July 2001

June 2001 -- 2001 -- August 2001

July 2, 2001

Holy crap does college keep one busy. This thing I'm in is incredibly structured, so that just about every minute of our day is planned, until about after 9 PM. I'm having so much fun though it isn't even funny. College rules! This said of course before I have any homework :)

Well that's all the time I have (told you college took up time!) so who knows when the next update will be.

July 3, 2001

Well today was my first day of actual classes, and it looks like it wont' be that bad except for chemistry. I'm in Calculus 1 which is no sweat since I'll be going to Calc 3 in the fall, C++ programming which will be simple since everything covered in there I already know, Intro to Engineering where you get an A for showing up, and a writing class which I take Thursday for the first time. Note that since it's only sorta "practice" college, none of these are for grades or credit except for Intro to Enginnering, worth a whopping 1 credit. Anyways the freedom is the best thing, and I'm having a blast out here.

For the first time ever someone has gotten a completely artificial heart. The patient was one of 5 potential ones in a study to see how they'll react to it. It's amazing what medicine can do nowdays, and before you know it the bionic man will become real.

July 4, 2001

Happy Independence Day!

Check out this interesting Microsoft error message. Gotta love that company for the humor it brings I guess.

Today is also the day that the sun is farthest away from the earth, otherwise known as aphelion to astronomers. Suprisingly the earth is actually warmer on this day than it is during perihelion when the earth is closest to the sun. That's due to perihelion occuring in January, when the sun shines on more water than land due to the earth's tilt. So there is your useless trivia for the day.

July 5, 2001

Today is big bad corporate day.

First off is a nice news story that simplifies what Microsoft is doing to prevent casual piracy of Windows XP. Basically it lets you install only one copy for each computer, so if you have two computers, you must by two licenses. Granted you always technically had to do this, but who really does? Not to mention the method that Microsoft checks to make sure you only install on one computer is called privacy invasion by some, and also if Windows screws up (which as everyone who uses it knows it does so often) and you have to reinstall, it's a hassle since you have to call up Microsoft and plead your case to let you reinstall the OS on your computer. And in the mist of all this is Linux, which is totally free and doesn't have all those crazy licensing restrictions.

Second is news that AOL has announced who it's three cable ISP "competitors" will be. You may remember that when AOL/Time Warner merged, they promised to open up the cable that Time Warner had to competitors so that AOL couldn't monopolize a ton of cable across the country. But due to "technical difficulties" (aka a bunch of BS) AOL said that they could only offer it to three. So Earthlink, Juno, and High Speed Access Corporation are the three winners. They are also convinently in financial dealing with AOL already, so it's not like it was a hard choice. I'm sure they'll "compete" fiercly for lower prices..yea..

Since it's the middle of summer, you may be interested in how water guns work. Pretty interesting stuff.

Update to July 5

I GOT MY AP SCORES IN!!!!!!!! Results as are follows:

5 Calculus BC
5 Calculus AB (Subscore)
5 Physics B
4 English Literature
4 Macroeconomics
4 US Government

For those unfamiliar with Advanced Placement, it's a program that lets you get college credit while in high school. You take a test at the end of the year for the credit, and it's ranked on a 5 point scale (1 lowest, 5 highest). A 5 is like an A in a college class, and is normally only the top 10% of the test takers which already constitutes some of the brightest people in the school. I can not convey how incredibly excited I am about these scores, it's like it's Christmas time and I just received the presents I've been hoping for all year. I expected a 2 in phyics, maybe a 3, but sure as heck not a 5. Everything else though was pretty close to what I thought I'd get, but I'm still exstatic about getting them. The end result of all of this, along with my 5's in both AP English Language and US History last year means that I'll be going into college with 30 hours of credit already under my belt, essentially letting me start my freshman year as a sophmore. Once again I have to say HOLY CRAP!

July 11, 2001

Holy cow I didn't relieze that it's been like 6 days since I've last updated! The program I'm in up here at UF keeps us incredibly busy, so I don't have near the amount of free time I used to, and updating my website just sorta got pushed to the back of my head. But never fear, I have not abandoned ye faithful readers.

