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we must learn to dream big


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Wireless AC TimeCapsule

After having used my Cisco e3000 for about 2 years it was about time to upgrade. I bought a Cisco EA6500 Wireless AC router for $220 around Christmas, but the firmware on it is so buggy that the network actually becomes unusable at points. I always had bought Cisco routers and was hesitant to purchase any other brand because I have heard bad things about almost all the major access point vendors.

The TimeCapsule is an Apple router with a built in 2 or 3 tb hard drive which Apple computers are easily able to back up to. The quality of service is unmatched. The range is comparable to the Cisco EA6500, but the throughput and lack of buggy firmware makes this a far better access point. While backing up to the time capsule may sound like a hassle, it really is much better than my previous, nonexistent backup schedule. The level of automation in backups is great.

The one downside to this router is the lack of airplay/network sharing capabilities. I would be much happier if I could fill up the drive with video and airplay it or access it in some way on my Apple tv. While there are work-arounds involving streaming to an ipad/iphone and airplaying from that, it would be nice to not require a third device.

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It has been a while

Not too much has been going on with me at the moment. In terms of school, the quarter (that’s right, we are on the quarter system at DePaul) is winding down, so everything is coming due.

It looks like the guide to the bomb lab is still helping students, and I am considering opening a website (that is a lie, I already own the domain, and have been putting off writing the site), that is intended to assist students in collaborating on homework. The major flaw I have found in the current academic structure is that it does not reflect the workplace at all. In school sharing answers and collaborating is frowned upon, where in the workplace collaboration is necessary to streamline business processes. I have the site www.collaborativehomework.com, and eventually will turn it into a suite of web tools to assist students in collaboration, by providing message boards, limited file sharing and a secret tool that I can’t mention until I create it and launch, because it is not fully thought out.

In other news, I bought a sound system on Amazon this weekend, and it promises to make Sublime sound pretty good whenever it gets here.

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it’s amazing my account hasn’t been hacked over the years.

A quick, underwhelming update. Next semester, I will be taking the following classes to satisfy my Ethics, technical elective, technical elective, and arts and letters elective requirements. Both technical electives I have chosen also qualify as computer science electives, which are underneath the general umbrella of technical electives.

Data Mining: Monday and Wednesday, 3:00-4:15
Ethical and Professional Issues: Tuesday and Thursday, 11:00-12:15
Advanced Database Projects: Tuesday and Thursday, 12:30-1:45
Intro to Fiction Writing: Tuesday and Thursday, 3:30-4:45

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Kickstarted Things

I’ve been a backer for four projects already, but pretty much every project is promising a delivery date next year. I just hope the two smartwatches, a bluetooth controlpad for your phone, and the motion controlled gaming controller all eventually get turned into physical products that I receive.

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Hello, Wrold!

It’s intentionally misspelled, deal with it.

I haven’t posted much lately because I either keep on forgetting that this place exists or just am too distracted with the sheer number of things I need to be on top of. I’m reminded it does when I get the bill for the domain name / hosting, so I come here and say something. So, here are some things that I’d like to say:

  • Ribbonfarm.com is a pretty cool site. I think the site’s most interesting content is the stuff about “The Gervais Principle”, but everything else is pretty interesting to read, too
  • I constantly think about creating a new site using all this new knowledge of Javascript and Python that I have, but I never get around to even planning it. Right now I’m burning a tiny amount of cash running a micro EC2 instance with nginx that only serves a single page with hello world. But I guess every big undertaking starts with a single step.
  • The retina Macbook Pro has been holding up pretty well. Using Mac OS X so far has been okay, but I’m getting annoyed with a couple application bugs:
    • You can’t use Java 7 with Chrome, due to Chrome being 32-bit. To be honest, I don’t get why that hasn’t been fixed or even addressed in a blog post or whatever. I installed Java 7 and then found about this when Chrome refused to run any Java applets. So I have to use Safari for those for now, but I don’t encounter them often enough for it to be a big issue. It just seems sort of un-Google-like (I mean they have thousands of the best-of-the-best engineers, right?)
    • On 10.8.2, there seems to be a bug with the Intel HAXM driver. If you run the Android emulator using an x86 atom image, the machine kernel panics every time. I hate that because it makes the emulator much more usable. Though, if you use 4.1, it’s still tolerable.
    • Running Linux Mint 13 Cinnamon through Parallels doesn’t seem to be working well. I’ll try to get around to using the MATE version, and hope that is more reliable.
    • I think somewhat surprisingly to me, I run it in “best for Retina display” mode instead of one of the higher scaled resolutions. I thought I’d want more screen space, but it looks nice and things are still somewhat readable without my glasses on. I’m still kind of blown away by how nice .pdf’s look.
    • The keyboard isn’t as good as my X201 tablet’s
    • But I put the rMBP and X201 tablet side to side, and I’m almost baffled by how different the two can be, even though they are only two Intel processor generations apart. It says a lot about how Intel has been hard-charging power efficiency, but it’s still crazy that the rMBP weighs the same, has several times the resolution, is like half the thickness of the tablet PC, and has much better battery life, while being leagues ahead of the tablet in terms of performance.
  • Related to the last bullet point, my senior project is assisting the Undergraduate Library with adding more functionality to an Android app. Tentatively, this semester we’ll focus on adding a citation generator module (so you can scan a book with your phone and get a MLA/APA-formatted citation), and a system to allow you to log in with your netID/password so you can renew books and request holds. It sounds like it could be useful, aside from the fact that most of the people we ask for ideas from for functionality to add don’t go to the UGL, like, ever.
    • Another teammate is assisting with an iOS port. I might get roped into that, I don’t know.
  • I listen to a lot more music now. I guess it’s because I now have a small collection ofbluetoothaudiodevices and Spotify, so I carry the ERA with me and whenever I want to listen to music on my laptop/phone, I just turn it on and put it on my ear. It’s great that it works pretty well because the headphone jack on my phone stopped working, so it’s the only way to listen to stuff on it now (other than the somewhat poor speaker).
    • That also prevents me from using my phone to accept payments using a Square card reader, but I don’t think I’ve ever been in a situation to accept a credit card from someone, ever. It’d be nice to, though. :-p
  • I’m pretty sure the stores near here have stopped selling Pepsi Next. I’m kind of bummed about that. Even though the Paradise Mango flavor was my favorite and none of the stores in Urbana sold it, the regular was good, too, and I’m sad to see it go. Now it’s just water for me. :-|
  • I RMA’d my graphics card for the second time a couple weeks ago, and the one I received no longer randomly crashes, but the fan makes a loud buzzing noise at idle. It’s actually much quieter when I play a game than letting it sit at the desktop. I’d want to complain about it, but at this point I’m happy to have a working (but loud) graphics card. Once I graduate and get a full-time job, I’d want to look into replacing it. Hopefully Nvidia’s rumored “big Kepler” series cards come out by then.
  • If you play Dishonored and turn up the brightness, the art style is eerily similar to Team Fortress 2′s.
  • I turned 21 a little over a month ago and got a horizontal driver’s license. I can now buy alcohol at this one place that automatically rejects vertical driver’s licenses. I’ve never been to and probably will never go to that store.
  • It’s past 1am and I’m avoiding working on my Distributed Systems homework. I should wrap this up…

