die phpBB die

Well, I’ve nuked phpBB and switched over to punBB after being sick of spamming on the forum. I still have a bit of work left to do on the site, but its definately a lot cleaner looking. If you guys have any suggestions feel free to throw them my way.

It’s been a while

Yeah, I’ve kinda slouched off on the blog for a while; it’s been a busy semester for me. In terms of projects, I have a few that I have been dabbling with.

What has been taking up most my time as of late has been devising a remote controlled ignition device for this year’s Fourth of July. Using a 12 channel remote controlled relay board located here, I am in the process of rigging it to a 12 volt battery and putting it in a fancy enclosure. If anyone has ever used a model rocket kit, think of one of those electronic igniters, but with 12 channels, and a wireless controller.

I have also been doing a bit of work (not much at this point) with my wrt54g from fon. Right now I have openwrt installed on it (think mini linux) and have installed a kismet drone for wardriving.

Well, that’s it for now, hopefully things will pick up when the term is over.

E=MC something something…

Well after taking a stab at my calculus homework, I have realized that I really should look over my old math notes–this being my first math class in a year and a half. For the most part, I remember what I’m doing, but I need to brush up on some various things such as some methods for simplifying (I need to find those old “cheat sheets”). Fun stuff really. It should make for an interesting semester. If anyone has a site that they suggest for math guides, that would be appreciated. Hopefully it will all come back to me in a week or two. ;)

No matter what your religion is…

…have a merry Christmas.

Its Christmas morning and I have yet to open all of my presents. I’m at my Grandpa’s house and we’re getting ready to leave. A few presents were brought to be opened, including a few books, more Family Guy, Serenity, and my free iPod Shuffle (I signed up for a credit card, they send you a shuffle). The shuffle is a pretty neat piece of hardware–minus the lack of a screen. I’ll probably just use it for podcasts and data, although I’m a bit turned-off at the lack of a plug and play podcast sync for the shuffle (it appears to only work on the regular iPod, although it would be nice if someone told me otherwise).

I’ve managed to keep myself busy here thanks to an access point that the neighbors were kind enough to leave open ;). I don’t even need my cantenna.

PVR Decisions

Well, I’ve decided to just go ahead and purchase a TV tuner (a pvr-150) to use with MythTV. Down the road I may rig it to a cable box as well, but for now just recording the main channels will be good enough.

I have installed MythTV on the Emachine, and it seems to be pretty slick, although for some reason Myth Weather isn’t working. The install itself was very painless, it was up and running in less than 10 minutes.

PVR Annoyances

‘ve been looking for a good use for the e-machine that I picked up on black Friday. My original intent was to use it as a firewall/router/etc running windows server 2003. That idea was shot down after it refused to boot after running windows update. I’ll probably just end up installing Smoothwall on my old dell.

My next idea was to use it as a cheap pvr running MythTV. It seems doable enough, except for the fact that I wouldn’t be able to record my digital channels. Looking more into just got me more aggravated, due to the fact that the only viable option seemed to be recording through the cable box (which happens to suck). Then, the idea of HDTV hit me, and I remembered that charter has it. When I had looked up HDTV a while back it was like eight dollars a month, and my parents didn’t think that it was worth it. Going to charter’s site, I noticed that it was now only $3 a month! This was definitely a much more interesting proposition. HD cable boxes have a firewire out that i could hook up to a computer to record to (in theory). I have to look more into it, but it sure looks tempting.

Shave and a haircut

You know, I can’t say that I’m a fan of the new nickel. It kind of scares me; the whole side profile thing just makes it look like some piece of Chinese currency. And the only thing that actually distinguishes it as being worth five cents is this little bit of text smashed up along side some Clark guy. And the phrase in the picture; “Ocean in view! O! The joy!” I don’t know about you, but joy is the last emotion that would be evoked by looking at a half-inch wide picture.

And that’s my two cents.

Black Friday

Well, it’s Friday night and I’m still recovering. Around 12:30 we heard that people were already lining up at Best Buy, so we (myself and a few of my friends) headed out. We had hoped to wait a few hours in the van, and then get in line when enough people showed up. Unfortunately, this was not to be; more cars started showing up after just five minutes in the van. Deciding to go out, we stepped out into the zero (with wind-chill) degree weather. I was planning on picking up a laptop and a computer for my uncle and cousin. We were a few chairs short, so two of the guys laid across our laps with the chairs facing each other.

The cold got to us very quickly, and we piled blanket upon blanket on us in hopes of some heat. We had a propane heater that was virtually useless. It must have been a very odd sight for onlookers; just a mass of floral-patterned blankets with feet sticking out of the sides. A few times people went back into the van to get warm; I was the only person who stayed out the entire time (go me!). Around 4:50 they started handing out tickets for the main items; I picked up the laptop, the desktop, and a second desktop on a whim; I had another one of the guys pay for it.

The first line that I had to wait in was to redeem a UPC code for the computers. This took quite some time as they gave the customers the option of some extra security features. Only one of my friends was left in the checkout line by the time I made it out. I took his place in line with the cart, and he got the UPC for the second computer.

This line took a while, but seemed to move quickly, as I had someone to talk with, and got a free geek squad mug and gift card (five bucks only) from a ticket drawing thing that had going to keep the customers entertained. After getting checked out, there was yet another line to wait in; this time it was to physically get the computers. This wasn’t too bad and only took 10 minutes.

I finally made it home around 7:40; exhausted; cold; and worn out. All things considered, I think Best Buy was very organized, as I have heard many Black Friday horror stories.

Holy crap, I have five pages!

Over the past few weeks I’ve been working off and on (more off than on) with a “big” paper for my English class. The length for the paper had been “no more than five pages,” at least according to the assignment sheet. Well, the teacher just informed the class that she meant “five pages, average. No more than 15!!”
So having a three page rough draft pretty much sucked; especially because I wasn’t sure how to expand upon it.

Well, after a conference with the teacher about the draft, and some ideas from friends, I got the paper up to five pages pretty easily. At this point I still have a few ideas to add as well as much polishing, but at least the five page pressure is lifted.

A Sunny day (I’ve got to stop using the word day…)

I got the two hard drives for the Netra in the mail today and have begun the process of installing Solaris 10. The initial attempt was a bit shaky, I had to figure out how do format and partition the disks. Now I’m just waiting for the final disk to finish downloading so that I can get the install wrapped up.

The server is a bit louder than I had initially anticipated, I’m not sure what my final plan will be. I’m debating either putting it in the basement, or just throwing it into a cabinet in my room and hoping for the best. Another (distant) thought would be the possibility of making some sort of sound baffle out of wood (AKA, a wooden enclosure). I’ll take some pictures of it and post them when I get a chance. In the meantime, does anyone have any suggestions for what I should run on the server?

Oh…and btw: SUN OF A–the download just errored due to lack of disk space, it has to start over at the beginning!@#$%

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