I can’t remember a summer that actually went well, and this one has been no exception. The things that have gone wrong–little things, in the big scheme–would normally be easily dealt with, and life would continue as usual, but the normal summer for me involves them piling up, one after another. Maybe it’s the lack of structure, or perhaps it’s the longer light levels–I seem to recall an article in the Chronicle1 about academics being affected by SAD in reverse. But by the time the end of July rolls around, I’m literally counting the days until the semester starts.
There were minor computer issues. There were issues with one of the lab monitors not recognizing personal and private space. There were family issues. There were arguments with financial aid, still unresolved. There are still issues with neighbors not respecting common courtesy.
Computer drama was mostly resolved: the solution involved wiping the hard drive of the laptop, and reinstalling linux and windows on it. Now, the last time I tried installing linux on a laptop was 1999, and then it was a lesson in futility or an act of self-mortification. Oddly enough, linux was working perfectly, but windows wouldn’t install. Finally got it working, got linux all set up…and I couldn’t get a version of LISP running.
Now the people in my parents’ generation settled on LISP because it was (then) platform-independent. It still is, to some extent. LISP code you write in linux will run in OSX, or Windows (assuming you can find a LISP implementation that doesn’t suck). However, LISP implementations vary widely, and the specific set of functions I use to extend LISP to be used in sound synthesis will only run on a few. (Supposedly.) For some strange reason known only to my computer and St. Isidore of Seville, one of them–the one that’s commercial and the license of which covers me while I’m a student2–magically started working3. I’m trying to migrate over to CMUCL, but either it or I’m having Issues getting it working4. For now I’m happy my old–commercial–standby is working. I’ve got awhile before the migration becomes critical, and who knows what CLM will become by then.
So normally spending a day composing would leave me feeling warm-happy-sleepy-tired. Today it was a different kind, and I thought it was just latent stress. Nope. Stomach flu hit tonight. So looks like tomorrow’s filled with bad daytime TV and warm ginger ale.
2 The license, last I checked, started at $600, and for something similar to what I’ve got would be closer to $2000.
3 Here is where I pause and mention that all computers suck–it’s just a matter of how much and in what manner.
4 I’m not ruling out PEBCAK–“problem exists between chair and keyboard.”