News from 2004

News after July has been split up by month: August, September, October, November, and December.

O, fortuna!

Occurred January 01, 2004 (Permalink)

We buried my mother yesterday. Hopefully, 2004 will suck less.

Tau Beta Pi

Occurred January 21, 2004 (Permalink)

I have been selected for inclusion into the aforenamed organization (offsite). Hoo-ray!

How's Life?

Occurred January 22, 2004 (Permalink)

Ok, I think it's high time that I contributed another story. Following my mother's passing, I have made a few decisions about the remainder of my time at UCSD:

Why have I done such a thing, you ask? A lot of it has to do with reflections that I made during Winter Break--I did have an enormous amount of free time to think about such things. I spent the first two weeks of the year in a stupor; now it is time to get on with my own life as the acuteness of the pain fades. Thus, I must move forward.

There is something that stands out prominently in my mind. We were talking to the minister who was to preside over the funeral service. He asked us what had brought my mother some hope in the past few months. Dad replied that mom had been looking forward to retirement, for which she was due in just a few years. More than forty years of work, and she never got to relax for more than a few weeks at a time. She was fortunate to have worked in several places with quite a few people who she liked--there was an impressively long line of former co-workers who showed up to the funeral.

This has made me realize firstly that I need to devise structure for my life in which I can balance work with enough play time to keep me in high spirits. Secondly, I must not allow work to become a place that I find bothersome. (Luckily, I like working for Sun.) Third, I need to identify college friends who will likely be friends for life, and work on strengthening those relationships before school ends and we all go our separate ways.

SurfNet Design Specs

Occurred February 10, 2004 (Permalink)

I'm working on a network simulator for a senior project. Read more about it here.

Spring!

Occurred March 19, 2004 (Permalink)

Winter quarter is over at last. Tomorrow I embark for the Bay Area for the very last spring break that I'll ever have; this is the turning point wherein my range of options for the future will be determined. This break is already jam-packed, as my cousin is leaving for Florida on Wednesday. Plus I need to go see friends and family and various Sun people. No sleep for me!

Next quarter, I have one class, a senior project (SurfNet), work, and a lot of time to goof off. Yes, I designed next quarter to be that way... I also will need to make a decision about where to go after graduation. As much as I hate to leave my friends behind in San Diego, I'm 90% sure that I will be moving away after graduation. I _do_ have a lead on a job that might bring me back here on occasion, so all is not lost.

As for the quarter that just ended, I had three economics classes. I think two of them went moderately well, but I worry about the third. As long as I pass it, I'm ok. The professor knows me, so perhaps he'll be lenient. Also, some friends and I have been teaching ourselves how to cook dinner. We're at the point where we can have dinner nearly every week, though with only twelve weeks left to graduation (== fourteen weeks or so left), I don't know if the pace is going to pick up next quarter. I hope it does, though we'll see how the timing works out. After all, it is the last chance I may have to enjoy those two friends for a while.

Last Quarter at UCSD

Occurred March 29, 2004 (Permalink)

Once more unto the breach...today marks the beginning of Spring quarter. I have finished a major in Computer Science and a minor in Management Science. What's left? I still need to acquire a job, and finish SurfNet, which is now a senior project. Tentatively, I'm enrolled in Econ 172B (???) and CSE160 (Parallel Programming with MPI) and will be on campus Tuesday and Thursday. I have normal work days on Monday and Wednesday, and a half day on Friday. I think this quarter is going to be fun! It had better be...

BorkOS

Occurred March 30, 2004 (Permalink)

Announcing BorkOS! BorkOS is a joint effort by Darrick, Woodley, Steven, et. al. to write a general-purpose operating system for personal computers. At the moment, we only support a very narrow range of hardware configurations (Bondi Blue iMacs and possibly the B&W G3) but we are rapidly adding soft parts to the source tree (networking and a filesystem were added last week!)

