So yeah, last week kind of flew past me and I didn't do a good job of keeping up with posting. Lots of it was building live images for the Fedora 10 alpha (coming to a mirror near you tomorrow), testing said images, building new images, and doing over and over again. Also a whole ton of mail on various fronts. Today was more of the same, although also a lot of time trying to track down what was going on in a weird livecd-creator bug that has been popping up from time to time forever. Finally figured out the root cause so hopefully we'll get to the bottom of it real soon now.
On the school side, it was the usual level of madness for summer classes. Spent a good chunk of time Tuesday after class finishing up the System Dynamics assignment and then home to work and have dinner. Only a tiny bit longer of that and then I get a few weeks off before fall classes begin. And Kara and I have booked a short trip for in that time period as we have some overlap this time around.
And then to keep things even more busy last week, we had a pretty busy social schedule. Wednesday had a group of the Quad racers getting together at Redbones and so I wandered down there as, hey, why miss a good chance of eating at Redbones. Thursday was then the monthly “Cafe Quad” social, although I really only briefly popped my head in before going home due to the tiring week. Friday night, Kara and I ended up going out with Kate and Jon to drink to a better August, as Kate's July kind of sucked. Saturday was probably the slowest day — Quad ride in the morning, spending a little bit of time between work and looking at school stuff in the afternoon, and then dinner and watching Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story which was no better or worse than I expected it to be. It was just the sort of light comedy that I was needing at that point.
And I think that mostly catches up to the present… this week might be a little bit less insane on some fronts, but I'm sure it will make up for it on others.
Last week was again a (relatively) light riding week between the storms that were rolling through the area as well as wanting to take part in the various SDM business trip activities. So I was pretty glad that the weather for the weekend looked pretty good. So woke up on Saturday morning and went out on the Quad ride. Although I was hanging just fine, my legs felt somewhat leaden. Figured it was mostly an effect of a light few weeks of riding and made it more of a point to spin rather than hammer in the big gear. Then, Kara and I headed down to her parents' as her dad's birthday was last week — ended up running a couple of errands and also having dinner before heading back home.
Yesterday, woke up and again headed out on the Quad ride. A group was planning to do Westford and Groton, so went out with them. Luckily, legs were feeling quite a bit better and so the longer ride felt less strenuous. Definitely think that things are “back” and so I'm looking forward to doing a race this weekend, although I need to decide if I'm going to head up to New Hampshire for the Bow Road Race or just do Wells Ave. Each has their upsides. Oh well, as long as I figure it out by the end of the week, I'm good. Then, I spent some time tidying up the house and just lazing about playing video games before settling in and trying to knock out the majority of the Systems Engineering homework which is due in the morning. Mostly succeeded, although I need to go over it and make sure it looks okay this evening.
Today is an in the office day and I biked in. Legs started out a little sluggish, but warmed up pretty quick. I think that the sluggishness might just have even been the whole “being on the heavy bike” after riding the nice bike all weekend and also adding to that, carrying in a bit more than I usually do in the pannier.
The day has been fairly productive, although some things haven't been where I've wanted them to be. But one by one getting some of the things taken care of for the Fedora 10 Alpha. For various reasons, the whole non-blocking freeze seems to not work so well. But so it goes. Also fixed up some kernel things for rawhide and have also been trying to make things work a bit nicer on a new piece of hardware. But more on that later.
As mentioned last week, I have switched at home from using Comcast for cable + internet to Verizon FIOS. The install ended up taking a bit longer than I would have hoped, but in the end, seemed to work out okay. Speed on the internet was good and the picture quality also seemed good. Went away for a couple of days for the Seacoast Safari. Got home on Sunday and was going to watch the stage from the Tour. Switch on the Tivo and see it wasn't recorded. Checking why and I see that Versus isn't tuning for some reason. Call up tech support, they reauthorize the cable cards, no dice. So set up a tech to visit. Unfortunately with the business trip being this week, the first time I could really be around for them to come out was this afternoon. This left me Tour-less for a few days, to my dismay :-/
But today, the tech showed up and he seemed to have a pretty good knowledge of cable cards and had even set up a couple of Tivos. But we just went straight to swapping out the cards. Take down all the info, get the infamous 161-4 authorization “error” (which means things are working) and wait for the auth to finish. And then Versus starts to come in, but it comes and goes. So, switch some cables out and things seem to be working well. So now I can get my Tour fix for the final time trial and the last stage. Would have been nice to have gotten to earlier, but c'est la vie.
