• Chrome OS: first impressions ·

    Holy crap, I got a Chrome OS netbook! I didn’t think I’d actually get one after I signed up for their beta program a few days ago. I didn’t submit a video explaining why I’d be an excellent choice, and my answers were short. I just explained that, as a student, I’d test Chrome OS by taking notes in class, doing my homework, and doing some programming; I also said I’d be able to test how an Internet-based laptop performs when out in the boonies at my parents’ house, where their wifi isn’t the greatest and their Internet connection is even worse. :P Somehow, though, I managed to score a position in the beta program—woot!

  • Animal Crossing comparison ·

    Hope you folks aren’t sick of hearing about Animal Crossing, because I’ve been playing the Gamecube version recently after a year of playing City Folk for the Wii, and I wanted to grumble about some of the differences. It feels like they left a lot of detail out of City Folk and I don’t understand why. Perhaps it’s because they based City Folk off Wild World for the DS, and they had had to leave stuff out of Wild World due to memory/space limitations. If that’s the case, then it seems just sheer laziness not to have ported things from the Gamecube to the Wii game, since obviously the Wii can handle whatever the Gamecube (GC) can. Here are some of the things they left out of City Folk (CF):

  • ideas for a new Animal Crossing game ·

    Talk of the new Animal Crossing for the Nintendo 3DS has gotten me thinking recently about if another Animal Crossing were made for a non-handheld Nintendo console, either the Wii or its successor. Jon had an excellent idea the other day: an Animal Crossing MMO. Now, I’m not thinking World of Warcraft but with animals, because that wouldn’t keep with the theme of Animal Crossing. But I think there are a variety of improvements that could be made to Animal Crossing that would make it more a social experience, which I think would be a good thing. A problem I have with all the existing A.C. games is that, after a while, they feel too small. The animals repeat the same things (if I have to hear about the Mayor’s connections in City Folk one more time…), the days run together, and it becomes basically an item grab: get Gracie’s furniture sets, get all the Mush set items, get all the clothing, get all the Gyroids, get all the fossils, get all the town upgrades, etc. I get that that’s the heart of the game anyway, but when that becomes too transparent, the game loses its appeal.

  • The Sims 3: Late Night first impressions ·

    Though I hadn’t seen any reviews of Late Night on Metacritic, I went ahead and bought the expansion pack after reading a positive review on Cinema Blend. It took me a good two hours to be able to play the game, though, because it kept crashing. This didn’t really surprise me because The Sims 3 has got to be one of the most unstable programs I run, based on the number of crashes I get. I’m on a Windows 7 64-bit machine, which I’m sure contributes to it based on all the problems other people seem to have on 64-bit machines with The Sims 3. Why EA/Maxis isn’t preparing for the future (not that 64-bit machines are particularly futuristic anymore, but that just makes EA/Maxis look even worse) is beyond me.

  • Ruby Matrix and Vector additions ·

    Working with matrices and vectors in Ruby before has been annoying because methods I expected to find were not there, and there wasn’t much documentation. Here, I present some simple additions to the Matrix and Vector classes that I found helpful.

  • Web App Test Case Generators ·

    Two web-scraper Ruby scripts for use in generating test cases for Ruby on Rails web applications. This was my Master’s project at the University of Kentucky. See also my defense presentation for a better explanation of the project.

  • free Macbook battery, courtesy of Apple ·

    Recently, I noticed that my battery for my aging Macbook was starting to bulge in the middle, along its length1. I Googled around and saw other folks complaining of the same thing, and that there was some recall program that ended in 2009 where Apple would replace your battery for free. My Macbook was bought in 2007 by someone else, and I bought it off them used a couple years ago, so it was definitely made in the time frame where the recall program would include it.

  • convenient file searching with Ruby, grep, and file ·

    For my Linux kernel class, I often know that some struct exists somewhere, or remember seeing a macro defined in some file and it might be useful, but I can’t remember where I saw something. I also end up trying to track down all the places a particular function is called, and don’t want grep to go digging through every… single… file in the entire kernel directory structure when I only care about .c files. So, I dug up a lengthy combination of file and grep that limits grep’s searching to particular files. I’m lazy about remembering this and retyping it on different computers, too, though, so I wrote a quick Ruby script to do it for me:

  • merge sort, the eater of nodes ·

    I’m so tickled to have completed an assignment for my Linux kernel class. The specification was as follows:

  • representing rational numbers in Smalltalk ·

    For my graduate-level programming languages class, I wrote this class that represents a rational number in Smalltalk. I figured I would share my source code with the interwebs for anyone else trying to learn the language. I release the code under the GNU General Public License v3.

  • painful Facebook application development ·

    For the past few days, I’ve been trying to create a Facebook application for interacting with Github. I hoped to spend my time mainly on the Github portion, figuring out how to post wall posts on Facebook about recent Github activity, etc. However, I’ve instead argued with the various Facebook APIs. I started out using PHP with no framework but quickly switched to CakePHP after I realized things were going to get hairy. CakePHP was okay for a while until I hit the roadblock of not being able to load any page but the index… Every sub-page I tried to create produced 404 errors, which no one else seemed to have (or at least document), so I said ‘screw it’ and switched to Rails.