Wednesday, October 29, 2003

Life Lesson #27:

Folks, please ... don't play frogger with the damn car.
You are playing games on the road I drive.
Here are a few new life lessons I came up with, but didn't really realize I had done so until yesterday.

Life Lesson #28:
Just because you're an adult doesn't mean you don't think in patterns -- anticipate what you're really trying to do, before you act.

Life Lesson #29:
Aphorisms are only good to a point -- they don't have to be true to sound wise.

Life Lesson #30:
Don't base your ego on unstable, subjective traits, else it, too will be unstable and subjective.

Now I'm off for 3AM breakfast !
Finished with late homework ... again. This has got to stop. Linear Algebra homework is next. Goin' off to the waffle house to get some food and finish linear algebra.
Heheheheheh... I just got a message from my boss, asking to meet him today, in about 13.5 hours about work and the end of the current project ... HA ! WORK ! Let me tell you .... **snoooooore**


*


what was I saying ?

Saturday, October 25, 2003

Yet another traditional journal entry ... and another interesting day :-D

Yes, I hear the new Athlon chips now smoke the G5. A friend was explaining to me how he would be playing Unreal Tournament, then camp in a corner, switch over to a movie (and have UT still playing in the background) and suddenly he'd hear shots being fired, and swap back in time to kick some ass ... it's simply wrong I tell you ! The guy's got some major firepower ! But the mobo and cpu alone costed him about $1500 *cringe* but apparently the best place to go for computer components is Fry's up in Chandler.

I got my CSC quiz back on Thursday .... 20/20 ... yippee, but then, it was a pretty easy test.

In Trad104 we got to handle replicas of early hominid skulls :-D.

Between Thursday night and Friday morning, I was somehow able to break my writer's block to finish a 5-page essay that was due at 1:00pm Friday ... whew ! My saving grace was actually switching topics ! I had to rewrite my essay from scratch, and I did it ! I was so stoked that I felt nothing was going to stop me from going out that night and having a blast ! And absolutely nothing stopped me :-D !

The essay dealt with similarities between humans and chimpanzees ... It wasn't until later on that night that I realized the perfect analogy for the bonobo Kanzi's grasp of the english language (but too late to add it to the essay ): it's akin to the way people understand art, music, or relationships ... you can teach a person to be an expert at analyzing music, to play an instrument with amazing skill, and even give them as many resources and lessons on composing as you wish, but while the knowledge helps tremendously, it certainly doesn't gaurantee that person will create good music. The same is true for art . And in relationships, heck, *I* have a lot of great information, but personal experience ? Nooooo . Thus, between learning new material and using it, there can sometimes be a gap where you understand it, but can't apply it.

Rueben and Patricia came by to pick me up at around 7-ish, whereupon the 2nd time in a long time, my mother decides to let me go out and have fun right there on the spot ... I think it was because Patricia was there ... if there wasn't a girl there, then my mother wouldn't have wanted to say hi, and wouldn't have wanted to make sure that all my business at home was taken care of X-D heheheh.
So we went out to pick up Ambre, Rueben's girlfriend, and then stopped at Mainstreet, where we played pool, ddr, (on a slightly foobarred pad -- must've been from all those other guys slamming their feet down on the poor machines, but hey, that was what they were designed for ! So we sorta stopped playing ddr after that.) Ms. Pacman, etc ... we met a friend of Patricia's, Stephanie ... a real interesting character there ... definitely competetive ... the first time I was able to recognize an "alpha" female, before ... it was rather interesting & slightly disheartening to see the dynamics ... but I'm not going to make a discussion of that here.
At about 10:00 we thought about where to go next, and first thought of Borders Bookstore, but then I thought about going to Golf 'n' Stuff to play Bumper Boats -- what the hell was I thinking ?! Why waste more money ?! And the other issue was that most games are inherently conflict-oriented because there's almost always someone who's winning or losing, and someone who's really skilled or really unlearned.
So we went to Golf 'n' Stuff, I bought 3 tickets for bumper boats, originally one for me & Patricia, one for Stephanie, and one for Rueben and Ambre, but since Rueben weighs too much for two, the guy allowed us each to get on our own boats -- even so, Patricia wouldn't get in a boat ... but that actually turned out to be the more well-thought out course of action, considering my pants were soaked by the end of the ride via Stephanie and Ambre, and Stephanie's purse got uber-wet via the revenge of Yours Truly :-D , but I felt really guilty about it the rest of the night ... It was awesome, too ... at the beginning I walked around to pick the boat with the fasted revving motor, got in, and for some reason, while I'm still formulating strategies for the best way to splash other people without getting myself wet, I've certainly mastered the art of navigation :-D. The boats and the course are both bigger and more enjoyable than at Funtasticks, which means that is the only ride which beats Funtasticks, hands down :-D. After that we didn't have time to go eat, (Jamie, Jamie, Jamie, this is why things need to be planned out) and we had to drop Patricia off, since she had a looong day yesterday, and worse yet, is beginning an even longer day, today ... as she's going to be spending 6 hours on the road . On the way to dropping Stephanie off, we talked about puppy love syndrome ... essentially when a guy has never been in a relationship before and suddenly there's a girl which really knocks him off his feet, or when a guy has had a lot of relationships and dates, but never anyone who really 'clicked' for him until he met *her*.
In either case, the result is the same ... one can essentially think of a person with puppy love as a G-rated stalker :-D . He can't control his feelings, gets too close, too fast, and she has to let him know that he crossed the line ... most guys who are newbies at relationships must go through this at some point ... I did last year ... which fortunately immunized me from further puppy love syndrome attacks.
At any rate, Stephanie related some details that she just recently broke off an engagement a month ago, and also was supposed to go on a date tonight but the guy just completely backed out on the same night ... which sounds awful, and certainly explained some of her actions that night -- but after she left, Ambre revealed that it's pretty easy for her to see when some people are fibbing (or maybe she was fibbing :-D ), due to the changes in voice tone, and thinks it's obvious -- and told us that she thinks Stephanie was stretching the truth a bit ... so that makes another mystery.
Time to get to work.

