After whining and moaning and crying a little, I went ahead and tried just about every Google Reader substitute I could find. While there is no perfect solution yet that bridges across mobile and web options that all syncs together, I have found my temporary workaround. I do most of my RSS reading on my computer these days so I needed to solve for that first and I've found…
By Jeffrey Buck
The automobile has evolved over time. Materials, size and badging have all changed over the years to accommodate changes in lifestyle and cost. The curves and lines of this 1956 Cadillac have long since been replaced with more aerodynamic designs and will again change as new technology is discovered and created.
Take a look at the photograph entitled “
This is very interesting. I come from a time where laptops were not prolific in the classroom (matter of fact, they were really rare) and most students did not have a laptop, but a desktop. There were no tablets. Cell phones weren’t the multifunction units we have today. For the most part, students used engineering paper and pens/pencils to take their notes. I do know many students transcribed their notes at home onto the computer but I had no need as I tried to stay organized with them and put them all into a ring binder. Ahem.
A strict policy regarding technology (except maybe in a coding class) would be a good idea. I know I would get distracted if a student in front of me was playing on their laptop instead of paying attention to the lecture.
I come from a different background (Kettering students tend to be… very driven in regards to their studies… not that other schools’ students aren’t, but it just seemed that KU students had a stronger drive for some reason), so I’m probably biased in my observations.
I can see how a student could leverage technology to improve their grades through note-taking and dropbox and working through examples in class (I’m thinking something like Matlab, programming, or a CAD-style class). It would have been nice to have a Macbook on which I could have done my work and had a sweet dock/monitor setup and an iPad that could hold some of my books and other materials for reading. It would have reduced my load of what I was carrying, but I think I still would have carried paper and pens and pencils because I find in many cases that taking notes on paper is so much better and easier than taking notes on a laptop. I never got used to typing notes as they happen and I prefer to use a pen or pencil and engineering paper.
I wholeheartedly agree with you, Kelli, about your laptop/tech ban in class. I hope it will increase class interest and participation. I don’t have any experience on the other side of the podium, but I do have experience from being a student, and I feel that students with traditional notes materials seem to be more engaged. I know I was.
Now, I’m not a huge fan of smoking in general, but I’ve found that I love the contemplation of a good small cigar. I’ve been smoking them since last Thanksgiving, and it’s been worth it. I think I’ve had… seven since then? Or something like that. It’s a once every couple of weeks’ thing for me. Like my brother says, “I want a hobby, not an addiction”.
So. I went to the local smoke shop near my apartment, and holy whoa, do they have a lot of stuff. What I got:
- A box of five Moontrance flavored small cigars (larger than the Macanudo minis I had before, which were my first cigars)
- An Acid Blondie single that my brother talked me into.
- A Zippo lighter that has a seahorse on it. I didn’t see any with a penguin on it in the case.
- Some Zippo fluid.
- A cigar for my brother (he took it with him)
And… a bit more than sixty dollars later, I’m out the door. BUT, in my defense, the Zippo was $30 and it should last me forever. My brother has our Dad’s with “Don” engraved on the back and a square and compass on the front.
How about a quick picture?
Up top you can see the Zippo, the Blondie in the middle, and the box of Moontrance underneath.
I just had a moontrance, and let me tell you, whoa. I need a cutter (my pocketknife worked, sort of) but this cigar has a lovely flavor with vanilla and fruit. I never thought I’d say tobacco was tasty, but this is.
It starts off cool like all cigars do and you can taste the vanilla really well, and as you smoke it, the flavors get “hotter” because the smoke is hotter. You don’t pull it into your lungs like you do with cigarettes, and that is the “draw” (haha!) for me.
I’ve found that the Zippo lights better than the crappy 7-11 lighter I have.
So yeah. I probably won’t have another for awhile, but this is a good and different thing to do every once in awhile.
I announced on this blog awhile ago that I bought a Lamy Al-Star fountain pen for myself. Well, I’ve been using it for awhile (a few weeks) and I think I have enough time on it for a review.
