pole position

Yay, cartoons!

So, I happened to stumble upon this one cartoon not long ago, that I had completely forgotten about … Pole Position.  I think I saw a video about it YouTube or something, I don’t remember.  80s cartoons is a popular subject in #uphpu.

Watching the video though, I was like, “meh, another old-school Japanese-styled animation show” until I saw the little computer face in the dashboard … then all kinds of memories came back to me and I was like, “dude, I totally remember this show!”


I managed to snag a copy on Amazon, even though it’s been out of print.  I didn’t even know it was on DVD.  Since then, I’ve been totally obsessed with this show.  The theme song, in particular.  I can’t get it out of my head.  Probably because I sing it to myself every 30 seconds.


Sadly enough, there were only 13 cartoons produced.  It looks like it could have done well.  I don’t know why this one triggered such a response in me — especially since I didn’t even remember the title — but I think I may have clued in on it a bit.  It features cool cars with electronic devices.  As a little kid, I’m sure I was totally enchanted by that.  Heck, I’ve always found computers extremely fascinating.  Just that they work how they do amazes me.


I don’t remember the show, but I do remember the old Atari video game.  It was fun.  I also remember playing E.T. though, and wondering what the heck the point of the game was.


I’ve been watching the show since I got it last week, and I love it.  It’s really cool, actually.  The first few I’ve seen so far start out with them (whatever their names are, on the secret Pole Position team) doing a live stunt show, and, it seems like, with totally random moves made up on the fly.  It’s pretty hilarious now.  But man I love how old cartoons just do random stuff and don’t even bother trying to explain it.  Good times.  I really miss shows like that.

adventures in a new job

You know, there are some really cool blogs out there.  The ones I like the most are the ones that simply tell the stories of life as they happen to them, and document them in a cool way.  This is not one of those blogs.  Unless you’re as obsessed as cartoons as I am, and I doubt it.

Anyway, reading one such blog tonight, it got me thinking that I should loosen up a bit and document more of my generic life stories sometimes.  I’ll think about it.

In the meantime, here’s something that happened at work today.

I’ve still been settling in (I started a week ago yesterday) at the new place, and it’s a little odd for me because I am the only IT guy there.  Everyone else is an engineer with more degrees than I knew existed.  I don’t think I’ve ever worked for a place that either wasn’t an IT shop or didn’t have an IT department before I came on board, so it’s all been just a little bit different. (See, this is why I don’t write general life stories … I’m already boring myself.)

When I first got there, the boss set me up with a laptop, which wasn’t bad, but it had an Intel graphics card on there, which makes me want to install Debian on babies.  He asked me what my ideal hardware was, so I told him, and we’re working on getting that, and using something else in the interim.  Anyway … where was I going with this … I had mentioned in passing that the Broadcom wifi chip on there was crap, and so he went online and got an Intel one instead for like $15 on ebay.  He brought it in today, and I got to pop it open and swap it out.  I had no idea that the onboard wifi cards were just using PCI Express Mini slots.  That is way cool.  So it took about five minutes to get the whole thing swapped out.  Pretty cool experience.

Oh, and for the record, the new Intel one worked out great.  Fired right up without any stupid issues (kernel or otherwise), though I still can’t ever get NetworkManager to even recognize any wifi for some dumb reason.  Oh well, wicd works fine, even though it’s bugly.

See?  This is why I don’t write life posts.  They’re not well formatted.  Meh.  I’m going back to blogging about cartoons.

life is weeeeeeeiiiord

How is it that I can go from unemployed and pandering around in my  pajamas all day to so slammed busy that I get home and just sit on the couch stunned from it all all within a matter of like three weeks?  I dunno, but that’s what’s happened.

First of all, I got a job (yay!), so I’m glad for that.  Can check that one off my list.  I was honestly starting to get used to the whole unemployment thing, though — get to work on my projects, stay home and watch Star Trek all day, and complain about my heater kicking in too much.  Oh well.  Getting laid off in the middle of December was kind of a good thing, in a way, because it gave me a break.  I didn’t really think many companies would be in their right mind looking for employees because of the holidays, so I just ignore it and put off job searching until January.  My little vacation was nice, and much needed.  I got to spend Christmas at home all by myself, and did my best to make it a cool little holiday just by myself and my friends around here.  It went well. :)  It felt a lot like Christmas, in fact.  I haven’t enjoyed a holiday that much since I spent it by myself like 15 years ago in college.  That was cool.  Anyway.

