Saturday, February 24, 2007

Linux Love

A while back I posted about my Gentoo Linux Laptop. It served me well, but it was becoming a hassle keeping it up to date. I was checking for updates like daily and then watching all the updates compile. It was an addiction. I found myself visiting several times a day to see what new stuff was out, then I would curse myself for not being able to remotely SSH into the box to do upgrades. I'm admitting that I have a problem, and that I have addressed it. I wiped my Linux partition on the laptop and installed Ubuntu 6.10 (Edgy). The update process only includes necessary security / bugfix updates (not full system upgrades). The release process is every 6 months, so I can expect a full system upgrade every 6 months. That's manageable. Plus, all the updates are binary so they'll just install smoothly. Someone else has already done all the footwork for me. THIS is what Linux is all about, making life easy. However, don't get me wrong, I'm still a big Gentoo fan, but just not for my primary laptop that has a Pentium M 1.7GHz with 512MB RAM. It's not a beast, but does the job. Compiling stuff takes time and I don't want to have to deal with it. My desktop, on the other hand, is (well, was) a beast. Now it is slowly becoming obsolete. I need to replace it with a sexy Core 2 Duo system. Mmmmmm.... tasty. But that will have to wait. Right now I don't really use it all that much, favoring the laptop for day-to-day stuff. I don't do much independent development either. Plus, the northbridge and GPU fans are crapping out on me and I need to replace (or supplement) them. I think I should put the graphics card (Radeon 9800 All-In-Wonder) in my brother's desktop and then sell the motherboard (dead NIC, messed up NB fan), and processor (2.4GHz with a big-ass heat-sink and fan) on eBay or something. Speaking of Linux love, my girlfriend is teasing me with thoughts of putting together a Linux-based multimedia system for streaming Chinese soap operas into the living room. That's hot.

2 double-oh 7

All right, it's already two months into 2-double-oh-7 and I'm finally updating my blog. Blogger had a huge upgrade and (as you can see) I switched over to a new template. It's also nice that I can log in using my Gmail instead of something else... First, I'd like to look at last year and see how I did on my New Year's resolutions...
  • Get my weight below 200 pounds: d'oh. I think I gained a little weight. I must have plateaued. I'm still fitting into my clothes though, so it's not bad. I'm holding at about 215 to 220 (with clothes and shoes and after work).
  • Keeping in touch with my extended family: Woo hoo! I got to know my cousins more and the six of us got a lot closer this year. We're all busy busy, but we keep in touch more.
  • Learning Armenian: umm... didn't get around to this. Boo on me.
  • Attending an Armenian youth event: My brother and I attended a few AYF (Armenian Youth Federation) meetings. It was... interesting... It wasn't our cup of tea, although now we can say that we went and tried. I got some good reading materials out of it though (although I haven't even read any of it yet).
Observations about 2006:
  • On the love front, I'm in love, been in love, gonna remain in love. Hoo-Yeah!
  • On the home front, I'm keeping in touch with family and being a good son.
  • On the work front, I think I vastly improved my people skills. I believe I have been making great strides in being easier to work with and recognizing other people's contributions. The fact remains though that I am hard to impress (in software terms).
  • I started working on my MBA in the fall. It's tough doing the school + work thing, I have utmost respect (always have) for people who do the school + work (or work + school, the additive property holds here) thing. The work is easy, but tedious, and it burns me out. Luckily it is only 2 nights a week. It's manageable. I've been trying to go to the gym on campus for those days, but work's been really busy and they've needed me to stay to 4 to help out instead of leaving at 3 to go to school. It's worth it though, bonus time is coming around and I know that my contributions will be recognized.
Forward-Looking Statements for 2-double-oh-7
  • I want to get my weight down. Below 200 may not work, but at least near 200. I plan to go to the gym for longer sessions, try to attend some of those classes they have. I also plan to consistently go to the gym at school. Finally, I need to know my limits with food. I'm finding that my body tells me when its full, but I keep eating anyway (this goes for dinner mainly). I think I can manage it. I think starting school messed me up a bit, but I can adjust and persevere.
  • I want to learn to read and write Armenian. I have resources, and I just need to set a schedule for myself. It's going to be tougher now that I have my MBA classes as well (until 2009), but I think I can manage.
  • I want to learn to speak / understand Cantonese, at least on a basic level. It's an interesting language, but I feel I have an obligation to myself and my family to master my own language first. There are 10 months left in the year, plenty of time.
I think that's a good start. I may add to the list as I see fit.