The 3 second status update: I had a truly wunnerful December holiday in South Africa, featuring an abundance of sun, sea, crayfish, beer, meat, fish, various tasty molluscs, a very exciting jaunt in a 4-seater Cessna plane (thanks Dave!), good friends and fun-loving family. After re-adjusting to Dutch weather and getting back into the work thing for a few days, we spent a weekend in Koeln (or Cologne; that’s in Germany for the geographically challenged), worked some more and spent this past weekend debauching terribly with a large group of friends in Bradford-on-Avon, a picturesque little town about an hour’s drive from Bristol (that’s in the UK, again for the geographically challenged readers).
This weekend I decided that it was time to install web-based bug-tracking software to allow the users of DeVIDE (all 2 of them) to be able to report bugs and to allow me to be able to keep track of all the reports. Because of my experience with the phpBugTracker installation used by Kitware for VTK, ITK and a bunch of their other products, I decided to go with this software.
I took a long hard look at the OCaml functional (well, mostly) language this weekend. One of the many interesting aspects of OCaml, is that, in addition to offering an interpreted environment, it comes with a REALLY good compiler. So, you can sit there prototyping your latest numerical trick and when you’re happy, you can compile the code to a blazingly fast native binary. So, whilst reading up on all this, I remembered a question from the [Lush] (a lisp-like scientific languages that can also be compiled) [FAQ]: “How does Lush compare to Matlab/Octave for speed?
So, a few weeks ago I spring-cleaned inside my trusty little linux server machine before installing the replacement hard drive. I think I was rewarded with about a kilo of dust and other muck, but at least the machine is now clean. I then replaced the little CPU fan with a brand-new ball bearing fan (4cm). That was a huge improvement, but I was still not happy with the level of noise.
Right, for those of you who don’t know yet, my group very kindly sent me to attend IEEE Visualization 2004 this week in Austin, Texas, USA, Earth. The flight here was of course less than pleasant, but this is par for the course when considering any kind of flight longer than 8 hours. One tip: pre-ordering vegetarian meals can make all the difference. Instead of eating one of a few hundred pre-prepared plastic-like food imitations, you get one of 5 or 10 lovingly prepared tree-hugger veggie meals.
The Seagate 120G drive in my firewall machine died at the very young age of 8 months. I sent it in to Seagate via the RMA procedure and got a new one back within about 3 days, which I did find quite impressive. In the mean time, I started using a cheap-assed hardware firewall/router/modem thingy, which means I have a machine to play with. Ubuntu went on there without a hitch and I must say I’m VERY impressed.
Dear readers, cpbotha.net has now als moved to AN Hosting. I can REALLY recommend these guys; their service is top notch and the price/performance ratio is impressive. In anycase, the weblogs have already been migrated. That went okay, partly due to Movable Type’s brilliant documentation. It will take a bit longer for the rest of the website to be migrated… I’m evaluating Content Management Systems while we’re shifting things around.
HARR HARR! I kicked it in the crotch when it wasn’t paying attention. Yes ladies and jelly-beans, the draft of my PhD thesis is finally done. Not bad, if I might say so myself. My PhD contract ended on September 15, today is the 21st. 6 days overtime. Lest I forget: On September 16, I was officially appointed as PostDoc in the Visualisation group of the TU Delft. In other words, I’m staying just where I am, except that now I’m getting paid BUCKET LOADS of cash.
Dear Readers, My self-inflicted thesis deadline of the end of August whooshed by, slightly ruffling my alread ruffled hair in the process. One of the many good skills I picked up at StoneThree Pty. Ltd., may it become a huge company and may the people behind it become staggeringly rich, was to build ‘slop’ into any schedule. ‘Slop’ is extra time that comes in very handy when things take longer than you had planned.
This is what we thought up and constructed for dinner last night… it was divine. Thanks to Paul for suggesting the pancetta, it’s perfect for this dish. Ingredients: one aubergine per person one ball of fresh mozzarella per 2 persons 60 g of pancetta per person (amazing italian bacon, you’ll have to get this from your deli) chestnut mushrooms (I think this is what they’re called; in Dutch they’re called “kastanje champignons”) – obviously you can improvise if you can’t find these onions italian spices (oreganum, dried basil, etc), salt, freshly ground black pepper basil pesto rucola (aka rocket salad) fresh tomatoes fresh focaccia or other rough bread Recipe: