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Showing posts from 2014

My New Year's Resolutions for 2015

I am going to try and pursue a few goals in 2015, which would probably qualify as New Year's resolutions. These are known to not be very successful, but I am not bothered by that since I feel I have a good ability to stick to certain goals and I am already in a good position overall even if I don't achieve them. But what I will try to do in 2015 includes:

Establish my own domain name for my websiteDevelop better development skills with the Raspberry Pi by undertaking personal projects with the CanaKit Raspberry Pi B+ Ultimate Starter Kit that +Joseph Kielasa gave me for ChristmasWork more quickly and be more productive at my Ford internship, especially since I am leaving Parjana for a semesterTry to get to the gym more often and bring down my BMI further (this'll probably get easier once the weather is warmer and I can start riding my bike again)Resume learning Esperanto at lernu.net, if my academic schedule allowsPost more often to this blog :) Happy New Year's, everyo…

Freeway excitement

I forgot to post this yesterday, but it was noteworthy enough to belong here.

+Joseph Kielasa and I were going in together along I-75 to get to +Parjana Distribution 's office in Detroit for work. This occurred around 7:50 AM.

I was just finishing up talking to him (he was driving, by the way) about how traffic bottlenecks on the freeway form, and he was mentioning how tired he was and a desire for coffee once we reached our destination. We were traveling in the far-left lane to line up with our intended exit, with very few cars around us. Suddenly, the cars in front of us slowed way down, and he was forced to slam on the brakes to avoid rear-ending them.

A woman following us closely in a silver SUV did not have enough time to brake in response, so her solution was to try and swerve around us on the right. At this point, she lost control and was skidding across all the lanes; Joe had to pull sharply onto the left shoulder to avoid getting sideswiped and maybe losing his right side …

Rearranging my website, now more desktop-like

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I have once again been modifying my website, and I decided to do something about the buttons inside the main div on the start page. I felt like tweaking this page to now resemble something closer to a desktop.

Here is the new look I'm going to:


You can compare this to the old look, and I think you'll agree that it looks better now:


The individual sections are still shown with a dark background, but I've been working on cutting out all those extra white borders:


Overall, it's a much cleaner look.

I plan on expanding on this some more. Ideas I've recently had include modifying the background picture to change according to time of day, and adding more sections for some other stuff.

Once this is all done, this blog will need its look revamped to match...

'Tis the season for selling my stuff!

It is now officially December. Those who know me and have been in my house know I have too much old, unused hardware and other stuff lying around. So, I'm now in the process of selling it to try and make a bit of extra cash on the side.

First, I posted my Nexus 7 (2012) tablet for $100 on Craigslist (through which I have successfully sold some furniture before). This is one I really hope goes; it's a great tablet, but I just simply don't use it that much anymore.

I also posted the following items so far (keep an eye on this post for updates if you're interested in any of it; please note all items are pickup only, so probably only people who live near me in the metro Detroit area will be interested):
Home Planetarium Kit Let's see where this online holiday garage sale of sorts goes.

(Keep an eye on this blog for periodic updates!)

Spring 2015 class registration

I have recently registered for my Spring 2015 semester classes at LTU. I have senior standing and mostly technical electives left to go, along the required senior classes and a couple more core classes before I can graduate with my bachelor's degree in computer science (scientific programming concentration).

Below are the classes I have registered for (this might possibly change as the tentative times for the classes change and scheduling conflicts arise):
MCS 4613: Computer NetworksMCS 4643: Comparative Programming LanguagesMCS 4663: Operating SystemsLDR 4000: Leadership CapstoneMCS 5013: Web Server Programming I'm primarily interested in Computer Networking not only because it's required, but because I find my personal knowledge in the topic lacking and I want to strengthen it. (That's the whole point of taking classes, right?) I also want to take Web Server Programming so I can improve my web development skills at Parjana, and also because one of my favorite professo…

Pokémon Profile Picture Month 2014

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December is Pokémon Profile Picture Month (as +Joe Quesada reminds me annually). So, here's what I temporarily changed my Google+ and Skype profile pictures to:


I made this picture myself using Inkscape and GIMP. I picked Porygon-Z since as an entirely virtual entity it's programming-related, and the Pokémon itself is supposed to be a bit glitchy due to the effects of the Dubious Disk (reflecting my own imperfections, I suppose), despite being the third evolution in the Porygon line.

