09.07.2016 17:31

In need of rotation

The computer collection has been sitting idle in the house for quite some time now. I think it's time we try to think of something for them all to do again. My newest thought is to use them in a rotation. I plan to use a different computer every month, and chronicle my experiences with using some very old gear for things like email, web browsing, writing, and programming. This will probably become a little easier when school is over, because then I can work on problems that don't require very specific versions of software and hardware. The Kaggle problems come to mind when I say this. And writing out final drafts for the stories I'm still trying to create. So starting in December I hope to dedicate this blog to my monthly computer rotation. Good use of this blog too since I hardly write in it any longer.

Oh yeah and I'm going to need to start my blog rotation soon. I have quite a few of them and they have all been sitting idle for a long time now. I would like to update them all every week. Another project for when the school season is over.

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07.18.2016 16:42

The no-preview results

Well posting is a lot faster when I select --no-preview for nanoblogger. No error messages either. So I made a shell script called make-entry to run this command for me every time I want to add a blog entry.

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07.18.2016 16:40

Testing nanoblogger's no-preview flag

Every time I add an entry with nanoblogger I get an error message at the end of the posting saying something about preview finding an error in the index.html xml code. So I'm posting this post with the --no-preview option selected. Let's see how it goes.

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07.18.2016 16:37

New Ideas

Today I've been thinking about my collection of shell accounts again. I started adding a writing directory into each of them. And a few weeks ago I started exploring the use of Perl to automate running processes on all of these accounts simultaneously. I should write a Perl script that backs up my writing stuff into each node sort of like what Dropbox does.

So I've been thinking about how to do this. I guess I could run a cron job that checks the contents and timestamps of each node's writing directory and synchronizes them every few minutes or so. I think I got a simple SCP Perl script working and was successfully able to transfer files to a few of my test nodes. Now I need to figure out how to link all these little Perl scripts together. Maybe I should write a nice and tidy module to do all these functions, and save all my node information to an encrypted text file.

So yeah. Ideas. I also want to work out a better system for running asynchronous jobs on my node cluster. Perl is going to be my go-to tool. I've explored some of the stuff other's have made with Bash, Java, and C but they are all too hard to use and setup. And they don't do exactly what I want them to do either. They are good for running the same job on each node, with just the data split among nodes. What I want to do is run different jobs on each node and then collect results with the main node I'm interfacing with.

Like say for example I want to find the best model that describes a dataset. I want to try various models on that same dataset. So I write a script that assigns a range of models to try and report back on how well that model fit. So I write a script that splits the models across various nodes and they all return a report when they are done. I combine all the reports and analyze the results from the main node. Sounds simple enough, but now I need to consider the various differences I have between the nodes. Some nodes only allow 200 MB of storage space. Some nodes don't have the latest version of Perl installed. Some have Java and others do not. So if I wanted to use Weka I would be limited to only a few nodes.

So then the real work becomes developing Perl scripts that implement all of the various models I want to try out. The amount of work I need to do to get started in machine learning becomes pretty huge. Someone needs to write a pure Perl machine learning library that is small and easy to install on machines with limited resources.

That's all for now. I'll post on update when I'm done daydreaming. I think I'll try designing a file backup server first.

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06.27.2016 16:39

Another day for a life update

I've been dreaming up of a short story today. I don't want to talk about it in the public but it's about a guy who plays with a biochemistry kit with his son and does some interesting things with it. You can imagine the possibilities right?

Another day at work and I'm waiting for the machine to finish taking pictures. I'm not going to leave the fab while it does it's work because I need to finish repairing this panel today. So I might as well be in front of the machine while it's working to do the image processing immediately.

I'm feeling a little sleepy even though I went to bed so early last night. I think it was 9 o'clock. I'm eating less to help me lose weight and save my poor heart and pancreas from the excessive amount of fat in my blood. I've already lost 2 lbs over the weekend, which is a bit excessive. I need to eat a little more than what I was doing to stay healthy. I'm really sleep though without my sugar dose. I was drinking green tea in the morning but it does not have enough caffeine to really wake me up.

So yeah I'm almost done with school and I hope that if I get enough panels repaired in the next two weeks maybe I can get a week off. School will be done with as well. I need to remember to chat with my advisor soon before the fall semester starts to make sure I'm on track to finishing this winter. I'm pretty excited to have school done. I did a lot of work and the free time will be used for reading, writing, and programming once it's all over.

The studying has been going well. I only have three more lectures to listen too then I can focus on reading the articles and the book on software testing that I found at Goodwill. I have my homework for this week pretty much done. I've been getting perfect scores on all of the homework. I think I'm giving them everything they are asking for in this one as well. Need to re-read the problem statement to double check. Then there is one more homework assignment after that and then the final exam! Woo! How exciting.

