Minh’s Notes

Human-readable chicken scratch

Minh Nguyễn
October 16th, 2006



My website was completely down this weekend. f2o, my host, has been having some server issues lately. That’s kinda frustrating, because it’s happened for the last three weekends, and always when I think of something new to post, so now I forget what I wanted to write.

Not that I’ve really had any time to write. The title of this post is a bit ironic, actually, because between programming, debugging, and programming some more – and dozing off in my chair due to lack of sleep – I really do need some downtime, though I’ll probably spend that time dozing off in my chair again.

Speaking of programming, I now work with the big, Solaris-powered computers on campus. Traveling across campus to one of the computer clusters is a pain, though, so I connect remotely using my MacBook Pro. (Yes, I switched over the summer. Another thing I forgot to blog about…) On any given day, I now use Mac OS X, Windows, and Solaris on the same computer. Back in September, when I setup Windows on my computer via Boot Camp, I thought it was the coolest thing since Microsoft Bob (joking), but compiling programs on the remote Elaine workstations gives you a warm fuzzy feeling that you don’t even get with dual booting. The black and white console tells you you’re not just “playing” with computers anymore: you’re a computer scientist.

And then you run the software you’ve just compiled, and you experience the programmer’s rite of passage known as random heaps of gobbledygook, hastily dumped onto the screen. The compiler’s no longer smart enough to keep you from doing silly things with your code, gently slapping your wrist every time you forget a semicolon. Beyond lie uncharted waters; here be void *s.

Once the program works, though, it’s marvelously fast, ceases to crash every time you exhale, and makes you want to shout for joy! That’s the idealized story, anyhow; in real life, you’d be recovering from all the headbanging you’ve been doing. And that’s why I need some downtime. But, alas, I’ve got two papers to write and plenty of sleep to catch up on.

I really miss finishing all my homework – including social studies – before dinner…


  1. Chris George

    Lol Minh, I think its funny that you mentioned Microsoft Bob. JUST this past week I actually found a download of Bob and installed it just so I could play around with the program again ~


  2. I did too, just this past week. (Found the link through Wikipedia in fact.) Funny how things happen like that. The Friends of Bob, though, really put Clippy in perspective. Among other things, you can’t continue using the software until you’ve dismissed the animated character’s bubble. I guess I understand why the software never really took off…