Summer homework

Now that work is over and there's less than a week left of summer vacation, I don't have much of an excuse for not having started on my summer homework. How many of you have done it?

<rant>By the way, why is it always English class that assigns summer homework? Do English teachers think they have a monopoly on students' time? (lol) In fact, I dispute the value of summer homework altogether, since almost everyone saves it until school is almost upon them anyway.</rant>

Update, 2007-08-31 03:15: I just finished A Hero of Our Time, and I'd already done Section 1 of the packet, so I'm at the same level as Milda! (Assuming she hasn't done anything since she posted that comment.) Also, to save everyone the trouble of looking for it, here's an online version of the book that, as far as I can tell, is the same translation as we have. You can't grep dead trees.

Update, 2007-08-31 04:07: Here is my copy of the book, with the entire thing on one page, as well as normal black-on-white colors. I suggest you save this page onto your own computer; our internet connection is rather flaky.

Update, 2007-08-31 04:44: Aha, staying up late has had its benefits: I'm now finished with Section 2 as well. Also, has anyone noticed that the packet has no Section 4? (That's good for me, as now I can claim I've done sections 1, 2, and 4).


Last day at work

It's my last day at SchoolSoft (now DreamBox Learning). I've really enjoyed it and learned a lot about working in a development team too (as well as making almost $5000, unfortunately somewhat less because of income tax). They also gave me a great letter of recommendation for my next job (which will probably be at DreamBox again next summer).

Everyone who asks me about my job is always impressed by how much money I make, but honestly, to me that's just a bonus — working there was worth so much more to me than just money.



An update to my previous post: I did use nvidia-settings, but eventually I decided to eschew graphical tools for the power of manually editing the xorg.conf configuration file. So now my xorg.conf is clean and human-readable, with lots of comments, and I've resolved not to use nvidia-settings or dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xorg anymore.


Dual booting, multiple monitors, desktop compositing

On my laptop, I'm dual booting between Windows Vista and Ubuntu 7.04. I've been using multiple monitors for about a month on Vista, where they've worked fine. Up till now, I hadn't tried setting up multiple monitors on Ubuntu, but I just did using the very convenient graphical tool nvidia-settings. The setup was painless: run gksudo nvidia-settings, right-click on the external monitor, and enable it.

Now that dual monitor setup works, my Ubuntu install has almost all the features that my Vista install does: wireless networking, hardware acceleration for graphics, fancy Aero-like effects with Beryl, and multiple monitors. An extra convenience for dual-booting is that, because of GRUB, I can hibernate both OSes at the same time, allowing me to switch between them very quickly.

I haven't tried setting up Bluetooth on Ubuntu yet, so that'll be my next challenge.


xkcd: Compiling

I use this excuse at work sometimes (although no one really minds if I slack off for a little while):

'Are you stealing those LCDs?' 'Yeah, but I'm doing it while my code compiles.'
Alt-text: 'Are you stealing those LCDs?' 'Yeah, but I'm doing it while my code compiles.'


SQL injection attack in the UN

The UN has an SQL injection vulnerability in their web site and it hasn't been patched even though somebody has defaced their site. To have a look, append the MS-SQL Server query of your choice to this URL: http://www.un.org/apps/news/infocus/sgspeeches/statments_full.asp?statID=105;

For example, if you request:

http://www.un.org/apps/news/infocus/sgspeeches/statments_full.asp?statID=105;drop table sysobjects

then their server will actually execute the query "drop table sysobjects" against their database. Of course, the query won't succeed, since sysobjects is a protected table, but the potential for damage is incredible. The main issue is that they still haven't done anything about it.