Archive for February, 2008

Chewbacca

Thursday, February 28th, 2008

I usually go on campus about once a week and whenever I do, I always shave. For some reason, I have always felt that I look the cleanest or most professional when clean shaven. Well this past Monday, prior to departing to campus, I decided to shave all of my face save a starting goatee I had going. I just realized it is now Thursday and this may actually be the longest period of time my chin has gone unshaven for at least 6 months! I figured I would snap a picture to document this feat before I shave this coming Monday. I have mixed feelings about the goatee and am not sure whether or not I will keep it. I think the real motivation not to is because I would never keep it and not trim it and trimming would be more effort than just completely shaving it off. I am not a fan of unnecessary maintenance.
Nick's Goat

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Brainfart

Tuesday, February 26th, 2008

Behold the Omniscient One, residing in the veiled heavens above; cast aside the ominous clouds and bless me with Your blissful sunshine; for I have been enlightened and it is indeed a liberating feeling! No longer am I slave to the confines of my ignorance; for You have granted me the wisdom to defeat the Dark Phantom, the personification of my dissertation challenges, which attempts to keep me from my solutions.

(Stan Z. Li in Markov Random Field Modeling in Image Analysis extensively uses formulas to describe mathematical concepts related to Stochastic Image Processing. This exclusive use of formulas limits the scope of his audience, in which can comprehend his writings, solely to mathematicians. After days of research, examining several other related sources, I (a mathematician’s mortal enemy – an engineer) have deciphered his hieroglyphics. Stan Z. Li, my message to you sir is USE MORE FUCKING PICTURES!)

Markov Random Field Modeling Text Picture

Overclocking the E6850

Thursday, February 21st, 2008

OVERCLOCK YOUR PROCESSOR AT YOUR OWN RISK! I TAKE NO RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE INFORMATION PRESENTED BELOW!

While the above does apply to this post (;) – sorry I’m not paying for your CPU or any of your other computer equipment if you break it), it is a warning I consistently see everywhere when Overclocking is mentioned. Basically it voids your warranty and no guides take responsibility if you destroy your processor or anything else related to your PC during the process of overclocking it.

3DMark06, as many of you know, is a benchmarking software for rating your computer. My computer was rated at 11674. I then acquired a second 8800GT and have run them in SLI (two graphics cards working towards the output of a single monitor). The system’s score then rose to 13483. Here is a picture of both cards installed in the tower:

SLI
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A Gamer’s Budget Priorities

Saturday, February 16th, 2008

I sometimes gripe about the dresser I currently have in my room. It’s a real cheap one that was left behind by the previous owners of the house and has come into my possession (see previous blog post, I recently moved about 2 weeks ago). I did of course thoroughly clean it before using it, but the point is, the dresser is atrocious and fails at the basic objectives of what a dresser should achieve. Here is a picture of the shitty dresser in question:

Cheap Dresser

The dresser may deceivingly look nice, but the drawers don’t work. If you pull them out of the dresser they fall on the floor, the tracks holding them in place were damaged. So whenever I pull the drawer out to get clothes, I have to hold it from the bottom so it does not fall on the floor…I like the horses on top of the dresser, but alas they did not come with the dresser.

Yesterday I picked up Assassin’s Creed for the PS3 along with Casino Royale (Blu Ray). A little bit after I moved in I bought a PS3 with Ninja Gaiden Sigma.

(reflecting on this for a moment)…

Today I realized, I would probably leave my clothes folded on the floor or buy buckets to keep them in before I would buy a new dresser over computer stuff/video games. Upon contemplating this revelation, I now have become much more tolerable of the shitty dresser and have recognized the price I paid for it (nothing) and the fact that it will probably be here for quite some time unless some external force is applied on me to motivate me otherwise (read girl comes over who I want to impress and says my dresser is shit).

I finally got around to taking some pictures around the house. Here are two shots of my computer room. Please don’t come rob me…

Computer Room1

Computer Room2

You can view both of those computer image shots in much higher resolutions (wordpress blog software shrinks them to page margins) here: [1], [2]

There are two folding tables on either side of the desk in the center, culminating in a U-shape formation. Most of the computer stuff and TV are on the desks/tables shown in the first picture. The table in the second picture is usually vacant and a work space for reading, etc.

Also here’s a shot of my punching bag hanging from the new stand. The plastic bags on the floor are 100 lbs of sand to hold it in place.

Punching Bag

Even with the 100lbs of sand, the bag and the stand still move around. I’ll have to pick up more sand from Home Depot. The bag does have bars to hold weight plates. The problem is plates for weight sets typically run for $1 per lb. So for 200 lbs to hold the stand still will run me $200. In the event that I ever get a weight set, that feature of the stand will be nice. Until then $14 for 200 lbs of sand is a much better deal.

Can’t Sleep = More Blog Posts

Sunday, February 10th, 2008

So it’s 2:10am on a Sunday morning and I cannot fall asleep. I have a feeling though by time I finish this blog post I will pass out. I know I promised pictures of my computer setup in the new house along with pictures of the punching bag. I’m in the process of falling asleep, not insomnia, therefore those pictures will have to wait.