I think maybe people have a tendency to forget about Porygon and its evolutions after the original Red and Blue games, perhaps because it was practically banned from the Pokémon anime after the infamous banned Electric Soldier Porygon episode. This ban carried over to its subsequent evolutions as well. In my opinion, it's a bit of a shame, because Porygon had such a cool concept (although I may be a bit biased by my programming interests).

If anyone's wondering, that's fake Python code…

Personal website update: one page for everything

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I have just updated my personal website again at http://warrioring64.github.io/. Instead of using multiple subpages, I now moved nearly all of my HTML code into one big file, and the individual divs are shown dynamically using JQuery. The result should be a smoother experience for visitors.

Why does Google do a staggered rollout for new Android versions OTA?

Okay guys, rant time again. This time it's in response to all those annoying Google+ posts by people impatiently whining about why they didn't get the over-the-air (OTA) update for Android 5.0 Lollipop yet.

This is a topic that has been no-doubt beaten to death already by bigger, more established Android blogs and news sites, but it doesn't hurt to repeat it.

Android follows a staggered release model for new versions. This means that a certain small percentage of users will get the update first, followed by a somewhat larger portion, followed by another larger portion, etc., until everyone has it. This is done as a quality control measure on Google's part: if a serious bug is in the OTA update, it's preferable to have only a few of your users affected by it and submit a few bug reports (so it can be fixed before you continue rolling it out), as opposed to everyone being affected, getting mad, flooding you with bug reports, and losing respect for the quality of your…

Phone scammers?

I got a phone call earlier today while it was just me, my brother, and our cat Shimmer at home. I picked it up and the woman on the other end of the line asked, "is this [first part of my email address]?" I answered yes, and asked what this was about. She proceeded to say that she was from a "debt collection agency" to reclaim my debt on my Capital One account, and asked which form of payment I would like to make.

This raised some red flags with me:

These people know both my house phone number and the first part of my email address (which was how they chose to address me, instead of by name)No name for the agency was givenA payment option was immediately given without much in the way of explanation, not even how much the debt supposedly wasPerhaps the most telling, I've never had a Capital One account and I still don't I wasted no time in telling her the account was non-existent and she was trying to scam me, then abruptly hung up. Hopefully that gets the me…

My first Chocolatey package!

In my Computer Architecture and Assembly Language class at LTU, we are making X68 assembly language programs using an open-source 68000 IDE and simulator called EASy68K.

I have been having a lot of fun with Chocolatey lately. If you're unfamiliar with it, it's a package manager for Windows. In fact, its technology will be included in Windows 10 as part of the OneGet package manager installed by default, so it's probably not a bad idea to get acquainted with it now on your current Windows system. For people like me who like the convenience of package managers like apt-get on Linux, this helps us feel a bit more at home; it means we no longer have to manually download, install and update programs ourselves if a package is available!

I decided to create the easy68k package and submit it to the Chocolatey Gallery by following this handy tutorial I found on another blog. The link to it is here, but it's currently still awaiting moderation since I just submitted it and won&#…

sequence-aligner

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I recently finished another assignment for my Intro to Bioinformatics class at LTU. This one is a Python 2.7 program which uses dynamic programming to perform semi-global alignments on genetic sequences. The algorithm used is based on the Needleman-Wunsch algorithm.
An illustration of the Needleman-Wunsch algorithm from Wikipedia.
I find the most interesting part of my solution is that it generates its output as an HTML file with embedded JavaScript. This shows both the dynamic programming table used to generate the alignments, as well as the alignments themselves. The program will ask if you want to open it in your web browser, where you will also see a button to print the output if you want.

