[1.0] instructions

I’ve decided that from now until I have to shut down my server, I’m going to be blogging with my server’s blog It’s A Binary World 2.0. Amongst other things, it automatically sends to some blog search engines whenever I’ve made a post and has led to 200 visits to my blog so far this month. So, from now on, go there to read my blog until I let you know that I’m going to have to shut down my server temporarily until late 2005.

I’ve made quite a few posts over the last few days so you should have plenty to read.

A few updates and notes

If you go to my main page, you can see where I have added a new section, C code from a class I’m taking this semester. We’re making a lot of really cool designs based upon the Atmel CPU, which is readily available for those who like to tinker. I’ve put up my first project, a reaction time tester. It has the user push a button, waits approximately two seconds plus a random amount to keep the user from guessing, and then displays the user’s reaction time. It also keeps the user from cheating by detecting if they are holding the button down.

I also noticed something today accidentally. In another really awesome aspect of this blogging software, if you leave your mouse hovering over a date in the calendar, it lists the posts made that day. That is really convinient, given a month-long look, for finding a post. Go ahead and try it yourself! I know it works in IE because I tried it in a computer lab and I think it works with Firefox.

Finally, I love comments so don’t be shy. If you have a comment to make, make it.

Youngest Sibling Weekend was awesome

This weekend my youngest brother and my fiancee’s youngest sister (with her best friend) came up to see us at school. It was one of the most fun times I’ve had here at Cornell. I don’t think I have as much fun with too many other people as when I’m with my brothers. We’re usually on fire, just bouncing off each other’s jokes and references.

Eric, Dan, and David
Arranged in birth order and inverse size order

We went to the suspension bridge, a bridge over one of the gorges which happens to have been designed by a Cornell Civil Engineer. I don’t know if it was purposely made to do this, but the bridge shakes as people walk on it. The more people walking or jogging on the bridge, the more resonance. However, supposedly the calulations were done correctly so that the bridge would stay up. David went jumping and galloping along, without any fears. More typical of the first-time walker, Frances was a little hesitant to continue along the bridge when it began to shake. Once we got her on, however, she was joining along in the fun.

Dan and Dave on the suspension bridge
Dave was fearless on the suspension bridge

Saturday we went bowling at the Helen Newman lanes, it was the first time we’d been in such a long time. Most of our friends are usually too busy to bowl. Danielle was impressive at the end with three strikes in a row for her last frame!

Dina bowls
Dina came in second place in bowling

We went to a chimes concert that wasn’t too bad, but was a bit of a dissapointment for Frances. Every song she requested was a duet and there was only one Chimes Master present. It was really cool to hear him play the theme to Disney’s Gummi Bears.

The whole group on the clock tower
We were on top of the world on the clock tower.

I hope we can all get together again in the future. I told Dina and Frances to come for Spring Break…but who wants snow instead of beaches?

Want to subscribe to It’s A Binary World 2.0’s RSS feeds?

What’s RSS? It is a syndication protocal allowing you to get people’s blogs and news websites’ headlines delivered to your email or web browser client so that you don’t need to surf to each and every one of them to read them. You can also save them onto your computer for future reading!

Wow, that sounds great! How do I get It’s A Binary World 2.0 Syndications?
It’s very easy, especially if you are using Mozilla’s Thunderbird. In Thunderbird, simply click on “manage subscriptions” under “news and blogs” and then click add. You want to have the url:

http://www.ericsbinaryworld.com/wp-rss2.php

Don’t forget the http:// or it won’t work, I know if you’re like me the browsers have made you lazy because they don’t require you to type that in.

By the way, if you like not getting viruses or a lot a spam, switch to Thunderbird. You can even check your hotmail accounts if you download some extra plugins.

[1.0] Quotes

“The truth is a hassle” – Mo Rocca

“This is the way I did it and it worked so I didn’t think anymore” – Prof Land

“It’s fun to program in assembler; so manly” – Prof Land

“I majored in the most unmarketable major of all: Sociology.” – Alysha Cryer

More Chrono Trigger Revealed

I wrote a long time ago in It’s A Binary World 1.0 about all of the symbolism in Chrono Trigger. That game was extremely deep for a video game, but Square (now Square-Enix) has been known to have some very intellectual aspects to their games. Before, I spoke of Massamune, the gurus of time, and how certain aspects of the game spoke to racism. This time I uncovered another metaphor in the video game by watching a movie.

Yesterday I saw Constantine. I didn’t know until yesterday that it was based upon comic books. The movie was ok, perhaps 6 out of 10, but I’m not a big fan of movies about the occult. It’s not so much that I find them evil or blasphemous, they’re just not my bag. At any rate, I learned yesterday that, according to occult teachings, Satan has a son. I’ve never heard anything like this at church or even in religous books before. Personally, I find it a bit silly because I think it takes the dichotemy too far. God is good and Satan is evil. God lives above and Satan below. God has a son, so Satan must also? I don’t know, it seems a bit weird to me; a bit too contrived. But I digress…

Apparently Satan’s son is named Mammon. Any devout player of Chrono Trigger such as my brothers and I would have felt something resonate in them upon hearing that name. When I first heard it during the movie I kept trying to remember why that name was familiar to me. At first I thought it had to do with Revalations, but then I remembered that at Gog and Magog. I remained stumped for quite some time. Then it suddenly came to me, Schala was using the Mammon machine to summon forth Lavos’ power. The effect of this on her was to make her evil and, although I haven’t played the game in ages so I can’t remember for sure, demonic. It makes sense now for the machine to be called the Mammon machine because, by summoning Lavos, she was, in effect, summoning forth the son of Satan. It was that event which began the chain of events leading to destruction in 1999, in the game’s timeline.

