Magnum opuses, part 1

Even though we are in the throes of the glory of midsummer, I have undertaken two huge projects that have kept me indoors far more often than I would like to admit.  The first project is attempting to read “1Q84” by Haruki Murakami in the original Japanese.  For barely an intermediate student of Japanese, this is a huge undertaking.  I have fully translated a single page.  In doing so, I have gathered the essential tools around the two volume novel in a prominent corner of my living room so it will be relatively easy to pick it up whenever I have a few moments.

The second project is building a distro-less Linux installation on my netbook.  A couple months ago I got a Samsung NC20.  I tried to install Ubuntu 9.04 on it but the installer wouldn’t launch due to a video driver problem.  After reading about others having the same problem, I played with Gentoo for a while.  That caused me some pain and eventually, my compiler inexplicably broke.  In the course of my journey, I learned that the computer has hardware crypto so I set off playing with hard disk cryptography and hardware random number generation.  Since it’s there I want to use it and, since I don’t want to use Gentoo anymore, I basically have to do linux from scratch.  I had an inclination to do that right from the beginning but the practical side of me wanted to just be done with the installation process.  After hitting a few snags, I decided to go ahead and treat it as a project and reacquaint myself with the state of the art of the GNU/Linux world by building every package from source.

So those are they, my magnum opera.  I have no fear that they will not get done but my progress will accelerate as the glory of Seattle’s summer fades into grey.  For now, I’m content to procrastinate on them whenever the sun is shining.

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