Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Talk of Songs, Phones, and Things

"What we in the news business can never forget is that we are only as good as the stories we tell." - Tally Atwater (Up Close & Personal)

I am sure that everyone is blogging Apple's new iPhone commercial to death to I figured I would join in :-) If you were like me and trying to recongized the background song look no further - it is "Inside Your Head" by Eberg

Other news I thought was interesting:
Shoes, Ships and Sealing Wax: "Wash. Artifacts Show History of Old Fort"

What would we do without math? "Mathematicians unlock major number theory puzzle"

Most surprising (and interesting) headline I read this morning: "Termite digestion findings could lead to new strategies for ethanol production"

On a completely off topic side note: It appears that the former MacHall guys have a new comic Three Panel Soul.

I found this article amusing: "28 Days? Why February gets the shaft."

On another completely un-related side note: A new book in Shopaholic seriesShopaholic and Baby by Sophie Kinsella came out this week. I haven't made it to the book store yet, but I am hoping to later this week.

Blogs will be slow after this week through next week because it it Spring Break! Yippee! I am sooo looking forward to it. Nope, I am not going anywhere. However, I will be sleeping in, shopping, and doing a little relaxing on the side. My big plan is to get a lot of work done - well it's the plan anyway. I always come up with plans, but the execution part is not always there ;-)

Thanks for stopping by a reading my rambles. Now if you will excuse me I have to get back to writing a presentation on LR parser (or also known as LR grammar depending on whether you are taking a compiler course or a theory course).

Friday, February 23, 2007

It Has Arrived!

My new Dell XPS M1210 has arrived! I am typing on it currently. It is very cool. I love the set up and the size. The screen is just amazing!

My thoughts I Vista so far:
Vista is different then any of the Windows version that came before it. The interface has a nice look and feel to it. It feels way more modern than XP ever did. I have even tried out a few of the games - completely for testing purposes of course ;-) I downloaded Visual Basic 2005 Express any have tested that out. Visual Basic even looks better in Vista.

Some of the new "security" features are interesting. I like that there are options. However, I get a little tired of answering similar questions over and over again. I figure once I get all of the settings for programs worked out then I won't notice it nearly as much. I do like the look and the placement of these messages. Long gone is the ugly window in the middle of the screen asking you a question. Now a nicely matching and intergrated message box appears. The placement and description don't leave you wondering: Should I really click on that?

I am enjoying testing out my new laptop. I even (and this is coming from a huge fan of iTunes) the Media Player. It will actually collapes into your toolbar so you can control it from there. Which is great if you are like me and almost always have music playing in the background. Each time it does to a new song a little window pops up giving the name of the song, album, and artist.

While I am not the subject of toolbars I would like to mention another great feature I noticed. If you hoover over a minimized program it shows you a small "preview" of what it looks like. Then you don't have to keep clicking on things looking for the window you want. Anyway, I give the toolbar two thumbs up :)

Now I just have to get using a two button mouse again ;-) Before, I was rarely using anything but my PowerBook (except when I had to use Visual Studio or another software requiring Windows). But, I have a feeling that I am going to be using this laptop a whole lot more.

I still love my PowerBook - don't worry :) I haven't switched sides or anything. I just like to see both pastures. Why? Because I think as a CS student I need to have experience on several of the major technologies out there. If you only ever use one, then you are not well rounded. But realistically, I know each person has their favorites (and they will battle anyone who says otherwise).

Well, that is preliminary report on the laptop. As I discover new and interesting tidbits I will of course blog about it! Have a great weekend. Thanks for stopping by and reading :-)

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Wow! Cool!

“Machines take me by surprise with great frequency.” - Alan Turing

I was excited (and happy) to see this headline on Google News: "Turing Award goes to female for first time: IBM'S Frances Allen Wins Computing Honor". All I have to say is: "Wow! :-D"

There is an interesting part of the article that I want to especially point out:

"According to the Computing Research Association, only 17 percent of college graduates getting computer science and engineering degrees in the United States and Canada were women during the 2003-2004 academic year, the most recent year for which data is available."

OK, so I knew the numbers were surprisingly low. I am surprised every time I see them. I really shouldn't be, but I am. It is one of those statistics that I just don't understand. Why don't more women go into computer or engineering? I love computer science and I can hardly imagine not being in CS. Of course, I can't tell you why women don't go into computers or engineering since I did :-) However, I can make guesses from my experiences. But that would be a whole 'nother blog...

