School has started: Part Duex

So I screwed up big time. I though my chemistry professor (Professor Hamilton) said we were doing lab one today. What he really said is that we would do lab one next week. This week is only the check in. It only took about and hour or so. My next class (Calculus) starts at 1:30. So now I have to sit here for a good 3 hours. That’s a big bummer. Good thing I have a laptop. The wireless internet is working very slowly right now, but at least its working. Last year, it was working great. I think it’s running slow because there are so many people here on the first few days. I’m sure it will settle down.

Because I had so much time, I thought I would read the first chapter in my calculus book. Well, I got to about page 50 and didn’t really see anything that was very hard yet, so I took a gander at where the chapter ended. It ends on page 150. What the heck! I’m still going to read it all, but I might have to take a few breaks. I don’t think anyone wants to read a whole chapter in math no matter how easy it is. It’s good review, but boy is it tedious work. I’m skipping over the majority of the problems. I go over one or two from each set of exercises, but that’s about it.

Well, I am stuck on what new IM system to use. Trillian was amazing. It’s been my favorite IM system for the longest time. It had support for AIM, Yahoo, ICQ, MSN, Jabber, and IRC. That’s all the IM systems I use, so it’s all good. There was just one bug that always made me mad. Whenever someone changes their name, their name would not update on my list. I’m sure it’s just a small little setting change in the settings, but I never really cared to track it down. It never bothered me too much. When I would quote what someone says though, they would say, “My name’s not **Insert their old screenname here**.” I never remember being able to set someone’s name in Trillian, but I think I was reading somewhere in the settings that you could set a static name for someone. I may just go back to Trillian.

I tried Miranda. That is a great IM system. Everything is neat and clean with nice boxes and borders. Fonts are also small with little icons beside everyone’s name to show what IM system they are using. Miranda also seems like it’s a bit more customizable to a point. It has a lot of features to control how the GUI looks. This is wonderful. No more dealing with people’s fonts and color settings. I can now have a nice grey for my text and black text for the incoming text. I don’t like how their away system works. From what I can tell, you can only have 9 status messages (note: I have not been tinkering with this too much). 9 away messages are enough, but I just don’t want to be limited. On a plus, they all have bind keys attached to them so I can change my status on the fly! Well, I guess I still have to give focus to the program, it’s not so on the fly. One thing that really bugs me (which is probably only a settings change) is how the program always gives focus to a new incoming chat. It bugs me when I am writing something and all the sudden I am now typing in a new chat window. There’s so many options that it takes a while to go through it all. Anyway, Miranda is a definite alternative.

Pidgin is another story all together. It’s a nice looking program, but not something for me. Don’t get me wrong, the program is beautiful, but if something doesn’t work the way I want it to, then its beauty is only covering up its downsides. I don’t like how the program doesn’t have the ability to distinguish between ICQ, MSN, etc. Everyone has a green dot beside their name if they are available, a red dot if they are busy, a gray dot if they are away, etc. This is an ok way of dealing with this, but I want to know what system people are using. It’s not really that big of a deal, but some people I know because of their IM service. I like how Pidgin deals with error messages. You can see a message in the bottom part of the screen, or in the bottom of the program with the error that has occurred. Pidgin also seems a little on the slow side in terms of customization. You have a little more control over smiles that you use, but who cares about that. A smile is a smile. I’m not much into modifying all that stuff. I want a chat program to allow me to customize my whole interface, not just small parts of it. Another big factor would be the ease of use. I don’t mind a program being hard to use so long as it’s powerful. If a program is basic and just wants to look nice, then I don’t want to use it. Pidgin is an ok system, but if I can get Miranda fully customized, then I will use it.

Well, I’m off again. I have another 2 hours until class starts so I think I will watch a movie. I just so happened to have brought Madagascar! “Hover Dam, we’re still in New York. Abort. Dive, dive, dive.” Haha, the penguins are hilarious!

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