More Atmel Code available!

I have posted the latest code from the work Rich and I have done for our microcontroller class at Cornell. We are releasing all of our code under the GPL license so feel free to use it, modify it, and have fun with it. The code is modified C code and assembly language for the Atmel Mega32 chip running on an STK500 board. It should be easily available from Atmel or perhaps your local electronic hobbyist shop.

I’m very excited about our final project, which we will also be releasing GPL – a web server running off of an Atmel Mega32! Stay tuned for that, as wel as the highly entertaining Moon Lander source code.

How Thailand’s crisis became the World’s Crisis

I recently began listening to an unabridged version of The Lexus and The Olive Tree and I must say that after about ten minutes of listening to the book, I’m quite disconcerted over the increasing connectedness of countries and their ability to affect each other. Allow me to illustrate this by paraphrasing the book’s opening story.

In 1998 the Thai government had been keeping the currency, Boht, valued at one US dollar. Banks and investment first in Thailand therefore were borrowing money from US banks for their ventures since US banks were much more stable. In August of 1998 the Thai government, for whatever reason, decided to no longer tie the values of the two currencies and the Boht fell to 30 Boht for 1 US dollar. The Thai banks now had to come up with a lot more money to pay back their loans to the US banks. A short time later, 56 of Thailand’s 58 major banks closed down. Over 20 thousand white collar workers in Thailand lost their jobs. Foreign investors began removing their money from developing Southeast Asian countries such as Thailand, South Korea, and others. This would have only caused an asian recession except for the ties to Russia.

Russia was in quite a bad place in 1998. Most of the products domestically produced were actually negative valued goods. As the book explains it, “this means that a Russian made tractor was actually worth less when it was made. It would have been more valuable to the Russian government if it was made into scrap or never made at all.” The few successful firms in Russia were dodging taxes. Therefore Russia had two major sources of income: selling oil and other raw materials and selling government bonds. The bulk of their raw materials had been input into Southeast Asian countries which took the raw product and converted it into Tvs, radios, and other finished products they exported to other countries. As they went into recession they bought less and less raw product from Russia. In order to entice people to invest in their government bonds, Russia had been offering ridiculous interest rates of nearly 50%. Thus American banks were borrowing money from other American banks at 5% interest, investing it in Russian bonds, and making a fortune. That is to say, they were making a fortune until Russia decided to default on their bonds. Basically, they told all the investors they were SOL.

This moved the problem over the America where the banks which had borrowed money at 5% expecting a 50% return now had to pay back that money with 0% return. They began to sell the bonds they had in good countries to pay off their debts. This transmitted the problem to countries like Brazil which had done nothing wrong, but suddenly saw people dropping the stocks and bonds in their country. Desperate for investment, they began to offer crazy interest rates too.

Investors, hungry for a safe investment, began to invest wildly in the US, driving interest rates low. This caused banks to panic, fearing that Americans would pay off their home loans early, cutting off an important source of income for them. Meanwhile, oil prices were dropping, bad news for Middle Eastern countries.

That is about the place where I stopped listening to the book, but I was amazed at what had occurred. A seeminly innocuous decision by the Thai government caused a cascade which ended up affecting the entire world.

I’m not yet ready to offer up a real opinion about this globalization. On the one hand, it’s getting worse and worse every day, with countries becoming very entangled in each other’s affairs. However, is there a way to put up controls and safety nets? Or would these controls do more harm than good? It wouldn’t be the first time something like that occurred. For example, tarriffs, which protect domestic goods from cheaper foreign goods, end up hurting the country trying to export its goods. In the early history of the US, these tactics led to economic wars that, in the long run, only hurt all players involved, including the country imposing the tarriffs.

As I continue to listen to the book, I will be able to offer up a more informed opinion. If the book continues to be as exciting as these first few pages were, I may be blogging about it quite a bit more.

Make Games for Linux! Or don’t….

You may have noticed that almost everything in life is organized into catch-22 situations. The video game situation in Linux also follows this law. We’ve got the following dilema: we can’t play regular, consumer PC video games on a Linux box, but if they were made available we would lose a bunch of freeware game developers. Like others, I often wish developers like Maxis would make a Sims 2 port for Linux, allowing me to play the game without having to go through programs like Cedega by Transgaming, which charge a monthly fee for usage. It would make life a heckova lot easier for those of us who wish to legally purchase video games and be able to play then without being locked to the Windows desktop.

