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Computer Parts
avatar So today I got parts to rebuild my computer. A new motherboard, processor, couple sticks of RAM, and a video card. I put it all together, booted it up, checked the BIOS settings, and then ran Memtest86. Memtest threw tons of errors at me in test #5. I tried running just single sticks of RAM instead of two in dual channel mode, which did not have any errors. Also, my two old sticks work fine together. After relaxing the timings of the new memory a lot I was able to get it to run without errors as well. However, it still could not boot into either of the operating systems installed already (Windows XP Professional and Gentoo) and whenever I reboot the computer the computer beeps at me (high-low-high-low and then stops) no matter what RAM I have in it. I have not had a working desktop computer for most the day now so I've been on my laptop. On top of this, I think I may have managed to lose a lot of data on my primary hard drive while trying to install another operating system. While my computer is down I will have limited access to my e-mail and scanner.

swaq›   September 29th, 2005

Lake Tahoe
avatar Last week I went to Lake Tahoe with my dad and two high school friends. We stayed at the Horizon on the 11th floor which had an amazing view of the lake. One of the highlights of the trip for me was the driving. I did almost all of the driving from Eugene to Reno, to Lake Tahoe, to Sacramento, and back to Eugene. probably well over 1000 miles. I hit 100mph once on a deserted road in our 2002 Honda Accord LX and that was with four people in the car and all their luggage.

Even though I'm 21 now I didn't really do much drinking or gambling. In fact, I haven't had any alcohol since I turned 21 and I only played two hands of blackjack and some video poker, all with my dad's money. Call me crazy but I really don't see the appeal. There is a lot of cigarette smoke in the casinos and the noise of the slot machines gets old after about 10 seconds. Maybe it's because I've grown up around casinos that they don't seem all that special. It is sad to watch so many people lose tons of money. Definitely not my type of entertainment.

Hanging out with my friends was good though. I haven't seen them much since we graduated from high school since we go to different colleges now. We got to play a lot of games (mostly Acquire) and talk a lot.

swaq›   September 25th, 2005

XBox Live
avatar I recently started a subscription to XBox Live, thanks to a 2-months free code I got with Halo 2. I've played before on my brother's account but it's really nice to have an account of my own. I've been playing a lot of Halo 2 and I feel I'm actually getting pretty good at it. I recently won my first game of Rumble Pit (free for all) on my account.

One more day until I'm 21. Next week I'm going to Reno, Nevada with my dad and some friends as a birthday trip type thing. My time at a computer will probably be very limited for a full week starting this Saturday.

swaq›   September 15th, 2005

Computer Parts and an Apple
avatar I have listed some items on eBay. All computer parts, mostly 168-pin SDRAM, but also an old Celeron and ATi video card. I'll be listing more of my old computer stuff within the next week.

Sorry for the lack of news posts this month. I guess the biggest news is that I bought a new laptop. It's an Apple iBook and very very white. I am very excited as this is the first Mac I've ever owned. So far it has exceeded my expectations. Today my flash card reader wasn't working on my desktop computer but worked perfectly on the iBook. My old Dell Inspiron was quite heavy so I got this with the intention of bringing it with me more often. Speaking of the Dell, I'll be selling that too soon, but I'm offering it to friends and relatives first.

swaq›   August 29th, 2005

Forum Rebound
avatar I got the forum back up a lot sooner than I expected. It was really simple to import the old tables and style. I was planning on spending a day or so on it when I had free time but it really didn't take me much longer than a half hour. If you had created an account on the forum before the switch it should still work, unlike last time I changed the forum (didn't back up the tables that time...).

swaq›   August 4th, 2005

The 'Ol Host Switcheroo
avatar So I finally took the plunge and switched hosting companies. Nexpoint just wasn't giving me enough space to work with and the administrative tools were terribly slow. I thought when I signed up for it that 500MB of space would be all I'd ever need, but I was wrong. This site has expanded rapidly and I also didn't factor in the web traffic logs, which were over 100MB when I switched. The new host, IX Web Hosting, allows 5000MB of space and 300GB of bandwidth (monthly). That is ten times as much space as I had before and six times the bandwidth. And here's the real kicker: it's cheaper! That's right, I'm paying $1.26 less per month now than I was with the previous host.

This site has come a long ways since its humble beginnings on a free Geocities account with something like 5MB of disk space. It has been hosted by many different hosts always slowly increasing the hosting plan. I think the first host I actually paid money for was on FreeWebs which got me 100MB of space. For a while I also had a free CrossWinds account that had unlimited space as long as you display a banner ad on your site. I only used that for some experimental site stuff and hosting the blueprints before I had enough space on my primary host. I'm pretty sure they can't afford to offer that hosting plan anymore...

