also got in line for the afternoon matinee but I was turned away again although this time it was more tragic in that Ivan and I were at the front of the line when all available seats filled. We had our names put on a priority list so we would have seats for the final evening performance. The reason why it was difficult to get seats for this production even though there also was a Thursday show was both the set and audience seating were on the LPAC main stage. The space was very small and felt even smaller than the Frear although the ceiling height was higher.
Starting in the early evening and more so in the late evening I switched gears and worked on the Stat 2 portion of the Analog project, using what development I had for the general project. In total I needed to make about 234 configuration files, run Analog that many times and look at that number of reports. It wasn’t that bad and I did it manually to make sure it was done properly.
2001-11-09, Fri (Day 502, temperature at 07:31: 22.4°C, difference: -0.9°C): I dreamed I went to the Acme supermarket in Ridley. I didn’t get there by car and I saw shrimp but didn’t get it. Dad got shrimp when I got home in parallel with him. When I was in the supermarket I saw an appropriate level of detail when I walked around the store. This dream was also in color as most of my dreams are. What I find interesting is the level of detail needed for me to walk around the fairly large store and see lots of different items on the shelf in color. In addition the Acme on the inside did not look like the one in Ridley and didn’t exactly resemble any supermarket I have been in.
Later in my dream, I am in the lobby of some building. A few minutes ago I was outside the building, which is somewhere on campus but the standalone building is unfamiliar and old. I need to have my college ID swiped at the door like when I enter Sharples.
In the lobby at the reception desk Seth is looking at The Phoenix Online and complains to me about a broken link for an article earlier in the semester. I doubt it and he finds it after jumping through five pages. He gets to the page and it isn’t broken but the link to the PDF isn’t first and obvious. The page is about a festive event in Philly. This event happened earlier but it is happening again soon. Ivan, who is standing to my left, talks about the article on the redesigned Swarthmore web site that in real life he sent me a message about. I tell him I finished doing the art but I haven’t read the articles yet, which is true.
I didn’t do much real work today but I did spend a good amount of time being entertained, enlightened, and educationally enriched. The entertainment parts were at first trying to see “Safe Sex” in LPAC Pearson-Hall Theatre at 20:00 but being turned away with about 20 people ahead of me. I arrived at about 19:45 and there already was a substantial line. I was somewhat miffed but there is a matinee tomorrow and the final performance next evening.
I immediately went to the Sixteen Feet concert with guests the Amalgamates in Lang Concert Hall. I also went with John and Tom to see the 22:15 showing of K-PAX at the AMC Granite Run. The theatre was one of the single-aisle auditoriums but it wasn’t crowded and the movie was good. The movie was set in Manhattan and that made me slightly uneasy for fear of seeing a now non-existent World Trade Center. I didn’t see the WTC and the movie otherwise was good, integrating psychology with a touch of linguistics.
For enlightenment the Rep. John Lewis collection at 13:00 in Lang Concert Hall was one of the best events I have been to on campus. Alex, a senior, independently told me the same thing in the bathroom after dinner. He was pretty drenched with food condiments from a food fight in Sharples between the Frisbee and rugby teams. He had mayonnaise spread all over his right pocket. He also smelled of the foodstuffs. It was a rare sight.
For enrichment I got ITS to fix the bandwidth graphs since this week a new bandwidth policy went into effect. Peer-to-peer traffic was made last priority and capped to half the pipe (limited to 5 Mbps). I wanted to see if the changes actually made a difference. I caught IE caching the bandwidth usage page this afternoon, which has a meta no-cache tag. Even worse it was displaying the stale version. This mistake was a blessing as the cache had the old bandwidth data but I wasn’t quick enough to take a screen capture before the page automatically refreshed. I scoured the cache file to find the old images and I did but the images failed to open in PictureViewer except for the year graph, which didn’t change much anyway.
I probably spent more money today than for all of the other days this semester combined. I spent $13 for the John Lewis book, which I had signed, $12 for an Amalgamates CD, $12 for a Sixteen Feet CD, and $5 for K-PAX for a total of $42. I needed to restock the cash in my pocket between the concert and the movie.
In the early evening and after 02:00 for almost an hour I worked on the Analog stat project to try and get the idle-usage.log processed correctly to display special characters such as the section symbol.
After the movie I hung out in Tom’s room with John until sometime before 02:00.
2001-11-08, Thu (Day 501, temperature at 08:55: 23.3°C, difference: +1.7°C): Apparently I spent parts of the afternoon when I wasn’t in class doing my stat problem set. In the evening I realized that I wouldn’t have time to finish my work by tomorrow since I would be in class in the morning. To compensate I skipped the ed board meeting even though it was also a staff member’s 21st birthday party and I told Jessica at lunch that I was going to be there.