This code is not without its problems, especially given that I was short on time when I made my submission. It might have some performance issues, especially on longer input sequences. The alignments might scroll off the right side of the page. There doesn't seem to be any serious bugs though…

Diwali Night at LTU

Yesterday I attended a Diwali celebration at Lawrence Technological University which was partly organized by +sahana thanabalan , my partner in the LTU/Ford AUTOSAR internship project. I had a lot of fun there; the event included the following:

A presentation of what Diwali is, along with guest speakersMusicDances (Bollywood and traditional)Dinner (which consisted of Indian food served in the RFoC cafeteria, with catering done by Royal Indian in Troy, MI)Fireworks and sparklers
+Joe Quesada also briefly attended towards the end of the event, just as the fireworks were starting.

If you want to see pictures I took at the event, please see this post (for some reason, Google+ won't give me an option for embedding this one). LTU might push out their own stuff soon as well, since I saw cameramen and photographers going around and taking pictures/video of everything.

For anyone out there who is not familiar with it, you can find out more about it via the all-knowing Wikipedia.

Life status update for October 2014

It's been a while since my last post. So, what's been going on for me?

I recently completed a major emergency project for Parjana Distribution where I took over the code left over from a pair of former developers and invested nearly all of my free time into getting it back into working order. I had a lot of fun with it and I was getting paid for all of the extra work I was doing, but it has been exhausting. Hopefully I can step back from that and get a breather. +Kamil Jarosz is now working there as well, and he's been very productive on developing our ERP system further. So, things there should be going pretty good now.

+sahana thanabalan and I are just starting to get work from Ford for my internship through LTU, so we can begin doing things for Phase 2 of the project there. We should have a couple more graduate students joining us soon, once their employment paperwork is complete. Things are going well there, although we had a slow start.

I survived the midterm exams for…

Somebody "hacked" my old Yahoo! email account

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My mom asked me if I sent her an email the other day which linked to some sort of online advertisement. Of course, I never did, so I asked her to show it to me.

My parents still primarily use our SBC Global email accounts provided to us by our ISP (which are Yahoo! email accounts), despite my repeated attempts to try and get them to switch away. She logged into her email and showed me the message in her inbox. The sender was listed as "christopher horton" (the email address actually sent from was not immediately visible), and the subject simply said "from christopher horton". It was sent to everyone in my old account's contact list, and simply said "Hi!", followed by a link with no explanation given.

I advised my mom to send it to the spam folder, and then tried to log in to my old Yahoo! email account to deactivate it. It told me it did not recognize my ID or password anymore. Trying to get the password reset resulted in AT&T (our "new"…

Setting up an Ubuntu 14.04 LTS virtual machine on LTU laptops

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My cousin +Joseph Kielasa recently needed Linux installed alongside Windows 8.1 on our LTU school laptops for his work at Parjana Distribution on our sensor boxes. I have already tried to setup a dual-boot between Ubuntu 14.04 and Windows 8.1 on our new school laptops over the summer, but that kind of failed. So this time, I tried going the virtual machine approach.

Here is how you too can run Ubuntu and Windows at the same time on your LTU laptop.
Get an image Obviously, you will need an Ubuntu image to install into the virtual machine. Go to www.ubuntu.com/download and get Ubuntu 14.04.1 LTS (64-bit desktop image). This will download as a .iso file to your computer. The download is almost 1 GB big, so be prepared to wait a while.

After it downloads, you may want to check the MD5 sum to ensure the file's integrity before you try to use it. Get Microsoft's File Checksum Integrity Verifier Utility if you want to verify this (you can get the md5sums for the different Ubuntu 14.0…

A Note On Reimages For Lenovo Yogas

I initially tried to set up a dual-boot between Windows 8.1 and Ubuntu 14.04 LTS on my school's new Lenovo Yoga machine back when I received it in exchange for the older Fujitsu LifeBook laptops which we were initially given. Unfortunately, I could not get the dual-boot to work, as Ubuntu could start but Windows could not after installation, so I ended up wiping the whole thing and making it pure Ubuntu.