While I’m at it, I think I wrote about this before, but I can’t remember – it is obviously symbollic that Square chose 1999 as the time for the catastrophic events in the game. I remember even those who didn’t express concern over the year 2000 still having some thoughts in the back of their mind, wondering if 31 Dec 1999 would be their last day. Also, I know there is a creature in the game called a Golem, which I recently found out is a Hebrew mythological creature. Next time I play through the game I’ll have to take notice of what the Golem is and then see how that matches up to the Jewish creature.

Exciting Weekend!

I’m quite excited about this weekend. My fiancee’s sister is up with her friend and my brother flies in tomorrow. We are planning on spending at least Saturday together in order to have a good time and take a break from Cornell. Saturday night is also the final hockey game of the season. It should make for a good game and they usually have a little something special for the last game.

I also have residual excitement from launching a forum on my server for my family and a wiki site as well. I am also excited about the public forums I will be creating for drop the bomb productions surrounding the videos there as well as for general video production topics. I am slowly turning this lowly server into a hub of sites. Fortunately, when I relaunch the site near the end of the year, I’ll be running on a much nicer piece of equipment. The processor will be able to handle a lot more and it’ll have a lot more RAM as well.

Well, I’ve got to get some sleep for the weekend ahead.

Check out this beautiful picture



page17

Originally uploaded by hiromama.


I didn’t take this picture, rather I found it on flickr.com, a cool new online community for hosting pictures. It’s based completely on open source software, which is pretty neat. But it’s a little hard to explain exactly how it works. Basically it links people’s pictures together in a complex network similar to facebook.com does for college students.

They have a neat little feature where I can blog from their site about any picture I find. This saves me the hassle of linking to the picture, loading up my blog, and making a post. It does, however, limit my abilities. For example, I can’t choose when the post will be up on my site or anything like that.

Still, it was worth trying once.

Also! Check out the other post I made earlier today!

“Please See A Psychiatrist…”

That’s what the computer told my fiancee. “You have been classified as having the symptoms of being bipolar,” it continued. A friend of mine had recently taken an online diagnosis using the school’s health website. I felt it was bogus and told him so, but to drive the point home my fiancee and I decided to take the test ourselves.

We answered all of the questions from her point of view, but we didn’t do this in a, “let’s mess with the system” sort of way; we genuinely filled out the answers. I knew the diagnosis would be less than perfect when it simply consisted of multiply choice questions like

  1. I sometimes do this
  2. I always do this
  3. I do this every full moon

I don’t know about you, but when given surveys like that, none of the answers seem to fit me well. I always have to go with the “best fit”. And usually it’s more of a second order approximation. So, anyway, the computer told her she had better see a psychiatrist because she was displaying symptoms of bipolar. No one knows her better than me, except maybe her parents, and if there’s one thing I’m sure of, it’s that she is NOT bipolar. She is definitely consistent in her moods, desires, and wants – as consistent as any “normal” human being.

The important thing to remember whenever you use a website such as www.mayoclinic.com or www.webmd.com to self-diagnose you have to remember that there is no good substitute for a doctor. Look at it this way, a doctor goes to school for quite a number of years beyond undergraduate before being able to open up a practice. Even then, the doctor is mostly guessing at what is wrong with you based on your symptoms. Many times it takes a few diagnosis before the doctor can know what’s wrong with you because nearly every disease has the same symptoms. Take it from someone who’s been a “victim” of these websites, use them only for researching a disease a doctor has told you that you have. Don’t use it to try to see what’s wrong with you or you will go crazy. Seriouly, you could have flu symptoms and it will look like you’re dying of ovarian cancer, even if you’re a guy. 😉 So how could a web page survey do much better at diagnosis? It cannot look for symptoms you don’t know to tell it about. A doctor and observe you and see what’s going on. A web site relies on your answers and biases. If you are a person who believes your are ill you will answer more negatively than a person who believes everything is alright.

And, of course, there are the weird algorithms because none of the answers we entered should have signalled bipolar. They were all consistent and normal.

Bottom line – don’t get freaked out for no reason until you see a doc.

Excellent

The upgrade went off without a hitch. The new features are pretty neat, although I’m trying to see how to get back my original template. Overall, the new features are a great improvement over the previous version of the software, but, as usual, there is some getting used to with the new features. Still, the folks at Word Press have really outdone themselves. Definitely check them out if you have the luxury of your own server and want to blog.

upgrading your blog?

