Sometimes life throws us a life-changing experience. It “wakes us up” from the routine that life can become. I once swore that I would never become complacent in life … yet, here I am.
Complacency is comfortable, it’s easy, it’s smart. It’s coasting because you can, to make it to the next day. It’s skipping the sunrise to sleep just a few more hours, it’s watching TV because making a dent in the world takes too much energy, it’s eating well instead of eating cheap to make it to the next place. Before you know it, you’ve missed everything that’s good in the world.
I love the sunrise, the feeling of morning dew under my feet, and the morning breeze in my hair. I love the feeling of being lost, unknown whether there’s a comfortable tomorrow, of being alive and in the moment.
It’s time to go. Come along if you’d like, you’re invited.
I wrote that in 2005. This afternoon I ran out of gmail space (it took 12 years and 6 months, if you’re curious). In 2005, I had used something called GMAILFS to store a ton of files in the 1-2GB of free space I had. I have journal entries, programs, roms, code, a mish mash of random things I thought were important enough to preserve “forever” in the time capsule that is an email account…
I’d like to share what I’ve found and we can joke about how irrelevant it all is today.
The Heracles Engine was a multi-year project to build a reusable 3d engine for personal projects. It’s main thing was physics, nothing was “drawn,” but rather, derived. Finding this code made my decade. I’ve included a screenshot from 2005, showing real shadows! I was so proud of myself… I’ll probably be spending the next few days trying to get it to compile…
It’s a 33mb tarball spread across 3 emails. It’s full of random bits of code, like my implementation of ciphersaber, homework for my CS classes, my vnc config, some books, documentation of the Heracles Engine, all my contacts, and a couple of videos that no modern operating system could play.
It also has a few journal entries, like the one above.
Probably the worst program ever written. Once run, it’s nearly impossible to get rid of. I think I’d call it annoy-ware for Windows. It randomly pops up a message on your screen, embeds itself on boot and quitting it makes it more annoying. Using the process manager makes it excruciatingly annoying. It still runs, and it took me about 20 minutes to get rid of it — and I’m still not 100% I got rid of it.
I did a one off study of memory and recall – I think. It might have been my brother. I don’t remember. Oh the irony! From the results of the study (on a couple hundred teenagers), it appears that the age of a memory doesn’t really affect how well it’s able to be recalled, if it’s able to be recalled at all, after a certain amount of time. That actually makes sense to some degree, since our brain’s memory is holographic in nature.
Using the Heracles Engine, I rendered the 3d graph of the wind chill factor (also used to calculate “what it feels like” on sites like weather.com). It’s pretty cool.
This is a forked zombie simulation that shows a realistic simulation of bacterial growth, using zombies. The fact that all these things still run is a testament to how Awesome Windows is, btw. I doubt any programs written for a Mac in 2005 would still run on my MacBook Pro. Just saying. I’d love to be proved wrong.
I have lots of snippets and articles about everything from Matrices, Quaternions, Particle Simulators, Nurbs, Curves, Planes, Finances, Neuroscience, and Orbital Mechanics. I love that Kerbal Space Program came out and I actually got to put some of that knowledge to good use!
I also have a really old copy of the LimeWire installer … you remember that thing? Man … the good days of stealing music…
Also are the schematics and custom firmware for walking in doors you’re not supposed to walk through, custom built for getting around campus and getting my job done without having to wait 20-30 minutes for a security guard to come open a door for me.
I also have my AI for running on the beowulf cluster late at night. I don’t remember specifics, but I think I was trying to read road signs judging from the code.
Pictures, Music and Misc.
A whole folder of music is worth it’s weight in gold. Songs and bands that I’d nearly forgot existed but I remember every word to. It’s strange how these songs are tied to specific memories in my life worth reliving.
Getting Through it All
The Army changed the course of my life, for good or bad. I lost nearly 10 years of work over the course of 5 years in the Army. This is just a snapshot of what I was working on at the time. For example, I have a entry about the
verse, a holographic memory representation in C that I was playing with. I vaguely remember how it worked and could probably figure it out again … but there’d be no point. I have no desire to create a filesystem and maintain it.
I’ll probably always wonder what I’d have made if I hadn’t gone off to war, but I don’t regret it. The lessons I learned made me a stronger person than I could have ever asked to be. Sometimes we need strength, not guile or cleverness, and it has come to my rescue several times. Like that one time I lived in my car for 4 months …