However, there are currently a lot of video games being developed for Linux by small software companies and individuals in order to fulfill this need. For example, there Wormux, a Worms clone and Freebooters, a Pirates! clone. Often these clones intend to duplicate game functionality while adding extra features they wish the original developers had implemented. How many people would still play these clones if the real games were available? We can take a look at how Windows shareware and freeware games turned out. I used to have tons of disks of freeware games we would run on our Win3.1 computer in DOS. Nowadays, I don’t hear anyone ever talking about any games execpt for those put out my the major developers. There are also Linux game developers putting out original games and I also fear that these would be ignored if the major developers were to make games for Linux.

So here we are, stuck in a tough place. One of the best aspects of the open source movement is the semi-democratic way in which software can be distributed. If you can find someone to host your source files, everyone can potentially download it. You don’t have to worry that the big boys have money to get their games through the distribution channels to the Best Buys and other locations. You just need to get popular enough that people link to you and talk about you. In that way, entrenched Linux games do have somewhat of an advantage over new projects, but all it takes is for someone to mention your game on Slashdot and you’ll have more hits than your server can handle. But we will lose part of this if commercial games are available. It’s not that the commercial companies will intentionally shut down any of the small-time developers, but people will stop looking. Because Civilization is unavailable people will search on in order to find freeciv.

I used to think it was very clear – lobby the developers to release Linux versions. Now I’m not so sure if this is the best thing that could happen to Linux.

Sad without the sadness…

This week my grandmother will probably be diagnosed with lymphoma, cancer of the lymph nodes. This is one of the worse types of cancer for two reasons. First of all, it is attacking the very part of your body responsible for keeping the body healthy. So this cancer leaves the person extra debilitated as they not only have cancer, but lose the ability to fight off infections. Second, because the lymph nodes can’t be removed like bone or even lung can, there are no surgical procedures which can be performed. The patient can participate in chemotherapy or some of the newer drug therapies.

According to my parents, the average life span for a young, healthy person diagnosed with lymphoma in the early stages is approximately five years. For someone my grandmother’s age, with all of the other medical “baggage” she currently posesses, there is a life span of perhaps a year. Chemotherapy can destory a beast of a man, so imagine what it can do to a frail old lady.

I’m also worried about my grandmother for metaphysical reasons. She’s always been a little on the pessimistic side when it comes to her health. It has been proven anecdotally, if not scientifically, that one of the most important factors in the recession or curing of a person with cancer is a possitive outlook on life. Because the body and mind are so intertwined, depression depresses the body’s ability to heal itself. Optimism, conversely, increases the body’s defenses. Of course this is about a lot more than just being happy while having cancer, it’s about a total life outlook; it’s about finding ways to laugh even when you know it may be the last time you laugh. Prayer also tends to help and she lacks a little in that area too.

Of course, if I may be a little “selfish” with this whole issue, what bothers me more than all of this is my inability to let out my sadness. Of course, I’ve always been one to have delayed reactions to large emotive situations. When my family moved, it took me months to “realize” we had moved and have the reaction. It wasn’t until a year after 11 September 2001 that I first cried for the victims. My psychology just works that way and it really ticks me off at times like this. I want to let loose and be disturbed, but I can’t…not yet. Until then, I’ve got to have a general funk superimposed over my mood. It doesn’t mean I won’t laugh and enjoy life, which is a good thing – otherwise it would be unbearable not to be able to let it out. But, and here’s where being an engineer helps with descriptions, it’s like an AM radio signal: my emotions are the signal content and the sadness is the envelope. So it modulates my everyday emotions so that my highs aren’t quite as high and my lows are much lower.

