Spring break (‘reading week’) was last week. Like all students [snicker], I spent it working on things like quantum field theory and galaxy dynamics. Here’s a roundup of a few things that happened this past week:
- Last Friday my office computer somehow got hacked into and was being used to scan for open ports. I noticed this when I returned from my lab and saw CPU cycles getting eaten up while niced. In my experience this is normally a sign that Mozilla’s Java plugin has gone haywire but this time it was caused by a port scanning program called ‘madscan,’ which for reasons unbeknownst to me was able to be run as root. A quick check with our sysadmin Gord and everything was promptly rectified.
- Several of us helped Matt and Trina move the following Monday, they’re going back to Truro (though he will be back to complete his thesis). Nice clean move, and this time only one flight of stairs to go up and down. Lots of boxes, especially little ones which for some reason were the first ones to get put away (I’m not sure that’s the best way to proceed). Also (I didn’t see it) but I think Matt temporarily trapped himself in the moving van when he packed himself into a corner. I might be wrong about that but I’ll pretend it really happened because it’s funny.
- I decided to give Cedega a try to see just how well I could play Civ IV under Linux. After two striaght days of installing, reinstalling, being asked first to insert disc 0 (how on earth does a message like that show up?), then downloading a bunch of DLLs, then having to deal with rogue XML parsers and downloading more files to parse correctly, then fiddling endlessly with Cedega’s settings, then finally paying attention to the correct install procedure given in a forum posting, I finally got it to work. Very nicely, in fact (haven’t tried multiplayer though). Then I did the same thing with Steam and Half-Life 2, which works nicely too (I get decent frame rates with everything turned up) except sometimes the floor you’re walking on is invisible so you can’t always tell if you’re going to fall, and sometimes a NPC’s head will vanish for no clear reason, leaving you talking to a headless being… Anyway, I got Diablo 2 to work right immediately and SimCity 4 doesn’t work at all. 3 out of 4 ain’t bad, less dual booting now. Maybe my next computer won’t have Windows at all.
- Paco beat Topalov at Linares yesterday. Holy Evans gambit! Paco’s rated 150 points lower than the WC, but he’s a brilliant attacker with black and doesn’t get enough respect. I’m glad he won.