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The Book of Robot Suicides

As for steampunk that features Swedish grimoires, I think you're reading stuff that I'm not (but wish I was).
    -jellybeanzulu, 17 Oct 2004

Today's lunch at the K-State Union featured yours truly, masaga (my teaching assistant), and another grad. You know of what I speak.

Of course, the lithium polymer battery on my iPAQ ran out, so I had to sit down and take a moment to blog before I forget all the hilarity.

  • The Inverse Turing Test: I mentioned the controversy surrounding Samhain/All Hallows' Eve falling on a Sunday this year, and the push by some right-wing Christian groups to move the observance thereof (i.e., go ahead, observe, just don't do it on the Christian sabbath; gah). Well, the thing about masaga is that you do not want to interrupt his glowing about robots, which he loves like his own little bebes (er, not really). One thing led to another, the Honda Asimo was invoked, and pretty soon we were all chuckling over the idea of taking a Pioneer 3 trick-or-treating ("It's a kid! No, really! Give it some candy!"), while one went dressed as an Asimo ("Get out of here! We don't serve your kind in here!").

  • The Book of Robot Suicides: little shiny androids who just don't want to function any more... coming soon, to an LJ near you. (With credit to Paul Whitehouse for his book, which I still need to show zengeneral, masaga, et al. I think megruder has seen it, yesno?)

  • Beer-cooled CPUs: Someone who shall remain nameless to protect the guilty apparently had a few beers in my lab in the wee hours back when he was working for me. Well, back in the day, this person also pushed assiduously for me to acquire a Kegarator or a mini-fridge. If you've ever seen the SGI O2 converted to a mini-keg, complete with a tap on the front panel, you can see where this is going. My old TA was sitting at the next table and reminded us of the vodka-cooled CPU. But listen, people: a beer-cooled CPU is wrong on so many levels!

  • Luz0rz su><0r: I told the guys about how almost everything I have learned not to tell students comes from Sterling's wonderful rants.

    Well, the other grad mentioned that he had been to a CIS sysadmin's blog and that the first message he saw was "Wow, Our Network Sucks". The retiring of outmoded or unwieldy systems does seem to be a popular activity. Yes - I realize the NCR Teradata WorldMark 5100M was at least partly my fault.. The grad joked that this would eventually converge to a single computer in a plexiglass box, surrounded by people trying to touch it. Then I noted that we were in the main dining area, and one of our fine systems staff was likely to overhear and put us in the next systems blog entry: "grad><0r luz0rs!". Sterling et al., if you guys are reading this: we like you guys - please don't put the Extra-Trasked Edition of Gentoo on our systems. :-D
    Seriously - the new generation of student syadmins? Is doing a very good job. Truth to tell, our computers and software are better cared for, and things are working much better for me (and for my research group), than they were a couple of years ago.

  • Why banazir's students should never tell him they are bored: I'll give you something to do! No, really! zengeneral... yeeess, you... I have ways of making masaga talk. Mm-hmm.

Welcome to my LJ:

P.S. : I started chatting with megruder last night about female computing students, and finally got around to adding and reading techgirls. When time permits, I'll follow up on the three threads I started in this vein over the last half year (and the Virtuosity and Digitopolis/Dictionopolis threads).

banazir: So the poster wrote "you guys", as if they're one big Borg collective of sysadmins, or a continuous unbroken stream of admin gholas.
masaga: Which would be fun, but... no.



( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 18th, 2004 11:14 am (UTC)
Great to be reading you!
Yes, I did add you as a result of the compscibooks community post to the java programmers group.

Your journal is very interesting! My blog (http://mattpayne.org/b.cgi/index.rss) aspires to be as interesting! :-)

It's really interesting and great to see LJ being used to add to academic communities. It seems there are lots of grad students and faculty with LJ blogs. Cool!

Thanks -Matt

Oct. 18th, 2004 11:17 am (UTC)
Grads and faculty
Hail and well met!

I really should get off my duff and start syndicating, but the inertia of learning little things that take just a little extra time is sometimes high these days. Soon, though.

Yes, there are a lot of grads and faculty now. 'Twasn't so a year ago. Take a look at my Students filter - most of them created LJs in the last half year to a year.

Oct. 18th, 2004 11:20 am (UTC)
It's cool that ASIMO was inducted into the robot hall of fame (clicky) but I don't understand why fictional robots (C-3PO?!) are even considered.
Oct. 18th, 2004 01:21 pm (UTC)
Robot Hall of Fame
Cool link - thanks!

Good to meet you, as well.

(What's the mu, pray tell?)

Oct. 18th, 2004 10:50 pm (UTC)
Re: Robot Hall of Fame
The icon has no particular meaning, I think. It could be a reference to the coefficient of friction or to a lost ancient civilization, or it could be the answer to an old question.

Oct. 19th, 2004 11:41 am (UTC)
I ask because I have a similar one on The Red Songbook of Westmarch, patterned after the \pi in The Net (the cheesy hacker movie starring Sandra Bullock). (Same idea, too.)

Oct. 20th, 2004 08:32 pm (UTC)
Re: Neat!
hehe, cool. =)
Oct. 20th, 2004 09:19 pm (UTC)
From Mu to Thule
You know, I only just now looked up "The Lost Continent Of Mu" by the late Gerry Forster. Interesting stuff. The illustrations are good, too.

Oct. 22nd, 2004 12:03 am (UTC)
all bound for mu mu land...
There are lots of stories about Mu. Here's a book list from some guy on Amazon, if you're interested in reading about Mu and stuff like it. I've always been interested in different mythologies and such. It's great fun. =)

Those are nice paintings, indeed.
Oct. 18th, 2004 10:32 pm (UTC)
i really enjoyed that post
you guys have too much fun.
Oct. 19th, 2004 11:42 am (UTC)
Too much fun!
i really enjoyed that post
Glad to hear it!

you guys have too much fun.
We do! Join us!

( 11 comments — Leave a comment )

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