If I can be “selfish” a little longer, what really gets me on edge about her condition is the uncertainty involved. I really want her to be at my wedding in July. Even worse, I wanted her to be able to interact with my children. It’s not “fair” that she got to be with my cousins’ kids because they decided to get pregnant when they were 19 and 20. But now we don’t know if she’ll be here next week, much less two years from now. Sure, all of life is uncertain; I could die walking to class tomorrow. However, it’s all about probabilities – she has a much higher probability of expiring before I do. I know with very high probabilities what will happen to me this week. The probabilities decrease the further out I go, but I still have things I am certain of – for example Spring Break will come on the 21st of March. And of course, death at the end of my life has probability 1, or 100% depending on how you look at it. But with her, with cancer in general, you never know. She could be alive for a year or she could defy all the statistics and live for thirty more years.

Of course, I also don’t want her to be alive with pain, no one wants that for their loved ones. I would prefer for her to “rest” than to be alive and be in pain every day. I can’t even stand when I’ve got a pain in my neck for a day, so for someone to have chronic, large scale pain is something I couldn’t even wish upon my enemies.

Well, life is always unpredictable, so if you believe in God/Allah/Yhwh, pray for her.


Random acts of kindness

Just when you thought the world was in huge trouble, you see an act that give you faith in humanity. I truly love those moments because so often we see these negative things on Tv: rape, murder, suicide, and hatred.

Yesterday I was with a friend of mine, talking his recent slip into some rather unfortunate circumstances. He told me I could blog about yesterday’s events, but I’ll protect his identity for now. If he wants to out himself, he can do that through commenting on this post. He cast some pretty bad lots and was lamenting not having been hugged in a long time. I suggested, in a tone of mirth, that he walk through Ho Plaza (where each student passes at least once a day according to the campus tours) with his arms outstretched in a hug shape and see if some random person hugged him. He responded that he would find that unsatisfactory because he wouldn’t know the person. He may as well just walk up to some random person and ask for a hug. At least one person, he claimed, would comply. While I disagreed people would hug on command (I certainly wouldn’t!), I didn’t say anything because there are always bozos out there that will act irrationally when compared to normal social protocol.

We left the subject to work on our homework and project for the upcoming week. We spoke of many things, but we did not return to the subject of hugs. I certainly did not want to bring it up because I have no pleasure in seeing others suffer. He didn’t want to bring it up because he’s not a sadist. (Well, he’s a bit sadistic in the way he loves to code…but that’s a different story)

An hour passed and we completed all the work we needed to do for this weekend. We both got up to leave and packed up. As we walked through the hallway, we passed this female college student who had been about two desks away from us in the hallway. She stood up to hug my friend, and, I was dumbstruck. I automatically assumed they knew each other and she was bidding him goodbye. Then my brain began to work again and I realized that she was responding to his lack of hugs. She was very nice about it and had such a big smile on her face. I commented, “that’s very nice of you,” My friend was a little pessimistic about it, but given his circumstances, I don’t blame him.

“It’s nice, but not the same,” he proclaimed.

As we walked out, I said, loud enough for her to hear, “That was very nice of her.”

Because, when you think about it, it was VERY nice of her. She had no idea who my friend was and didn’t have any reason to hug him. She just saw another human being who had a need and then sacrificed to fulfill his need. What did she sacrifice? She put herself out in the open and made herself vulnerable to him. I’m glad she did. I know that the odds are EXTREMELY slim, but I hope she reads this. Whoever you are, thank you for doing that for my friend. I hope you have planted a seed of hope within him.

Hello Lamewads!

This song is one of my newest favorite songs and so I thought I’d share the lyrics with you. Part of what I love about this song is the fact that I was acting this way for a while at Cornell and I could have used a song to point out how ridiculous I was being. It’s about trying just hard enough to not be the worst. For a while I just wanted to get the curve. Then I realized how bad that was. I needed to strive for the absolute best and never settle with being on the curve. The lyrics are great and Reese proves once again why he has a legion of fans.

“Hello Lamewads”
by Roper

Feel the burn and the fury of my pen
feel the fire, as I fan the flames again
brace yourself for the mediocre
Hail the king of the almost good enough
nothing bold, nothing’s flying off the cuff
things might change, but don’t hold your breath yet
Try floating with the flow,
try not to run too slow
be average, not below, Let’s go

Hello lamewads, I’m with you
raise your fists if this rings true
Hello lamewads, never quite our best or finest
hello lamewads, I’m predicting a C minus, now.

