discursive2007-07-31 11:59:59 -0700 personal
somehow on the way over to cup-a-joe i completely forgot what i had decided to write about. i do remember that it did not have a whole lot to do with anything that i have been predominately preoccupied with lately. this happens a lot, but usually not over the course of fifteen or twenty minutes. i guess it's fair to say i am a bit distracted. i am having trouble focusing on anything right now.
i have been listening quite a bit to the track "the falcon's cry" on zero hour's most recent album, specs of pictures burnt beyond. and i just now noticed the tipton brothers are from san francisco; i had assumed they were nordic or something because most good progressive metal these days is scandinavian, right? got the new kamelot and symphony x albums as well, along with a couple more savatage albums, another nightwish, and another crimson glory. and all of this because i wanted a usb ethernet adaptor for my zaurus. damn you, amazon.com!
i have been spending a lot of time at work. the more time i spend at work, the greater need i feel for time for myself, and generally this has the ironic result of my my wasting less time overall. i have been reading a lot of technical material, mostly on the topic of software development. i have been writing a lot of code in my own time, and doing a lot of maintenance on my computers. i have not necessarily been doing the highest priority tasks first, but i'm getting a lot done. and now i remember what it was that i had been thinking about writing about.
preserving state. i currently have 29 windows open in my email program, eudora. i have 52 windows open in my web browser, camino, each with an average of about 5 tabs in them. in my text editor, vim, i have a session with buffers open in a dozen tabs. i have multiple screen sessions with about five windows each (to say nothing of the profusion of windows in screen sessions on all of the other machines i use regularly and have access to). all this, and my current uptime is only about five days. mac os x 10.4.10 has been one of the most unreliable updates i can recall, and i have had to reboot much more frequently than i would like (i would like not to have to reboot at all, but only after major system updates would be—and has been—fine). yet, with the features of the programs i use together with scripts i've written over the years, a crash or a deliberate restart no longer has as much of an impact on the state i have on the machines i work on. i rarely if ever lose data anymore, and now the configuration of my virtual environments is fairly stable as well. for most environments i use regularly even if i don't have executable scripts i have checklists that i can use to walk through getting everything set up just so. and yet i wonder if this all comes with a veiled disadvantage in that there is no longer any semi-regular event that involuntarily clears the slate for me. it used to be very easy to just let go of all of the unread pages i had open in my web browser when it crashed because there was nothing i could do about it anyway; now i don't have to let go, but i don't always get around to actually reading everything i have open. so now i'm accumulating digital clutter to rival the clutter i surround myself with physically in the form of unsorted mail, papers, books, discs, magazines, and gadgets.
on the other hand, this preservation of state has been helping me immensely at work. i have been more organized and productive at work than i have been in a while. i just need to start using the tools and techniques i have been applying on the job to my personal life, and i think i'll be better off.
i was interrupted while writing by a pleasant conversation with a couple of educators from denmark. we talked politics, weather, earthquakes, dry standpipes, camper travel, and multilingual tendencies of europeans.
i have been seeing a large number of discarded televisions in the streets lately.
there is a cat that i run across in the vicinity of the vallejo steps that must be getting awfully annoyed with me by now. i scare it away at all hours of the night. i have not yet missed a run.
earlier today i bought an apple airport extreme base station to replace my crappy linksys befw11s4v4 that flaked out on me one time too many. so far the only thing i miss is having one extra ethernet port, but i don't really need it right now anyway. and meanwhile, the airport is so much nicer to configure. i had absolutely no problems with it at all. in the way that mac os x is to windows, the ipod is to other portable music players, and the iphone is to other cell phones, the airport is to other wireless routers. it's the attention to details, and the right details at that. i even plugged in a spare 30GB drive just to see how the usb drive sharing worked. not only did it just work, it prompted me to mount the new drive on my laptop. i would have preferred firewire, but oh well.
macports has definitely become my preferred port system for mac os x. it is just so much cleaner and more intuitive than fink ever was for me. i just trust it more. now that it has all the ports that i used fink for, i think i'm going to get rid of fink altogether.
i like vim. a lot.