Wednesday, November 08, 2006
Saturday, November 04, 2006
Actually, it has several.
Two that really communicate a sinking feeling I've had lately about the way people think about things; for example, when trying to learn Math/Science/Engineering. It seems like the natural and intuitive reasoning for much of what we know -- the fact that it all makes sense --is totally lost in the classroom.
In their classes, students hear and read things like "In the equation y=x+3, the coefficient of x is the slope of the straight line, and the constant 3 is the y-intercept." They go along and memorize these tenants of a linear equation, and replicate the thought process when working with this stuff in the future. But theres nothing to memorize! That equation is a line, and when you draw it your pencil crosses the y-axis at 3. I feel like this idea of memorizing scientific explanations for intuitive facts is exemplified throughout all these fields, in colleges across the country.
Something else this article said is that "... curious, passionate people can learn anything." More to the point, people who AREN'T curious and passionate are not the type of people who I want to work with. People who know how build software in a certain way with certain tools, and aren't the least bit curious what else is out there are certainly not curious. And I'd say not passionate. Stepping back and taking this point of view on life in general, I find there people who aren't curious about new ideas, concepts, and ways of doing things. These people are usually not that interesting.
Wednesday, November 01, 2006
I didn't get very excited about the game at any point. The players seem a lot more like young thugs than they used to seem to me. Not sure if I just changed or if the league did as well, but either way I perceive it as less impressive and exciting. I only really watched the game tonight because of all the promotion I am subject to as I stroll through NY on my way to work in the morning.
Hands down the BEST thing about this game is Walt Frazier. Walt is an old time Knick who calls the games now as the color man of the broadcast, although the line between him and his counter part play-by-play man seems to be blurred. The words and phrases that Walt uses are absolutely hysterical on almost every possession. As a die hard 10 year old Knick fan, my brother father and I used to watch most of the games and cheer as much for Walt when he'd say "Starks starting to percolate now" as we did for Starks when he'd sink a 3.
So tonight may have been a bit of nostalgia for me, but hearing such gems as:
"So the Knicks off to an auspicious start" (after making 1 basket),
"Shaking... BAKING... AND ITS GOOD!"
and my personal favorite of the night- "Dishing and swishing now, Marbury is"
has me chuckling to myself even now as I write. I'll definitely be watching the next couple Knicks games, as they head into what is sure to be another painful and embarrassing season for NY basketball fans.
Thursday, October 05, 2006
Friday, September 29, 2006
Over and over again I have said that there is no way out of the present impasse. If we were wide awake we would be instantly struck by the horrors which surround us ... We would drop our tools, quit our jobs, deny our obligations, pay no taxes, observe no laws, and so on. Could the man or woman who is thoroughly awakened possibly do the crazy things which are now expected of him or her every moment of the day?
Wednesday, September 27, 2006
But! Recently I was guided to notepad2! It adds the few things I would want it too and keeps the simplicty and quickness of the original notepad. I've managed to get it on my right-click context menu in windows explorer, but am still battling to replace notepad.exe with notepad2.exe. Windows isn't exactly being cooperative.
I found notepad2 on Scott Hanselman's Ultimate List of Developer and Power User Tools. Since POWER USER sounds a lot cooler than 'developer', I'll consider myself one of those. Hanselmans blog is also a must read for other, uhh.... POWER USERS.
Saturday, September 23, 2006
All together, the 4 of them sat up there selling this idea to viewers around the country. "Look at history! Look at China, look at Russia, both prospering countries on good terms with the US these days."
They didn't even have one person on there resisting this idea. Am I the only one watching this thinking its insane? Every dollar we send to Iran will be used to try and kill us!
This is not China. This is not Russia. They want us dead because they believe that God wants us dead. And all the capitalist dollars in the world aren't going to change that.
Friday, September 22, 2006
Anyway, I still haven't given up yet. I do need a second hard drive to install it on though. Someone at work gave me one for free, but its f'd and unusable. Also, when i first installed the hard drive, i ran the PC without my case closed, and without some of my fans running. The power supply burnt out, and i had to run to best buy to buy a new one. I got one with 50 more watts of power and am SHOCKED at the performance increase i've noticed in my computer. Apparently I had the wrong PS before. Anyway, I'm flying now.
