Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Little Christmas

Sixteen Hundred Thousand Miles
Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas
With a bundle of joy.
I drove sixteen hundred thousand miles
to you. With a little time.

Traded cars with wonderful pleasure
and exchanged new toys.
Stained the stairs to the wonderful house
that's new. With a little fear.

So I say, have yourself
A Merry Little Christmas
A Merry Little Christmas
This year.



Now I need to just finish the music to the lyrics above (basically the tune of Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas). Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Count Your Blessings

By far my favorite part of a White Christmas. I just so happen to have walked into the kitchen as this scene starts.

BOB
What shall I make you?

BETTY
Anything'll do.

BOB
If you tell me what you want to dream
about I'll know what to make you.

BETTY
(Amused)
How's that?

BOB
Different foods make for different
dreams. I've got a whole theory
about it. It's called "The Wallace
Way of Wishful Wooing." You'll find
it in the American Medical Journal
under 'W'. Ham and Swiss cheese,
for instance, you get a cool, thin,
blond girl. Turkey sandwich, you
get a dark sort of stumpy girl, sexy
though. Now a liverwurst sandwich -
(He shakes his head)
you get both girls at once. Bad
night.

BETTY
What do you dream on tuna?

BOB
Darndest thing, I dream about me.

BETTY
(Evenly)
Then I'll have a tuna sandwich.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Gankutsuou

An anime I should probably watch sometime after finishing the real version of The Count of Monte Cristo. I am super extremely glad finals are completed for the semester. Although I was unable to study at all for my last exam (electronics). This was because I somehow managed to lose my book for the class within the last week of school. However, the only thing that I was extremely lost for ideas was that I guess there is a difference between the gain, open-circuit gain, and overall gain. Classes are done, and as long as I pass the class, I really won't be that upset.

That's all for now folks, cheers!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Letters of Diamonds

"Then in the long days on board ship, when the vessel, gliding on with security over the azure sea, required no care but the hand of the helmsman, thanks to the favorable winds that swelled her sails, Edmond, with a chart in his hand, became the instructor of Jacopo, as the poor Abbe Faria had been his tutor. He pointed out to him the bearings of the coast, explained to him the variations of the compass, and taught him to read in that vast book opened over our heads which they call heaven, and where God writes in azure with letters of diamonds"
- An excerpt from The Count of Monte Cristo in Ch. 22, by Alexandre Dumas

This has to be my favorite part of The Count of Monte Cristo at the moment (up to chapter 25). The section builds Dantes' character while making the bridge/comparison between the Abbe Faria with Jacopo. The conclusion paints a vivid picture of the vast sky filled with stars. I love observing the stars and I will forevermore see them as letters of diamonds.

25 chapters done, 92 to go. 2 exams down, 2 to go.
Cheers!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Response To Othello

Who does thy bidding choose,
When evil comes to subdue?
The willows stand ready,
What life will you lose?

The endearment of love,
Is nevermore above.
Even weather unsteady,
Can end with a dove.

---
Yes, I finished reading Othello.
Cheers!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Air Zoo

The desire of the mouths of Hydra
to the Air Zoo with heart of a sweeting.


Biked (for probably the last time this year) to Barnes & Noble and bought Othello. This semester is itching to be done with.


"Reputation is an idle and most false
imposition: oft got without merit, and lost without
deserving"
-Othello, Act 2 Scene 3

Friday, November 28, 2008

But I will wear my heart upon my sleeve

For daws to peck at: I am not what I am
-Othello

Been addicted to this song recently: "Stuck in a groove" by Puretone:
"There's no doubt that I am afflicted
I'm totally obsessed
And I will admit it
Oh no, I'm not high
But I'm very much addicted to the music I like "


I have started reading Othello by Shakespeare. We will see how far I can get in the book before school starts back up. I have to hand it to Shakespeare for the clever and drawn out explanation of ideas.
Played Risk: 2210 A.D. with the typical group of gaming buddies. I attempted a new strategy of nuclear Holocaust (go for all the nuclear cards and then pull out the Armageddon card). I could have won with the strategy, but I stopped attacking 1 country short (and I had plenty of guys to continue attacking). Right before I played Armageddon, I did a mod reduction. After, my friend played like 5 nuke cards, then I played all my 10 nuke cards. I took out almost the majority of Asia, killing one player off. I completely finished off South America (because it was closed off due to the opening 8 nuked countries, yes we play with more nukes :D). The strategy works if you have a secure location to build troops, and collect cards. Playing defense until the end of the seconded to last turn allows a build up of troops, cut down the amount of troops on the board drastically of other players, then sweep through the board on the final year.


Changing topics: Thanksgiving was yesterday. Fun times, intense ping-pong, and finished with a spectacular showing of Iron Man in our amazing "theater" setup. I have a bucket for free popcorn at Celebration cinema, and since my sister loves movie popcorn, I went up to get her a bucket. Usually they don't check tickets before getting to the concession stand. However, this time there were, and I was like..."crap". I ended up going up and asking the person checking tickets if I could go get my popcorn, and they said yes! Thus my sister got to enjoy some movie popcorn. Got to love your big sisters, or else!

Cheers :)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I know I know I know!

Pick me pick me pick me!

Yes? *points at young lad jumping enthusiastically*

I'm done with my project and it works!

There have been many thought provoking ideas I wanted to share this past while. Unfortunately my mind has been consumed with digital design that I don't even remember. For those who have seen/talked to me recently or moreover, just met, it probably appears that I am a single tracked insensitive person. Something along those terms at least. Maybe it's time to sleep. Sleep is a good thing. Or at least it is now.

Cheers.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Bode Plots

I'm sitting in class.   Going over Bode plots.  Fun.  ish.

Gmail got a facelift.  Pretty cool.  Maybe I should focus.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Hate is a strong word

I hate when people assume the more work you put into a class, the more you learn. Whoever first started that notion doesn't understand the basic concept of saturation. There is a point where spending more time does not equal more knowledge. This is a fundamental problem with the way education has become. It's no longer about learning, it's about just following instructions from a professor, monkey see - monkey do. \
If you have not picked up the tone yet, I'm frustrated. I want to learn, but a professor is piling way too much work. ugh

Scramjettttszz

A ride on a scramjet would be amazing.  Just throwing it out there.   I mean, how many other people have travelled faster than mach 17 or so?

And while I'm distracted from my hw (aka my mind needed a metal break) , dinner was grrrrreat last night.  I still had a bunch of hw to do, so I multi-tasked doing hw and listening to people while attempting to play games.  Ok...too much time has been allotted, time to get to class.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Mensajes Enviados

Two things to waste your time with:

One. I just dominated soldering my SPDT (single pole, double throw) switch. Also, the fact that I used a different soldering iron helped a bit as well.

Two. I don't remember.

Three. I now remember two. Facebook in Spanish is amazingly helpful, in learning Spanish. Or more realistically, it's cool to see people really confused when trying to look at my facebook stuff.

Four. I want to go star gazing, but that probably will not happen until thanksgiving break.

Five. I wish I wasn't so stupid in criticizing people in high school, because they typically are the coolest people.


Yup. Those are my two things. Plus I am procrastinating a bunch of stuff for classes and probably will be on the edge of insanity once the labs, projects, and homework comes to the hard deadline.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

The plug

After 3 hours of practice Saturday night and a hour or so of playing drums, I feel that the Vater Safe 'n Sound ear plugs was a good investment. It's strange, I don't feel when I put the ear plugs in that they block much sound but yet it seems much quieter from previous weeks. Time will tell.