Well, they have released a new version of my blogging software. For the first time ever I will be upgrading a blog. In a way, it’s a very good thing because I’ve been putting off learning how to backup my databases for a few weeks and part of the upgrade process is to backup the database files. It will be interesting to see how things change. I know they have built in some stronger spam filters, but I haven’t had any trouble with that, yet. Of course, this is a relatively new blog, so most search engines probably don’t know about it yet. I will probably be upgrading today, so if the blog is inaccessible, I may be in the middle of an upgrade process.

Numa Numa Guy gets recognition!

The Numa Numa guy, who I wrote about in my first blog here, was on the news today on MSNBC. He was also on VH1’s best week ever. Whether he intended to have this video shown all over the internet, or whether it was accidentally put into his file sharing folder, he is now a huge celebrity on par with the Star Wars Kid.

It’s pretty interesting how these videos explode online. First of all, they are only being passed along by word of mouth – either emailing your friends about this crazy website or through IMs. Yet, soon everyone knows about it. I’m hard pressed to find any engineering students who don’t know what Numa Numa is. In fact, while waiting in line to see Mo Rocca, someone was singing along to Numa Numa. It was a cool conversation peice. Yet, it’s the Tv news who’s always slow to report on such things. Anyone who goes to see Numa Numa based on the the tv coverage is a late adopter. These are the people who didn’t buy DVD players until almost everyone had one.

I’m curious to find out if Keith Olberman will talk about Numa Numa tonight. He usually covers these weird things – he’s covered all of the Jib Jab political cartoons.

Why Linux Magazines aren’t so unbearable to read

Usually with a magazine, I feel a little sad reading it. In middle and high school I was subscribed to Electronic Gaming Monthly. Each month they would detail all of the new games coming out; their features and how to do certain tricks here and there. Since I was too young to purchase them and my parents believed in being frugal when it came to video games, all the magazine could do was make me lust over games I could never have. The same goes with most PC magazines. They talk about this or that software for Windows and it is often too expensive to get it.

With Linux, however, 98% of the time all of the software they describe is available for free! So if they talk about this great new music program, I can download it and check it out for myself. If they talk about the latest updates to GIMP (Linux’s answer to Photoshop) I can update for free. It makes for a much happier experience for me because I can experience what they are talking about instead of just passively reading about it.

[1.0] Happy Valentine’s Day

I have posted two different posts in my blogs today. So you get twice the fun. Access the other one here.

What is Saint Valentine’s Day about anyway? I wanted to share this with you since I found myself wondering the same thing…

In researching the answer, I compiled facts from these three sources, Saint Valentine, Wikipedia Entry for Saint Valentine, and Wikipedia Entry for Lupercalia.

As the Wikipedia entry suggests, we know very little about Saint Valentine. Just like Saint Nicholous, it seems most of our holidays center around lesser known Saints. However, with Valentine even less is known. However, the British website does present us with some theories. Apparently, the Roman Emperor Claudius II had anulled all marriages and engagements in order to get men to go to war. I don’t see what real effect this would have had on soldier morale. Just because someone declares my marriage invalid doesn’t mean that I would stop loving my wife. It seems like the types of laws our Congress sometimes passes without thinking.

At any rate, such a law was not going to find a lot of popularity among the clerics of the early Christian church. Cancelling people’s marriages probably had the unintended effect of “cheating” on wives since they were no longer wives, as well as some other potential societal and moral problems. Thus, the British site tells us, Saint Valentine performs underground marriages.

The Emporer catches wind of these covert operations and when the Saint doesn’t recant, he is martyred. Conviniently, since he was performing marriages and other love things, he is killed on 14 Feb which is the day, in ancient Roman culture, where boys would draw girl’s names from a pot and get to be with that girl all night at the festival. They would often end up getting married from this interaction.

As I pick up from the Wikipedia article, it is more likely that the date was fabricated by the early Catholic church eager to replace Lupercalia with a Saint’s Feast Day as they had done with Easter and Christmas. Since his deeds had to do with love, they chose him to replace the Roman celebration of fertility and love.

In the 1800s in the United States, the holiday was commercialized and now we send each other cards and chocolate. Just like the Easter Bunny and certain elements of Christmas don’t make sense outside of commercialism and a reversion to the pagan holidays they were meant to replace, Saint Valentine’s Day has very little to do with this mysterious man.

Valentine’s Day

I want to wish all of my readers a very happy Valentine’s Day. If you do not have a significant other this holiday, do not feel sad as you see all the couples about. If Valentine’s Day is about love, it need not be about love between lovers. Share your love with your parents, siblings, and friends. Let them know that you care about them (in whatever way is appropriate for the relationship q;o] ) and enjoy it.

NOW BE WARNED THAT YOU MAY (OR MAY NOT) FIND THE FOLLOWING A BIT “MUSHY”

Valentine’s 05
Your eyes ensnare mine and they cannot escape;
Once I look into them I am stuck until you release me.
Your embrace is many times more powerful than the uber-chemist’s exstacy.
A hug from you is so addictive I cannot help but come back for more.
Your body is so soft, Chinese silks are trash by comparison.
Your food is so delectable as to be fit for Kings.
You are so awesome that I must share with the world all of your charms,
lest I explode from keeping them all inside.

Happy Valentine’s Day, My Love!