I'm still trying to get Ubuntu installed, first step though is to find an ATA-100 (or less) drive for free or extremely cheap to install it on. In the meantime, i've found a cool toy to waste $20 and hold me over in the fun department :)
Tuesday, September 05, 2006
Windows Vista RC1 was released a few days ago. Vista is touted as the "most visual operating system Microsoft has ever released." I have seen vidoes showing programs running in all shapes of "windows." I have seen videos of programs being manipulated in 3D by the user. I'm talking about the windows themselves, not some program with 3D rendering!
I got to use Vista on a computer at work recently, and guess what. The start menu was on the lower left. The taskbar went along the side of the screen. The programs were represented by little rectangles in the taskbar. I was goddamn pissed.
The laptop that my job gave me is too heavy to lug back and forth everyday, so I'm buying one for myself that is lighter. I intend to fully enjoy using this computer, and so I cannot purchase a laptop running Vista. You just lost yourselves a sale MS bitches.
I am so desperate for a new user experience that I'm buying myself one of these this month. Fun to use and visually appealing makes a difference, dammit.
UPDATE: This is perfect timing!
Monday, August 14, 2006
I am normally quite standoffish without trying to be. I intend to change that. I've read two books on people skills and they've given me some tips that make me almost normal when i really try. There are some that seem fun, but I haven't tried yet. "Pay two complete strangers a compliment. Every day." Maybe i'll try it sometime. Some that I have tried are "Smile. Constantly.", "Use the other persons name", and "Make the other person feel like whatever he/she is saying or doing is extremely important." I tried these out at work and get a few more "good morning"'s each day now.
I've subscribed to several podcasts on money management as well as programming. Using Bloglines, I follow 20+ different blogs on these various topics. I've just begun snooping around on Del.icio.us and Blinklist to see what some wellknown and not-so-wellknown people are reading.
Next week I start my membership at NYSC (pfff, see how long THAT lasts). I'll always be a fat kid, some of us are just made that way. But even without the physical results, working out makes you feel good about yourself.
The books and podcasts are mostly a result of me needing something to do on the 3 hours I spend on the train every day. The guitar and gym are just a nice side effect. I think its good to be on a constant mission to improve myself. But really, when i think about it, nobody I know really needs any improving :)
Friday, August 04, 2006
Thursday, August 03, 2006
I also don't want to spend the whole time learning about programming, eating, and sleeping! This is only the second time i'll ever have been in Boston, and I'd like to take something more than programming from it. The show is Sept 10th-14th, and if anybody knows anything exciting going on in that city at that time, PLEASE tell me! My boss is a cool dude, and would probably be down for going to a concert or something too.
Hopefully it'll be a great week. I'd like to come out of there a better developer with a few good nights in Boston behind me :)
Wednesday, July 26, 2006
Since I was going to spend the next hour around Penn Station waiting, I figured I'd take a walk around the station and check out some of the new places I'd read about in the A.M. News paper I pick up from the guy on 32nd street everyday (I do the Sudoku in it on the way home). Specifically, there was a new wine store I thought I'd check out.
After I plugged my head into my iPod and walked around for about 10 minutes in a fruitless search for this wine store, I spotted a street performer (he was in the station, not on the street) and figured I'd go listen to his music. There was a small crowd of middle class white people around, also waiting for their trains; most were ignoring him. He was a hip looking young black dude, with thick Marley-style dreads, and a green & yellow acoustic guitar. The sign behind him said "Jahstix" and it turns out he's pretty popular.
He was good, i really enjoyed listening to him. Just him and an acoustic, belting out his own lyrics to a bunch of half interested long islanders. I was going to write more about it, but I you all can just check out the link. Hearing it live and stripped down to just him and his guitar, though, was a very pleasing experience.
Even more to the point, I am impressed by people like Jahstix once or twice a week. I always throw money into their instrument cases, or buy a CD from them. The talent on the streets of new york is one of my favorite things about this city.
