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February 21, 2009

Nifty Linux Knowledge

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — aspensmonster @ 6:52 am

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I’ve been wanting to learn to write shell scripts for a while now. I always seem to find myself needing or wanting to download multiple files in sequence without having to sit in front of the computer screen for half an hour doing so. I have previous programming experience with Java, but never got around to shell scripting. Now I have. Here’s a simple example of what I’ve done.

#
# My first shell script
#
clear

for (( c=0; c<=100; c++ ))
do echo "LOOPY $c!" >> /home/file.txt
done

This creates a text file with LOOPY 1! and 2 and 3 and so forth. This is particularly handy to do with URLs, since wget can download files in sequence from a text file:

wget -i /home/file.txt

Yeah. It’s handy. I’ll be putting up a post about LaTeX too, which I’ve been working with for the past 24 hours now.

February 15, 2009

Bowing Out

Filed under: Uncategorized — aspensmonster @ 11:51 pm

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I feel that the time has come for me to accept my inadequacies. I’ve tried for the better part of two years to resolve them, to improve upon them, and have come to the realization that what I can do has already been done and the rest is beyond my control. I am no longer willing to reach out a helping hand that I already know is going to be bitten, or infinitely more painful, neglected. I’m scarred all to hell and refuse to walk into the line of fire or the cavern of ice one more time.

I’ve never been the feelings type. In fact, I can’t even say that I truly feel anything most of the time. And I hate that. I don’t enjoy seeing everything as bluntly and mathematically as I do, without a sixth sense to guide me. It’s part of why I don’t talk about my feelings much, because I don’t even know if that’s what they are. Most of what I’ve considered my “feelings” are things that others seem to routinely mock. And that hurts.

But that’s who I am, a disabled man trying desperately to fit into his surroundings even in the face of opposition. I want desperately to feel as others feel, to see as others see. And with the help of a few select people, I was able to formulate a facsimile of a sixth sense. It wasn’t perfect, but it was still better than nothing. Those people helped me out so much. They gave me something that I could never have obtained on my own. They sought to help as much as they could. They gave advice, and even if I didn’t agree with it, I made sure to give it a fair shot. They may have criticized me, but I made sure to take it into perspective, to analyze it and learn from it.

I can see now that mine was an attitude that will not be reciprocated. I’ve tried and tried now to help those I care about and even others that I don’t have a strong connection with, but have been met with hostility and neglect. It didn’t matter how I tried to go about helping others the way they helped me. Nothing worked. No amount of begging or asking, no manner of critique or suggestion was ever right. To this day, I have not seen the respect or humility that so helped me to grow in any of their eyes.

As of now, I feel trapped. Because I’ve been given something beautiful, something wonderful. I want so badly to be able to give in return, to at least make sure that the ratio of give to take is one to one. But I can’t give when others do not take. And it leaves me feeling like scum. It leaves me feeling like a hostage to the arrogance and pride and wiser-than-thou’ness of others. Because you see, I was the one that first chose to take the help, the advice. Only now, I feel as though I’ll never be able to repay the kindness. I feel as though I can never be an equal in their eyes, and there is absolutely nothing I can do about it. It’s out of my hands.

So I am bowing out. Perhaps not gracefully, but I refuse to continue degrading myself. I haven’t lost all hope, but I have put it on suspension. If anyone desires my help, then please tell me. But do not expect me to simply talk the talk. I am not interested in words. I’ve talked to too many a person who spoke as though they valued my advice, only to watch their course of action be as dead set towards dead-end as ever. The words were not what changed me. Action was. I will expect such efforts in return. It is the only way that I will ever feel as though the kindness has been repaid. They may mock that feeling if they wish, but it is my own. One of the few I possess.

In the mean time, I will begin honing my skills in the only form of giving that I have ever been successful with: the teaching of academics. Where I have failed miserably in being a true friend and helper, I hope to make up in my ability to teach, to give and impart knowledge. I know not at what level of education I wish to teach, but I know that teaching is what I am going to do. It is the only thing that brings a consistent amount of feeling into my math-dominated world: watching someone go from confusion to comprehension. It is the only thing that I have to give in return to society.

If you don’t like my choice of career, tough. I have no desire to be an engineer. None. No amount of money will ever make me feel at peace with myself. At mines, I may be surrounded by condescension for my choice, but it is an environment that I am willing to endure in. At mines, the focus may be on industry and I may find it tougher to go my route, but it is my route to take. I’ve been forging my own path since day one. And barring any remarkable circumstances, I don’t see that changing.

Peace out, and may we all find the courage to help and be helped.

Like every tree stands on its own.

Reaching for the sky, I stand alone.

I share my world with no one else.

All by myself, I stand alone.

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