Muli Ben-Yehuda's journal

September 4, 2003

LJ catchup

Filed under: Uncategorized — Muli Ben-Yehuda @ 5:41 PM

Lots of stuff happened last week, but I wasn’t in a journaling kind of mood. This is quick summary before it all goes away to old memories graveyard.

So what did I do? I played a little with assembly, writing toy programs that did silly things like executing read and write system calls. Mostly I did it to get a feel for the assemblers available on Linux. I tried nasm, and then gas, and I think I’ll use gas from now on. Being standard is a big incentive for me to use it. Now I’m looking for something fun to write that makes sense to be written in assembly. Suggestions?

To counter the evil asm mojo, I also played a lot with emacs lisp, including the emacs battery mode mentioned here earlier. I amused myself with implementing the basic lisp constructs, such as ‘if’, using lisp. All hail “eval”!

Last weekend, I started studying for the classes I’m taking next semester, at least partly because it’s relatively guilt-free structured procrastination from studying for the Algorithmics test I have next week. I’m taking Infi 1, Mathematical Logic (yay!), Compilation and Algorithms, and I read the first chapter in all of them.

Also last weekend, I was sick as a dog with some virus (no, not SoBig.F). Usually when I’m sick, I just grunt and suffer, refusing to take medication unless I’m about to croak. This time I listened to ladypine‘s sage advice and took something to calm my flaming sinuses that made being sick relatively painless. On Sunday morning I went to the doctor’s office, where the nice doctor told me that I have a virus and I’ll get over it, and returned home to find most of the apartment completely flooded with water. After swimming in, I quickly located the source of the incredible amounts of water sloshing past me: a short tube connecting the toilet’s water tank to the wall burst open and happily sprayed half of the country’s water supply into the apartment. It flooded the rest room, the work room and my room, apparently the lowest points in the apartment. How did it happen, and whether or not this is related to the work the landlord’s handyman did in close proximity to said tube a couple of days earlier remains a mystery. I would’ve been a lot more pissed off than I was, except that save for the two or so hours I slaved to drain the water and a couple of wet books, there was no harm done. The computers are all fine. I Can’t wait until next Tuesday when we move to the new apartment!

On Monday, we had a Haifux meeting. Oleg spoke about “Pseudo, Quasi and Real Random Numbers” and gave a great talk. Unfortunately for me, I was still sick and having a hard time concentrating, especially when he started talking about Chi Square tests and Kolmogorov-Smirnov Tests. I need to take an advanced probability class, me’thinks. I don’t feel I know nearly enough probability. Then again, I can say the same thing about nearly anything at all. Oleg’s slides are available on and will show up on haifux soonish.

That’s it for now. Plans for this weekend include studying Algorithmics and packing house. What I’ll end up doing is open for guessing, but “procrastinating” seems to be a safe bet…


  1. You’re supposed to do e.g. (if) with macros, not eval. backquote is your friend when it’s not kicking you in the butt…. 🙂

    Comment by geekosaur — September 4, 2003 @ 3:45 PM | Reply

    • lisp macros
      I’m ashamed to say I haven’t taught myself lisp macros yet. It’s on the agenda, though 🙂

      Comment by mulix — September 5, 2003 @ 12:43 AM | Reply

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