Archive for the 'Life' Category

One Guy’s Approach to Being More Healthy

November 17th, 2009

I’m not a doctor. I’m not an expert. I know only what I’ve been doing and how it’s been going for me. I’m not telling anyone what to do or making a recommendation. This is what I’ve been doing for the past year and it’s been working well for me so I thought I’d document the process a bit.

All that being said, let me explain a bit of background. I’m a pretty average American guy with more then a few extra pounds hanging around that I would like to get rid of. Generally speaking, I’ve never been one to eat a lot of fast food but I do have a sweet tooth. I enjoy spending time out side but don’t often find myself with the extra energy to really get out and exercise with any regularity. When the weather is good I play tennis with friends and do some biking but when the weather isn’t good, I’m much more likely to stay in.

Back Burner Blogging…

September 29th, 2009

I know it seems like the blog here is dead. It appears Twitter has taken over and I’ve given up writing longer form articles. It’s as though my world has moved from 1400 words, to 140 characters. When you get right down to it though, I’ve just not had the time or motivation to get things posted here. I don’t have anything to say at the moment…

I’m in the process of buying a house, my first house. In keeping with my current life goals of growing an increasing amount of my food, I’m trying to find a livable place with a good bit of land for short money. Not all that easy here in the Northeast US!

I’ve never done this before and it’s been quite fun and challenging but most of all, it’s time consuming. I’ve found a place that I like for what I want to pay and we’re in the process of negotiating. It’s been going on for several weeks now and we keep running into road blocks. The current issue is with the septic system.

Getting Better Fuel Efficiency

June 18th, 2008

These days everyone and their mom is posting on the internet about getting better gas mileage. I’ve read a lot of articles that talk about the topic and they all seem to have a few things in common. The first is that a few items are unrealistic and the second being that the rest is basically common sense. I’m not going to bother doing a lot of linking for this article, you can google for the same 80 million pages just the same as I can but I thought I would point out this one article from MotherJones.com about hypermiling.

It’s an interesting look at how people can take things too far and put themselves and others in a lot of danger. They do things like tailgate large trucks only a few feet off the bumper, well into the trucks blind spot. They pull off the highway and onto side roads at 50mph without breaking and roll to a stop at traffic lights. I’m all for improving gas mileage and saving every dollar on can on fuel but there has to be a line. I think I have found that line. It’s straddles much improved mileage with safety and courtesy to those driving around me.

Traffic Lights – Time Wasters for All!

April 12th, 2008

I few months ago my route to work changed and now includes about a dozen traffic lights. I used to have to commute 90+ minutes down toward Boston in traffic but since my office has moved I now have the option of taking a more rural route. I’m not complaining.. it’s a huge improvement over the traffic and truth be told I could still cover most of my current commute on highways if I wanted to. It’s not that I’m unhappy with the lights, it’s just that I think they could be programmed to work more efficiently. Let me also preface this by mentioning that all of these observations are likely null and void in a more urban area where traffic is ubiquitous. This is based on my ride to work through a more suburban area that is not wall to wall cars. I’m not talking about a very high car density.

Progress Check In

February 20th, 2008

I’ve been as busy as ever these past few weeks but I have been slowly making progress on all my little projects. Yesterday Apple posted a few 160GB iPod Classics to the refurb site so I scooped one up. Should be here next week. When I bought I considered also getting an apple dock but at $50 it doesn’t seem worth it for my needs. I did pickup one of the JBL On Stage II speakers. It’s kinda pricy at $129 but it gets great reviews and sounds much bigger then it is. I’ll review it when I’ve gotten a chance to test it out. It’s a nice device if you have an iPod, but it also has a 1/8″ jack on the back so you can also use it as computer speakers. Multi-tasking is key in my book.

One Laptop Per Child

October 10th, 2007

The One Laptop Per Child project is nothing new in the world of us geeks. What is new is that they will soon be available for purchase in North America during a narrow window in November.

If you are not familiar with the project then by all means check it out, it’s pretty amazing. Basically, a group of people got together and decided to put together a super durable machine for children in 3rd world nations. This thing has battery life from 6 hours to 24 depending on use. It had no internal moving parts to break like fans and hard drives. It has a camera, microphone, speakers and wireless built in. It’s able to create a mesh network of computers without the user having to do anything. Power it on and any OLPC machines near you will be connected, if one machine has the internet they will then all have the internet. They are water resistant, you can drop them and then recharge them with a $12 solar panel among other options. They are perfect for kids. The internal flash memory disk can be restored to factory defaults with the push of a button if for any reason your laptop stops working correctly. This could be an issue as every piece of software on the device can be edited right there in real time. It’s going to be an amazing learning tool and best of all dirt cheap.

iPod Touch, I yearn for you!

September 6th, 2007

Ok, in case you live under a rock take a look at the new stuff out friends at Apple have released. Apple has released a device that I have hoped for since they announced the iPhone itself back in January. They are calling it the iPod Touch, picture and iPhone sans the phone. It’s all the goodness without any of the superfluous AT&T crap. This I will own, for two reasons.

Reason one: It’s awesome looking and I have to have it. Like a raccoon I am drawn to the shiny device and must have it in my grubby hands. I will willingly admit that my current 1st gen iPod nano is flawless and still fits my needs for music and podcasts on the go.

The Wheels of Progress

August 21st, 2007

Well, It’s been a while hasn’t it? Let me wipe the cob webs of the site (and the servers, but thats another post) and mention a couple of things I have in the works. First off, my Thecus N5200 has been having some trouble lately and I think it’s something that needs to be posted about. As it turns out the web interface for the product is severely lacking and does not in any way provide adequate data about the array’s health. Look for a scathing post about that coming up…

In other (better) news Apple has released some new software (iLife 08,iWork 08) and updated both the Mac Mini and the iMac. Something that should come as little surprise to anyone who reads my postings is that I have bought a new iMac. My first in fact and I’m quite impressed. It hasn’t been without a few hiccups but overall I am loving the machine. I’ll get a good post online about that in the coming days as well.

HP. Not Perfect, but Trying!

July 12th, 2007

I like HP. They make a good product at a competitive price and most importantly they stand behind what they sell. I’m not going to get into details about my job or our server environment ect ect but I do want to relay a couple of things that have helped to cement my position on HP.

Shortly after I was hired on at the company I work for my boss and I (we’re a very large IT department…) were asked to get a server in house and prepared to host a new application in 10 days. Quite a tall order. We looked into a number of server from Dell, IBM, HP ect ect and settled on getting an HP ML 350 G5. We placed a call to HP sales and begin to talk to the person about our needs and the kind of use the machine would see. With the help of our rep we zeroed in on the hardware we needed. One thing we chose to do though was to go with SATA hard drives instead of the faster (and exponentially more expensive) SAS drives. Our rep reccomended we go with SAS but we didn’t listen. I manage hundreds of users abroad but our central office has only about 30 users. We were looking to host an internal app that would be accessed by maybe 10 people at most so we didn’t think using the SATA drives would be a problem. Boy were we wrong.

Why I choose to not use Dell

June 18th, 2007

It seems that I have in the past spoken about how I’m not a fan of Dell computers. I used to be, who doesn’t like a cheap PC? I encouraged my mom to buy one, as well as my sister and both of those machines are running great. I used to have plenty of love for Dell and I used to tell people to buy them all the time but lately in the absence of Michael Dell (who has recently been brought back into the company) Dell made some choices and cut some corners I just cannot stand behind. Case in point: My moms dell, the last one I have recommended someone buy, came out of the box with spyware installed on the system. I practically fell of the chair when I saw that.

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