Chinese Virility Drink

Occurred April 01, 2004 (Permalink)

So I was at Grandma's house over spring break, and as I usually do when I visit her, I go rummaging through her basement to see if I can find anything interesting. In her basement, I found four dark jugs with very intricate white patterns printed on the outside. They were quite bizarre patterns too--snakes, various detailed claws, and bird parts.

I thought to myself "Hey, I should move this under the light so I can get a better look at these prints!" Hence, I picked up the jar and tried to move it. It was _heavy_! It was around this time that I realized that I wasn't staring at an obsidian jar with white animal skeletons printed on it--I was looking at a transparent glass jar with animal skeletons *inside* it! Ack!

Later, I went upstairs to talk to grandma about these jars. She nodded and then remarked that those jars had been there since at least the early 1960s. In fact, she added, that those jars could be made into a very strong drink to help out with one's mind and one's physical strength. Puzzling--how could old dried bones in a jar do that? Perhaps it was meant to be boild as some sort of tea?

Unfortunately, I was wrong. There was a key ingredient that was supposed to have been in the jar. This ingredient gives this stuff its strength. What was it? LOTS AND LOTS of ALCOHOL. :D

Bad Day at Work

Occurred April 02, 2004 (Permalink)

The project that I was working on at work has been cancelled. Big layoffs are likely to be coming in a month or so. All the job requisitions have been frozen for now; I'm pretty certain that they would not even be able to offer me a permanent position for some time. Fortunately, I think my position is pretty well covered at the moment, but I need to consider what to do about this situation for a few more days.

Defection to IBM

Occurred April 12, 2004 (Permalink)

I have taken a position as a Linux kernel developer at the IBM Linux Technology Center in Beaverton, OR. Therefore, I shall be moving away from San Diego at the end of June, 2004.

Now What?

Occurred April 26, 2004 (Permalink)

As the world now knows, Sun is laying off 3,300 people, merging the three server divisions, and has cancelled the UltraSPARC V and all related projects. All this turmoil going on inside the high-end server division means that my chances of landing a job there are nil--not that anybody really wants to be around in the face of pending layoffs. But my co-workers might not be so bad off--most of them will get moved to the next project. I won't. Secondly, the layoffs mean that the people I was talking to inside the Solaris group can't make any offers. So that's a rather large part of why I took the IBM job. It's a good job in a less-expensive region. Who could ask for anything more?

(Well, it would be nice not to have to leave my friends behind...)

The reduction in workload has given me a lot more free time to work on SurfNet. I've finished the internals of the data-link layer simulator, and am wrapping up the final bits of a "RPC syscall" interface so that external programs can call into the simulator. A rough API spec can be found here (offsite). Soon I will begin designing the network layer; we will be implementing a subset of IP for simplicity's sake. I also hope to begin offering snapshots for download, on the (somewhat small) chance that people care to take a look. Enough hand-waving for now.

Thibs is Dead(?)

Occurred April 29, 2004 (Permalink)

Thibs, which used to host this site, has been pulled off the network for reasons that I don't care to talk about. Nasty Menlo political stuff. Anyway, this means that all mail sent to thibs will bounce, and (for now) this site has been migrated elsewhere. So perhaps thibs will come back soon, but I don't care--I think I'm going to cut my losses and run email/web content elsewhere.

One Year at Sun

Occurred April 30, 2004 (Permalink)

Today marks the end of my first year working at Sun. To celebrate this occasion, I also lead a seminar in which I compared and contrasted Linux to Solaris in terms of system use and administration. Amazing: The seminar is the crowning achievement of a year of work, and nowhere close to how I had expected to mark the event.

Done with School

Occurred May 04, 2004 (Permalink)

I went around to the Muir, CS, and Econ advising departments yesterday. I ran a degree check, showed it to the advisors at all three, and they all said that I'm clear to get a diploma. That means I'm done, and I (technically) don't even have to pass my classes to get it. Not that I'd do that...

