Bash ’em down and build ’em up – again.

Yip, seems like good ol’ Dubya is still into blowing things up, and then sending money to replace the infrastructure. I’m not sure whether there’ll be enough money to develop the technology to resurrect the dead, though.
Sure, he didn’t actually order the destruction this time, but he didn’t exactly put too much pressure on Israel to desist.

Bah!

Mini-rant over.

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27 years and counting

It’s not the 9th of August today, but it was last Wednesday.
It was also National Wonen’s Day here in the Republic on the Southern End of Africa. This meant that I could invite all my friendly friends to celebrate with me on the friendly friendly happy happy day. And I did.
And they all accepted.

Aaaah! I felt a little stressed since I’d offered to feed them all, but Angie took care of it all and everything seemed to work out well. Thanks everyone.
For those of you who’ve left the country (or are just too far from Johannesburg), I’m sorry you couldn’t be here. But then, I didn’t invite you, so it’s probably my fault.

And now, a few of the 100 or so pictures taken on the day:

Something we ate, although it tasted better than it looks. Much better.

Did I mention everyone had to bring a hat? Kyle, the runner up

Hobbs, did you sneakily take this one? But a party without ear pics just isn’t a real party.

Quinn and Gabs (and the family snogging in the background – tsk tsk)

The Hobbs’

Family!

The hat competition winner – Rob

Token small child (aka Katja) and Sandor

Louise gesturing

Angie (not the wife) having stolen my hat

Rachelle and Angie (the wife)

Finally, the Birthday Boy, in devious gift opening mode. We believe he is not entirely sober in this picture.

I heard SETI call my name

Who the hell knows why, but I was reminded of my old ‘do-a-bit-for-humanity’ thing that I used to maintain at varsity. SETI@HOME. Use your computer to analyse radio waves from the stars in order to find aliens.
For those who don’t know, it worked like this:

  1. Download a small programme
  2. The programme downloads a work unit
  3. Your computer starts spinning away at the work unit in the background
  4. CPU runs at 100% all the time
  5. However, SETI runs at a low priority, so if you want to run another programme it doesn’t hog your resources (in theory – things slow down a little anyway)

This is boring.
Ok. The point is this. I’m running BOINC now. BOINC is a distributed computing application (like SETI@HOME), but it schedules the operation of different projects. Thus, I am helping to predict climate-change, cure diseases (I think), play chess960 games, and look for aliens.

What’s that? Oh, still boring. ;)

Masters is Cancelled

I’ve done a great deal of analysis on what was bothering me about my life.
As I’ve mentioned before I’ve found myself some gainful employment and I’m still incredibly stimulated by the work I’m doing (mentally — get your mind out of the gutter. That’s not what environmentally friendly means).

Something was still bothering me though. It was that MSc that’s been dragging on since 2004 and going in the general direction of nowhere.
I analysed my real motivation for starting it, and realised that I thought I needed an environmental science qualification in order to get out of the gold-mine and work as an environmental consultant. This is what society had told me: if you don’t have a qualification, you can’t get the job.
I figured out that that was a load of bollocks, especially having weedled my way into an Environmental Consultant position.

Thus, I let my supervisor know about my decision, and he seems to be incredibly supportive about it (far less annoyed about my decision than I expected). My supervisor doesn’t even think I should have to pay the university any money back, but that decision isn’t entirely in his hands. We’ll see in the near future whether my levels of debt will escalate sharply or not.

Making Migration to Linux Easier

For some reason, most people don’t like fiddling with computers as much as I do. They just expect things to work. It’s a little like only ever eating out at restaurants, and never cooking the food yourself.
Taking this analogy further, I suppose all I really do is buy pre-prepared meals from Woolworths and then warm them up, adding salt and pepper when necessary. I not preparing the food myself, and I’m certainly not farming it.

Enough of that silliness. Changing from one operating system to another, you want to transfer all of your documents and settings with as little fuss as possible. Ubuntu are working on it, and the first release candidate for the script is just about ready.

This should hopefully encourage people to more readily make the switch.