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    Computer Breakdown and Upgrade

    Sadly, I found that my old desktop won’t boot up anymore. I’ve had this desktop since January 2006, and a lot of learning was done on it. I’d say a 5 and 1/2 year run with no failures was pretty good. On the most part, I left this computer on 24/7. I’m not quite sure what the cause of failure was, but I suspect the motherboard just stopped working. It stopped POSTing reliably a few months back. Erasing the BIOS memory sometimes would help the problem, so I’m pointing my finger towards the motherboard for the failure. It started out with 1 failure out of 20 boot up attempts, but…

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    My Switch to Dvorak, 3 1/2 years later

    Somewhere around February 13th, 2008, I switched my primary keyboard layout to dvorak. This means I’ve been a dvorak* user for a little over 3 1/2 years now! I have no intention of going back to the normal qwerty layout again. Its been a minor inconvenience at times, but it has had a lot of perks to it. Here’s my anecdotal take-away from my long-term use of dvorak: Ergonomics are better. When I was a typing with qwerty for many hours a day between school and work, my hands would tire out. After my internship and a few hours of coding for school, my hands would be achy and feel…

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    Wayland (and how we’ll transition out of X)

    I’ve talked a bit about why Wayland is cool. I really think that this architecture is where the graphics environment needs to go. It does have some hurdles to overcome, chiefly the sheer volume of applications target towards X11. Luckily, Wayland is designed cleverly enough that supporting an X11 application on a Wayland-based system should be easy enough! As I explained here Wayland abstracts a lot of X concepts, which makes them more flexible. It not does however, use the X protocol in any way, breaking API compatibility for all X clients. Wayland has a way to work around this though, so that you probably won’t even know the difference…

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    Wayland! (And why its cool)

    Wayland is a pretty cool project. Its often characterized as an “alternative” to the X11 system. This characterization is made by people who don’t know a ton about graphics environments and don’t realize just how flexible Wayland will make graphics for programmers. I’m going to try my best to explain in the vernacular what makes Wayland so dang cool…. The X11 system really is based around network-based graphics interactions that look like a 1997 Windows box. This is all well and good. The system was designed around 2D graphics with 2d graphics hardware. It was designed superbly. Superbly for 1997 graphics requirements. Over time, 3d graphics became more and more…

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    Updates, Updates, Updates

    What have I been up to lately? A lot of my coding activity has been tied to work. I feel this is a pretty normal transition for someone who went from the university to work full time. Work tends to drain your “I want to code for fun” reservoirs, but I think its important to find ways to grow professionally outside of your designated position at work. That being said, I’ve been doing some things to keep myself Bought an AVR Dragon. As it came in the box, the thing was a brick. I had to find a Windows computer to reprogram the firmware. All in all, it is not…

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    Internet Generation and Industry

    Short list of industries that will have to deal with the way the internet generation does things…. (aside from the obvious RIAA issues) TV companies. Probably 50% of my friends do not subscribe to cable. This includes my friends that have plenty of disposable income. I don’t even own a TV. Brick and Mortar stores I’ve heard many stories of a friend scanning an item at Target with their smartphone, and then turning around and finding it on the internet. I will only go to a brick and mortar store if I want to tangibly evaluate an item (eg, shoes). Half the time, I’ll turn around and order from the…

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    Ideas to re-sharpen your skills

    As any coder can attest, its necessary to make investments of time to keep your skill sharp. Just because you have a shiny degree isn’t an excuse to¬† slack off! A few months of investigating concurrency or performance problems in one specific code base can really erode your ability in other areas, like making new code. Its key to keep yourself sharp. Your next project might be drastically different, and you want to be able to do your best right out of the gate. You might even need to market your skills unexpectedly! Here’s a few ideas on how you can keep your coding skills razor sharp, even if you’ve…

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    Diving into AVRs!

    I’ve been using PIC’s for quite a while now. I like the PIC platform, but decided to switch it up and try out the AVR microcontroller platform from Atmel. Its pretty popular, and you can’t go a day on hackaday.com without hearing about something cool being done with AVRs. However, as with most hardware ecosystems, there are some terminology which took me awhile to figure out what means what. This is always obscured by people trying to appear 1337 to others. Here are the straight answers you’ll need to buy the hardware you need! Arduino vs AVR: It took me a bit of research to get a straight answer about…

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    March Ubuntu Hour

    We’re mixing it up with the San Diego Ubuntu hour this month! Instead of having Saturday morning coffee like the last few, we’ll be having this Ubuntu hour at a Panera Bread Horton Plaza downtown during the week! The March Ubuntu hour will be: Tuesday, March 22 @ 7pm Panera Bread (Downtown) 225 Broadway, San Diego CA 92101 Horton Plaza is a confusing place. The Panera Bread building is a free-standing structure from the actual mall, right next to the huge NBC building. (I’m Ron Burgundy?) It is right next to where they set up the ice skating rink for Christmas, by the actual Plaza.¬†Panera Bread has a lot of…

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    Anti-regression Training: git bisect (Part 2)

    Part 2 of 2 In part 1 I talked about how git bisect can save your project a lot of headaches, and how it can save you as a developer a lot of grief. Here in part 2, I’ll go over how to use git bisect. Git bisect does a binary search from . If you’re still interested in the article, you’re probably a developer and know what this means already. I’ve been having fun with Inkscape the past few days and made a picture though: A developer has determined in line 1 that the bug is present at the tip of the code (red) and has determined a known…