As far as the network side of FIOS, I'm very impressed. I've got the 10/2 plan and downloaded a test livecd from my box at the office to home over wireless + vpnc and averaged 1.17 MB/sec for the entire file. Which is pretty awesome.
So at this point, pretty happy overall with the service. And looking forward to the massive HD rollout that's planned for the next few months on FIOS.
I do also have to give a nice nod to Comcast — when I called to cancel, they asked why and didn't try to be a pain about it when I told them. It was nice to not really have any hassle about it at all. And they gave two weeks for returning the equipment after already turning everything off (and thus stopping billing me)
FIOS install today went okay, although it took waaayyyy too long for the cable cards with the Tivo. For some reason, they weren't getting signal at all at first. But eventually got things straightened out. The process was a lot like that of a cable install, but just a bit more involved and with more steps. Installer was nice, though. And thus far, connection speed and the like seems reasonable.
Tomorrow is the Seacoast Safari. And it looks like tomorrow is going to be a scorcher. Temperatures in the mid-90s, heat index of around 100. So the key will be to drink a lot of water and stay hydrated. Luckily, the ride starts nice and early so that we beat some of the traffic. Unfortunately, it leaves nice and early and I still need to finish packing. So now, to go do that 🙂
Another busy day today. Started out with Systems Engineering in the morning and Professor Dan Frey talking about the Design of Experiments. Another session where I can easily see where in a physical engineering field, it would have a lot of relevance and could be easily applied. Software, still, not so much. Maybe if you're doing human factors/user interface you could take advantage of some pieces of it but I'm not entirely convinced. And if you're doing things at a lower-level, then almost certainly not. When you're designing a software system at that level, you don't really have knobs and levers to adjust and then see how they change some sort of outcome — instead, your design is focused on functional requirements and just meeting those requirements. And then adjusting as the requirements inevitably change.
Later in the day, I had my final-for-now FESCo meeting. As some may have noticed, I have decided not to run for FESCo this time around. There are a variety of reasons why this is the case and it's really not worth going into all of them. One thing that will be nice will be having one less meeting a week to need to attend. Although I'll probably still chime in frequently enough from the cheap seats.
After that, it was off for a trip to the dentist. Biked there, got there right on time and then got to wait half an hour for the dentist. *sigh* Eventually got things taken care of and was on my way, if a bit later than I had intended.
Then, this evening, we had another SDM Connect event. I tried to organize it more in the fashion that Alyson had started things off in last year — very informal and low-key. And so I asked the inimitable Yoav Shapira to come and talk about his startup/entrepreneur experience and what helped (and didn't help) from his time at SDM. As usual, he gave lots of good information and insight and it was good to see him again. Everyone seemed to enjoy it and I think that the format kind of “clicked” with people to some extent. Or so I'm hoping. A few people had some ideas about future speakers and I told them to let me know and hopefully we can get SDM Connect to happen again on a more regular basis.
Then, home and now it's time to head to bed. Tomorrow, I'm getting FIOS installed… hopefully they've figured out cable cards (as I'm still quite happy with the Series3 Tivo) by this point and it'll be painless. But, I'm going into it expecting basically the worst given that it's a telecom company. We'll see how it goes.
Lots of things to update on, so it's probably just easiest to do a list-style update ala my good friend SPAM
- System dynamics continues to be a great class. I can actually see myself using it some to try to justify my intuition on what the outcome of changes will be and then maybe have more effective arguments against (or for) various things. Also the Beer Game was a lot of fun last week. To be fair, some of it is supply chain-y, but that just seems like it's because it's the easy examples, not because of any inherent flaw in the modeling approach.
- SDM business trip is next week. Will be good to see folks again. Will likely be a busy week though. I should actually look at what is planned
- Kara's sister's wedding was on Saturday so we went down for that. Was nice although I was tired by the end of the evening.
- Then on Sunday, Kara and I stood in line for iPhones. Line wasn't too bad but we then had extra time due to the first phone they opened for me had a bad screen. And they were good about just taking care of right away, no questions asked.
Yes, by getting an iPhone, I'm somewhat of a sellout. But it's a pretty nice phone. Although i've crashed Safari a couple of times. But having a web browser that's actually sane for, say, browsing the web is good and HSDPA is the upgrade I had hoped over edge. And realistically, it's not like the Blackberry is more open, or Symbian (although it may someday be) and Android is a farce of openness at present. I'll save my Android rant for another day, though.