If I'm talented in anything, I would say that I'm talented in making situation awkward. Combine that with my lack of conversations...I guess I am just slow. I think too much and never make the most out of situations which present themselves. Leave it to me to screw things up.

Beyond those ramblings, Wednesday is going to be yet another crazy day. It will no doubt peak my frustration. Digital design labs are getting longer, thus becoming more iritating. I keep telling myself that I just need to survive until Thanksgiving. All the tests and projects are due right before that weekend (i think...). So a nice long, hopefully homework free weekend with my sister and her husband visiting from California with be greatly enjoyed.

If you read this post, I apologize.
Life goes on and on and on

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Safe N' Sound

Since I'm an engineer, things like this tend to spike my interest. I decided in the best interest of my ears to purchase some ear plugs, Vater Safe 'N Sound Ear Plugs to be more specific. I haven't tested them yet, but I was curious with the red and green filters what would be the best for my purpose. The package lists the dB reduction for the frequencies of 125,250,500,1000,2000,4000, and 8000 Hz. This is not very customer friendly. This information is better displayed in a chart (see above).

The chart indicates that there is a bias in the higher frequencies to be filtered. I'm hoping to still hear vocals. A reasonable estimate of frequency for vocals is between 100 and 1000Hz. Thus, the frequencies that are significantly reduced should not affect my ability to hear the vocals. Well, we will see.

Friday, November 07, 2008

La hermosa decepción

Horrible is today in seemingly every single way.

The digital design lab is the worst planned out lab so far and is eating up my time. It is no longer causing me to learn. School is about learning, not wasting my time with crap labs.

Beyond not finishing the lab still after 12 hours, I hung out with no one although I did not have any expectations.

Wait there is more! I can't watch the Skillet DVD because my parents are using the projector and they have guests over.

AND, I was hoping to play a little bit of disc golf with the nice weather we have been having. Nope. No disc golf and didn't even get outside.


That my friend, is the story of my life.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Señorita Bonita

Señorita Bonita,
Lo tiene todo.

So far this week (in four days), I have eaten the equivalence of 3 large pizzas. And it was good. Tomorrow ends the week thankfully, and I'm planning on finally getting to watch the skillet dvd, comatose comes alive. It's going to be amazing, and it could be even more amazing. Although, only one person would know why I state it could be even more amazing depending on the circumstances.

Stars are enjoyable. Long, extremely long, or epically long labs are not enjoyable. Weather has been nice this week, high 60s and low 70s, and I voted...and I totally did not remember the 5th of November. oh well

Friday, October 31, 2008

Shooting stars

Perfect night for star gazing. I saw two shooting stars. One I think was quite possibly a fireball. 9/31/2008 12:30ish. It was big. It was bright. It was long. IT WAS EPIC.

This has me pumped. God's glory is amazing. And you bet I made some wishes upon those stars.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Lifehouse

the lyrics go:
We're both looking for something
We've been afraid to find
It's easier to be broken
It's easier to hide

Looking at you, holding my breath
For once in my life I'm scared to death
I'm taking a chance letting you inside

I'm feeling alive all over again
As deep as the sky, under my skin
Like being in love, she says, for the first time
Maybe I'm wrong, I'm feeling right
Where I belong with you tonight
Like being in love to feel for the first time

The world that I see inside you
Waiting to come to life
Waking me up to dreaming
Reality in your eyes

Looking at you, holding my breath
For once in my life I'm scared to death
I'm taking a chance letting you inside

I'm feeling alive all over again
As deep as the sky, under my skin
Like being in love, she says, for the first time
Maybe I'm wrong, I'm feeling right
Where I belong with you tonight
Like being in love to feel for the first time

We're crashing
Into the unknown
We're lost in this
But it feels like home

I'm feeling alive all over again
As deep as the scar that's under my skin
Like being in love, she says, for the first time
Maybe I'm wrong, I'm feeling right
Where I belong with you tonight
Like being in love, she says, for the first time
Like being in love to feel for the first time

Like being in love, she says, for the first time
Like being in love to feel for the first time

lifehouse - first time

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Corrupt

Installing Windows XP SP3 it prompts for c:\system32\ntoskrnl.exe , Retry and Cancel.  Retry of course didn't work.  I searched the hard drive, and the ntoskrnl.exe was in the proper folder.  Cancel out and shutdown.  Reboot into Safe Mode and is now says:

\system32\ntoskrnl.exe is missing or corrupt.


Okay, now I insert the windows xp cd, boot from the cd and enter the recovery console.  Checked to make sure the ntoskrnl.exe was on the hard drive still.  Then I enetered the command:

expand d:\i386\ntoskrnl.ex_ c:\windows\system32

D: is my cdrom drive with the windows xp cd, and C: is my hard drive

Double checked that windows boots normally, check.  Reboot to try safe mode again.  This time, ntfs.sys is missing or corrupt.  So I followed: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/555531.  Basically the same thing as before except copying instead of expanding.

"ntfs.sys missing or corrupt error message
To resolve this problem do the followings:-
1] Boot  computer with the Windows XP CD-ROM in the CD-ROM drive.
2] To repair a Windows XP installation using Recovery Console, press R.
3] At the command prompt, type the following commands:-
 
 cd \windows\system32\drivers [Press the ENTER Key]
 
 ren ntfs.sys ntfs.old [Press the ENTER Key]
 
 If the ntfs.sys file is there and corrupt it will rename it. If it is not there then it was missing. 
 
4]At the command prompt, type the following command, and then press ENTER:
copy X:\i386\ntfs.sys drive:\windows\system32\drivers [Where X=CD-ROM Drive]

5]Remove the Windows XP CD from CD-ROM drive, type quit, and then
press ENTER to quit the Recovery Console.

6. Restart the system."

Windows boots normally still.  Now Safe Mode goes all the load files and then automatically reboots.  Ok.  It's just screwed up now.  What a waste of time...I'll append this post if I ever get SP3 to install.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Fartlek

Paper inked with nothing.
Vapor filled the mind
Wrought by knowledge,
Wrought to give sense.

Impede all with control.
Mislead all with kind.
Living perfect,
Dying blind. 

Dreamer coined in ruin.
Empty recursion.
Fartlek wonders
Going nowhere.



whatever.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

And they're off

School started.
Shelled out tons of cash for class books, lab manuals, and other supplies.
Classes should be fun.
Classes should be time consuming.
Classes might be hard.
Many friends are in the same classes.
There is a shower in one of the bathrooms at the engineering campus.
Only need a place to sleep and be undisturbed for 8 hours at the engineering campus.
Ran 2 miles.
Ran 2 miles in a 7:30 minute mile split.
Friend Mike ran an Iron Man.
IN 9 hours, 49 minutes, 59 seconds.
Getting comfortable with chrome.
Need a shower.
Might run the campus classic.
Spent nearly $30,000,000 for a shell.
Life goes on.
Cheers.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Reflections on the last weekend

Before the evilness of school kicks into gear, I would like to reflect on this past labor day weekend.  Sunday night after church I had an amazing opportunity to see the stars under a clear sky while relaxing in a hot tub.  One, I love hot tubs.  Two, I love star gazing.  Three, I love hanging out with friends.  Actually, if you know me, you probably know I prefer hanging out with individuals instead of large groups.

Sunday night specifically I hung out with a close friend watching Aeon Flux followed by the hot tub.  My friend did most of the talking, I did most of the listening.  I feel most relaxed when I'm comfortable and listening to a friend that I don't have to worry about what they think of me.

Anyways, suffice to say, the evening was enjoyable.  After spending time with my friend, I drove by flesher field and looked at the stars some more as the weather was amazing.  I was able to finally find the Hercules constellation.  In addition, I saw a shooting star!  It was a pretty good shoot star as well.

