For me, there are a couple of different ways I can answer this. My current laptop has a slimmed-down home directory. Technically, the oldest file (that doesn’t have a “1979–12-31 00:00:00″ non-date date) is a “todo” from within the OpenSSL library package. I do quite a lot of security and encryption work with OpenSSL and all of the files in this version seem to be dated 1998-12-21. The oldest file not part of a file archive is
~/Library/Fonts/HEADMH__.TTF, with a timestamp of 2002-10-09. It is the “Headline Modified” font from the H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society Prop CD. The oldest file that I created myself is a design document for work that I can’t really discuss from 2004-08-19. The oldest files that I can talk about, that I actually created (so, skipping over mbox and Apple Address Book data files) is
~/Code/workspace/pietro_files/sentences.txt, an input(?) file to an online puzzle in the early days of Perplex City. The content of a blog post was used to calculate hidden URLs which could be retrieved and arranged to access more of the story. If I remember correctly, I wrote a simple little app to parse the blog and grab information from the URLs.
On my desktop (well, technically, the old laptop), the oldest file with a real date is 1992-04-28,
~/Data/Old Drives/etc/Sound/eol.wav, a clip from the movie Tron saying “End of Line.” I’m not sure if I downloaded this or recorded it from VHS on the Amiga I had at the time (the PC didn’t have a SoundBlaster), so I can’t say a whole lot about it. The oldest file that I actually created myself looks to be 1996-10-07,
~/Data/Old Drives/etc2/web/enigma/ (and a bit later that day, Card_Page.html), the web version of a desktop publishing flyer I sometimes passed out at the local 2600 [hacker] meetings. This one was some research I did on the patents for credit card magstripes and included information on the density and formatting of the tracks. A few months later, someone had a device hooked up to the parallel port of a laptop that could read and decode magstripes on credit cards, drivers licenses, student cards, and whatnot.
So those are the oldest files in my home directory. My desktop has a
/var/cvs repository that has even older files, but that’s not in my home directory, so doesn’t technically count toward this particular meme. Similar to the previous post, I have much, much older files on CD archives, but the likelihood of me digging through those for a meme is pretty low.
I was prompted by a meme in The Bruce’s recent post (which was, in turn, inspired by another post, and so on, as memes are apt to do) to dig through my mail and find the oldest message. On my current machine (a MacBook Air whose home directory had previously been a MacBook Pro, nee PowerBook G4, nee iMac G3, nee Debian Linux on a Toshiba business laptop, nee Linux on various frankenstein PCs) that was May 7, 2001. It is a ticket confirmation to Cirque Du Soleil’s “O” at the Bellagio during the DefCon of that year. That was amongst receipts and confirmations I felt, at the time, important enough to move over to the Mac. Previous to Apple’s Mail.app, I was using Pine and Unix mail directories. I’m confident I have those backed up on CD somewhere. I’m also confident that I’m too lazy to go back and look through those to find older messages. In a related note, my first blog entry dates back to a little later that year: August 29th, 2001.
Looking back on the past year, there were plenty of highlights to be happy about. Due to the economy, the year was not as prosperous and happy as previous years, so does not have as many things to highlight, but still has a few important items.
* New house! (Technically, we got it in late November of the previous year, but we were not really fully moved in until January or February, so it’s on the list) Also: making the jacuzzi functional
* Best Wife Ever. I’m always amazed at how dynamic and adaptive she is, whether it’s her business, social calendar, inventiveness in the kitchen and around the house, fearless career changes, or just life in general. She has always been, and continues to be, great.
* I still have a decent job at a decent company with a good balance between research and development of new products and technologies versus maintaining old ones. This past year got even better because I got a cool new boss who acts as a good buffer between myself and the CEO.
* Yeay for friends and nights out beering with them!
* Building up Kim’s business: getting better at professional photo retouching, fixing up the web store, the newsletter publishing, and all of that.
* Tearing down Kim’s business: on the one hand, it feels all to final, on the other, she’s finishing her degree and will be better prepared to “reboot” her business, if that’s what she wants. Or to start an entirely different company with entirely different purpose.
* Being part of the community, in the form of neighborhood association (or as they sometimes say, “NA”) meetings. Calling them “NA Meetings” always squiggs me out, as I’ve learned “NA” as initials to an entirely different sort of meeting.
* Norman, the semi-feral kitty we rescued from the streets.
I don’t really make new years resolutions. I generally try to improve myself throughout the year, a little at a time, instead of attempting a big transformative change once a year. A few ways I have been trying to better myself and will continue to do:
* I have increasingly been learning that the entertainment value and networking provided by local events is highly important. Everything these days seems like it points back to creating and maintaining local communities–from sustainable “green” living to technical learning, sharing, and creating (so called “barcamps.”) I’ve been to a few of the bigger events (Ignite Portland), but have yet to go to any of the smaller ones like tweetups and things at cubespace, beer-and-blog, and whatnot. I have Portland Barcamp on my calendar and plan on attending other smaller events as time permits.
* I started going to my Yoga For Stiffs class less and less frequently last year. This was partly due to money, partly falling out of a routine, partly moving further away and driving less frequently. I’m not comfortable with a lot of bike riding, especially after dark, and bus transfers to class would have been a pain. I have been researching more advanced yoga and differing forms of exercise, like Tai Chi, that are easier to get to. I’m ready to start taking a few sample classes, but if two new years of Yoga for Stiffs (hence the desire to try something more advanced or different) have taught me anything, it’s that the first few weeks of the new year are overcrowded in such classes and you are unable to get the attention you deserve. I may wait until late January or early February to let things settle before starting up again.
