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hehe... found this while digging through documentation at work today.

I have had this nagging thought floating around in my head for a couple years now that was just re-ignighted today.  Some of the books that I have ordered came in the mail today.

The Nothing That Is: A Natural History of Zero, by Robert Kaplan
e: the Story of a Number, by Eli Maor

It was as I skimmed through the preface of the latter book that the spark hit me.
It contained a short narative about Pi and how its exact value has been difficult to completely understand for many thousands of years.

When trying to solve a problem in computer science whe have several "tools" in the form of programming languages that come in handy when something is strange, difficult or abstract.  Often times if a concept is difficult to grasp in one language we will switch to another to handle that piece of the puzzle and translate it so that the other can get what it needs out of it.

Can we do this in math too?
What is math really?

If the way we approach math today makes it difficult to process certain concepts why don't we use a different math?

Does it work this way?
Is that what multi-dimensional physics and string theory are all about?


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Sphinx: Python Documentation Builder

We have a weekly show-n-tell at work and this came up for one of the presentations.
Sphinx uses restructured text (ReST) to generate and build documentation in a variety of formats.

Some cool things about it are how it handles python code examples.
It will actually run/test code using docstring tests during the build process to ensure that you are including examples that actually work!

It also uses Pygments: Python Syntax Highlighter to give all of your code snips that professional look.

The build process will generate HTML, Latex to PDF and a bunch of other such portable/publishable type formats.

I am going to experiment with redesigning my resume/portfolio site with it.
I thought this might be usesfull for this process considering a lot of my projects that I would like to highlight on my resume site are very technical and require technical documentation.

Here are some example sites that use sphinx:

SQL Alchemy
Pysparse v1.0.2 documentations
Pyevolve documentation

There is a more comprehensive list available on at the sphinx site.  The links above are some of the more unique designs that I picked out as examples.
I got a new laptop and decided to go "balls to the wall" with my linux experience and put a gentoo install on it. Gentoo is known to be one of the more challenging linux distrobutions because it requires a lot of work onthe user side of things to get all of the operating system parts compiled specifically to the users hardware. This has a benefit of giving the user the best performance but requires a lot of knob turning.

Now that I have my hardware, the next step is begining the install by booting the machine using an install ISO file or LiveCD.  Unfortunately I don't have any blank CDs laying around.  I do have a 1gb USB flash drive though!  I have always heard/read about people booting computers using linux that is installed onto a USB flash drive. 

Well... if we are using gentoo to really get down and dirty... what better way to start then figuring out how to install the gentoo install-x86-minimal-2008.0.iso onto the flash drive.  No need for a blank CD.

Linux on my new laptop?

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Well, with the whole macbook/macbook pro revolution in full swing I have decided to go against the grain and go back to the other side of things.

I just put in an order for a new laptop. I decided to go with Dell, mainly because my current working situation offer a nice discount on the hardware.

Dell Studio 15 Laptop (S510205NZ)
Base Intel® Core™ 2 Duo Processor T9550 (2.66GHz/ 1066 FSB/ 6MB Cache)
Memory 4GB (2X2GB) DDR2 SDRAM Memory
Video Card 512MB ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4570
Hard Drive 500GB SATA Hard Drive

what's the hap's?

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Yes it is very colorful here... it is summer time and the sun is super bright.
We are still in the process of settling in.  We have found a house to rent but it is not available until March 7th.
Currently we are in temporary housing in an extended-stay type hotel.  Basically a room with a kitchen and bathroom.
It is okay but we really want to get into a place where we can streatch out.

Here is a link to google maps to get an idea of where we will be:

There is even a "street view" to get somewhat of a peak at the view we will have:

We will be ready for visitors anytime after March 07.  We have plenty of space at our place.  A couple extra bedrooms.  Most of the house comes furnished.  One of the bedrooms is not... but we can take care of that.  We can put you up when you come over!

Everyone tells us to enjoy the current weather.  I sounds like the winter here (June, July, August) is pretty brutal, high winds and sideways rain.  I think Mom and Dad are planning to come in Sept or Oct. 

Work is coming along.  They have been taking it easy on us this first month as they know we are dealing with a lot of personal stuff to get acclamaited.
We have our NZ bank accounts
Figured out how to pay our US student loans... the conversion sucks.
I have my NZ mobile phone: 64 021 629 909
We have a leased car.

So far the culture has been very easy to settle into.
Everyone speak english... sort of.  British english I guess: colour, centre, that sort of thing.

The weather has been great.. sailing is a big thing down here and we have had plenty of opportunities to enjoy the boats.
The food is great, comprable to the cuisine of San Francisco.  Lots of Indian and French food.  Very little Mexican.... almost none.

This weekend Regina is taking me on a kayaking trip down on the south island for my birthday!
Can't wait!  We will take pictures.

vacant anarchy

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View image

Things are going well.
Things at work are, very... free form, I guess is the best way I can explain it.

There is very much a mentality that says the artist get to do what ever they want. 
There are a ton of really cool tools, but between the people in my group, the code group, and each department... often there seems to be "too many cooks in the kitchen."

Dreaming In Code

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I finally finished reading this book: Dreaming In Code by Scott Rosenberg.

I highly recommend it to anyone that is interested in the software development process. It is written in a way that allows easy digestion for anyone, geek or not, yet still engages those of us that are neck deep.


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Learning how to type all over again.
This is going to be a short note, as I am typing with my new Frogpad.
I am hoping to be using it exclusively in 3 months time.

Packing and Liquidation

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This is really happening...
7 years of moving at least once each year really does a number on a person's collection of stuff.
Despite this reality we had a ton of junk to get rid of.

What do we keep?
Should we donate that?
Maybe my brother could us it.

omg what about the Cats!