As a consequence of the move, I had to switch over a bunch of the MySQL tables for this site. There is a pretty good change I messed up in writing the script that copied over the tables so if you see something strange please send me an e-mail about it. Also, I have not got around to the forum yet, so the link for that is down for now.

swaq›   August 2nd, 2005

Power Problems
avatar A few days ago I was helping a friend diagnose what was wrong with his computer. I tried plugging my power supply into his motherboard, didn't work. I tried plugging my power supply directly into the wall outlet to see if it was his surge protector that was acting up. Still no luck. A few minutes later I hear a ZAP and see sparks in my power supply and smoke coming out. I immediately unplugged it but it was too late. Usually I am very cautious with plugging power supplies directly into wall outlets. I once fried my girlfriend and mom's computers in the same day (power supply and motherboard, same scenario as my friend's computer) by doing that. The power supply I fried helping my friend was an Antec True550. It was a really nice PSU and I had been using it for over two years.

Today I got my replacment power supply, a Sea Sonic S12-430. I've only been using it for a few hours and I already love it. It has a single 120mm fan that is extremely quiet. It also comes with an adapter from a regular 4-pin molex 12V connector to three 3-pin fan connectors, two of which supply low voltage (5V, I think) for quieter operation. My previous power supply came with a built-in fan controller, but the S12-430 does not. I ordered a fan controller that I will use to slow down the rest of my case fans which should result in a very quiet computer.

swaq›   July 29th, 2005

One Hundred Thousand
avatar Last weekend I went to Eagle Crest with my girlfriend and her family/friends. It was a lot of fun. We played mini-golf, card games, watched some movies, and just generally relaxed. The drive was also fun, though long. The Subaru enjoyed the mountain curves and refused to even begin to lose grip around the corners. However, under hard braking the car rattled a lot so I'm afraid the brake rotors might be slightly warped or something. On the trip the car broke 100,000 miles. I bought the car about a year ago with 96,080 miles so I've put around 4,000 miles on it now. I'll put up some pictures of the odometer later.

I've been relatively busy with work so far this summer. I do not want to neglect the website though. My goal is to get caught up on blueprint scanning and update a few pages, most importantly the My Cars page which hasn't been touched in a year. I also plan on expanding the Gallery and perhaps setting up an RSS feed. I also have some behinds the scenes stuff I need to get done. This site is running out of space on the current host, which offers 500MB of space. I will probably have to upgrade my hosting plan in the near future.

swaq›   July 13th, 2005

Summer Nearing
avatar This week is finals week and then I am free for the summer. I have five finals this term: one Monday, two Tuesday, and two more Thursday. Like the last one, this summer I am working full time, but I am not taking a class again. I am definitely looking forward to not worrying about homework for a change. I haven't have a sufficient break from school and homework since the summer before I entered college almost two years ago.

Since I won't be taking a class this summer I hope to have more time to do other things, such as work on my website. There are still quite a few blueprint orders that I need to fill. I also want to add more cars to the gallery and enhance and add to various parts of the site.

swaq›   June 6th, 2005

Revenge of the Sith
avatar On Wednesday night/Thursday morning I went to see the midnight showing of Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith with my girlfriend. I like Star Wars and I enjoyed Episode III. It was very action packed with lots of awesome lightsaber fights. The story was better than Episodes I and II, but not as good as the original trilogy. I would say it is a must see in the theater, simply because of the amazing special effects and sound. There are a few things that I didn't really like in the movie, like the contradiction to something in Episode 6 and the predictability (which was to be expected, I guess).

I was looking at the forum the other day and noticed that the most users ever online was 60. In comparison, there are currently only 10 registered users. So most, if not all, of these people must have been guests. How it is possible for that many people to go through my forum and not post anything I don't know. Is there something that is keeping you all from posting?

swaq›   May 20th, 2005

Firefly
avatar I'm usually not much of a person for TV shows, or TV at all. I like to watch movies now and then, but not on television because I hate commercials. I watched Hogan's Heros a good deal when I was younger, and that was usually recorded on VHS beforehand so that commercials could be fast-forwarded through. There were some other shows I watched a few episodes of, but I never really got into any particular show. My girlfriend is disappointed that I don't share her enthusiasm for Smallville, the show about young Superman or something like that. Besides the fact that I don't take to shows that well, I also shun things that seem too popular. Perhaps that is part of the reason why I don't really want to watch it. For a while I was hearing the "Save Me" theme several times a day.