Some additional reading on the issue:
"Solving the gender equation: Study shows stereotypes hurt women's math"

"Studies show female engineers needed"

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

"We've been rambling all the night..."

"We've been rambling all the night
And some time of this day
Now returning back again
we bring a garland gay" - Loreena McKennitt (The Mummers' Dance)

Current Music Obsession: "The Mummers' Dance (Single Version)" by Loreena McKennitt (If it you haven't seen the music video or you want to the lyrics for it you can find it on this page).

Currently Reading Obsession: Break No Bones by Kathy Reichs

I thought I would post up a quick blog and say hello. I have good and exciting news. My computer may arrive ahead of the originally scheduled date! So soon I may actually have something fun and exciting to actually blog about ;-) I look forward to getting the computer. Spring break is in a couple of weeks, so I will have plenty of time to play...err study the laptop in great detail.

The weather has finally gotten above freezing the last couple of days here. It has been sooo nice. We have even seen a little sunshine. However, there has been some assuming side effects - like the snow falling off of the roof outside my window. I heard this load crashed and looked out to see a pile of snow...well there was already a pile of snow, so maybe larger pile of snow would be more accurate.

Well, I better get back to my homework since I don't think the induction proofs are going to write themselves. Thanks for stopping by a reading!

Articles I wanted to point out:
"Toshiba Plug Loophole in Security of Quantum Cryptography"

They always cancel all of the good shows: "Final Curtain Call for 'Studio 60'?" (Now what am I going to watch on Monday nights?!?)

Saturday, February 17, 2007

It's a Dell!

"It's a poor sort of memory that only works backward." - Lewis Carroll (The Queen, Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There)

Currently Listening To: "Mo Ghile Mear" by Celtic Woman

Currently Reading: Better Than Sex by Susan Holtzer (which happens to be the final book in the Anneke Haagen series).

Will be reading soon:
Deception Point by Dan Brown
Digital Fortress by Dan Brown
Break No Bones by Kathy Reichs

About a week ago I tried to turn on my (Windows) laptop and it seemed to get "stuck" on the Windows sign-in screen. I thought it was a bit odd. Anyway, after several hours of analysis (and digging out all those disks that you get with a laptop by never use until something goes wrong) I have discovered that a portion of the hard drive is bad. The computer is about 4 years old and has received quiet a bit of wear.

I decided that it was time to purchase a new laptop. I probably won't have purchased a laptop midterm like this since I do have my PowerBook. However, I teach a Visual Basic 2005 and well not having a Windows machine is a bit inconvient. So after great consideration I purchased a new Dell XPS M1210 last night.

It is scheduled to be delieved in a couple of weeks (they gave me a date, but I can't think of it off-hand). Once I get it, I am sure I will force onto you, the reader, to learn all kinds of informaiton regarding the laptop that you really don't care about ;-) On a side note, does anyone know a good place to get a replacement hard drive for my old Dell laptop? If I can find a reasonable priced replacement then I have geeky plans for the old laptop.

A Bit of New:
Survey's can say anything: "Health written in the stars?"

On the quantum front: "Scientists Dubious of Quantum Claims"

This comic will be enjoyed by any grad student who teaches :)

Well, I better get back to working on my presentation for one of my classes. I am presenting a section of the book focusing on proving 3SAT is NP-Complete. Doesn't that sound like fun?

Monday, February 12, 2007

Logically Speaking...

"'Contrariwise,' continued Tweedledee, 'if it was so, it might be; and if it were so, it would be; but as it isn't, it ain't. That's logic.' " - Lewis Carroll (Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There)

Current Music Obsession - the 90's:
"Bittersweet Symphony" by The Verve
"I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)" by The Proclaimers
"What is Love" by Haddaway

Did you know that today is Darwin Day? No I didn't either. Of course that is what things like Wikipedia are for! So you can find out all kinds of interesting informaiton like that - information you didn't know you might need to know.

New's Evolution:
Computer Science meets Medical: "Virtual reality is therapy for injuries"

"The Landscape of Parallel Computing Research: A View from Berkeley" (found via Slashdot).

One large step for woman-kind: "Harvard Expected To Name First Woman to Lead University"

I wish I lived in the east: "Plan Ahead: Total Lunar Eclipse March 3"

Study says: "To sleep... perchance to learn". I am so going to have to start sleeping more ;-)

It's a beginning of a new week. Michigan is still a frozen mess. The roads have improved vastly and temperatures have started to warm up a little (which is really nice). The snow and icicles hanging off of buildings is pretty wacky.