Saturday, July 22, 2006
Thursday, June 22, 2006
BumpTop is a perfect example of this. Although it aims to replace the desktop, as opposed being a application you run and close, it is still really cool shit. This is exactly the kind of stuff I want to be doing in .Net 3.
The WPF blog also has a bunch of playful little apps that show off WinFX's ability to create a fun user experience.
Sunday, June 18, 2006
Saturday, June 17, 2006
I was peer pressured into a pie eating contest. I didn't even know thats what they were doing until some woman came up and grabbed my arm with both hands and said "You're the new guy, you're in. Come with me!"
But i went for it. My department was cheerin me on the whole time with a lot of enthusiasm. I came in a very close second out of seventh. It was very intense, I heard my name over the PA "in a very close second! This is going to be hard to call!" First place would've gotten me a $100 gift card, but second place just got me a stomach ache.
I really felt like ass afterwards though, good god. I felt like i got the shit kicked out of me in the middle of a hangover. A couple of the guys from the contest and myself were throwing up in the bathroom afterwards. I was pretty much beat for the rest of the day.
Overall was a great time though! And now everyone in the company knows me as "one of the pie guys."
Wednesday, June 14, 2006
But the lady behind the counter told me they were discontinued. How the hell you discontinue a goddamn smoothie is beyond me, especially when I can see the peanut butter sitting on the counter. Plus it was still on the menu! But I was SOL, it ruined my whole day.
Today, a few months later, I took a walk on my lunch break to the Jamba Juice on 8th & 23rd and there it was! Up on the menu. Still skeptical, I placed my order and waited for the response from the young cashier. "What size?" YESSS!!!! My prayers have been answered, my dreams have come true. As I glanced over to the available sizes to remind myself what the term was that this particular establishment used for "large", the cashier spoke again. "Oh, I'm sorry, I'm out of peanut butter."
Oh my goodness.
This little strumpet had no idea how much she had crushed me. The dissappointment must have been evident from my face, or the "fuck!" that came out much louder than I intended, because she asked me what the matter was.
"I've been waiting for one of these for almost a year now, I haven't been able to find one since I was in Las Angeles."
"Well you could try 7th & 24th."
A glimmer of hope. "THANK YOU!" I exclaimed as I hauled ass out the door. I trecked up and over a block in less time than its taken me to write this blog, and entered my second Jamba Juice of the day. A homosexual couple on line in front of me was debating over what to get and turned to ask my opinion. "Peanut Butter Moo'd" I said. Homo #1 said he hated peanut butter, and #2 agreed.
"Good actually, because I've been trying to get my hands on one of these for a very long time, and if you guys had gotten the last peanut butter there would have been a serious problem here," I said with a smile. We all shared a laugh and actually made some small talk while waiting to order. Homos love me.
When the time came I placed my order, and got the same request for size that I hadn't had the chance to reply to earlier. I wasn't going to hesitate this time and let this bitch ruin my day. "The biggest you've got! With a protein boost, too!" ( "Boosts" are optional additions to your smoothie.)
"WOW! You're excited, huh?" I could hear the homos chuckling at me from the waiting area.
"Fuckin A right I am!" We both laughed, I gave her my name and went on to wait for my jamba juice.
And here I sit, 30 minutes later, sucking on my Power Sized Peanut Butter Moo'd with protein boost, blogging about it, and smiling from ear to ear.
Monday, June 12, 2006
I crunched some numbers this weekend. Not sure if some simple arithmetic in your head really counts as crunching, but either way. I did some calculations. And if i were to turn in my car and move to Manhattan, $1600/mo rent would be breaking even for me when you consider the the cost of my car,gas, insurance, and my train ticket. Personally I couldn't care less about having a car or not, I'd much rather my money went towards living in a place like Manhattan than to a damn automobile. But thats just me. So i'd be breaking even, except i'd get about 3 extra hours a day and live in the city. $1600 should be enough to find a place here, and i'm even willing to go a little higher than that if i have to. So that looks like the plan for now, when my lease is up in December.
