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A Followup:

Well, I did some C file IO, along with implementing a simple binary search on a dictionary.  I can’t believe how easy it was.  I haven’t done straight C since my first internship, which was just after my freshman year.

As a side note, I do use C/C++ pretty heavily in competitions; it’s definitely C++, because I use lots of the C++ libraries, but almost anything else I slop together using structs and functions.  While in competition, it’s best to reduce the mental overhead as much as possible.  Plus, I love C format strings.  They are a lot easier than having to remember C++ formatting…

I’ve gone through some more Practical Common Lisp, on top of my scheme homework, which has been fun.  I’m also in the middle of a blog entry on my little side project (a grammar checker), so more details will be forthcoming.

In addition, I just got a second job – I am now a linux/unix sysadmin for CAEDM, a part of BYU’s infrastructure.  It’s going to be pretty fun.  So far I’ve worked on perl and bash scripts.  I wonder if we will try to do anything really complicated in either, because they can be beasts.  Most of our existing scripts were created a while ago by a previous sysadmin.  My overseer wants to learn perl, but he seems to be pretty open to ideas.  I hope we can do more work in sane environments – specifically, I hope that we end up using ruby.

Being paid to learn and improve is fantastic!

A Rant and a Ramble:

Unfortunately, lots of school projects are stacking up.  Just today I spent what felt like forever bashing my head against Visual Studio.  It’s key bindings are almost unusable.  Although they have an ’emacs’ keybinding mode, I would generously estimate that at most 20% of my attempts at using emacs features were supported.  No macros, no normal home/end, no powerful search/replace, amongst other things.  Worse than that are mis-bindings – for example, C-x deletes a line.  Code must actually be syntactically valid for the pretty printer to clean it up, and tab didn’t work at all.  Overall, it was a harrowing experience.

I would have used emacs itself, but the windows lab computers aren’t nearly as customizable as the linux boxen.  C# isn’t a standard emacs mode, either.  I’m not particularly interested in doing a heavy configuration of windows right now.  I do not like its interface, not at all.

To actually create a usable windows environment, I would have to replace its shell with something like blackbox.  Plus, windows’ software package management is horrendous (I’ve spent over a day fine-tuning windows boxes).  If I were to ever use it again, I would need to look at some package management.

Admittedly, my environment is immediately unusable to nearly anyone else.  That is mostly because of dvorak, but I also use fluxbox, and my keybindings are completely customized.

I really like my environment, but being a bit unconventional can cause some inconveniences.

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