There is nothing I like better than hanging out inside with a good book and a warm blanket in this kind of weather. I am currently reading another book in the Anneke Haagen Series. This time it is "The Wedding Game" by Susan Holtzer. Of course, real life often pops up and I spend my time doing homework. Not that its a bad thing - I find it highly rewarding especially when I get the homework completed!

Well, thanks for stopping by and reading. I better get a move on. The program isn't going to write itself!

Saturday, February 10, 2007

A Little Bit of Nonsense

"Begin at the beginning and go on till you come to the end: then stop." - Lewis Carroll (Alice's Adventures in Wonderland)

Music Obsession of the Day: "Breathe" by Melissa Etheridge

Fun filled news:
"Physicists Unite Light And Matter (Update)"

"Battlestar Galactica Game Hits Live this Fall"

Not much to report. Well, nothing interesting to report or complain about. Although, I am quiet excited that Cheesy Bites pizza is back at Pizza Hut. I am currently reading "Silly Season" by Susan Holtzer - another exciting book from the Anneke Haagen Series.

The sun is (shockingly) shining brightly through the windows making the world seem less like winter. The outside temperatures leave a little to be desired (20s), but the sun makes it seem so much warmer. None the less, I am enjoying the (what I am sure will be a very short) break from the snow.

Well, I better get back to trying to work with JavaCC. Yep, my life is so exciting ;-) Thanks for stopping by and reading.

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Current Rambles

"If you don't know where you are going, any road will get you there." - Lewis Carroll

Current Music Obsession: "Trouble Sleeping" by Corinne Bailey Rae

The icey roads are starting to melt! It only snowed for part of the day and it wasn't nearly as cold as it has been. So life is continuing on. I only slightly notice the passage of time. But that's the way it is during the middle of a semester. Busy, busy, busy.

Current readings:
"Bleeding Maize and Blue" by Susan Holtzer. (More information, I suggest looking here). This is actually the third book in the mystery series. If you are familar with Ann Arbor (or the univerisity there), you will find the references in the book even more interesting. (For other books set in Ann Arbor check out this list). Great mystery series with the main character being a female computer programmer! Hail to the Victors.

New Bytes:
"Forensic photography brings color back to ancient textiles"

The Bubbles! Just sounds so cool: "Flow of tiny bubbles mimics computer circuitry"

"Vista Makes PC Sales Pop"

I'm thinking of a fork: "Scientists becoming mind-readers"

Now if you will excuse me I have to get back to trying to show that the class of languages in P is closed under inverse homomorphism. (I know you are jealous because that just sounds like so much fun). Thanks for reading. Stay warm!

By the way, I feel like this comic a lot.

Monday, February 5, 2007

News At Sloth Pace

"I don't know about you guys but we are the weirdest herd I've ever seen." - Sid (Ice Age)

Wow. February. Where did it come from? (I think it must of have been hiding). January went by surprising quickly. I think I must be getting old - because time has started to move faster. Anyway, still on the 80's music kick. Not that had anything to do with anything.

Most of the west side of Michigan is shut down due to the cold temperatures (and the blizzard on Saturday - that I thankfully missed by being on the opposite of the state). It was -7F (wind chill -14) this morning when I got up to check if school was closed and lightly snowing. The major problem is the wind and drifting snow. Anyway, I happily went back to bed and sleep for hours when I saw my school on the list :)

Old news I meant to post days ago:
"15,000-year-old ground sloth footprints found in Argentina"

If real life was a TV show, then I would say that it was aliens, but I am guessing there is a better, more scientific explaination: "Hubble humbled by power failure"

Unless you have been living under a rock Microsoft has released Vista ("Review: Microsoft Vista, Ultimate Edition"). It's release seems to be compatable to the Vulcon/Human relationship on Star Trek Enterprise. It looks interesting. But I am sticking with my rule of no changing of OSs in the middle of the term. Also, by the time I ever get around to updating the little "issues" will be worked out. Yes, there is methods to my madness! ;-) However, I do have to ask one question - why? "Apple warns iTunes users to delay Vista upgrade". I understand that they are technically competing, but still...

Newer news:
"Songs from iPod Commercials" (and you can wach the new adds here).

Two words: Free & Pirates: "Disney in uncharted waters with "Pirates" game"

Completely unrelated to anything:

I finally watched a couple (and by a couple I mean about 2) episodes of Boston Legal. I know I am behind the times. I just never got around to watching it. I have to say I find the show fairly funny in a completely off-the-wall kind of way.

Well, I have homework to get started on. Thanks for reading. Stay warm!