Oregon, Part II

Occurred May 18, 2004 (Permalink)

Last weekend, I ventured up to Portland for a second time, to look for an apartment to rent. Imagine my surprise at finding that (a) it's about half the price up there, and (b) the people there are really friendly! Aside from the usual anxiety from leaving friends behind, I think I'm going to enjoy starting anew in a different place.

SurfNet Continues

Occurred May 20, 2004 (Permalink)

I am still going pedal-to-the-metal with SurfNet. I have to build a save/ restore function, and enough IP networking to get UDP sockets working by the end of the quarter. Wheee...I'm wondering if that's really going to happen.

I Don't Work For Sun

Occurred June 08, 2004 (Permalink)

As of today, I no longer work at Sun. I arranged to have my last day today, so that all the paperwork would be in before the layoffs hit. In other news, my apartment rental application in Oregon has been approved, so next year I'll be living in a nice two-bedroom apartment next to a creek in Beaverton. Finally, finals and SurfNet are due tomorrow. Eep!

I Don't Go to School

Occurred June 10, 2004 (Permalink)

As of _today_, I don't have any more academic commitments to meet at UCSD. My last econ final went...ok. The SurfNet final project presentation was Wednesday afternoon. The professors seemed to be quite satisfied with what I delivered. It will be interesting to see what happens next year when they use SurfNet as the project codebase!

Lasagna with Steph

Occurred June 17, 2004 (Permalink)

Today, I took Steph's easy (meat and cheese) lasagna recipe, added various vegetables to the mix, reduced the amount of ground beef, and baked it. That was some of the best lasagna I've ever had! All cheesy and meaty and the vegetables were cooked just right, so they were still tender and not mushy.

Domicile Moves Again

Occurred June 19, 2004 (Permalink)

So now Darrick's Domicile lives on another computer. I figured I should move it from the machine that it was living on to a more permanent location. Thanks to Woodley for hosting this machine for us as a replacement for thibs. Maybe thibs will come back; maybe it won't. (Who really cares at this point?) Anyway, I think everything should be working as it was back on thibs...though I still have a fair amount of stuff to upload. So perhaps some of the stuff under the Projects directory won't work. Heckle me if it's broke.

I Don't Have RoadRunner

Occurred June 22, 2004 (Permalink)

Another short update: RoadRunner is being turned off today. Therefore, I shall have only sporadic email access until some time around July 1st, when I get squared away in Oregon. I will check email once a day (or so) from campus, if I can. In any case, the worst news is that I'm about to lose my 124-day uptime on frog (the firewall). Sadly, moving requires loss of uptime. Drat. Well, Google can cache this entry and the record will live on forever.

I Don't Have Furniture

Occurred June 25, 2004 (Permalink)

Bright and early this morning, the movers arrived, packed up all my stuff (not the computer; I made sure to stuff it back in its original box with copious amounts of padding). By 11am they were done loading and took off. Now I don't have any furniture (except my roommates' ;)). This will probably be my final entry from San Diego.

127 Days Uptime

Occurred June 25, 2004 (Permalink)

The movers are coming to take my things to Oregon. THis means that my firewall machine will have to be taken offline. After 127 days of continous uptime, it is time to say farewell to Linux 2.6.3. When I get there, I'll have a shiny new 2.6.7 built for it!

It's Over: Farewell San Diego

Occurred June 28, 2004 (Permalink)

This morning, I shoved the last of my stuff into my suitcase, went to breakfast with Stephanie at the Broken Yolk Cafe in PB, said good-bye to her, and flew away to Portland, Oregon.

I AM IN OREGON

Occurred July 01, 2004 (Permalink)

I have arrived in the Silicon Forest! Linux hippies and open source rockers abound all over the place. I've picked up a fairly nice place next to a murky pond full of ducks; strangely enough, furniture stores lurk nearby. I shall be taking delivery of various new furnishings in the next two weeks. Perhaps my San Diego junk will arrive tomorrow. In any case, I shall fly back to the Bay Area soon. Oh: I need a cell phone.

Departure for Oregon (Again)

Occurred July 02, 2004 (Permalink)

I will be departing (with car!) back to Oregon on the 18th of July.