That of course depends on how secure my position is here at Oxygen. OXygen is a cable channel, not a software company. And this effort they're making (and money they're spending) is something they've wanted to do for a long time. But if business gets bad, software will probably be one of the first departments to feel the pain. And I'm the newest guy on the team. I'll just have to ask for an honest opinion about the reality of it when I am about to make the move.
Hopefully things will be looking good. I really love this job so far, I can't think of a much better situation to be in. Here's hopin it doesn't end any time soon, and to enjoying it while it lasts!
Tuesday, May 16, 2006
The idea is they can pay to be more prominantly listed, with more information (address, price, sales pitch, etc) displayed.
Friday, May 12, 2006
Reggie Bush, the #2 overall pick in this years NFL Draft, has the potential to be an even bigger factor in his games than Ladanian Tomlinson is now. But he's a rookie. He's NOT EVEN a rookie yet, he hasn't' signed anything with the Saints, he's just been drafted. And he has asked the NFL to change the rule that requires NFL tailbacks to wear numbers between 20 and 49 (i think) so that he can wear the #5 that he's worn since high school. And Peter King thinks they should let him.
Maybe it seems trite to make such an issue over what number a player is wearing, but its the principle of the matter. Reggie hasn't even signed with an NFL team yet! He hasn't even PRACTICED! To put it on a much smaller scale, imagine someone new starting at work and on their first day asking for special treatment so they can go to lunch when nobody else can. That'd annoy the crap out of me! And THAT person has already started the job, Reggie is still weeks or months away from signing anywhere.
I think the NFL needs to deny this request as soon as possible. If they cave, and change a long-standing rule to gratify this pre-rookie -- of whom I happen to be a fan of, in all cases but this -- their integrity will suffer and they'll lose the respect of players and fans. Not to mention the slap in the face it sends to guys like Gale Sayers, Terry Bradshaw, Randy Moss, or O.J. Simpson, all of whom sacrificed their own personal preferences out of respect to the league.
Thursday, May 04, 2006
In two weeks i'll turn 26. That number makes 30 seem very close, very real. Four years goes by fast these days. I had more things in mind for my thirtieth birthday than i seem to be on track for right now. Or so I thought. But when you think about it, a lot can happen in four years. A lot can happen in two.
Two years ago I was just out of college, making $12.50/hr as a helpdesk kid at an insurance company. Lots of my friends were making $45,000 salaries or more, or had at least moved away from long island. I was in a shitty job, and living in a shitty house with a bedroom so small that my bed occupied the entire floor. I drove a 1995 Ford Contour with 100,000 miles on it. It was an ugly bright blue and offered a very shaky though reliable ride. I was still in love with a girl I needed to get over. As pathetic as it sounds, things seemed hopeless. I compared myself to my peers and felt like a loser.
Two years later, i'm about to start my third job with a salary more than triple my helpdesk job. My car is an '06 Altima (special edition!) which I am thoroughly enjoying. I've got a nicer house and a nicer room, though still not living in luxury. While I may never have gotten over the girl, i've gone on to love and lose others, dump and be dumped, and I am better for all of it. I no longer compare myself to anyone, and no longer feel like a loser.
I haven't done all I wanted to do, but partially i blame that on wanting to do too much. How can i start and run a successful software company while also being a covert agent for the CIA while also mastering the french language while also recording an acoustic album of orginal songs while also living in manhattan while also living in L.A. while also buying a house while also taking several cooking classes while also reading a list of books so long I can't type them out on one single spaced page.
I'll probably always, or at least for awhile, get wrapped up in these ideas of the moment i have and want to do, but for the most part now i focus on a small few of them. I'd like to be self employed, i'd like to own a house. While these arent exactly around the corner, I'm on a decent track for both.
Anyway, if so much can change in the years of age between 24 and 26, while living in Patchogue, I imagine a whole lot more can change for me in the next two years. Especially since i'll be spending my days -- if not living in -- Manhattan.
Then I'll be 28, and have a fresh start on another two years, when i'll turn 30.
