Monthly Archives: March 2007

NCAA Bracket

I told a couple people I’d put my bracket up here, so here it is.

The picks were determined by the highly scientific process of “I’ve heard good things about this team,” “I like the name of this team,” and “Ohio State is going down.” (Sorry Paul, nothing personal… but your university’s basketball team did just beat us, soundly…)

Without further ado, here it is: Colin’s Bracket [PDF], it’s half a meg. Blame Facebook. Oh, and sorry about the Geico ads. Again, blame Facebook. In fact, I don’t really recommend downloading this at all: Just go look at my bracket on facebook.

Or read this summary:

Elite Eight

Kansas over UCLA, UNC over Georgetown (my two “I have no clue” picks)

Texas A&M over Ohio State (my “Down with Ohio State” pick)

Florida over Wisconsin (my “I love this school, but I hear more good things about Florida, plus Wisconsin wasn’t playing so hot in their last several games” pick)

Final Four

Florida over Kansas (my “Continuation of I’ve heard good stuff about Florida, and they have some Noah guy” pick)

Texas A&M over UNC (my “Why not?” pick)


Texas A&M over Florida (my “That’s who was left in my bracket, and Florida probably can’t win twice” pick)

New Study Finds Sleeping on Floor Uncomfortable

(MADISON) — Results from a recent scientific study demonstrate a correlation between sleeping on the floor and assorted transient aches and pains, reports one scientist from Madison, WI. After an extensive one-night study and detailed introspection the following morning, it was determined that sleeping on the floor overnight was directly correlated with the experience of miscellaneous aches and pains, e.g., a “throbbing sensation” in the region of the right patella.

McCambridge, the lead scientist in the study, suggests that perhaps the awkward positioning of limbs while sleeping on a rigid surface is partly to blame for the observed effects. “It felt like I had slept with my leg twisted around weird,” the primary subject of the experiment reports.

The study was originally intended to determine if sleeping on the floor was an effective means of avoiding the excess heat trapped in a room with an unopenable window and an Intel Prescott processor. Results for this original phase of the study are inconclusive, however, as the subject fell asleep too quickly to make the requisite objective observations. McCambridge suggests that in the future, the study be repeated at a more reasonable hour, as the subject reported feeling “drowsy” at 0200 when the experiment began.

Further research into methods of avoiding undesired thermal characteristics of the Prescott series of processors are planned for the future.

You're the tertiary storage; I'm the L1 cache

I’m a web crawling spider; you an Internet mosquito;

You thought the 7-layer model referred to a burrito.

fs sa rlidwka

I’ll chown your home and take your access away

You’re outside your scope, son, close them curly brackets

‘Cause I drop punk-a** b****es like a modem drops packets

Awesome. Even the non-computer geeks can appreciate the rhymes, though you’ll need a bit of UNIX background to appreciate the awesomeness: “Kill Dash Nine” – Monzy

Sorry for the censoring… don’t want my blog getting blocked by content filters. I’m sure you understand. -Ed

Update: To answer Craig’s question: props to Scott for pointing me to that! [/Update]

Or Better Yet:

Desktop Revitalization: Episode 1 "Impressed"

Well, over the past month my frustration with my former desktop PC setup was building to a breaking point. I last installed Windows XP SP2 in approximately July 2006. Early on, I messed around with a bunch of drivers for reading Ext2 partitions and for getting my Netgear WG311v3 wifi PCI card working. Ultimately I found something that was “good enough,” but had a couple nasty bugs like: When you turn the PC on, it loads XP up to the point of displaying my wallpaper, and then freezes for about 30 seconds. If you pressed [Enter] on the keyboard, it immediately resumed loading and everything was happy. If you did not (for example, if you instead walked away), then Windows felt attention-deprived, and there was about a 50% chance the machine would hang completely requiring a hard reboot.

Annoying, to say the least.