I got my course schedule for the fall today, and I like it quite a bit. My earliest class starts at 10:40. On Thursday my first class starts at 3:00 :). On Monday I go till 10:10 at night, but on all the other days I'm out of class by 6:10. And on Wednesday I only have one class (Calculus 3) so that'll be my easiest day by far. Friday will be my hardest since I have Calculus, Chemistry, and Chemistry Lab all on that day. All in all I'm pretty happy with it.

And so you're not totally bored with my talking about my life, here's a neat article on Salon about Web Brands and how customers feel about the dot-com meltdown.

July 12, 2001

Ok, here's an awesome new site I discovered, Antipop. A guy I met at lunch today writes for it, which I initially started talking to because he was the first person I've ever seen wear a shirt from ThinkGeek. Check it out, especially if you like rants on mindless subjects much like this website is.

Looks like Napster is even deader since a judge ruled that 99%+ filtering of copyrighted songs isn't good enough. So it looks like they'll continue to be shut down for the fore-see-able future. But the real question is, does anyone really care about Napster anymore?

Scientists have developed a new type of atomic clock that is up to 1,000 times more accurate than today's best atomic clocks. It can produce 1 quadrillion "ticks" per second, which, needless to say, is a heck of a lot of ticks. And of course you can always use time.gov to find out the "official" time according to the United States government.

July 14, 2001

Really really bored but looking for a good laugh? Look at EmotionEric. I've known about the site for a while, but I had forgotten about it until yesterday when some other people were talking about it. Anywho, it's basically a site where a guy takes pictures of himself in the state of happiness, sadness, or "Visiting emotioneric.com for the Very First Time". Once again the internet proves that you can find just about anything online.

And in relation to emotioneric, there is also Robot Frank. This one is even weirder, since it has grown men dressed up as cardboard box robots doing everyday normal things like buying taco's at Taco Bell. They even do a joint colaboration with Eric in Times Square. Will the madness ever end?

Oh and while this is a little late, yesterday was Friday the 13th.

July 15, 2001

Hello Kristy! Here is your fifteen minutes of fame. Kristy is a very good friend of mine complained that I never mentioned her on my website, so boom, here she is. Everyone say hi! If you are interested, she is avaliable, and I can get you her phone number.

Another one of life's great mysteries has been solved thanks to engineering. Scientists now know why shower curtians suck in while you're taking a shower. It has to deal with pressure differences caused by a mini-hurricane created when you take a shower. Well I can now go to bed at night resting easy with this important knowledge in my brain.

Afghanistan has banned the use of the internet, because of the "vulgar, immoral and anti-Islamic material" that can be found on it. It's always sad to see people having to be ignorant because they are not allowed to have freedom of speech. I guess that's why I like America so much, we don't have many of the limits that other governments impose upon their people. Granted there are some things that Congress has been trying to block or ban via things like the DMCA, but we live in an amazingly free society for the most part. Information just wants to be free.

July 17, 2001

I no longer like TheCounter.com. They used to be my hit counter, and they were really really good at it too withs TONS of stats, but now they've faced the dotcom crush and have charged for anything beyond the extreme basics of hit counting. Argh! Such is the economics of the net in 2001 though. I miss the '99 days.

What's the best thing since sliced bread? Sliced peanut butter of course! You can now get your peanut butter in slices just like your cheese is now. And jelly is on the way..

Napster is going to create its own propriatary music file system named .nap. The real question though is if anyone cares what Napster does anymore. I mean they're deader than a doornail. It's almost sad to see Napster still think that people love them and will forever use them, just because they're Napster. No one liked "Napster", they liked getting free music!

July 18, 2001

The Webby's are being held tonight in San Francisco. For those unfamiliar with net culture, the Webby's are equivlant to the Oscar's for movies, except these are for websites. Wired as a good article on the whole award concept. The nominees are all interesting, and I've been to a lot of those sites, but there are still an awful lot of them that I've never even heard of. Just goes to show how big the web is.