Wednesday, April 26, 2006
They live on what seems like an old plantation house. Gigantic house, set way back off the road with a huge yard. The yard itself was about 5 acres, with gardens and gigantic trees. The property probably went on for another 20 acres. The house and property together probably went for about the same price as 18 terrell, and about a fifth of the taxes. Oh well.
Being down there for five straight days I got a good feeling of what the south is like. The biggest surprise to me was how big a part of life the Civil War still is. Confederate flags, Southern Generals, and "South Will Rise Again" bumper stickers were everywhere. I did not eat at a single place that didn't have a painting/picture of Robert E. Lee. Which is cool because I'm named after him :). But they probably didn't believe me when i told them that. Nor did they believe that my brother was also named after a Confederate General.
Life also moves at a much slower pace down there. Nobody is in a rush to do anything. Even simple things, like the pace that people walk out, the speed they speak, or how long it takes them to count the change at the gas station. Its all in slow motion, which I found aggravating at times.
One big plus was the friendliness of everyone. The cashier making conversation with you, the waiter staying a few extra minutes, those things were annoying. But the friendliness of the people in general was refreshing. We all felt comfortable at the wedding, even though we knew nobody. I think a better way to put it is that everyone is real down there. At least everyone i met.
In new york, its like people are in costume and you can almost see the strain on their faces as they consider what everyone around is thinking about them. (I hear this is even more exaggerated in LA). The natural truth of the people i was with in the South was refreshing. I unfortunately will have to learn to deal with the superficial nature of northerners (or at least NY'rs) that i never noticed before, because i dont really want to live down there.
But if i ever do, i don't think id have to worry about making any friends.
Wednesday, April 19, 2006
Wednesday, April 12, 2006
Ok i've complained about Blogger before, but its gotten better. I haven't lost a post in a very long time, and now this.
I sent the above image from my cell phone to firstname.lastname@example.org, and 10 seconds later it was here on my blog. That is a very nifty feature.
You can even call 415-856-0205 and leave a voicemail, and a few seconds later there will be an mp3 of your message posted on your blog! If you don't have a blog, it'll create a new one for you and send you back a code you can use to go and "claim" the new blog as your own. You can also use that code to add the message/pictures to an existing blog instead.
I also have a pretty specific goal, unrelated to making money. In fact, I expressly do NOT want to make money off of this idea. I want to create some sort of community website that isn't a money maker, but just a hobby of mine. Nothing like myspace, more like CodeProject or the now-barren Devhood. These are both technical communities, and thats not really what i'd like to do, but i'm not sure exactly what i would want to make. Maybe one for wine, but there's already so much out there. The theme of the place would have to be something I'm passionate enough about to stay interested and maintain the thing.
Ideally i'd like to do the entire site myself. That means the front end too, which would restrict it to straight html and css. I ain't no artist, everyone knows it. But I think i can pick a color scheme well enough to not scare anyone away.
Anyway, its sort of this burning desire i've had lately, and i'm interested in finding out what any of you out there think. Even if you're some secret visitor that I don't know about peeking in on my blog. I CAN SEE YOU.
Saturday, March 11, 2006
Visual Studio is the microsoft app I use to program in. The same way somebody would use MS Word to write up a letter or report, I use MS Visual Studio 2005 to write up a program. There are by default, two different configurations you can work in when using VS. Debug, and Release. The Debug configuration creates bloated and slower code, but allows you to -- using a debugger -- step through your program line by line and become intimately familiar with how it is behaving. The release configuration creates applications that are quicker and smaller, but doesn't allow you to debug them.
Visual studio also has built in support for creating installers for your programs. So with a few clicks, you specify which of your many projects in your program is the top level, main point of entry, however you wanna say it. The primary project. And the built in installer project then goes off and finds everything else that your primary project needs to be installed with it. When you do this, you must specify to the installer project if you want to include Debug or Release versions of your code. You can also just specify the "Active" configuration, which means whatever configuration you are currently in, when you build all your code into a program, thats the configuration the installer will use.
OR SO ONE WOULD THINK !
