11 May 2002 will   » (Master)

OK, ok.. long enough has passed since my last diary entry. Lots has happened since then. My finals came and went. They were okay I guess. Then I packed up everything I had at Purdue and made the 6-hour trek home.. for the first time in two full years with everything. I must say that it only brings tears to one's eyes when one returns to one's roots. I spent two hours helping my mom do the barn chores like mucking a stall and bringing some of our horses in to feed and let them out and moved a few heavy things around. Funny part was, it seemed natural to me and I didn't even mind the horse shit. I guess that's what you get for being a farm hand for the first 15 or so years of your life.

I spent about an hour to an hour and a half eating lunch and discussing FreeBSD issues (and related fodder) with Michael Lucas and Frank Laszlo yesterday. We were discussing things like reviving the SEMIBUG, a group that Michael and I helped found in 2000 before I left for Purdue. One large problem was that we needed one place to meet that met our meeting requirements (like having a whiteboard or chalkboard and being a central-ish location). We had a previous arrangement which mostly relies on me being in the area and in particular going to the meetings.. but since I'm gone for fall and spring there's no chance to keep that. So what we figured is that finding a classroom after-hours at Oakland University or some other local college. It would be easier if there was a student organization in the area that does this sort of thing though.

KDE 3.0.1 is coming soon. I recently received the tagged tarballs for this upcoming release which I believe is scheduled for next Wednesday or Thursday. I am going to try to work overtime to get these packages built (maybe even for 5.0-CURRENT if my luck holds) and hopefully a full set sent out to testers on the KDE/FreeBSD team by Sunday evening, and possibly a final set on Tuesday.

I called Sun again early this week. The customer rep was apparently telling me the same thing so I gave it a shot and tried to explain my predicament regarding people calling me (as opposed to the other way around). I guess she took pity and transferred me straight to an engineer, and we talked about the problem for about 10 or 15 minutes and then he decided to have a brand new IDPROM overnighted to me. Sure enough, the part showed up on my doorstep the next day and I managed to successfully install the part, despite its rather strange appearance, as documented here. I got slightly confused by the greenish cover on the IDPROM but figured out that it's just that -- a cover. You just pull it up and you discover it's nothing more than an IC in a ZIF/LIF or similar. So out that went and in the new one, booted, etc.. and yay, I've got a working ethernet interface on my Blade 100 again. Props to the Sun engineer who got this taken care of so quickly. =)

Hmph. I gotta say that being on an ethernet interface to the internet can really spoil you. At my home, the best we can get with a regular analog modem is 28800 bps, regardless of your modem. The reason is simple: the phone network in my neighborhood hasn't been upgraded in 20 years. You can't get dual-channel ISDN, only single-channel, and even that is prohibitively expensive. So I looked at the two-way satellite Internet access offerings. The main one seems to be StarBand. But they are not friendly to home networks or Unix-based machines, as made obvious by their StarBand Facts page. And so neither of these limitations appeals to my family or me. So I guess I am stuck on 28800/26400bps dialup for the summer. Oh well. I've spent the last week or two trying to pace myself. It's really hard to deal with the fact that when you cvsup your source tree or repo or download an ISO, you get a 10-second lag on IRC or similar trying to read your mail on a remote shell. But I'm pacing myself so I can get some work done and be more careful about what I'm doing online and when.

My family's house has a wireless network in it now. But my Cisco Aironet 350 802.11b NIC barely reaches to the opposite side of the house from my room to where the AP (and gateway to the Internet) is. So we bought 1000 feet of Category 5E cable, a crimper, and 50 connectors. And I think this Sat or Sun I'll do the hard work wiring the cable from here to there. Then I can setup a new access point using my SMC 2632W NIC on FreeBSD with Thomas Skibo's HostAP code. This should significantly increase the wireless coverage in my family's house. :)

The last few nights have been really strange sleep wise. For whatever reason, my body decided not to wake me up until 2:30pm on Thursday even though I'd gone to bed an hour earlier the previous night (2:30am Thursday). Those 12 hours of sleep were the most I'd had in a long while. Then Friday I couldn't sleep. I didn't finally manage to fall asleep until 5am. I was in for a rough surprise. My dad woke me at 7:30am. I was angry for not having gotten an hour or two more sleep and grateful at the same time because it made sure I would be able to have lunch with my friends. And thanks to fatigue, I passed out around 10pm Friday.. but for some reason my body woke me up at 2am. And here I am typing away a diary on advogato at 4:30am... I think I'm gonna pass out again around 5am and get some more sleep.

Hopefully Saturday will be a good day.

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