This has got to be my longest blog entry ever! I should be writing a short story though, or maybe even writing some Perl scripts for work. For now I'll leave to get the real work done. It was fun writing in here while I could though. Till next time SDF, stay online!

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05.26.2016 16:28

The most basic software development setup I can live with at work requires these four things: Microsoft Office, LabView, TextPad, and Strawberry Perl with PDL. If I could not have anything else installed, I would at least need these four packages to do the data analysis and hardware programming development that is the bread and butter of my job. Lately I've been experimenting with different variations of this setup. Our machines at work are slowly being upgraded, so I have machines ranging from Windows XP to Windows 10 at work right now, and everything in between (Except Vista, thankfully).

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05.19.2016 17:05

This thing called Markdown

So there is this markup language called Markdown out there now. Github uses it for people to post documentation about their code projects. I think writers from all backgrounds and fields are using it for blogging and writing their novels in. That's what got me interested in it. A clean looking plain text markup language that allows me to emphasize text and maintain basic formatting without having to resort to a big bad word processor. I really like that idea and I'm really glad it's just so darn easy to learn too!

I really like doing my writing with a text editor instead of a word processor. They just load up so much faster on my ancient computers, and there is just fewer things to distract me when I want to write code or freewrite. Plus editors like TextPad and Vim are just so stable. I have yet to see TextPad crash on me, no matter how huge a file I try to load with it. It's amazing for that, and I'm glad the developers have not messed that up yet.

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07.21.2015 16:10

Notebook Obsession!

Check out Notebook Stories for a chance to win Monologue Notebooks!

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07.21.2015 16:08

Notebook obsession

Check out Notebook Stories for a chance to win Monologue Notebooks!

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06.09.2015 22:12

Notebooks and Writing

6/09/2015 I’ve been doing a little more writing today. I got to work about 15 minutes early so I spent the time writing in my book review journal about what I’m getting out of Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimmage. I’m using a Sanford Uni-Ball Onyx Micro roller ball pen and it’s such a nice way to write. It feels like a luxury pen compared to the generic ball point pens I usually use. Sometimes you just need to use the cheap pens in order to really appreciate the finer ones. I feel like I could write all day with the micro pen. I ended up spending some time in the morning exercising by walking around the HVAC room a few times. I spent the time drinking Dr. Pepper and asking my uncle what software he uses to draw with his iPad. It’s an app called Layers, and it’s only $5. I also looked up how much Uni-ball Onyx and Stick Micro pens cost. Looks like they are $12 a dozen for the Stick Micros and $6 for the Onyx Micro. I have plenty of them right now and I wouldn’t buy a dozen of them until I run out of Bic ball points and other pens I find laying around the house. But right now I’m indulging in using one of the Micros my dad brought me recently. They are definitely my favorite pen. The super fine tip makes them facier than other roller-ball pens, even though they cost more. During lunch I made an inventory of the number of notebooks I have around the office. I noticed that my old clean room lab notebooks were not completely filled. I will need to figure out when I might use them for an experiment here or there. I can’t bring them back into the clean room though. I remember using National brand lab notebooks as well for a while. I think I might have actually filled one of them completely. The other one might be in my office at home. I also noticed that I started using several of my new notebooks for different subjects and have forgotten about them. This is unfortunate because now I am using other notebooks to continue on those topics even though I already have a notebook devoted to it. In my office I have a notebook dedicated to machine learning, The Boy With Green Skin, Cloudskipper, and Chromatic Paradise. I am already using a green leatherette notebook for machine learning, and The Boy With Green Skin was originally started on a hardcover journal from Mexico. Oh well maybe TBWGS will be big enough to fill two notebooks some day. I don’t really have the time to fill it though. I want to use my typewriters to write to my uncle Ralph, who has been in prison for a number of years now. I got his mailing address recently from my mom, so now all I need to do is buy some stamps and write the man a letter saying hello and asking how he is doing and whether life in prison is ok. I might write a draft in my binder on loose leaf paper before committing it to the typer. That’s a nice application for a typewriter, especially if he writes back and we get some consistent correspondence going. It’s funny how the objects I own inspire me to do things, instead of the other way around. It’s like I have dozens of solutions waiting for the problem to come by. They typewriter I will most likely use will be the manual Smith Corona Model 88. That machine seems to be getting better looking with use. The oil from my fingers are making the keys shine now. And since I’m covering it when it is not in use the body is looking very clean as well. I hope my uncle is safer in prison than out in the streets. I would hate to hear that the people in prison are beating him up or anything like that. I also hope he writes back, and that we can maybe get some stories going between each other. He should write a book about his life. Maybe I can help him do it. And the typewriter will be helping us heal and grow.

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