That being said, I have now come across a show that I actually enjoy some. I really didn't have a choice in watching it the first time, as some other guys were watching it in my room. As you may have already guessed from this post's title, the show is Firefly. I know I'm a little behind the times, since Firefly came out in 2002... I guess that just goes to show how little TV I watch. I've watched about three episodes now and the trailer for the movie, Serenity. It probably helps that I've watched the episodes on DVD so there are no commercials. The stories seem good and there is a feeling of progress after watching an episode (unlike Gilligan's Island). I also like that you do not hear engine noises when ships fly around in space, which is unique for space movies/shows. Besides being more realistic, as sound doesn't propagate in space, it produces a different type of sensation that is hard to describe with words. Or maybe I'm just too tired to articulate it. I need to get to bed.

swaq›   May 5th, 2005

Overwhelmed
avatar This weekend is not long enough. I have way too many things I need to get done. I have a midterm and a homework assignment on Monday, a group presentation and another homework assignment on Tuesday, homework assignment on Wednesday, and finally another midterm on Friday. I need to get at least most of the first two homework assignments, almost all of the presentation stuff, and studying done this weekend. I also want to go home on Sunday for a while to get some other miscellaneous things done. Oh yeah, and Friday is my one-year anniversary with my girlfriend so I need to plan something for that. Anyway, I definitely could use a few extra hours this weekend but oh well, that's life.

swaq›   April 23rd, 2005

Record Traffic
avatar So far this month I have been averaging around 400 unique visitors per day. This is a huge increase from last month which was about 150 unique vistors a day. After looking over the statistics some I've come to the conclusion that most of these hits are from Google images. Most of these people probably don't even read the page at all, they're just skipping on to the images. Oh well, traffic is traffic. Almost makes me wish I had ads up again, but that is too annoying for the visitors.

Recently I've been building up a lot of static electricity from just walking around. I don't know if it's due to the weather or what, but it's kinda weird and a little frustrating. The other day I stepped over to my laptop and moved my finger across the touchpad to wake it up from the screen saver and I zapped the pad. Now whenver I use the touchpad the mouse does not follow the intended path. If I move my finger straight across the pad horizontally the cursor will follow a bell-shaped curve and will slow down and then speed up again. This goes from amusing to annoying very quickly. I ordered a new touchpad on eBay for around $5 plus $9 shipping and handling and it should arrive tomorrow.

In other laptop news I put Linux (Kubuntu) on my girlfriend's computer and now I want to put it on mine. I just have to decide whether or not I want to dual boot with Windows and what distribution I want to use.

swaq›   April 15th, 2005

Productivity
avatar I was actually somewhat productive over spring break. I enhanced the gallery managing code so that I don't have to go into the database to correct mistakes manually. I also scanned more than twenty blueprints. I just set up my laptop with my scanner, sat down and scanned for several hours straight on Friday and Saturday. Once I transfer the scans from my laptop to my desktop I'll be sending those out.

The forum gained yet another member over the break, but not a single post. I still haven't gotten around to uploading and posting any pictures besides the Porsche Carrera GT on the forum yet.

School starts again for me tomorrow. I have five classes this term: Programming Language Fundamentals, Introduction to Statistics for Engineers, Introduction to Numerical Analysis, Digital Logic Design, and Geography of the Non-Western World. Between classes I work, so it'll be another busy term for me. But at least I can relax when summer comes, right? Of course, being myself, I plan on getting way in over my head again by working fourty hours a week while taking a four credit class. Looks like the next time I'll get a rest will be when I retire...

swaq›   March 27th, 2005

Final Four
avatar And I'm not talking about basketball. I have four finals this week before I am released to the freedom of spring break. The first two are U.S. History and Analysis of Algorithms on Monday. Tuesday is Physics and then Matrix and Power Series Methods. Then I get a very long spring break.

A couple days ago I made an attempt to install Gentoo Linux on my main desktop computer. It was going well until I started getting hard drive I/O errors from my brand new Seagate 200GB SATA hard drive. After some fiddling with which cables were plugged in where on my motherboard I made another attempt today which seems to be going well so far. I say so far because as I am typing this on my laptop my desktop's two monitors are rapidly scrolling lots of cool look looking text, which I assume means it is in the process of successfully compiling and building the code that will be used to install Linux on the machine. It's been running for a little over an hour now, so they definitely weren't joking when the directions said "Then go do something to keep your mind busy, because this step takes a long time to complete."

