Archives: 'Uncategorized'

Further toward the center – Political Compass 2012

Tuesday, April 17th, 2012

I neglected to take my annual political compass last year, but here’s where I stand this year:

Economic Left/Right: -3.62, Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -4.87

That’s a contraction of +1.5 on the Left/Right scale, and +.67 on the Libertarian/Authoritarian scale from 1.5 years ago. Again, I attribute the Left/Right movement to continuing studies in the field of Economics. I have no explanation for the Libertarian/Authoritarian change.

Goodbye, Old Friend

Thursday, October 7th, 2010

I killed my laptop today. With water. It’s been sent off to who-knows-where for repair by dedicated Lenovo technicians.

I’m now going to take time to reflect upon my old, surprisingly unnamed laptop.

Here’s the earliest photograph I have of my old T61p, taken when it was only one day old…

It was involved in some early hijinks, here it’s joined by my T23 and my desktop in a rickrolling session:

In November of 2008, I chose to upgrade its motherboard to support four processors and dual graphics cards. The eBay listing for the motherboard provided by the Taiwanese vendor was a bit sketchy, but the product performed flawlessly. A++ would buy again.

The power unleashed by a Core 2 Duo, a Core 2 Extreme, a Core 2 Quad, AND an AMD Turion X2 coupled with both ATi and nVidia graphics was intense. Luckily, the motherboard vendor supplied an extremely efficient one-piece heatsink that cooled all six silicon dies to a reasonable operating temperature.

Massive power occasionally caused massive instability

Also sometimes Windows Vista was a bitch

Fuck you, Windows Vista, fuck you!

This is why I will use Thinkpad laptops for the rest of my life:

My first battery, posthumously named Ted Kennedy, was deemed inadequate for my needs in August 2009. Kennedy was succeeded by the exuberant Billy Mays

During winter break 2009/2010, my T61p underwent several critical changes. I once again overhauled the motherboard, dumping support for the factory Core 2 Duo in favor of a newer Xeon chip. My newly reinvigorated laptop is seen here with its new Xeon processor, providing titles for RPI TV’s hockey coverage:

Shortly after, I ditched my stock DVD/CD-RW drive in favor of new cheap technology from Asia. I absolutely love buying from sketchy Hong Kong vendors; I’m always amused by the strange stamps and customs stickers attached to the packaging. The product this time was a Hard Drive caddy. Coupled with a new hard drive, my Thinkpad’s storage capability increased by 412.5% from 160 GB to 660 GB. The blue hard-drive indicator light on the caddy confuses a lot of people. It also causes the thinkpad to not boot half the time when restarting. A complete shutdown / startup works fine, however.

I held off upgrading to Windows 7 until May 2010. I didn’t want the OS upgrade to wreak havoc with my RPI TV titling programs. I’m happy to say 7 has only bluescreened once.

During summer 2010, my Thinkpad had an unfortunate encounter with a feline. The family cat has always enjoyed keyboards; unfortunately she enjoyed my laptop’s keyboard while it was perched precariously near the edge of a table. The ensuing fall cracked the LCD bezel, broke the PCMCIA door, and took out part of the palmrest as well. I don’t have any pictures of the damage, so here’s a picture of the culprit:

I continued to overhaul the motherboard on two more occasions. I upgraded to 5 processors, adding an i7 chip in Spring 2010. Finally, just two days before its wet demise, I added a 6th, an AMD Phenom II X4.

The incident itself occurred early this afternoon. It was a blustery day, and my window blinds were making quite a racket banging against the window with each gust of air. I was in the kitchen, preparing a lunch of fake ham sandwich and strawberry waffles. I grew more and more agitated by the incessant banging of the blinds, so I dropped my lunch and headed to my room, intent on raising the blinds to the stowed position.

