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Journal 2002-01

Current entries

2002-01-31, Thu (Day 553, temperature at [N/A]: [N/A]°C, difference: [N/A]°C): Just one of those days where I neglect to get a temperature reading. I went to bed expecting to get up at 10:00 or failing that before my first class at 13:15. Instead I either turned my alarm off when it sounded and went back to bed or I simply didn’t respond to the alarm. So I got up a few minutes before 14:00. It was cloudy and wet today so the sun was not to my benefit. In the past what would wake me up is the sun directly shining in my face. Not today. In fact the level of brightness at 14:00 was not much different from a sunny mid-morning.

I contemplated going to my 13:15 Semantics class late especially since Kari was returning today and in theory this could be considered the first class meeting. However, it didn’t make sense to attend 20 minutes of a 75-minute class and I didn’t want to interrupt. Also, I needed to print out an article from ERes for Psych of Self Control at 14:40.

I sent the print job to McCabe from my computer but it didn’t print so I had to do it again from a public area Mac. Fortunately there were plenty of open computers available. However, I left my share open and didn’t remember that I did until I realized that I did simultaneously while someone sat down in front of that computer. The screen was in clear view from where I was reading the article. I dashed over there, apologized, unmounted my share, and apologized again.

I did want to tell Kari that I am taking her class since the class is overenrolled in terms of available physical seats and I considered today the second first class meeting. So what I did is I went to the class right when it was ending and then said to Kari that I am still taking the class. I got handouts, homework and then apologized.

Andrew’s class went much better than Semantics as in I actually got to it on time. I fixed some bugs with The Phoenix Online concerning the PHP editorial cartoon includes after class, after dinner, and after ed board. The editorial board meeting was at 19:00 and I had a rescheduled econ lecture in Kohlberg 115 at 19:30. So I cut out of the meeting early for class. Kohlberg 115 is becoming old fast. Not only am I in that room every weekday this semester but today I was in it twice. No one even erased the board after my last class there so the aftereffect of psych of self control was present before econ.

I made changes to the PHP images script to display art on the section indices. The challenge with this idea compared to the existing code base was the link between article and art needed an option to override the default. I added an override although it has limitations, none of which affect art on indices but if I wanted to refer to art from older issues or call pop-up windows from another section in an issue I would have problems.

I read the articles for this week and by then it was around 04:00 but I didn’t feel too bad. I went to bed after 05:30.

2002-01-30, Wed (Day 552, temperature at 10:01: 25.8°C, difference: +1.3°C): My dream involved something about the new Ridley High School, load-bearing columns, and my father telling me site work would take a year to complete after the building construction.

I continued working on the PHP images project this afternoon, editing my insert image AppleScript for the PHP implementation. I finished the coding before I needed to go up to the student publications office at 16:00, but I finished late enough where it didn’t make sense to do something else so I did some more testing of the new code.

The pace in the office was pretty slow at least when I was up there and we seemed a little shorthanded. Also, when we were running behind no one shouted and this indifference towards time was part of the problem. Making the problem more difficult is some people left before we met the second deadline at 22:00. I exported PDFs to EPS and made copyedits. Copyedits for this issue were more than minor and I needed to do a greater number of them than usual. Also the majority of the PDFs didn’t appear until right before the deadlines, limiting proofing time. Considering the limited amount of time to proof, it is problematic that I still found mistakes.

The server Milhouse needed to be rebooted around dinner due to a Quark file locking problem. Scratchy didn’t handle the unexpected disconnect from Milhouse gracefully so I told Matt to restart the computer. This action turned out to be non-trivial as the computer refused to boot up normally. It would get to the happy Mac but then an error would display saying the system version is not for this computer model and to use the installer to put the right one on there. The dialog only had a Restart button. I jumped on this problem since by then it was around 18:30 and I wanted to do the early edition.

With the computer I suspected a boot block problem but after restarting with the TechTool CD, TechTool found no major problems. I then thought to actually check the System Folder to see if the required files such as the Finder and System were actually there.

Things looked ok at first glance but I opened the system suitcase and found about 40 keyboard layouts and sounds with corrupted file names. The file names were not random garbage but they were definitely wrong. Some of the sounds actually did play. I copied the system suitcase from Itchy and rebooted and things worked fine then. I tried opening the corrupted suitcase after restarting but I couldn’t due to a non-fatal type -199 error.

