Monday, January 31, 2005

Monday's Boring Blog (for lack of a better name)

On Sunday, I took a short break from homework to add a few links under my "Favorite" category on the side. I figured it was about time for some changes. I updated my profile a little bit. I have been hunting for a quote I want to use for my February quote - since January is coming to a close. Hard to imagine actually.

This weekend was actually not as cold as it has been around here - it was in the 30s for a change. The weekend also went by quickly - wait I think that was becasue I slept through most of it ;-) One thing I have learned from grad school you almost feel sleep deprived by the end of the week.

Complete side note but at the end of this week's The West Wing episode (King Corn) the song was "Desire" by Ryan Adams - I thought the song usage at the end of the episode was really, really good. This week was an interesting episode. I thought parts of it were pretty funny - especially the fact that Josh and Donna had rooms across from each other. I am interested to see where they keep going with the show.

Today's Favorites
Song: "Desire" by Ryan Adams
Online Comic: Applegeeks: "Are We There Yet?

Quote from the Stargate SG-1:
Daniel Jackson: We have to go in disguise; pretend to be foreigners.
Jack O'Neill: How do we do that?
Daniel Jackson: Well, I speak 23 languages, Jack. Pick one.

Sunday, January 30, 2005

And on Sunday we work on homework like mad...

Actually, it's not quite that bad, but I do have a bit of homework to finish. Plus, I have a project to be working on and I really need to get stuff done on that. I have a take home exam and have to write summaries on two pair programming articles. Yikes. I have like half of that done! (Fortunately, none of it is due until Wednesday).

If you need a homework break check out this article and hide your ExxonMobil SpeedPass (of course the practical applications are far from being useful). However, I think that several companies will be rethinking their use of RFID transponders over the next few years. I am guessing that over the next few years this will slowly become a hot topic - because the effects will be rather high when someone figured it out a practical method.

Favorite Song of the day: "We Are" by Ana (from the Spider-Man 2 Soundtrack)
Favorite Site of the day: The Ellen DeGeneres Show
Favorite Online comic of the day: Piled Higher and Deeper

Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog. Until next time I leave you with my favorite quote for today from the movie Clue:
Wadsworth: I can explain everything...
Cop: You don't have to.
Wadsworth: I don't?
Cop: No, there's nothing illegal about any of this.
Wadsworth: Are you sure?
Cop: Of course, this is America.
Wadsworth: I see...
Cop: It's a free country, don't you know that?
Wadsworth: I didn't know it was THAT free.

Saturday, January 29, 2005

SCI FI Fridays!

Like last Friday, I am going to include my little elvaluation of Enterprise, Stargate SG-1, Stargate Atlantis, and Battlestar Galactica. Overall rating: Excellent!

Enterprise: Andorians, Tellarites, and Romulans - oh my! This is part one of a two part episode. Earth agreed to mediate an arguement between the Tellarites and the Andorians. Both species act as we all aspect and think the other is out to get them. Enterprise's crew discover that the ship responsible and believe it be Romulan. This action packed episode is well written and well performed. The Andorians are always interesting creatures to see on the show. So set your VCR's for next week to catch the 2nd half of this story arc.

Stargate SG-1: Daniel joins General Hammond aboard the Prometheus to search for the team that went to Atlantis. While checking out a distress call (which you would think these people had seen enough episodes of Star Trek to know this is just not a good idea) the special guest star steals the Prometheus. The crew of the Prometheus is "ringed" over to a broken Goa'uld ship - except Daniel. Don't worry they get the Prometheus ship and the crew back together.

Stargate Atlantis: McKay and Sheppard set out with two other scientist in the Puddle Jumper. (McKay is learning how to drive - which is quiet funny). Visit planet that appears to be abandoned. Fortunatly, Dr. Weir sends a rescue team after them. Turns out the planet isn't quiet as abandoned. Opps. Four go down on the planet and only two return. Don't worry all the main characters are alive at the end.

Battlestar Galactica: This episode started very oddly. They where doing a lot of flashbacks in this episode. Basically plot line: Galactica need more pilots after an accident kills 13 pilots and several injured. Starbuck has to deal with guilt over Zak and become a flight instructor. (By the way this show had some great graphics for the Viper scenes).

