computer science sucks

i flew from dulles to sfo today.  6 hours, non-stop on virgin america.  i saw this great country (the parts not covered by clouds), i saw blue skies, i saw clouds (which we all know i love), i saw lights.

but this is not all.

i had satellite television and wireless internet access.  i could play games.  i could chat with my fellow passengers.  i could order snacks.  well, let’s be honest, i did order snacks.

but besides this one little forray into snackdom and a little bit of chatting online, how did i spend this 6 hour flight, this flight full of aerial views and photography opportunities and really quite full of possible nap time?  answer: trying to figure out how the fuck to solve the traveling salesman problem in a non-absurd amount of time.

maybe i should have titled this post “i suck at computer science” – but i think either title is true.

experiences with ubuntu jaunty

my laptop is in the shop (see point 2 of previous post) and as a result, i’ve spent some quality time with my old desktop in the last two days.  i built this thing after graduating college, so now it’s 5 years old but still gets the job done.  i have windows xp on a hard drive in there somewhere, but i’ve been primarily using ubuntu 8.04.  until two days ago, when i tried upgrading to 9.04

the upgrade from hardy (8.04) to jaunty (9.04) sucks.  this suck revolves entirely around the nvidia driver support, and the awkward dance i attempted to get it to work at 3am on friday morning was reminiscent of far too many days in high school, tooling around with this weird linux thing.  xwindows didn’t detect the driver, then it detected it but wouldn’t activate it, then it couldn’t activate it because it mismatched versions with the module in the kernel, and about there i stopped.  i do not build kernels anymore.

i realized when i woke up the next day that i had no reason to keep the data on this machine around, and a clean reinstall to 9.04 would be fine.  and since that realization, things have gone swimmingly.  the install off the jaunty iso was perfect, nvidia drivers were picked up and loaded properly, and i even got in some good customization so that things look pretty sharp to me now.  i find myself impressed yet again with ubuntu.

of course, as soon as the apple store calls and tells me my laptop is ready to be picked up, this machine will go into deep slumber, but it was a good experience, and it reminded me that ubuntu doesn’t suck and that desktops don’t die after 1.5 years of ownership if you build ’em right.

and for the record: new wave theme (built-in), nuoveXT2 icons, and Sdream by *NestR as my wallpaper.