Tuesday, May 22, 2007

My Afternoon at UCLA

Now, I'm not an ardent UCLA fan, however Bruin does run in my family (read mom and brother), so I do have a bias. However, I was not there to be a UCLA fanboy. I was there to talk to Dr. Richard Guy, a professor of computer science-y stuff, and head of the UCLA Linux User Group. For the past couple of weeks, I've been bugging him about finding me something to do with Linux over the summer. Well, yesterday, I went for a casual interview. It turns out, he works with the Center for Embedded Networked Sensing (CENS), which does some really cool stuff. Namely, it's purpose is to design data sensors (things that collect data, like temperature and humidity or camara's, a whole bunch fo things) that can interact and collectively identify data deficiencies and possibly collect the missing data via a mobile sensor. However, there are a couple of practical problems stand in the way, such as power management and other techncial stuff. But overall, it is super cool. So yeah, I spent part of my afternoon with him and learning about this. Now, unfortunately, there isn't really much for someone like me to do at CENS, but he said he'll try, so I won't despair.

While I was there, I also happened to walk by the room of the UCLA LUG, and the door was open. So, I walked in and there was a student there, doing his own thing. I introduced myself and we started talking about Linux and what he was able to do with it. Now, this guy (Dan, I believe) is REALLY advanced, I'm serious. He uses Gentoo (which there are several jokes about its usability), which is all about source code. He also gave me a tip to REALLY learn linux well, Linux from Scratch. It's basically all about building your own linux operating system completely from scratch. All you start out with is a blank partition (and an existing installation or live CD to work from), and you build up from there. To me, that sounds like a totally awesome project. In fact, I think I'll post my progress on this blog from time to time.

You know, I think I might start visiting LUGs over the summer. Unfortunately, for some reason, all the LUGs around me meet on Tuesdays, and I can never make Tuesdays. However, I might try to work something out over the summer. This is definitely a community I want to be a part of.

1 comment:

TheQuux said...

Took me a while to run across this... and, yes. You nailed me perfectly :-)

The only reason the UCLA LUG meets on Tuesdays, as far as I can tell, is that we can get 50 tacos from Rubios under their dollar taco deal, which feeds everybody for a little cheaper than the alternatives.

Last (Fall) quarter, though, we didn't actually have any meetings, so we don't have too much at stake in changing the meeting time.

But, anyways, stop by and visit again sometime! You may want to e-mail me (my nickname at linux.ucla.edu) to make sure that I'll be there, first, tho :-)
--tq