Wednesday, August 23, 2006

As today has been entirely unproductive, I thought that I might try to write something about stuff that has been happening to me lately. On Monday, I went to see Mirrorball Japan, which is a series of music videos and short films from Japan. My friend took me last year and so he got tickets early this time so we were not struggling to get tickets this time. It was weird, wonderful, and wacky as it was last year.

I am finding that writing is the most difficult and time consuming process in the PhD. As I never obtained a good grounding in it while I was in grade/high school, it makes it far more difficult to unlearn bad writing than it does to learn good writing. I am desperately hoping that I can finish this thing before the end of next August. My friends say that I still have plenty of time. I worry about it though because of my experiences the last month trying to get this chapter into shape.

(*high technical content alert*) In another attempt to keep my computer programming skills up to date, I have taken on the task of writing some of the basic data structures in C++. I ran into a problem where my years of working in dynamic programming languages which do memory management for you has come to bite me in the ass.

The very first data structure that you learn in CS is the Linked List. So I sat down and banged one out as I remembered. Well, I tested it and was startled to discover that I had created a circular pointer structure and I could not figure out why. After staring at it for a while, I realized that I was creating a new object then getting its address and assigning that to the list but when the object went out of scope, the pointer then pointed to garbage! I had to create a new object from the heap at the time and then I could do what I needed to do. The moral of this story kiddies is that Pointers and Scope can be a pain in the ass when you have been doing work in Perl et. al. for years that clean up your messes for you.

Now, on to the exciting news. I am going to see AL GORE at the Edinburgh International Book Festival!!!! It is going to be so cool. I saw it on the Scotsman website and I ask a friend about it because she works at the Book Festival. She said to get the tickets NOW so I did. W00T!!!!1!11!11!ONE

I will let you know how it goes.

posted by Chris  #5:41 PM | 2 comments |