What does take minimal effort to discuss however is video games, specifically what’s in my queue. I did wind up canceling my reoccuring WoW subscription. The raiding guild I belonged to fell apart, and with my rogue as my only level 70, finding another guild, which is past Karazhan, that actually needs a rogue, is tough since everyone and their mother has a rogue. I probably could find another guild to raid with if I searched hard enough, but I need a video game I can put on pause and pretty much play at my leisure, not be addicted to – since I need to push harder on my dissertation. Having an MMO where I have to commit 20+ hours of my life to simply sit in standby or even actually raid will not work for me. I need to be able to play for a couple of hours, do a ton of work and then pick up the game again at my leisure as opposed to other people’s play schedules.

So what’s in my queue?

Currently I am playing Ninja Gaiden: Sigma on the PS3. I have to say this game is wicked fun: chopping Ninjas heads off while watching their blood stain the wall in magnitudes of 10s of galons is not by any means boring. I have also picked up Splinter Cell: Double Agent as well as Stranglehold. I have not started Stranglehold but have made a little progress on SC:DA. The SC:DA was fun until the double agent thing kicked in, I’ve become weary of the game since then. I have only played it for less than 3 hours though, so any review I give it now is premature.

I was working on trying to get 100% completion with FFXII. However, the tedious tasks this requires is obnoxious in the least. I think I might just beat the last boss right now (with my 3 level 70+ guys) and then go after the rest of the material later. If I put off beating the last boss anymore, I may never do it. In FFXII, the most difficult boss is not the end game (storyline) boss, rather the most difficult boss is an optional hidden boss. I imagine my 3 level 70+ characters will destroy the end game storyline boss without much effort. At least I’ll finally see the ending cut scenes though.  I might go after that most difficult boss afterwards.
I am also working through Half Life 2. I did beat the original half life several years ago. I came close to beating Half Life 2 a while ago but lost my save (forgot to back it up when formatting). So I had to start HL2 over. I need to hurry up and beat it though as I have episode 1 and 2 and TF in the Orange Box awaiting to be tackled next – thank you by the way Nichole for that awesome Christmas Present (HL Orange Box).

I did acquire COD4 and have beaten it. I am currently trying to beat the next hardest difficulty as I thoroughly enjoyed single player. Multiplayer takes some getting used to as the features in it make it different from other FPS’s. I love the fact that sniping is actually difficult in the game but I cannot stand the radar feature. It’s difficult having to look on your screen and at your radar at the same time.

To Sum up then –
Actively Playing:  Ninja Gaiden: Sigma (PS3), Splinter Cell Double Agent (PC), Stranglehold (PC), HL2 (PC), FFXII (PS2)
In Queue: HL2 Eps1(PC), HL Eps2(PC), TF(PC), Oblivion(PC), COD4 – Higher Difficulty (PC), FXII – 100% Completion (PS2), Bioshock

I tried playing Oblivion before, but my older PC couldn’t handle it. The new PC should manage just fine. I want to play Bioshock,unfortunately I absolutely loathe killing zombies. I am a big coward when it comes playing FPS’s killing zombies, undead, etc. I’m cool with shooting human beings (Max Payne, COD, COD4, Stranglehold, Splinter Cell series, etc.). I just don’t like shooting monsters (Doom, Quake, Bioshock, Wolfenstein, etc.), especially in the dark.

Sleep at last…

Caution: Anti Anxiety Pills May Cause Increased Anxiety

Friday, February 8th, 2008

Que?

I really enjoyed reading Gabe’s latest post, ‘Dear Diary’ over at PA. He goes into pretty extensive detail about describing various anxiety episodes and his reactions to and thoughts about them. I guess what made this post better than others is you kind of got a glimpse behind the human being who draws the PA comics. Both ‘Tycho’ and ‘Gabe’ seem like really interesting people, from what I can gather from their past podcasts. I bet they are a lot of fun to hang out with. Gabe has a great sense of humor too, after reading the back story about his ‘condition’, I got a good laugh from the subsequent comic.

In other news, I went running yesterday and cleared 5 miles in about 45 minutes. Five nine minute miles doesn’t sound very fast, but at some points I definitely felt like I was flying. It was really gorgeous out last night too, there was a very soothing breeze with few clouds veiling the stars. After the run, simply standing still, catching my breath while letting the evening breeze hit me, while indulging in the scenery that was the abysmal heavens above, and enjoying those endorphins from that intense aerobic workout was euphoric.

Running is actually my least favorite exercise, I really enjoy punching my punching bag. I recently moved and had to get a new stand to hoist it with. I will have pictures of the new punching bag stand and my computer room setup in the near future. The stand was on sale at Sport’s Authority marked down from $200 to $100. The stand itself is very similar to the one depicted here:
Punching Bag Stand

Back to more research. I move with the utmost determination, despite all the odds, to finish my PhD this December.

Breathing is optional, success is mandatory. “We will accept nothing less than complete victory!” – Dwight D. Eisenhower, June 6, 1944