Month: June 2010

Wasted nearly two hours trying to figure out why some simple bash script of mine wasn't working.



if [ "$HOSTNAME" == "kiffins-laptop" ]; then echo "This is Kiffin's laptop"
elif [ "$HOSTNAME" == "georges-laptop" ]; then echo "This is George's laptop"
    echo 'Unknown hostname (exit)'
    exit 1
echo "Success"
exit 0

Looks perfectly valid to me, so how come when I run the damned script I get the following error messages?

[: 11: laptop: unexpected operator
[: 11: laptop: unexpected operator
Unknown hostname (exit)

Need a hint?


Here's a quick recipe for disaster. Say that you want to blow-up your Linux system, along with all those important documents, emails, etc. You're kind of in a self-destructive mood, or just not thinking, kind of like I was yesterday afternoon right when it was time to go home.

Warning: do not really run the following command (but this is what I ran nonetheless):

$ sudo apt-get -y remove perl

I realized my mistake right away, but it was too late. Unfortunately, most of the important stuff depends on Perl so by removing it I crippled my system and made it completely useless. Oops.

So why would someone be so stupid and do this in the first place? I mean really. Well, I had inadvertently messed up my Perl development settings and accidentally deleted an important Perl library sub-directory.

Wrong, should have used --reinstall instead, you dummy. Using the -y was pretty stupid also.


Evening panoramic view from our hotel room balcony during our fun and romantic 25th wedding anniversary celebration at a secret location. Where could this special place be?

How is it possible that one day you are in the zone playing a stellar round of golf, and then the very next day you are hacking around losing golf balls and end up with a score twelve strokes worse?

Well it doesn't make much sense, but I guess that's why I like to play golf so much. Could this be some form of an acute addiction or an inner need for self abuse?

Where we are today is the result of a sum total of millions of decisions big and small that were made in the past. This massive collections of moments has one way or the other led us to where we are now.

Some of these decisions were difficult and seemed very important at the time. In the long run it turns out that these so-called grave decisions actually barely changed things at all, forgotten and turned to dust on the road behind us.

On the other hand, the real impact on our lives comes from decisions which at the time might have seemed very trivial, those which perhaps we were not even conscious of making at that defining moment of our lives. A fractional change in direction, a fleeting thought or a random whim which didn't make sense at the time.

Thinking about it logically, I shouldn't be here. The long and winding path I have taken doesn't make sense. I could've gotten here much easier and the distance should have been covered more directly. A different roll of the dice would have put me way over there and not where I am standing right now.

Today marks exactly thirty years ago since where while in Norway, I first laid eyes on my wife, indeed a very defining moment. I remember falling in love with her immediately. After having crossed paths randomly while on our own separate vacations, she arriving from Amsterdam and me all the way from California, we spent a couple intense days together walking along the romantic Sognefjord.

Near Balestrand Norway.

Then it was time to part and go our separate ways. She would be staying on a couple extra days, and it was time for me to continue my journey with my fellow traveler Kevin. To go or not to go. I felt devastated and asked her what I should do. Her reply was simple and logical: just leave, we had fun while it lasted but things couldn't last forever.

The defining moment took place down at the harbor where I stood there wondering whether or not I should hop on the ferry and just leave her forever. I hesitated although my friend kept urging me to forget about that Dutch girl and just come along as promised. I remember looking down and seeing the edge of the boat ramp and the solid ground I was standing on, undulating slightly as the water ripples lapped up against the side.

In the end I stayed. The ferry kept getting farther and farther away. My friend was not very pleased that I had broken my promise to travel with him, and I watched the ferry get farther and farther away. When I walked back up the hill to the youth hostel, it was drizzling.

One thing led to the next, followed by decisions here and there and elsewhere. Thirty years later and I am standing here and not over there.

Being more positive about life really isn't that difficult, and with a little bit of effort, one can greatly increase the quality of life.

The impact is pretty powerful, meaning that the more you do it, the more it becomes a part of you. You actually do feel happier.

After having had to stand the whole hour in the crowded train to my work and feeling angry about life, I was pleased to discover this article which describes the following simple five steps:

  1. Come up with a positive response to every situation you meet.
  2. Look for the good in other people. Rather than seeking to identify the negative traits in the people around you that you interact with, look for the positive ones.
  3. Act happy, even if it's a painted dayglow smile. You don't have to be happy - often, that's an impossibly tall order. Instead, just act happy.
  4. Drop the sarcasm. Sarcasm can be a lot of fun, but in the end, it's just negativity wrapped up and packaged as a joke.
  5. Get plenty of rest and eat a good diet. This along with exercise is one sure way to naturally elevate your mood.

Reference: Benefits of a positive attitude.

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This personal weblog was started way back on July 21, 2001 which means that it is 7-21-2001 old.

So far this blog contains no less than 2498 entries and as many as 1877 comments.

Important events

Graduated from Stanford 6-5-1979 ago.

Kiffin Rockwell was shot down and killed 9-23-1916 ago.

Believe it or not but I am 10-11-1957 young.

First met Thea in Balestrand, Norway 6-14-1980 ago.

Began well-balanced and healthy life style 1-8-2013 ago.

My father passed away 10-20-2000 ago.

My mother passed away 3-27-2018 ago.

Started Gishtech 04-25-2016 ago.