Notes from 19 October, 2015: remembering that things exist, inertia, OpenHatch, man page humor

It’s Monday! I am READY FOR THIS (I am sleepy, but I have coffee, and I did get out the door in plenty of time to have a full day AND enjoy some daylight). I am not feeling totally awesome, but am trying to ignore this.

I am officially almost lost, but I recognized literally non-zero concepts in my algorithms course. I know about Big-oh notation! Today I also learned about Big Omega, Big Theta, and Big Brother notation.

Just kidding about the last one!


Had a kind of rough momentum-crushing lunch break (but a deliciously weird burrito). Took a short nap, which sort of helped, mostly because it gave me a deadline for getting up and going again. Took some ibuprofen in the hopes that it would decrease the amount of space that “pain” is taking up in my attention. It maybe helped?

Remembered that exists and learned that there’s a new tea café not that far away from here. It is like some sort of light-filled hipster dream space, filled with white walls and plainly finished wood and mason jars and succulents in tiny pots, so I wanted to be Too Cool for it…and instead, I kinda dig it. I’ve been kind of blown away by the gluttonous uses of spaces here since returning from New York (so much space unused! how can you afford that?), but sometimes that feeling is really good.

Decided that rebuilding inertia was more important than working towards graphing my UP data today, and tried poking through YourFirstPR tweets (it’s Hacktoberfest! I still haven’t submitted any PRs!), then remembered that OpenHatch exists and went there instead.

I’m practicing using my newly installed (as of Friday) wget, and I made my first tarball (!), and I read a ton of the man pages for tar,  and boy howdy is there a lot there. Knowing how to search for things in vim/vi has been SUCH a huge boost in reading man pages. (Don’t know how? In vim, or in a man page, type / and then your search. [Since you can do really complicated searches if you want, searching for . will not search for a literal period — it’s a wildcard! — but letters and many kinds of punctuation should work as you expect.] Type n to find the next instance of that term, or N to find the previous instance. Bask in your wizardry.)

In further man page adventures, patch has (surprise) another long one, but check out this gem:

Assume  that  this  patch  was  created with the old and new files swapped.  (Yes, I’m afraid that does  happen  occasionally,  human nature being what it is.)

The -s flag is also basically how I work as a human being. I will leave it as an exercise for you, the reader, to figure out what that is.

ALSO learned about diff, which is one of those things that people have mentioned in context a lot, as if any garden-variety nerd toooootally knows what that is. “Yeah so like you just do a diff on it; it’s super easy.” Well, I didn’t. I mean. I got the concept. But apparently it’s a command-line tool. To generate these files that tell you the difference between this file and this updated/fixed one. Which rules.

diff -u nutty-pancake-original.txt nutty-pancake.txt

On the OpenHatch patching mission, they’re like, “yeah use the -u option, because this creates a unified diff (“the universally preferred flavor of diff output”). So it’s just diff, that flag, the original file, and the newly updated file. (Having used git a bunch, it took me a second to realize these files had to be separate.)

Also practiced using more grep to find and destroy every aubergine, regardless of capitalization. Turns out Digital Ocean has a nice little grep reference here.

Whew. I feel like I got through some stuff today! It’s still in short-term memory, but that’s a fine place to start.

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