- Took last week easy on the bike to let my injuries recover. But everything's feeling pretty good and the healing seems to be coming along pretty well. This weekend is the Seacoast Safari
- Need to figure out a good vacation for the break between summer classes and the fall semester
- Err, I had more to say, but I've forgotten it now. Suffice it to say that I'm sure it was interesting and would have been incredibly enlightening.
This year, I am again riding in the Seacoast Safari to help raise money to support the Cycstic Fibrosis Foundation in their efforts. Cystic fibrosis is a devastating genetic disease that affects children and young adults. Advances continue to be made in finding a cure, but your help is needed now—more than ever—to help keep up the momentum of this life-saving research. Too many young lives depend on this vital research to let it go unfunded!
Please help me meet my fund-raising goal by sponsoring me. Your generous gift will be used efficiently and effectively—nearly 90 cents of every dollar of revenue raised is available for investment in vital CF programs to support research, care and education. And, it's tax-deductible. The research being done by the CF Foundation is both important and making great strides — not too long ago, the average life expectancy of a child with CF was 20. But today, one of the people that I regularly ride with has CF and yet he continues to ride on (strong!) in this as well as a couple of other events, including most recently a trip across the Canadian Rockies by bike.
The Seacoast Safari ride is a two-day ride up along the coasts of Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine. Each day is 75 (or so) miles of coastal scenery. The ride was beautiful last year and I'm looking forward to doing it again.
Making a donation is easy and secure! Just click on the link below to make a donation to my fund-raising page where your donation will be credited to my fund-raising efforts. Any amount you can donate will be greatly appreciated!
Donating is such a simple and effective way for you to show your support for this important cause. Together, we can make a difference in the lives of those with CF. Once again, thank you for supporting the mission of the CF Foundation!
If you'd like to help, you can easily donate online at http://www.cff.org/LWC/JeremyKatz7945
Was going to do a post, but too tired. So sleep now. Post later. Can I have a vacation yet?
In addition to my racing fun yesterday, had a pretty good and full weekend. My parents were up and so on Thursday after class, I headed down to South Station to meet them. We grabbed lunch and then headed back to Arlington. From there, my dad and I headed down to the bike shop so that we could pick up a bike for him to ride on Friday. Thursday evening, we went down to Tanjore for dinner and mostly avoided getting soaked. Given the rain and everyone being kind of tired, we decided not to go down and watch the Pops rehearse and instead just headed back to the house and watched Michael Clayton
Friday morning, woke up and went out with my dad in the drizzle on the Quad ride. He did pretty well and we got in a nice 40 mile ride. By the time we got to Starbuck's at the end, the rain had stopped and it looked like it was going to be a nice day. Go figure. Then, headed down to Braintree and met up with Kara's parents for dinner. We then ended up going and watching the Get Smart movie. I was somewhat unsure how it would be as the reviews were somewhat mixed, but I really enjoyed it as did everyone else. I watched Get Smart a lot on Nick at Nite as I was growing up and so it was enjoyable a lot of the things that they pulled in. It was also good that they modernized it and tried to give some backstory. And I also thought that Steve Carrell made a really good Maxwell Smart and put his own little bits on the part rather than just trying to imitate Don Adams.
On Saturday, we took a day trip up to Vermont to visit the Ben and Jerry's factory as well as a few other things. Vermont was pretty and the Ben and Jerry's tour was cool I guess. But lots and lots of driving. I'd like to go back to Vermont, though, to spend some more time. Seems like it could be pretty relaxing and also have some good biking 😉 When we got home, spent some time watching the end of the first stage of the Tour de France.
Yesterday, my parents headed back home and I raced. After the race, came home and made some lunch and then watched the second stage of the Tour. Spent the evening between catching up on some email for work and getting started on the System Dynamics assignment for the week.
All in all, a good weekend. The next few weeks are pretty busy for me, but busy in a good way.
With the 4th being tomorrow, this is something of a short week for most people in the US. For me, my parents are coming up to visit, so mine is even a little shorter. While they're up, we're going to try to get out and do some different things. For one thing, we're going to try to catch part of the rehearsal by the Boston Pops later on this evening rather than fighting the full crowds for the real deal tomorrow. Then, tomorrow, we're going to try to avoid crowds — I'm going to take my dad out on a bike ride with the Quad folks and then we're hoping to watch the Get Smart movie later in the day. Then, Saturday we're headed to Vermont for the Ben and Jerry's factory and a few other things. Then, they fly back on Sunday and I'm intending to race at Wells Ave. So it should be a pretty good weekend.