So I don't feel like re-reading this post to see if it makes any sense, or even if the grammar is correct (I'm sure it is not correct).  There are a lot more friends I need to catch up with sometime.  If you are one of them, contact me and I'll buy you dinner or something.


Someone, sometime, something, somewhere.
Cheers to a supurb last summer weekend.

Chrome

So far, so chrome.  Google seems to have a knack to do things right.  Time will tell how google's browser will hold.

Note:  Chrome does not display dashboards in sharepoint.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

My version of a literary review

Not of books. Of movies. Because a good movie done right is far better and descriptive than a book.



AeonFlux - 2005

Find the truth. Don't follow an ideal blindly or based on prejudice. Classic Sci-fi style of a movie, definitely well composed visually. The story remains simple and easy to follow as the movie explains the setting and story. The movie brings up a valid point of cloning, what will cloning do to one's mind? Thumbs up.

(Did I mention that I watched all of Firefly in 2 or 3 days?! Ya when I watch something, I watch it all)





The Prestige - 2007

Well done. A bit jumpy and unclear in the timeline. The movie required a second watching for me to completely put the sequence of events and location in order. Spoiler Warning: The first time I watched the movie I was unsure whether or not Tesla actually built a device that duplicated an object while also transporting the object, or if Tesla used the hats and cat to further convince and con Robert Angier. The answer is clearly evident at the end of the movie. I'm unsure if the director was seeking to have this question raised in a viewer's mind. It could be that I am just an engineer and if I am not mistaken, Tesla was more interested in research of transmitting electricity/power in replace of objects. The more I think about the ending, the more disturbing the plot appears. Thumbs up.


Both movies watched twice, and for once, I returned the items on time to the library.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Textbox submit NOW!

So, http://aspnet.4guysfromrolla.com/articles/060805-1.aspx.

Good ol' Internet Explorer won't handle a button click event with a page postback form an enter key with only 1 textbox.

Solution:
1. Add an invisible textbox (as the solution from above article)
2. Put in a panel and set DefaultButton

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Friday: Work summer retreat. Things I learned: [1] People at my work are amazing. [2] I can't think on my feet, or sitting.

I think so much, that I find it hard to explain my thoughts through the limit of tongue and mouth. Do I have mental issues? Probably.

So after the work summer retreat, I went to Robert Morris park to play disc golf. For old times sake, and because I had a bit of time on my hands, I parked at the nature trail and walked 20 minutes to the park. My legs were still tired from a 5k that I ran in 27 minutes the previous night.

The disc golfing: First 9 holes I played by myself, I was able to kinda follow where the holes kinda went. One hole, my disc landed under a small pine tree. As I reached for the disc, I saw a small snake, which took me by surprise. I'm pretty sure it was just a garter snake, but I'm not a snake expert. Anyways, I got my disc and the snake did not cause any problems. Second 9 holes I ran into Zak a fellow kamsc classmate. He recognized me before I recognized him. He and his 2 friends let me play along. They are far better at disc golf than me, plus they had to help me find my disc multiple times. Thanks, I am very grateful. The tall grass of a large open field is difficult to find a disc as well as the tall grass irritating the skin.

A 20 minute walk back to my car and a ride home. Saturday, I decided to pick up a putter, the innova polecat (which I'm officially calling the purty pink polecat putter). My parents purchased it for my birthday along with the drum sticks that I received early.

Glad the Olympics are over and that it's a clear night for star gazing!
Cheers

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Oh, bomba

I had a friend tell me:
"i dont think mccain will do a good job controlling government spending"


I got to reading Obama's view on technology. The amount of money that Obama wants to spend on technology alone is starting to blow my mind:

-"Barack Obama will use the most current technological tools..."
because we know that most current technologies are really cheap and the employment of the people with professional technical skills of the most current technologies is even cheaper.

-"He will require his appointees to employ all the technological tools available to allow citizens not just to observe, but also to participate and be heard in these meetings."
Right. Actually, let me post the entire bullet point:
-"Requiring his appointees who lead Executive Branch departments and rulemaking agencies to conduct the significant business of the agency in public, so that any citizen can watch a live feed on the Internet as the agencies debate and deliberate the issues that affect American society. He will ensure that these proceedings are archived for all Americans to review, discuss and respond. He will require his appointees to employ all the technological tools available to allow citizens not just to observe, but also to participate and be heard in these meetings. "
This just sounds expensive. Big Brother the reality tv show meets Big Brother the government. Also, how exactly do 300,000,000 people participate in a meeting?

I don't think Obama understands that everyone can't his every decisions. We elect officials to make decisions for us. Obama is a little child who is incapable of making a decision for himself. Let me get back on focus instead of his immaturity.

Actually I'm sick of reading Obama's page of crap. Basically, Barack's idea for technology:
1. Spend more money
2. Spend even more money
3. Spend yet even more money because he can't make is own decisions.


Barack Obama doesn't knows the basics of government, he's young and immature. He wants to conqurer the world by spending my money.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

... of a down

5. And now my bass drum pedal broke.


Yup, I'm one of those people, I only buy what I need. Right now, I feel like putting aside drumming. Time for a break of unknown length. I am not sure if playing every Sunday this past summer has made me lose interest or the frustrations and time commitment has lead to this conclusion.

With classes only a hop and a skip away, maybe the mindset of putting drums aside is good. I'm not sure, but time will only tell. Time. Time to move on.

Monday, August 18, 2008

News of a down

1. There is a big rip in my resonant snare head from I don't know.
2. You can't enter in a race until you upgrade your class level. Class-sitting is no longer allowed.
3. Class 4 with a bad cart
4. Cloudy tonight, no star gazing. Not going to see 32 shooting stars in one hour now like I did 8/12/2008.


like you cared.

Tennis

I played tennis after work today and played 2 matches (best of 3 sets). The wind was off/on down at the wmu courts but not overwhelming. I won the first match 6-2, 6-2. I switched raquets to my backup raquet (which is bent). The second game went about the same, I won 6-2, 6-0.

Unfortunately, my game was far below par. My forearm has been fairly sore and thus my serve was more hit or miss than usual. Building my leg muscles from biking seems like I could move around the court better, but I think I've just grown to be lazy because my legs felt like bricks.

That's all I got to say about that.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Row Numbering

I came across a precarious situation today at work. I needed to write a paging stored procedure for use with a DetailsView. The situation and solution for start to finish is described at http://microsoft.apress.com/index.php?id=51. Unfortunately the sql database was currently running on an instance of sql 2000. Row_Number() is a specific function avaliable with sql 2005, not sql 2000.

The sql query I developed seems to work for an equivalent to Row_Number(). My case only had one sorting method, and I know that my column that is being sorted is unique. thus simplifying some matters.

Let's presume we have a Table1 with columns ID as an int, Code as a varchar, and Name. Table1 should be sorted by the column Code.


SELECT ID, Code, Name
(SELECT COUNT(ID) AS Expr1
FROM Table1
WHERE (Code < (SELECT Code FROM Table1 WHERE (ID = t.ID)))
) AS RowNum FROM Table1 AS t ORDER BY Code


Whilst this may not be very efficient or pretty, it gets the job done. Basically this query has a sub query to count the number of rows that are less than the current Code (which is selected by a further sub query).

Unorthodox probably, as bad as a GOTO statement maybe, works under the right circumstances.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Viewing the details

Frustrations I came about using DetailsView for asp.net that are obvious but can be overlooked.

