going the distance, going for speed

A handful of my esteemed co-workers are down at “Supercomputing 2003″:http://www.sc-conference.org/sc2003/ working on, among “a tutorial”:http://www.sc-conference.org/sc2003/intercal/intercaldetail.php?eventid=10678 and other things, “our contribution”:http://www.clusterfs.com/ncsa-111203.html to the crazy “Bandwidth Challenge”:http://www.sc-conference.org/sc2003/infrabwc2.html shenanigans.

Apparently the tutorial — in which a small horde of people is being tutorialized as I write this very entry — is going quite well, so things are off to a good start. It’s pretty exciting, even for those of us who are cheering from megametres away.

Now that people are doing “real sciencey stuff”:http://www.clusterfs.com/llnl-111303.html on top of our baby, I think things are going to pick right up around here. Not that there’s really been a lot of thumb-twiddling recently anyway, but.

Addendum: “zoom”:http://www.clusterfs.com/ncsa-111803.html.

lost and found

I can’t find my Windows XP CD, which is really too bad, because our Windows installation is pretty busted right now. Neither it nor my 98SE CD are in their usual homes (the operating-systems section of my massive software CD wallet), which is consistent with them being used for some sort of installation, perhaps on my computer. But then, I find myself asking, why would they be outside arm-and-chair-rolling reach of the computer? Perhaps Tyla hid them, that I might be further motivated to clean the office.

In what I hope is not some sort of freakish alchemical transformation, there are also two gold earrings in the office (small ribbon-hoops, about the size of a nickel, width of about 1cm) to which neither Tyla nor I have any rightful claim. I don’t think they’re Mehmet’s.


Dell both “sucks”:http://www.cypherpunks.ca/dell.html and “rules”:http://www.siliconvalley.com/mld/siliconvalley/7246890.htm. Discuss.

daring to dream

Day 4 of my new wonder drug, and the nausea hasn’t made its previously-daily appearance. I still can’t concentrate on anything for more than a few minutes, so I can count the number of useful work-things I’ve accomplished this week on my antennae, but that’s up from the heartbeat-span I was working with on Monday and Tuesday.

I have a truly daunting backlog of work, but I’m now back to being enthusiastic about it, instead of feeling like I’ll never get through it, or that I’m going to be fired at any minute. Speaking only for myself, I greatly prefer the current situation. All sorts of exciting things are going on around me at work, which helps buoy my spirits, and later this month I’ll be able to talk about them in more detail.

hit me again, I can take it

Well, the anxiety is already diminished a bit, I’m not nearly as tearful (I actually heard the National Anthem this morning and didn’t get choked up, which is pretty amazing), and I didn’t have a lot of trouble getting out of bed this morning. (Considering I didn’t get to sleep until like 5:30, that’s a little frightening, actually.)

On the down side, I have a bit of nausea — happily, not enough to keep me from enjoying a light Quizno’s lunch — and absolutely no ability to concentrate. Focus Factor Zero. Apparently these are both normal first-day effects, so I’m not too worried. (If I do indeed end up with the off-and-on pattern for just treating the most troubling episodes with drugs, I will need to remember to start this protocol on a Friday, I think.)

Some of this might well be placebo effect, but the onset and half-life periods for Effexor are ridiculously short, so it’s quite likely that I’m actually getting some real, honest-to-goodness, doctor-I-smell-toast neurochemical assistance.

I am very much looking forward to tomorrow, when I will be rested, have a gym visit in the morning, and generally return to earning my keep, Lustre-wise.

a little rain must fall

Not a lot of traffic, hereabouts, in the last week or so. I was down fully or partially for 4 days with a cold, but with modern instruments we can now distinguish a reason from an excuse.

The reason is that I’ve been gently, seductively sliding into a wee little depression, and that sort of thing is specially formulated to interfere with goal-directed behaviour, as it were. There are other, more important goals being impeded than just this screed-sack, of course, but that’s a discussion that I should have with “my parole officer”:http://off.net/diary/.