This worked fine during the Summer 2014 semester. But now that Fall 2014 semester has started and I find myself needing Windows software for coursework again, I needed to go in for another reimage. Which is okay by me, since I was planning on it from the start.

What's interesting though is that if you need a reimage, the good people at the LTU Help Desk cannot simply swap out your hard drive for a new one like they did in the past with the older LifeBooks. Why? They told me that it would void the warranty on these newer machines. As a result, I had to get a whole new laptop in…

The End (of Summer 2014) Is Nigh

The summer went by quickly this year. During the first half, I was taking my summer course on probability and statistics to satisfy my degree's requirement for a math elective. During the whole summer, I was doing internship work for Parjana Distribution (with a little bit here and there for my other internship with Ford, for which Phase II commences in the fall and we'll be trying to recruit additional students for with flyers and a classroom presentation).

This next week will be very hectic for me. Here's a list of some of the things I will be doing:

Preparing for fall classesPreparing for a schedule change at Parjana Distribution to accommodate my status as a full-time studentGetting ready to begin Phase II with FordPay for more Straight Talk service before my service end date next week (probably only another 6 months instead of a full year in case I run into problems again)Put together my desktop computer rebuild once the parts I'm still waiting on have arrivedSet u…

On Sleep Management

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I am currently involved with two internships, and I am also still a full-time student, with fall semester classes at my university starting August 27. Also factor in that I am trying to organize an unofficial open source club at LTU, I still have a variety of side projects I work on for fun, I have a cat to care for and I need to squeeze in bike rides / going to the gym at least once every two days.

Obviously I'm a very busy guy, and it's important for me to maintain a healthy sleep schedule in order to keep up with all of this. After all, sleep has many important health benefits, especially for the brain.
My Goals With regards to my sleep schedule, I aim to try and get roughly eight hours of sleep a night. I am currently trying to get up around 6:30AM during the weekdays in order to get everything taken care of before I have to work, and I allow myself to sleep in to around noon on weekends to help make up for any deficits.
The Tools I Use I use two very helpful Android apps …

Breakfast at Taco Bell

This morning I finally got a chance to try some of Taco Bell's infamous breakfast food.

Maybe it doesn't take much to please me, but I'm happy with what I got.

I rode in on my bicycle to the Taco Bell located at 41167 Dequindre Rd,Troy, MI 48085. I decided to order the Grande Scrambler burrito with sausage combo, which came with a coffee and two Cinnabon Delights. Overall, I liked what I got. The burrito was, in my opinion, slightly better than the breakfast burrito I liked getting at McDonald's, and bigger (but not huge). The portion size on the coffee was pretty good, too. My bill came out to $4.97 (including sales tax).

Normally, I don't get up until around noon when I can sleep in, but I just might have to start getting up earlier to go there more often. I will try the Waffle Taco on my next visit.

Looking For Work? Try Parjana Distribution (Again)!

I made an earlier blog post regarding looking for a replacement for me once my availability at Parjana Distribution becomes limited during my fall semester.

One of my coworkers, who works more on developing sensors we use to monitor our work sites, will be leaving Parjana Distribution this fall to work on graduate courses. My employer will be looking for a replacement to him as well, and they provided me with the following job description of who they are looking for (you can also view it here).


(Disclaimer: this post is my own work [except for the embedded job description] and does not represent the views of Parjana Distribution.)

Looking For Work? Try Parjana Distribution!

Today's post promotes one of my current employers: Parjana Distribution. If you are looking for a job or internship, keep reading.
Who is Parjana Distribution? Parjana® Distribution is a Detroit, Michigan-based company which comes up with solutions to water problems experienced by our clients. In particular, we promote our EGRP® technology for eliminating standing water. The below quote from our site is a nice little summary of what it does: These solutions include the use of the EGRP® ( Energy-Passive Groundwater Recharge Product ) system which facilitates the process of water infiltration without the need for electricity, at a rate faster than that of natural conditions. Using the EGRP® provides stormwater mitigation, greatly reducing stormwater runoff, sediment control while promoting groundwater infiltration and groundwater recharge. Where do I come in? I'm a developer intern for Parjana Distribution for the ERP (enterprise resource planning) system we use. Specifically, it…

Personal Website: First Look

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To anyone interested in why my blog's appearance is changing, this is what I am trying to aim for in terms of the visual consistency I mentioned earlier.