My goals for spring break are pretty simple. Relax, work on my computers, and get somewhat caught up on scanning blueprints for people. Maybe somewhere in there I will hang out with my girlfriend, friends, and/or family. If I'm really lucky I'll update the gallery of this site. Well, back to studying I go.

swaq›   March 14th, 2005

Timestamps
avatar So today I'm making minor fixes to my website. For instance, one Nissan Altima's thumbnail images hadn't been uploaded. Then I come across the home page and find that every single news post has exactly the same timestamp: December 31st, 1969. Obviously something was wrong, since I wasn't even alive in 1969. I immediately suspected the MySQL database and after a little poking around I found that the format that my database stores timestamps was changed. There was no warnings or anything, just all of a sudden changed. At least I discovered it early and was able to change my code (one line had to change) to compensate for the new format.

What is the significance of December 31st, 1969? Well, that was the day before the Unix Epoch, January 1st 1970, which is the date from which Unix timestamps count from in seconds. Apparently the PHP function that converted the database timestamp into readable form couldn't parse it so defaulted to that. Or perhaps it interpreted it as a negative timestamp? In any case, I have fixed the problem.

swaq›   March 7th, 2005

Web Comics
avatar I'm not really a web comic fan. I read a couple, but that's it. The two that I read are MegaTokyo and Applegeeks. What's ironic though, is the content of these comics.

The first is a Japanese-style, almost manga, comic, and the second is about Apples (Macintosh). I have never liked anime or the Japanese style of art, it's just never been my thing. However, for some odd reason I like MegaTokyo. Perhaps it's the story. Or maybe it's that the drawings are more of a cross between anime and "regular" drawings. I have my girlfriend for getting me into that comic.

The other is interesting because I don't own a Mac. I have a desktop PC running Windows XP Pro, a Dell laptop with Windows XP Home, and a Slackware Linux server that I keep in Eugene for data backup (which doesn't go so well when my brother unplugs it). I've always been a Windows person and Linux is pretty new to me. However I have looked at the other side and am actually strongly considering getting an iBook to replace the Dell. However, I am a college student with limited funds so I don't know when I would be able to make the switch.

There is one other comic I'd like to point your attention to. It doesn't really have a title and it is done by a friend of mine. I don't count it as a web comic that I read because it is published in our campus newspaper. However, he does post the comics on the web as well as in the paper. I have linked to it before so you can go find that news post for the link or you can follow these links to two of his comics that are my favorite: this one is how I feel about school sometimes and this one is just funny.

Spring break is rapidly approaching. I am two essays, a programming project, and four finals away!

swaq›   March 6th, 2005

Midterms
avatar I think it's funny when a test is called a midterm when it isn't anywhere near the middle of the term. There are ten weeks in a term at Oregon State and next week is week eight. During this week I will have two so-called midterms. And then during week nine I'll have another one. Oh well, what can you do.

The reason I bring this up is because midterms require studying and studying takes time. I really haven't had as much time as I would have liked to keep up on the website this term due to my course load and work. I have been scanning some blueprints for people but it's been hard to stay on top of things.

In other news, the number of people registered on the forum has almost doubled since my last news post! Of course, considering the number of people there were before, that's not say much. It's only three more people. Now if only they'd actually post...

I kinda missed making a post on Valentine's Day. There really isn't much to say about it except that it was a day for a couple firsts. It was the first Valentine's Day that I haven't been single on. And for my girlfriend I went out to buy flowers for the first time. Roses are expensive. Really expensive.

swaq›   February 20th, 2005

Auto Show
avatar Well, I went to the Portland Auto show again this year. It was pretty good. Some of the cars were really nice and some were really ugly. The really nice list includes the Lotus Elise, Saleen S7, and Porsche Carrera GT. Some Ugly cars were the new Subaru SUV and most of the Chrysler vehicles. The exotics section had some really nice cars but I didn't feel there were enough of them to justify the long line you had to wait in to see them. A race car section replaced the tuner section from last year. I feel this is an improvement since the tuner section was mostly ricers last year but I do miss the Supra from last year.

Like last year, my transportation was the blue 1987 Toyota Supra. However, this year my girlfriend drove (it is her car now). Parking was a pain as usual, though it could have been worse. We were able to stay overnight at Keish's parent's house because they live in Beaverton, which saved us from having to drive an hour and a half twice in one day.

swaq›   February 3rd, 2005

Yes, The Forum Works
avatar Great news, the forum on this site is booming! We just recently got our first registered member who is someone I don't know in person. This pushes the member total to a whopping four people! Jump on the bandwagon, join the exciting forum!

Please note the sarcasm. I had more people on my forum back before I redid it and added the link from the main pages. It would be cool if we got a small community going there but I doubt that is going to happen... Check it out though if you're bored or something, it could use a few more posts by people other than myself.

swaq›   January 20th, 2005




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