My little world…

A redundant cluster of stuff!

Firsts

Blogged in College by Chris Tuesday August 30, 2005 at about 10:25

My first day
Arrive early for your first class of your college career, sounds good doesn’t it? Well in this case it was just a futile effort, especially when your professor isn’t even present on the first day of a new semester. File Management is quite literally a joke in it of itself, no one in the class feels we need to be taking this, and one kid was quoted as saying, “if you’ve made it this far in life, do you really feel the need for a class like this?” Not a single person disagreed with him.
Essentially File Management is a “yay for Microsoft Windows” class, the textbook we had to purchase was titled to the extent of Windows 2000, & MS-DOS Command Line. Now, the last time I knew, MS-DOS and its variant of “DOS Prompt” in NT-based systems could not be considered a Command Line Interface for its lack of utter usefulness. If I was only slightly more skilled in the *nix CLI, I would be able to handle daily administrative tasks with ease. I know this to be true as it is the preferred method of administration for my fiance. As for the MS-DOS CLI, you can accomplish absolutely nothing from within. Hypothetically, let’s say that your web server, or email server goes down for one reason or another due to a configuration glitch, and you’ve read that toggling one option from on to off will solve the problem. It is impossible for you to solve that problem via TELNET since Microsoft does not keep the configuration settings for their software in standard config files. Not to mention the fact that Microsoft platforms do not support SSH out of the box. Needless to say, we were let go two hours early for lack of interest in formatting a floppy disk. I do not have high hopes. “Just do the work, and get the A.

My first second day
Critical Reading & Exposition, I really have nothing to say to that as I’ve pretty much given up on enjoying English classes, not for lack of a challenge, but for lack of interest. The topics never interest me, however with it being a college level course, we shall see. The professor is from Colchester and is quite saturated with a Vermont styling, he claims to want to make the class as interesting as possible. Ideally that’s not just marketing. One of the books we were told to buy was a writing skills book, and according to the professor, not a requirement for his particular course. Great, wasted money? We shall see.
Let out early in this class too, boiled down to “We’ll read the syllabus on the second day of this class and we’ll just write a one page essay on one of three topics.” What advice did someone give you that you use daily, favourite book or movie that influences you, or why did you choose Champlain College. I picked the first one, content not disclosed. Just going to say that it involves the silly influential fiance.

I think I’m going to let this post kinda drift into the nothingness for lack of… any real care.

Orientation

Blogged in College,General by Chris Sunday August 28, 2005 at about 14:05

Compare and contrast…
Been on and off campus for the first few days for orientation weekend, and I can tell you that not living on the campus grounds itself is a major annoyance for the time being. Sure, I get an apartment to share with just one roommate, instead of an entire building of people so there’s more privacy but at the cost of social interactions that are the norm. for being a college freshman. Now, we all know I’m not one for making friends right off the bat, however it’s painfully evident and rather true that being forced to live with a large group of strangers is actually healthy for you. Well maybe I’ll get somewhat lucky and have the chance of getting a room in a dorm.

Logically, I should have broken this all down into each of the three days but, I didn’t really consider taking note of every detail until now. For me, most things are always in hindsight, whether it to be taking pictures or just appreciating certain subjects.

College life, even before starting the academic portion is absolutely amazing. It’s just over all, a very rich environment, albeit a technical college at heart there is creativity everywhere you look. You may be saying, “well no duh!” However I feel that I’m entitled to my own discoveries, on my own time. Especially since I’ve never been one that’s cared much about anything, not something I can logically explain.

Campus is constantly buzzing with something, always enjoyable to just stroll through; and as I look up from my screen every so often in between sentences, everyone else feels the same. It’s an incredibly beautiful day (after the rain this morning).

I’ve yet to meet my teachers, as that’s reserved for the first day, but the student body is what is expected of the once college-bound high school senior, as an example the ones I’ve met so far in person being some of the more philosophical people I’ve known. A political conversation between a liberal and a conservative, with zero arguing, understanding from both view points, both sides learning something new without even trying. I’m happy.

It’s a beautiful day. Why be inside?

The only thing that, of course, would make this completely perfect would be my fiance. I’m sure that I’ll make some new friends that will temporarily fill the void, that is being by my self on campus. I just want someone to go home to other than my roommate at night.

Observation, campus security and custodial personnel utilize Jeeps and Nextel handsets.

A good quote I picked up on during The Grind, in our small group in the back of the room from a random girl majoring in Web Design, “it’s a good thing this is a technical college, you’re always bound to run into someone majoring in computers so help is never far.” This is true, if you don’t know something, someone else in under a ten-second walk will be able to help. Also allows for easy, geeky friendship.

As I run out of intelligent rabble for my tiny blog, I’d like to make another quick and obvious discovery about college life. Cute boys.

~I’ll leave you with that.

All Fired Up: Rounds 2 and 3

Blogged in Food,Restaurants by Chris Friday August 12, 2005 at about 22:03

Round 1

One of the appetizers we wanted to try last time was still up on the specials board, garlic knots. Soft dough, pulled into what reminded me of a Celtic knot design, dipped in light oil and coverd in parmesan cheese with little garlic bits. Not bad, wanted more but I had to save room for the new pesto pizza.

A pesto pizza pie sounded tasty, and we were correct, but for only a short period of time.

