May 3rd, 2006

krazy koati

This must be the time for reflection

My appointment for the air conditioner guy was today between 2 and 3 pm. I admit to having had my doubts, based on the last time when the maintenance office gave me an incorrect date and time for the appointment. As I was going home I encountered a friend, who said, given the appointment times, he'd probably be there at 5, which is as funny in Singapore as it is in North America. So I got home, straightened out a few things, checked e-mail, and waited. The air conditioner guy appeared at 2:30, which is as between 2 and 3 as you can get.

After fiddling around with the machine a while he reported that he didn't have quite enough coolant for my bedroom air conditioner, so it might not be as cold as it could be. That's all right; cool is fine. I should watch it the next few days and report if there's problems. He also reported that my bedroom air conditioner has a separate compressor from the other two rooms, and it appears to have a leak somewhere. In retrospect, this makes enormous sense, considering the air conditioning in the bedroom always dies first. He suggested if it dies again too soon having maintenance get someone to track down the leak.

I've had a personal landmark: in the past week I've had many students e-mail me about the programming final, but none come to my office. I could've done this week from Delaware. But I've been plagued with e-mails thanks the students finding previous year exams; the other guy who taught this course had an unaccountable fondness for questions that relied on the finer points of obscure operator precedences and games played with casting and variables of different size memory footprints. Most of those questions I thought were good only for tricking students on exams, so I didn't go into them; and now I've got a dozen students worrying over every little trick problem from the past four years. Tomorrow's going to be so nice, if I get through it without exam venus problems.

Trivia: Five of the Great Eastern's six masts were funnels for auxiliary engines. Source: A Thread Across the Ocean, James Steele Gordon.

Currently Reading: Ludwig Boltzmann: The Man Who Trusted Atoms, Carlo Cercignani.