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  • Vermyndax 8:00 am on July 3, 2014 Permalink | Log in to leave a Comment
    Tags: job,   

    Time for new adventures 

    Today is the last day of the job that has preoccupied me for about 2.5 years.

    …I start a new one on Monday after a three day weekend.

    That’s really all I have to say about that.

     
  • Vermyndax 2:06 pm on July 2, 2014 Permalink | Log in to leave a Comment
    Tags: chat, , , FaceTime, , Online chat, , , , , Videotelephony   

    Why Video Chats Don’t Work 

    I was talking to a friend earlier today about video chats and why they don’t work. She said she really didn’t like to do video chats. Actually, come to think of it, I don’t really know many people that like to video chat.

    I am a refugee of Generation X. I don’t know anyone in GenX that actually enjoys video chatting. Face time is irreplaceable. I mean time that is spent face-to-face, not Apple’s FaceTime. I’ve often thought about why I don’t like to video chat and I think it comes down to one simple thing. You can’t properly make eye contact.

    When you’re video chatting with someone, you can’t look them in the eye. You look them in the eye on the screen, not the camera. The person on the other end sees you looking at something else – not them. That starts to grate on your nerves a little bit I think.

    Could this problem be solved? Probably. If someone could invent some multi camera method of video chatting so it looks like you’re making perfect eye contact it would likely go a long way. What I don’t know is how other generations other than mine feel about this. What do you think?

     
  • Vermyndax 1:45 pm on June 3, 2014 Permalink | Log in to leave a Comment
    Tags: , pixar   

    Pixar is releasing RenderMan for free! 

    Pixar is releasing RenderMan, the 3D tool behind its films, for free… noncommercial use only.

    Make a note to pick it up around SIGGRAPH 2014!

     
  • Vermyndax 5:43 am on June 3, 2014 Permalink | Log in to leave a Comment
    Tags: , , , ,   

    The Tone of the WWDC Keynote 

    One thing I wanted to mention in my post about WWDC last night… did anyone feel that the tone of the overall keynote was different? It felt a little more relaxed and fun. It seems like Tim Cook has encouraged his staff to be more relaxed and at ease with what they are doing. There was more humor and more open honesty.

    I think Tim is trying to strike a keen balance between old school Apple secrecy and a new humane approach to the work they are doing. I think he’s listening to the consumers about how things should be (iCloud Drive is a likely example of that).

    I like Tim Cook. I like where he’s taking the company. All of you who keep crying about Apple’s lack of innovation need to look back at Microsoft’s record the past 20 years. Give Apple some time and they will surprise you. They like to lay a lot of foundation work before they spring a surprise on anyone. This WWDC was foundational. I expect a lot of interesting things this fall.

     
  • Vermyndax 8:45 pm on June 2, 2014 Permalink | Log in to leave a Comment
    Tags: , , , , ,   

    OS X 10.10 and iOS 8 Thoughts 

    I should be at WWDC 2014 this year, but I’m not. I work for a Microsoft-centric shoppe right now and they just don’t see the value in it. Nevertheless, I put my name in for the lottery and I didn’t win anyway.

    I watched most of the keynote from afar and parts of the State of the Union address. All of it is ultra exciting. If they get Continuity, iCloud Drive (FINALLY OMG) and Messages right, this will be a killer OS combo with iPhones, iPads and Macs.

    There’s a plethora of articles out there explaining what’s up. I highly recommend Anandtech write-ups in almost every scenario.

    Also, I’m really interested in Swift – this new programming language. It seems quite daft. Too bad I’m not as proficient with Obj-C as I wanna be yet. When they announced the new language, my first thought was all the people who are groaning about the iOS and Mac programming courses that they have to remake… or, more likely, how excited they are that they can make another round of these things and a windfall of cash.

    There’s great things to come in the world of Apple. I’m looking forward to seeing where the home automation stuff goes too.

    Who cares about an iWatch and TV? Whatever.

     
  • Vermyndax 7:29 am on May 29, 2014 Permalink | Log in to leave a Comment
    Tags: blue screen of death, , BSOD, injury, , martial arts, , ,   

    Owies 

    I’ve had a challenging few weeks.

    It started off with a typical sinus infection… or allergies, I’m not sure which exactly. All I know is that I had a sore throat, stuffy nose and semi-regular headaches. I managed it with cold medicine and nose spray the best I could. I continued my normal workout regimen because usually, working out actually helps with congestion. This wasn’t the case this time around.

    The problems hung out for a few days. It started to clear up on Friday around my birthday. On Sunday, we decided to go on an 8.5 mile bike ride. It felt great to be out in the sun and spring air. When we got home however, my right ear instantly filled up. It’s like someone poured glue in my ear. It started a high-pitched squeal.

    The worst part was the pain. The pain was epic. I’ve never had pain in my ear like that before. It was so brutal that I would try anything to get rid of it. I tried all kinds of home remedies. Nothing worked. A few days later I finally went to the doctor and he confirmed it was just a massive ear infection. They gave me a shot of some plant spores in my ass and sent me on my way.

    A day or two later we were sparring in Tae Kwon Do class. I was fighting one of my classmates and decided to do a regular, clean roundhouse kick with my right leg. I brought it up. So did he. We kicked at the same time. Our shins met and clacked like swords. The pain was instant and terrifying.

    The bruise was even worse. Fifteen minutes after sustaining the hit my leg was already bruising.