Doing the Phoenix this week and probably for many of the upcoming weeks will have a different workflow due to the incremental improvements. This week the article and section indices were switched to PHP. Sablotron has been dumped completely in favor of my Sablot backup AppleScript. Also, the insert image script now does substantially less work due to a PHP script that dynamically makes the HTML and extracts the credit and caption data from the JPEGs through IPTC data fields.

I had some bugs due to the Sablot backup script primarily because the initial code was written in less than an hour on Sept. 11. Also this script doesn’t receive much development time now since a broader script that does the XML conversion and post-process formatting is planned. This script would replace Sablot backup and Phoenix bhref expand.

Phoenix bhref expand was one of my earlier AppleScripts so it isn’t that complicated but the code is inefficient with unnecessary and nested tell blocks. This script ran significantly faster after upgrading to Mac OS 9.1 since the Process Manager was rewritten to be PPC native and the nested tell blocks apparently caused a great deal of process switching.

I didn’t get much of the art done before going up to the office again at 21:00 but I did get the first image that used the PHP image script on the site. We were much more behind for the second deadline as more of the PDFs didn’t show up until right before deadline compared to the first, which was not good to begin with. When the pages did show they had more errors in them and there was no time to fix a number of mistakes.

Since the print deadline ran over it delayed me but due to repetition from last week and the now batch-capable Sablot backup script the front page with art was finished a half-hour earlier than last week’s 02:00 completion. Nathan did the art and layout for the front page and the headlines e-mail.

I stayed up until 08:35 doing the art for the issue. It seemed faster with the new PHP method but since I was already tired when I started, as I have been not getting much sleep this week, it took longer than last week. The sports agate took an hour again but I think that is due to tiredness and more information in this issue’s agate.

I went to breakfast after 07:30 and like last week felt ok until near the end of the meal when the tremors started. This time though I felt really tired so I was walking slowly back to Worth. I also felt terribly cold both on the trip to Sharples and the return even though it wasn’t that cold this morning.

2002-01-29, Tue (Day 551, temperature at 10:02: 24.5°C, difference: +0.6°C): I messed around with Photoshop and saving images some more before going to lunch. I read for psych of self control in the McCabe atrium before going to my classes this afternoon. The classroom dynamics in Semantics today were severely lacking amongst the entire class. Andrew brought his PowerBook to class and tried to get it to work with the projector but ran into some difficulties. The problem was fixed and was similar to the problem Ed had in 2001-12 with multiple monitors.

I continued working on the images via PHP script in the evening and got almost all of the functionality working by 05:00. I felt really crappy physically by the end but I felt glad that I finally got it working.

2002-01-28, Mon (Day 550, temperature at 10:00: 23.9°C, difference: +0.1°C): Andrew showed videos of parapsychology in social psych. Some segments debunked themselves afterwards and we did it for the rest. I ate lunch with Kai, Caroline from Chicago, Kevin, and Jeremy. In the early afternoon I went over to Mertz to play a few games of Super Mario Kart 64 with Kevin and Kai. Kevin’s room, which is next to Kai’s, is also nice.

I spent the rest of the day converting article pages over to PHP and in the evening adding PHP image code. I went to the SWIL movie at 22:00, “The Wizard of Speed and Time,” which is one of the bad funny movies. The image code process for the articles ran into a few snags. I needed to add some lines to Nathan’s PHP image script but the rotten egg came sometime before 04:00 when I found out Photoshop wouldn’t save the IPTC data through Save for Web…. I went to bed after 04:00 not finished and tired.

2002-01-27, Sun (Day 549, temperature at 10:00: 23.8°C, difference: +0.2°C): I dreamed I was trapped in the area of the Pennwood-Eastwick combined school located in eastern Delaware County. The building for a period was surrounded by subway tracks above ground but no trains came. Then this cab stopped across the street on the south side of the building. I took the risk of crossing the tracks to catch the cab but as I was crossing the street the cab pulled off. I noticed right by the school on the east side was a cover on the ground to a pipeline that said radioactive waste. The cover was sprayed with yellow paint like how electric manholes would be sprayed red and sanitary sewer covers would be sprayed green. In reality yellow means gas lines.

I worked on Phoenix stuff most of the day, cleaning up the code for the new front page, checking the changes, and validating the CSS. Near the end of the day I started moving articles to PHP but due to the multi-stage automation I ran into some snags and didn’t finish. I went over to Palmer at around 16:00 to watch the Eagles NFC championship with the St. Louis Rams. The Steelers lost to the Patriots earlier so it wasn’t going to be a Pennsylvania Bowl but the Eagles lost too so both Tom and I got shorted.

