Monday, January 31, 2005

Nit-picking code

Today, I found an error in the code library I am using. There was a header file that used an ostringstream object without including sstream. The code always compiled before because sstream always would get indirectly included by another file, but now I'm using it without the other classes that usually go with it. (Actually, I'll probably need some of them later, but I was trying to get a skeleton of a new class to compile today.) So, anyway, I added in a line to the header and committed it to the repository. I always feel a little odd when I do that, like I'm stepping on other people's toes, but in this case the change really did need to be made, and no one else had noticed it.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

LOTR animated alternatives

*giggle* NINJA WIZARD!

more here

My brain hurts

I just finished an intense meeting involving my project lead guy, a computer girl like me, and her project lead guy. The last guy single-handedly makes any makes any meeting intense. At least he always arrives about ten or twenty minutes late so you have time to brace yourself.

Basically, we have our research project which eventually will have capabilities similar to a program that they are using. We'd like to be able to compare the programs' performance, so that means we need to convert the data between formats. They're using a database with a whole lot of tables; we're using XML for our input and output. Their program is designed to simulate a very specific system; we're trying to make a general-purpose tool. They're doing a discrete event model; we're using agents. Just translating between our mental models is strenuous. I fear the data conversion is going to be just plain ugly.

Intense dude always gives the impression that he is very disappointed that our research software cannot do everything that their version 4 or 5 software can. Argh! Research! General-purpose! He also was shocked that I write code in emacs and that my "coding standards" don't involve something like Hungarian notation in my variable names. Ick! In what decade did he last program, I wonder?

I think I'm going to bypass him and go talk with the other computer girl about this stuff.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005


In the interest of furthering my mastery of the fiber arts, I have signed up for a Beginning 4-Harness Weaving at Village Wools, my local yarn shop.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Playing hooky!

I've been staying rather late lately, so I'm taking off a little early today. I wouldn't be doing this if I was in the middle of something, but my code did my bidding with little protest so I'm free!

I'm off to see a cheap campus showing of The Incredibles with my husband. We've already seen it in the regular theaters, but this is worth a second viewing.

Monday, January 24, 2005

Single-handedly bringing down the forests...

Somebody sent some gibberish to the printer here at work, making it spew out about about a ream of mostly blank pages. The tray was empty when I got there, so I refilled it, unfortunately allowing it to continue its tree-killing ways. After hitting the cancel job button every time I saw a nonsense page come out, I gave up and powercycled the printer. After it woke up again, it seemed calmer, and just printed out a big pile of powerpoint slides. Either it was a really repeditive presentation, or someone sent the same file two or three times in a row. Who prints out powerpoint slides one to a sheet? Come to think of it, who prints out powerpoint slides in general? The only time I've done it is for class notes and I printed six slides to a page. I guess some people have no clue how to use their software.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Fun with Mappoint

It is a long way from Haugesund to Trondheim if you ask Microsoft for directions.

Friday, January 21, 2005

Narrowing down the problem

I think I've figured out what is happening, but I can't see why the minor change in the library code is causing an off by one error now. Unfortunately, the guy who wrote it is off today, so I may not be able to make much progress until Monday. Bleh!

I'll take another look at the cvs diff results to see if there is just a stupid mistake in yesterday afternoon's update that no one has noticed yet.


I updated a library and now my simulation is broken. Why? This did not figure into my Friday plans!

Nerd Quiz

I am nerdier than 64% of all people. Are you nerdier? Click here to find out!

Should I be annoyed or relieved?

Thursday, January 20, 2005


I've already grumbled to my husband about this, but it is worth whining to my readers as well. (That would be what, two people? *grin*)

Today, for some reason unknown to me, my right foot is occasionally having sharp stabbing pain at the base of my big toe when I reach a certain point in my stride. Once or twice in the past, I've had a pain where it feels like my big toes are jammed if I wear high heels for too long, but that can't be it, since I haven't wore heels for quite a while now. I don't remember kicking anything or having something dropped on my foot, so I'm at a loss as to the cause.

*sigh* If it isn't better tomorrow, I'll have to see about getting it checked out before I develop a pronounced limp. Perhaps I'll even use the health center here at work. I'm hoping it is just an odd toe alignment that will go away on its own.

Mission accomplished!

