dburrows/ blog/ entry/ from-blogspot/ All Hail Lentils, That Shall Be Soup Here, After

When I reappeared on #debian-devel a few weeks ago, one or two old-timers commented that it had been a while since they'd seen me. The opening of my blog seems like as good a time as any to explain, or at least begin to explain, why I dropped off the face of the Net for a couple years.

The short answer is: grad school. I enrolled in a Masters of Computer Science program at Penn State University, and I picked an extremely theoretical thesis topic that turned out to also be very complicated. Maybe even too complicated for a masters degree. The resulting thesis is available on my department Web site for those who want the gory details (all 200 pages of them), along with some slides I used to present it (made with the excellent latex-beamer package).

If anyone reading this is considering becoming a grad student, I have one important piece of advice on how to survive that you probably won't see anywhere else. It's nothing to do with academics or advisors; it's just this simple admonition: Learn To Cook -- at least, either that or get a job that pays well enough to eat at restaurants on a regular basis. Malnourishment from attempting to survive on pasta alone can really ruin your semester, and that's just one fun way for a bad diet to screw you over. Not only that, but you can save a heck of a lot of money if you buy food in its raw form, and to top things off, it tastes better!

At the moment, I'm working my way through a large batch of lentil soup. By "large", I mean "I can probably eat this as either a main course or a side dish with every meal this week". The total cost for this is, well, I haven't worked it out exactly, but I'd guess all the ingredients come to about $6. It took me maybe a half hour to get all the ingredients in the pot (then you just let everything boil for a while). Not a bad deal, I say. Other useful recipes to know include potato-cheddar soup, minestrone, baked potato, and various ham-based things.

As for Debian, the first thing that I started working on when I got back was a brand shiny new problem resolver for aptitude. More on this in another post; I may be a bit clueless about blogs, but I think they're supposed to be shorter than this ;-). For now, you can just read my ramblings on the subject, or try aptitude from experimental and see what brea^H^H^H^Hhappens.

Comment by Chris at 3:06 PM:

Yeah! That is insanity... For us tu use it