It’s the winter, so it wasn’t completely unexpected, though it’s worse than my usual downward cycles. You’d think — unless you know me at all — that I’d be better predicting my mental weather, so that I could tell a summer shower from Hurricane Andrew (an overstatement, really; I’ve never had severe depression, as professionals use the term), but I really never seem to know until it’s been too long and too dark for me to pretend that it’s just a little blip. (more…)

please use small words and the present tense

I subscribe to a game-development algorithms list, the messages of which typically bounce right off my minimal mathematical skills. An example, if you will permit:

A linear transformation T, from a vector-space to itself, need not have a non-zero null-space (ie, it is not injective), or it might not be onto (it, it is not surjective; the range of T does not equal the codomain itself).

Yes, exactly so. Sometimes there are discussions on topics other than computational geometry and the sorts of manipulations to which a gentleman does not subject a matrix, and when that happens I’m glad to contribute what little I can.

Anyway, this week a message floated by which drew my attention to a great page “about the perception of colour”:http://www.handprint.com/HP/WCL/color1.html#ruleshead, and I thought I’d share it with you. I haven’t had time to read it all, but what I did get through I found to be fascinating. Perhaps you will also find it fascinating, which would be a sweet reward indeed for reading another handful of paragraphs of my questionable prose.

back on the wagon

I went to my new gym today for the first time — excepting the actual orientation and signup visits, which didn’t hurt at all, and therefore don’t count. I learned a few things.

I learned that I’m ten pounds heavier than I thought. If we had a scale in the house, this probably wouldn’t be the case (in that I would know my weight; I don’t think it would have made me any lighter). I’m not sure if that means that I’m in worse shape than I thought, or if I’m just not good at quantifying my unfitness. I think I could lose 20 lbs of fat (of the disgusting 55 lbs I’m currently carrying around on my otherwise-scrawny frame!) and be much better off for it. We’ll see how it goes.

I also learned that my resting heart rate is shameful, and my systolic blood pressure is a little high. I wonder why my last physical didn’t mention that.

The final lesson was that my trainer is going to kick my ass. Three is a pretty big number when it comes right before “more” and right after twenty reps with more weight than I have probably ever maneuvered in that manner before. He’s got his work cut out for him, clearly.

spot of trouble

Chelsea, dear, if I’m “grounded in the realities of today’s world”, we are all so very doomed. But I don’t think you’re unnecessarily evil, for whatever record these sorts of things are for.

(Game over, man! Game over!)

cup run(neth over)

The other day, I broke down — by which I mean actually remembered from one day to the next that I wanted to do this — and signed up for “NHL Centre Ice”:http://www.shoprogers.com/store/cable/cablecontent/cable_nhl.asp. I’d not had a lot of time for Leafs-watching since that happened, and Alasdair’s “silly job”:http://www.cci.dk/index.asp?http://www.cci.dk/News/2002/GlobeAndMail-us.asp kept him from coming over to “force me” to watch the Sens, so it wasn’t until last night that I really appreciated the fully power of what I’d wrought.

“Matej”:http://www.matejnovak.com/blog/ and “Mike”:http://www.beltzner.ca/ifeelafel arrived with an “outrageous”:http://www.beeradvocate.com/beer/rateresults/296/2804/ “selection”:http://www.beeradvocate.com/beer/rateresults/618/2188/ of beer, and then “the man himself”:http://www.cyberpeasant.com/ showed up around seven, at which point we did truly, and with great gusto, get our hockey on.

It’s all a bit of a blur, truth be told, because there was a lot of beer involved — even my carpet was tipsy! — but we ended up watching, in whole or in part, victories by “Toronto”:http://nhl.com/onthefly/scoreboard/recaps/552recap.html, “Ottawa”:http://nhl.com/onthefly/scoreboard/recaps/682recap.html, “Edmonton”:http://nhl.com/onthefly/scoreboard/recaps/652recap.html (over COL no less!), and “Boston”:http://nhl.com/onthefly/scoreboard/recaps/672recap.html. There were easily another half-dozen games to choose from, in case we suffered a collective head injury and were suddenly interested in the fates of the Blue Jackets or Flyers, for example. As Jacob rightly put it, it’s like the first round of the playoffs every night, and it will be that way for some 6 months. If I had a Tivo, I might actually hurt myself.

If this doesn’t get Phil to visit me, I will know that we have truly fallen out of love.

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