So, after putting up with that for over a semester, my frustration finally built to the point that I spent the last week copying off all of my data, and last night wiped my drives clean. I also spent some time rolling a custom XP install CD using the amazing nLite utility, which allows you to slipstream hotfixes, PnP drivers, and text-mode drivers, so no more “F6 to install a third-party driver” from floppy disk (who even has those? I mean, besides nerds like me?), and no more “Windows Update found 68 critical updates for your computer.” Very nice.

So, I set up about 35 gigs for Windows XP, popped in the nLite disk, and went to bed. Oh, did I mention that it also fills in all those language/localization settings, network options, display resolutions, default passwords, etc, automatically? When I woke up, my fresh, clean Windows XP desktop was sitting there waiting for me. No more “Oh, just one quick question” in the middle of a 30+ minute installation. Also nice.

The main event, though, was Vista. I haven’t run Vista on this machine since Beta 2 testing for a Microsoft Install Fest this past summer, which I ultimately abandoned in favor of XP due to lack of drivers. So today, I gave Vista another go, using the Ultimate edition. Installation went without a hitch:

Now I’m starting to dig into Vista, and get some software, like Office 2007, up and running. One really cool feature that I didn’t understand the point of when I saw the beta, but kindof surprised me this time around: The Network Map that Vista displays in the Network and Internet Control Panel. For kicks, I set up my PCI wifi card (which Vista already had drivers for, btw), and then was digging around to try and figure out if Vista was using the wireless network or the wired to reach the internet. Here’s what I found:

Isn’t that sweet? I don’t have any idea how it identifies the presence of the switch in there, but that is exactly my setup: DHCP served by the router, cross-overed into a gigabit wired switch as the backbone for all wired communication (e.g., between Myth box and my desktop).

I guess most people probably wouldn’t see that as cool, but man, that was neat. How does it work?? I don’t think switches decrement TTL, do they? Hopefully by the end of CS640 I’ll know!


Originally uploaded by CCmcGeek.

New power supply: check.

Date changed from 1988 to 2007: check.

Software reloaded and executing: check.

This fountain-controlling masterpiece of a machine is looking /Good!/

Lessons from the Daily Cardinal Crossword

I’ve taken to working on the Daily Cardinal crossword puzzles during ECE 342 (MWF) and ECE 551 (TR) recently. Why during class? Well, believe it or not, because it actually helps me learn better! I’m somewhat interested in both classes, and for ECE 342, I actually have a really good professor, but the material for both is awfully dry. If I try to just pay attention to the lecture, especially 551 power lectures, my attention wanders, there’s nothing to do, and so I fall asleep 🙁

On the other hand, when I bring the crossword puzzle along, I have something intellectually stimulating to do when the lecture gets too slow, so I stay awake 🙂

Plus it has the added benefit of increasing my knowledge, as opposed to my other stand-by: pulling out my laptop, which tends to just waste my time 😀

For instance, in the midst of discussing p-channel MOSFET differential amplifiers and improving their gain by means of a current mirror active load configuration, I learned this today:

Latin name for Troy
Capital of Togo
Tea serving, in Britain
Cuppa <– wtf is that?

I didn’t know any of those clues, but was able to fill in the cross words for all but Ilium. Two boxes there I had to look up, with a few more for a total of 4 today. Not bad.

And just for grins, here were this author’s “clever” clues:

Tasty zoo
Animal Crackers
Carrot patch, e.g.
Vegetable Garden
What a geologist makes at the bank?
Mineral Deposit

The sad part is that I actually got all three of those with only about 4 letters each, but I was stuck on “Rim holder” –> Backboard for like 20 minutes, when I had _ _ C K B _ A _ _.

Remember Being 16?

‘Cause man, I sure don’t.

On the other hand, I did receive some beautiful PIC16F’s today from Microchip.


Unfortunately, Travis also informed us on the bus back from Plexus that there is no C compiler for the 16F series, only for the 18F and 24F’s. Probably because the 16F series uses an accumulator architecture with a limited 8-level stack, I guess.

But seriously. Damn. Why couldn’t we have paid more attention when ordering the things? Now we’re either going to have to program in assembly or sample new parts and wait another week. Crap.

On the upshot, the PICs came in this awesome ESD bag with a ziplock-esque zipper!

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