It’s been 25 days (and a few hours) since I’ve had a cigarette. About four days ago, I quit the patch. A friend’s roommate asks me every couple days,”Is it getting any easier?” In all seriousness, I tell him that it is not. I still crave smoking just as much as I ever did. I’ve come to believe that I am not so much training myself to not crave smoking as I am training my self-control. The cravings are still as bad as ever, but my resolve only hardens with each passing day.

I’m not sure how long it takes before you can genuinely say that you’re an ‘ex-smoker’, but I feel like one.


Blogging in class. Most professors would be upset about students having a laptop open and in use during class, but for some reason, I’m in Computer Science 101 over the summer. Sadly, despite being in E2, the engineering building that’s just a couple of years old, there’s no wireless, so I’ll have to wait to get home to actually publish.

The class is Algorithms and Abstract Data Types, one of the main prerequisites for upper division CS classes (or CMPS, as they abbreviate it here). By and large, it’s a theory class, with 65% of the grade based on homework, midterms, and final, which are, by and large, composed of proofs regarding algorithms. The other 35% comes from 5 programming assignments, in which we’re tasked with implementing abstract data types in Java and ANSI C. The programming assignments are pretty trivial, I’ve done two so far, and they’ve taken about 5 hours each.

We have a midterm on Friday, which is going to be all proofs on induction, recurrence relations, asymptotic notation (Big/Little-O, Big/Little-Omega, and of course, Theta). I’ve taken a lot of upper-division physics, and while this doesn’t compete with Mathematical Methods or 2nd quarter E&M, it is quite more of a challenge than I expected.

It’s more of a challenge for my classmates than it is for me, and I’m close to feeling guilty about how easily I’m managing. All I can do is be compassionate towards those who are less prepared.

New Schwag

Among other items, I recently purchased “The Pragmatic Programmer: From Journeyman to Master” (Andrew Hunt, David Thomas) from Amazon, on my friend Alex’s recommendation. A few days later, an ex-girlfriend’s father asked to be connected with me on (my profile, must be member to see), and I found that he is connected directly to Dave Thomas, one of the authors of the book. Small world.

Also from Amazon:

Audio: Bonkers Gold Edition, Vol. 3: A Journey Into Gold: 3 discs of happy hardcore from 1997. Can’t go wrong with Happy Hardcore oldies. Also “Amen” (Astral Projection), “Labyrinth” (Juno Reactor), and Psychotrance 2000.

Books: A People’s History of the United States (Howard Zinn) and Individualism and Economic Order (F. A. Hayek).

Video: Kinsey, a movie based on the life of one of my personal heroes. What the Bleep Do We Know!?, an excellent pseudo-spiritual and mostly accurate treatment of quantum mechanics in everyday life. Grave of the Fireflies, the saddest movie ever.


I am considering purchasing hosting from Dreamhost for my domains (,,,, I have a few more questions for them with respect to what they’ll host for me. I’d like to be able to host a private irc server and a private http proxy (squid over stunnel or some such). Also, I want to be able to send outgoing email through them, encrypted (SMTP over TLS with authentication), since my ISP blocks port 25 incoming and outgoing, and I’ve no trust in the people that run their mail gateway.

I also need to replace my linux firewall with a Cisco router which still needs to be configured. Said router has IPSec VPN capability, which will be nice when I’m out and about with the powerbook, and will let me run VLANs on my switch, using the hackish “router on a stick” methodology. I’ll probably reinstall my lunix firewall box with OpenBSD and run some slicked up pf and snort on it in front of my most privatest of networks.

My biggest concern with all of this is having my email hosted offsite (I use IMAP over SSL), and losing a significant amount of speed, since I receive a significant amount of email every day. I’m also trying to figure a way to implement greylisting in this architecture.