Tag Archives: basis

I’m Falling In Love With An Android…Phone

an android with love in its eyes

A few weeks ago, something happened to me that makes geeks the world over scream with happiness: my cell phone contract had reached its end with my previous carrier.  To normal folk, this might not seem like that exciting of an occasion, but to the geek species, this is almost like having a second birthday.

Suddenly faced with a decision that will once again lock me into 2 years of ridiculous fees, unchanging phone hardware and the prospect that I would have to use yet another phone that I would not enjoy, I decided to shop around instead of going with the only local carrier with decent coverage here in my area.

I said goodbye to US Cellular, and went out into the world to find a carrier/phone combo that met my needs.  Each one of the providers had a major flaw, but I decided I had to look past that flaw in order to find a device that was exactly what I needed.

So, Sprint became the clear choice, regardless of the fact that they do not have a retail store in our area.  Now to decide which phone I wanted to use.

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How To: Speed Up Your PowerPC Mac (Running Leopard)

Here is a roundup of those tweaks that I’ve used to gain significant performance on my obsolete iBook G4. Follow these to speed up your PowerPC Mac.

I have been a Mac user from the time that I was toddling around our home office.  I’ve dabbled in the other major platforms, but have always seemed to come back to the Mac for its ease-of-use and rich application environment.

iBook G4

iBook G4

In 2005, I purchased an iBook G4 for my wife’s use.  She had never used a Mac, and she was cautious; but she has since seen the light and save for her work environment and gaming, she uses her Mac exclusively.

In 2007, after running rock-solid for two years, we developed a fried DC in board, and we finally decided to upgrade to an Intel-based Macbook.  It was no easy feat, but I replaced the DC in board on the iBook, and suddenly I had myself a laptop to use on a regular basis.

To say that the iBook is underpowered would be a gross understatement.  Even though all applications that live on OS X today are universal binaries, even the newest applications begin to bog the system down.

I maxed out the RAM (at only 1.5Gb) and replaced the hard drive with a 5400 RPM drive, but this still didn’t solve the speed issues I was experiencing.

So, I did what any self-respecting (and financially broke) geek would do and scoured the web for any small tweak that I could make to cause the system to run a little smoother.

Here is a roundup of those tweaks that I’ve used to gain significant performance on my near-obsolete iBook G4.
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Audio in Modern Computing

With all the focus today on creating modern and more interactive interfaces with the computing platforms we use on a daily basis, it seems to me that we are focusing mostly on the senses of touch and sight, and neglecting the roll that sound could play in the way we use our computing devices.

I realize that most devices are targeted to work with a large variety of consumers, thus allowing someone to use a PC without needing to be able to experience audio-specific cues, but I have to wonder what sort of new ideas could come out of modern interface design if developers were allowed to use audio in a more functional manner.

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The Value of a Higher Education

I’ve been kicking back and forth whether or not to write this article, but this concept has been weighing on my conscience for far too long.  Being a student in Computer Science, I am beginning to notice the students around me more, and their level of competency when it comes to the narrow topics that are being discussed in class.  For the most part, everyone tries their best and gets things done, and as adults tend to actually attempt to understand all of the material.

But there are a select few students that either are just not getting it, or are relying on the “No Child Left Behind” mentality to simply skate through the college experience and earn their degrees.  One problem with this set of students is that they are going to be completely shocked and overwhelmed when they reach a real work environment, and not all requirements and steps are set in stone and handed to them on a silver plate.

This is where my problem with the state of higher education stems.
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The Universe is Sending Me Signals

Have you ever had one of those days where it seems that everything that could possibly go wrong does? As Murphy’s Law states:

Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.

This seems truer today than ever in my life. It seems it’s a matter of the Universe trying to tell me something, and I’m not sure if I’m really ready to hear what it has to say.

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It’s been almost two weeks since I posted the blog about changes that will be happening on this site. While setting a schedule has forced me to write regularly, I feel like my thoughts have been diluted over the past two weeks.

I have had a great series of posts in this initiative, but I don’t feel like each was truly well written, and I didn’t put my energies fully into each, due to the “oh, it’s scheduled, I have to get something out there” mentality.

Being almost seven months clean, I have found that my mind is starting to race again with thoughts of all the things I can, and should, be doing. While blogging has become a passion of mine, I almost have started to feel like a robot when it comes to finding subjects to blog about, and pushing out updates regardless of the quality.

While my GTD system has been working keeping track of what I need to do, I seem to be unable to adapt to the idea that I need to rely on it in order to figure out what I should be doing on a minute-by-minute basis.

This is all compounded by the changes that my body has been going through over the past few months. Not changes in a weird, awkward, sexual way, but changes in mentality and overall health. I have not been losing much weight, even with the best of intentions, mostly due to my impulsive nature that I have not been able to shake.

Also, I have been plagued over the past two weeks with a seriously debilitating headache which leaves me feeling unproductive and downright shitty. These headaches are fairly constant, and seem to happen everyday around the same time, regardless of my activities for the day. Though I do spend a large amount of time in front of a computer, which may cause its own problems, even on days where I don’t see a computer screen I get the same results.

Aside from the physical symptoms, I have also had quite a hard time with the psychological symptoms. I have been increasingly scatter-brained. I often find myself going to one section of my house with an explicit purpose, getting lost in another thought, and finally arriving with no idea of why I changed locations. Now, this could all be because I have been noticing my own habits more and more, but it could also indicate one of many other things. My medication has been increased, and it seems like this has all happened after the increase. This may not have a causal relationship, but the possibility still stands.

So, I’m not going to be following a set schedule as I have over the past two weeks, and will just strive to post something worthwhile that I’ve put my attentions on in an everyday fashion.