I liked all of the shows this week. Each had a fast moving plot line and some interesting story lines. SG-1 and Atlantis are both keeping the plot lines fresh and it doesn't seem like they are really repeating any material. Battlestar Galactica is running on the basic ideas from the original show, but re-packaging them in an totally different way.

This week both Enterprise and Battlestar Galactica seemed to have portions that (in my opinion) where making reference to current events. Enterprise was a little more straight forward about it than Battlestar Galactica. If you watched the shows, just think about it. If you are not seeing the connection think about the major news in the World. Enterprise (as all Star Trek series) is commonly known for references to current events. Battlestar Galactica was more of a surprise. Although, both Stargate shows have as well. Sci-fi in general has for years made commontary about current events in the form of aliens and completely different cultures.

Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog. Excellent sci-fi shows this week. If you didn't watch - what on earth is stopping you? (Just kidding). Happy weekend everyone!

Favorite quote for today from Enterprise:
Commander Tucker: I don't like pushing the engines at 110%
Subcommander T'Pol: They are rated for 120
Commander Tucker: My underwear's flame-retardant, but it doesn't mean I want to set fire to myself to prove it.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Pepsi and iTunes Team Up Again!!!

Pepsi and iTunes are team up again. The odds of winning are 1 in 3 - this is going to be really quiet cool. Also, you can sign up on Apples's site to email you when the promotion beings (just in case you forget).

Nifty and Ducky are the best words I can think of to describe it.

Still Want One (Mac mini)

Mac mini's are actually being shipped. I think they are just so cute! They are 6.5 inches wide and 2 inches tall - who wouldn't want one? Of course don't forget accessories!. Plus, you can add in wireless and decrease your desk clutter. Ok, I will quit talking about the Mac mini - even though it is really cool.

Favorite quote for Today from The West Wing:
President Josiah Bartlet: There was a while there I waned to be a chemistry professor.
Leo McGarry: What happened?
President Josiah Bartlet: I never actually studied chemistry.
Leo McGarry: Well a lot of these college chemistry departments are really demanding that way.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

The Internet Movie Database

IMDb is the greatest source for all information movie and TV related. Plus, there are lists of trivia and quotes from movies and tv shows. If I am watching a movie and I am trying to remember what else the person was in, I just check out IMDb for the answer.

Today's weather was really wacky. It was warm in the afternoon - it was raining/snowing outside. By the time I left my last class it was like 18 degrees outside. The wet roads were beginning to have a slight ice sheet to them. I wonder what it will be like tomorrow? Most of the snow is still on the ground (about 10 inches of snow), but it is slowly starting to melt. That was when I realized that January was almost over! Wow. I was amazed to realize this fact. I think all the school work has made me lose track of time. Although, during this time I have been ahead on my homework and had "free time" to eat dinner with other grad students and go shopping. It had been a good month (even with the snow).

Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog.

Favorite quote for today from the movie Contact:
Palmer Joss: What are you studying up there?
Ellie Arroway: Oh, the usual. Nebulae, quasars, pulsars, stuff like that. What are you writing?
Palmer Joss: The usual. Nouns, adverbs, adjective here and there.

Wow, Sun is going to open source code?!?

If someone tried to tell me that Sun was open sourcing Solaris 10 I wouldn't have believed them. An interesting move on Sun's part. Of course the great thing is the part about it being free and that geeky programmers will have the chance to hack around with the code. Now there are two free operating systems available for the development world.

I wonder - will this cause more development for the Solaris? Will this increase usage? I think a lot of businesses will continue to use Windows because there are just more products available. Maybe over time it will change. Solaris 10 is a great operating system and is very powerful. Heavy computational programs could take advantage of this and a whole new market could emerge. Who knows what will happen.

Thanks for stopping by and reading todays blog. Favorite quote for today from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade:
Professor Henry Jones: I didn't know you could fly a plane.
Indiana Jones: Fly, yes. Land, no.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Tuesday's Blog (for lack of a better name)

Hello! Today's blog doesn't really have a specific topic, just some stuff that I want to mention, but more of it doesn't relate to any one topic. First, I want to put a link to the Agile Alliance. A professor mentioned it in class last week. I have looked around on the site a bit last semester. It is a great place to go for information regarding agile software development.