What actually happens when you select "Active" configuration is VS adds all the code in your active configuration, and leaves it that way regardless of what you switch too. So if you setup your installer project in Release mode, then switch to debug mode, and rebuild your installer project, all of the projects will still be included according to their Release versions. Which means not only can you not debug it, but any changes you've made to your code in Debug mode will take effect in the installed version of your application until you switch back to release mode and rebuild all your shit!
Bad Microsoft! Very bad!
Another annoying point, but defendable from microsofts point of view, is that the installer will use any code you have in the Global Assembly Cache before it uses anything in your particular project. So if you are developing Application X, and you also happen to have this application installed on your computer and in your GAC (maybe you tested out the installer), then when you make changes to your code and rebuild your installer, it will actually include the version of your code in the GAC, not the one with all the changes you just made in your project.
Tuesday, February 14, 2006
Well, ok. He can't work all day every day, right? One afternoon of hunting is forgiveable. But if i was the 78 year old hunting partner that Dick shot with a shotgun, i wouldn't be so forgiving. The reports first said the man was doing fine after getting a faceful of buckshot, but today we learn that the this lawyer friend of Cheney suffered a heart attack after having some of the shot lodged in his heart.
Cheney insists that the intelligence beforehand said there was supposed to be a bird there. Asked if he would do it all over again, Dick replied "Of course, you've got to trust your intelligence, thats what its there for. Thats why those institutions are in place. If they tell me theres a quail there, then i'm gonna shoot."
Tuesday, January 17, 2006
WHAT?! But the page was loaded! The goddamn plane has crashed into the mountain!
Now i may take my sweet time getting stuff done at work, but when i'm finished with it, the f'ing thing works. This guy took a shit in a computer case, screwed it shut, stuck a myspace sticker on it and sold it to fox for millions! Brilliant on his part really, but what a pain in the ass for the thousands and thousands of users. I was going to go leave messages for the people on my friends list, but i only got through about 3 of them before i couldn't tolerate it anymore.
Friday, January 06, 2006
Football requires a good coach, a good quarterback, a good running back, good receivers, and good linemen. Thats just the offense. Baseball requires a squad of talented athletes, but is still not the thinking mans game that football is. In the NBA, one player alone can make the team good. You could put "King James" on any team and they will be dangerous. Don't even get me started on the NHL.
My favorite football city is NY, the Jets and the Giants. I have caught shit on more than one occasion for not choosing one over the other, but that's just the way it is. I root for them both. And this week, my Giants fight in the playoffs.
Sunday marks Eli Manning's first of hopefully many playoff appearances. Eli is showing signs of greatness in his first full season as an NFL quarterback. His inexperience is also obvious at some points. I'd like to see Eli win his first playoff game ever, do that and the giants have given me more than I hoped for. I wanted them to make the playoffs, even as a wildcard, when the season started. As it went on, I upgraded my requirements to wanting them to win the division. And they did. To get a win against the Panthers this weekend would be great.
The NY Football Giants can beat any team on any day, anywhere. Unfortunately, they can also lose to any team on any day. Their inconsistencies make it all but impossible to hope for a Superbowl appearance, but getting a first round win against the Panthers is within the realm of possibility.
While Carolina has played the run well this year, I think Tiki still has a great game with over 100 yards rushing. Either Plexiglass, Toomer, or Shockey will also need impressive numbers to give the giants a chance, and that'll depend on Eli. If the Panthers get in his face, there'll be trouble.
Carolina's Steve Smith is the NFLs leading receiver, and the giants have a well-known weakness in their secondary. The Giants are going to need 4 or 5 dbacks to keep up with Smith and his buddies, putting the pressure on Osi and Strahan to get to Jake daylight-come-and-you-gotta-Delhomme all on their own. If they can do that, it gives the giants a fighting chance.
In the end, i think the Panthers D forces young Eli into too many mistakes and send the Giants packing. Sure hope I'm wrong. I usually am, so thats a bonus for the Giants right there. They've already had a good run this year, and I'm proud. They got their 11 wins. I draw the line there at 11, between good and mediocre teams. The Tuna said it best when he said "A 10-6 team is just as good as a 6-10 team."