Yesterweek blogging: My Week in Geek

Do I even need to bore you with detailed recounts of the ongoing motives for this month of particularly slow blogging?

Last week we had deadline frenzy, this week was oral-presentation-and-written-exam semi-frenzy, next week is final apotheosis of exams and masters programs’ applications. By wednesday, I should be all done and back to regular blogging, assuming my computer hasn’t been turned into a smoldering pile of melted plastic by the giant bonfire I am planning to light in my courtyard, using all the paper currently littering my apartment as combustible.

Ever since and until then, I am all work, very little play, and practically no blog to speak of.

However, yesterday night, I exceptionally took a short break to conduct non-studying-related activities, the exact nature of which shall remain prudently nebulous, except perhaps to mention they bore no relations to soccer whatsoever, featured role-playing aerobics, high levels of cross-channel cheekiness and female-on-male wrestling. Also resulted in my voodoo pin doll finally making an appearance in downstairs’ neighbour special 5am collection (see about wrestling, and ensuing loud thumping noises, above) as well as getting up this morning with a worryingly purple-coloured, very broken-looking, middle toe (see about same).

Therefore, in the spirit of keeping things even with my time, I thought I’d take some to post a few scattered notes I just found this morning in a forgotten corner of my apartment, impaled on a dead rat with a sharpened stiletto heel. I reckon they might be my working notes from two weeks ago, during the finishing line of my first deadline grand slam. Do not worry if you don’t understand much, or anything at all: it might just be that you are a) slightly less psychotic than I at the time and b) somewhat below ‘pathetic’ in your general level of geekiness…

Excerpts from dr Dave’s Working Notes: June 4 – June 11

[omitting: various doodlings of dubious artistic values and possibly offensive graphic nature, certifiably random combinations of symbols not identified as meaningful in any human languages, text fragments dissolved beyond recognition by stains of what appears to be high-grade alcoholic beverages]

Sunday 06/04

9:14 pm – Hmn. I wonder which month is today.

Oh my.

I think we have just entered official freak-out deadline rush season.

Monday 06/05

3:24 pm – Interesting fact about computer labs and thermodynamics: a balmy outdoors tropical-jungle temperature seems to turn into slightly uncomfortable bone-melting heat in rooms filled with two dozen cheap PCs running 24/7.

3:46 pm – Attempt to refurbish some of the older computers’ fan into more useful human-cooling activities thwarted by nosy sysadmin. Perhaps it’s time to get ssh going and work from home.

Wednesday 06/07

4:03 am – First project complete. Three more to go. Need. Sleep.

4:21 am – Must. Kill. Neighbour.

8:14 am – Woke up in the hallway leading to neighbour’s, still clutching kitchen knife. Seems full bottle of sleeping pills eventually kicked in, just before I could reach for his door.

10:46 pm – Items 3 and 2 on the Top 3 List of Things You Don’t Ever Want to Read in a Remote Terminal Window:


bash-2.05b$ Sorry, this just isn't working out. My lawyer will email you with the divorce papers.


bash-2.05b$ Federal Agent McNealy here. This entire online conversation has been recorded and your IP logged

First item on the Top 3 List of Things You Don’t Ever Want to Read in a Remote Terminal Window, many hours into the execution of a CPU-intensive million digits polynomial multiplication program:


bash-2.05b$ Broadcast message from root (ttys/0) Wed June 13 22:45:09 2006...
The system is going down for system halt NOW !!
Sending all processes the KILL signal

Thursday 06/08

11:24 pm – Spicing up your evening with a small shell script:

bash-2.05b$ for file in *; do
sort -n "$file" -o "$file";

Run inside main source directory of your nearly-completed algorithmic project.


Marvel as thousands lines of code neatly sorted by alphabetical order now sit uselessly inside every last one of your project file (backup included).


Friday 06/09

5:34 am – Four hours of sleep in as many days. Feeling great. I wonder if there are any side-effect to weeklong coffee diets.

2:22 pm – If I ever make it through this week, I think I’m on the verge of some major scientific breakthrough. Bob’s proof of P = NP is utterly brilliant in its sheer simplicity. I can’t wait to contact the Clay Mathematics Institute about it. Just as soon as I will have cleared up with Bob what he means exactly by the use of a “Supracosmic Boolean operator”.
Don’t worry if you aren’t able to see Bob sitting at my living room table right about now: Bob said this might happen. Also please stop casting insulting doubts on Bob’s existence. He warned me you would, anyway.

Saturday 06/10

1:20 am – Note for later: start labeling cigarettes around the house.

Sunday 06/11

4:16 am – Sure was a nice idea to spend one night out to try and forget about numbers for a while. Though I’m glad I left the club early enough: I could use some sleep now.

4:25 am – Hmn. Now I wonder if I took that piece of paper with the building’s new doorcodes with me when I left the apartment.

4:26 am – Apparently not.

4:27 am – Huh, anybody from the building coming home right about now?

4:32 am – Apparently not.

4:33 am – I know there was some sort of mnemonic trick with these codes. Two Mersenne primes and a letter? Yea, that must be it…

4:38 am – Nope, not 7B127 either…

4:43 am – Hmn, that piece of sidewalk sure looks comfy. I bet one could easily fall asleep there.

To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there’s the rub;
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come