Friday, March 31, 2006
Is it the 4th of July already? Nooo....of course not ! It's March 31st !
So why all the fireworks, you might be wondering.
Because it marks the First Anniversary of my blog. Yes--this very blog you're now reading, or at least I hope someone is. OK, so maybe it's not the most important event in the world, but it's important to me.
I only got online in January 2005 with the help of a friend who salvaged an old computer from his job (it was being thrown out) and later in April 2005 I found the computer I'm currently using sitting outside my old apartment on the curb (awaitng trash pickup). But last March I happened upon a blog written by Ryan that I found fascinating for it's honesty & openess in the way he talked about his life. Now you must know that I'm a very introverted person, and don't make friends very often or open up to people much at all. But Ryan had his IM name listed there and said he'd talk to anyone. So I added him to my IM list, never really expecting anything to come of it. But to my surprise, a few days later, a notice popped up that said he'd added me to his IM list as well.
Even more of a surprise came a few more days after that. I had just gotten home from work, sat down at the computer (still wearing my jacket) , and soon after it booted up, I received an instant message from, guess who--Ryan! You have no idea how shocked I was....I rarely talk to anyone outside of work or occasionally one of 2 friends I have who live nearby. Anyway we ended up chatting for about an hour and he encouraged me to start a blog. ( I had mentioned I was thinking about it).
Although actually I had already started one about a week before in which I planned to talk about items in the news or politics (I had named it "Random Rants" 'cause I couldn't think of a better title at the time), giving my opinions on those events. But after talking to Ryan, I decided to start a more personal blog. So he was the inspiration for this particular blog. And for that I have to say "Thank You, Ryan!"
Having been online for only about 2 months, Ryan's was the first blog I'd read. Oddly enough, the second one I started reading was Mike's old blog--one he had before his current one. Isn't it strange that out of all the blogs on the internet the first 2 I happened to read belonged to two great guys who are now blogging (amongst other things) together? I feel very privileged to have met both of them and hope their relationship is a long & happy one.
I also want to say that I've met many wonderful people through their blogs or their visits to mine. Thank you to all who stop by here and to read and comment. I truly do appreciate that anyone would take the time to visit my tiny little island here on the internet.
Well I've got a bit sidetracked here, but I wanted to tell how I began this silly blog of mine.
As you see, I also decided to go with a new style and have re-organized the site a bit. I put my blog and links lists in alphabetical order to make things easier to find. With one exception--Ryan & Mike's blog will always be on the top of my blog list!
I do have one problem. When I added the new template, I lost my Haloscan comments and haven't been able to figure out how to retrieve them. I still have the Haloscan code in the template, but the comments are gone. They are still stored at Haloscan's site in my account but I don't know why they're not showing up here. That's something I have to work out.
Also I wanted to put a photo in the top banner with the title and I'm working on that but right now it's getting late and I need to get some sleep.
One last thing--those fireworks are from last July 4th here in Albany--I took that video with my cheap little 1.5 megapixel digital camera. I can only get a very small amount of video on the camera's memory card, but it came out much better than I expected it to.
One more last thing--the title of this post above links to my first blog entry.
Just one more last thing--there's no sound on the video--'cause I haven't yet learned how to edit audio into a video. And this computer's been having problems latlely so I probaly couldn't do it even if I knew how.
Wednesday, March 29, 2006
Monday, March 27, 2006
This is an open TAG. You see this and you are TAGGED! Copy the questions, answer them and put them on your blog.
This is an adult survey. Be honest. If you aren't honest then what is the point. Have fun!!!
1. Ever been to a male strip club? No
4. Ever been kicked out of a bar or a club? No
5. Ever been so drunk you had to be carried out? No, never have drank any alcohol at all.
6. Ever been so drunk you blacked out? No, see above answer.
8. Ever thrown up from drinking too much? No, I told you I've never drank alcohol!
20. How many partners have you had? Zero (wasn't sure I wanted to admit that, but it said to be honest)
21. Have you ever received oral sex? No
28. How old were you when you first had sex? I'll let you know when (IF) it happens. (you'll notice that's a big 'if')
29. Have you ever had a one night stand? No, again see # 20.
30. Were you honest in this survey? Of course, if I were going to lie, I would have come up with much more exciting answers!
REMEMBER IF YOU READ THIS YOU ARE TAGGED! YOUR TURN!!!
Bet I have more 'No' answers than anyone else who's done this survey--isn't that sad?
Sunday, March 26, 2006
I tend to eat the same foods most of the time, don't go to new places, and rarely make new friends. (except for for my fellow blogging friends, of course)
|Your Inner Child Is Scared|
Like a kid, you tend to shy away from new experiences.
