Sunday, February 14, 2010

You've Got To Get Behind the Mule Every Morning and Plough

When this semester started there were a few things that I wanted to get done so that I will feel a sense of accomplishment. Those things were;

  • Completing my rough draft of my Java textbook.
  • Finishing my rough draft of my Operating Systems book.
  • Writing an outline of our research project.
  • Getting money for our project
  • Training the swim team
  • Improve my running and swimming performance
  • Teaching my classes.
  • Finding a good backup solution for our environment and circumstances.
  • Getting automated installs working for our labs.
  • Getting up a LDAP server for our school.
  • Building a secondary Moodle server so that we can have failover.

All those things were very important, and I wanted to make some progress on every single one. Those that were work network related are very difficult since we have no budget, our equipment is failing and cobbled together. If I was not teaching instead of doing mainly teaching and some sysadmining I would have more time for that. Some of these tasks I am able to combine others have to be done in a certain order. I will be very happy when we get RT set up so that we can keep track of requests and IT projects that we are trying to finish we are also going to move a FC12 server to the data centre probably next week.

After thinking about it I found a backup solution that will work for our low tech network where I expect every device to fail and to not get replacements. It is related to the design I have come up with that will make our services more reliable. The main problem is the time to set it up now since we have been working on the issues that need to be fixed first such as automating deployments and figuring out what systems we have and what their states are. As to the swimming running & stretching that has been difficult but I have been running fairly regularly. I even did it in Washington.

On all the projects the has been some progress though it has been very slow, earlier I had even more stuff I wanted to get done but I thought it would be smart to scale back and wait till the summer to do stuff on data bases.

The one thing that I have tried to do is be pessimistic about what I can achieve so that I do not over schedule my self. The one thing that I have been doing is gettin behind the mule every morning and ploughing so that I make a little progress every day. As the song says I have been getting behind the mule everyday and ploughing.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

The Mysterious Stranger

When I lived in Anchorage I relied on the kindness of strangers to get hundreds of public domain audiobooks. One of the first public domain audiobooks was Mark Twain's Mysterious Stranger and Other Stories. As other people have said the title story is very existential, it looks at the flaws of humanity with a great deal of humour and clarity. In some ways its similar to Candide.

Anyhoo while paddling in the sea of interwebs I found a reference to angel called Satan which led me to a a clip in a TV show I had never heard of called The Adventures of Mark Twain. As you can see the we can enjoy the adventures of Satan. The readers for these istorirs are a credit to the whole Librivox community.