Not much going on in my life at the moment. Basically, my days contain work and school. Fortunately, I haven't been driven to taking up odd hobbies or making weird things to put up on the internet.

I am not sure which piece of news is more amazing - Apple selling 1/4 of a billion songs via iTunes or the fact that Microsoft is not going to fight the EU ruling. It is had to imagine that iTunes has a rate of about 1 million song downloads a day. The even more surprising is Microsoft walking away from a fight - not that I don't think it is a good thing because I think people should choose their software - but it is an unusual action for Microsoft.

Well, thanks for stopping by and reading my blog. Tuesday seemed like a good day to post these weird links. Hope you enjoyed them.

Favorite Quote for Today from The West Wing:
Engineer: Saturday morning radio address, take 21.
Donna Moss: I have a really good feeling about this one, sir.
President Bartlet: Is this still my first term?

SourceForge and Other Stuff

As an undergraduate I had the wonderful oppertunity to work on a really cool project - an educational game for the Gameboy Advance with two other undergraduates. As my parents reminded me recently (while I was working on my applications to PhD programs) that because it was out on SourceForge I could count it as "published" or related work. Nifty.

So why am I telling you this? So easy way to join the "published or related work" crowd see what projects you have worked on that might be useful to someone else. Then get a free account on SourceForge (or another similar community). Also, I figured I throw the link up there so that people can see the game - there are some screen shots posted. People are probably surprised to know I worked on this kind of project. I am surprised I worked on this kind of project. Anyway, that was my free tip for the day.

SourceForge is a great community with some really, really cool projects out there. When you have time, it is run to just look at stuff that is available. There are many free applications out there that can make your life easier and better - you just don't know it yet.

Today's Favorite Quote from Stargate Atlantis:
Carson Beckett M. D.: How come I never make friends like that?
Dr. Rodney McKay: You need to get out more.
Carson Beckett M. D.: We're in another galaxy. How much more out can you get?

Monday, January 24, 2005

The Core - one weird movie

The Core is an odd movie. Basic idea: re-start the core of the planet earth. Why? Because the darn thing stopped. An odd group of people start off on the journey and only a few come back. The movie has Hilary Swank (also in Iron Jawed Angels), Aaron Eckhart, and a bunch of other talented people.

I remember seeing the previews in the movie theater. The protral of geeks in the movie is pretty funny. So grab your Hot Pockets and soda pop and watch this interesting sci-fi movie. Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog. Until later.

Favorite Quote for Today from The West Wing:
Leo McGarry: Now, please, don't leap into it. Don't...
[Bartlett answers the phone]
President Bartlet: There are BIG SIGNS. You CAN'T park there. They *should* get towed. I hope they get towed to Queens, and the Triboro is closed, and there's a big craft show at Shea, a flea market or a tractor show.
[Bartlett hangs up]
Charlie Young: Well, that was probably his secretary.
President Bartlet: Damn it.
Charlie Young: You can bet she'll be parking in a garage though.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

SCI FI Fridays!

Last night was the beginning of Sci Fi Fridays again. More episodes of Battlestar Galactica and new episodes of Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis. Friday nights is also Enterprise night. Here is my mini-reviews (in the order that I happened to watch the shows).

Enterprise: this episodes focused on the main bridge officers and (of course) an alien spieces. This episode reminded my of the classic Star Trek style. Away team has problems and brings it back to the ship. This is risking the entire crew and in the last 10 minutes of the show someone comes up with a solution. I don't want to give to much of the plot away for those who have not seen it yet. I did enjoy the fact that they are developing some of the characters more and their relationships. It is part of what makes Star Trek - well Star Trek. I liked the episodes - there are many funny lines and good plot. I am hoping that the show continues on next year because I think with each episode they are getting better.

Stargate Atlantis: this episodes begins where the mid-season cliffhanger left off. I think this was one of the better Atlantis episodes. The computer graphics at the end where pretty cool. The Atlantis show allows for twice as much Stargate per Friday. If you have not been watching Stargate Atlantis you really should be.