You prefer what's tried and true - novelty is scary!
New foods, new places, and new friends are difficult for you to deal with.
Some say you're predictable, but you enjoy being comfortable.
Saturday, March 25, 2006
Strange Brew by John Deering
I did a couple of recent posts about computers, here's a new type of integrated ciccuit that may some day end in computers.
Size comparison between IBM's single nanotube ring oscillator circuit and a human hair.
IBM today announced that its researchers have built the first complete electronic integrated circuit around a single “carbon nanotube” molecule, a new material that shows promise for providing enhanced performance over today’s standard silicon semiconductors.
A close-up view of the 5-stage CMOS type nanotube ring oscillator. The upper right inset shows the nanotube itself with a diameter of ~2nm.
On a related note, someone left a comment on my post about ENIAC pointing out an even earlier electronic computer called Colossus (click here for more info.) that was developed in England to break Nazi secret codes during WWII.
Here's a picture:
Came across a message board where someone has posted photos he took at the site of the World Trade Center while he worked there during the cleanup. There are some pretty amazing pics here.
Wednesday, March 22, 2006
It came with 5K (not 5 MB or 5 GB, just 5K) of memory but I had a 8K memory cartridge with gave me a total of 13K . Plus the Datasette recorder--a cassette recorder to store programs on. No floppy drives were yet available (or if they were, they were too expensive), and definitely no hard drives!
The original list price for the VIC-20 was $300, but I bought mine just after Commodore lowered the price to $200. The Datasette cost another $75. No need for a monitor as it hooked up to the TV.
The BASIC programming language was built-in, but when turned on, you basically just got a blank screen. To load a program, you'd type in a command such as: Load"*",8,1"
The star (asterisk symbol) was a 'wildcard' symbol, or you could type in the actual name of the program (if you remembered it). The number 8 was the device number (the cassette drive), and the number 1 referred to the file number.
You could of course buy some programs on tape, or if you didn't have a lot of cash to spare (like me) there were magazines that had program listings that you could type into the computer yourself. Commodore had it's own mag, and there was one called 'Compute!', which I used to buy. After spending a few hours typing in a program (especiallly if you're a slow typist) you could run it to play a game.
That's, of course, if you'd typed it in correctly, which rarely if ever happened. Even a comma or misspelled word would cause the program to stop, and you'd have to spend another hour or two trying to find the mistakes in the program and correct them. Worst of all, sometimes the magazine listing itself would be wrong, and it would be a month or two before a correction was printed! That will teach you patience!
Despite all that, I loved my little VIC-20. After all, he was my first, and you never forget the first one.
This next video needs no explanation !
Tuesday, March 21, 2006
Like a certain battery-powered bunny, The Simpsons keeps going and going and going.
Fox has just ordered up two more seasons of the Emmy-winning animated series, guaranteeing that Homer, Bart and the rest of the Springfield gang will keep going through a 19th season in 2008. The 'toon will also mark its 400th episode in May 2007.
Finally....A reason to go on living ! For at least 2 more years, anyway !
"The Simpsons" is my favorite TV show, so I just had to pass on this good news before I head off to (as Bart might say) my 'craptacular' job.
2-The Simpsons Archive
3-Simpsons Personality Test
4-The Simpsons Channel
Well, gotta go to work at the nuclear plant...D'oh !...I mean college.
Smell ya later ! (Nelson Muntz)
Sunday, March 19, 2006
If you'd like to read the entire interview, go here.
From ENIAC to Everyone
Talking with J. Presper Eckert
by Alexander Randall 5th
Published on KurzweilAI.net February 23, 2006.
There are two epochs in computer history: Before ENIAC and After ENIAC. The first practical, all-electronic computer was unveiled on February 13, 1946 at the Univ. of Pennsylvania's Moore School of Electronics. While there are controversies over who invented what, there is universal agreement that the ENIAC was the watershed project that showed electronic computing was possible. It was a masterpiece of electrical engineering, with unprecedented reliability and speed. And the two men most responsible for its success were J. Presper Eckert and John W. Mauchly.
ENIAC, which debuted 60 years ago, had 18,000 vacuum tubes.
Randall: Was ENIAC programmable?
Eckert: Yes and no. We programmed the machine by plugging wires in from place to place. That's not hard-wired, it is not software, it is not memory. It's pluggable programming. And we had switches to set the functions.
Randall: What was the first thing you did with ENIAC?
Eckert: It was designed to calculate trajectory tables, but it came too late to really help with the war effort. The first real use was Edward Teller using ENIAC to do calculations for the Hydrogen bomb.
