I swear, I'm really going to try updating this once a day. I'm a chronic procrastinator and keep telling myself I'll do it later, but I digress.

I left Batavia Thursday (3/11) morning to head back to Rochester for a few days. I needed to get out of Batavia for a breath of fresh air with everything that has been happening. I haven't spent five consecutive days in Rochester in years. I had been planning this so I already had plans with old friends and whatnot. It had been far too long since I had last seen them.

To save myself from the agony and stress of staying with my parents, I spent the mini-vacation with one of my closer friends up in Irondequoit. I liked being closer to the city. Mind you, I've been living in Batavia for three years. There is next to nothing to do here. I enjoyed getting away for this sole reason very much.

Thursday, I got into town around noon and stopped by my parents house to drop a few things off, get some laundry going and grab a bite to eat. Then I headed out to Interlock Rochester, a hackerspace outside the interloop on Main St. East. I had been there before, but haven't been able to go there nearly as much as I want to being out in Batavia. It was great. I happened to walk in during Make/Python night and got to talk to a whole bunch of people about a bunch of different things going on at the space, what people wanted to do, my experience and background in computers and electronics, etc. It was great. It was the best night I had in awhile.

I ended up leaving later that night and crashed at my friends house. I woke up early Friday morning and followed her temporary roommate and her into Henrietta (they had class at MCC) and I went back to my parents house to work on laundry and catch up on some more sleep. I ended up going up to the campus in the afternoon to meet up with them, which turned into a cat-and-mouse game of trying to find them in the campus. When I finally found the room they texted me to go to, they had already left and were leaving because her roommate was sick. One of the last texts I got before I stopped getting anything from them was the lot they were parked in. Using what information I had, I got out to my car, found the lot they were parked in and started looking for them. After a few minutes, I saw my friend's roommate's Trailblazer out of the corner of my eye going down the road in the opposite direction. I immediately dropped gears, did a 180 in the parking lot and caught up to them. Ended up following them back to Irondequoit. Later that night, my friend had a few more friends over. Since I started getting a third wheel vibe and to save myself from the girl talk that was taking place, I left and went to the hackerspace.

If I thought Thursday night was great, Friday night (it was Saturday morning when I got there) was even better. I ended up kicking back with a few of the regulars in the #interlock IRC channel on Freenode that I've been talking to for months, got some drinks out, just started talking about random shit, and eventually we started watching Star Trek IV via a projector aimed at the wall. I also got my first experience playing with an Arduino, which was also a little aggravating.

I got the Linux SDK for Arduino up and running on my laptop, plugged everything in, then went to write my first application to the device and.... an error. It didn't work. No one else in the space could figure out what the problem was. The more I Googled the problem, the less help and hope I found. The error is below:

avrdude: Yikes! Invalid device signature.
Double check connections and try again, or use -F to override this check.

After about an hour trying to get it to work, I was pretty much beat. My first time playing with an Arduino and I can't get it to work. I had lost almost all hope. Then I came across this thread on the Arduino forums with the following advice from westfw:

find .../hardware/arduino/boards.txt and change the appropriate "atmega168.upload.protocol=stk500" to "atmega168.upload.protocol=arduino"

(basically, your version of avrdude is too new. They changed the way that avrdude talks to a stk500 (which the arduino emulates a subset of) to use commands that the arduino doesn't support. Fortunately, they left arduino-compatible code in there as well!)

Changed the protocol value per the given advice, reloaded the Arduino SDK, went to write the changes and... it worked! I was so amazed and overjoyed that I practically shouted it, prompting the handful of people in the space to inquire as to how I fixed it. The rest of the night was pretty uneventful. I left the space around 7am and went back to my friends house to sleep. Was woken up at 9am to move my car, then I went back to sleep and stayed sleeping for most of the day. We ended up going out to Tilt, a nightclub in Rochester with a few other people, ended up getting drunk, and met a girl -- but that's an entirely different story.

My original plan was to leave Sunday to Batavia. Seeing how I'm off this week for spring break and had no real reason to go back, I ended up staying until Monday. Sunday was pretty much a catch-up on sleep day, went back to Henrietta to work on laundry, then left back for Irondequoit that night. Since I couldn't sleep, I ended up going to the space again until about 2am, then back to Irondequoit to sleep.

Woke up early Monday to take my friend to school, stopped back at Henrietta to change the oil in my car and fix my dad's desktop. Caught up on sleep, then went out with my friend and others to Java, a coffeehouse in downtown Rochester by the Eastman School of Music. Great time. We left around 11pm, I went back up to the space one last time, then left and got back to Batavia around 3am, stayed up until 10am Tuesday and slept until 8:30pm. Now I've been up all Tuesday night/Wednesday morning and here I am writing this blog post.

All in all, it was a great week. It made me realize what I've missed and given up by moving to Batavia. With everything that's been happening, I've got my heart set on moving back to Rochester after this semester lets out and commuting to GCC.

I would post more, but I have things I have to do during the day today and need SOME sleep. That's all for now.