18 May 2001 dhd   » (Master)

Fun with Sphinx acoustic training. Boy, I wish I actually understood the math behind all this stuff. I guess that's what graduate school is for (most likely that's where I'll be in a couple years time).

For now, though, I'm going to enjoy some hacking on the implementation of it - the process (though it is inherently massively CPU-intensive) is taking a lot more time than it should and there are a lot of code cleanups to be done.

Computers are not really a hobby for me anymore. This is unquestionably a good thing in terms of my mental health, though I worry that I am not doing enough to maintain and improve my technical skills.

It was only a few years ago that I was a young liberal-arts student and self-taught hacker living off of student loans and struggling for meaningful employment, and I fear that, should things go wrong, my lack of formal education and credentials will come back to haunt me. I guess I can always go back to school.

In reality, things are actually going very well indeed for me; I work for a company with sensible management and finances, doing interesting work with real applications and customers. It's just that I have learned to survive by planning for the worst case scenario.

I'm worried about the perception that free software doesn't pay, and about the possibility that the demand for Linux/GNU/Perl/Apache expertise in the job market may be evaporating. I really hope that this is not the case, if not for my sake, then for the sake of people who might be in the same place I was a few years back; bright kids learning and using free software on their own time, who should have their efforts rewarded rather than repeatedly running into the "no BSCS degree, no job" barrier.

On the other hand, I am certainly glad that there will be no more bogus companies burning cash like Dubya, Cheney, and their oil buddies want us to burn oil, nor instant millionares and lazy people expecting huge payoffs. And speaking as a Canadian ex-pat, I'd be happy to see the outrageous salaries paid in the US be "corrected", so that perhaps the rest of the world will get a chance to keep its best and brightest.

Anyway, as I was saying, I've been splitting my spare time between my old and neglected interests of cooking, cycling, and homebrewing, and if you'll excuse me, I've got some bread to bake.

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