For custom Next/Previous/First/Last buttons:
CommandName="Page" CommandArgument="..."
[Command arguments paramters]
Yes the buttons need to be in a template of the DetailsView control, they cannot be outside. Make sure they aren't outside if they aren't working....grrrr.


To access an item in the Pager template:
DetailsView1.BottomPagerRow.FindControl("...")

In the aspx page, set the DataKeyNames to allow SQL Statements to be updated/deleted.



Cheers,

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

For each string cheese in package

Classic lines actually used in a program for a computer science class:

1.
foreach (string cheese in the_package)

2.
in_mouth.Push(one_cheese);

3.
/// the answer is in the pop (not the soda)
/// aka not in_mouth.Soda()
return in_mouth.Pop();


Quite possibly Nerd Levels of 4 (Nerd Levels)

Friday, August 08, 2008

not funny

A comedian tells a joke to a crowd, people will laugh if the joke is funny, people will laugh if other people are laughing, or people won't laugh because the joke was not funny.

A comedian tells a joke to an individual, the person will laugh because the joke is funny, the person will not laugh because they do not understand the joke, or the person will not laugh because the joke was not funny.



Social conformity.

Sunny After Sunset

According to weather.com, tonight after the sunsets the weather will still be sunny out. Intriguing...



Cheers,

Oh and next time you go in for surgery, make sure your surgeon plays a wii.
(http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20080808-wii-will-develop-surgical-skills.html)

Thursday, August 07, 2008

The Hard Style

I've been listening to the Hardstyle and Happy hardcore channels during work these past few weeks. At about 8 hours of music, say 3 minutes a song, that roughly 160ish different songs. Unlike regular fm radio stations where I would hear maybe 20 different songs in 8 hours. Some how the music seems to drive me.

Fog is when the dew point is just below the temperature. Hopefully tonight will offer some glimmering stars.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Pace of life

I always wish life would slow down, but I always tend to find myself making life busier and busier. My ability to plan underestimates the time/commitment/etc... of the activities. A day full of biking and exploring, a night full of stargazing wonders, somehow even that would find a way to get busy.

piece and cheers

Friday, August 01, 2008

Reporting Work

At work I've been assigned to upgrading reports that are in Access and Crystal Reports into SQL Server Reports. The project website is being developed in Visual Studio 2008 with the 3.5 framework. Naturally we wanted to develop the reports and have them contained in the 2008 project. Visual Studio 2008 supports reports but does not support a Report Server Project. My frustrations and solution to reports in VS 2008 is found below, however, we decided to stick with developing the reports in VS 2005 (BIDS).



Here is the best solution I was able to come up for building reports in Visual Studio 2008.


1. Create a new web application project (or open the your current project).

2. Add New Item to your project. Select a Report and give it a name. Note that these reports are rdlc not rdl. ( http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms252109(VS.80).aspx for information on rdlc versus rdl)

3. Now to add the dataset for the report data. Add New Item again, this time add a DataSet. This should walk you through a wizard for adding a new DataSet. Note that if you have a connection string in your web.config file to point to a database, you WILL still NEED to add a NEW connection string. It will give you servers to choose from that currently exist in the Server Explorer. Once you add a new connection string through this dataset wizard it will be avaliable for the next TableAdapter that you add. Grrrr... I'm going to stop here because I have many gripes...



4. A tableadapter for a dataset that you want for a report should now exist. Go back to the Report rdlc file (you may have to click around on the design area to get all the menu items to show up) and select Report, Data Sources..., find the DataSet that you just created and Add to Report

5. Build the report now that you have the dataset information.


Now let's say you have built many reports and want to use 1 report viewer to dynamically display the reports in a report viewer. Add a new page or open an existing aspx page. Add a Report Viewer to the page. (This is were I think things get ugly, and there may be a better solution, feel free to post a comment if there is a better solution)

Report View definition on aspx page:




The code behind to have the report viewer set the report:
''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''
' Report is going to run local on the website
ReportViewer1.ProcessingMode = Microsoft.Reporting.WebForms.ProcessingMode.Local
ReportViewer1.LocalReport.DataSources.Clear()
Dim conn As New SqlConnection(ConfigurationManager.ConnectionStrings("ReportConnectionString").ConnectionString)
Dim cmd As New SqlCommand()
cmd.Connection = conn
cmd.CommandType = CommandType.StoredProcedure
cmd.CommandText = "sp" & Request.QueryString("reportname") ' Build stored procedure string from an example query string
Dim sqlAdapter As Object
Dim dt As Object

' Depending on what report you want to display, you'll need to call the right table adapter, hence why they are defined as objects at first
sqlAdapter = New DataSet1TableAdapters.[NameDefinedInDataSet1]TableAdapter()
dt = New DataSet1.[NameDefinedInDataSet1]DataTable

sqlAdapter.Fill(dt)
conn.Close()

Dim Source As New ReportDataSource("DataSet1_[NameDefinedInDataSet]"), dt)
ReportViewer1.LocalReport.DataSources.Add(Source)
ReportViewer1.LocalReport.ReportPath = "Report.rdlc"
''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''

Now if you followed that jumbled piece of code, congrats. If you're smart you'll have the name defined in the data set match up to the report name so you can use the query string (or whatever other method). You'll still need a case statement or bunch of if's for defining the sqlAdapter and dt. Also, the ReportDataSource will be looking for the specific DataSet1_[NameOfTableAdapterDefinedInDataSet].

If you are thinking what on earth?, so am I. Hence why we decided to stick with the Reporting Service Project even though the project will need to be seperate and can only be done in Visual Studio 2005.

Cheers, I'm out, and I do not want to think about this again until reporting improves for Visual Studio 2008.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Five years since the snake

Now this is old school: http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/120321
It's hard to believe that five years ago was when I first saw this flash video. While you are there, check out the Magical Trevors, oh so very clever lyrics :D

Monday I biked to work, and it was perfect weather biking in the morning with a sunny ride home. The only problem was my front rack came loose while biking home. I have still yet to fix it, or rather even take a closer look at it (not sure if it stripped the braze on).

Last Thursday/Friday I saw Batman the Dark Night at the Rave downtown Kalamazoo. It was my first time at the Rave, I liked the theater and the movie. I'm not sure if the theater what any better than Celebration Cinema (however my friends are all tall and they say the seats are better at the Rave). Afterwards I hung out on a roof and looked at the stars with my good friend Ryan. The weather was a bit cloudy but stars were still out and the temperature was cool. Stargazing was well worth the quick 5 hour power nap until work the next morning.

Many people say, oh it's a nice day out, it's a shame to be inside working or what-not. I would content to argue the same thing about the night. Many nights are amazing with a starry spectacle in the sky. My question: how can you stay sleeping with the starry sky spectacle?

Currently listening to The Meters. Time to funk it up!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Other than work

Time for a post that is not related to work. While looking at photos of f-22 raptors, I came across James Gordon's flickr photos [ http://flickr.com/photos/jamesdale10/ ]. He has taken countless amazing pictures not only of f-22's, but many other things primarily related to the government. They are so good, you should really be looking at those pictures and not reading this post right now.

cheers.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Prereq

To install PerformancePoint Add-In for Excel, windows needs the following installed:

ADOMD.NET 9.0 SP2
http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=93296

Analysis Services 9.0 OLE DB Provider (SP2)
http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=93298


Or rather, in order to connect to a cube in asp.net, the above providers might be helpful.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Setting up WCF web service

While setting up a new project I ran into the following issue with a WCF web service that needed to pass data to a silverlight application.



