Alex Beutel's Blog

Catching up

February 19th, 2009 · 1 Comment

Haven’t posted in a while and having some free time for the first time in a long while, I thought I’d write something.  After having a few friends becoming obsessed with Twitter at The Chronicle (Duke’s student newspaper that I am partially involved with – I’ll write about this at some point), I can’t bring myself to write a full blown 140 character tweet but should be able to write a good few paragraphs here.  Anyway, I think I’ll delve a little more than I have previously into my academics.  I am currently taking Physics 181 (Intermediate Mechanics), Physics 176 (Thermal Physics), Math 107 (Linear Algebra and DiffEq), CS 104 (Comp. organization, essentially assembly), and cultural anthropology 181, which is about musical protests.  Interesting mixture of courses and constantly changing my view on the different subjects.  I have to declare my major within the next two weeks and am planning on officially declaring as a double BS in physics and computer science.  However, I am not sure what that will actually result in, as I would like to shape my CS degree to be more oriented towards CS theory and less on systems and large projects.  On the other hand, shaping my major this way means I would need to either not get an official CS degree although I’d have more than enough courses, or getting an interdepartmental major, which the DUS of physics seems to be very against.  Neither seems ideal, but I figure I’ll take what interests me and what helps me further my work and knowledge, and let that philosophy take me where it may; I figure it can’t lead me that far astray, especially if I don’t even know what path I am straying from.  Anyway, that’s where I am at right now.

Yesterday at work (my job with Duke OIT) we finished up my code for the new version of Duke’s online AFS interface – Webfiles, which should be tested and rolled out in coming weeks.  I believe we will be making it open source, which I think is exciting.  This led me to my next endeavor today, which was to finally install Git and integrate it with Textmate.  As usual when I do small new things like this that change what I am used to, I realize how little I know about some parts of computing, especially Unix.  I am thinking about forcing myself to use Vim for a little while and properly learning Unix.  New great command: which.  After installing things with macports like mysql or git, and with my not great knowledge of Unix systems  this command is really helpful for integrating it with the rest of my OS X installation (such as letting Textmate plug into it).

Ironic, I know that I started off the post explaining I don’t like CS systems courses and finish the post by explaining the cool new Unix command I learned, but I think I am comfortable with that paradox.  Random Unix commands and little tidbits like that seem more like something I will continue to learn in practice, not something I should spend a semester on in one of my few semesters left here.  Anyway, this was a nice exercise in public introspection.   As I always say, I’ll try to write soon; hopefully I’ll actually do that one of these times.

Tags: Miscellanious

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Begginning of Summer 2009 // May 30, 2009 at 1:19 pm

    […] how effective it was when I get the test back haha. Anyway that is all for now, I may make public a post I wrote a few months ago that I never published, so check for that and I’ll write of any other […]

Leave a Comment