As I entered the room, I noticed that my laptop screen was blank. It was sitting emotionless on my bedside table, just under the windowsill. Perhaps it Windows Updated and shut off? I grabbed my phone from the palmrest and was alarmed by the puddle of water that was revealed by its ascent into my hand. Closer inspection revealed a soaked keyboard and soaked palmrest. Only the battery, plug, and bluetooth LEDs were lit. A now empty water bottle lay on the floor next to the table. I conjectured that the bottle, which was capless, had been blown and/or knocked off the windowsill by a gust of wind and/or the bottom of the blinds. The ensuing spill soaked my laptop and phone.

I rapidly retrieved four select-a-size paper towel segments and began drying off the keyboard and palmrest. I was a bit alarmed that the water had not drained through the keyboard drainage holes on the bottom of the laptop. Lifting the laptop revealed a massive puddle. Just how much water is in a 16.9oz water bottle? It was now clear that water had drained. I attempted to powercycle the laptop a couple times. The bluetooth status LED flicked on and off. This was bad. I removed the battery (whose contacts were quite damp). No change. I removed the hard drives and resigned myself that this was the end of my 6 processor, 20 core, dual GPU laptop.

I later traveled to the Rensselaer Computer Repair facility, and all I got was this lame loaner laptop.

Given the extent of the water damage, I don’t expect the laptop I get back will be spiritually my laptop. Since the palmrest was damaged in the Summer 2010 feline incident, I don’t expect to get my stickers back. I hope the Lenovo techs are taken aback by my awesome Taiwanese 6 socket motherboard.

May you rest in piece, my curiously unnamed T61p. I hope the 3rd world “computer recycling center” you end up in is pleasant, and I hope the toxic water runoff you cause doesn’t kill too many remote villagers.

Current Supplies

Monday, April 12th, 2010

The postering ban is lifted in 2 hours. Let’s see what I have in stock!

  • 11 O REILLY Owls – Deployed in the DCC/CII Walkway
  • 3 YA REILLY Owls – Deployed in the DCC/CII Walkway
  • 2 O/YA REILLY Combos – Deployed in the DCC
  • 12 2 Vector Imitations (10 Union stamped) – Deployed in the Union
  • 3 Clean and Green – Deployed in the DCC
  • 5 4 RHAM – One deployed by Java++
  • 7 RNE Imitations – Deployed in my room

I’m definitely going to print more Piggies. The RNE imitations probably won’t go out as they have improper times listed (and most of the signs they imitate are gone). I might try to expand my use of the Clean and Green signs on recycling bins.

Om Nom Nomination Tracker

Thursday, April 8th, 2010

Nominations are due at 3:00 PM on Saturday! 125 nominations required for Senator positions.


Found: 20 Captionless O RLY and YA RLY Owls

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010

Due to an error in the print room, I now have in my possession 20 captionless O RLY and YA RLY Birds. These Birds were printed on a Xerox Phaser 7750 and were graded as being mint quality by an Image Macro specialist. The lack of captions on these Birds makes them prime candidates for propagating old and new memes alike.

Any parties interested in accquiring ownership of any or all of these birds should email me at

2010 Campaign, Day 4

Thursday, March 18th, 2010

Today I introduced a new workhorse sign to supplement my Vector party ripoff signs. The new signs are derived from some of WRPI’s signs, which I quite enjoy. I deployed 13 of the signs in new, distinct locations around campus. Since room is getting scarce on some of the Campus Notification boards, I put one of my posters underneath a poster that is so to be taken down, reserving my spot for the rest of the campaign.

2010 Campaign, Day 3

Wednesday, March 17th, 2010

My signs are sporting a new look after it was decided that the “Victor” logo on my previous set of signs infringed on the copyrights of others and was quite confusing to the general public. My “workhorse” signs now sport the official Reilly Hamilton for 2012 Senator logo and a disclaimer explaining that I am unaffiliated with the Vector party. A color version exists solely on my door.