The type of errors I was recieving:

Content Type application/soap+xml; charset=utf-8 was not supported by service


System.InvalidOperationException: An exception was thrown in a call to a WSDL export extension: System.ServiceModel.Description.DataContractSerializerOperationBehavior contract: CubeService ----> System.Runtime.Serialization.InvalidDataContractException: Type 'GraphDataClass' cannot be serialized. Consider marking it with the DataContractAttribute attribute, and marking all of its members you want serialized with the DataMemberAttribute attribute.


The problem is with the class contracts not matching and being unable to be serialized (or something along that effect)

Start by including
Imports System.Runtime.Serialization
-for examples [http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/system.runtime.serialization.datamemberattribute.aspx]

Give the class and properties the according contract information (See image below or example above)



That should allow you to add the WCF as a web service reference/fix the errors. Comment if you have questions on it, because I'm just briefly going over the problem/solution.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Note to self

Silverlight dynamic graph with data from webservice - check
Pull data from cube - AMO, sweet! (http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms345092.aspx)

Almost another check!

Silverlight: Beware of the Contract

WCF webservice in a silverlight project debugging.


Project build will succeed with 1 warning:

Warning 1 Custom tool warning: Unable to load one or more of the requested types. Retrieve the LoaderExceptions property for more information.


This warning refers to the file Reference.svcmap Line 1 Column 1.


When you do run the project you will get:

The remote server returned an unexpected response: (404) Not Found.


This is a pretty good indicator that the web service is not being found. Why? It's looking in the wrong place of course. This is the second time that ServiceReferences.ClientConfig has caused me problems. The solution to resolve the above errors is to simply open up the ServiceReferences.ClientConfig in you Silverlight application, and point the to the correct location of your webservice. Last time I had my project open, the service was running on port 1786, now the port changed to 1408, thus an entirely different location.



Another place to look is under the Web.config file in the website project. Look for all the endpoint addresses, and check to make sure they are correct.
Hope this post helps your debug! Cheers

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Sunlite

I have taken upon the task to tune up an old sunlite drumset for Camp Michawana. The set required 3 drum heads to be replaced and a total of 10 heads that need to be tuned. A couple weeks ago I bought the DrumDial tuner. The DrumDial tuner seems overly expensive to me, but I do admit, it has helped me tune heads better. I will do a post later on how I have used it to tune drums better. I wanted to say on this post that any kit can sound good with a decent set of drum heads and most importantly, tuned. Tuning drums is tedious, but spending the time to get all the drums tuned correctly is vital if you want to have a drum set sound like a drum set.

In the past, I just presumed my drum kit sounded bad because it was cheap and had some cheap heads. I picked up some new heads and it helped the sound, but it was not until I spent some real time in tuning before they sounded REALLY good. One can buy an expensive drum set, but the expensive part is primarily the looks and quality of hardware. Quality hardware does not equate to a quality sound, though it may allow you to get a quality sound easier.

I'll discuss how to get a quality sound more when I explain my insights on tuning.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

In to the movies

Batoru Rowaiaru, or also known as Battle Royale, is a Japanese film exploring the fanatical concept of extreme punishment. A class of students is manipulated to a last man standing deathmatch "game" on a deserted island. The movie gives a perspective on friendship and enmity between fellow students. Self greed is a motif that leads to the death of nearly each individual.

A true friendship is developed between the characters Shuya Nanahara (boy #15) and Noriko Nakagawa (girl #15). The friendship is based on trust with Shuya and Noriko both willing to sacrifice themselves for the other. Shuya is willing to risk his life to distract Kazuo's fire and cover for Kawada and Noriko. Noriko risks her life nearing a "danger zone" in order to meet wounded Shuya.

Shuya and Noriko's relationship is continually contrasted with the relationships of the other classmates. I am not about to attempt to figure out the names and go into detail because if you haven't noticed already, the names are not names easily recalled. Keep a look out for the student combinations that are:
1) Outwardly and inwardly enemies
2) Outwardly friends and inwardly enemies
3) Inwardly wanting to know each other, but never interacted before (Hiroki trying to find secret love Shinji)

The contrast between the relationships makes my second point more apparent. Self greed leads to death of the student. Self greed found in revenge (both times the girls are in the hut), sex (the one dude trying to hook up with the running girl), comfort (2 girls seeking peace), and the list can go on.

Self greed leads to death/losing the game = bad. Altruism leads to life/winning the game = good. This is way more than I had originally planned on discussing this movie and there is great deal more that could use some expounding. Maybe you should just watch the movie instead, or just ask me if you are interested. The ultimate/underlying question of the movie Battle Royale: Is there more to life than being really, really, ridiculously good looking?

Monday, June 30, 2008

Sharepoint logs out of your life

WSS 3.0 seems precarious in the way it decides to log out. It seems as though I always have facebook and gmail open on my computer. While working on my sharepoint site I was switching users to see what the different users in the different groups see. I noticed that when I logged of the user on the sharepoint site, facebook and gmail also logged out. Sweet. Very inconvenient.

I haven't looked this up online, but I'm going to take a stab in the dark and state that sharepoint must delete all the cookies when it logs out. If you are reading this and know the answer, feel free to leave me a comment.

I may or may not look into stopping this nuisance. But since it's not really broke, why try and fix what ain't broke eh?

Friday, June 27, 2008

Disc Golf

Yes, disc golf is basically the poor mans version of real golf. I enjoy disc golf because it's more a social sport than a competitive sport. Yesterday at Knollwood, looking for my disc (as my throws typically take amazing routes into the woods) I found a disc. Out of the number of discs I have lost and found, I am currently up 1 disc. I lost my first disc, a Millennium Polaris LS, at the Oshtemo course. Second disc I lost, I don't remember what disc it was (other than clear with a red/yellow rim), but I was up at MSU playing with some friends in 32 degree F weather, and I threw it right over my friends shoulder and then right into a river. We ended up stopping there because the course had soo many water holes it wasn't even funny.

Anyways, disc golf. Fun. You should play. If you don't have a disc, call me and you can play with some of mine. Post over.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

WSS Training

I found an excellent source text for configuration of Windows SharePoint Services on TechNet:
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc287736(TechNet.10).aspx

More resources:
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/sharepoint/default.aspx
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/sharepoint/aa905692.aspx - screencasts offer an excellent run through of the topics.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Ann Arbor Give Camp

Word on the street is that there is an Ann Arbor Give Camp on July 11-13, 2008 at Washtenaw Community College in Ypsilanti Michigan. Right now I'm not sure if I'll be able to go, but if I can, I may bike up and program some code for some charity. Check it out!


Oh and the Red Wings won the Stanley Cup if you didn't already know.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

The Golden Paint Job

Since I didn't work today, I got the itch to put the final piece of my laptop back together. I gave the computer a boot up with hope that it still works. It gave a warning beep with a message like Invalid System Configuration. That made me a bit nervous until I read below, System timer not set. The service manual said to remove the system timer, thus the system timer had been off the mobo for 2 and a half weeks.


I restarted the computer after the timer set, and it booted up to Windows XP. So far everything seems to be working! The color is so amazing with its color and mirror finish. The color and mirror finish makes it nearly impossible to get a decent picture of the quality and beauty.



With my laptop up and running, I can start working on setting up the online Blue Moon Basement Broadcast radio station. For those of you who missed it last summer, it's a weekly hour radio show hosted by Dj Fortron and Dmac featuring local Kalamazoo artists. Last year's flier is below:

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Bike Trip Commentary

Yes, I type pretty much stream of consciousness, so I apologize ahead of time if it's difficult to read...