First, a picture gallery of the pen:
This pen looks cool. I went with the blue option, and at the time didn’t realize that it was the exact same shade as my Fisher, so there’s a bonus there. The pen writes amazingly well. I would have preferred black ink, but that can be fixed with an inkwell and a converter. I just need to order the converter and find some ink that I’d like to try in this pen.
I use it every day at work, and I was surprised that it would take over my “fav pen” spot so quickly. It writes smoothly and has more character than the ballpoints and gel pens I usually use. If I need a different color (red or green or black) I’ll go to those other pens, but this one writes well and is pure joy to use. It seems to have adapted to my writing style and has improved my handwriting, which is something to be said.
Now, if there was just a retractable version… ;) I know that will never happen, but it’s convenient for the quick changes I do on paper for my work.
Now, onto the pencil case:
Wow, what a case! This thing holds a lot of stuff, as you can see from the pictures in that photoset, as well as the picture below. I keep it in my bag and I’m not worried about my pens and pencils getting broken because of something unforeseen happening to my backpack. I mean, it’s not a hard case, so potentially things could break, but I feel my stuff is very well protected in this case.
As you can see, I have my three Jetstream pens, two mechanical pencils, my earphones, one lead container, two erasure containers, the data cable for my MP3 player, my mp3 player, the Lamy and the Fisher. The MP3 player has since been relocated to the backpack pocket, but everything else is the same. The point? This thing holds a lot of stuff, and I think if you were going out drawing with colored pencils, then this would be a perfect case. Actually, I take that back… you might want one that has a zipper to keep your pencils in it because I’d worry about ones with no clips falling out if it was inverted.
Anyway, I’m extremely pleased with JetPens. I will be buying more from them in the future. Perhaps some ink and a converter for the Lamy.
This time it’s “Solitude Abbey Style Ale” by Vivant.
Interesting, to say the least.
This is a very smooth, malty beer that goes down like a good ale should. You can see that it’s dark with a light brown, foamy head on it. This is actually the second half of the can, as the whole thing didn’t fit in my glass!
A true pint, and a delicious one at that.
This beer is perfect for people who want something flavorful, malty, and easy to drink. It has no “bite” like most IPAs do (and this is why I don’t like them). It’s not too bitter.
Comfortable, I’d say. It’s got a good mouthfeel, with no sour taste. The end is bready, and I think I detect a hit of some sort of nut.
Anyway, this is yummy, and I recommend picking up a 4-pack from your local grocer. I’m not sure if it’s only Michigan, or if it’s national, but it’s worth picking up if you like a bready style beer. I do, and this is good. It’s not something I want to chug, or something that I want more than one of in a sitting, but it’s something that’s to be savored.
Notes: Bready, malty, nutty. Has a smooth mouthfeel. I was maybe expecting something a little sweeter, that’s why it’s down a half star. Overall? Great. Would buy again.
Some of you follow on Tumblr, and you’ll know this already…
I’ve finally broken down and bought a fountain pen. A proper Lamy Al-Star.
I’ve never spent this much on one pen before. How about a picture?
Lamy Al-Star fountain pen.
It was $37.50. Like I said, I’ve never spent this much on one pen before. I’m thinking it will improve my handwriting, because I really need to do something about it. It’s actually gotten worse since I’ve gotten out of school. I hope to use it at work and such (it will go back home every day; that’s what the second item is for) and also take it with me if I’m going to be writing longhand. I think if I write longhand more, it’ll be better. Or something. Maybe it’s an illusion. I don’t know.
Nomadic Snap Pencil Case
This is the pencil case I bought. It looks pretty cool, and I think it’ll hold what I need it to. My backpack has some pockets to hold stuff, but I’m not happy with the way my stuff floats around in it (my MP3 player is casualty to this, and I’m afraid something might happen to it). I’ll be able to carry pens and pencils back and forth to work and not worry about them getting crushed or broken in this case.
I’m also looking at a Fisher Space Pen, but that might be for another month.
Oh boy. What a year! And, I’ll create a list of everything I’ve done this year…
- Served lunch/dinner at two successful Shrine Circuses in January and Febuary.
