Tag Archives: meme

My Oldest Files

Similar to the old­est email meme from the other day, I saw a meme on Ned Batchelder’s blog about locat­ing the old­est file in your home direc­tory tree and telling its story.

headlinemodified.gifFor 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.

cc1.gifOn 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.

Posted in: Dear Diary

The year in review / the year ahead

MonkeyI was prompted by a meme in [info]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.

Posted in: Dear Diary

I can name that code in 3 lines”

I gen­er­ally hate post­ing meme/quiz/test results, but thought this one was worth it...

Name That Code

I had to guess on the Ruby, Fortran, and COBOL, but am con­fi­dent I got the rest cor­rect.

Posted in: Code Dear Diary

Album Cover

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.

1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Random
The first arti­cle title on the page is the name of your band.

2. http://www.quotationspage.com/random.php3
The last four words of the very last quote is the title of your album.

3. http://www.flickr.com/explore/interesting/7days/
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.

Posted in: Dear Diary

How many HTML elements can you name in 5 minutes?

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.

Continue read­ing

Posted in: Code Games

Careening Career Meme

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 WERE TALKING! BOOM!
40. Race Car Mechanic Fun, dan­ger, and red­necks. Where do I sign up?

Posted in: Dear Diary

Car Un-meme

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.

Because all the cool kids are doing it

Please note that all blog posts before 8 April 2007 were auto­mat­i­cally imported from LiveJournal.  To see the com­ments and any LiveJournal-specific extras such as polls and user icons, please find the source post­ing at http://brianenigma.livejournal.com/2006/01/

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.

Obligatory link to make yer'own

Edit: Fixed miss­ing “http://” from link

Posted in: Music