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Diary, November 1995

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Tuesday, November 14, 1995

A new start

I have decided to make a new start with this diary, but it is getting late. I have been working the whole night. Today
Annabel became one year and one month. She can walk about 7 steps now, and is improving each day. It has gone fast.

Today I also submitted a message about my signature programs page to the comp.infosystems.www.announce group. I wonder what the response will be.

I also found a page with links to diaries on the net.

And now I have to take a shower.

Wednesday, November 15, 1995

trees outside have lost their last leaves in the last days.

I started a Lycos search on `Diary'. Sofar, I did not find any interesting links. I submitted my URL to Outstanding Personal Home Pages as maintained by Kevin Werbach, and I told Bernie Wilt, who has a list of diaries (journals) on the internet, about mine. There is an endless supply of meaningless but realistic-looking papers, which are generated on request by a program written by Andrew C. Bulhak.

And for some serious work, I got vim and compiled it.

Thursday, November 16, 1995

I found this in a posting in

Hi, the book "Chaos in Wonderland" just came out in paperback, and I thought some of you would like a computer recipe from the book. The book is a blend of science fiction, graphics, mathematics, astronomy, computer graphics, and fractals to introduce the reader to chaos science -- the science behind many intricate, unpredictable patterns in mathematics and nature.

In the book, status in the alien's society is based on the beauty of their fractal dreams. The following steps are required to create the swirling patterns:

x = 0.1; y = 0.1; /* starting point */
DO 10 Million Times
   xnew = sin(y*b) + c*sin(x*b)
   ynew = sin(x*a) + d*sin(y*a)
   x = xnew; y = ynew; PlotDotAt (x, y)
The values of the real number constants a, b, c, and d may be chosen at random in a range (-3 < a,b < 3) and (0.5 < c, d < 1.5 ). These simple systems generate information as the system evolves. To see the patterns unfold, use the rules and starting conditions, repeat the equations over and over again, stand back, and watch the visually exciting behavior evolve on the computer screen. Each new value of x and y determines the position of points on a plane.

To produce the King's beautiful fractal dream, use the following constants: (a = -0.966918, b = 2.879879, c = 0.765145, and d = 0.744728). The picture boundaries are (-1.86 < x < 1.86) and (-1.51 < y < 1.51) . The Lyapunov exponent, which is explained in detail in the book, characterizes the degree of chaos in the pattern. For the King's dream, the value of the Lyapunov exponent is 0.48. If you magnify the center of the pattern, you will find additional intricate plumage.

Of course, I wanted to know how it looked, so I wrote a short PostScript file for the King's beautiful fractal dream.


Today some people broke the glass-fiber cable that connects the university to the outside world (yes we are using ISDN). That means we have no telephone lines to the outside world, and no access to the internet.

And to make things worse, it started raining like we haven't had it for a long time. Nice for those guys who have to glue the fiber.

Newsgroups on CD-rom

I just read a spam newsgroup posting of someone that wants to distribute the contents of one month of postings on a CD-rom. (Send Bud a email with the subject INTERESTED for more info.) The first newsgroup mentioned was alt.bitterness :-).

Connected again

They did a quick repair job: we are connected again, in less than 2 hours.

Annabel speaks to me through the phone

Okay, it was not real speaking, just making some sound. But if you are a father yourself, you know how much it means. That this is only the start, and that one day you will be able to speak fluently to your child.

Friday, November 17, 1995

Li-Xia just phoned me to tell that Annabel just walked across the room all on her own.

I added Donald E. Knuth to my list of hackers on my life as a hacker page. I was surprised to find out that there is not a decent home page about him, and mailed the following complain to:

Hello, I found a page about Donald E. Knuth in hour list of faculty members. I was quite surprised that there were no links to all the achievements mentioned in his page. There must be home pages about TEX, METAFONT, WEB, CWEB, and such. Also there was not a reference to his works. Is it too much work to include these links? Or does he have objections against it. A Lycos search revealed that his name is mentioned on at least 99 Web pages.

(Later, I found private home page)

Monday, November 20, 1995

This morning I received an email from Bernie Wilt, that he has put a link to this diary in his
list of diaries (journals) on the internet. He put me as third in the list. (But now he has read this, he might change his mind :-)

Last weekend I HTML-ized the sermon The Excellency of Christ by Jonathan Edwards. I also worked on a new version of my html2tex program, which has improved error detection.

When I write this, it is around 14:40, and I am considering to report myself ill and go home. Whenever I become ill I get very undecisive, and usually cannot decide whether I am ill enough to go home or not.

(15:00, I still haven't left) Lets raise the blinds so I can enjoy the pale authem sun on my face. My roommate always lowers them, as he is sitting close to the window, but he went home. And lets make some nice tea. O, I ran out of vanilla flavoured tea. So, I have to settle with Twinings Ceylon tea.

Annabel is breaking new records every day. Yesterday she walked 5 metres in church.

Wednesday, November 22, 1995

Yesterday, I stayed home because I felt too ill. I am still not completely better, but I do not like staying home the whole day.

Thursday, November 23, 1995

I am listing to Suites 1 & 2 from Bach. And I listen to it again.

I found a vim page by Sven Guckes.

Yesterday we brought Annabel to day-care, just to check whether she would like it. We thought that she would not cry. And when we came back after an hour, we found are sitting in the midst of about 10 children of her age, all eating some soup-stick (`soepstengel' in Dutch). Only after we called her name several times, she started moving. Afterwards she was in a very happy mood. In December, when Li-Xia starts working we will bring her to day-care for two days each week.


Friday, November 24, 1995

I am listing to Suites 1 & 2 from
Bach again. I did not sleep well last night, because of coughing all the time. This morning I met my former room-mate and current neighbour, Bert Vreman. He told me that he had just received the printed copies of his thesis. I went with him to his room in the applied mathematics building to get a copy of his thesis, with the title: Direct and Large-Eddy Simulation of the Compressible Turbulent Mixing Layer.

Thursday, November 30, 1995

I wanted to listing to Suites 1 & 2 from Bach, but I had forgotten my headphone.

I am still suffering from a soar throat, and have decided to make some Chinese tea with my last Nin Jiom Pei Pa Koa in it. It tastes nice.

At home in the evening

I am listing to Suites 1 & 2, while I type this at my PC at home, in a dark room, as not to keep Annabel awake. She has been ill since last Saturday, but seems to become better today.

I am working on the HTML-ization of The Pursuit of God since I found out that it is in the public domain. (Note: later I discovered this to be an error: it is still copyrighted!)

I have decided to do some work at home. Somehow it seems I am always more productive at home, then sitting in my office. (Except, of course, when Annabel does not want to sleep.)

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