I’ve expanded my coverage area outside of the Student Union; you can now find my primary Reilly Hamilton signs on the JEC and CII. I don’t believe any ended up on the DCC, something which I may correct tomorrow. I’m trying to avoid saturating the campus with my signs; my signs are currently positioned such that it is not possible to see any two of my signs at the same time. I’ve realized rather early that the key to a successful late-stage campaign is real estate. Once a sign is up, it is against the RNE Handbook for anyone else to take it down. I hope to seize more signage areas tomorrow to allow for a more flavorful campaign later in the election season.

I’m also starting my first wave of niche advertising, this time I’m appealing to those who use Hand Sanitizer; a demographic often forgotten about during the campaign process. I will ensure that those still terrified of H1N1 will have a say in student government. I’m also jumping on the Non-Smoking bandwagon with one of my Union based signs; however this is a pilot project limited only to a single sign in the Union lobby.

Reilly Hamilton for 2012 Senator has also gone digital! I snapped a picture of my sign appearing on the Concerto screen in the Student Government Suite this afternoon. Unfortunately, the Student Elections feed on Concerto only appears on a select few screens. Hopefully the feed will appear on a couple more high-traffic feeds (Commons and Sage, especially) as the election season matures.

2010 Campaign, Day 1

Monday, March 15th, 2010

Campaign season for the 2010 GM Week Elections began today. The Vector party was quick to smother the campus with far too many posters. My campaign for 2012 Senator began on a much smaller scale in the Student Union and surrounding area.

Please note that I am completely unaffiliated with the Vector party; my campaign signs are meant to parody their signs and bring a bit of levity to the campaign process.

RPI TV Hockey Titles

Wednesday, November 25th, 2009

Last year, I wrote a PHP, GD, and MYSQL powered hockey title generator. It reads data from a MYSQL database containing player info and stats, pulls logos and portraits from my hard drive, and spits out a .tga file that’s ready to be loaded into our video switcher’s title memory. I’ve been making constant improvements ever since.

Coming in to the 2009-2010 Hockey Season, I decided to give the RPI TV Hockey Titles a makeover. Sure, they looked a lot better, but the 45-degree-rotated-right-angle look didn’t match with the rest of the RPI TV titles. I also made the switch from Franklin Gothic Demi Cond font to Gotham Bold, which had readability improvements but created space issues.

So now, I’ve gone back and combined elements of the 2009 titles with the 2008 style edges-with-a-slope-of-2 and white-gradient-fading-upward design into one glorious bastard child. Gotham Bold goes on a diet to become Gotham Narrow Bold. Font size increases due to the new found horizontal space.

Here’s all the various iterations of my PHP-generated titles below.

2008 version (160 pixels tall, takes up twice as much memory in the video mixer’s memory):

2009 Rev 00:

2009 Rev 01

Carothers Meets Carothers

Tuesday, October 27th, 2009

Previously on CuttlefishTech, I printed out a giant poster of Dr. Carothers and hung it in my dorm room.

Today on CuttlefishTech, the poster of Dr. Carothers took a trip to DCC 318.

The poster was taped to the wall at approximately 11:50. There were several students in the class at the time who chuckled as I taped it up. Dr. Carothers arrived at around 12:02 and began teaching.

He handed back papers for quite a while.

I tried to get him to turn around by approaching from behind him to collect my paper, but I had no luck.

Class continued for about an hour before Carothers called for a 5 minute break. As he turned around to leave the classroom for a bit, he spotted it. He did a quick double take before looking back at the class smiling. The entire class burst into applause and cheers. He asked if it had been there the whole time, which it had, and he stated he quite liked it. He then asked if he could have it. “No!” I shouted, “That thing cost me $12!”. He remarked about how that was a lot of money to spend on him, and asked what I was going to do with it. “It’s going in my room!” I said, which caught him a bit off guard. He said something about what other types of things were in my room before looking at the poster again, smiling at the class, and then walking out of the classroom. When class resumed, he continued to stare at it from time to time.

I retrieved the poster at the end of class without incident or comment.