Hello lamewads, hello.
Like a shoelace slowly coming loose
like a flashlight running out of juice
save your necks, with some lame excuses
I’m neither friend or foe, I’m never going pro
does this sound apropos?
Let’s go.

Niether hot nor cold this is getting old.

Blogging Takes off in India

Dina Mehta’s post about the current state of Blogging in India resonates so well across cultural and state boundaries because she touches on topics which transcend the human race. One of the best things about the article, in addition to the great writing, is the fact that, by reading it, one realized that in most ways all of humanity shares the same traits.

For example, this paragraph of her article pertained to me in every aspect:

Many bloggers will tell you of their addiction to blogging that goes well beyond just writing a piece. How many active bloggers can really say they do not start their day looking for reactions to something they wrote the previous day? Or checking if someone has linked to something they’ve written? Or running their newsreaders to look for interesting pieces by other bloggers in their community? Or checking back at others’ posts they might have left comments at to see how the discussion is evolving? Or checking blog statistics to assess whether more or fewer people are reading what they write?

I love checking behind the scenes of my blog at least daily to see who has written comments. Up to now it’s mostly been my fiancee, and I’m glad to have the comments, but I would hope to have more people making comments as more and more people learn about my blog.

I also love going to other people’s blogs to see what style others employ. Some bloggers like to make themselves into a portal. For those unfamiliar with the jargon, it means they pick a subject for the post and then point the user to a dozen other sites they can go to for learning about the subject. In one extreme example a blog post consisted of just a news headline and lines to news websites talking about it. Others, use their blogs to editorialize. I do this myself with articles like the one I wrote about Snoop coming to Cornell. Some use them as journals where they write about every detail of their lives, no matter how banal.

When it comes to my own blog, I like to think that I have a mix of editorial and journal as my format. Which side my blog seems to be leaning towards depends on my mood at the time. If I’m spending more time watching the news and learning then I tend to editorialize more. Most recently I’ve been using my blog as a forum for advocating Open Source Technology, specifically Linux most of the time. But when the driving force in my life is more of a personal one, I talk more about that.

The other thing Dina mentions in her article that really resonated with me involved the media:

There will be a day when this new media will encourage traditional media to find new ways to connect with their audiences. Where it will change the way people, groups and organizations organize for work and play. Where organizations in India will wish to adopt such technologies and pay bloggers for their time spent blogging.

I have already seen this begin to take root within the traditional media. has many of its news personalities maintaining blogs where they talk about the items they are reporting in the news. I’m curious to see what people will end up thinking of this. I know that early reaction tended to be a bit resentful as people felt that these weren’t honest blogs, they were just trying to take over what we “little people” were using. In a way it felt as though we were being violated and corrupted. I know there has been a bit of a reversal with MSNBC’s Keith Olberman mentioning getting some of his news sources from blogs. Slowly people will begin to adapt to this new paradigm.

So, as I said in the beginning, it was most amazing to me to see how similar we are in different countries. I feel that there are two ways in which the Internet can have a VERY positive impact. First of all, it can serve to desseminate the ideas of the repressed who have no way of getting their message out on the traditional media. Second, as more and more people truly navigate webpages of others from around the world, the Internet will allow them, if they open their minds, to see that all of us are the same. There is no reason to hate others in a blind xenophobia. If one must feel ill will towards others let it be towards the individual who has wronged you, not the race or country you know little about.

MOody with Music!

Hey, I finally got the MyMooMus plugin for WordPress working after taking a look at the code and clarifying the way to use the tags. I had originally misunderstood the way it worked and was a little frustrated when it appeared not to be working right. You’ll notice on the rest of my posts that I will be having my mood and the song I’m listening to posted. This was the last feature I was missing from my Tripod blog. Now I am 100% fully content with this software.

Snoop for Slope Day

Every year we have a celebration on the final day of the school year on Cornell’s Libe Slope. It used to be a drunken orgy but it has morphed, in recent years into a concert with over-priced food and an ugly orange fence which makes getting to classes very hard. A couple of years ago Fat Joe was the lead act. Last year Kanye West was the headliner, although I didn’t get to see him because they weren’t allowing video cameras in and it was too much of a hassle to get back to the apartment. This year we’re getting Snoop Dogg along with some no name rapper. What’s interesting to me is the fact that a school as white as Cornell has had rap acts for the past three years. I’m not being naive or racist, saying that white people can’t listen to rap. I know they listen to rap.

