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I guess I picked the wrong week to quit smoking

By total chance today, I found the .pinercex file.

It's exactly what I've been looking for -- a "local overrides" file where you can put stuff relevant for the local machine when using a global IMAP-based config file.

Woo hoo!!

(Sometimes I wish that pine was documented better -- I found this file by looking through $HOME/.pine-debug1)

I neglected to include my review of A Beautiful Mind in my last journal entry. Whoops! Shame on me.

It was a good flick -- fairly serious and fairly long (2.25 hours), so only go see it if you're in the mood. If you know the story of Dr. Nash, it won't be any surprise, but I didn't, so I enjoyed the story. I give it 10 minutes if you're in the mood for a good drama.

Yesterday I had a long chat with Darrell. It's always good to catch up with him. We chatted about all kinds of things -- technical and non-technical. It's amazing how much of the IT world actually revolves around message passing. :-) We even chatted about some of the generalities of Yahoo!'s IM system vs. MS's MSN IM system.

I recently put in a cron job to reboot squyres.com every morning at 5am. The server seems much more stable now. I'm not happy with this; it may mean that the server was the cause of the flakiness in my DSL modem rather than vice versa.

Actually, I guess I am happy about it because my problem seems to be solved... but I'm not pleased that Linux is not being stable. <sigh> I guess it has been quite a while since I've updated the distro on that machine, and it is pretty old hardware (a PII of some flavor)...

There's a stoplight outside Greely Hall (my building here at Ft. H) that regulates a 4-way intersection. I frequently leave Greely when there is little or no traffic; I make a left turn at this intersection to head home. The light is frequently solid green in my direction as I approach it. There are sensors in the road for scheduling (you can see them in the asphalt).

I don't know what the algorithm is for scheduling the lights, but after observing this light for quite a while now, I notice that it is guaranteed to change the light to red as I approach -- even though there is no other traffic. This is clearly undesirable behavior.

You might think that it's coincidental -- that the light is actually timed and when I drive up, the timer for the green light simply expires for my direction. But this is not so. I have driven up to right before the sensor in the road (while the light is green) and waited. The green light stays on -- not making any changes until it receives some sensor input. As soon as I drive up on the sensor, it changes to red.

So there are only a few possible conclusions from this:

  • The light scheduling algorithm sucks
  • The light is possessed and hates me
  • The light is intentionally exhibiting this behavior

Let's discount the third argument as being non-sensical (but then again, this is a government installation...). <sigh>

Let's also not forget that I drive up and trip the traffic sensor in the left-turn lane. I'm wondering if it's a bug in the traffic light algorithm, perhaps having something to do with Arizona's crazy obsession for having the green left turn arrow after a red light, not before (see previous journal entries about this). That is, perhaps the algorithm thinks that it must cycle through a red light before it can turn on a green left arrow.

Be aware that "bug" in this context could also be synonymous with "stupid AZ law" or "bureaucratic idiocy" which requires a cycle through a red light before enabling a green arrow.


This behavior is clearly sub-optimal, as it could keep the light green in my direction and turn all other three directions red (assuming no other traffic) while turning on my left green arrow. Why does it need to cycle through all-four-directions red first?


Join your local "Everyone Should Be Optimal" (ESBO), or "ez-bo" union and help stamp out such silliness.

It's New Year's Eve -- I'm outta here. Nothing too exciting planned, actually, but I'm heading home for the actual turn of the year.

Happy New Year!

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on December 31, 2001 11:08 AM.

The previous post in this blog was It's a damn good thing he doesn't know how much I hate his guts. ((pause) It's a damn good thing you don't know how much he.

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