36 Chambers – The Legendary Journeys: Execution to the max!

March 15, 2013

Google Reader Shutting Down

Filed under: Computinating — Kevin Feasel @ 6:00 pm


Google Reader is shutting down as of July 1st.  I have a couple hundred sites I monitor for updates, and Google Reader was wonderful for that.  I guess I’ll have to use another service.  Feedly might be an option, but I want something that I can use on any browser anywhere; that was a huge advantage that Google Reader had.  I might have to put together something for myself instead.

March 2, 2013

Improving 3D Print Quality

Filed under: Computinating — Kevin Feasel @ 6:00 pm

Using acetone vapor, you can give a 3D-printed object a smooth, glossy sheen.  This is getting us another step closer to home manufacturing.

February 9, 2013

Windows 8 Office Hours

Filed under: Computinating, Programming & Work — Kevin Feasel @ 6:00 pm

Jeff Blankenburg is introducing office hours for assistance with your Windows 8-based apps.  That’s a great use of a Microsoft evangelist’s time, and if you’re developing on that platform and in the Columbus area, hit him up.

February 3, 2013

LPIC-1 Successful

Filed under: Computinating — Kevin Feasel @ 10:04 am

I successfully completed the LPIC-1 certification exam on Friday.  Although I don’t use Linux in a work environment, it certainly doesn’t hurt to have this.

The single biggest resource I used to pass this exam was the Paul Paulito webcast series.  The sample exams alone are worth the price—a huge number of my LPI-102 exam questions were very similar to questions I encountered in the Paul Paulito sample exams.

In addition to that, I spent a lot of time reading two books.  The first book is entitled A Practical Guide to Linux, by Mark Sobell.  It’s nearly eight years old now, but the stuff Sobell covers hasn’t really changed.  And it turns out that there’s a third edition which was released last year, with a few great additions (that aren’t really relevant to LPIC-1).

The other book I went through was Linux Fundamentals, an open source book which gets updated regularly.  This book has a great deal of overlap with Sobell’s book, but is designed as classroom material, so you have a few pages of text, a number of questions to do, and then answers to those questions.  I used it primarily as a way of internalizing the things I learned in other sources.

January 9, 2013

Goodbye, Expression Web

Filed under: Computinating — Kevin Feasel @ 7:00 pm

Microsoft is killing Expression Web.

I never really used the tool all that much, although I installed it on each work machine and at home for practice. The problem I had is that it’s a tool geared toward designers rather than developers. Of course, for designers, that’s not a problem. The problem for designers is that they’re going to be forced into a sub-par experience with Visual Studio (unless, of course, they opt out from Microsoft technologies entirely).

At this point, what better web design products exist on the market?

January 8, 2013

Sign of the gaming apocalypse?

Filed under: Computinating, Gaming, Video Games — Tony Demchak @ 1:41 am

I sign into Gamer’s Gate to install Master of Orion II (BTW, you can get MOO I and I for $2.98; I can’t stress enough how great a deal that is. Graphically, MOO looks 20 years old (which it is), but it’s pretty awesome all the same) and decide to check up on a game I saw and chuckled over with my wife.

Woodcutter simulator.

Now, that’s weird enough. One gamer really, really liked it, writing:

Woodcutter Simulator review

By jamesslaytonposted 10th April 2010

I personally enjoyed this game so much that five stars doesn’t seem enough for it. It is a time consuming, patience-demanding game that does everything it says it does. Someone remarked in their comments elsewhere that it took them a week to process one tree. It took me four hours to process five during my first play. But, I can understand that if you expect something quick and easy, you won’t find it here. Read the description and look at the screenshots. That is exactly what you get, nothing more. But, it is so fun! I can’t wait to purchase more these simulator games from Layernet. They have won me over!

Four hours to cut down five trees seems really dull to me, but what do I know? I search for it and guess what I found.

2011 added multiplayer, for Christ’s sake. MULTIPLAYER!! Why on earth would you want to risk the few friends you have left (I’m assuming you have few friends because you’re playing Woodcutter Simulator) by subjecting them to this game?! So what could the 2012 edition offer? I’ll let them tell you.

  • For the first time clearing with the chainsaw in 1st-person-view
  • New woodchip truck
  • Direct delivery with trucks
  • New forest areas  with new tasks
  • Day and night phases and varying weather
  • Realistic physics
  • Challenging Missions
  • Detailed graphic and carefully crafted environment
  • Multiplayer via network or internet

There’s something extra absurd about advertising “realistic physics” for a game about cutting down trees. And oh happy day, a new woodchip truck!!! Of course, I’d be a fool if I ignored the newest and most exciting (?) installment.

  • Work with the chainsaw in 1st-person-view
  • Direct delivery with trucks
  • New forest areas with new tasks
  • Day and night phases and varying weather
  • Realistic physics
  • Challenging Missions
  • Detailed graphic and carefully crafted environment
  • Multiplayer via network or internet

Here’s how mindnumbingly dull the game must be: they can’t even come up with a new feature list. In fact, there is one and only one difference in the promotional blurb:

The number 2013. The features list is smaller (a woodchip truck? Pfft, that’s old news!) too. If anybody has actually played these games, please post in the comments. Please.

December 22, 2012

More Microsoft Doom Notes

Filed under: Computinating, Computing Devices — Kevin Feasel @ 7:00 pm

Windows 8 appears to be a flop in the business world.  This makes total sense to me:  in my experience so far, Windows 8 has a good feel for a tablet-based system, where you may lack a keyboard or end up doing a lot of work with a touchscreen.  But as far as desktop-related work goes, they didn’t really improve the Windows 7 interface but they did shuffle things around and make it harder to get to places if you do not already know the name.  For example, try to get a casual Windows user to shut down the machine.  It’s harder than you might think.

And don’t get me started on the UI for Server 2012…

Infoworld’s review, I think, is tough  but fair.

It kind of feels like Microsoft is trying to force businesses and consumers into Windows 8 by (perhaps) not offering a second service pack for Windows 7.

December 12, 2012

The End Of Microsoft?

Filed under: Computinating — Kevin Feasel @ 6:00 pm

It must be DOOOOOOOM! week here…  Business Insider points out that long-term trends for Microsoft might be headed south.

Given the trend for internet traffic, there is a chance here, but if Microsoft does go down, it will be after a long time; I see them still dominating the desktop and laptop markets (which are still important once you actually want to do something other than surf the web and tweet) simply because there aren’t any viable alternatives for most people.

November 14, 2012

Windows 105

Filed under: Computinating, Computing Devices — Kevin Feasel @ 5:40 pm

Bad name, but awesome job.  To think that you could rig a Windows look-alike on a Commodore 64 is just amazing.

October 25, 2012

Two Articles On Software Patents

Filed under: Computinating — Kevin Feasel @ 6:00 pm

Patent trolls filed 40% of patent infringement lawsuits last year.  I’m surprised the number is that low, honestly, but that is still a significant cost.

There are also moves by some companies to get rid of software patenting altogether, especially in the open source world.  This is why I’ve released software under GPL v3 whenever possible.  Version 3 is an improvement over version 2, including enhanced patent protection for consumers.

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