Thursday, February 28, 2008

SIGBOVIK and First PC Meeting

SIGBOVIK is fast approaching! In fact, it's April 6th. We know the way these things work, though. You're thinking, "Blogface, I have a paper idea, but just not any time to work on it. Besides, who wants to write a funny paper all alone in their condemned apartment?" Great point.

That's why this Saturday you should join us for the first PC meeting. We use the PC meeting as an opportunity to write papers, and then immediately accept them for publication. There's lots of people there. Last year it was fun, and this year it should be too. Here are the details, I command you to come:

SIGBOVIK: First Paper Writing Party
Saturday, March 1st
10am - 6pm (Come for any amount of time you desire. Usually we order some food at some point.)
NSH 3001

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Complicated Pleasures

Today a small miracle occurred:
I got my first practicum passed! In our department, practicums fulfill the roll of one course, and basically are a description of some work experience that we've had and a real problem that we encountered. We have to do two of them.

It took about a year and a half in total, but I can't really say that I've been working on it most of that time. Most of the time was waiting one comments and that sort of thing. It wasn't too painful, but I'm definitely glad to be done!

Friday, February 22, 2008

The Piano Lesson

Last night I saw CMU's production of The Piano Lesson. It's going to playing until March 1st, and I really recommend that you go see it if you can.

The Piano Lesson is the story of a family living in The Hill District in Pittsburgh in the 1930s, and you ought to see it if only because its author, August Wilson, is one of the few nationally known writers to live and work in Pittsburgh. (Two of his works including The Piano Lesson won the Pulitzer Prize.) But an even better reason to see it is because it is terrifically acted by a really talented group of CMU students. Even on the first night (and you could tell a few of the lines were not yet solidified) the characters were all extremely powerful, and funny too!

You should check it out, and I'll leave it at that.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

HTML Monkey

Hello fellow nerds!

Question: If you had a bunch of HTML data, in a semi-regular format (exhibit a: Software Engineering Dissertations) and you wanted to jam all that information into a SQL database which has already been created, how would you most efficiently create the INSERT statements to avoid any mind-numbing work?

I've done things like this in the past with Java/Perl/Awk regexps, but they've never really worked perfectly due to the irregular structure. Any better ideas?

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


I've been watching some of the TV show Lost, recently, because of their sweet online episodes. I also saw a little bit back in college because my roommate liked to watch it. I gotta say, that's a pretty frustrating show to watch. While it's very engaging, you definitely get the idea that you're never really going to learn "what it's all about." In the past three episodes I don't feel like I've learned anything new about the state of the world.

How do you guys do it? What happens if the show gets canceled before you learn what's going? Seems unlikely now, but at the pace they're going, you never know...

Saturday, February 16, 2008


A few weeks ago I read a book called, Showstopper!  which described the making of Windows NT. I wrote a little mini-review on my home page. I would recommend it to people (like me) who are interested in the history of CS and big software projects. In a similar vein, a long time ago I read two books about Xerox Parc, Fumbling the Future, and some other one. I would definitely recommend both of the books, mostly because the story of Parc, and Xerox's failure to capitalize on their own invention of the PC, is so interesting.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Thinking about getting me a gift this Valentine's Day, but don't quite know what to get for the man who has everything?

Simple, animal shirts.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Beatles and Battles

The absence of any posts this week has little to do with a lack of interesting goings-on. Instead, it's due to a particularly nasty sickness that I contracted. I'm going to go ahead and call it, "The Flu." It had me pretty much useless from Wednesday until Saturday morning, and even now I am still experiencing reverberating aftershocks.

What would I have said?

Well, I meant to mention my heartfelt congratulations to Eli Manning, who was busy winning the Super Bowl(tm) this time last week. Those of you who saw the game know how amazing it was, there is little need to say more, except that now I will have to push myself that much harder if I wish to be Most Famous-est Graduate of Isidore Newman School.

In movie news, I went to see Across the Universe, with my lovely lady friend. This movie is great, and was exactly what I was hoping for, although if you don't like musicals, and in particular hate them for their over-the-top-ness (Tom, I'm looking in your direction), you might positively hate this movie. Across the Universe could be described as Moulin Rouge, except with only Beatles songs. There's a great cameo by Bono, that got I Am the Walrus stuck in my head all the next day. The choreography was sweet, something I don't normally care about, and for only the second time I can remember, the chattiness of our audience actually hightened my enjoyment of a film. There was clapping, and chanting, and it was all good.

Today was band practice. Guys, you are going to have to start looking out for Sick Ridiculous. We just might have an impact.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Ash Wednesday

Originally uploaded by DixiePistols.
Here are some pictures from my trip to New Orleans for some kind of annual festival.