* I have been cleaning up and minimizing the amount of physical crud in my life and will continue to do so. It’s amazing how many useless trinkets, so-called timesaving gadgets, and maybe-I’ll-need-it-someday junk you can collect, never use, take up space that could be better utilized for things you actually use, and eventually end up in landfills. I’ve been seriously getting rid of useless stuff I already have and making great efforts to prevent such kipple from even entering the house in the first place. It’s an ongoing battle, but after an initial purge it takes very little active work, just a little ongoing thought.
* In the past few months, I’ve turned over a new leaf as far as style and looks go. My clothing has gotten less industrial-music, less punk-rock. My hair went from waist-length two-tone to natural color to short. There is still more work to do this year with style and clothes and more self-discovery of what my new style really is.
So that’s the old year and the new year, wrapped as best as these sorts of things can be in a blog entry.
So there is this meme going around, most recently seen on Phaedra’s journal. I’m not usually one for memes (well, I sometimes do them but rarely post the result), but this seemed too cool to pass up.
The first article title on the page is the name of your band.
The last four words of the very last quote is the title of your album.
The third picture, no matter what it is, will be your album cover.
Now, pop open your imaging program, and create that album cover.
Here is mine:
I spent very little time in Photoshop, and the font effects are pretty generically craptastic, but... you know... it sort of works in conveying a low-budget album. It’s obviously a garage band of some kind that plays death metal, or perhaps it’s a gothic band. The girl is probably the drummer’s little sister.
I do not usually post memes, but saw this on angelsk’s LJ and liked that it’s more of a test of skill (well, technically, memorization) than a personality test or “what [object in object class] are you?”
Cut for analysis, which mentions lots of HTML tags you probably don’t remember, yourself. If you’re going to take the quiz, don’t click until after.
I rarely, if ever, post the result of memes and I am a bit late to the party with that career meme that has been going around, but the results were so odd that I thought I would paste them here with comments. For those not in the know, my current vocation (firmware) is about half-way between a computer engineer and an electrical engineer (although I only took a semester or two of EE in college, so I’m stronger on the software and digital logic side of things).
1. Mechanical Engineering Tech The first three are mechanical, which I find a little surprising and confusing.
2. Aerospace Engineer
3. Mechanical Engineer
4. Agricultural Engineer Agriculture? I’m lucky that I can finally grow a few vegetables without (all of) them dying.
5. Biomedical Engineer I never did well in biology. It was all the memorizing.
6. Computer Engineer This, I expect
7. Electrical Engineer ...and this as well
8. Engineering Tech I’m not entirely sure what this is, but the “tech” makes it sound like a glorified repairman
9. Stationary Engineer I have no idea. Paper? Unmoving? Wait, Google tells me this is a building HVAC engineer. Not so much.
10. Physicist One of the things I always wanted to be
11. Astronomer Another thing I wanted to be, except for the memorization
12. Chemical Engineer Sure. The experiments were fun. I grew up with Mr. Wizard pouring things into other things. I know that real life isn’t like that, but it’s fun to pretend.
13. Avionics Tech Again with the “tech“
14. Mining Engineer Yes, I realize I’m a geek, but I like the outside. Does playing Minesweeper give me an advantage with this field?
15. Geologist I guess...?
16. Computer Support Person NO! No, no, no, no, and NO! “Have you tried switching it off, then back on again?” *headdesk*
17. Pilot Another thing I’d like to do someday
18. Helicopter Pilot Like above, but much more difficult from what I hear.
19. Petroleum Engineer Uhhh... not so much, thanks.
20. Power Plant Operator Does it come with free donuts? With sprinkles?
And now a few of the more interesting ones beyond #20:
22. Website Designer Been there, done that, got the t-shirt, hated it.
24. Computer Programmer This is #24?!?
28. Model Maker No patience for this.
29. Motorcycle Mechanic “Can” and “want to for a paycheck” are two different things
32. Fashion Designer Ha! HAHAHA! Ask my wife what she thinks of this.
34. Cartoonist / Comic Illustrator Lack of artistic ability, I believe, disqualifies me from this particular vocation.
35. Automobile Mechanic See: motorcycle
38. Explosives Specialist YES! NOW WE’RE TALKING! BOOM!
40. Race Car Mechanic Fun, danger, and rednecks. Where do I sign up?
This isn’t a meme or anything, but three things you didn’t know about my car (or maybe you did):
- In the fall and winter, it always smells like wet dog inside.
- Virtually all year ’round (except for a month or two in the summer), moss grows on the outside. Mainly this is on the rubber gasket where the window glass meets the door.
- Leather seats are unbearably cold in the worst winter weather and unbearably hot in the worst summer weather.
My iTunes Music Signature (as well as the list of included songs in case you could not recognize something or just want to browse.) They're based on my top-rated songs in iTunes, so you can see that my tastes range from klank-klank industrial to beepbeepboop electronic/newave to jazz to silly to classic rock, with just a touch of more modernish-emoish stuff. No real punk made it to the list for some reason.
Edit: Fixed missing “http://” from link