Randall: What's the zaniest thing you did while developing ENIAC?
Eckert: The mouse cage was pretty funny. We knew mice would eat the insulation off the wires, so we got samples of all the wires that were available and put them in a cage with a bunch of mice to see which insulation they did not like. We only used wire that passed the mouse test.
So I guess the first computer mouse really was a mouse !
So that's how far we've come in the past 60 years. What do you think computers will be like 60 years from today?
UPDATE: (Monday, 3/20/20066:15 am)
Here are some pics of NASA's new supercomputer "Columbia"
There are more photos & info. here
| SGI ALTIX - COLUMBIA SUPERCOMPUTER|
Saturday, March 18, 2006
Thursday, March 16, 2006
So we can find out where his treasure is hidden !
Guess this explains why I don't have the 'Luck O' the Irish'.
|You're 20% Irish|
You're not Irish. Not even a wee bit.
Not even on St. Patrick's Day!
HAPPY ST. PATRICK'S DAY !
Wednesday, March 15, 2006
I continue to wait for the next bus-- they're supposed to run every 10 minutes at that time of day. Nearly another 15 minutes passes and at this point I' m freezing from the cold and ready to give up and go back home, when I spot 2 buses coming. Before they reach the busstop I'm at, they both turn the corner--neither is the one I'm waiting for. That was the "last straw"--I went back home and called my job to let them know I wouldn't be in.
So today didn't start out very well and I still feel lousy so I needed something to cheer me up. And what better way to do that than see a video of cute guys like the one below. Ok, a better way would be to actually be there at the lake with a cute guy, but this is the best I could do.
The next video is of a guy coming out to his parents, in a rather unique way!
By the way, the first video is from a German film called "Sommersturm" (Summer Storm). It's been shown at film festivals around the country and is set to open in select cities starting this month. Here's a couple of links if you want to know more about it.
1-Summer Storm Official Website
Tuesday, March 14, 2006
(CBS) There are few issues as hotly contested — and as poorly understood — as the question of what makes a person gay or straight. It's not only a political, social, and religious question but also a scientific question, one that might someday have an actual, provable answer.
The handful of scientists who work in this under-funded and politically charged field will tell you: That answer is a long way off. But as Lesley Stahl reports, their efforts are already yielding tantalizing clues. One focus of their research is twins.
The bedrooms of 9-year-old twins Adam and Jared couldn't be more different. Jared's room is decked out with camouflage, airplanes, and military toys, while Adam's room sports a pastel canopy, stuffed animals, and white horses.
When Stahl came for a visit, Jared was eager to show her his G.I. Joe collection. "I have ones that say like Marine and SWAT. And then that's where I keep all the guns for 'em," he explained.
Adam was also proud to show off his toys. "This is one of my dolls. Bratz baby," he said.
Adam wears pinkish-purple nail polish, adorned with stars and diamonds.
Asked if he went to school like that, Adam says, "Uh-huh. I just showed them my nails, and they were like, 'Why did you do that?'"
Sunday, March 12, 2006
Friday, March 10, 2006
I think my computer may also be operating on the quantum principle of uncertainty....Damn you, Heisenberg!
I'm still waiting for this month's copy of "PlayPenguin" magazine!
(Disclaimer--PlayPenguin magazine is not affiliated with Playboy enterprises)
Wednesday, March 08, 2006
Future versions of RiSE will use dry adhesion to climb sheer vertical surfaces such as glass and metal. RiSE is being developed in conjunction with researchers at University of Pennsylvania, Carnegie Mellon, Berkeley, Stanford, and Lewis and Clark University. RiSE is funded by the DARPA Defense Sciences Office.
For more life-like robot video clips, information and photo, please visit http://ROBORAMA.info
The growing progress of our robotic fishes.
more info at http://privatewww.essex.ac.uk/~jliua/videogal.htm
And my favorite--QRIO !
Here is some more info on the QRIO.
Tuesday, March 07, 2006
Lately I've been playing some "classic" videogames. While newer games obviously have far better graphics and more involved gameplay, sometimes I just want to play a quick game. Nothing too complicated that will take hours....that's when the older games come in handy. They don't require much thought and you can play a few games without taking up the entire evening. And I think many of them are still a lot of fun even though they aren't state-of-the-art in terms of graphics or sound. Here's a few of the ones I have been playing. Do you have any favorite "old-school" videogames you still enjoy playing?(click on the title link above to see the "Killer List Of Videogames" site)
Game IntroductionA radar screen shows the location of your car, the enemy cars and the flags. The score for picking up flags increases starting at 100 points. Collecting the flashing special flag visible on the radar awards a 2x bonus for the remaining flags. Picking up the "lucky" flag gives an added fuel bonus.
