On one of the weekends I worked I actually managed to clean my desk. This picture is from Monday after it was already covered again. While it was clean I hooked up my new monitor setup. Previously I had a 17" LCD and two 15" LCD. Now I have a 19" and 17" LCD. I actually like this setup better as the screens are better. In the process I installed an ATI card that could handle Dual DVI. I had the built in Intel video and two PCI based TNT2's before. There was some quirkiness with that setup. This one seems more stable, although a bit sluggish. Hopefully this year I won't have my setup robbed by others in the school shortly after I get it setup. Only time will tell.
September 2004 Archives
This is a picture of my roommates on Sunday. Um, I can't think of anything else to say really. I almost got them to go to Giant or BJ's in this state, but it fell through. I wanted to share them with the world. Click on the pic for a larger version. Scary I know, but I live with them afterall.
As I mentioned my new phone uses a new smaller version of SD cards called Transflash. I tried to take a picture to illustrate just how truly tiny this new memory is. On the right is Compact Flash (128 MB) which was one of the first memory cards technologies. It is still dominant in the high end market since it can get bigger and the form factor allows for HD based cards. In the middle is the adapter for the memory which is the standard SD Card size. Lastly, on the left is the Transflash card. It isn't even as big as a fingernail and it holds 128 MB as well. Amazing stuff, my first HD I ever owned only stored 80 MB.
I had today off due to Jewish holiday. I decided to take care of some errands. I started with a haircut (after sleeping in a bit). After that I went to get me yearly car inspection done. It appears I got in line just as the guy went to lunch. So that took about 2 hours. After that I headed over to the Fairfax County Government center to check on my Car Tax bill. I should have received it a month ago and got nothing. When I talked to the person there they said I no longer live in Fairfax County, which I thought was odd. Especially since my roommates still do and they are at the same address. Apparently when I moved last fall the DMV entered my address wrong (although it is right on my registration). When this happened I was moved to Alexandria City (different government) and then to nowhere. Luckily the person at the government center could access and fix the DMV. Then he fixed Fairfax county. I could finally get me car tax bill, which I could have lived without. Fun day.
Well after two years of hating my current phone and a year of it not working really at all at work I got a new one. I wanted to get Verizon since they seem to have the best coverage, especially at my home and work. They also had a nice national plan. I will be saving over $20 a month. I really disliked the interface on my current Siemens phone, it was just so counterintuitive. This was especially true in comparison to my earlier Nokia phones. I wanted to get another Nokia phone, however Verizon only offered a single one with not many features. Recently Verizon started offering the Motorola V710. This is a camera phone, cool feature but I could live without it. It also has Bluetooth, which I wanted mostly for a cordless headset. Some people complain that you can't use the Bluetooth to transfer pictures and MP3's, however I could care less. I got a cordless headset and have already tested it and let me tell you it is awesome. I click the button and the phone says "what would you like to do", I say voice dial. Then it I say something like "home" and it dials, not training needed and it has worked perfectly thus far. I can be up to 30 ft from phone and still be talking on it. I think this is amazing, a phone that can do voice recognition well and I can leave it in one place and walk around. Worth trying out I say. Oh it isn't too cheap unfortunately, but I may use it as opposed to my old phone which I didn't use.
Oh and number portability worked perfectly. I gave the guy at Radio Shack my name, current number and account number. Then 15-30 minutes later the number was done being ported. Amazing stuff considering some of the articles I have read about it in the past.
Well without working out and eating like crap I managed to gain 4 pounds this week. Hopefully I will be back to working out next week once agian.
Well I actually didn't work at all this weekend, it was nice. I think things are calming down at work, so I may be able to update a bit more often. Although I may have nothing interesting to say.
Since I didn't work on Sunday I weighed in for once in like 3 weeks. I have lost another 3 pounds. Hopefully I can accelerate and get back to working out soon.
This summer we got some new dells. Most were small form factor ones with 2.8 GHz P4. We did get one that will be for video editing with 3.2 GHz, 2 GB of RAM and 4x250 GB SATA HD. When I opened it up I found what is the most ridiculous heat sink I have ever seen in a retail setup. I just had to snap a pic and post it. It is a little fuzzy since I haven't figured out macro focusing on my little camera.
The smaller computers just have jet blowers to keep them cool. Luckily they are variable. When a machine is first turned on it is loud but as the BIOS kicks in it slows it down until the CPU heats up. Haven't stressed them enough yet to get them going. Have to think of some neat distributed computing tool to try on them, 14 2.8 GHz machines should be able to chew through some good stuff.
As I said we were going to have a BBQ for my birthday. It was lots of fun. Perfect day as far as weather, mid 70's overcast and nice breeze. We setup the volleyball/badmiton net and played volleyball for a while, also great fun. It did rain/drizzle for a bit but not long enough to mess things up. We made hot dogs and hamburgers on grill for lunch. Then we had a beef and pork shredded beef for dinner, started cooking it about 10 AM and ate about 7 PM. Very good. After dinner and once the drizzle stopped I setup the projector and sheet. We watched Die Hard. There was a certain amount of drinking as well. Travis broke record and did 13 beer bongs. At one point Josh got a little pushy and I had to take him down. Such a glass jaw. I mean I barely taped him and he was down. It might have been the half a bottle of vodka he drank straight. Oh my roommates made me a cake. You can see it here, warning that it may offend some.
As I was doing some new workstation installs at work I started thinking about monitors and future purchases. At our school about 50% of our desktops have 17" DVI 1280x1024 LCDs, about 25% has 15" DVI 1024x768 LCDs and only less than 25% of old CRT monitors. Once we have enough LCDs to outfit the whole school will we need more monitors? Where to you go from a 17" LCD, sure you can get a 19", 20" or 21" but cost is prohibitive and up side is minimal. I think within the next 12-24 months we will start buying new computers without monitors. Which will dramatically reduce cost. Something to think about especially in light of recent stories of bottoms falling out of LCD pricing.
Well today is a good day, it is my birthday. Having a BBQ this afternoon, hopefully people come. Also brought home fancy new projector to do backyard movie again. Also not working today for the first time since August 15th. Yeah.
Well Thursday I did 12.5 hours and back to about 11.5 hours on Friday. I went in today for 9.5 hours. I am not going in tomorrow though since it is an important day. If you don't know why I will share tomorrow. I did however bring home 8 laptops and parts to fix on Monday. I figure I can watch TiVo and catch up some before fall season begins.
I will start with the weekend.
Saturday - 7.5
Sunday - 9.5
This week so far has been a pretty consistent 11.5 hours a day. Hopefully it will be over soon. This week is seeming to have more of a toll on me.