Summer Update

Has it been a long time since I last posted..? Well, I have been overwhelmed with a ton of stuff, so I suppose this post will be rather big…

Heather and I reached our one-year anniversary last Monday. To celebrate, we went touring Downtown Tampa, Channelside, and Ybor. We first went to Oceanic Supermarket, the home of the “Topless Brand” Cabbages that I featured a few posts back. We had lunch over at the Thai Thani, which is a rather nice place. They must of had an unlimited budget for decor. I wish I had photos.

There was this foreign goods store by Gameworks that was moving to another location. It seemed that it was more expensive to ship the goods than to try to sell it all in one place, so the store owner said: “Name your price.”. Being the shrewd guy I was, I grabbed the largest wicker bag the store was selling, and stuffed it full of these items:

  • 4 Bottles of Organic Shampoo and Bodywash (for the missus): $40
  • 6 Large Indonesian Candles: $60
  • 2 Candle Holders: $20
  • 2 Necklaces: $25
  • 2 Wall Hangings: $30
  • Chinese Engraved Art: $120
  • 4 Teak Bowls: $60

I went up to the lady at the counter and said: “Thirty dollars for the whole lot.”
She said: “SOLD.”
So, we went home with a shopping spree’s level of loot without spending like we did. Heather was wondering if I planned the whole thing. I came across that golden opportunity by mistake.

We also moved from the Lutz House to an apartment complex nearby. It’s great since we don’t have to drive to get to USF; the university shuttle passes by the complex every 15 minutes. Good thing too- the van died a couple of weeks ago. It lasted for a couple of years, and is at 300,000 miles. We don’t NEED a vehicle right now, and I don’t care to since $4 gas isn’t really an expense I want to have. I rather use that money for something rather than to line the pockets of the president’s henchmen. The bus is good enough for me.

Other cool things that happened:

I took part in bringing online the largest academic supercomputing cluster in the state of Florida. We purchased 120 Dual-Quad-Core Intel machines, each with 16 Gb RAM. I also wrote provisioning software that configured all of the machines by probing the network, and assigning IP addresses and installing operating systems on them using PXE. It was simple as starting the program and turning on the machines. I’ll probably document the program and release it open source.

I remember when I was happy being root on twenty machines. Now I rule over 250+. I never seen so much computing power in one spot.

I still maintain the Xerxes Project for on my spare time. I’ll be making updates to that project pretty soon when I have some time. Lately, I’ve been doing some consulting programming for a client to make some extra money. I tell you, some of the code I saw in this project, would be worthy for