Resolutions for 2008

Well, it's that time again. I need to think about what I'd like to do in the next year. To start, let me perform a little bit of a recap from my previous post on this topic.

I said I'd like to do NaNo again, progress on the CraGNo, play with Poser 7 more often, and make a movie. Needless to say, I did NaNoWriMo again, I even won! I did not progress too far on the CraGNo, but I could potentially work on that more this spring, if I don't decide to go crazy and edit my NaNo Novel. Unfortunately, I feel short on my Poser 7 and Movie making goals. I barely touched the camcorder, and now that I've got Leopard on the iMac, I don't even know if Poser 7 runs. Smooth moves, I'd say.

So aside from 1280x800 or 1440x900, what are my resolutions for 2008? Well, for starters, I resolve to do NaNoWriMo again. That one worked out pretty well for me last time, so it's kind of a freebie.

Lame as it sounds, I'd also like to do my best as a 68kMLA forum moderator, a position to which I was very recently appointed. I've kind of been moderating in spirit for a long time, so it's not too different for me. I just have actual authority now when I suggest that people calm down or when I say that something might be a good idea.

Another thing I'd like to do is make sure that I keep on updating UeberWiki, which is recently back from the grave, hosted on my decTOP. The main thing here is to just keep finding random things I like and loading 'em in. UeberWiki is cool because I can just make a page for about anything and drop it on there. I'd also specifically really like to revamp the Gotschland section of the UeberWiki, especially because of the new novel I wrote in November, which kind of changes a lot of things about how Gotschland works.

Something else I've got is a specific idea I've had for awhile, something I need to start planning for very soon, which is the photo-comic. I will probably display it using a PHP webcomic script for the decTOP, or maybe just a series of static pages on my dana site. I've got a few ideas for people I'd like to be in the comic, and I've got a few ideas for situations, mainly involving some things Glenn and I have spoken about in the past. I've got a few other ideas too, but a lot of them depend on me being able to get all of the "cast members" in the right place, at the right time, with my camera. A project for weekends, to be sure. I will have another blog entry about this at a later date.

I would also like to start posting blog entries on a regular basis. If at all possible, I'd like to have a new post ready every Monday. This one's even scheduled to come in before noon on Monday, December 31st.


Publishing Schedules

One of the things I've noticed about some of my favorite web logs, even personal ones, is that they come out on a fairly regular basis. One of my intents for Strapped to a Desk has been to publish it on a fairly regular basis, my original plan for that was just to always be writing, and then I'd always have something to post to the blog. What ended up happening was a bit different. I kept writing, into a document called NaNoNovel 2007, and so I didn't have anything to publish during November. Between that, and not really having a dedicated blog-writing time, not only has my publishing schedule been sporadic at best, I've somewhat slowed down in my writing.

image So one of my goals for 2008 is to start publishing my blog more often. I'm going to achieve this by just writing more, plus I intend to use a calendar, which will help me keep track of when I've started to write things, and when I intend to finish them. I've already started the calendar, I'm using Windows Calendar on my ThinkPad R61i to keep track of when I start writing things, and when I intend to publish them. My intent is to have something fairly major ready for publishing every Monday, and I've already started filling in Mondays in 2008.

One thing I've definitely noticed is that I think to my blog a lot, or at the very least, I think in things I write that could potentially end up on my blog. Another thing I suppose I would like to do is write some more things that don't get published to the public weblog, but that do get written, primarily as a personal record. It's a need I have because there are a lot of things I see and hear and experience that most people don't need to know about, but that I'd like to have in the future. I may just start writing Word documents into a separate folder for that.


Mom's House

I just had one of the worst visits anywhere I've ever had. Details may or may not follow.

Visiting Kingman

I've been in Kingman for a few days, at Dad & Brenda's house, and my brother has been here as well. It is very relaxing, even after only a day or two, to be in Kingman. It is exactly what I wanted to do this year, after a stressful semester, and a stressful week after finals, to sit down on the couch in dad's house chatting online and looking at train pictures. I've looked at every single Amtrak and Amtrak California photo on railpics.net

Another side-effect of visiting Kingman was going to work with dad, which I enjoyed well enough before he got DSL there, but I really do like sitting there, somewhere else, and browsing the Internet. It's better for my back I think.

I might also get a haircut while I am here, not sure yet.

The stress of breaks.

I'm mildly unhappy because I had an extraordinarily stressful post-finals week. Unlike my prediction of it being completely stress-free because there was going to be no deadline for leaving, it was more stressful because Megan and Glenn stayed in Gabaldon too, meaning that most of my time outside of work was dedicated to either hanging out at Megan's work, or making sure that Megan and Glenn didn't kill each other.