Battlestar Galactica: this episode carries on important story line from previous episodes/mini-series movies from last year. However, the basic plot of Battlestar Galactica remain the same. Something life threating to the human survivers, a solutions is proposed, execution of plan is a little difficult, and in the last 5 minutes they manage to scrape through. Like with Enterprise, I am trying not to give too much plot away. Unlike the original show, things don't always work out as nicely, Apollo's character is way better and there are actually females with significant roles in the miliary (and they are not all nurses). The show is a little more difficult to follow unless you have seen a majority of other episodes because of the continueous plot lines. Again, a definate thumbs up.

Stargate SG-1: the replicators are back! This mid-season opener tied closely to the season opener which I thought was really cool and a surprise. It is hard to discuss this episode without giving away a lot of the plot. Dr. Jackson character wasn't on much (well the voice of Thor is done by the same actor, but otherwise not much). In the beginning they make reference to Atlantis which I thought was funny. Also, in the episode (like so many before) they hint at feels characters have for each other - which is more of a twist since one of they became engaged this season. It was a good show and I look forward to next weeks episode.

Favorite Quote for today from Stargate SG-1:
Jack O'Neill: I'm telling you, Teal'c. If we don't find a way out of this soon, I'm gonna' lose it. "Lose it. " It means, "Go crazy. " "Nuts. " "Insane. " "Bonzo. " "No longer in possession of one's faculties. " "Three fries short of a Happy Meal. " "Wacko. "

Thursday, January 20, 2005

A Unique Way to Raise Money

"Clothes Off Our Back" Celebrity Clothing Auctions is a unique way that Hollywood is getting involved with charities. It is a huge auction of clothing worn to the Golden Globes. Of course, these are expersive items - but it is kind of fun to look at what is up for sale. Not only is there clothing, but shoes and jewelry as well.

I think the idea is wonderful. This year money is being raised for Unicef this year. It was started by Jane Kazcmarek (from Malcolm In The Middle) and Bradley Whitford (from The West Wing). Their efforts have spread awareness and improve the lives of children around the world.

Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog.

Today's Favorite Quote from Iron Jawed Angels:
Dr. White: In oranges and women courage is often mistaken for insanity.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Weta Digital and Weta Workshop Recruiting

Yes! Those great people who brought us those excellent visual effects in Return of the King are recruiting for future projects. That is probably a really cool place to work and they seem to be involved in some very interesting projects.

Sorry that is really all I have interesting to put up in my blog today. Been busy today with school and work. Speaking of school work, I better get back to it. Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog!

By the way, check out the filmography for Weta Digital. They did 48 shots for Contact - which is an extremely good movie.

Favorite Quote of the Day from the movie "The Mirror Has Two Faces":
Gregory Larkin: You don't use make-up.
Rose Morgan: What's the point? It'd still be me, only in color.

Sunday, January 16, 2005

First week down, a bunch to go...

The first week back at school has finished and I survived. However, I am glad that I have Monday off. Then I don't have any classes until Wednesday night. I am beginning to do reading relating to my project - stuff about least squares. A concept I remember covering in a class this summer but the deals are slighly fuzzy at the moment. I decided to space the work this weekend. Of course it is nice to be a home. My mother made chocolet cake this afternoon which is always a bonus. The book I ordered from Amazon ("Software Engineering: A Practitioner's Approach" by Roger S. Pressman) for my class arrived on Friday. I haven't figured out if it will be usefule for the class or not. I have looked at the book and it is packed with useful information. It appears to make a great reference book on the subject.

Target has gotten in a lot of really cool stuff that they are calling Global Bazaar. If you are near a Target or have time to check it out online they have some really interesting stuff. It's not cheap, but there are several pieces of funiture I really like. I was at the store today and saw these really cute round tables. Of course they are like $100 so I will never buy one, but I still think they are cool.

After all of the announcements by Apple there just hasn't been any good geeky news. Old news item of interest - iPod's aren't just for music.

Thanks for stopping by and reading my blogl. Until next time I leave you with my favorite Quote for Today:
Bartlet: "I agreed to be locked up with you people for 48 hours. How much time do I have left?"
Leo: "Forty-seven hours, 41 minutes,"

Saturday, January 15, 2005

Question of the Week: Why do I write a blog?