2001-11-07, Wed (Day 500, temperature at 07:32: 21.6°C, difference: +1.2°C): A milestone day in terms of the number 500 but a busy weekend prevented me from writing this entry until next Tuesday. I met with Karen in the early afternoon. I did the online edition in the evening and stayed up to 04:00 to finish all of the art. I planned to read the articles the next day or sometime during the weekend but I never got to it because I got busy doing other things.
2001-11-06, Tue (Day 499, temperature at 07:36: 20.4°C, difference: -2.3°C, Election Day): I started studying for today’s midterm in research design class after breakfast but before stat. I also studied in the early afternoon, both times in McCabe. I was drowsy during both sessions so I periodically fell asleep. I didn’t even get through all of my notes let alone looking at the book.
Psych of language today started off on a tangent, which Ed initiated. He briefly got through a couple PowerPoint slides but then we went off on another tangent and that one took up much of the remaining class time.
The research design midterm this afternoon wasn’t too bad but I felt rushed for time. I went to dinner a few minutes early since Dad needed to pick me up after dinner to vote. At dinner in Sharples my table broke into an interesting discussion about psychic abilities. Jesse was very opposed to the idea but he didn’t have much of a convincing argument to refute the psychic claim.
At the poll, borough Republican candidates were running unopposed and there were no more than two parties on the ballot for any of the candidates. So I voted all Republican. The Citizen’s Forum ran four candidates under the Democratic ticket. This group was opposed to building the new Ridley High School due to the tax increase for homeowners that was thought to be necessary. However, electricity deregulation and the construction of the new Wal-Mart in Eddystone means additional tax revenue. The former item translates into the PECO power plants in Eddystone becoming subject to school taxes. With the added revenue a tax increase for homeowners due to the new high school became unnecessary.
I went to an objectivist lecture in the Scheuer Room at 20:00 with Jesse. Andrew Lewis provided convincing arguments for objectivism, which hearing it firsthand sounds a lot like libertarianism. Following the hour-long lecture, a question and answer period followed at nearly equal length. At 22:00 I started my stat problem set and stopped about a half-hour later. I didn’t work on Analog after then but a mixture of things led me to go to bed at about the same time that I did last night.
2001-11-05, Mon (Day 498, temperature at 07:32: 22.7°C, difference: -3.8°C): I dreamed I was briefly in the Worth courtyard by Lodge 6. A new dorm was being built between the courtyard and Willets. The building was fairly tall or at least looked so since it was perched on the wall bordering the west edge of the courtyard and it was sandwiched next to Mephisto’s. The structure of the new dorm was blocky with small square windows on a tan gray exterior. I was also doing French sentences after class, which I needed to check on the path behind Willets near McCabe. I needed to change, so I strip right where I am.
Today, Jeffrey didn’t have my midterm after class and he wasn’t in his office in the early afternoon so I’ll have to wait a little longer. I contributed three times in Math 6c, as this class is very oriented to problem solving but I got two of the problems I put on the board wrong. One problem I was called on and for the other one I selectively volunteered. I got most of the other problems right, it just seems that the ones that I need to show are the ones I got wrong.
I worked on the Analog statistics project in the afternoon and the evening. A few things interrupted this continuing saga. I went to the Scheuer Room in the late afternoon for a psych colloquium. The speaker from Penn was late because a Christmas tree was on the R3 train tracks. The talk was good and the slide layout was especially attractive with white and pastel colored sans-serif text on a black background. The font looked like a derivative of Geneva with a large x-height.
The colloquium ran until 18:00 and at dinner Jesse and John told me the small room in Sharples filled. So we went to the uncharted territory of the big room. I was able to secure seats for us although I had to briefly stand out a pair of guys who were trying to get the same block of seats. I sat next to Jason who lives in Willets. He left a few minutes later.
I started telling John that I needed to fend some people away to secure the seats and at that point it looked like Jesse banged his tray into John’s. This collision caused Jesse’s milk to spill all over the table, the immediate chairs, and the floor. I went to get extra napkins as John had previously grabbed a lot of them, which were going to be used immediately.
That incident sort of set the tone for the meal. The burgers were not cooked so I microwaved mine but Jesse was adamantly against that so he got Captain Crunch cereal instead. John left soon and Jesse left a few minutes later. I moved over a few seats to sit with Liz, Dee, and Ivan although I stayed longer than I wanted to.
