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.