Another visit to All Fired Up in Barre, VT revealed to us that pesto pizza with parmesan cheese and olive oil can be delicious yet at the same time very filling. Now take a moment to think about what pesto is… according to Wikipedia;
basil (Pra’s Basil for the original pesto alla Genovese), garlic, pine nuts, olive oil, and Parmigiano Reggiano are the main conventional ingredients. The sauce did not originally contain basil, however. Instead, cheese and olive oil were the main constituents. It is commonly used on breads and pasta, though its use is not restricted to these; the sauce is highly versatile. In commercial pesto, cashew nuts are often used instead of pine nuts, as they are cheaper and have a similar texture. In addition, the Parmigiano is often replaced by cheaper varieties of cheese, such as Grana Padano and Pecorino Romano.

This particular pizza pie had pesto and said olive oil. Double the oil, double the fun. For a few slices it was a very new and exciting pie, but after that the sensation of being very ill took over. Apparently one is not supposed to consume so much oil, my fiance agrees entirely. I’d have to say that if they dropped out the extra olive oil, it would have been a better dish, else it’s just an idea left on the cutting board. We had to spare the last two pieces as neither of us would dare eat any more. No dessert for us thank you.

Round 3

This visit we were graced with our favourite waitress, Heather. Another special still on the board we wanted to try, “quattro fromaggio,” seen here. A pizza with mozzarella, fontinella, and parmesan cheese all over white alfredo sauce. Now this was pizza! So far in terms of creativity and taste, the best from All Fired Up. Not much to say other than the flavours received many awards for being able to play well with others.

All slices of the four cheese pie this time left room, even for dessert. Which was a slice apple crisp cake, nothing special to note here really, it was ok. Not too amazing from my standpoint, but worth the money.

Many more visits shall be had.

Now let’s breathe in!

Blogged in Technology by Chris Thursday August 4, 2005 at about 20:08

Stale air and bad in-take go hand in hand with computers.
I was curious as to why my relatively expensive ThermalTake CPU cooler was not keeping my CPU below 50C, I’d tried everything. Cleaning the fins manually with a brush, dusting out the fan separately, even reseating the cooler with new thermal paste with a percentage of silver content.

My tower is situated under a hutch on the tabletop portion of my desk, well away from the dusty floor of my room. Though after many fruitless efforts I found out that the reason my CPU was running so hot was because of the side intake fan actually pulling in the exhausted air from the back, recycling it and progressively making it hotter. At first I didn’t think that was the source, since I had put my hand back there only to feel room temperature air.

As soon as I pulled the tower forward, the CPU and chassis temperature dropped 10-15C! Now I wouldn’t have to run my CPU fan at ~5000 RPM just when I’m idling. Before, had the room temp. risen slightly without my AC running, the CPU temp. would exceed 60C, not ok…

As it stands now, I can run the fan at around ~3200 RPM idling with a CPU temp of around ~45C. What an improvement…

Not to mention, I got rid of my heat inefficient Connect3D ATi Radeon 9200SE video card and replaced it with an eVGA nVidia GeForce 6600GT card. But more on that later.

Find out what’s on Clearance at ThinkGeek!

IBM & Lenovo

Blogged in Technology by Chris Wednesday August 3, 2005 at about 20:28

Two posts in one day… Yeah. Just thinking of things I wanted to voice.

In the past few months IBM has completed the transaction of handing over its personal computer division to the Chinese technology company, Lenovo.

IBM felt that if it were to concentrate on their server market they could increase revenue, a very smart move if you ask me.

Though some people just don’t understand what’s going on with their personal computer division; the desktops and laptops. In this acquisition, many were worried that quality and reliability would suffer as the reputation for such sales and mergers was quite sour, however IBM and Lenovo have promised there would be NO changes regarding such things.

I recently purchased an IBM/Lenovo ThinkPad, model R51; this was during the sale of the PC division and IBM’s website was a bit flustered and was having connectivity issues with their SQL database. This was only the start of the issues I had encountered.

The next problem was that my notebook was not shipped until about four weeks after my order was placed, I had contacted customer support several times to check the “real” status of my notebook, only to be greeted by two different voice menus. The first call placed brought me to a female voice saying “Thank you for calling IBM…”the second call had me wander through the IVR until I got to what I wanted, with some experience programming IVR systems I had noticed it transfered my call session to another system. “Thank you for calling Lenovo…” The support center for orders and shipping also mentioned the name Lenovo several times and not IBM. All American calls centers though, no foreign voices or accents.

The shipment was in three separate packages, each stuck in different Customs Facilities at receiving stations around the US. Apparently during the sale of the PC division, there was a database issue that lost track of stock at each warehouse… So my order was fullfilled from Japan, and since Lenovo was new to UPS as a merchant the “from” labels saying Lenovo and the cardboard box labeled IBM all over must have confused Customs officials, as the shipments were stuck for an entire week for investigations. (Reported by UPS tracking info.)

Once the notebook was safely in my posession and free of SARS and rouge immigrants, I booted it up and inspected the computer all over to see if there were any noticable changes from pre-Lenovo ThinkPads. Nothing. Not a damn thing was different. Right down to the packaged software, all the same. It was as if Lenovo changed nothing, except the EULAs that you must accept during the initial boot-up for Mircosoft and other bundled software, Lenovo was the OEM to install all of it.

According to an article on USAToday.com, there will be no engineering or management changes regarding IBM’s personal computer division. Just change of ownership, everything will be the same right down to how the ThinkPads look.

Reference USA Today [dot] com

Why change what’s good? In my opinion, the ThinkPad is the best notebook I’ve ever used, and I really doubt ever moving to another OEM. It’s very stable, even in Windows, and through my experience one of the most linux friendly notebooks, they’re even more physically sturdy than other OEM built systems. I’d almost say as sturdy as a desktop, and if Lenovo continues the IBM legacy of good computing hardware I predict good things on the horizon for both companies.

ThinkGeek :: Stuff for Smart Masses

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