My wonderment comes more from the fact that at most of the parties here they play rock and country so I would assume they would want to invite someone like that for Slope Day. The only reasoning for this trend could be that, perhaps, a disproportionate amount of the members of the Slope Day committee like rap music when compared to the campus at large. I think one of the funniest things is how the rappers themselves react to being here. I remember Fat Joe saying things like, “Oh you lawyers and doctors know how to party!” and “this is your chance to kick back instead of studying” and other funny little comments.

It will be very interesting to see what happens this year with Snoop. I’m very torn on what to do this year for Slope Day. For the past two years, cameras have gotten me into trouble on the Slope. Sophomore year my camera was distracting me from the people I was with so they got a lil ticked. Last year they wouldn’t let me in because I had a video camera. So this year I had resolved to just go without any cameras. But that is completely against my very being. I’m very torn on what to do. If I take it and something happens, I KNOW I’ll never live it down – 3/4 Slope Days ruined. However, if I don’t take it and then lament not being able to take pictures the whole time, that won’t solve anything either.

This is why I always wish they had just left Slope Day unregulated as it was in the past. Yes, people used to drink themselves into oblivion, but there were people like me who just walked around and laughed at the drunkards while just having a good time taking pictures with their friends. Some of the only pictures I have of some of my friends are pictures from Slope Day. Plus, on Sophomore slope day I wouldn’t have been able to get pictures of some of the people who showed up dressed in drag or of the old man playing the accordian.

So what can I possibly do? I seem to be in a catch-22 situation. I will end up either just going ahead of time without my fiancee to see if they will allow me to take my camera in or I will end up not taking it. I’m not going to take it without knowing for sure because I really can’t take being wrong…this really is the last straw. Check back on or after 6 May and either see the pictures or simply read what I had to say. I want things to go well so bad….

Happy 3.5 Years!

My fiancee and I stopped keeping track of how many months we’d been together once we reached the year-mark. However, since this is the last major milestone left before marriage later this year, I wanted to wish you a happy 3.5 years!

It seems already as though we’ve been together for an eternity. Everything is as perfect as it can be at this point in our lives. Every day I look forward to the day the pastor presents us to the world as husband and wife!


Those of you who may be new to my blog because you discovered me through a ping-back or some other method than coming over from It’s A Binary World 1.0 don’t know about my quotes posts. Throughout the day I collect quotes I hear in class, emails, or other sources and place them in my AIM profile. Whenever my profile contains too many characters, I move the quotes into my blog and refresh my AIM profile with new quotes.

Here are today’s quotes:

“That’s a power all mexicans have” – Dan, when the Mexican survives a car crash unharmed in Constantine

“The 1 key is lonely, so why don’t i just map A1 to capslock.” – Richard West

“No one has ever made promises that progress is linear or
clean… 2 steps forward and 1 step back…it’s a cha-cha.. a bloody
bare-knuckles knockdown dragout cha-cha… stiletto heels optional.” – Jeff Spaleta

More Numa Numa Action!

Remember when I talked about Numa Numa guy getting his big break on tv? He’s got a name now and it’s Gary Brolsma. (Well, he always had a name, but now we know it!) Following is a CNET article I found about him and my comments following any paragraphs I feel warrant comment.

Internet fame is cruel mistress for video dancer
02/26/05 | 07:24 AM PST
Jason George

Here is the cautionary tale of a guy from New Jersey who made the grave mistake of uploading a clip of himself lip-syncing.

I guess this solves my question of how the video ended up on the internet. Personally, I think you have to know that if you upload stuff, people could mess with it. It’s a risk I take whenever I post pictures of myself. Fortunately, I’m usually not doing anything funny enough in the pictures to be worth posting all over the internet.

