29 Jul 2002 madscientist   » (Master)

Back from vacation: almost two weeks in Hawai'i: half in Kona and half outside of Hilo. It was good to be back after so many years (and last time I was in Honolulu). Most excellent. Most relaxing. Didn't even bring a laptop. My fingers aren't working so well yet--have to recondition them. Good diving. The volcano is active, so we got to walk right up to the flow (the week we were there the lava chewed up more of the road). Did the helicopter thing: my first time in a helicopter; it was very cool. Got to see the vent and also lava flowing into the ocean. Unbelievable. Then we went to visit Kalapana, where the most beautiful black sand beach on the island (along with most of the little village next to it) was completely covered in lava back around 1991 (IIRC). It was incredible to hike out hundreds of yards across black, broken lava and think that ten years ago we would have been standing right in the ocean! Drove down into the Waipi'o Valley and had a good day there; spent a day on 69 beach (and got burned :( ); visited the Pu'uahonau o Honaunau national park: I'm telling you it was kind of eerie--I've never really had such a strong feeling of history right there... and I live less than a mile from the Battle Road in Massachusetts. Spelunked lava tubes, saw the Akapa and Rainbow falls, did a lu'au (of course), saw lots of sea turtles (very cool), and generally had a blast. A very long plane ride, but definitely worth it.

GNU make
Got a pretest release out before I left. Seems mostly fine, although there were a few small problems. I need to follow up with some issues that were raised, though. Still, I don't think it will be too much longer before a new release.

Web Hosting
Well, my subdomain is finally working. My hosting service offers very cool features, and a very reasonable price (and all their servers run Linux! :)) but when there are glitches it can take a little bit of perserverence to get them ironed out. Oh well, whaddaya gonna do.

Internet Banking
I just love internet banking. I've been so happy ever since I said "screw you" to Fleet and went Internet. Although, this vacation I did have a minor glitch: it turns out that my bank won't transfer money automatically from my reserve credit line to cover ATM transactions (although they do for checks of course). Annoying, but not a huge deal. Now that I know about it :).

Free Software
Geez, you're gone for two weeks and it takes a full day just to catch up. Debian 3.0 released: need to apt-get dist-upgrade on a number of my systems. New versions of gettext and automake: need to update my packages for that (esp. gettext as I was using a prerelease version before). And, of course, who knows what's going on when I get to work tomorrow ...

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