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I am a cipher wrapped in an enigma, smothered in secret sauce

This is somewhat annoying.

DSL has gone out today, sometime between 10-11am. I called Telocity probably about 30-45 minutes, to see if they had an estimate as to when it would be back (thinking that it was a general outage). Turns out that it's just me -- there's some kind of glitch between me and Telocity.

It appears that I have connectivity to my DSLAM (if I get this right: "digital subscriber line access ....". Ok, I don't remember the last word. It's the routing point at my local phone company (Bell South) to Telocity. Anyway, Telocity can reach my DSLAM, but not me. I'm not sure what I can reach -- I can ping my modem, but I don't know if the DSLAM is supposed to respond to a ping or not (it doesn't).

Two things concern me:

  • Yesterday, I called Telocity to disconnect my old DSL line (i.e., the one in the apartment). They said that they had to confirm this through e-mail; they'd send me an e-mail, and I would have to reply to it. This kinda struck me as strange, especially since she asked me for my e-mail address. So even if they're trying to get a solid confirmation from the customer, who's to say that I'm still not a malicious person with a random hotmail account handy that I could use to "forge" the real user's authorization. It's like the "Sir, I cannot accept your credit card because it is not signed" urban legend.

    Anyway, I got the e-mail this morning and replied to it, being careful to specify my old phone number. I'm kinda concerned because my new DSL service shut off about 2-3 hours later... I called up Telocity billing a little while later, and they swear that this is not the case. But I'm not [yet] convinced...

  • When BellSouth installed our phone a few weeks ago, they ran a cable from the pedestal at the street to the side of our house. Literally. And they left that cable sitting on our lawn. They finally came back and buried the cable today. My phone still works, but did they jar some secondary connection that disconnected my DSL service? Hmmm...

All this is pure speculation, but the timing is suspicious. Meanwhile, it's at least 7 hours later and I still don't have connectivity. Arrgghh!!!

I took the opportunity to do a whole bunch of house stuff, and fixed up a few nagging issues in the jjc code, and I did some more work on my taxes (good and complicated -- ugh!). But I wasn't productive in terms of dissertation stuff. :-(

I did read some papers from a SIAM conference that Lummy went to recently (he gave me the CD of the proceedings). Some of the papers made me mad; at least one author claimed that MPI sucked because they were using a "pure MPI code" on a cluster of SMPs and the message passing performance on each node sucked.

DUH!!! MPICH doesn't have a TCP/shmem device. This is a well known shortcoming of MPICH. Did the authors use LAM/MPI, which has a TCP/shmem device? No, they just claimed that MPI sucks, only because one aspect of one implementation of MPI sucks. (don't get me wrong, LAM/MPI certainly has its own weaknesses; this issue just highlights one of MPICH's weaknesses)

Indeed, MPICH is just about the only MPI that doesn't have a TCP/shmem device; LAM/MPI does (as I pointed out above), as well do all the vendors MPI implementations. The authors didn't try any other MPI implementation -- only the one that would support their theories.

Had I been to this conference, I surely would have pointed this out to the authors. I still might well mail the authors. Grrr....

I got a carpet chair mat thingy today for my office. I can now roll my chair with ease. Yummy. :-)

I've been using TurboTax for my and Tracy's taxes. I went out and bought "TurboTax/State" today to do Tracy's Kentucky taxes (I was an Indiana resident last year, and already have the TurboTax for Indiana/2000). Taxes are complicated. Taxes suck. Some of my friends are convinced that taxes are illegal (they have a great story line/rationale as to why this is so), and they just don't pay taxes. Although their rationale is quite convincing, I'm not quite to the point where I won't pay taxes. :-)

Right now, I'm just trying to figure them out. Ugh. Very complicated, because there's 6,000,000 special rules and exceptions. Yes, I'm 29 years old, and my dad has always done my taxes before this. Is that pathetic?

Hell, no! It saved me oodles of time up until now. :-)

But I figure that now that I'm married and have a home, I should probably try to figure out these taxes things...

I had to reboot queeg today; it had mysteriously dropped off the CAN (right about when DSL went out. Hmm...). So there's only a measly 55 copies of xmms running right now, out of 124 total, for a grand total percentage of 44%. The high point earlier today (i.e., pre-reboot) was 339 copies out of 413 total processes, for a total of 82%. Not impressive, but nothing to sneeze at, either. Give it a few more days, and we'll have respectable xmms-crashing numbers again...

DSL came back around 7:30pm or so. Woof.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on March 28, 2001 8:02 AM.

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