I have been learning HTML, CSS and JavaScript as part of my training at my internship with Parjana Distribution, via Codecademy. Getting my own website has been a goal of mine for a while now, so here is the first bit of my hand-coded work.

The site is currently hosted on GitHub using GitHub Pages, and can be accessed at http://warrioring64.github.io/ . Please note that there are still some rough edges and I still haven't fully fleshed it out yet, though it seems to be off to a good start. In particular, I'm thinking of adding a showcase of my other personal projects to it at some point.

New Look

If you have been visiting my blog recently, you might have noticed that I am in the process of updating its look. I am doing this so its visual style will be closer to some other personal web pages I am setting up for better consistency (not to mention show off my new HTML/CSS skills).

I will post again with more details once everything is complete. In the meantime, enjoy the metamorphosis.

Meet Shimmer!

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Last Wednesday, the Horton family acquired a new family member: Shimmer!

Shimmer is a female gray tabby cat, weighing in at 5.8 lbs and is 5 years old. She is a very friendly cat, often coming up to people while meowing at them for attention. She can be petted pretty much anywhere, and especially loves tummy rubs. She is the new family pet, although technically my mom owns her.

It turned out that at the time we adopted her, she had a severe urinary tract infection which went unnoticed, with her frequent visits to the litter box described as a personality trait. Now she is being given antibiotics orally twice daily, and we already see her becoming more active and playful after the first five days of treatment.

I included some pictures of her for you guys to enjoy. :)










Fun with cats

Today my mom, my brother +Jonathan Horton , and I went to the local Petco where a Michigan Humane Society Adoption Center was located. About once a week, we go there to look at the animals they have available. It's unlikely that we will adopt anything since my dad is allergic to most animals with fur, the cost involved, and some other reasons, but we still take a look from time to time.

Today they had a new cage containing four kittens, each of which was named after a Pokémon. My mom and brother actually got to take one of the kittens (named "Charmander") out to play with it a bit. He was a cute little thing, crawling all over my brother and trying to find a way to escape the designated play area. He didn't seem to pay much attention to me, however.

The cat I was most looking forward to seeing was one I had seen the previous two times we were there as well. The cat's name is Lilac, and is a 1 year-old female with all black coloration, and yellow eyes which turn t…

Start of Summer 2014

Here is a random status update of my life right now. I have finished the Spring 2014 semester at LTU (with straight A's, as I should), and am now in my second week of the Summer 2014 semester. I am just taking one course right now (Probability and Statistics).

I caught the stomach flu right before the semester started and I threw up halfway through the first lecture. Thankfully, I recovered quickly and am feeling much better now.

I have a number of things planned for what I want to do this summer besides taking the one class, which I have outlined partially below:

Do additional work (office work for a professor, working on a presentation for my internship, and anything else which might come up)Continue work on my GxSubOS and grive-daemon projectsFurther room cleaning and yard saleRoom repaintingPlanning for the foundation of a Linux/FOSS-centric club at LTUetc. I will continue to report further happenings here.

Going outside for a change

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I have mostly been spending my free time on the computer lately, either programming or reading Google+. But I've been getting a little bored of doing the same old thing all the time, so I recently started walking around outside at LTU.

My cousin Joe showed me where the real nature path is (not the short fake one I mistakenly showed a friend once), and I've been hooked on walking through there, aiming for about once or twice a day. Since I was a kid I was always the type to like to explore, so I had a great time traversing the entire thing multiple times and figuring out where all the paths lead.