Day 1: Portage MI to Eby's Campground Route 47.2 miles

The morning started fairly early and the weather looked perfect (and was). I planned on staying at a campground the first night just to make sure my camping setup would work well. The night before I had finished packing all my gear (37.5 lb total minus bike weight and water bottle weight). It was getting late so I only briefly looked up directions to the camp just beyond the Michigan/Indiana border. Anyways, morning came quickly and I didn't get a entire full night of sleep as planned. Biking down through Schoolcraft was relaxing. Country roads with little to no traffic was a delight. I stopped really only to eat a couple sandwiches packed the night before. Originally I thought I would need to cross 131 in order to easily cross the rivers. Thus passing through Three Rivers I crossed 131 (in reality making the bike ride longer). Also in Three Rivers I saw some people on strike, ya kinda lame, whatever... The roads west of 131 where pretty hilly. There was on hill that I walked my bike down because the road ended with a stop sign at the bottom (not even to combine the fact that there were these large salt trucks hauling stuff going by). Yada yada yada, pedal pedal pedal, I passed a land fill and it smelled pretty bad as expected. I ran back into 131 (since I didn't bring a map of Michigan along), so I decided to cross 131 which involved biking part of it. No part of 131 is bikable I would say, because the 1 or 2 minutes I was on 131 were pretty horrible. I found the road Constantine which was nice, no bike lane but barely any traffic and it seemed to go a long ways South. I stopped again in the White Pigeon library to fill up my water bottles, take a break from the saddle, and glance at the Indiana map to see how close I might be. Continued on passing Fish Lake and only knew I got into Indiana once I crossed over what I assumed to be 80. I had no idea where the campground really was so I expected to go on 120 then follow the 13 until I found the campground. I stopped and had a salad at a bakery first. Getting back on my bike only to find out the campground was at the corner of 13 and 120. However, there was a sign for another campground 4 more miles further (4 more miles I didn't have to bike the next day, and had energy for now). Thus I stopped at Eby's campground. Setup tent, took a shower, ate some food, and laid down to rest around 8pm. With all my stuff in a single person tent it was kinda cramped. I kept waking up because of my sore neck.


Day 2: Eby's Campground to Wabash 68.6 miles

Morning started off well and early somewhere around 6am or 7am. I continued south along the 15 hoping to stop in Silver Lake Indiana. Biking through Goshen was nice, it had a neat downtown. Along the 15, I saw the World Missionary Press Inc (http://www.wmpress.org/index.shtml). The sign said they offered tours, so I stopped in, filled up my water bottles, they gave me some yummy bread, and I got a tour of the place. Machines never fail to peak my interest. I ate a footlong sub from a subway in Milford. The weather was pretty nice to this point except for the constant head winds the entire trip so far. The sky started to worry me in Warsaw when I stopped for a 10 minutes rest in a park. Warsaw is a fairly big city (I finally start to get a grasp of the size print of the city name to how big the city is and what they are likely to have). I continued biking after filling up my water bottles at a church. It started to sprinkle off and on and I am very much glad for fenders. Silver Lake was even smaller than expected, but looked fairly decent for stealth camping. I knew that there were supposed to be thunderstorms that night and much more rain so I stopped and asked if there were any places to stay of possible places that I could setup my tent for the night. The people didn't seem to be too keen on camping and thought the best place would have been is Warsaw. I passed Warsaw so I wasn't going to bike back. Thus, Wabash was my next goal. It rained all the way until I hit Wabash. My legs were sore, I was wet, expected thunderstorms, a hotel sounded decent. Hotel Inn Express was the only option I really saw, and was right next to a Ponderosa Buffet! Buffet was amazing after 70 miles of biking followed by a nice relaxing hot tub. Shower and off to bed. My rear end not nearly as sore as I expected at the end of today. OH and the Warsaw Community High School was huge.


Day 3: Wabash to Logansport 28.5 miles

Good breakfast from the hotel. Weather, cold, 20-30mph windy (biking into the wind), and rainy. Thunderstorms were supposed to kick in around 3pm to 5pm so I choose a shorter day so I could make it before the thunderstorms. I left the hotel around 8am and the weather made biking miserable. I followed the old 24 to Logansport. Well the old 24 changed names so many times, I'll just call it the old 24. The old 24 ran parallel with some train tracks so I saw a couple of trains pass by. Biking into the wind was hard enough with 40lb of gear making my bike a sail, but with the nearly constant downpour of rain, it was miserable. The scenery was nice, but weather put a damper on the ride. The worst part was where old 24 intersects 24. I had to stop biking for a few minutes because the rain came down soo hard I could barely see the road. According to the sign, the next hotel is "6 minutes ahead", but not if you are biking. On top of the rain and wind at this point, old 24 stopped having a paved shoulder plus an increase in traffic with more hills and blind curves. I kept on having to get off and walk to wait for a car to pass. I arrived at a motel 8 around 3:30pm. A hotel sounded even better than the night before with thunderstorms coming through any minute, wetter, colder, and frustrated with the blind curved hills (oh and I forgot to put a bag around the tent so that needed to dry, so camping probably not a good idea). Hotel costs add up very quickly I might add. Thunderstorms where making me nervous because I was biking through many open fields, and being the tallest object, and the object being a steel bike, didn't seem too wise. Dried off, ate, then headed to bed.


Day 4: Logansport to Lebanon 63.1 miles

Oh of course more rain, but, wind was with me (well mostly). Biking out of Logansport was a bit chilly, but the wind was to my back making for some really easy biking. The Wabash river was an ugly/pukish green color, kinda a let down. I found some country roads that I decided to take and with the wind favorable to my back and no traffic, I cruised my fastest speeds yet with my highest gears. I arrived at Camden at 9:25am and at a huge (half order) of biscuits and gravy with some sausage at Little Bit Country Cafe (if I recall the name correctly). This would have been a perfect place to seek out some stealth camping. However, it was cold, raining, and I had just begun my day. I found that the 75 was decent to bike on. The winds were coming from ENE, so the wind was no longer to my back, but at least I wasn't biking directly into the wind. Biking was monotonous however my body was not nearly as sore as I had originally expected. In Frankfort I stopped at the library to dry off. I was completely soaked and getting colder. My "rain" gear wasn't fully water proof. After 3 or 4 hours of biking in the rain, the water would start to soak through. I was able to use a computer at the library only to confirm another week of storms and rain along with flooding of southern Indiana. An hour break and I decided to continue on, this time with headphones and an mp3 playing. Another 20 miles to Lebanon and I was done for the day. Right as I started biking into Lebanon the song Free Bird started to play which gave a nice final boost to bike to my final destination. This time I was able to keep all my gear dry so I could have camped, however, I was completely drenched down to my shoes. After getting yet another hotel room, it took me all evening to get my clothes and shoes dry. The weather channel had nothing but bad news for weather for the next week. Southern Indiana looked like it was basically underwater (especially in Evansville). There was so much flooding I don't think camping would be very much of an idea.


Final Decision:

Thunderstorms, rain, wind, and flooding kinda put a damper on letting me camp or really continue the trip since I did not like the idea of paying for any more hotels. I was right next to the indianapolis airport, so I decided to fly from Indianapolis Indiana to Atlanta Georgia. Spent a week with my brother and his wife. Flew back from Atlanta to Grand Rapids. Plane tickets total $85, 4 days of biking way more than $85.

Life lives on...

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Short bike ride

This pasted weekend I helped out with a friends high school graduation party. I was the chef "master". My duty was to cook the burger and hot dogs. After all is said and done, 40 burgers were cooked and some number of hot dogs were cooked. Left overs, 40 burgers and 2 hot dogs. Very well executed in my book only requiring a few people to wait for their burgers. Yet another event I can add to my cooking resume for large groups (along with the times I've cooked for BG and family cookouts).