Furniture Delivery; Early Return to CA

Occurred July 02, 2004 (Permalink)

My San Diego stuff (computers, etc) arrived today. I _think_ most of it is intact. We'll see if the computers still work, though...in any case, I shall return to the Bay Area on Sunday evening, possibly in time for fireworks.

Digital Camera

Occurred July 16, 2004 (Permalink)

Just got an Olympus C765 in time to go on a quick road trip up to Oregon. Hopefully I'll have a bunch of photographs to post after that.

Arrived in Oregon

Occurred July 20, 2004 (Permalink)

Arrived safe and sound in Oregon. Road trip photos to be posted shortly.

July Photographs Posted

Occurred July 23, 2004 (Permalink)

I've uploaded and organized the photos that I took in July...here.

Wonder Woman: The Laptop

Occurred July 26, 2004 (Permalink)

Today was my first day on the job at the Linux Technology Center in Beaverton, Oregon. Upon arriving at work, I was given two empty computers and told that these would be my electronic companions...and that they needed software, as they were wiped clean prior to my arrival. Well, I thought, this shouldn't be too difficult; I've installed Linux on plenty of computers...let's see what they gave me.

One machine is an IBM NetVista P3-866. I hadn't realized that P3s came in that particular denomination. Oh well. The bigger problem was that the onboard video has wonderful lines going across it in X. So the solution: Find another video card. And now I get a screenful of garbage upon exiting X. In text mode, no less. The best part: a giant 21" CRT. Yay! Now if only the video card had enough RAM to drive it...:P

The second machine? A ThinkPad with a Wonder Woman sticker on it! This machine didn't give me nearly as much trouble...until FC1 ate the grub config. If all the company tools weren't on our custom FC1 CDs, I'd blow it away and install Debian. Oh well. Wonder woman shall simply have to make due with this indignity until I figure out how to host those tools elsewhere.

Steph is Here!

Occurred July 28, 2004 (Permalink)

Tonight we went to Andina (offsite) in the (upscale) Pearl district of downtown Portland, courtesy of Steph's uncle Gary. The food was good and tasty, and the drinks were exotic. End result: we were both sloshed. Good times had by all.

Wandering in a Field

Occurred July 29, 2004 (Permalink)

Steph and I went for a walk. We quickly discovered that Walker Road goes out in the country...and the sidewalk ends. This forced us to trample through a field and some high weeds to get back to sidewalkland. Fun, except for those who wear sandals. I think she went to see museums and gardens around Portland today. I had work. :P

Mt. Hood Hike

Occurred July 31, 2004 (Permalink)

This weekend, Steph and I drove up to Timberline Lodge on Mt. Hood. This lodge is about 6,000 feet above sea level, at the treeline. We took off on the Timberline trail, which circled the timberline, and saw amazing things: snow, streams, trees, big bugs, and Swedes. There were a lot of short gnarled trees, and a few BIG PATCHES OF SNOW!

So we played around in the snow a bit. Tossed some snowballs around, and threw handfuls of snow at each other. It was fun! And really cold! I didn't bother to bring mittens (heck, I don't _have_ mittens!) and my hands froze. My camera captured Steph aiming a snowball at me. :P

Continuing down the trail, we encountered a big crevasse with a creek in it, and an even bigger crevasse with snow in it. We decided that we'd gone far enough, and turned back towards the parking lot. By the time we got back, it was nearly 6pm and we were quite exhausted. Oh well. We sat in the parking lot watching the sun set...only it didn't set, because it was the middle of summer and the sun doesn't go down until 8:30pm.

Eventually we figured it was a good idea to go home, so we piled back in the car and drove up 35 to the town of Hood River in the Columbia River Gorge. There, we found unnavigable streets and a cafe with ok food and some really really delightful cake! We shared a big slice of chocolate cake and loved every bite of it.

Later, we drove down the mountain and stomped around Multnomah Falls in the dark. Then we drove home. Photos are posted here.

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