There was a time when embarrassing talents were a purely private matter. If you could sing “The Star Spangled Banner” in the voice of Daffy Duck, no one but your friends and family would ever have to know.
But with the Internet, humiliation–like everything else–has now gone public. Upload a video of yourself playing flute with your nose or dancing in your underwear, and people from Toledo to Turkmenistan can watch.
Here, then, is the cautionary tale of Gary Brolsma, 19, amateur videographer and guy from New Jersey, who made the grave mistake of placing on the Internet a brief clip of himself dancing along to a Romanian pop song. Even in the bathroom mirror, Brolsma’s performance could only be described as earnest but painful.
His story suggests that the quaint days when cultural trinkets, like celebrity sex tapes, were passed around like novels in Soviet Russia are over. It says a little something of the lightning speed at which fame is made these days.

To begin at the beginning:
Brolsma, a pudgy guy from Saddle Brook, made a video of himself this fall performing a lip-synced version of “Dragostea Din Tei,” a Romanian pop tune, which roughly translates to “Love From the Linden Trees.” He not only mouthed the words, he bounced along in what he called the “Numa Numa Dance”–an arm-flailing, eyebrow-cocked performance executed without ever once leaving the chair.
In December, the Web site, a clearinghouse for online videos and animation, placed a link to Brolsma on its home page and, soon, there was a river of attention. “Good Morning America” came calling and he appeared. CNN and VH1 broadcast the clip. Parodists tried their own Numa Numa dances online. By Friday, the Brolsma rendition of “Love From the Linden Trees” had attracted nearly 2 million hits on the original Web site alone.

Again, this is partially his fault from going on these Tv shows, but I don’t see why he is so embarassed. I haven’t heard anyone say look at this dumb guy. People usually say, look at this crazy guy. And that’s a compliment when you’re trying to be funny, at least I think it is.

It was just as Diane Sawyer said on her television program: “Who knows where this will lead?”
Nowhere, apparently. For, in Brolsma’s case, the river became a flood.
He has now sought refuge from his fame in his family’s small house on a gritty street in Saddle Brook. He has stopped taking phone calls from the news media, including The New York Times. He canceled an appearance on NBC’s “Today.” According to his relatives, he mopes around the house.
What’s worse is that no one seems to understand.
“I said, ‘Gary this is your one chance to be famous – embrace it,'” said Corey Dzielinski, who has known Brolsma since the fifth grade. Gary Brolsma is not the first guy to rocket out of anonymity on a starship of embarrassment. There was William Hung, the Hong Kong-born “American Idol” reject, who sang and danced so poorly he became a household name. There was Ghyslain Raza, the teenage Quebecois, who taped himself in a mock light-saber duel and is now known as the Star Wars Kid.
In July 2003, Raza’s parents went so far as to sue four of his classmates, claiming they had placed the clip of him online without permission. “Ghyslain had to endure and still endures today, harassment and derision,” according to the lawsuit, first reported in The Globe and Mail of Toronto.

Of course the Star Wars Kid is a different case because other people put his stuff on the internet. That’s just mean and a violation of his privacy….even if he did forget to erase his performance off the tape, they needed to have asked his permission to publish it.