    IMG 2216

    The pain subsided a little bit. I suppose it was adrenaline kicking in or something. Who knows. It really didn’t feel that bad. Then I got home and noticed my leg was burning. I looked down and discovered that it was pissed.

    IMG 2218

    This really wasn’t turning out to be my week.

    I forgot the best part. While this fantastically shitty week was going on… I was working from home because of how awful I felt and the fact that I was deaf in my right ear. I just wasn’t fit to be around people. I had absolutely zero joy to share with the world. I was working along on and then decided to take a break. I went downstairs to grab a drink or a snack or something. I don’t remember. I came back upstairs and my Macbook Pro was completely black. The fans were running… loud. This wasn’t good. This usually only happens when I’m booted into Windows 8.1.

    I pressed a key. Nothing.

    I powered it off. I waited a few minutes. I pressed the button once more to turn it back on. I was confident this was all going to be okay.

    IMG 2212

    Nope.

    Yeah, that’s my Macbook Pro with a blue screen of death.

    I made a genius appointment. They took it in and held on to it for a few days. They contacted me back around three days later and proclaimed that the Data Doubler part I had put in to run the secondary SSD was faulty. As soon as they unplugged it from the logic board everything was fine. “Weird,” said I, since this had been running fine for three years. I picked the laptop back up. I turned it on. Sure enough, it was fine.

    Fifteen minutes or so later, it died again.

    thanks apple

    I made another genius bar appointment and brought it back. This time I had replace all of the original parts in the MBP.

    During this time I worked off my iPad as the primary machine for a few days and then switched to my 2008 Mac Pro. This was fine because I wanted to work from home anyway, thanks to my medical challenges.

    On Saturday that week they returned the MBP with a brand new logic board. It’s been working fine ever since. This time, I thank Apple… without the sarcasm.

    My leg and my hearing were still bad. At this point I’m in week two of a nightmarish way to start my 43rd year. I was having trouble walking for sure and my leg developed hematomas all over the place from the injury down to the bottom of my foot. I was icing it regularly and doing my best to keep the swelling down. The swelling is what was hurting the most. The injury itself wasn’t that bad.

    Now it’s about three weeks later and my hearing has gotten better. I ended up visiting an ENT thanks to a friend of mine who works there. I had been prescribed another round of antibiotics from my regular doctor.

    He also put me on blood pressure medicine.

    Out of all of the maladies, this was the most crushing I think. I felt like I had failed. Three years ago this doctor had told me to lose weight or face high blood pressure and diabetes. I lost 80 lbs. over the past three years and I’ve managed to keep most of it off. I was putting weight back on this week because… this week. I wasn’t given a choice on the blood pressure medicine. This saddened me for a few days, but the more I think about it, the more I think it was a good idea. We’ll see.

    Overall it’s been a really tough week. I’m getting through it. I’ve not really worked out in 2-3 weeks and that’s been tough. I hate feeling like I’m a lazy bastard. I hope the worst is behind me and it’s nothing but up from this point forward. I probably needed a break anyway.

     
  • Vermyndax 7:42 am on March 31, 2014 Permalink | Log in to leave a Comment
    Tags: cloud,   

    Microsoft’s Settled for Relevance 

    This post summarizes my thoughts on Nadella’s Microsoft very nicely.

    When OneDrive gets provider-side encryption and an API that puts it on par with Dropbox… the war is really on.

     
  • Vermyndax 5:54 am on March 12, 2014 Permalink | Log in to leave a Comment  

    Sick 

    I really don’t like being sick. Nevertheless, the seasonal sinus fairy came to visit.

    My poor liver.

     
  • Vermyndax 8:20 am on March 10, 2014 Permalink | Log in to leave a Comment
    Tags:   

    A Reminder from the Terminal Cow 

    This morning, my terminal cow had to remind me of something fundamental.

     ___________________________________ 
    / You have literary talent that you \
    \ should take pains to develop.     /
     ----------------------------------- 
            \   ^__^
             \  (oo)\_______
                (__)\       )\/\
                    ||----w |
                    ||     ||
     
  • Vermyndax 8:28 am on March 4, 2014 Permalink | Log in to leave a Comment
    Tags: bots, htaccess, link, , spam, spambots, tricks, web,   

    URL Update 

    I’ve been doing a pretty bad job of updating this blog. Part of the reason is that I wanted to update the URL to move the blog to the root. I finally got around to doing that today. It’s not that painful, so I don’t know why I waited so long to do it.

    In the meantime, I’ll start off by sharing an interesting WordPress trick that I picked up here. I’ve been trying to figure out a way to stop spambots from registering on this site and my many other WordPress sites. I may have finally figured out a way to do that. I just implemented it. We’ll see how well it works.

    The trick is to add the following block of code to your .htaccess file in the root of your WordPress installation.

    # BEGIN ANTISPAMBLOG REGISTRATION
    RewriteEngine On
    RewriteCond %{REQUEST_METHOD} POST
    RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} .wp-signup.php*
    RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !.galaxycow.com. [OR]
    RewriteCond %{HTTP_USER_AGENT} ^$
    RewriteRule (.*) http://die-spammers.com/ [R=301,L]

    Of course, you need to change “galaxycow.com” in the above code to reflect what your site is using.

    We’ll see how well it works. Thanks to D’Arcy Norman for that neat trick.

     
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