Futzing with my server

So I've been futzing with my server a bunch today (because I don't want to write papers) and I've accomplished a few things. I've got a mailserver working (that's new for me). I've got my administration pages protected by SSL (also new). That's the server work side of things.

Debian and R-Type form...

With their powers combined, Debian and R-type form my new server setup. Since I was getting pretty sick of using VNC to connect to r-type when I needed to change or fix something, I decided to get Linux up and running on it instead of Windows 2k. Having gone through the process, r-type is now running Debian, which gives me the wonderful powers of SSH and apt-get. SSH is the part that I really care about because I can now futz with things from my sidekick, any Linux machine and any Windows machine that I can put PuTTY on.

As a side advantage, I've managed to get SSL working so now I can deal with administering my blog and phpmyadmin over a secure connection.

Everything Is One Fewer Thing

Everything that I do is one fewer thing that I ever have to do. The problem set that I just finished for 3.063 is the last problem set that I'm ever going to have to do at MIT. The two papers that I intend to write this weekend will be the last papers that I'm ever going to have to write at MIT. When I turn in my thesis a week from Friday, it's going to be the last thing that I ever have to turn in at MIT. Graduation will then be the last thing that I ever have to do at MIT. In a way it's all very thrilling and liberating but in another way it's a little depressing.

Oreos: America's Favorite Cookie

Displayed prominently on the Oreo package in my freezer (more on this later) is the phrase "America's Favorite Cookie". Some people might consider this to be a fairly hefty claim but it turns out to be statistically justifiable, with Oreos selling roughly 10 times as well as the next most popular cookie. Quite frankly, I'm not surprised as I consider the Oreo to be the all around finest cookie on the market. We (Dan and I) have been trying to keep at least one package of Oreos in our freezer at all times for quite a while and they've essentially become a staple around here, with us going through approximately one package every week or two.

Now, as to why we keep our Oreos in the freezer; they're better that way. Keeping Oreos in the freezer makes them stay fresh a whole lot longer than if they aren't kept in the freezer (even if you don't keep them in a resealable package). Also, frozen Oreos are a bit stiffer, harder and more solid, which I rather like.

So yeah, Oreos are great and the rest of America agrees. Also, if you look at some of the other statistics, Nabisco has a strangle-hold on cookies and crackers in the US.

The Value of Good Staples

One should really not underestimate the value of good staples. Technically, the value is about $4.18 per 5000 staples or $0.000836 per staple, but it's not the monetary value we're concerned with. It's the time/effort/life value of good staples that matters. The particular staples, Swingline S.F.4 Premium Staples, are more uniform and have slightly sharper tips thus making them staple paper more easily and with less frequent mis-staplings. All of you out there using standard quality staples are really missing out.

Thesis D1

About 30 minutes ago, I finished my first draft of my thesis and sent a copy to my my thesis advisor. I'm quite pleased and my relaxed state has very little to do with my celebratory White Russian. The biggest step in project Dig Myself Out of my Workload is now complete and I plan to get a good night's sleep.

Just to help clarify how pleased and relaxed I am, I have put about 50 hours of work into this thing since Thursday afternoon (ie. ~12.5h/day for four days).

C100H202, 1ns: check

My simulation code seems to be working pretty solidly now and I've gotten almost my entire polyethylene model working. As of right now, I haven't addressed bond eclipsing and some of my interaction constants are a little off but, otherwise, everything seems qualitatively good.

Right now I've got my computer running a single C100H202 molecule at 273K. I am performing calculations for every femtosecond, recording for every picosecond and it will generate a full nanosecond in about 4 hours. After the calculations are done, I'll render up images and make a movie, which I will probably then post somewhere.

I'm a little disappointed in the state of the computation engine but I don't care; I'm just so glad that I got the model working.

UPDATE: It all worked out reasonably well and I have a video up on the page that I just made up for my thesis. Sadly, initial conditions and physics caused the system to develop a rotational mode that, combined with some software limitations, makes most of the video rather uninteresting. The first few seconds are nice. Further things will be placed on that site as they appear and will, for the most part, not be mentioned here.