June 21st, 2015


day at the beach (day 6)

Today, we went to Hampton Beach. We got cheap beach food, saw the big sand sculptures, and hung out on the beach. Then I pulled out my quads and flew them -- talking to the random crowds that congregated in doing so -- bought frydoe, and went to playland arcade, where I was reminded again why you should never play the pinball machines at a beach arcade.

We drove home, Alicia went over to her boyfriend's house, and Julie and Jess and I went to Summer Shack for dinner. We then came home, and I fell asleep until Alicia was late getting home, at which point I was woken up by her phone call that she was going to be late, and now I'm still awake, wishing I wasn't.

Day 1 of vacation completed without doing any work. Yay.

Cross-posted from Facebook: Happy Father's Day

Happy Father's Day to all the fathers out there, but especially to the one who is dearest to me: my dad.

Shortly after we got our first computer, one summer day I was going through it seeing what all of the various programs did. As I was doing so, I stumbled across a program called 'vi.exe'. (My dad, who worked on Unix systems at AT&T at the time, had installed a Unix tools package onto our machine.) I ran the program, and was presented with a screen full of ~s on the left side, and no other information. No combination of keys seemed to change the state of the screen.

I knew enough at this point to know that if I got stuck, Ctrl-C would get me out of anything. Turns out that this mental note was only partially true -- Ctrl-C won't quit this program. In the end, nothing I could do would fix it, and I was forced to turn the computer off -- *without quitting the program*. I was completely nervous at that time that I had completely destroyed the hard drive, because I *knew* (as we all 'knew' then) that of course you can't turn the computer off with any programs running: it will destroy the hard drive.

When my dad got home, I told him what had happened, and he taught me that vi was an editor; while I didn't learn to do much in it, I did learn that hitting escape, then typing :q!, would get me out of the program.

To this day, I use vi as my daily editor (over its primary competitor, emacs); in part, this is because I still know how to quit vi when I need to, and I *still* can't figure that out in emacs most of the time. In this way, every time I start editing a file -- whether it's a quick shopping list or a configuration file that happens to affect the flow of a huge chunk of traffic over the internet -- I've got a little reminder of things my dad taught me coming along with me.

Thanks, Dad, for everything you've taught me and given me over the years. I can't tell you how much you mean to me. I hope you have a great Father's Day.