2002-01-26, Sat (Day 548, temperature at 11:55: 23.6°C, difference: -0.3°C): I did the laundry this afternoon and completed my econ problem set. Around dinner I started to feel really good about the United States. This feeling continued into the beginning of the next day. In the evening I went to LPAC to watch “Legally Blonde” with John at 19:30. After the movie I setup a PayPal account originally for LimeWire Pro but also for some other shareware as well.

2002-01-25, Fri (Day 547, temperature at 10:00: 23.9°C, difference: +1.6°C): I didn’t have econ today and it was a good thing as even though I got up at 10:00 it took a while to get moving. I went to Kohlberg 115 at 11:15 for social psych. I sat with Kai and Jesse and Kate sat in the row in front of me. Her friend sat down with a large cup of coffee, placed it on the floor and then it spilled over. Kate helped her clean it up and she also got her another one. Carolynn and Ilana sat in the row behind me.

I ate lunch with all guys: Kai, Jesse, Jeremy, Kevin, and Chris. The discussions started off business related as Kai continued to receive a Wall Street Journal in his mailbox each weekday for free. Kevin mentioned Apple and then Kai went into Microsoft mode and that topic was the discussion for the rest of the meal.

In the afternoon, early evening, and late evening I read Gnutella forums posts. I saw “Moulin Rouge” in the LPAC Cinema with John at 19:30. Laura sat in front of John and Jocelyn sat in the row behind John and I.

After I finished reading the posts, I tried the code and instructions to get tests of Apache request logging through PHP working. That took longer than I wanted since I needed to go slowly since some of the steps were critical and I was tired.

2002-01-24, Thu (Day 546, temperature at 12:22: 22.3°C, difference: +2.5°C): My alarm went off at 10:00 but I turned it off and went back to sleep. The danger was I could have slept through my afternoon classes. I didn’t but I still got up after 12:00, which didn’t give me much time to go to lunch but I did have time to take a shower.

Phil 40 was still crowded even after Sean told everyone that if you hadn’t preregistered there was no point in staying in the class. We did logic proofs, which was not the best day for me to be doing that kind of stuff since I was very short on sleep while trying to solve problems.

I continued reading Phoenix articles by dinner, finishing by ed board at 19:30. This ed board was well attended and practically everyone stayed until the end of the meeting. The atmosphere overall reminded me of civil discourse. Everyone got to put his word in to the group but the queue for doing so often got long.

I talked with Nathan after the meeting about plans for next week. We agreed on PHP article pages so images could be done using PHP caption insertion code. I went for a walk after leaving the office and by this time it was 22:00.

2002-01-23, Wed (Day 545, temperature at 10:00: 19.8°C, difference: -2.8°C): I dream I’m riding an “express” elevator up with a few people in Macy’s. I wouldn’t give the name of someone I was talking about while in the elevator due to my suspicion of bugging in the cab. Once we left the elevator I resumed my conversation. The elevator went fast but didn’t skip floors. The doors shut on the last person to get out, who is part of my group. This guy managed to push the doors open and catch up with us.

I also dream I am on the streets of Manhattan on Sept. 11 with a full view of the WTC towers collapsing. The towers collapsed a few times in a replay loop to show me that the floors pancaked and then the lattice walls collapsed.

I also dreamed that my room was invaded with wildlife. A new portion of the roof was adjacent to my window in the courtyard and pitched slightly toward my window. The edge of the roof was right against the bottom of my window. A squirrel jumped through the window and went in my closet. Then multiple squirrels enter via this overhanging roof. I had food in my room, which is why the animals were entering. Then this reddish cockatoo tries to enter but stays outside the window after I look at it from point blank range.

Today seemed like it might be long but it turned out to be much longer than I originally thought. I noticed today that Carolynn and E.B. are in social psych in addition to Kate. Laura is also in this class and was in psych of language last semester. I ate lunch with Kai, Jesse, Steve, and Jenn in the Sharples big room. Alyssa, another Laura, and two others were sitting at the table immediately in front of me.

I went to McCabe in the mid-afternoon partly to do assorted academic work. I looked through my econ book and started roughing out the problems for Monday.

I went to the publications office for The Phoenix at 16:00 and sent PDFs to EPS as a preflight step in addition to making minor copy edits. We met the 17:00 deadline by 16:45, which was incredible considering that it is the first week. As a result my online export to XML for 17:00 finished early. I got the early edition sections up by 19:00 and the front page was live by 19:45. The redesigned front page looks so much better than the old design. The medium art in the center towards the left closely resembles what I like from the CNN web site.

