Archive for December, 2009

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Waking up when the sun goes down

December 15, 2009

That’s what’s been happening ever since the quarter let out and winter break began. I’ve been staying up late and waking up late. With winter here in full force, sunset is early and nightfall kicks in sooner in the day. So, I find myself getting up late and by the time I’m all groomed, dressed, and out of the house, the sun is already setting on the horizon with the moon peeking out between the clouds. Ha, it’s an interesting way of doing things.

One of my hard drives stopped being recognized by the computer. Both BIOS and Windows couldn’t find the drive. After trying a few things like switching SATA ports, cables and whatnot, I was able to isolate the problem to the drive. But, the drive was still spinning when powered, no clicking noises had come from it ever, and was a perfectly healthy drive. I remembered Andrew telling me something about the firmware before, so to the ‘Nets I went. After a short search, I came across people using Seagate drives with SD15 firmware and having the same problems. Turns out, the firmware is faulty and under certain circumstances will lock up the drive. This essentially stops access to the drive and seems to brick the drive. I yanked out the drive from my computer, lo and behold, it was running firmware SD15. A little more searching, I found that 30-40% of the drives running firmware SD15 were locking up. That’s terrible. I gave Seagate a call and they hooked me up with I365, their subsidiary that offered data recovery and hard drive hardware repair services. They told me to send in my drive and they’d attempt a force firmware update, hopefully it would unlock my drive while keeping all my data intact. So, I sent the drive in and await for the good word. In the meantime, I have a second identical drive and have updated the firmware on that on just in case. John also has one and I’ve told him to update his firmware. He kinda brushed it off at first, but I literally told him, do it or lose everything you have on it. Scared him into flashing his firmware.

Oh yeah, I took part in a pool tournament this past weekend. It was called the Triangle Tournament, with games including 7-ball, 8-ball, and 9-ball. After a quick test of skill, I was assigned the level B, which is moderate in skill. After playing a bit, the tournament head asked how long I had played. 3 months is how long I’ve been playing and I’m proud to have reached B in that short amount of time. But, the tournament head said that I’ll be written as a C level player next time. That’ll give me an easier handicap against harder players. That’s perfectly fine because then I’ll have the skills of a moderate player with the handicap that beginning players get. Haha, awesome. Also, one of the B level players, whom has played pool for 2 years, asked me to join his pool team. That’s pretty cool, seeing how far I’ve been able to get in just 3 months. Still, I don’t think I”ll be joining the team since I like the game for what it is, a game. I play for fun, to relieve stress and to have fun with friends. I don’t really feel like turning it into a competitive sport just yet.

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Logitech Air Mouse: My first impressions

December 8, 2009

I’ve been in the market of replacing my desktop mouse, a Logitech VX Revolution. Now, here’s the kicker. The VX is a laptop mouse. I use it on my desktop because it fits my hand almost perfectly. I love it to death and would easily go out and buy another one, but I was looking at other prospects. One of them has been the Logitech Air Mouse, an awesome mouse that can be used on a desk or in the air! Andrew actually has one that he wasn’t using at the moment, so I asked to borrow it for a few days to see what it was like. Here’s my email I sent to him about my first reactions to it.

When I first pulled out the mouse, first thing I thought was “woah”. This thing is sleek. As I dug into the box, out came the USB receiver, the dock and the power cord. Now, this is the first mouse I’ve personally used on my computer that has a dock, so it’s a new experience for me. I’ve always been a battery kind of person.

Anyway, not heeding your warning that the batteries needed charging, I flicked on the power for the mouse. It was alive! It still had a charge, surprisingly. And the glows came to life. AWESOME. I saw in the pics what it looked like, but never thought it’d be this cool. I held it in my hand like a remote and waved it around a bit. Very light and felt great in the hand. Alright, enough random waving, time to plug it into my computer.

Now, since I already use Logitech Keyboards and Mice (My beloved VX Revolution), I already had the SetPoint software installed. I just plugged in the receiver for the Air mouse and BAM, it was instantly recognized! After tweaking some sensitivity settings a bit, I had it where I liked it. Before you handed me the mouse, I had told you how I was afraid of scratching the base of the mouse by using it on the desk since I had assumed this was more of a “hold in the air” kind of mouse. But, like you assured me, it had the usual teflon feet mice do, four feet, to be exact. In fact, it was very smooth, especially since you barely used it yourself. The next test was to actually pick it up and wave it around. AMAZING.

The mouse is almost literally and point-and-use mouse. You aim the front of the mouse and gyroscopes in the mouse are able to pick up the movement. Definitely a big step up from accelerometers found in phones which can only identify angle and tilt. It’s almost like using a remote. The extra functions on the mouse are nice to use, too.

The biggest change for me is that there’s not scroll wheel. Instead, you get a big touch scroll pad which has two clicks. The touch scroll pad is definitely reminds me of the Apple Magic Mouse doing away with a scroll input on their mouse, too. It’s awkward to use at first, but you get used to it. I changed the bottom click of the scroll pad to a regular middle click with the software, that click is essential to my web-surfing because I use it to open and close tabs constantly.

The only bad thing I can say about the mouse so far, after just a few hours (maybe 5) of use, is that the mouse may be a bit too sleek. It’s kinda long, so you’ll notice a definite divide from the regular mouse user at the top and the pick-me-up buttons at the bottom. This makes using the middle scroll pad difficult because it’s really long. Maybe I’ll used to it after a little more use.

The mouse is cool, no doubt. The sleekest thing I’ve seen in mice for a long time, only rivaled by Apple’s own Magic Mouse.

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AT&T at De Anza rant

December 7, 2009

Maybe it’s the way the campus is layed out or maybe it’s the tree in the area. Who knows, buy AT&T coverage sucks a lot at De Anza. I know there are bound to be blind spots here and there, but come on. It’s just a pure shot in the dark as to whether or not you’ll be able to get 3G and get online, much less make a simple phonecall. The worst part is that I’m on an iPhone. Apple is right down the street! You’d think Steve Jobs would make sure his beloved iPhone would have adequate coverage in the immediate vicinity if his corporation. All I wanted to do was surf some webpages and stream some music, not play some guessing games. Is that too much to ask for, AT&T?

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