Welcome to my new blog powered by Movable Type. This is the first post on my blog and was created for me automatically when I finished the installation process. But that is ok, because I will soon be creating posts of my own!

Thus ends the filler text automatically posted by the Movable Type installer.  Went mostly plainless, had to fiddle around to get all the templates and styles to work since no one wants to see this site without some nice colors to go along with the text.  Was able to import most of the previous entries from a backup, although for some reason it left out the last year or so.  Good thing I didn't post too much, right?  I should try to post some more, it's been a while. 

I was able to look in archives to bring back the almost-lost posts, although any of the comments, like those from Maiko are gone.  There's a free link for his blog.  He's updated more than I, but seems to also be in a bit of a slump. 

I'm coming off another crazy summer that went by too fast, and diving right into getting the computers ready for another school year.  Teachers tracking me down, and the emails are flying fast.  This would be a good year to get my email filtering senses in order.  I suspect dumping all emails that are more than a month old into a folder that will probably never be opened would be a good start.  Still have lots of books to finish reading, including (still) Getting Things Done.  The irony falls on deaf ears.

It's Electrifying!

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Time to break the silence with a funny story from today.

So I was working with someone on the small speakers we have in some of the classrooms, where the teacher can wear a wireless mic and save their voice without having to always yell, and also provides a service to children who may have a hearing impairment. We worked to figure out what was wrong with some of the units, testing the cables, and sometimes swapping in a new 9 volt battery. When we were done, I dropped two of the 9 volts in my pants pocket and headed off to do whatever else was on my plate for the day.

I was working in the art room later that day, and as I was working on a printer, I smelled something funny. As the printer was just warming up, I thought maybe it was just burning off some dust like the printers like to do sometimes. Then I felt a sharp pain on my leg. I begin throwing everything out of my pocket, realizing that I was causing the smell with whatever was burning in my pocket. The ID I clip to my pocket has one of those plain metal ball chains on it if you were wearing it around you neck, but I just tuck that into my pocket. Never bothered to take it off the clip. Well, apparently one of the 9 volt batteries worked its way around to the chain, completing the circuit, and burning a hole through my pocket! Cue odd smell, leg pain, and eventual hilarity. I'll have to patch up the small holes in the pocket, and my leg is fine, but that sure took me by surprise.

Lesson of the day: Pockets are not for batteries. (Good thing it wasn't a Sony battery, or I'd be done for! Oh, the inside jokes.)

Where'd You Go?

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Been quite a long break on the blog - but here's some photojournalistic expression on my summer activities:

Fun-filled and action-packed. Been getting things ready for back to the "real" work, and maybe back to a more regular posting schedule.

Long Time No See

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Been pretty busy lately with life. Yet the links pile up, news never stops, and don't forget all that fun around E3 week. In a few short weeks, Nintendo took the Revolution, renamed it the Wii to bewildered fanboys and critics everywhere, and then became the media darling. By the end of E3, both Microsoft and Sony proclaim the Wii will be the "second console" to buy after dropping a ton of money on one of the more expensive options. (Of course, Microsoft said it first, and Sony copied the idea, nothing new there.)

Fun with photography - High Dynamic Range (HDR) appears to be one of the many areas that computer graphics are hyping up, but it's also big in real life photography. Even when photographing food. This site talks about another type of camera that hopes to take a picture, and then focus it afterwards. Also a link or two to someone at the forefront of these tricks, Paul Debevec. Here's his page on HDR, but don't miss other stuff on his site like the precursor to "bullet time" and how an associate helped acquire such source material for an impressive demonstration of the bullet time idea. Why couldn't I fly a kite around during college for a class?

It's been just over a year since college graduation. Haven't been back since, but I did notice they started putting the college paper online in PDF format, which is nice. I got to read about how strong winds knocked the steeple off the church on campus, and how the drama never stops. About graduation...I'm pretty sure my family ordered DVD's of the event...which I still haven't received. Still trying to contact someone about that, but who knows. I started a real job since graduation, and I'm hoping the other grads are doing just as well in whatever they went off to do, be it back to more schooling or out into the real world.