Memorial day my family went to a Kalamazoo Kings baseball game, and the Kings won.

Project paint the dell laptop, has turned out so so (kinda bad) with just rattle cans. So instead of using spray paint, I found out a good friend from church has the equipment to paint it professionally. He is an amazing guy to say the least!

Next subject biking: The short route today, 45 minutes, 9 miles (biking on center was kinda crazy)
route

Monday, May 19, 2008

Another bike ride

I planned on biking for only an hour, however I ended up biking 2 hours. My route seemed pretty far out. (route) I would have guessed the route to be between 35 and 40 miles. Turns out I'm still slow at biking and the route was only 28 miles. I did increase my average speed from 10 mph to almost 15 mph. Time to get some food.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

White Oak

Today I found myself playing golf at the White Oak golf course. The White Oak golf course has two 18 hole courses. Tee off time was approximately 12:30 in the afternoon. There was a group of four of us, my brother, 2 others, and myself. Three and a half hours later at the end of hole 11, we could hear the rumble of a thunderstorm. Thus, my brother and I thought it would be best to call it a day for golfing. A very good call because 30 minutes later, the rain started to downpour. Golf was a load of fun even despite being unable to complete all 18 holes. I hadn't played golf since early high school. My stroke count was usually double par, or just below double par (because I either messed up my drive or messed up my putt).

After the game of golf, we started working on a 1000 piece puzzle. I took a pretty systematic approach to matching the pieces. I worked on the perimeter, then the row inside the perimeter, and so on... Since this puzzle had a fairly defined border, it made this process work efficient. Oh and the puzzle was a map of the ancient world if you are really curious about the puzzle ;)

Off to bed!

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Day 4 (from the road)

I am currently sitting in the Frankfort, IN library trying to dry off and warm up. First three days I had been biking into the wind which made biking extremely slow. I'm hoping to make it to Lebanon today and find a place to stay. Well I'm off!

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Jericho

I just finished watching all 29 episodes of Jericho on joost (in about 5 days). At the very least it was intriguing. The series only lasted 2 seasons on tv. After watching all the episodes of Jericho, I very well could imagine why. They leave lots of cliff hangers while barely solving the cliff hanger from before. I would not be able to wait a week in between each episode. Also, it seems to me that the show appeals to more to an online/internet audience.

Just my personal opinion. It looks like you can watch Jericho on the CBS website: http://www.cbs.com/primetime/jericho/. Or as I watched it, on joost: http://www.joost.com.


Time is getting closer to my bike trip departure!

Packing Jenny Craig

Well, 2 days before my expected departure of my long talked about bike trip. I have nearly all my supplies to my knowledge (minus a few misc items that are not required).

Initially and currently I have the panniers categorized into:
Front [16lb]
p:Tools/First Aid - 8.5lb
r:Sleeping bag - 2.5
p:Camping/Cooking supplies - 5lb

Rear [16lb]
p:Clothes - 7.5lb
r:Tent/Sleeping pad - 5lb
p:Food - ?~3.5lb

note: p-in pannier, r-on rack

My goal was to keep the gear weight below 50lb (Thus total weight bearing on the bike less than 175lb). So far it looks very promising that I may even beat that goal!

I decided that I will be going through the book of Romans and Proverbs on my bike trip.


List of supplies remaining (that comes to mind right now):
-bandanna
-biking shorts
-mouth guard

Monday, April 28, 2008

More on bike routes

I picked up some general maps for Indiana, Kentucky, and Tennessee from Barnes and Nobles this evening. I will be mapping out some private campgrounds (besides the state and national parks already mapped out). Along with the campgrounds marked out, I came across a few websites indicating some good bike routes. Hopefully this will be enough to find some good roads with plenty of camping opportunities.

Indiana: http://www.lafayette-in.com/bikeindiana.html
Kentucky: http://bikewalk.ky.gov/

Departure time is a week away! Still a bunch of stuff needs to be accomplished between now and then.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Sweetwaters

After church this evening I stopped by Sweetwater's donuts to redeem my "One free donut or coffee" coupon from Bronco Bash back in the fall. I first picked out the Reeses donut (Chocolate cake topped with peanut butter creme and chocolate). The lady asked if any others looked good to me, of course all of the donuts looked good to me, but I wasn't sure if she was trying to get me to just buy a second donut or offering a second free donut. After a bit of enticing, I gave in and said the New York Cheesecake (Cream cheese filling with strawberry creme on top). Turns out she gave it to me free as well! And my oh my, a very good second choice. I think I almost like the New York Cheesecake better than the Reeses.

On that note, you should go patronize Sweetwater's Donuts on Stadium, because I sure will! Two free donuts, gets my stomach's vote.

Website - Sweetwater's Donut Mill

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Movin' on out, movin' on up!

My apartment is feeling pretty empty now that I have taken nearly 10 car loads of my junk back to my house. I also feel like I have way too much junk. What do I need all this stuff for?

On that note, it feels like Christmas. Yesterday I picked up a bunch of stuff for my bike, which should basically complete all the requirements for my bike trip. This trip seems like it is burning a hole in my wallet. At the end, I hope I see it as a good investment of some kind?


stuff...junk...all I want is a little bit of food and a Bible, and maybe one of these: http://www.wickedlasers.com/lasers/The_Torch-74-0.html

Friday, April 25, 2008

AdventureWorks Database

Tips on installing AdventureWorksDW for the analysis tutorial for SQL 2005:
1) Download the file at: http://www.codeplex.com/MSFTDBProdSamples/Release/ProjectReleases.aspx?ReleaseId=4004 (No longer at downloaded at Microsoft)
2) Select the AdventureWorksBI.msi (This is the database for the ssas tutorials).
3) Run the msi installer that you just downloaded, default installation is fine.
4) The msi installer for the sql 2005 Adventure Works database does not automatically attach the database files to a SQL Instance. There are multiple ways of accomplishing this:
a) Open Sql Managment Studio, New Query, Copy the text below (If you made any changes to the install location, or the drive is not on C, then make the appropriate changes in the file names. Just search for AdventureWorks if you're not sure of the file location)

exec sp_attach_db @dbname = N'AdventureWorks',
@filename1 = N'C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL.1\MSSQL\Data\AdventureWorks_Data.mdf',
@filename2 = N'C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL.1\MSSQL\Data\AdventureWorks_log.ldf'

[http://www.codeplex.com/SqlServerSamples/Wiki/View.aspx?title=SQLServerDatabasesandSamplesOverview&referringTitle=Home]

b) Connect to the SQL Server Instance that you would like to install the AdventureWorks database. Right click the database folder and select "Attach...". This will bring up a SQL Server Attach Databases Dialog. Click the Add button and locate the AdventureWorks_Data.mdf file.


Basically it's really easy, you need to know that the msi file does not automatically attach the database.

Strike 3

Fire alarm just started going off again...gargh!

[Edit] 7:21am they finally turned off the alarm. Time to file a complaint with the city for non-working fire alarms.
[Edit2] 7:19pm - My ears still hurt because of the fire alarm.

Wake up call

5am is a perfect time for the fire alarm in my apartment building to be set off. This is the second time, and yet again, it took another 30 minutes before they could the fire alarm turned off. The fire alarms are pretty poor, either it is deafening loud like in my apartment, or barely audible. Well time to fall asleep for 1 or 2 more hours. Positive outlook: I'm moving out of these apartments in a few more days and school is finished for the semester?