I had more to say than I thought I did. Tune in next time, several months from now, when I remember that I realized my dream of having a domain name named after my username. And initials (that’ll eventually point to the EC2 website if I ever start/work-on/finish it).

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That Preorder

I did it. Preordered the iPhone 5. It is being held/shipped so that it will arrive at home Friday. If you didn’t know, my smartphone plan was prime for renewal as of August 20th, so to hold out as long as I did was relatively impressive. This actually marks the first time that I have waited until my contract was actually up to get a new phone. I was on more of a 2 phone per contract cycle (one purchased off contract).

If any readers (haha, I know anybody who is not Adam or Eric is really here for my answers to the buffer overflow lab) do not know about that new iPhone just google search it. My brief description cannot do it justice. Just know that it is the best smartphone on the market and it will be mine on the 21st.

My roommate pointed out this article:

http://unorthodoxmarxist.wordpress.com/2010/04/03/ipads-and-the-commodity-fetish-dungeon/

Apparently there is actually a thing called commodity fetishism and that Apple has managed to harness this power to sell their computer and iDevices. Hopefully there will be a jailbreak for iOS 6 for my old iPhone 4. I want to turn it into an airplay receiver.

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End of the summer

Tomorrow is the first day of classes for fall 2012, and I am not sure if I am excited or bummed. I suppose that this is a good thing, but after a successful summer at work it is kind of sad to have to cut back on the hours and focus on school.

Not that I am going to drop out, but I do fantasize about a life without school. Just me making bank and not having homework or having to learn things that I will later forget. Only 60 weeks of classes between that day and now.

 

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I’m still alive???

Yep, I am.

I also broke down and ordered a Macbook Pro with Retina display. It’s the 2.6Ghz/512GB SSD one upgraded to 16GB of RAM (The same as Warren’s config?). I’m embittered about the 256GB difference between models costing so much, but oh well; that’s the price of buying into Apple’s interpretation of the future. It should arrive the day before my birthday at the latest, so I guess that’ll be a birthday present to myself.

The annoying thing, though, is that it is really, really freaking expensive.

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From My MacBook Pro with Retina Display

That’s right. I bought it. And it is totally awesome. Don’t bother trying to use Windows 8 Consumer preview on it yet though. There is no support for the 650m gpu, the only gpu available to boot camp os, so it looks bad. There is support for the 650m in boot camp drivers on Windows 7 though, so I would recommend giving a small piece of your precious ssd space (maybe not so precious depending on which model you bought) to that. The 2.6GHz model is worth the upgrade price. You get a total of 1.2ghz extra on your cpus and an ssd that is twice as big. Also I got the 16gb ram upgrade. This bad boy will probably last through the end of college.

Enough about the hardware. The screen is the really awesome part. I am running it in the scaled resoultion that is supposed to look like 1920×1200 so that I have as much space as I can get on the screen. The text is pretty small, but large enough for me to read it. There isn’t a picture that I could post that could describe how great the screen looks, because any screen that would be viewing the image would not be able to display it back to the viewer with the density required to see how sharp everything looks. You guys will just have to see it in person. I have work in the morning, so I am going to cut this post kind of short.

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