Week 4/5

Last week was an interesting week.  I was actually looking forward to class.  So, as usual, I packed my uniform and brought it to PT so that I could shower in McComas Hall and get to class on time.  However, disaster struck when I got out of the shower, and realized I had forgotten 2 critical pieces of my uniform in my room, my brown undershirt and my cover (wearing BDUs).  So I weighed my options:  break the regs and go in sweaty pt gear, or follow the regs, and end up missing class.  For better or worse, I chose to follow the regs which had the unfortunate result of skipping class.

Despite this,  I have done my best to keep up with the readings while fighting with the band for time to do homework, and my body which randomly decided that this would be an excellent week to get sick (I have 3 midterms, 2 Wednesday and 1 Friday).  On top of this, I ended up missing all of my classes today (I was supposed to only miss Air Force PT) due to an incentive flight in a C-130.  The original aircraft had an engine failure on landing, so we had to wait for another to come from west virginia.  It was an amazing experience despite the wait.

On the Unix/Python side:  Python seems to be making pretty good sense to me.  I am not using my Debian partition of my harddrive enough though.  Its hard to switch over just because of how much stuff I always keep open (right now, 2 web browsers, email, skype, itunes, 6 word documents, and an excel spreadsheet).  This is after I closed everything that ceased to be relevant…  It also doesn’t help that I just use cygwin and packages from cygwin in order to do all my python and unix homework.  I need to start forcing myself to switch over in order to do class work.


Command School

Class today involved a collaborative effort.  Each student had a list of 7 commands that they had to research and essentially become SME’s (Subject Matter Experts) on.  I had diff, echo, exit, hostname, less, ls, and head.  None of the commands were particularly difficult, but there are intricacies to all of them.  The miniproject was really helpful because it allowed each person to research a few commands and give details while in class.  However, the disadvantage is that if someone neglected to complete the entire assignment, or couldn’t find a command, then there was a gap in our knowledge.  Fortunately with the awesome power of the internet, we were able to figure out every single command.

In all the miniproject was highly useful.  With only 2 risks, people not doing the work or not showing up, it appeared to be relatively successful.

Based off what I have seen in others posts, it appears that those that have experience with unix, or at least the terminal, tended to view this as being effective, while those who have no experience at all did not see it as being anywhere near as useful.

A better attempt

In the summer of 2011 I, at the insistence of my older brother, installed Debian on a partition on my hard drive.  At first I was a fan purely due to to the better boot times, and the more practical layout.  But as time went on I noticed a few issues.

Since I didn’t really know what I was doing, my brother acted, and still acts, as my sysadmin.  He remotely will update Debian whenever we both happen to be online at the same time.  I’m hoping that by the end of the class I will be able to do most of that myself, and only utilize him for major issues or things that I don’t actually understand.

Another issue is that, even using Wine, I can’t play several games that I enjoy.  Therefore, I can  never permanently switch to just using Debian, until it is able to support those games.

Debian also uses Icedove as an email client.  Although the initial set up was a little more confusing, it works better than Outlook, except that it can’t see what I do on my Windows partition, which makes the crossover difficult, since most of my data is stored in Outlook.  I have the same issue with Iceweasel and Firefox.  I tend to just leave tabs up, so when I switch Operating Systems, I don’t remember what I had up on the other and what I need up.

On the whole, I prefer Debian to Windows, but I just need to learn Debian better before I can make any kind of major switch.