King of my own domain

I am pleased to announce that the Mad Philosopher now has his own domain. That is, these posts can now be accessed from the site I registered the domain name from easyDNS on the advice of a friend. And it was truly easy. So now I’m on my way to building a true web identity and a better website.

Also, look for my latest picture gallery, just posted. I’ve had my camera since the Fall of 2000, so it’s about time that I put some more pictures on the site. The gallery design is based on other picture galleries that I have seen on the web, but I wrote the software that enables me to compile and update the galleries easily. If you are interested in using the software for your own site, please ask.

Enjoy! And thanks for visiting my site.


Welcome to the new website

Welcome to my new website! It’s finally here (to those that have been waiting). I’ve been using Blogger since the beginning of 2003, writing new content from time to time, and I thought it was about time that I integrated my weblog into my website. In fact, the old website was the first one that I’ve ever made, which I created when I started my Masters degree in 1999. That makes it quite old.

So, here’s the new one, redesigned with a lot of old content gone, a bit of new content added, and some of it remaining the same. But now that I have the new design and framework in place, I can start adding new content easily. What’s new? Well, the banner at the top, for one. In the top, right-hand corner you’ll see two graphics showing the geocentric longitudes of the Sun and the Moon, respectively. The positions are generated using the Swiss Ephemeris every five minutes, but you’ll have to refresh the page to see any updates. Also, the quote at the top of the page is now no longer given out at random, but a unique quote is given every day. View the source for this page to see how I do this.

Anyway, I hope you like the new design, and that you’ll keep coming back to see what’s up with me. Let me know what you think. Cheers!


Blogging is Easy

Right now I’m showing my friend, Gao Wen Dong, how my weblog works. It’s actually quite easy to do (even my mom could do it!). You don’t need to know anything about html. You just log into the Blogger website and start typing. When you’re done typing, you can just press the post and publish button. And voilà! The entry shows up on my weblog.

China Python

Post Holiday Rest and Relaxation

Well, Lily and I had an excellent holiday. We visited family in NE China, wore lots of clothes to keep warm, ate really well, and enjoyed the fireworks and the stars. (In fact, back in Beijing, people are still setting off fireworks for the rest of the week.) It was a great experience for me to celebrate the Spring Festival in China. One fun moment was buying ice cream bars from a street vendor at -20°C! At that temperature, a cardboard box is all you need for refrigeration.

Since coming home to Beijing, I’ve rested lots, and been working at home for the week since the office is closed. (I need to make up for all the work I missed since I took my holiday earlier than everyone else.) But I got it all done and it’s Friday night. I’m looking forward to going out and watching the sunset and then maybe I’ll go out for pizza.

Also this week, for some reason, I’ve gone crazy playing and hacking around in Python. Maybe I missed my computer lots on my holiday. (I think so!) I wrote a command-line equivalent to the Unix cal(1) command which prints calendars like this for any month and/or year:

   February 2003
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
 2  3  4  5  6  7  8
 9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28

It’s not that big of a deal though since Python has this as a built in module. But it needed a command-line interface, so now my windows box has a cal command. I’m also working with a full-text indexer to index all the textfiles (and email messages) on my computer to aid with searching for stuff I’ve archived long ago. I am also planning to write a simple equivalent to the GNU locate command, to just help find locations of files (not their contents) on my computer.

Of course, when I come up with something useful, I need to stick it on my webpage to share with the world. Fun, fun, fun!


Starting to rebuild the website

I’m back in Beijing and things are going well. I adjusted a lot better to the jet lag coming this direction, so I’m thankful for that. It turned out that even with all my books, my bags weren’t overweight. The girl in front of me in line at the check-in counter ended up paying $300 cause her bags were 17 kg (or was it pounds?) too heavy. Yikes!

The weather here has been quite good, and amazingly, the air has been quite fresh. Wow! So I’m enjoying that. I’m also concentrating on continuing my astrology studies and on overhauling my webpage. For years it’s kind of read like a resume, so I want to change that. I’m designing the style and layout right now, and once I get that in place, I can start to add content to the framework. I’ve just switched the style of this page so that someday my weblog and my homepage will match.


Welcome to my new web log

I’ve given it the title “The Mad Philosopher” because that’s how I feel sometimes. This will be a forum for my thoughts, ideas, experiences, and other things I want to share with my friends and family, especially as I have been hanging out in China lately. It will be interesting for me to see where this goes and how it turns out. I’ll eventually merge it with my webpage proper, so that the two sites are integrated with the same style. You can find my webpage here.

I maintain this “blog” through the site, which allows me to simply log in, enter some text, hit the “publish” button, and blogger then creates and updates the webpages that you are now viewing. So if you feel like creating your own web log, give blogger a try.