Along the way, I also tried out the new Google Camera app for Android and took various pictures with it, including using the new "lens blur" feature. I found that this works really well for creating pictures with a feeling of depth to them, such as when something is jutting out at you. A number of these make for decent wallpapers, I found. I'll likely post some under my a…

grive-daemon update: autostart added

grive-daemon is now capable of starting automatically after you login. This new feature works by having sudo make install add a file called start-grive-daemon.sh into your /etc/profile.d/ directory. Each time you log in, the script will fork, wait five seconds, then start grive-daemon.

The effect is that once you are logged in, and hopefully by the time Unity is finished loading, you will see a notification indicating grive-daemon is doing its usual thing of doing a sync to ensure everything is up-to-date.

This means you no longer have to call grive-daemon manually after you log in. Automation FTW!

grive-daemon update: new building method and bugfix

I was working some more on my grive-daemon hobby project today, and I accomplished a couple things.

The first thing was that I added a proper makefile to the project. This means that instead of calling g++ directly to build grive-daemon after you clone it, you just type in make. Moreover, you can now install and uninstall grive-daemon on your system after building it by using the sudo make install and sudo make uninstall commands, respectively. After installation, you can just type grive-daemon into your terminal or Alt+F2 dialog to start the daemon - no more needing to call the executable directly! Pretty cool stuff.

The second thing was that I found a bug where changes made to the lowest directories in your ~/Google Drive folder were not being noticed by grive-daemon, and hence not synced until something else caught its eye. This was an issue with the initial recursive setup for directory watching, and it was quickly and easily fixed.

Getting recursive

Not too long ago I wrote my first post about my latest hobby project, grive-daemon. I guess it's time for an update.

Just today, I merged in a branch I was working on which converts grive-daemon from C to C++ (you should now use g++ to build it) and implements recursive directory watching with inotify. This means that you should now be able to make changes anywhere within your ~/Google Drive folder or its subfolders, and the daemon will be able to see and sync those changes. This will no doubt make it many times more useful for people who have a lot of folders on Google Drive (like me).

Nothing else has been fixed or added, however. If there is something you might like to see, then go ahead and open an issue on GitHub. I can't promise I'll actually do anything about it, but the feedback would be appreciated.

grive-daemon is born

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Background With the recent announcement of Ubuntu One's death, it seems a lot of people are in a scramble to find a file sync alternative. I'm one of those people who really likes using Google Drive, but unfortunately there is still no official Linux client. For people using Linux, there are a couple of different sync clients they can use:
grive: This is an open-source sync client which you must run manually through a terminal. Does the job, but is not user-friendly.Insync: This is a closed-source, paid sync client. If you don't want to spend money and/or prefer libre alternatives, this is not an option. As some of you may know, I'm the type who will go to extreme lengths to fix a problem if it has been bugging me for a long time. In this case, the problem is that there is currently no good software for syncing Google Drive to a local folder on your Linux computer like the official client for Windows does.

The Creation of grive-daemon I knew nothing about daemons. I k…

Make sure you're using LTU Network

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This morning, I was a little confused. I booted up my Fujitsu LifeBook T900 into Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, and went to check Blackboard at LTU. But the page was taking forever to load, and when it finally did, it redirected to one of their pages concerning Bannerweb instead.

I went and talked to LTU's help desk, and it turns out that the problem was that my laptop had connected to LTU Guest instead of LTU Network for its wireless connection. I switched connections, and everything was working fine.

The rationale was that LTU Guest is unsecured while LTU Network is secured, so Blackboard is only supposed to be accessible through the latter connection. LTU students are only supposed to be able to access their email through the latter connection, as well.

So, if you're a Linux at Lawrence Technological University user like me, always ensure you are connected to LTU Network before trying to get anything done through Blackboard or email. I have previously written a blog post on how to set u…

Getting Ubuntu 14.04 LTS Connected to the LTU Network

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A while back, I wrote one of my first blog posts concerning how to get Ubuntu 12.04 LTS connected to Lawrence Technological University's "LTU Network" Wi-Fi connection. I figured that now that I am running the second beta of Ubuntu 14.04 LTS (the next long term support release) on my school-issued Fujitsu LifeBook T900 laptop, I would make a new post refreshing the instructions a bit.