I’m really glad I got the packages website launched (znurt).  I worked like a madman all through November and December to get that ready to go, and pushed it live pretty much just a few hours after finishing a few touches.  Unfortunately, I had no idea I’d get such a high amount of traffic and, at first, I hosted it at home on my Comcast connection, and it absolutely crippled my poor network here within like the first 8 hours.  Whoops.  So, I scrambled to get it online somewhere else as fast as I could, only to realize that the server setup I signed up for was not *quite* as fast as I had hoped it’d be — I don’t know what possessed me to do *anything* with the word “Celeron” in it.  Yikes.  But, I pushed myself against a wall, and I haven’t had time to look at it since then, so … it’s running slow, bugs and requests are backlogged, and I feel kinda bad about the messy launch.  However, if I hadn’t launched it when I did, I probably would be obsessing still over the very tiny details, so it was good if only for my mental health to get it out there.

So, I got that whole thing going on.  I just started my new job last week, and I’m still getting settled in.  I’m not sure what I think of it just yet.  Could go a *lot* of different ways.  Right now, I feel like a fish out of water because for the first time in, well, ever, I’m the only IT guy working there.  Takes some getting used to.

There’s a bunch of other stuff going on .. or maybe I just keep telling myself that.  Maybe it’s just more like catching up to my previous obligations.  Who knows.  Either way, I feel swamped, but not overwhelmed.  That’s good.  And a first.  I promised a friend yesterday that I’d help him build a mini Gentoo multimedia image to run on a VIA C7 system, so I gotta build that for him.  That shouldn’t take more than a day or so, though.

Lots of cool, good stuff going on, though.  Most of it is of a more personal nature (not *that* personal, but as a general rule I don’t get too detailed on my blog), and that’s good.

Right now, though, I’m mainly just trying to adjust to the new job.  Get down the rhythm of everything new and all.  Yah.

That’s mah life about now.

new packages site: znurt.org

Even though I’m not nearly finished with it, and I didn’t get all the stuff in that I wanted, I decided earlier this week to do a feature freeze and push the site live as soon as I could, just to give myself a break.  So, without further ado, znurt.org is now live. :)

You may or may not know, but Znurt is the name of another Gentoo mascot of ours — he’s the little UFO / whatever flying around that you can see on Gentoo’s homepage.

I’m not real sure what else to say about the site, other than it’s been a lot of work, and I’m really proud of it.  If I had any idea of how many hours it’d take to put together, I never would have started on it, that’s for sure.  I think it’s safe to say I’ve put in at least 200 hours working on it in the past 2 months or so.  I think it’s turned out really well, though.  It’s a far better improvement over my old packages site which was thrown together quite hastily, and the code was pretty nasty.  This time around, everything is object-oriented which made it really go by quickly.

I’ve tried to put in some of the best features for launch as possible, but some just had to make the cut due to constraints.  The ones I really wanted was a page for new ebuilds, and a chance to have a feed of those, and customized by arch.  Same for new packages as well — a view for each arch.  The new packages section almost got cut completely, though, because of some issues I ran into at the last minute, but fortunately that one made it.

I’ll still be adding more stuff, but probably not at such a clipped pace as I have been for the past month.  You can track the planned features I already want to implement here.  If there’s other ideas you have, let me know, and I’ll see if I can get them in.

Which reminds me, I’d like to give a huge shout-out to all the beta-testers that helped out with the site development.  Every single person that got involved had a unique idea or perspective that I hadn’t even considered, and it really helped clean things up quite a bit.  Thanks, guys, I owe you one. :)

I hope you all enjoy the new site.  Please contact me about any bugs you find — hopefully I didn’t miss any obvious glaring ones.  Also, if there are any XML wizards out there, I’d really appreciate some feedback on the Atom and RSS feeds, in case I missed something.  Not really a strong point of mine.

The thing I like the most about working on the site is it really revitalized my interest in Gentoo, and working on the project as a whole.  I had been losing interest in it for a while, but I realize now that that was partly fueled by my slip-shod attempts at user websites (planet included).  Taking a weak thing and making it strong, though, has really helped to push me in the opposite direction, though.  Not to say I’m going to make a career out of Gentoo development or anything, but it sure does help fuel my passion when you have some work you can be really proud of. :)

In fact, working on this has inspired me to do a rewrite of Planet Larry as well.  Writing the XML feeds wasn’t nearly as difficult as I imagined, and though I don’t understand them too well, it’s definitely something I’d like to learn more about.  So, I’m going to ditch the planet software we are using and write my own, and finally give Planet Larry some features and love that it really needs.

Oh, also, there’s a twitter feed that I use just for the website development, if you want to see what I’m working on, there.  Have fun. :)