On computing, if you're looking for some free security tools for your pc, check out this Anandtech thread where people link some of the best around. Anandtech forums are also great for Hot Deals on computer-related gadgetry. As is Slickdeals.

Could probably write more, but I think that's enough for now. Got enough of other stuff to do, like the tons of books and magazines sitting around unread. Including, ironically, Getting Things Done.

April Fools!

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The internet community seems to love participating in this day. Even though it's a Saturday, lots of sites have changed for the occasion. Some will just change back, others have posted special announcements. For instance, Slashdot have donned a "Pinkdot" skin for the day with stories such as Linux: OMG!!! OMG OMG!!! LINUS LIKES PINKDOT!!! LOL!!! , OMG WIRELESS EXTENSION CORDS!!! LOL!!!, and CUTEST WEB SITE EVER DISCOVERED!!!.

What else is going on?

BLIZZARD ENTERTAINMENT® PRESENTS BURGERCRAFT™ - "At BurgerCraft, players will have a chance to truly taste the flavor of Blizzard's games and savor traditional dishes from all the company's popular game universes."

Pin All Your Romantic Hopes on Google
- With Google Romance

ThinkGeek offers the iZilla and the USB Desktop Tanning Center.

Practically everything on Homestar Runner is upside down.

Gamespot, trying to be funny, posts news about "World of Starcraft" and "Cowbell Hero".

GameFAQ's looks to be shut down with this image on their front page. Hardy har.

Wikipedia has a great page with a ton of links to other sites pulling pranks.

Today is also Apple's 30th anniversary. No crazy news from them, real or fake. At least not yet.

No Rest For The Link-Weary

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On top of running out of hard drive space on the laptop, there's always the issue of more and more links. This crazy internet just keeps growing!

Here's a 7 page and growing thread on the official Lost forums about their grammar mistake in the most recent episode. The subtitles for the Korean language said "You're husband...", and thousands of grammar police (including myself) cried in agony.

FolderShare - a new "Live" service under the umbrella of Microsoft. Send files between PC's. Allows synchronization of folders between computers.

Available till March 31st, this t-shirt is great for fans of Battlestar Galactica. If you haven't watched it, this won't make any sense.

This VG Cats comic strip cracks me up. (Warning: Contains clowns. But it's hilarious.)

You know what would be a great song for people to put on their blogs? That song that played every time Doogie Howser sat down to type in his DOS-based journal. What a genius...years ahead of the blogging age!

Why Windows Vista Won't Suck.
Why Windows Vista Will Suck.

I recently picked up a new computer magazine from the local Barnes & Noble. I had to get it as soon as I saw an artist in there by the name of Steve Holt. Fans of Arrested Development will get it.

A Wealth Of Information

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The internet is so vast...yet I've heard it referred to as a lake a thousand miles wide, but only 2 inches deep. But it can be one hilarious lake!

Will Ferrell's Apple "Switch" ad, with Parfait

Will Ferrell's Santa "Switch" ad

Will Ferrell's iPod "Switch" ad

Heck, here's just a ton of Will Ferrell antics.

The Daily Show's story soon after VP Cheney shot his friend during a hunting outing.

From Left Field

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Sometimes kids at the school say the craziest stuff. Must have been a Kindergartener or a 1st grader in the library the other day, and this is the conversation I hear as I'm working on a computer.

Kid: Who's that guy?
Librarian: He's the computer technician, he keeps the computers running.
Kid: But why does he have a beard?

I am not kidding, that was the line of questioning. The librarian went on saying something about how that's my choice, and the kid went on to talk about how some people wear fake beards and wigs, and one time he had a fake mustache.

This is the kind of stuff you wouldn't hear at a regular office job.