I got some of the art up by 21:00, which is when I returned to the office to preflight pages and make minor copy edits. We finished closer to 22:00 partly because Justin was doing a large agate of sports stats and to get the formatting right it took a while.

Dee wrote the headlines e-mail after the second print deadline. Nathan did web art for the front page and wrote headlines and teases to fit space on the front. I exported pages from Quark and didn’t use Sablotron since Nathan was still working and I didn’t want to go all the way back to my room to boot into Linux. Instead I used my Sablot backup script to convert the XML to HTML. This script was written in less than an hour on 2001-09-11 since I expected to be in the office that day sending articles to the Web. I figured the terrorist attacks were going to be like the athletics cuts, where I spent most of my time in the office updating The Phoenix Online.

I didn’t need to make too many modifications to the Sablot backup script to get it to work for the news and sports sections. It also ran quickly for each article but the script did have limitations since it is more of a hack in terms of development time spent writing it. I only had a news HTML template so I needed to make a sports template today. I needed to process one file at a time and I manually needed to enter the five-digit article number to save the converted file.

After 00:00 the news and sports sections were on the site and the updated front page was up by 02:00. I worked on the art and special formatting in Worth from then until 05:00. It took that long since this is the first issue of the semester so I’m not in the swing of things but I was also doing columnist headshots, which I only have to correct once per person.

The sports agate took from 04:00 to 05:00 but considering how much time Justin spent on it I wanted it to look good online as well. At 05:00 I added the links to the headlines file that Dee wrote and squared things up. I sent the message at 05:32 to 18 subscribers and then continued with the art and formatting. By this point it was clear I was in a hole as I still had online stuff to do but I was tired. I figured I would go for as long as I could unless I finished early.

The sky grew lighter around 07:00 although a dense fog obscured the sunrise. I finished going through the PDFs to add art and formatting around then. I then started reading the articles, copy editing and adding links.

At 07:30 I went to Sharples breakfast for the first time this semester. I was surprised how many people were there soon after 07:30. It also seemed weird how today and tomorrow blended into one extended day. Picking up a print copy of The Phoenix before going to bed Wednesday night also seemed odd. I was fine for most of breakfast but near the end I was having a mix of tremors and stiffness.

I continued reading articles but when I got to the Nickel Creek piece I couldn’t stay awake while trying to add the band’s link. I went to sleep sometime after 08:36.

2002-01-22, Tue (Day 544, temperature at 10:00: 22.6°C, difference: +2.4°C): I went to lunch and then had classes for the afternoon, Semantics and Psych of Self-control. Both classes had a fair amount of people in them. Semantics is in Trotter 301, which is where I had Ling 1 and Classics 36. The room configuration was different yet again, this time in the most disorganized state. One of the shades was about to fall down; there were chairs without tables and tables against the wall without chairs. There were more students than seats so people sat on the tables and leaned against the walls. Kari was not going to be here until Thursday next week. In the meantime Sean Christ taught the class with little notice given to him and a resulting preparation that was best considering the circumstances. John and I went to Kohlberg 115 for my second Andrew Ward class, Psych 46. Fewer people were in this class compared to social psych but it still was a fair number.

I had a Phoenix meeting at 16:00. I got to dinner late and then went for a post-dinner walk. Following that I worked on integrating The Phoenix Online front-page redesign with the rest of the site. It took longer than expected, as I needed to merge the additions with the server side includes. For a few hours, various pages looked strange while I made all of the changes. I didn’t get to bed until 04:00.

2002-01-21, Mon (Day 543, temperature at 10:00: 20.2°C, difference: 0.0°C): The temperature is still fluctuating within the day like it almost always does in this south-facing room but when I take the reading for the journal it is the same.

Near the end of my dream based on vague events I conclude that we can do something now that we were unable to do before.

I later realize that when I had this dream, Tom was fixing the index.php problem on The Phoenix Online and giving that space .htaccess privileges, which is fantastic.

I got up at 10:00 for my first class at 10:30. Econ 1 was in Kohlberg 226 and following that Psych 35 in Kohlberg 115. For the duration while I was in Kohlberg 226 it was snowing but before and after that period it was not. Psych 35 is a large class, not as large as my Psych 1 in 2000-fall but still larger than a typical Swat class. Jesse, Kai, Kate, and a bunch of other people I know are in that class along with some who I haven’t noticed before.

