Computers Linux Personal Science/Tech Stuff Work

What I was doing at age 18

I recently realized that a very important aspect of what I have done for the past year in my day job is echoing how I got started in my career. That is, I spent a bunch of time last year and this year justifying a large technical project — in writing for a less-technical audience — and then working with other people to get it organized and deployed. I’ve also recently in my work gone back to that project — documenting the project so that other folks could finish it, and a non-IT PM could manage it — so that I can get back to programming.

Realizing that, it inspired me to see if I still had the documents I’d written for that original project. It turns out, I did — both the original proposal, and a mid-year budget for the actual ordering once we got the project approved.

So, what was this project? Getting my high school computer lab on a LAN, and on the internet — the latter isn’t mentioned in the original proposal, so I guess it was scope creep, but it was awesome. The project lead to my first full-time summer job and my first full-time job when I took my break from Dartmouth (both doing Novell server admin work plus some desktop support) and I’m pretty sure the project itself — still underway — made a difference in my college applications.

A PDF reconstructing the original documents is here: Networking Computer Resources for Hunter College High School: A Modest Proposal Below the break, reminiscences and a text version of the document itself.

Grad School Rants

A letter I sent to the Chancellor of UCSC and the Chief of Campus Police.

I spent an hour stuck in UCSC local traffic trying to get to class, only to be forced to turn around by (expetive deleted) protesters while a campus PD officer stood and did nothing. Then spend another half hour stuck in traffic getting away from campus.

Personal Photos

Ducks, they’re not just for Foster City

Late in getting the pictures up, but back around the end of May some ducks came to visit on my lawn, came by for a day or two, then disappeared. Ah well. One of the few things I miss about the old apartment complex is the ducks and their occasional noise.

Ducks on my lawn, trying to feed them.
Ducks on my lawn.


Pictures of the new house!

Loan funded yesterday, and purchase closed today. We’re officially homeowners, and as such I can now share pictures of our new house.

Our New House

An eventful weekend.

1) As of Friday, I was accepted for readmission at UC Santa Cruz, and will be going back to retake Algorithms and finish my MS this spring. W00t.

2) As of Saturday, we are officially under contract on a house. It’s here in San Mateo, really near work. Pictures are available but will not be posted here until we close, which will be on like March 2nd or something like that. Keep your fingers crossed that nothing gets screwed up on the financing.

On the down side, I was sick as a dog with a cold all weekend.

Grad School Science/Tech Stuff

“It’s an honor just to be mentioned.”

I tried Cuil today, and was generally unimpressed – Google still does a much better job of finding the relevant pages, whatever the index size. Further, in the absolutely critical job of ego-googling myself, Google has a lot more of my personal web pages indexed… as opposed to LinkedIn or various index sites referencing my pair of grad school papers, or the one annoying of all, sites mirroring various USENET groups and old mailing lists I post or posted on.

The one very amusing thing that Cuil DID find was a recent LJ/blog post critiquing a graph in the first of my two grad school papers: Your Graph is Bad and You Should Feel Bad

As an aside, there is a rather lame blogmeme sitting in my lifejournal (cubicle_hermit) which will probably be erased, but for those interested, you might look now.


HCHS Represent

Heh. At least we got mentioned:

The Public Elites
Some schools didn’t make our list because their students are too good. The best of the best.

NEWSWEEK’s Challenge Index is designed to recognize schools that challenge average students, and not magnet or charter schools that draw only the best students in their areas. These top performers, listed below in alphabetical order, were excluded from the list of top high schools because, despite their exceptional quality, their sky-high SAT and ACT scores indicate they have few or no average students.

[snippage to lower on the page]

Hunter College High School, New York City: College prep school that serves grades 7-12 and is tied to the City University of New York system.

Oddly enough, Bronx Science got better sounding coverage than Stuyvesant, and Brooklyn Tech wasn’t mentioned at all.

(This was accidentally set as a Page, rather than a Post. It was originally posted on May 19th)


Shaved my head

From Recent Miscel…

Marie said it would make me look like an egg. It sort of did, although this photo (taken after about 60 hours’ re-growth) doesn’t really show it.


“A Brand New Car”

The Acura being paid off recent, and the Van getting on my nerves significantly, we’ve ended up getting a new car. We picked it up today; it’s a very nice Subaru Outback.
Our new car
(click for full size)


Wondering what to get me for Christmas?

Check out my Amazon wish list:
My Wish List
(there’s also a not-terribly-visible link on the far right side at the bottom of the sidebar)

PS, for family in NYC – if you get me the Mr. Beer, please have it shipped directly 🙂


Global warming, you betcha.

97f today. Forecast on Yahoo was for a 93f high. Rather weak AC here in the office has it barely controlled to the lower 80s.

Gah. I hope my air conditioner works at home.


Two interesting things today…

For lack of a better place to write about them:

1) As I was scootering on Hillsdale between Edgewater and El Camino a helicopter went coverhead. This, in itself is not that unusual; we get traffic, police and occasionally executive helicopters a lot – Hillsdale is between (probably roughly halfway, in fact) between SFO and the San Carlos airport.

What WAS unusual is this was VERY obviously not a civilian helicopter. It went by quickly, but it was the narror profile and shape (especially the front and back cockpit) of an attack helicopter. I’m pretty sure it was some sort of Cobra, not an Apache, as it was not angular enough for the latter – though this much is on looking at photos online and not an instant recognition.

Interesting. I’d have needed a much better camera than the one in my phone to get it.

2) We had a fire alarm malfunction at work today. They were supposed to be doing some kind of checking on the sprinkler system, and apparantly they set it off. Annoying.