- Installed as Queen of Makere Temple No 99 in March.
- Had a successful GoEx for OES in May.
- Had a Nile Ceremonial in May.
- Went to my THIRD Supreme Session in June. Met so many cool people and added them all to Facebook.
- Nile Picnic in July!
- Turned 30.
- Successful Supreme Queen Visit in August.
- Interviews in May, August, and September.
- Second interview with Chrysler in September.
- JOB OFFER IN SEPTEMBER!!!! (RGBSI at Chrysler.)
- Alpena Nile Visit first weekend of October.
- Moved to hotel in Auburn Hills in October.
- Went to first CHC in October (haven’t been back because I’ve been busy).
- MOVED to new apartment same weekend as Thanksgiving.
- Power went out the following week. :-(
- Power restored after two days; Cable and internet installed week following.
- Happy New Year!!!
I go back to work on the third. I’m looking forward to it. :) I’ve met so many cool people at work and on the internet, I really can’t complain.
What I wish for 2012:
- To keep my job. This might not sound like a lot, but shit. I’ve worked my ass off for various places and they usually dump me after I’ve done a decent job and hit all their rīdiculus deadlines and stretched myself.
- Keep on keepin’ on.
- Create something for NaNoWriMo in November.
- Finish my Holmes fanfic.
- Watch more films.
That’s pretty much it. Simple list, huh?
I’ve been looking at computers again.
This is a bad idea, as I find all kinds of stuff that’s awesome.
Lenovo is having a sale on their Thinkpads right now, and I’ve seen Thinkpads and I’m enamoured with them right now. They look functional and simple and can hide a bunch of power inside. The only bad thing? I have to buy it with a bloody Windows license.
System 76 has a great desktop machine that I’m looking at, but their smallest laptop is 14″ and that’s a little big for a secondary couch-surfing system. I just want something about 12″ that will run Ubuntu and is (preferably) under $600. It has to be portable and it has to fit in a bag and be easy to carry around to coffee shops and easy to take home for a weekend. Also, battery life. Please be more than 4 hours on a charge…
I think I’ve got a pipe dream here. ZaReason has an awesome laptop that’s 13″ and has a lot of the things I want, but it’s closer to $800.
I don’t know exactly what to do, but I’ll figure something out. I’m not planning on pulling the trigger on any of these systems til well after the new year… closer to March maybe.
You might be asking what I’m looking for in a desktop… Well, here we go:
- At least an i5 processor.
- 6-8 gb of RAM.
- 500+ gb hard drive.
- nVidia card… 1 gb thing that’s on S76. I don’t know what it’s called.
- Decent cooling.
- Low power usage.
Same with a laptop:
- Battery life; at least 4-8 hours worth.
- 12″ screen is optimal; I’ll go to 13″ or 11″ if I have to.
- Decent keyboard.
- 2-4 gb of RAM.
- 100+ GB hard drive.
- i3 processor (or equilivent).
- 3 USB ports.
Both of the machines MUST be able to run Ubuntu with MINIMUM of fuss. If I have to fight with it, I don’t want any part of dealing with it. The desktop must run Windows 7 as a secondary OS with minimum of fuss.
I just want my stuff to work without a problem. An OS shouldn’t get in my way of what I want to do, and both Ubuntu and Windows 7 are at those points.
Maybe I’m picky. Who knows.
Let me just say “yay” for a moment.
I’ve had a lot more activity on my Tumblr blog, only because there’s a massive community on there that I reblog from.
I have my cable and internet turned on.
My office is (somewhat) set up. I have the desk set up, my computer on it, and the cabling taken care of. Desk lamp, printer, all that jazz… BUT, I still have to organize some stuff that I haven’t gotten to yet.
The TV stuff is set up. My kitchen is set up. My bedroom is set up.
I just need some artwork to put on the walls, and I’m thinking of buying some more canvases and painting them so I have something to hang. Some stuff with color, and abstract. But that’s a lot of work right now… maybe after things settle. I can work on them over my week break for the holidays, maybe.
Pictures will be forthcoming once I get the office settled more and my artwork done.
