A New Chapter: Things to do this Summer

I thought I’d briefly update what I plan to accomplish this summer. The semester is finally finally done and over with (see my recent post regarding the ridiculous amount of things I needed to finish in the past 3 weeks).

  • Reinstall Windows Home Server (WHS). Never mind, not going to reinstall.
  • Read “Head First SQL”.
  • Read “A History of God”. Never mind, this looks to be quite boring.
  • Read “The Hobbit or There and Back Again”. DONE
  • Have some type of relaxing vacation.
  • Decide if I will keep my web hosting.
  • Reinstall XP on my desktop because Vista sucks (even with SP1).
  • Rewrite my current blog theme from scratch (it’s using tables right now…ick!). Never mind, not applicable any more.
  • Update my laptop to Vista SP1 (why not reinstall XP? don’t ask). DONE
  • Work related: apparently I’m going to be learning Visual Basic this summer. We’ll see.
  • Work related: I also may be learning Ruby on Rails (jRails specifically). We’ll see.

Going to Brooklyn, and the past 2 weeks

I’m taking a break from packing up for my trip to Brooklyn this weekend (to see HER), so I thought I’d briefly summarize the past few weeks of my life. I’m sure I’ll forget to include a few things, but here’s the short list of everything I’d completed (or things that remain to be completed) recently:

  • History and systems — 6 page thoughtful response to The Metaphysical Club
  • History and systems — 15-20 page research paper discussing the Mind/Body Problem (dualism, materialism, idealism)
  • Philosophy — paper discussing the validity of knowledge, and what we can truly know for certain
  • Philosophy — paper discussing the types (or type, depending on your opinion) of substances in the world.
  • Cognitive psychology — 5 page paper discussing how I would improve the human memory system.
  • Cognitive psychology — test on decision making, creativity, artificial intelligence, general intelligence, and problem solving.
  • Math — investment project examining the effects of initial investment, length of investment, and interest rate as individual factors that effect the final amount of money.
  • Math — 12 page paper briefly discussing the historical foundations of cryptography and it’s modern versions (on a very basic level, I didn’t get into all the really ugly details).
  • Math — present a brief poster and presentation on what I learned about cryptography. We’re talking 2-3 minute presentation; not a big deal.
  • Psychology of personality — 5 page paper relating Alfred Adler to events in my own life. We had to pick a personality theorist that we felt we could relate with.
  • Psychology of personality — test on existential psychology, humanistic psychology, Gestalt psychology, and object relationism.
  • Independent research — running out study looking at evaluative conditioning
  • Independent research — writing a 12 page paper investigating the possibility that the resistance to extinction in evaluative conditioning that has been observed may in fact be due to alternative explanations.

Oh yeah, and I’ve been crazy busy at work. They essentially gave me a project to complete that involes making significant changes to an application written in Visual Basic 6 (yes, I know it’s really old), but the problem is that I don’t have any knowledge/experience with Visual Basic 6. This wouldn’t be that much of a problem considering that I could probably learn Visual Basic 6, but the really humorous part of this project is that it’s supposed to be completed in 10 days. So yeah…learn a new language, make the changes, test the changes, and roll it out to the users in 10 days. Um, no thanks.
Anyways, my point is that virtually everything on that list above is now completed. Perhaps that might explain why I’ve been absent from writing non-Twitter related blog posts for nearly a month.
Did I mention I’m leaving to go see HER (the infamous her) in just over 3 hours? 🙂

Redux: Things to do when this semester is finally over

My list of “things to do once the semester is over” keeps growing in length so I thought I’d just I’d add them on:

  • Reinstall XP on my desktop because Vista sucks (even with SP1).
  • Rewrite my current blog theme from scratch (it’s using tables right now…ick!).
  • Update my laptop to Vista SP1 (why not reinstall XP? don’t ask).

Things to do when this semester is finally over.

I have all kinds of things I SHOULD do, but I think we all know that none of them will happen while the semester is in session. So, I present my list of “things to do” once this semester has ended:

  • Reinstall Windows Home Server (WHS). I still have the RC2 installed (which has long since expired).
  • Read “Head First SQL”. I purchased this over Christmas break, and then promptly never read it. Need to fix that.
  • Read “A History of God”. Again, I purchased this over Christmas break, and now I just need to read it.
  • Read “The Hobbit or There and Back Again”. I’ve had this book for YEARS, but I never got around to reading it. This Summer I will.
  • Have some type of relaxing vacation. I am not sure how financially feasible this one will be, we’ll see.
  • Decide if I will keep my web hosting. This has been on my mind for a while now. I pay for web space for no particular reason as this point. I could use one of the plethora of free hosted blogging platform (like Vox). All of my images are hosted on Flickr, and I use Twitter so much at this point that it’s a borderline addiction. We’ll see.

Tale of a News Anchor

In no subtle way can one deny he is fake
He will do or say anything just for the sake.
His opinion is wavering it meanders from side to side
He is no leader, just a weak member of the pride.
He blindly follows the others like a sheep
Headed towards the ledge like a lemming about to leap.
Unattractive, bald, short in stature and in mind
Surely an original idea in his head you won’t find.
His name isn’t important, but I think it might be Bob
Though you’ll soon forget because he is just one of the mob.
If you were to tell him the sky was falling
He wouldn’t ask why he would just start calling.
His friends, his family, and those he loved
He’d do all of this just because it came from above.
All of this misguided information comes from a sly Fox
Which is supposed to be a source of truth playing on the box.
They create lies, half truths, and twists of reality
Leading to a doomed march towards another fatality.
These acts are criminal, but who is accountable?
No one listens to logic, and finding the truth seems insurmountable.
Until we demand integrity, we must endure this turmoil
Even though most of us know this war was really about the oil.
I very rarely write things that rhyme. Rhyming just usually isn’t my thing, but I had to write this for a class and I think it actually turned out pretty well.

