December 6th, 2002

bug eyed earl

Clerks, anyone?

I covered another RA's duty shift tonight 'cause she had tickets to see Tori Amos. She couldn't cover for me in return, 'cause she has a religious commitment during my final scheduled duty shift of the semester. (I also am covering for her tomorrow/to night 'cause she's taking the LSAT on Saturda morning). I might get her to pick up something for me next semester, but I figure I owe it to the staff since the guy I'm replacing was scheduled to be on duty all weekend during my Detroit trip, so had I not gone to Detroit, I would've lightened everyone's load.

So things went pretty well on the first two rounds. Couple little things to jot down in the book, but nothing time consuming. Which was good, 'cause I'd put off my Programming Languages homework until the last night yet again. I was about half way through the assignment before our midnight round. We discovered that a door that's usually locked was unlocked and the room behind it was full of not-quite-functional computers. Like 80 of them. And 80 monitors, too. Whoa. So we went to get the service master, only to find it didn't work on that door. Super. No huge deal, we'll just call maintainance, right? As we head up the stairs, we run into another RA who was on the phone and on the way to check who was on duty. The three of us head up to the room that Night Security called about. They'd approached because they could hear music down the hall. The residents had the wits to leave music playing and their door open with several cans of beer sitting around while they left to do something else. In all, we confiscated 18 alcohol containers, a pot pipe, a No Parking sign, and an empty pill bottle with a home-printed label for "Proz-Wac" and "Zo-Lift" capsules tied somehow to Audio Enhancement.

It's now just after 4:20 and I'm going to bed. Had this exciting incident not ocurred, I'd be hittin' the hay around 3. Fortunately , I'm going to set my alarm for about 11am, so I still get about 6 hours. "And I'm not even supposed to work today!"
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Trevor baby stare

(no subject)

So I kind of lied. I found this link on Slashdot today and found it in one of my 14 open iCab windows while I was brushing my teeth. I haven't read it all yet, so this entry is partly a reminder for me to go back and finish. But it's about how writing poetry and writing code are similar, which I resonate with. I feel bad when my code doesn't look pretty, and I sometimes agonize over which is the better of two ways to do exactly the same thing.

He's arguing that writing code isn't much like engineering. Which I typically disagree with -- I think software engineering has much in common with the usual engineering suspects. So maybe writing is sometimes like engineering. Like, making a James Bond film is an engineering project. It's pretty clear right away what the requirements are, it's just a matter of finding the maximal parameters for several known equations and, hey presto, blockbuster!

So it goes both ways. Writing code is more like writing poetry than many people think. And writing poetry is more like engineering than people think. So writing code approaches engineering from two directions. Integrate that!

The Poetry of Programming
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