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gnat (29)

gnat
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Journal of gnat (29)

Saturday September 22, 2001
11:37 PM

Bio, Parrot, OSCON, Economy, and Babies

[ #813 ]
"Cartoon Guide to Genetics". All the cartoon guides are great, but this one was really useful for my bioinformatics boot camp study. It came almost too late, but if I'd read it two months ago, I could have saved myself two months of pounding my head against textbooks.

Then again, now I do have an impressive number of textbooks. And there's nothing quite like that feeling of being at school, where you are interested and excited in a subject you're new to. It's been 11 years since I entered university (a figure that makes me OSHIT every time I calculate it) and I've really enjoyed the feeling of learning something completely new.

I've also enjoyed Parrot hacking. It's taking me back to the 6502 days (*twenty* years ago! OSHIT!) and it's fun. I've always thought that I benefitted from learning the low level as well as the high, but I feel like I'm confirming that when I go back to assembly. I feel like my Perl programming is informing my assembly now, just as my knowledge of the underlying machine (addressed memory, integer registers, and so on) informed my programming in Perl.

I've already begun planning OSCON 2002. Some days I feel like I'm trapped on a wheel, and no matter how fast I run, I can never take a break. Still, I do get to have a lot of (exhausting) fun at the actual conference, so I can't complain.

The ISP that is my former employer just laid off some of my friends, and HP is winding up to lay off another friend. Ugh, I hate this economic suck phase we're in. I know too many good people hunting for work in Boston, England, and now Fort Collins, Colorado. Where's their $5 billion dollar bail-out?

Still, some good news in all that--Stas Bekman is being funded for a year's work on mod_perl 2.0, a new documentation project (he's the brains behind the mod_perl guide). Major kudos to Ticketmaster, who's behind the funding.

And, finally, it's 13 days and counting to the new baby's due date. Whee! Now if I could only pull a miracle and get both the SOAP book and the PHP book I'm editing into production .... Well, I can dream!

--Nat