Dad called this evening to confirm voting tomorrow. I still went to the SWIL movie at 22:00, “Brazil” (1985), even though by this point I was seriously behind. There were few SWIL non-members at the movie since they had a meeting beforehand and apparently there was some sort of fallout. That movie had some eerie parallels to life in the United States after Sept. 11. It also was a messed up movie. Parts of it were amusing due to my personal humor value of rampant bureaucracy.
I worked until sometime past 01:00. I tried doing a 19-report stat run but when Internet Explorer tried to load all at once 19 windows each at about 200 K it froze.
2001-11-04, Sun (Day 497, temperature at 10:49: 26.5°C, difference: -1.3°C): I did Math 6c problems in the early afternoon. For the rest of the day except for dinner and the Brahms concert at 19:30 I worked on the Analog statistics project. There is a sense of urgency to finish since the semester is progressing and I have a data summary in stat class due Friday that will use Analog. I also have a research design midterm on Tuesday that I need to start studying for.
2001-11-03, Sat (Day 496, temperature at 07:38: 27.8°C, difference: +1.1°C): I did the wash this morning although the laundry/utility room presented another problem. A cold pipe above the machines was condensing and dripping on top of the machines, which is also where I fold my clothes. The middle dryer was repaired yesterday according to a marking on top of that machine.
In the afternoon I tried getting stuff done but that proved to be difficult. I needed to do a full backup to drive A but I wanted to finish reading the Analog documentation since I was almost done. Meanwhile a rugby party is going on in the courtyard and at one point three women took their clothes off and ran around the courtyard.
I finally started the full backup at 16:00 and went to McCabe to do Math 6c homework until 17:00. John and I went to Lang for a 20:00 jazz ensemble concert.
2001-11-02, Fri (Day 495, temperature at 07:31: 26.7°C, difference: -1.1°C): A year ago today the redesigned Phoenix Online made its debut. Today I still have not even reached the request for comments portion of upgrading The Phoenix web statistics reports. This has been an expensive semester, not in terms of monetary costs but with demands on time and emotional stamina. I had the feeling that this would be an expensive semester soon before it started since I wasn’t well prepared for it compared to last year. One week into the semester before Sept. 11 I was behind in most everything. After Sept. 11 the problems were only amplified.
I didn’t have Math 6c today so my morning seemed less continuous. I sat with Kai, Renee, and others in the Sharples big room for lunch. I can’t remember the last time I sat in the big room for a meal other than breakfast. We were there for an hour. In the afternoon I finished reading The Phoenix Online for this week and then worked on the Analog statistics project. I went to the Silesian dance performance, “Diary of a Daydream” at 20:00. Following that I fell asleep near the end of reading the Analog documentation even though I had Y100 playing. Earlier I thought just repeating music from my MP3s would cause me to fall asleep but apparently a radio station can do it too. I went to bed before 23:00.
2001-11-01, Thu (Day 494, temperature at 07:32: 27.8°C, difference: +1.5°C): I got up briefly at 07:30 but went back to bed and slept until sometime after 09:00. Phil said that he graded about half of the statistics midterms and the spread of the distribution was high: although a number of people did do well a fair number of people also did really bad. I picked up my graded sixth problem set for the class, which I completed while severely rushed. I’m wondering if there is a trend in classes when I do problem sets where I start off doing well but I progressively do worse as the semester goes by. Part of this change is due to the material becoming more difficult but the other reason is the sets get worked on for less time later in the semester.
Tonight I went to ed board not expecting to stay long but I ended up leaving after 00:00. The meeting itself was not long but Jeff got Milhouse the student publications server working again. He wiped the drive and froze the Mac OS version at 9.0 due to AppleShare IP compatibility issues. Nathan and I were left later and we talked about backup options for the server and Iris photo browser on PHP stuff among other things. Retrospect 4.2 (not the Express version) is on the server but I couldn’t get it to back up to a network volume. So Nathan and I talked about extending his Phoenix backup AppleScript to back up the entire drive incrementally with varying schedules.
I showed my save file comments script, which has a similar recursive algorithm that the backup script would need to tree down the file system. On the PHP stuff, at the conclusion of the night Nathan said he was going to finish the PHP for Iris since he wrote parts of it already and he needs to write less code now than he did earlier.
I also showed Nathan my still in development search engine for The Trucksess Site written in PHP. He was impressed with the query word bolding and selective summary compiling, which took a good amount of development time in the summer. I empathized with him about sinking so much time into a project and not reaching the point of completion as the search engine is not ready for prime time.
I took a shower tonight since I prepped for it right went I got back to my room. The other times this semester when I didn’t take a shower I either got too tired or since I would be getting up early the next day, I wanted to recover the time I would need to take a shower for sleeping.
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