The care package is in the mail, so my uncle should receive his slightly stale oatmeal fudge by Monday.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005


I have a package to mail to my uncle and I didn't make it to the post office for the second day in a row. It wouldn't be so bad if there weren't oatmeal fudge in the box. I guess I'll just have to do it tomorrow. Of course, I said the same thing yesterday evening. I'm so flaky sometimes!

Stop me before I ever get this bad!

These ski masks are just plain disturbing! What mind altering substances were the designers using?

Fun with the Next Blog button

Whatever, Mom

Monday, January 17, 2005

Harvard president claims that women and science don't mix

Many articles out there about this. Here's a quote from The Independent:
"He then argued that boys outperform girls on maths and science due to genetic difference rather than socialisation. He gave the conference an example from his own experience: a story of giving his daughter two trucks, which she treated like dolls, calling them mummy and daddy trucks."

If you supposedly can read that much into the way a kid plays with toys, I wonder what Larry Summers would think about the way I treated my dolls as a child. "Oh no, Barbie! Don't jump! You have so much to live for!"

Thursday, January 13, 2005

What age do you act?

Heh, silly quiz was only off by a year. Not bad.

You Are 27 Years Old


Under 12: You are a kid at heart. You still have an optimistic life view - and you look at the world with awe.

13-19: You are a teenager at heart. You question authority and are still trying to find your place in this world.

20-29: You are a twentysomething at heart. You feel excited about what's to come... love, work, and new experiences.

30-39: You are a thirtysomething at heart. You've had a taste of success and true love, but you want more!

40+: You are a mature adult. You've been through most of the ups and downs of life already. Now you get to sit back and relax.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

No more excuses for fat geeks

Some engineer has written a book called The Hacker's Diet, complete with an exercise program and computer tools. I am reminded that I really should exercise more.

My personal technique involves wearing a step counter to keep track of how little I move around during the day. I used to do some yoga exercises, but I misplaced the book last time I moved. I suppose that is yet another reason for me to go through the stack of boxes in my office. Hey, if I start doing stretches on the floor, I bet I'd want to vacuum the carpet more often. Amazing how good patterns can reinforce each other.

"stay in the middle of the air"

From NASA's Civil Helicopter Safety Website:

"Basic Flying Rules:
1. Try to stay in the middle of the air.
2. Do not go near the edges of it.
3. The edges of the air can be recognized by the appearance of ground, buildings, sea, trees and interstellar space. It is much more difficult to fly there."

Is that why my build takes so long?

Recursive Make Considered Harmful

Actually, my current project doesn't really fall victim to the pitfalls mentioned in this paper, but it is good to bear in mind. The author has some tips on how to make a single project makefile without going insane.

Monday, January 10, 2005

Fun with STL

Lately I've been rewriting some of my code to take better advantage of the C++ Standard Template Library. It seems silly to use the containers and ignore the algorithms, especially when you can start writing more functional code. (Functional as in functional programming, of course.)

Friday, January 07, 2005

Updated Projective Plane Pattern

Nate has changed his projective plane hat pattern to incorporate a color pattern, so now I have something else to add to my knitting to-do list. I wish he had kept the old version on the site instead of overwriting it, though. I was thinking of working the old version with horizontal stripes and I'm not sure if I still have the file.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Finding friends online

It's always interesting to stumble across a web page for someone you've lost touch with. In this case, I've discovered Kent's LiveJournal. I'll have to read it later and see what he's been up to.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005


I got my gmail invite through the gmail invite spooler in a rare bit of luck when they had one available. Now that I have an account, I have a few invitations of my own available (after sending one to the isnoop spooler, to be kind to others out there), so if any of friends or family are interested, let me know. (Limited time offer, void where prohibited, etc.)

Yay! I have Gmail!

What it says above.
I am now (I wanted to use my real name but thought it was too long to use both of my last names in the address.) Anyone who knows me should be able to figure out the real email address from the information above, but that should foil spambots out there.

Monday, January 03, 2005

Back to work

I had a nice Christmas holiday visiting family in Indiana, but now I must get back to work. I had a surprisingly small email backlog to deal with this morning, probably because everyone else was gone for the holidays as well. Now I'm trying to pick up my old train of thought from nearly two weeks ago. What was I doing again?