An Icon Wasteland

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You know it's bad when your entire desktop is covered in icons. Entire. Desktop. I can tell they're even going off the screen. Some magical application needs to come out that takes care of this kind of stuff. I end up with all these links for "later", but I never seem to get back to them. I end up with a billion* tabs and countless** icons on my desktop and no way to sort them. So let's take a look at a few.

All you need for a "Web 2.0" website!

is offering Ground Control for free - a classic RTS.

This looks like a cool class that's part of MIT's OpenCourseWare - free classes for everyone with access. You don't get credits, but it's free education (if you can understand it on your own).

Got a bunch of spare time and car batteries lying around? Make your own UPS!

If you're thinking about switching to VOIP (Voice Over IP), try out this site to check out how well your connection will handle it.

Microsoft's repackaged the idea of Tablet PC in a new form factor that they code-named Origami. It's still running Windows XP Tablet PC Edition, but it's smaller. Origami just sounds better than "Ultra-Mobile PC". I think this could be the start of a new PC market, but that's just what Microsoft is hoping for. There will have to be a large move forward with battery life in these devices for them to be feasible at all, though. 2-3 hours will not cut it, especially if we're still going to have to wait for these machines to boot like a regular laptop. People are used to carrying around their cell phones all day and having them work - these machines will have to step up to that level of battery life for them to be accepted. I could see them becoming like the core piece of a system though. Imagine, all my links could move with me in one of these core pc's, and follow me to each workstation.

Here's a huge Lost - related website, with lots of spoilers, screencaps, and rabid theorizing.

Television Without Pity has some pretty hilarious recaps of episodes of 24, along with lots of other shows. Highlights include calling Computer-guy Edgar "Lispy-Skip". Poor Edgar.

**188 as of this writing.

That's Mr. Computer Guy To You

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Kids in elementary school are funny. Being the new guy there means I get quizzical looks from some, having no idea who I am. Others see me in the lab and are calling me over with calls of "Mr. Computer Guy" and "Mr. Computer Expert". Then I help them press Control-Alt-Delete to log on. It's not exactly the easiest key combination out there, especially if you can't read and haven't used a computer before. Sometimes the kid kinda gets it, and has one hand on Control, another on Alt...and searching for a way to reach Delete with their latent telekenetic powers. So, there's still a ways to go with making computers easy to access for all ages. Let's not even get started with using the mouse.

Onto some sites littering my Firefox tab bar:

Here's Harrison Ford on Conan the other night. He always looks depressed whenever he's on any of these kind of shows, and this time Conan breaks out a classic clip of the "Star Wars Christmas Special". Hilarity in motion.

I've been getting into these productivity sites as of late, like Lifehacker and 43 Folders. Even though they have a lot of good advice on how to get things organized and in order, I still fail miserably. But that's not their fault. A few of their stores that have caught my eye as of late:

The "30 Boxes" calendar beta has gone live. An interesting calendar you can share with others for networking.

Cleaning out that dusty PC.

Using Windows Scheduled Tasks. Something I should look into, having windows do those jobs for me so I don't have to.

I also came across this site called Listible, which attempts to cluster sites together under similar headings, like this one for "The Best GTD Resources". GTD, or Getting Things Done, are lots of different programs, ideas, and other organization tips that people use to, well, Get Things Done. At times, I like to think that I'll eventually get all of my files in order, on the computer and around the house.

A classic post from 43 Folders, Building a Smarter To-Do List, Part I.

In an effort to keep up with all the sites out there, news feeds were born. RSS, XML, that weird orange logo - all the same. But how do you get it all in order? I'm still working on that. There are feed-reading applications out there, some free, some pay. Of course, I'd rather get the free one. There's sites that can keep track of them, or dedicated applications. Pluck offers a reader that runs inside your browser. Heck, even Google's Gmail now lets you add in feeds. A service like that sounds like a good idea since then your links are all stored online, and you can access it from any place. But for those who like a program you can install, I came across FeedReader.

I sure have typed a lot...that's enough for now. Don't miss the Woot-Off!