Arman's stuff
I've worked myself into a corner.

(Fri Jan 14 16:02:31 2011)

I admit it; it's my fault. It's not going to be easy to fix, but I will be able to fix it.

What have I done? Well, my problem is somewhat like the hammer problem: when you have a hammer, every problem starts looking like a nail. Only, I don't have a hammer - I have a compact toolbox with a variety of custom tools inside.

To me, every problem looks like *art*.

I love Linux. Why? Because it has endless possibilities. Unlike Windows, it can do multiseat; maybe difficult to get working, but still, that option exists. I can open games in completely new X windows, reducing the usage of memory, while at the same time making it very easy for me to switch from one window to the other. I can create VNC connections to autonomous X sessions - beyond connecting to my existing desktop session, I can start entirely new sessions, running just one app, if I want. No matter what problem I've come up against, a combination of thought, work, and time has rewarded me with a solution.

Web design, another area I'm interested in (and, for that matter, do as part of my job), also has limitless possibilities. If I want to throw together a basic page, I can. If I want that page to have cool graphics, dynamic content, theme-able menus - the whole nine yards - I can do that, too. I can enact security policies, make sweeping changes, and still have 45 minutes left on my lunch break. Sure, sometimes it takes a lot of work to get everything to look right in every browser; fixing those outliers usually takes two to three times as long as the original page, but even so, I CAN fix it. I can probably even make it better than what I wanted when I started.

How about programming? I program in a variety of languages, but every one offers me the same basic principle: you can do anything. Want to write a program to manage your calendar? Go for it. Want to write the next breakthrough indie game? Oh yeah. Want to work alone - or would you rather work in a team? Either way, there is a spot for you. If I wanted to write my own complete operating system, I could do it. The materials are available for me to do so, so much.

And it doesn't stop with software - hardware pushes boundaries, as well. Obviously, when working with hardware, you will spend quite a bit more money than when working with software; materials, contracted parts, replacements, even tools need to go in the "costs money" column. Still, I'm not exactly destitute; I've got a few robots, some fancy toys, and a small pile of parts and materials to experiment with. I could build a LEGO robot to unlock my room only when I am near; I could construct a brand new case for one of my computers. I could build a new PC from Newegg parts, or I could build a tiny robot from chips and wires and solder. I've built computers from parts, and cases from wood and metal; I've carved tiny clocks, and made a rose out of steel, brass, and copper.

Above all, though, is my own imagination. People always said that I had a good imagination as I was growing up; I fought the hordes of evil with nothing but a stick, or rode a hover-board through traffic on the long trip to Grandma's house. I built empires of LEGO, and enacted full-scale battles with Army Men. Today, I may be involved in more "grown-up" things, but I still use that imagination; all the tasks I've listed start with an idea, before I ever put my tools to work. I've implemented technology in ways that many have only dreamed of; I've built things with little more than my mind and a good reference.

I have so many tools in my little box. I have so much at my disposal, and so much I could do with it. The possibilities are, truthfully, limitless. I stand on a path to brilliance, just waiting for my foot to set upon on it.

And yet...

I don't say all this to boast about how much smarter I am than you, or how I can do so much more. "If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness" (II Cor. 11:30). I'm saying all this because I'm standing at the beginning of that path to brilliance - and I'm not moving my feet. Oh, sure, I've done a lot of things - but what does it all add up to? Back to Corinthians again - if I create without love, then all that I create is nothing. And what is the opposite of love, but selfishness? What have I done to help anyone around me?

I'm not looking for something to whack with a hammer and call fixed. I'm looking for complex problems that require thought and effort to solve, something that my unique tool set is perfect for.

And yet...

There are problems all around me: war, famine, and disease; orphaned children, unwed mothers, and STDs; corruption, lost freedoms, and moral bankruptcy. And here I sit, waiting for a compact, custom problem to fix with my compact, custom tool kit.

I have a host of unfinished projects; things I spent money on, things I spent time on. Even this website can't really be called finished. I need to sit down, figure out what needs to be done, and do it. Remember that cheesy saying, "Today is the first day of the rest of your life"? Well, technically, it's true. Every step I take, every project I finish, is the next first step on the rest of my path. I just need to step. I need to forget my toolbox, forget my lofty goals, forget even the reason for starting, and just start working.

I don't need to run, or walk. Just step. I don't even need a single tool. I just need to keep taking that next first step. And, most importantly of all, I need to remember that Jesus said that we are to have a child-like faith. And how do children take their first steps?
On their knees.

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This blag is tagged: Blag, Finishing, God, Hardware, Lego, Linux, Programming, Software, Web, Wobsite, All