Whoo-hoo! I’ve waited for this for a long time.
And all of the stuff in it. The only reason I have such a bag is so that I can carry the stuff I need to meetings and to the IT building (across the street). This is a Swiss Gear laptop backpack with a special laptop compartment. This thing is huge!
This is what’s in the bag. Please click on the gallery to see all the details. I keep my purse (the small black bag) in the backpack because I can just take it out if we go out for lunch and I won’t have to fill my pockets with all my stuff. I’ve got, from the bottom left:
- My quad-rule steno pad and my work badge
- Sansa Sandisk 4 gb + 2 gb microsd card
- Book that I’m reading (right now it’s The Great Gatsby); I hope to replace this with my Nook if I ever get it back from my brother!
- 5-Star notebook that I’m supposed to be drafting NaNo stuff in. I’m not. Ooops.
- Work laptop charger (no laptop as I don’t want to bring it home with me)
- Hotel card (I can hardly wait til I get to my apartment!!)
- Carmax chapstick
- Pen (actually this pen is one that I keep at the hotel/home because I found that I needed to write things here.)
- (Not shown) LG Optimus V Android Phone (with 8 gb microsd card); used to take photo
And this is the backpack. I’ve decided that I love it. There are plenty of pockets and I love the bottle carriers on the side. I usually have a water bottle in one and a gatorade bottle in the other.
If I had a bike, I’d be riding it every day to work; I’d be able to tie my bike up closer to the door and not have to walk so far to my desk!
And why I’m going with Choqok, even in Unity.
I upgraded to the new Gwibber. For the most part, it’s great. BUT, there are some really niggling issues I have with it. List time!
- I can’t access my lists. Or, I don’t see an easy way to do this.
- Slow. So so so slow. Once it starts up, it’s not bad, but it sometimes will hang my entire laptop. I thought the updates were supposed to remove these issues. Although they’ve been fewer recently.
- Two clicks to reply to a notice. Not a huge deal, but now I have to click on the twitter/statusnet icon and then click reply.
Now, only to be fair, onto what I like about it:
- The new look. Wow, looks great!
- Ubuntu integration. This couldn’t be better.
- Speed improvements (note that this is under the issues as well… It’s in both because it’s better than it was, but not where it really shoiuld be.).
Now,even with all of the KDE libs, Choqok seems to run faster and easier on both my netbook and my laptop. It has decent integration with my Unity desktop, goog.l shortening, pictures inline, and the ability to have my lists open so I can see what’s going on. Oh, and now KDE apps seem to integrate better with Gnome because of QT, so that’s nice.
I really miss the easy-to-see lists feature that the old Gwibber had. I wish they’d bring back the interface they had becuase it was awesome, and almost perfect. Not necessarily the prettiest, but it worked really well.
I’m not saying “bring back the old interface” because that’s pretty much impossible right now, but maybe the devs could bring back some of its functionality. I’m not sure what they wanted to accomplish with making the lists feature more hidden, but it’s made me kind of frustrated.
Now, I’ll go back to Gwibber. For sure. I’ll see if there are updates, and definitely give it another go when iti does update. I’d love to have it working again the way I need.
For now, I’ll be using Choqok.
Actually, it’s kind of neat. I’m figuring out how things “work”. It’s different.
I think I like it.
The computer that it’s installed on will be staying here at my mom’s house til I move to my apartment, so I won’t have a lot of time to play with it.
What I like:
- The overlays and the shiny. It’s quite pretty.
- The default wallpaper. Very cool.
- Full screen apps. Lots of space for work and reading (though this is a netbook, so I have less space than I do on my regular computer).
- Notifications; they’re down at the bottom, so they stay out of the way.
What I don’t like:
- So much is hidden. I’m trying to figure out where my desktops are and everything. I’ll get it; it’s just different.
- Settings; I haven’t figured out all the settings.
- Speed. It seems a little slow, but I only have 1 gig of RAM, so I don’t have a lot to complain about.
I haven’t had time to play with it a lot, since I installed it last night around 10 pm. I’ll give it another shot next weekend and try to use it all weekend next weekend.
