November 25, 2002 by Allen George
It’s been a long time. Almost 7 days. In the past few days I’ve been very busy. However, I have not used today and yesterday well (depends on you definition of well). I’ve always been fascinated with blogs – they give a rare glimpse into an individual’s mind – with the caveat that this works *only* if the individual is honest. It can be a way of letting off steam, of talking without the – fear – that you’ll be derided. Simply because its your world – your page. Its interesting to consider technologies like Wiki that allow pages to be dynamically updated by their readers. I don’t think anyone reads this page, so I don’t think anything of what I say will actually make it to the outside world. Suffice it to say though, that I consider it important enough to write here as often as I can. Maybe someday in the future I will look back to this page and consider the state of mind I was (am) in. Wow…just looked at my changelog for the Java project. I just realized that the times are 12 hours off. Synced with the NOA server and the X server faded out for a second… All my times are right now. Listening to the Braveheart Freedom theme and getting depressed, because I realize now. I have been struggling with myself for a while. I have my exams in two weeks, so this really isn’t the right time to struggle. I am…I think, not quite like other people. Maybe I like to think that as a a panacea for my inadequacies. I suffer (is that the word) from massive mood swings at times. The least thing will set it off. I can be wildly elated, or reach for depression. At time, I feel like simply breaking down. It gets that bad. Like now for example, listening to the Freedom theme I am suddenly struck by a deep sandess and a moment of pure self pity. I exorcise the self pity, since it is useless. I am interested in a lot of things…I’ll list them down below, but am hampered by the fear of failure. I sit on the sidelines, wondering what it is like to be recognized, but for some reason afraid to take the first step. Maybe I am afraid of failure. I am sad when I ‘waste time’ like today. I prefer to do all my work, and am happiest when I perceive that I used my day well. I feel unhappy just sitting around because there is so much I could be doing instead. Except I never do it. I spend a lot of my free time reading news/tech sites and getting interested in stuff. Unfortunately, I take the weight of the world on my shoulders. I can get depressed by the way things are going online. Yes, I know this is unusual – but it is true and it is a problem for me. I know that my being unhappy and worrying about something will never change the way it improve/moves forward/dies and the only way to change the course of events is actually to get involved myself. I’m surprised right now by how fast my fingers are flying over the keys. BUt I’m also surprised…maybe not really, but I am knowledeable of the fact that I can’t type well if I don’t look at the keyboard. This is another problem I face. Sometimes I can be easily distracted by other things. There’s also, the flip side – if I get into something – I *really* get into it. Witness the Subversion incident. I spent quite a bit of time understanding how that works – to the detriment of my sleep. Sometimes I just want to die. I talked to Justin about how I saw myself like I a guy that I am good friends with. I told him that “I see elements of myself in him and the scary thing is that I know if I let myself go just a bit more I will go off the edge like him”. I meant off the edge not in psychological terms, but in behavior patterns. In some ways, Justin is by far the most balanced guys I know. He’s content with himself, with his place in the world – is balanced, hard working, and intelligent…. He reminds me of what I used to be before I hit university and it makes me sad. I want to improve myself… He does not seem to be suffering from the emotional turmoil that most of my days are filled with. Feelings of inadequacy, failure, inability, and introspection mark most of my days. My Mom says that I analyse myself too much – that I should just get down to doing stuff. But what happens if I get bored of it – will I – like in the past, move on to something different or do I have what it takes to stick to what I’ve chosen even though the going may be tough? I don’t know how the Gnome hackers do it – because they’re really doing what I’m saying. I don’t know how they manage knowing that all the work they’ve done may come to nothing. Does that even faze them? Every day must be a mental battle – one that I am not sure that I am able to face. Today will be the last day I read the tech news for two weeks. I am sure the world will be able to do without me. I don’t know who I am. I don’t know what makes me good. In what ways am I better than anyone else? Or am I forever condemned by myself to be a has-been? A wannabe?
A list of stuff I’ve done over the past week. This will be a long blog entry – far longer than others, simply because it spans so many days. My excursion into the world of the weird started on Wednesday. I went to Office Depot and dropped 56 dollars on photocopying for WARG. Got back and cut the tickets up and wrote numbers for the tickets. Got back home at 8:45 and Geoff stopped by to start the work on our Java project. Thus begins the week of hell (TM). I got Geoff’s Windows machine hooked up to the router. Then I realize a number of foolishnesses. First, I had not shared the dir and Geoff wasn’t (understandably) interested in working with emacs in an ssh terminal. So I spent quite some time setting that up. Under Linux, I simply did a checkout of the latest source and symlinked my sources dir to my Eclipse project dir and worked through Eclipse. Of course, the sam technique didn’t work in Windows. So I was reduced to simply copying files to his build folder. Then I faced Samba problems and because we *really* needed to get work started I initiated a horrible hack (because Windows of course doesn’t allow you to log into a share using anything but the username you logged in as). Joy. Then I started Geoff off. A number of points – version control systems are great. The first time we both commited – I met a conflict. The file was self explanatory and I was able to resolve the conflict.Unfortunately, I made a mistake while working on my source dir and had to wipe it out (it was in a permanently locked state – have no idea what happened – and it has *never* happened again). After that things calmed down and for the following days I was able to use it with no problems – which was nice. Something I made/setup worked. Something to say – never expect to get someone who doesn’t like computers interested or willing to use version control systems. Whatever…. TBC tomorrow…