Kai, E.B. (short for Elizabeth), and I went to lunch following the class during the lunch rush. Oddly enough E.B. lives in Oregon, as few people on campus do.

In the afternoon I was excited with the .htaccess addition so I did some stuff with that. I also got The Phoenix headlines service working by dinner and subscribers started rolling in. Nathan sent me a PHP sign-up page that sends the subscription messages to the phoenix_online e-mail alias. The stumbling block last semester with the headlines service was LetterRip but it has been bypassed now. Jeff directly sent The Daily Gazette last semester and stopped using LetterRip. I went for a walk in the mid-afternoon and got my books for today’s classes.

Dinner was pleasant and following that I went to the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration in LPAC at 19:00. I sat alone at first but someone sat next to me before the event started. Claire was sitting in the front row taking photos.

The event was very good and I got the Wilmington Chester Mass Choir CD. Even though some time ago I thought I would never buy another CD again, I think I meant that for commercial CDs that I can get anytime at a store. I favor rare events since it is a unique experience and the CDs sold there can be hard to find as well.

I had an hour to finish up Phoenix stuff for the day before the SWIL movie “The Seventh Seal” at 22:00. To show how uninitiated I was, I didn’t know the movie was a black & white Italian movie and there were a lot of people there, the most people I saw for a SWIL movie. With the movie being in Kirby it was difficult to see the subtitles due to the gradual seat slope. It seemed like the number of SWIL non-members was low despite the large crowd.

I went to bed after 03:00 as I still needed to write yesterday’s journal, read mail, and visit the Gnutella Forums message boards.

2002-01-20, Sun (Day 542, temperature at 10:13: 20.2°C, difference: 0.0°C): Over break I intended to read a few books for pleasure. I also imagined I would vacuum similar to how I did last summer. Instead I spent a good amount of the break going through the software installed on both computers at home and applied updates, got information to register the unpaid shareware, and determine which archives can be freely distributed. Doing the LC 580 took at least eight days.

A fast-moving snowstorm made moving back in yesterday slightly more difficult although it snowed last year on move in. The accumulation didn’t become a problem until the afternoon but by then I was already back on campus.

My computer was properly shutdown on 2001-12-23 but that is a Sunday. Additionally, it didn’t turn back on automatically like it was supposed to each day. Since I didn’t set up the @Home connection to handle stat requests I have no data for this nearly one month period. I did know on 2001-12-23 that my computer was off the network but I thought it would turn on at some point during the break. However, it did not.

Sharples didn’t open until Sunday dinner so I needed to get food on Saturday. I went to the Co-op in the snow although the landscape looked nice. In the late evening I started reading Swat e-mail from last semester, which I skimmed when I first got the messages then.

I went to Nathan’s room in Parrish after 23:00 until about 01:00 to talk about what immediate plans are for The Phoenix Online. Namely, how to get the headline service and the redesigned front page going.

I continued reading mail afterwards and didn’t go to bed until before 04:00. It still took a while to fall asleep, which has been the case recently no matter what time I go to bed.

I dreamed Sunday morning I was sharing my room with someone else who complained about how I leave my computer on. I say that I have several reasons for doing so. My reason of “server” causes him to use his computer to cycle a few lights and curtains in the room to show his computer is not merely a client either. A drunken person walks in and does silly stuff like knocking into a video camera on a tripod thereby disconnecting all of the wires from it.

Later in my dream I see an image of a plane flying low over a cooling tower. Later still I pick up a handout outside titled in small caps: surprise. It’s in black and white with a line drawing. It looks like something you would see from 1950s football. It starts off with 1. Turn on TV. 2. Power plant, with art of cooling towers shaped slightly funny, although the design is typical of 1950s drawings. I can’t remember step 3. It is probably enjoy.

Today I read old Swat mail in the afternoon, ate dinner, and then went to two back-to-back Phoenix meetings in the evening. Following that I called Dad to continue the process of getting the file comment data sent here. I had the file data in my swat transfer folder restored from backup but I forgot to manually copy the folder to a spare USB partition. As a result I didn’t have the comment data since Retrospect does not read it.

Yesterday I sent Dad a StuffIt archive of my Save file comments script to run on the Power Mac 7300. At first the archive wouldn’t open automatically but that was fixed. Then when attaching the comment file, Yahoo! Mail insisted on making the text of the data file inline, corrupting the file by changing the character encoding. Dad tried AOL and that worked properly. As a test Hotmail wouldn’t actually transfer the attached file even though it should have.

I went to Palmer to play video games with Jesse, John, and Tom sometime after 22:00.


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