Do note that Gnome3 is being run on my Starling netbook, 1 gig of ram, Atom processor. I’m running it on top of Xubuntu 11.10. I still have to see the new things in Xubuntu 11.10. I don’t think a lot has changed, but I’m sure there is something.
Anyway, I’ll have a longer write-up when I play with Gnome3 more, and when I play with Ubuntu 11.10 more. I quite like it so far; it’s speedy and pretty. I’ll write a review sometime this week.
From Gawker: What Everyone is too Polite to Say About Steve Jobs.
In the days after Steve Jobs’ death, friends and colleagues have, in customary fashion, been sharing their fondest memories of the Apple co-founder. He’s been hailed as “a genius” and “the greatest CEO of his generation” by pundits and tech journalists. But a great man’s reputation can withstand a full accounting. And, truth be told, Jobs could be terrible to people, and his impact on the world was not uniformly positive.
We mentioned much of the good Jobs did during his career earlier. His accomplishments were far-reaching and impossible to easily summarize. But here’s one way of looking at the scope of his achievement: It’s the dream of any entrepreneur to affect change in one industry. Jobs transformed half a dozen of them forever, from personal computers to phones to animation to music to publishing to video games. He was a polymath, a skilled motivator, a decisive judge, a farsighted tastemaker, an excellent showman, and a gifted strategist.
One thing he wasn’t, though, was perfect. Indeed there were things Jobs did while at Apple that were deeply disturbing. Rude, dismissive, hostile, spiteful: Apple employees—the ones not bound by confidentiality agreements—have had a different story to tell over the years about Jobs and the bullying, manipulation and fear that followed him around Apple. Jobs contributed to global problems, too. Apple’s success has been built literally on the backs of Chinese workers, many of them children and all of them enduring long shifts and the specter of brutal penalties for mistakes. And, for all his talk of enabling individual expression, Jobs imposed paranoid rules that centralized control of who could say what on his devices and in his company.
It’s particularly important to take stock of Jobs’ flaws right now. His successor, Tim Cook, has the opportunity to set a new course for the company, and to establish his own style of leadership. And, thanks to Apple’s success, students of Jobs’ approach to leadership have never been so numerous in Silicon Valley. He was worshipped and emulated plenty when he was alive; in death, Jobs will be even more of an icon.
This is a powerful piece of journalism. I can’t get over how Jobs treated people. Telling an engineer or design lead that their design/widget was “shit” and resorting to public humiliation to motivate employees is not the way to run a company. I’m not saying it doesn’t happen in other companies, but my point is that it should never happen.
Say what you will about Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, but they’re at least donating their money to charity. Jobs never did, unless he’s going to posthumously or he did anonomously while he was still alive.
Apple has censored apps from their app store. Apple has censored and intimidated journalists and bloggers. Apple makes locked-down computers and operating systems. It’s very difficult to install Linux onto a Mac.
Apple has taken BSD for its’ own use and changed it into OSX. A free OS should still be free, in my opinion. I have no problem selling it, but the code should be free for people to look at. I’m not sure how the version of BSD that OSX is based on was licensed, but I still feel that the source code should be open.
You’ve all probably noticed (or anyway, I hope you have!) that I’ve been quiet around these parts for a bit.
I just got hired in as a Technical Specialist at Chrysler through RGBSI. I start on Tuesday, and a lot of my radio silence was due to my getting things prepared for this move, as well as a bunch of other things (Harvest Dinner, Alpena Nile Club visit, yardwork, interviews, etc etc) going on.
So. An update.
I’m moving down to Auburn Hills today (eeep!) and will be staying in a residence hotel. Sounds kinda icky, I know, but you gotta do what you gotta do.
Then I’ll be moving to Auburn Hills Apartments. I got lucky with this walk in. We drove all around the Auburn Hills area and I managed to get a nice apartment in the same complex I was in before, but a different building. If you want my addres, please email me, and be aware that I’m not moving there til October 29th.
So. Yeah. I start work on Tuesday.
Wish me luck!