Wednesday, October 22, 2003

The first traditional journal entry in a very long time ... Interesting day, today .
The Media Zone at the ILC opened today ... door prizes and all that ... good stuff ... a woman who calls herself "Psymbiote" who installed a whole bunch of bio-info monitoring equipment on her body gave a speech there regarding the role of technology in the continued "conscious" evolution of mankind. That was awesome and unexpected. A nice guy there won a prize, a book on Maya 5, and just promptly handed it over to me ... he said his reasoning was that he knew I wanted it badly ... wow . I reminded him that it was a $70 book, but he was intent, and who am I to turn down such a generous offer ? :-D
at any rate, I also had fun with the new computers there ... I think they're G5's!! -- currently the fastest machines on the planet ... they even have dvd-r drives ... PUBLIC UNIVERSITY COMPUTERS WITH DVD-RECORDABLE DRIVES ... AND THEY'RE FASTER THAN ANY OTHER FREAKIN' COMPUTER ARCHITECTURE ON THE PLANET !!! THE PLANET ! Although that'll probably change with the other major chip-makers' 64-bit machines.
Anyway, my first song has finally been approved by mp3.com and the other will follow, I'm sure ... Still waitin' on my Dimension-AS2 to get here, and tryin' to maintain a budget ... but damn ... kinda hard when you're working part-time ! :-D but I can't complain ! I just can't complain ! I'm typing this as I await my mother's return from her meeting, but since she's here now, it's time to pack up and go !

Monday, October 20, 2003

Warning: non-scientific, unresearched musing ahead. (continued from a previous ramble months ago.)

I will boldly split infinitives wherever and whenever I freakin' wish !

English infinitives are phrases, not words, and thus provide more flexibility.

It's only natural that we like to hug our descriptions as close as possible to the roots of messages we convey.

Case and point:
Let us look at one of Latin's hallmarks : the flexible way that an individual can easily and arbitrarily re-arrange words in a sentence - with the proper suffixes and modifiers, it is often possible to reverse the order of words, and not just in simple phrases. (At the moment, of course, I am forced to call this "common knowledge" since I do not speak Latin, nor can I (currently) immediately provide proof of this claim.)

Another relative of more closely associating the gist of a message with the corresponding description appears to be the method of building verb phrases ontop of each other with different verb forms: while a common feature in many languages, its functionality extends past the scope of this discussion, but will also suffice to show what we mean by "mixing verb forms" -- i.e. "It is necessary that you do this..." or "I'm thinking of doing this" or "I'm asking you to consider this..." and the popular "going to" modifier for present and near-future tenses, as in "I'm going to watch the movies." and "I'm going to jog today." Both are also shining examples of complexity that, while syntactically redundant, provide more description which is commonly consistent with the expected times of action, based on that person's notion of time. If you don't believe it, analyze it yourself -- think about what you're really trying to convey the next time you say, "I'm thinking about goin' to the ..." , "I'm gonna go to the ..." , and "I'm going to the ..." For many people, those three sentences may give the impression of completely different time ranges.

