Soren Spies

Funny Picture of Soren

(Follow the link to see what used to be improvement, no?)

Check out my vi hacks page. Get spellcheck, > quoting, and instant formatting.
Yet another semi-useful thing on my page(?!):The Phonetic Alphabet.
I have been writing shell scripts for too long now... Other stuff (not including scripts)

If you want to see my other web pages which highlight other portions of my personality, check out my techhouse web page or my CS web page.

Friends (with web pages):

Engin Dept. System Issues

I was hired by the engineering department here at Brown to help with system administration. Ideally, I would be a liaison between students and the people in charge of the lab, but things usually take a while and sometimes the best I can do is say "yeah, I know, we're working on it." I think the key to making things "better" around here is communication with everyone. So visit my system issues page to see what I have been working on and to send me feedback and service requests (eg. "boy, if only we had ???.") I am still learning the system myself so please fill me in as best you can.

Links I didn't _want_ to add but couldn't resist:


A few things to say about myself... As of second semester, freshman year (1997): I'm taking CS, Engin, English, and math. This is the same as first semester except that I have been cured of my desire to be a history major. I work for the English Department as their student computer consultant. There I work with Macs. I am a Mac kinda guy. I think they are better for most people. On the opposite end of the ease of use spectrum, I was a unix system administrator for my high school's science department. I come from what I believe to be the best public high school in the world: Evanston Township High School. There, I was involved in cool things like the Evanstonian (I am not and never was responsible for the web portion) (school newspaper) and Math Team. A program at ETHS called Chem-Phys (this site is often down) rocked my world and has made my math/science experience here at Brown very managable.

I was a TA for CS004. I'm took CS16, Math 42, English 34, and CS22 last semester. I am still an engineer; don't worry, Tim. I just tricked them into not having to take EN4. I like the CS people because I can talk unix (now and then I have a need) to them and they understand. I like the Engin people because I would the happiest guy in the world if Prince Lab was my basement. I also love this radio station 88.2 (they say they are 88.1) because they play songs all night without ANY commercials. Most of the songs are good, too.

I'm did this python thing instead of the C portion of EN3. It was more work that I didn't really understand, but I tried hard.

Books I'm reading at the moment: Books I've read recently:
Outsider, by Richard Wright
Outsider is a grim look into the politics of race and communism early in the 20th century. This book forced me to look at contradictions and wonder about what I would do if forced into a situation in which I was discriminated against and given a way out which had troubles of its own. I'm also curious how I'd do watching the preparations for my funeral.
To the Wedding, by John Berger
I found this book heart-warming and heart-wrenching at the same time. I may not be a parent just yet, but the plight and dedication of the loving parent moved me nearly to tears. Not to mention that I am approaching the age that the two lovers began their affair in an age with all the dangers they faced. To the Wedding is technically about a wedding but really about the timeless and powerful qualities of love.
Galapagos, by Kurt Vonnegut (he is the man!)
This book was funny but sad. By suggesting that all our troubles are the result of our big brains (he's right, isn't he?), Vonnegut takes evolution a step farther down the path of imagination without leaving much hope for mankind in its current state.

If you need to reach me (years ago):