July 20, 2001

Man oh man, last night was exciting for the Internet. A new worm was released by China on the 13th, called Code Red, which exploited a widely known hole in Microsoft's IIS web server software. However due once again to administrator incompetence, there are tons of computers who hadn't fixed that hole and thus were vulnerable. At current count, almost 200,000 machines have this worm. So anyways, what this worm does is from the 13th to the 19th it scanned the internet looking for vulnerable computers. If it found one, it exploited the security hole, and produced a page that looked like this. Then on the 20th, it was supposed to start a denial of service attack on Whitehouse.gov. Fortunatly, the person who wrote the worm used the IP address of whitehouse.gov instead of just the DNS name, so the whitehouse.gov people just changed the ip address of their server, and so the worm had no effect. However should the auther have not used just the ip address, then it would have severly affected the internet as millions upon millions of megabytes would have been flowing through it. It could have been REALLY bad. Things like this will only become more common to, as internet warfare escalates.

32 years ago today man walked on the moon for the first time. And then to think we haven't been to the moon since the 70's. So sad, so sad.

In other sad news, Mr. Rogers is "retiring". He will no longer be making new shows after this year. He's been doing Mr. Rogers for 33 years, and has produced over 1,000 episodes for children's enjoyment. I know I used to watch him every day when I was a kid, and it was one of my favorite TV shows, behind Reading Rainbow of course.

July 22, 2001

Trillian rocks! You MUST download this program if you have more than one IM account, or you hate the official IM client of whatever service you use. Trillian lets you chat with AIM, ICQ, Yahoo, and MSN accounts, plus it even includes an IRC client for the die-hard geeks that you may know. I had been using Jabber for my IMing needs, but Trillian blows it out of the water. It's a must have for any power user.

Finally a study that says videogames are good for you. They sampled some gamers at some gaming competitions, and found that they were actually pretty normal people, and "they also tended to be more intelligent." They also said videogames improved coordination and that we have a lot in common with top atheletes. I knew playing Super Mario Brothers when I was a kid would come in handy someday :)

Sun did an interesting study on Gnome's functionality for a novice Linux user. It had 12 participates with no previous Gnome experience try to do some basic tasks like edit a document, surf the web, or change the background picture. Many of the complaints that the testers had are the same issues that bothered me when I first tried Linux, but eventually you get used to the Linux way of doing things, and then you wonder how you ever did it in the inferior Windows way in the first place. But I must say that many of the problems that were pointed out should be fixed. Anyways, it's an interesting read into User Interface design.

The laundry rooms in college are HOT!

July 29, 2001

Holy moley, it's been a week since the last update! Time just flies when you're having fun. Sorry about that, I'll try to get back to semi-regular schedule, but no promises. It'll be better in the fall when I'm not constantly doing something away from the computer 15 hours a day.

I saw Jurassic Park 3 with some friends on Friday. It was typical summer fare, which means it had no real plot and was basically 90 minutes of seeing people being chased by dinosaurs. Nothing special there. Go see Shrek instead, even though it was released back in May, it was still in the top 10 for this weekend. That should tell you something.

Well it looks like I'm not a crazy antisocial person after all. A new study refutes earlier claims that internet use causes depression and increased loneliness. Of course they did say that if you were already introverted, that it can be harmful then. There's a lot of conflicting data being thrown around, so your guess is as good as mine. I don't think the net makes people any more antisocial then they were before, it's just another thing to do alone.

July 31, 2001

There's a DDR machine at UF!!!! W00T!!!!!!!! Yes, my prayers have been answered and this past Friday a 3rd Mix Korean DDR machine was put in the Reitz Union gameroom. It's .75 for 3 songs, and it's a darn good machine except that the pads are a little worn in. And I thought I'd save money while at UF, but now I get to continue blowing it on videogames :) There also seems to be a fair collection of DDR players at UF, and it's really easy to get crowds as well. Thank you UF!

Yipee, someone finally sent me the SirCam worm. Of course since I check all my mail in Linux, I had absolutly zero chance of infection, so I wasn't really worrying about it in the first place. In related worm news, CodeRed started its' infection stage at 8 PM Eastern tonight, but so far it looks like it won't bring down the Internet like over-zealous mass media wanted people to think. It was like Y2K all over again, where the media predicted doomsday and the computer experts were more conservative with the effect of the worm. Now the really scary thing is how many people dont' patch their servers with a 6 week old patch.

ThinkGeek has released several new shirts, including a new version of their old binary shirt. Very very cool stuff.

June 2001 -- 2001 -- August 2001