January 20, 2020

40 Below

40 Below

Well... It's been a while since I last posted (three months?), so it's about time that something got put here. I'm back in Alaska after heading back to Colorado for the winter holidays, and it's colder than it was when I left. When I stepped out of the airport the air was a chilly -40 – Celsius and Fahrenheit! I always looked forward to experiencing that temperature due to its unique claim of being the same in both commonly used units, but I'm disappointed that it wasn't as cold as I expected.

School started back up fairly uneventfully, and the first week is just about finishing up. This semester I'm taking a fairly full course load, but the class I'm looking forward to most is CS202 - as you might guess from the name, it's the follow up to the CS class I took last semester. Sadly, the friends I had in my class last semester are joining me in it this semester, but I'll be meeting some new people so that's ok.

Since I last wrote I've also managed to get a job working at the university. I currently work in the Systems Engineering department, and work with other developers there to create applications for students and other education related groups. It's looking to be fun, and it's neat that I'm finally able to have my first professional development job.

On a slightly related front, I've managed to dig myself a bit deeper into the geek hole - shortly before winter break, a friend and I pooled money to purchase a discarded rack-mount server from Green Star, a local electronics recycling facility, as well as a rack mount 48-port gigabit switch. Don't ask me why we needed the switch, but we have it now and it looks fancy when it's on top of the server. We made sure to try and test the server as best we could before deciding to make the purchase, but as all things that seem too good to be true (like getting a server for 1/5 of what you'd buy a used one online for), several issues cropped up once we got it home to mess with. We ended up deciding that the issue was with the mainboard, and one is set to arrive by the end of the month - hopefully we both know what we're doing and we're not spending even more money that we didn't need to.

The days are starting to get longer and longer again, though it doesn't seem taking as long as it did when they were getting shorter. It's nice to not be driving in darkness to and from school every day, and the sunsets are amazing if you're able to see them. I'm hoping that before the days get too long I'll be able to see some more of the northern lights, I've only been able to get a good look at them two times and neither time was very successful with a clean picture.


I think that's all for this post, and sadly I don't have any pictures to add. I hope everyone had a great holiday season, and wherever you are in the world I hope you stay warm in the winter and don't get too hot in the summer.

P.S. Fun fact about the server I bought: from what we can tell of the labels on it and the condition we got it in, it's previous job was an Active Directory domain controller inside the Usibelli Coal Mine. It's not every day you get to clean a millimeter layer of coal dust out of a high end piece of computing equipment.