Next Monday I start attending college again as a junior in Computer Engineering at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Its been about a year and a half since the last time I set foot in a classroom, and it feels sort of strange to be going back. Since leaving school, most of my former classmates have graduated and I’ve spent the time working as a programmer for hire. Most of the people I interact with on a daily basis have long since been done with college - it creates the feeling that in a sense I’m going backwards, when deep down I know I’m progressing forward.
On a semi-related note due to the coincidental timing, I got an email from a Professor I used to work with in the Computer Science department at the University of Arizona wanting to know what I was up to. It’s nice to think that even after I up and vanished 18 months ago, I left enough of a mark that people there still remember me.
My latest code related diversion from reality is the Haiku OS, which I am working on getting involved with by working on bug fixes. Haiku is a rebuilt-from-scratch implementation of BeOS, an OS that’s been dead for years. The Haiku team has set up a very impressive and simple setup for developers, it was very simple for me to get the source from their subversion server, cross-compile it, and build a image to test with in VMWare, all from my Linux Desktop. Whether Haiku is the end-all-be-all to Desktop computing as the project aims to be, I’m not convinced at this point. What I am convinced of, that will probably become a post of its own is the necessity of alternatives in order to promote technology innovation. In order for Operating Systems to advance as a whole, there needs to be strong competition in the field - otherwise you end up with dogshit software like Windows Vista. I think Haiku/BeOS introduces some interesting concepts that are currently lacking in its competitors, particularly in respects to multithreaded architecture and responsiveness. Hopefully my skills will be enough to contribute a few lines of code that will make it into the R1 release.