In all honesty I don't have a answer. I have actually thought about it this week. I know when I started. I was taking a class in web design my senior year of college. Keeping a blog was a requirement of the class. I was suppose to update it several days a week. I started updating only a couple days a week. The next thing I knew was I was updating all the time. It became like an addiction. When I learned that friends (and the professor of the class) were reading my blogs daily it became even more important to me. Maybe because I felt I had a voice out there in this huge world. Whatever the reason I really will never understand. I do it because it is fun and it lets me communicate with friends and family.

Or maybe I am just weird. Probably that is a closer answer. I like to be different. I don't want to be the exact same as everyone else. I like to define myself. In an odd way, this blog allows me to do so. Well, in my mind it does and that's all that really matters.

Thanks for stopping by and reading. Until next time.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Mac Mini

Apple is sure making a lot of news for themselves recently. Recently, they announced the Mac mini. They are really small and people can plug them into their existing keybourd, mouse, and monitor. I like that idea. Monitors tend to go after many years, but keyboards seem to have a long life. Why purchase a new one when the old one still works? Plus the Mac mini has wireless built in. Think about the portability. You could take it with you from home and work (you would just need to those external components at both locations).

Anyway, I think it is cool. Not that I am going to run out and buy one of anything I am very happy with my laptop (PowerBook G4). I hadn't mentioned in my blog becuase I just hadn't gotten around to it yet. Although, this is the first week of school I am actaully kind of busy. Work is playing a large role in that. Documents and documents, so many documents to update. Thanks for stopping by and reading.

Evel Cownievel

I will let you just go check it out for yourself. If I tell you about it, the experience just won't be the same.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Messanger Bags are the best

Recently, I purchased a new bag for my laptop. The Timbuk2 Commute Bag is the best one I have had yet. There are tons of pockets so that you can keep yourself organized and hide all of my geeky toys. There are side pockets on the outside that can hold pop or water bottles. If you live where it snows and rains this bag is a good choice because it is water proof! So if you are looking for a great messanger bag for your laptop or just for school I highly recommend this bag.

Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog today. I have started getting back into the swing of school again. After several weeks it was a little bit difficult to get back into the routine. Plus, my schedule is very different from last semester. I am sure I will find the pattern that best suits me next week and stick to it for the rest of the semester. Until next time.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

iPod Shuffle

iPod shuffle is a new product available from Apple. The iPod shuffle is the size of a pack of gum (and smaller than many gum packs)! Wow, that is small.

By the way, Apple says do not eat the iPod shuffle. (I am not kidding, bottem of the page, point #2).

Free Music Via iPodlounge

Yep thats right. iPodlounge is now helping you to find free music for your iPod. The cool part about free music is that you can try it out and listen to it a couple time. It just might end of being one of your favorite songs.

There have been several songs I downloaded for free from iTunes and they quickly became songs I listened to over and over again. Here are a three of my favorite:

1. "Sweaters" by Beth Waters (I have listened to this hundreds of times - I knew those counters where good for something)
2. "Last Thing" by Diana Anaid
3. "Breathe (2AM)" by Anna Nalick

Anyway, I am going to check out about the free music. Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog.

Monday, January 10, 2005

Return to New and Exciting Adventures

Today was the first day of a new term. It is going to be an exciting term. I am beginning my project and taking two classes (one on software engineering and one on computer architecture). I still am a graduate assistant and working in documentation/web design. Lots of fun going on! Now that I have a year of grad school done, I feel older and more sure of myself then I did a year ago. Which is a nice feeling for a change.

I didn't update my blog over the break. Actually, during the first part of break I didn't do anything computer related. I didn't even check my email for more than a week (the longest time since I started undergraduate). Yikes! I know that is really quiet odd for me.

Well, I better get back to work. I am updating some documents this evening and looking into PhD programs. Not to mention start some homework. Yep, I got homework on the first day of class - but it is not due until next week. However, I am trying to stay ahead as much as possible. (Which will probably only last a week, but I figure it is a good idea). Thanks for stopping by a reading my blog. Hopefully, the next ones will be more exciting.