Back to the main idea, consider the more pertinent example below:

I will boldly split infinitives wherever and whenever I dare to do so !

While ugly in structure, the example shows that English has constructs akin to the splitting of infinitives,(although what I wanted to show was that many other languages have familiar constructs, but once again, I don't have supporting data, although we may certainly assume it to be true ... but we can assume any truths or falsehoods we wish.) and though most of these constructs do not provide duplicate functionality, they are similar enough to provide insight and provoke more questions.


Warning : the above is an opinionated and completely un-researched ordering of semi-coherent ramblings .
Why did I even bother typing it, then ? (and, more to the point: how is that different from any of my other entries? :-D ) Because it's a topic that interests me, to the point that I might pursue further, in the not-so-near future. In the meantime I'll save this lil' ramble as a nice starting point, from which I can look at once I come full circle to see how far my bookworm investigations have driven me.

Sunday, October 19, 2003

Muy interesante. Time to make a quick trip to the music store ? Maybe.. But they sure as hell have a good website.

Wednesday, October 15, 2003

Stephen Hawking has been known to take his chair to the dance floor with the fly girls.

A friend's self-conscious musing on her brainpower led me down a road of rambling thoughts.

Barbara Streisand has never learned how to read music ... never, Einstein didn't speak till 9 years old and couldn't read/write till 14, Churchill had a learning disability, Robert Schumann had terminal depression and a brain that created too many pathways: he was institutionalized because he reached a point where every sequence of sounds became an unwritten melody that was lost forever. Some people have naturally high blood pressure, while others have blood that carries 1.5x's more oxygen, thus acting like a third lung. Some people can calculate numbers without calculators, and others have eidetic memories.
Rita Carter has an interesting read on super-specialized brilliance.

Friday, October 10, 2003

Usually don't post that often anymore ... but I thought I'd add a few C tricks.

#1 : Array Subscript notation in C is commutative ... that is, to access the second character in a string 's' ... you can just easily type in s[1] OR 1[s] !

#2 : ANSI C decided that in addition to the standard that using a function name in an R-value without the parameter subscripts automatically returns the address of that function (that is , say we just type in malloc, instead of malloc() in any assignment),
that any pointer to a function, when given parameter subscripts, should automatically call the function it points to ...

so say we have a function f() that simply returns a random integer,
and a pointer 'pf' to a function that returns an int,

/* then the following will always be syntactically correct: */
int i;
int (*pf)() ;

pf = f; /*assignment */
i = (*pf)(); /* execution */

/* But very soon, in ANSI-C compliant Compilers, THIS will also be syntactically correct ! */
int i;
int (*pf)();

pf = f; /*assignment */
i = pf(); /* execution */

/* and more importantly, THIS will be correct :-D */

struct p {int (*pf)(); int y;} ;
struct p sp;
int i;

sp.pf = f;
i = sp.pf();

And this could lead to even more interesting behavior when messing with function memory ...

#3 : For structs ANSI C defines the offsetof macro, in <stddef.h>
but if not defined it's usually something like this ... not garaunteed to always be portable ...

#define offsetof(type, mem) ((size_t) ((char *)&((type *) 0)->mem - (char *)((type *) 0)))

And this allows us to do neat tricks, like accessing struct members by name at run-time,
with something like

*(int *)((char *)structp + offsetof(struct p, some_field) = value;

Obviously, one would want to use a bit of #define magic to make such code look prettier ... of course, the better alternative is that gcc has a few flags that allow a much more wysiwyg approach to buffers and offsets, which, in combination with unions and structs, will allow you to get away with darn near anything short of blind polymorphism in structs ...

I'm working on that right now ... I know there MUST be a way to do it --
The problem is that in THIS sense, and in this sense alone, C is VERY strongly typed -- all pointers are simply large integers, and if you want, you can even cast an integer to a pointer, but the key is that you MUST cast to SOMETHING, otherwise it won't work.
C Prime will attempt to make a generic pointer type (any error-checking on that should be up to the programmer), so a person could make a struct of doubles and a struct of integers, and will discern the type when using a generic pointer to one of those types ... (the idea is that the type would be discerned at compile-time and some macros would add the proper cast to each such expression) but you'll still have to use unions if you want to make a container that holds both types.

Wednesday, October 01, 2003

MIT OpenCourseWare Free classes. Online. Everything but the degree.

Dig it.