Sufjan Stevens is Super!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Bones

After my computer architecture class, I walked back to my apartment taking an extended detour through the field and woods. The weather is phenomenal, warm, slight breeze, and sunny. While walking I came across some bones almost like a leg. My guess is that the bones were from a deer, but it was strange that no other bones were around.

Anyways, always check your entire body for ticks after a walk through a field and/or woods...cause they are sneaky.

RISC Machine


Ah yes, this is the output of my risc machine for computer architecture. I hope to go into more explanation once I get some free time (like after my bike trip).

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

KHA(+)S

M()NSTER - KHA(+)S - energy + juice

The monster energy drink isn't as bad as I remember...although it's not helping with any motiviation for studying for exams.

Other cool stuff: Excel 2007, wow, it worked amazingly well pulling data from a cube, displaying the data, graphing, etc... It was really easy, and I was able to gather some detailed information from the graphs. Now I just need to work on building a better cube. I'm hooked on business intelligence and how easy Microsoft has made the development process.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Reading maps

A supurb article done by Ken Kifer on reading maps (primarily for biking purposes). It is unfortunate that Ken is no longer around with all his advice on bicycle touring. Anyways, the article:
http://www.kenkifer.com/bikepages/touring/maps.htm

Also, it looks like I will be picking up almost the rest of my supplies for my trip Saturday. I feel like I'm spending way too much money on this trip, I'll let you know if it was worth it at the end of the trip.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Earthquake

This morning around 5:30am I was awakened by my apartment shaking. Well more like swaying side to side while I laid in my bed. The thought of an earthquake crossed my mind, however, the apartment wasn't majorly shaking, and I dismissed it with the idea "What are they doing in the apartment above me?". This morning I found out it was an earthquake (epicenter at the lower Illinois/Indiana border line with a magnitude of 5.2). To put this into perspective, I've mapped out the approximate location of the epicenter and where I am currently located, nearly 400 miles away.


Here's the link to a new article about the quake for further reading: http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/04/18/illinois.earthquake/ or

http://earthquake.usgs.gov/eqcenter/recenteqsww/Quakes/us2008qza6.php#details

Classes are almost over, but I still have a ton of stuff to get finished before my bike trip! Let's get it on.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Slowly Changing Dimensions

I learn something new every time I go to work. Today, the concept of slowly changing dimensions. Typically when I created a database and then a website application to go on top of the database, I had the typical select, update, and insert. The update function would overwrite the current values with the new values. So what about history of the data? It's gone obviously.

Let's say we are looking to analyze the data in our database. The database is tracking sales from users. One user buys items, then moves to another state (and updates their account information) and buys more items. If you want to know the sales by state, all the sales for that user will be linked to their current location. Maybe this is what you want, however if you want to compare sales in each state over time, history will keep changing. Solution? Slowly changing dimensions: keep a history of these dimensions that change over time (typically slowly, hence the name slowly changing dimensions).

Time to adjust my databases, as Yuri once said: "The less you know, the better you sleep".

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Man who biked around the world

Man who biked around the world - BBC series.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4h-hjx1K3-o (Part 1 of the first Episode, I'll leave it to you to find the rest)

This guy is insane...but a very good show to say the least. A must watch!

ASP.NET Memberships and Roles

Excellent source of information for memberships and roles in asp.net:
http://weblogs.asp.net/scottgu/archive/2006/02/24/438953.aspx

It helped me move my membership and roles database from a mdf file to a sql database.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Floating point calculations

load
md 1000 1100
g 122a
md 1000 1100



I have type those lines sooo many times while trying to debug these undocumented floating point routines in ICC12. __tofp1, __tofp2, __fpmul, and __fromfp1 seem to like to mess/use space that you have not indicated.

Now I get to spend time coding my own floating point routines in assembly. If anyone knows some open source code that does floating point calculations for the hcs12 microcontroller, that would simplify my life. C is starting really good right now, let the compiler and assembler do the work.

My brain in shot, so time for circuit analysis!

Xilinx

Norton Antivirus did the normal annoying scan which it does every Sunday. Typically when I let it run, it takes about a hour and a half. Now with Xilinx installed a couple weeks ago, the scan took two and a half hours. I knew xilinx was a large program, but I didn't realize that it contained so many files that it extended a file scan almost an hour.

Point of this post... Xilinx ISE (even excluding model sim) is bigger than Visual Studio. yikes!

Sometime I may post my RISC machine that I developed in Verilog (with Xilinx ISE of course) for my computer architecture class. Of course the risc machine only had 256 bytes of memory (thankfully I fit everything required in about 40% of the space).

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Resistors...

Classic. (From http://xkcd.com/227/)

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Monte Carlo and Reliability Engineering

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monte_Carlo_method
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reliability_engineering

Tonight I spent sometime developing and helping a fellow friend with a vb.net application to calculate the reliability of a system using a Monte Carlo analysis. Suffice to say, I learned quite a bit (which I shall bore you with at another time). Interestingly enough, my engineering economy class covered the basic aspects of the Monte Carlo simulation. The engineering economy class focused primarily on the financial side instead of the reliability side.

As you can tell from my fragmented thoughts...I'm tired. Thus, I shall fall asleep now!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

MS SQL 2005 Express

I have successfully transferred my entire website project from my laptop to my desktop. Logically one would setup a database that is accessible through the internet. However, I still wanted a local database copy to work from (which is great for getting data out of sync between the two sources). Thus, I had to do a backup database, and then sent the backup to the destination computer, and restored database (allowing overwrite). I know, probably a really bad way to transfer a database, but it worked.

The only issues I ran into while transferring this project is that database mdf file for personalization requires MS SQL 2005 Express. After installing sql express, success!

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Vista Profile Service

A post that may be of use to someone on the internet:
Currently I am working on a Dell Inspiron 1501 laptop with Vista. Scrolling through the event viewer while in Safe Mode, it appears that the User Profile could not be loaded so it loaded a temporary profile. The next login, however, Vista was unable to load the user profile. In fact, it started throwing a
"The User Profile Service service failed the logon. The UserProfile failed to load."

The best fix is to use the System Restore. I restored the computer back to the lastest restore point, and the computer logs in normally. Complete instructions follow:

1. Turn on computer
2. Press F8 until you get a menu with System Recovery/Safe Mode/Safe Mode with...
3. Select Safe Mode
4. Login with the user account. This solution assumes you are able to login to your account through safe mode.
5. Start All Programs Accessories System Tools System Restore
6. Restore your computer to an earlier point. Your computer will reboot and you should be able to login now.
7. Success! Celebrate with a can of Mountain Dew or something...

Another option (basically the same as above but using a different means). I used the method above, but I presume that this approach will accomplish the same task.
1. Turn on computer
2. Press F8 until you get a menu with System Recovery/Safe Mode/Safe Mode with...
3. Select the System Recovery Mode
4. Login with an admin user account. This solution also assumes you are able to login.
5. A menu is displayed with a couple options:
a) You can try to automatically detect and fix any problems (this most likely will only help if you have driver issues during boot up).
b) Select System Recovery. <-
6. Restore your computer to an earlier point. Your computer will reboot and you should be able to login now.
7. Success! Celebrate with a can of Mountain Dew or something...

At last! I hope this post helps you in a time of trouble.

cheers

Monday, April 07, 2008

Maybe it's time to start writing down my thoughts again...First up is my bike trip, most likely not a surprise if you've talked to me any time recently. Below is the general direction of my route. I will be Forrest Gumping it, or rather just biking where I feel like biking. In general, however, below will give you a good sense of my current plans.