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That girl I was dancing with was a database administrator...

http://www.bestofrestrooms.com/restrooms/ lists the locations of the top two public restrooms in the entire United States as the Administration building at Notre Dame and the Mall At Oxmoor in Louisville, Kentucky.

What does it mean that I've been to both of them?

I'm frightened.


I discovered a cool new feature in pine today -- the <t>ake command can "take" the attributes of the current message to anywhere
-- not just to your addressbook. For example, I did a <t>ake today to make a filter rule for a mailing list that I'm on. It automatically filled in all the attributes on the rule screen so that I didn't need to re-type anything.

Cool!


I randomly got in touch with long-lost friend Michelle M. last Friday (she e-mailed me). She was a few years ahead of me at Notre Dame -- we were both in Army ROTC together. She, too, has been recently recalled to active duty in the US Army and is serving in an MI unit in Georgia. Coincidentally enough, this is one of the units that my organizations supports with MI software.

So it seems that some of the SITREPs that I read from that unit are actually written by Michelle. Who knew?

We chatted on IM for quite a while on Saturday, catching up, etc. It was good to talk with her again.

Michelle had found and read ThunderJournal; she reminded me of something that I said in one of my other entries:

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

We therefore decided to form the ESBO League -- we're the charter members. If you'd like to join, let me know.

ThunderJournal introduced Michelle to the wonderful world of blogging ("web logging" for those of you who have never heard the term "blog" before). Michelle has started her own blog on LiveJournal. I might actually switch ThunderJournal over to LiveJournal someday to get the benefits of a professionally-hosted blogging service. Unfortunately, it seems that none of the blogging services offer the send-email-upon-new-posts feature. So that would take a little bit of figuring out. I'm sure it could be done, but I just don't have the time (or enough desire [yet]). We'll see. :-)


The CPU fan on http://www.squyres.com/ has been getting worse over the past few months. It was starting to get somewhat noisy when I left (it doesn't help that there's no outer chassis on the machine
-- it's just a frame with components sitting in a closet^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^Hmy server room on the second floor of our house in Kentucky). It's apparently been getting worse and worse -- Tracy tells me that it had recently become audible from the dining room downstairs.

Doh!

So after much telephone conversation, Tracy went to Radio Shack and found an exact replacement fan. I remotely shut the machine down and Tracy did a little surgery on the machine. She had it up and running less than 15 minutes later.

Good thing my wife's an engineer, eh? :-)


I've spent the last two weekends almost entirely working on the Myrinet/gm RPI for LAM/MPI. Brian and I finally make the collective decision to throw out the entire first iteration of the gm RPI because it was far too complicated and unwieldy (always be prepared to throw the first one away). Although I had hoped to have it done by now, it's going quite well, actually. I've got a bit more to go, but I hope to have to done by the time I go home for Easter.

More details to follow.


I downloaded and installed the newest release of Mozilla --
0.9.9. It seems ok. Nothing hugely different, but a bunch of little differences/fixes here and there.

One new feature is its amazing MathML mode (MathML is essentially HTML for math, like math mode in LaTeX. It's standard, but I think Mozilla is the first browser to implement it). Look at the following page both in a regular browser and then in Mozilla 0.9.9:

http://www.mozilla.org/projects/mathml/demo/basics.xhtml

Wow -- that looks amazing in Mozilla 0.9.9!


I spent a bunch of time this week working on ASP code for the IFS web pages. We have a requirement to post certain reports up on our pages and have them automatically expire after a fixed amount of time (i.e., not be available on the listing page, and not possible to download).

The obvious way to do that is to have a "redirection" file actually serve up the reports, and have the actual files of the reports live somewhere outside the web tree (so that people can't just download them by going to their direct URL, even after they've expired off the listing page). This is not an uncommon thing to do. The trick was to make stoopid ASP be able to do it.

Forging the MIME content type is easy enough -- ASP has a built-in thingy to do it. The problem was reading binary files. It took forever to figure out how to do that (read: multiple hours of combing through documentation combined with lots of trial-n-error), and then write it back in binary format so that the client will (for example) a) see the MIME type for an MS Word document, b) read in the data for the document, c) fire up MS Word, and d) load the document in MS Word.

Reading binary files with ASP is not well documented at all. The trick was do it with something called "streams", and to use a member function called ReadText() and spit it back out with a member function called BinaryWrite(). Yeah, that's intuitive.

<sigh>


After figuring out all that ASP garbage (took several hours), I accidentally deleted all the work that I did (don't ask). ARRGGGGHHH!!!

Someone came by my cubicle in the midst of my [non-silent] despair and said, "Are you having a Monday?"

I couldn't even look at him for fear of what I might say or do.

Have you seen Office Space? It was just like that.


I saw an article about how Mandrake Linux
-- unfortunately, like many other free software shops -- is running into tough financial times. I've been using Mandrake for years --
it's easily my favorite Linux distribution. So I signed up for their "club", which is essentially a euphemism for "please donate some money to us".

Mandrake has been very good to me -- I've relied on it for day-to-day work for years. Mandrake Linux is a quality product. It's free, so I've never paid a cent for it. Even if it did cost money, I would have gladly forked over some cash to buy it. Hence, I didn't hesitate at all to sign up to send them a little cash in the hopes that they can stay afloat.

Hooray for Mandrake!
Savior of my Linux world
Please don't go bankrupt.

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