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Work/PSU

Bart-oriented administrative and job-related stuff.

The organization will continue until morale improves

I told my CS 161 students they had to start keeping a notebook, so I would too. I'm basically using Google Keep for my notes: it's mirrored online and automatically datestamps each new note, so what's not to like?

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I am ambivalent about Moodle

Moodle is the premiere—AFAIK, the only interesting—open source "Learning Management System" (is that the current buzzword?). I've been running a Moodle instance at Portland State for many years now: counting the current one, I've taught 14 courses with it. It has, overall worked OK.

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Linux Plumbers Conference

We are holding a Linux Plumbers Conference [excuse the broken hyphenation] here in Portland a little less than a year from today. It should be a really nice event…

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I'm done! *flop*

I've been dreading writing my essay for my scholarship application. I finally have it done, and I think it's a darned good essay…

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HOWTO: Portland State WPA + Debian network/interfaces + wpa_supplicant

Update 2012-10-31: Spencer of the PSU CAT pointed out to me that this 6-year-old HOWTO is stale, and should no longer be used. Try http://cat.pdx.edu/linux/secure-wireless-with-wpa-supplicant.html instead…

Portland State has two ways of authenticating users of its 802.11 network. One is NoCat, about which the less said the better. The other is a somewhat idiosyncratic WPA setup. Jules Kongslie and I got a client working with it recently; here's how.

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Time Flies

I don't know where the day went. I went to OSCON today to help out at the PSAS display, I was somewhat nervous since there was mostly a display of hardware of whose language I'm not fluent in. It was a good learning experience and I'm pretty sure I convinced several people to come to next week's Introductory PSAS meeting. I chatted with Ian a bit, I think it would nice at some point for me to learn about hardware. My extent of doing hardware was at the first little startup I worked for in Silicon Valley which went public a little over a year and a half ago and now supplies map info to mapquest. I learned how to solder and desolder from a colleague (even though I was doing software), and managed enough to fix my old beat up VCR (swapped the switches). I do like figuring out what part of devices don't work, taking them apart (carefully, theres always a trick), ordering replacement parts and successfully fixing them (been able to do that with a number of things, quite proud of myself actually that I can repair stuff on my own). Its quite cute too that my youngest daughter likes to do the same; she's quick to jump at fixing things when they break and seems to have a natural ability and desire to "figure it out".

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Mike Vanier hates programming contests (me too)

Mike Vanier has a nice blog entry that for some reason got Reddit exposure today. It's entitled Why I Hate Programming Competitions. I coach the ACM International Collegiate Programming Competition (ICPC) pretty often, and my criticisms of it are pretty much in line with Vanier's…

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Assoc. Achieved

Just got the official letter from the Portland State University President in the mail today. I've been granted official promotion to Associate Professor with indefinite tenure, effective AY2006–2007. Thanks again hugely to those who got me to this point; I feel like my efforts were the smallest part of this success. Fob

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What a difference a day makes

I'm currently posting from a gosh-awful Best Western motel near the Milan-Malpensa airport. The long list of bad things about this place is too amazing to post. The good things? It has an Internet connection (although only pay wireless in the lobby), and it's close to the airport.

The weather was relatively lousy today, and I just now (2200 local) finished the grant writing I needed to do. At 0415 tomorrow morning I get the wakeup call to quickly pack and head for the airport.

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An Italian evening...

I just had an absolutely amazing carpaccio and a fragrant local wine at a place on a little twisty micro-neighborhood street near my hotel. Then I went to the gelateria by the water, and sat eating my gelato and looking out over the awesome late-evening face of Lake Como.

It's almost enough to make me not cranky that the rest of my trip to Italy is going to be spent working on a giant grant proposal, due Monday while I'm flying back, that I had hoped would be mostly done before I left and finished by others.

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