Avoid randomly placed rocks and use smoke to stop enemy cars for short periods of time. However, using smoke costs fuel. Every third round, the enemy cars don't move unless your fuel runs out.
Two dolls, Pino and Acha, have gone into the castle of the wizard Majyo, who has kidnapped their friend.
Game PlayPlayer one is Pino (the male doll) while player two is Acha (the female doll). The object in each room is to free the hearts scattered throughout the room so that the door opens and allows you entry to the next. Along the way, you need to get around the myriad of toys that Majyo has sent to stop you, including toy soldiers, wind-up cars, balloons, and so on. Fight back with the weapons that you uncover.
Game PlayMoving along the bottom of the screen, you shoot at the enemies (either in formation or as they fly about). Most enemies are destroyed by one hit, but the Galagas take two hits (they turn blue when hit once). You must avoid being hit by enemies and their fire. You must also be aware of the Galaga's tractor beam, which can capture your ship (a captured ship turns red). To free the captured ship, you must destroy the captor Galaga while it is attacking you, otherwise the captured ship will be destroyed. When you free a captured ship, it will dock alongside your current ship, thus creating a dual ship.
Ships are lost when you are hit by enemies. Dual ships are destroyed individually.
Sunday, March 05, 2006
*** Hate my job ***
*** Hate my life ***
*** Hate the fact that I can't seem to figure out exactly what to do to change any of this ***
Other than that, I'm doing fine....
I feel that I need a drastic change in my life, but working out the details and method to achieve that change alludes me. Been living in the same city my entire life and doing the same type of work for 30 years. I feel like I'd like to just take off somwhere and keep going until I find someplace I like (somewhere warmer as well) and start my life over. But financially that's not possible. And I don't own a car so I can't just hop in it and take off (which I might do if I had one).
Last Thursday was a particularly stressful day at work and I didn't sleep well that night so by Friday morning I felt like a man "who must scream but has no mouth". (That's the reason for this picture which is from a story by Harlan Ellison)
It seemed like a perfect expression of the frustration I was feeling. Because what could be more frustrating than needing to scream, but being unable to?
I want to thank you, Larry & Elmo for commenting and for expressing concern and yes, Elmo, I did google both the pics I had up.
Anyway that's the explanation for my odd behavior....I'll eventually figure it all out, either that or just hop on a bus leaving town one day and leave everything behind.
Just a little side note: About Harlan Ellison--he's a fantastic writer--if you haven't ever read any of his stories, you should check out some of his work. I've read most of his stuff and have many books he's written. He writes what he prefers to call "speculative fiction" although sometimes you'll find his books in the science-fiction section of a bookstore or library. He wrote some stories that were on the original "Twilight Zone" & "Outer Limits" (as well as many others) series to give you an idea of the style of his writing. Here are some links to websites:
I Have No Mouth And I Must Scream (story)
Saturday, March 04, 2006
What can you say about a story like this except how outrageous it is? I am continually baffled by the insensitivity and ignorance displayed by some people. In my opinion, Police Chief Bowman should be fired and not be allowed in any such position of authority in the future. That would still be far too small a price to pay for denying someone a life-saving procedure, but it might at least send a message to others to prevent a future tragedy such as this from occurring.
The ACLU sued today because a man was denied CPR by a cop who deemed he was gay and this form of contact would transmit HIV. He died because he did not recieve aid.
read more | digg story
According to the ACLU lawsuit, Green suffered a heart attack while driving with a friend last summer. The friend, Billy Snead, was performing CPR by the side of the road when Bowman arrived and told Snead to stop because Green was HIV positive. When Snead didn’t stop the CPR, Bowman grabbed Snead by the shoulders and physically barred Snead from continuing CPR at a critical point in Green’s resuscitation. Snead, who had not realized at first that Bowman was a police officer, obeyed his commands.
Friday, March 03, 2006
Thursday, March 02, 2006
Wednesday, March 01, 2006
I hoped the poor fish survived, at least !
OK, I haven't put up any anime for a bit, so I decided to go with one this time.
Near the start of this video you may see the word "pocky" which one of the characters is eating. Pocky is a type of flavored biscuit stick popular in Japan (sometimes in anime it may look like someone has a cigarette when it is actually a stick of pocky). In the popular anime and manga Gravitation, strawberry Pocky is Shuichi's favorite snack.
See--you even get to learn new things here....it's fun & educational !