Not much has changed since the last LTS release. If you want to connect, go the network indicator in the upper-right hand corner of the screen (I'm assuming you're using Unity). Click on it to open a menu displaying various connections, and click on the one which says "LTU Network".

A window like the one below should open up. Enter all the same security settings I input (your username and password are the same as your LTU username and password):


Click the Connect button in the lower-right once you're finished. A dialog box may pop up warning you about not choosing a CA…

I got a Pebble

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For my recent birthday, I ordered myself a Pebble through Ubuntu's Amazon lens.

My Pebble, using the Simplicity++ watchface. It uses the Ubuntu font!
Overall, it is quite nice. At first, I didn't know how to turn it on, but a quick Google search revealed that I only needed to hold any button down for longer than three seconds. After that, it was pretty much smooth sailing.

The Pebble app for Android is easy to use, if a bit slow and glitchy at times. I was able to locate some nifty stuff through it for checking battery (something which the Pebble apparently does not come with by default), looking at a calendar and weather, and some timers. I also got a Magic: The Gathering life counter on there, since it seemed more convenient than using a phone app and I have been trying to get into it more lately.

The coolest feature in my opinion is the ability to turn on the backlight by just shaking your wrist. Using the buttons on the side works too if you don't feel like swinging you…

The Straight Talk Nexus 4 Missing Data Saga

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I have had one heck of a time with Straight Talk. As you may know, I own a Nexus 4. I have been happily using it on Straight Talk's $45/month unlimited talk, text and data plan for over half a year now, and until recently was quite happy about it.

Then one day, with seemingly no cause or warning, I could no longer access my mobile data connection. I could still call people and receive calls. I could still send and receive texts. I could use the Internet over WiFi. But mobile data was dead.

Below is the story of my month-long nightmare, along with Google+ posts I made along the way documenting everything. Let this be a warning to potential Straight Talk users looking for service for their own Nexus 4s.

First Signs of a Problem Sometime back in late January, I noticed that I was getting a notification on my Nexus 4 telling me to "Sign into network HOME". Well, that's odd, I thought. I tapped the notification and was redirected to a T-Mobile webpage in Chrome, saying…

Toshiba LifeBook T900 stylus issue when resuming from suspend

Fellow LTU students will want to keep track of this one, especially since many of you are using the same school-supplied laptop.

Last semester, I noticed that my stylus on my Toshiba LifeBook T900 would stop working after resuming it from suspend. The real-world impact of this is that if I plan on taking handwritten notes in class on my laptop's Ubuntu 13.10 partition (because I love Xournal), then I could not start it until I was already in class. The only workarounds are to reboot, or to log out and back in again.

I reported the bug already on Launchpad, and it appears to be some sort of upstream Linux kernel regression between Ubuntu 13.04 and 13.10. I can't bisect down to the specific regression commit, however, because any mainline kernel before 3.8.9-raring causes major issues, including the stylus, USB and WiFi not working at all.

My most recent step taken was to send an email to (hopefully the correct) maintainers, and we'll have to see if this gets fixed in time f…

Joe's Car Rants: Episode 2 (and Cruisin' with Chris)

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Joe's Car Rants: Episode 2 We are still continuing episodes of Joe's Car Rants, despite the interruptions the show is currently experiencing (my editing laptop undergoing debugging for an unrelated issue, and the fact that we're still on winter break right now). We still have footage that's being edited and uploaded, however.
Episode 2 of Joe's Car Rants with my cousin, +Joseph Kielasa , is available below.
Cruisin' with Chris As mentioned in a previous post, a related show in which it focuses more on me during the nighttime drive home from school, called "Cruisin' with Chris", is also being uploaded alongside its parent show. Whereas Joe's Car Rants centers on a particular topic for each episode, Cruisin' with Chris is intentionally more random. The first episode is available below for your viewing pleasure.

The second episode couldn't be posted through Blogger's interface for adding a video for some reason, saying it couldn'…