I realize that there was an expectation from Megan that she and I have some time alone, probably more than we actually did (which was still quite a lot by my standards), but there's also the fact that Jim still lives in the room, and has paid for it, and likewise with Glenn. Not only did Megan not get enough time alone with me, but she and I didn't get enough time alone without anyone, we estimate less than two hours alone time for the whole week, which is a lot less than either of us gets during the semester.

Those various factors led to what turned into an epic breakdown on Friday night, wherein I revealed that I actually wanted to sleep alone for a night, Megan revealed she wouldn't be capable of sleeping in Glenn's room for the night, and I got pissed (needlessly as per Megan) off at Megan and Glenn. Let's just say that neither of them know when to shut up, even if you say "shut up" to them seventeen times repeatedly. I also learned that I'm apparently a rather frightening person when I'm pissed off. Megan and Glenn wouldn't shut up though, Both of them were so stressed, or feeling so superior, that it wasn't an option to just close their mouths and open their ears long enough to realize that the solution to their problem was extraordinarily simple. I  moved one chair sixteen inches to the right, and moved the display we were viewing the movie on eight inches to the right, and all three of us were able to watch the last Real Bout High School DVD. Not too difficult, but some people seem to really enjoy being pissed off for no reason.

At least Megan got The Sims 2 installed on her Sony computer, which we picked up in great condition at Best Buy, and was able to get her people loaded back in fine.


Lenovo 3000

So, I'm watching ShopNBC.com television, and today they're selling a Lenovo 3000 mobile computer. I've got to admit, I'm impressed that two TV shopping hosts were able to mess up on the specifications and capabilities of a machine so much. There will be many people who buy this thing and will be unhappy with it because they can't figure out how to use it to watch high definition television from the kitchen using what's included in the Lenovo box.

The hosts are a woman who sounds a bit like she is drunk or high, and a man with an annoying voice who is messing up on the facts of the IBM to Lenovo transition for IBM's Think products. To drive his point home, for one segment of the took the 3000 notebook to a kitchen and pulled it out of a drawer. How creative, because, y'know, there weren't PowerBook, iBook and ThinkPad owners doing that since 2000, or since 1994, or earlier.

Not only are the hosts mildly annoying, but apparently this Lenovo 3000 notebook with it's fully epic HD quality 15.4" screen was born out of an agreement between IBM and Lenovo, wherein Lenovo takes over manufacturing IBM computers, and IBM does designs and provides support. I can't think of anything more wrong, of course, the only thing that has gone on is that if they wanted to, Lenovo has the right to print the IBM logo onto ThinkPad notebooks for another year or so, but IBM hasn't been involved with their design or support since the T40-series, which are considered to be the last real IBMs, and which, by the way, I think are more powerful than the Lenovo 3000s offered on this program.

Not that the Lenovo 3000 notebook offered here is necessarily bad, just that it's not a particularly powerful machine, with a 1.6GHz Celeron M, 512mb (free upgrade to 1gig) of ram, and an 80gig hard disc. I think it *might* have had a DVD burner. The 15.4" screen was high def quality though, apparently.

So yeah, too many shopping channels on television here, I say. Although it's extraordinarily entertaining to watch them talk about these mobile computers that are either outright worse than mine, or not much better for more money.

Merry Christmas Eve!

Windows Live Writer

Hi Blog! I've recently found an interesting little utility on the Internet, it's called Windows Live Writer. imageIt's a nifty little Microsoft application that can help manage blog entries. It supports my Blogger account, and it's got the advantage over Word 2007 in that it supports posting images to the blog provider.If it's worked properly, a screen capture of the about window should be to the right of this text.

Oddly enough, I found out about Writer while looking at Microsoft's various products, trying to find out if they've got anything in the way of helpdesk call management/tracking utilities. I was at dad's work today and found out that they use something called Remedy, which is a ticket tracking system also apparently in use at Purdue University. Currently the ACHD uses something that was written by a CS student some years ago, and they're working on a new system, but being overzealous and bored as I am, I started researching additional solutions today, just in case they ever ask me what I'd rather use as a call tracker, or I'm tasked with starting my own helpdesk. (Unlikely, but you never know, eh?)

It looks like neither Microsoft nor Lotus provides one of these solutions, although I'm not finished looking at solutions, and it *is* possible that Microsoft has such a solution that they aren't advertising too hard, or it's built into Dynamics somewhere, which would make it difficult for me to find, I'll admit.

I will eventually start researching various open source solutions but I don't personally have enough of a setup to test a full call tracker on the decTOP. (Which by the way, is all set up and running! Just be patient with it, because it's definitely not the fastest machine ever, especially with the MediaWiki-based ueberWIKI as its homepage.)