Exactly Why We Need to Impeach Bush and Cheney

Impeach Bush and Cheney for Violating the Constitution:

Alexander Hamilton asserted that an impeachment was warranted for “those offences which proceed from the misconduct of public men, or, in other words, from the abuse or violation of some public trust… as they relate chiefly to injuries done immediately to the society itself.” And James Madison at Virginia’s ratification convention stated: “A President is impeachable if he attempts to subvert the Constitution.”

This is an excellent and clear break down of precisely why we need to impeach President Bush and Vice President Cheney. It honestly makes me feel embarrassed to be an American to know that my country has not stood up against these terrorists to democracy. Yes, you heard me right. President Bush and Vice President Cheney are no better (and maybe even worse) than the same terrorists they claim to be trying to hunt down. It’s time for all Americans to stand up. Defend your country, and end this illegal war.
Just in case you needed a short list of reasons: The torture of prisoners, the detaining of people (including American citizens) without a trial, waging an illegal war, blatantly lying to the American public about said illegal war, killing thousands of innocent Iraqi citizens, illegally spying on American citizen, the criminal negligence of mishandling hurricane Katrina relief…just to name a few reasons.

My next computer, but which one?

So I am struggling with the decision to get a new computer. The only part of the process that I’ve really decided so far is the fact that I won’t be building this one from scratch (I just don’t have the time to). I am going back and forth between getting a Dell with Windows Vista (or XP) or getting a new Apple iMac. This isn’t an easy decision to make for a few reasons. Here is a visual breakdown of the 2 systems I am considering:
Dell Computer vs Apple iMac
As you can see, the Dell wins in more categories than does the iMac. Dell wins three categories that are especially important: processor, memory and price.

  • The Q6600 Quad-Core will smoke the Dual Core, so the Dell definitely wins there.
  • The RAM in the Dell runs at 800MHz compared to the iMac’s RAM running at 667Mhz
  • The Dell also ends up being almost $400 cheaper than the slower iMac.
    • Note: With a 22″ LCD, the Dell still only comes to $1,459 which is $100 cheaper than the iMac

UPDATE: Here is another comparison that includes the 22″ LCD with the Dell. I clearly stated this above, but people apparently can’t read.
dell with LCD vs imac
Now, I realize that the iMac obviously comes with a 20″ LCD, but that doesn’t really matter to me considering I have 2 perfectly functional 17″ LCDs that I plan to use. I also realize that some people will say that Vista and OS X should not be considered a tie, but then again I’d tell those people to lay off the crack.
Part of the appeal of an iMac is the simplicity of an all in one solution, but I don’t think that simplicity is worth $400. The Dell also has a greater possibility in terms of future upgrades, whereas the only thing I could upgrade on the iMac would be adding RAM.
My point here is that while the iMac may look nice, it’s still far more expensive than a comparable (or actually superior) Dell computer. The stigma of “expensive Macs” continues, and for good reason. Now I just need to actually purchase this computer (hopefully in the next few weeks).

Images That Changed The World

Images That Changed The World:

Some people might be offended or upset by these images but this isn’t my intentions I just want it to be thought provoking and enlightening, and for people to talk about the past and to never forget, because we need to learn from past events other wise we will keep repeating history.

That’s a lofty statement, but it’s true. I’ll be honest, the 9/11 “The Falling Man” image almost made me cry. It’s a heartbreaking post, but it’s worthwhile to read through the entire thing.

Security at my company

So the security at the company I am doing this internship for is abysmal. When I say abysmal I am actually being nice.
A quick example, I called IT this morning to install MS Access 97. The guy remoted into my computer, asked me to log out so he could enable my account as an administration. I log back in, and the real fun begins. He knows perfectly well that I am sitting right at the computer, but he still does everything I am about to tell you.
He goes to “run” and types in the full network location for a folder that happens to contain all kinds of software that the company uses. We’re talking things from AutoCAD, Nero, Maple, etc to Microsoft Office. So obviously I am a bit interested when I see the contents of this folder. He then goes into the “MS Office 97” folder and opens a document called (I kid you not) “Office 97 serial”. So here is the serial number for Office 97 sitting on the screen in front of me. Yes, I know Office 97 is nothing exciting, but the point is that he was flashing the serial for anything around.
So continuing …he installs Access 97 for me and then promptly says “ok, everything looks ok, have a good day, goodbye”. Yes, he hung up that quickly. Now at this point, I was shocked. Not only is 1. the serial number still open on my desktop, 2. the directory of applications (each with a serial in the directory, I checked) still open on my desktop, 3. the full network path for this folder of applications is still in my “run” field, BUT HE ALSO LEFT ME WITH ADMIN PRIVILEGES. I felt like calling this guy back and laughing at him, but instead I decided I didn’t feel like getting fired today.
It’s scary and frightening how poor the security is inside this company. I can only hope, and god do I hope considering what is it they/I do, that security to the outside world is drastically better than this.
p.s. I won’t say where it is that I am working because I can only guess they’d not like me telling the world how crappy their internal security is.