8 Feb 2005 pasky   » (Journeyer)


It's actually a very interesting experience to be an IT administrator. You get to look at the computers from the practical side too - you actually see a SATA disk cable, don't regard digging in a power source and replacing a broken fan as anything exceptional, and so. You also meet a lot of Windows boxen and thankfully also plenty of Linux machines (with RedHat 9 or Fedora - though I have to admit I would sometimes (I mean, rarely - but still) like Windows more there).

Fedora TUI admin tools are a nice example how not to do a text user interface. It was apparently just coded to wrap up the graphics interface and "feel" the same way - except that you will frequently have only the keyboard at your disposal, and the nightmare begins. The controls are awfully awkward, you need to always tab to the submit button (but sometimes use arrows instead), moving between fields just feels strange and an urge slowly develops to get yourself a hammer. Big massive hammer. Especially in the case of the Disk Druid, shall it be condemned from the disk forests for all future times.

I don't know, Fedora seems to be just strange to me. I prefer KDE to GNOME (for irrational reasons), and Fedora is pretty gnomish. I wasn't able to find any notepad-style editor in the Redhat menu (the thing equivalent to the Start menu ;-). I want a shell as soon as the installation CD boots up - it doesn't give it to me until after it starts the actual installation program. The <kbd>yum</kbd> thing seems to have at least double startup time compared to <kbd>apt-get</kbd> on my Debian notebook, which has half the CPU clock of my work machine. I guess I could come up with more stuff...

The Faculty of Math and Physics I study and work at has its buildings spread all around Prague, which means you can read a lot of nice books during your study - what else to do in the trams and buses. I work in the building at Mala Strana, where is the computer science section of the faculty. At some evenings, instead of just taking a tram I like to go through the Mostecka street, over the Charles Bridge, then making my way through the Karlova street, finding myself at the Staromestske namesti (the Tyn Church looks absolutely stunning at the evening, myriad of small turrets and towers all lit in a yellow or white light, looking like an ancient middle-age castle from some fantasy movie - it is hard to take photos of it in the darkness with my crappy camera, though :[ ). Then I go through some lesser known streets to eventually arrive to Namesti Republiky, where I can already take the tram.

It's a very nice and refreshing trip, and marvelously beautiful and romantic too. The churches are monumental, the streets are narrow and darkness covers the cranky pavement (ok ok, it's not cranky - but it should be! :). Of course the only problem are the tourists. Before Christmas taking this trip would be suicidal, you would've drown in the avalanche of oddly speaking people. Few days after the New Year, it got very nice - the streets were almost empty, everything calm and silent. It's still acceptable now, but it's already getting worse, more people are in the streets and it probably won't get better until the early fall or so - and who knows, perhaps January is the only relatively tourist-free month? :-(

The Math Analysis exam is drawing near. I should get to work, I guess. ;-) I still need to consolidate the transcripts - I would also like to send them to the professor ASAP. That's a lot of work and learning still ahead, and I'm not idling too much at work neither these times. Well, we will see.


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