It’s Three A.M.

So… It's three a.m. Yes, that's righteo, three a.m. What does this mean for all of you in blog land, or Facebook-land? Well, nothing really. Three a.m. has a significant meaning to me though, I suppose you could say. My junior year of high school, I had attempted most of the year to help create a school newspaper, and my efforts were finally realized when on the very last day of the spring Semester, I handed out copies of the underground magazine I'd created, "It's Three a.m. …" Not the best thing ever, but it worked and I did really enjoy creating it. It included some things I wrote, something another student in one of Mr. Simmons' classes had written, and a few things Ashley had written, plus there were some random photographs that I'd taken sprinkled in, including the one epic shot of Pam, with then-sophomoric Joey and Ashley sitting around.

It was quite an effort, and if I do say so myself, the thing didn't look so bad either, and ever since I've been attempting to do another one, although I haven't actually done so. One of the things I'm considering doing is just plopping some of my photos and some of my blog entries into an inDesign file and offering it for download as a PDF. It wouldn't be much, but you could return to me with the fact that the original one wasn't very much either.

What does somebody include in an underground magazine anyway? I suppose I'd want to include some technology news, thoughts about my job, some photos, and I'd need to find other people who would be willing to contribute some things, I'm sure Megan has artwork she'd like to put in, and I think Jim was going to write an UeberFriends short story, which would be fully epic.

In other news, I'm sitting here at the iMac typing this out mainly because Megan wanted some time to lie on a bed and daydream, which is cool, because I wanted some time to sit at the iMac and do some reading and writing. Also, I cleaned the room today, which I think is important to mention because the room had gotten very, very messy.



Well, I suppose it is time to let the world know that I’ve got the decTOP and it’s been set up, I did it last Friday at work, and I’ve gotten to know my way around Debian Linux and its apt system (which I manage using aptitude) fairly well.

For those who don’t know, the decTOP is an adorable little low-cost computer system. In a way, it’s what e-machines probably should have aspired to create. In another freaky way, it’s a lot like the technology eMachines was using in 1998-1999. It’s got a 366MHz AMD Geode processor, comes with 128mb of memory (Mine’s upgraded to 512) and a 10 gig hard disc. Aside from that, it has VGA graphics, AC97-based audio, and a usb Ethernet adapter, which works, although I would’ve liked onboard Ethernet.

Linux itself runs with acceptable speed, somehow it almost always does. The apache web server seems to dish out static HTML pages relatively quickly, but the real test of the decTOP for me is how well it handles an app like mediaWiki, which I use for the old ueberWiki which I’m eventually going to put back up. Unfortunately, it handles mediaWiki quite poorly, it currently lacks any decent caching software for PHP, and its slow processor makes it difficult to want to let it actually process every page on its own, especially if ueberWiki ever gets back up and starts getting hits again.

I suppose that that particular question is one for later, and if anything, it won’t be super-difficult to migrate back to a Mac or PC server from the decTOP if absolutely necessary, although I like the “uses almost no electricity” aspect of the decTOP. Plus there’s the whole thing about how its small size allows me to bring it from home to the university and back relatively easily, in comparison with, let’s say just for example, something huge like one of the surplusDells or the PowerMac G3.

For now I’ll move the ueberWiki over and if it becomes a huge problem, I’ll figure out how to move the ueberWiki back onto the iMac I suppose.


Snow, Life & Tech Updates

Late as I know it is, here's my blog entry about snow. I really loved seeing it the first time this year, it was way overdue for sure.

Much as I love the snow, sometimes it's got some negative side-effects. For example, until my shift today, there was a large chunk of ice on the ground in front of the East entrance of the South Learning Assistance Center. I love large chunks of ice, until they prevent the door from closing, or they prevent me from making it all the way to work safely. Another disadvantage of the snow is that all of Cardiac Hill is covered in the snow, and not just the snow, but the accompanying ice. My heart has jumped around more times lately as a result of the near death experience of almost falling over than for anything else.

Also worthy of noting is that today is Meaghan's last night as McConnell, and it's also her Christmas Eve.

Other than that, finals have been going moderately well. I'm expecting a few more Bs this semester, but with luck, some of them will be As. The BIO100 final I'm taking with Meaghan is tomorrow, that'll be fun. After that, I'm done with finals, and I'm hoping that my packages (the decTOP and the A21m) will be actually delivered tomorrow. I intend to bring the decTop to work on Friday, so I can start installing Debian Linux on it. Once I'm done installing it, I intend to attempt making sure that I can start installing MySQL databases and wiki information on it. I hope that UeberWiki and UeberCompWikiChan will transfer over easily, since those are the two biggest things I've been missing since I installed Mac OS X 10.5 on the iMac.