Brolsma has no plans to sue, his family said–mainly because he would have to sue himself. In fact, they wish he would bask a little in his celebrity.
“I don’t know what’s wrong with him,” his grandfather, Kalman Telkes, a Hungarian immigrant, said the other day while taking out the trash.
The question remains why two million people would want to watch a doughy guy in glasses wave his arms around online to a Romanian pop song.
“It definitely has to be something different,” said Tom Fulp, president and Webmaster of “It’s really time and place.”
“The Numa Numa dance,” he said, sounding impressed. “You see it and you kind of impulsively have to send it to your friends.”
“Make a video and become famous”
There is no way to pinpoint the fancy of the Internet, but in an effort to gauge Brolsma’s allure, the Numa Numa dance was shown to a classroom of eighth graders at Saddle Brook Middle School–the same middle school that he attended, in fact.
The students’ reactions ranged from envious to unimpressed. “That’s stupid,” one of them said. “What else does he do?” a second asked. A third was a bit more generous: “I should make a video and become famous.”
The teacher, Susan Sommer, remembered Brolsma. He was a quiet kid, she said, with a good sense of humor and a flair for technology.
“Whenever there were computer problems, Gary and Corey would fix them for the school,” she said.
His friends say Brolsma has always had a creative side. He used to make satirical Prozac commercials on cassette tapes, for instance. He used to publish a newspaper with print so small you couldn’t read it with the naked eye.
“He was always very out there–he’s always been ambitious,” said Frank Gallo, a former classmate. “And he’s a big guy, but he’s never been ashamed.”
Another friend, Randal Reiman, said: “I’ve heard a lot of people say it’s not that impressive–it doesn’t have talent. But I say, Who cares?”
These days, Brolsma shuttles between the house and his job at Staples, his family said. He is distraught, embarrassed. His grandmother, Margaret Telkes, quoted him as saying, just the other day, “I want this to end.”
And yet the work lives on. Fulp, the Webmaster, continues to receive online homages to the Numa Numa dance. The most recent showed what seemed to be a class of computer students singing in Romanian and, in unison, waving their hands.
Reiman figures the larger world has finally caught on to Gary Brolsma.
“He’s been entertaining us for years,” he said, “so it’s kind of like the rest of the world is realizing that Gary can make you smile.”

There you have it, the story of the Gary Brolsma, the Numa Numa kid.

Enough is enough!

I was trying to pay my Verizon Wireless bill a few weeks ago and it kept having problems. I checked the credit card number, the expiration date, and every other field, but it was still not working. Finally I got fed up enough to call tech support rather than risk being locked out or something. So I gave them a call and the lady says to me, “oh, you’re using Firefox aren’t you?”
“Yes I am” (because I don’t like viruses and other M$ exploits taking over my computer)
“Oh well, I’m sorry, but you can’t use that browser here to pay your bills.”
“Oh, don’t worry, our engineers are working on it.”

I was thoroughly ticked off! WTF was this setup M$ had with vendors to purposely make the code so that it wouldn’t work with Firefox? I should be able to use whichever browser I choose to surf the internet.

Then today I tried to watch a clip online in the Windows Media Streaming format and it didn’t work. As soon as I went into my Internet Explorer browser it began to play. Microsoft can’t continue this policy or they will lose in a big way. They are counting on people saying, “I can’t use my browser to view WMVs? I’m going back to IE.” But what people will actually do is get mad at what M$ is trying to do. They are infringing upon our rights to use our computers however we want to use them.

I know they are scared if they actually play nice that people will finally see they are a good software company, but not a great one. However, enough is enough! Users need to be able to use their computers in whatever manner they wish, including using outside browsers.

Two interesting bits of knowledge

First of all, congrats to the WordPress team! In just two weeks they were able to have 50 000 downloads of the blog software this site is running. I HIGHLY recommend them if you have your own server and want to run your own blog.

Second, for those who are used to the format of my old blog where the posts are never ending to the bottom and then you click back to go to the previous posts, this blog software handles things a little differently. You will onlly see on one page (plus clicking back) posts from that month. So, this blog doesn’t only have two posts, it also has a bunch of february posts which can be access by click on “february 2005” under archives.

Yay, It’s March!

Alright, It’s 1 March so it’s time to break out the shorts and tank tops! No? Oh yeah, Ithaca is too far away to get the memo that it’s March so today I looked out and saw all this snow. In fact, it was actively snowing when I looked out the window. When I got in my car to go buy Bambi for my fiancee (it came out on DVD today) and drove to Best Buy, I was taken aback at how beautiful the snow looked. Since it was early in the morning, it hadn’t been soiled by cars driving over it or plows pushing dirty snow around. I resolved to take my camera out with me when I walked to class. It turned out that you just get a very different image from the snow on campus than you do from the snow in the mountain roads leading to the mall. I have decided to include some of the pictures I took today. Enjoy.

Poor seeds...hang on....
These poor seeds remained on the tree through
the whole winter – if they can just wait a few more weeks

Rebel Base on Ice Planet Hoth
Darth Vader, I have found the Rebel Base on
the Ice Planet Hoth. Please don’t make me an admiral…

Ho Plaza
It’s very rare to see something so beautiful and
so depressing at the same time

It’s not a mirage….it never ends