Archives: 'Personal'

New Sound Card

Monday, January 1st, 2007

I bought a new sound card for my computer using some of my Christmas money.

Box Art:
Box art

Front Panel:
Front Panel

The Card:
The Card

My dad also bought me some nice Grado headphones. Music has never sounded so clear!

Me in the Oregonian

Thursday, October 26th, 2006

Grants nurture young inventors’ ideas
Technology – Four Oregon high schools, including Hillsboro and Westview, are at work
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
The Oregonian

A national grant program will give young inventors at high schools in Beaverton, Hillsboro, Newberg and Gresham the chance to create devices such as graphing calculators for the visually impaired and car speed detectors.

The four schools, along with 16 others in the nation, are recipients of a Lemelson-Massachusetts Institute of Technology Program grants that pay each school as much as $10,000 for invention projects. Students will present their work this spring at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Mass. No competition is involved.

Josh Schuler, InvenTeams’ grants officer, said there were more schools selected from Oregon than any other state because The Lemelson Foundation, aimed at supporting entrepreneurs and inventors, is based in Portland and wanted to encourage educational opportunities for local students.

“We’re not a recruiting tool for MIT,” Schuler said. “We’re a recruiting tool for inventors.”

The InvenTeams program calls for students to identify a problem to solve, research it and develop a prototype. Three other Oregon schools have received the grant since InvenTeams started in 2002.

Students at Westview and Hillsboro high schools say they are excited to test their engineering skills.

Reilly Hamilton, a Hillsboro High junior, will lead a team in developing a car attachment to warn drivers of the distance and speed of the vehicle in front of it, an effort to reduce accidents.

“I think it shows there are a number of students today that are enthusiastic about their education and they are dedicated to improving society,” said Hamilton, 16.

Programs such as InvenTeams help groom the next generation of inventors, said Don Domes, a Hillsboro High technology instructor overseeing the project.

“We’re just not graduating enough kids” who go on to work in scientific and mathematical careers, Domes said.

At Westview High in Beaverton, about 10 students are researching an attachment to a graphing calculator that allows the visually impaired to feel graphs.

Eric Walters, a Westview physics teacher, says the lessons learned go well beyond what textbooks provide. Students are working with Texas Instruments Inc.

“It’ll teach them life skills as far as communication and working in groups, how you deal with stress, meeting deadlines,” Walters said.

Gresham High students will create a drip-irrigation system to water household plants. Newberg High students want to develop a portable, lightweight Stirling generator to provide electricity in remote villages.

“This is meant to be collaborative; it’s not meant to be competitive,” Domes said. “It’s going to hopefully launch a deeper sense of socially responsible innovation and invention.”

Laptop Died =(

Monday, October 9th, 2006

My laptop died again (This is what… the 4th time?). After performing several “Clicks of Death” and having some weird HD issues, it finally bit the dust and refuesd to boot Windows. Luckily though, I had another laptop hard drive readily available. Unforetunately, it meant the end to my Compaq laptop. I didn’t have a copy of Windows for it either. But then I remembered! You can get a free evaluation copy of Windows Vista off the Microsoft site. I went ahead and installed Vista, and was up in running in about 45 minutes. Vista runs pretty good on such a slow laptop. It doesn’t have any of the eye candy or cool themes since this laptop runs on onboard graphics. But it still looks much prettier than XP. I’m still mournin the loss of the other drive, since it had tons of information on it that I needed (school projects, Outlook contacts, some website stuff). I’m still hoping i’ll be able to salvage the data off it somehow. Maybe it’ll randomly work eventually. But most likely not =(.

I updated the My Computers page to reflect the changes.

My Math Situation

Wednesday, September 13th, 2006

This year, I am not taking Math at my high school.


Because they don’t offer a math class at my level.

Last year, my Sophomore year, I took Calculus (AKA IB Math SL), meaning that I should be taking Calculus 2 this year. However, not enought kids signed up for the class, and it was cut. Since I intend on completing an IB Diploma, I need to have some sort of math credit. However, I was unable to test in my SL class last year because I was a Sophomore. Preferrably, I’d take Calculus 2 at PCC or PSU this year, and take the HL test, but no! I can’t take the HL test as a Junior either. So, I’m stuck between a rock and a hard place. One option is to take IB Math Studies SL, however I’ve heard that this class is so ridiculously basic that it would be an insult to my intelligence. So I’ll skip that. Another option is to just test in SL this year. However, my counselor hasn’t confirmed that I can even take the test without being in the class. I don’t see why not. But, I might be rusty if I’m not able to take classes at a college outside of school. Supposedly, HSD will pay for my college classes, but I doubt it. I lost faith in the HSD after the ACMA incident of 8th/9th grade.

Alas, why’d I have to skip 1st, 2nd, and 4th grade math and end up in this position.

(Little known fact, I actually repeated Pre-Algebra, once in 4th grade, once in 5th grade)

School’s Back in Session

Monday, September 11th, 2006

Yep, summer is over. Here’s my first trimester schedule:

1st Period: IB History of the Americas HL (HAM)
2nd Period: Teachers Aide with Mr. Domes
3rd Period: Spanish 3
4th Period: IB Economics SL
5th Period: IB Biology SL

That’s it! Only 5 periods a day.

Snakes on a Plane! Snakes on a Plane!

Saturday, August 19th, 2006

I went with some friends to the 10:00 preview showing of Snakes on a Plane at Cornelius Cimena 9. Let me start by saying the experience was great! I’ve never had such a good time in a movie theater. The movie was everything I’d expected: it featured great Sam-killing-snake action, great snake-killing-people action, and it was corny to the point of hilarity.

Snakes on a Plane Poster

The cinematic quality of the movie is pretty low. During the exterior shots of the plane, you can practically see the string holding it up against a painted backdrop. Some of the computer generated snakes look really fake. The acting is sub-par; some of the dialog is just awful.

But it’s the poor quality that makes it even more funny. The entire theater was engrossed in the movie, clapping and cheering whenever Samuel L. Jackson killed a snake, or a snake killed someone. We counted down the timer until the snakes were released, we said “I’VE HAD IT WITH THESE MOTHERFUCKING SNAKES ON THIS MOTHERFUCKING PLANE” right along with Jackson, we sang along with the music video at the end. There were a couple scary moments, and there was one oh-my-god moment at the end where the theater went silent.

I would love to go see the movie again. It was good enough to warrant a second viewing. But I doubt it will be as purely awesome as Thursday night was. Like my paper said “It’s an A+ movie if you see it with a crowd in theaters this weekend, but any time afterward, it will be a C-, a poorly written, acted, and filmed B movie.”

Here’s my own thoughts about the movie:

Story about a Printer

Thursday, July 13th, 2006

After almost three weeks at work, today I finally discovered that there was a printer in my cubicle. Now, I knew that there was a printer there the whole time, but something hadn’t quite clicked, and I wasn’t aware that I could actually print from it. But today, when I was walking back from the other side of the office where another printer was located, it dawned on me. There was a printer in my cubicle. I could print from it. I didn’t have to get up and walk across the room. The printer was even plugged in and turned on. Nothing to it. Oh well, at least walking to the printer was a good form of exercise…

/target Thinkpad /cast Ressurection(Rank 5)

Friday, July 7th, 2006

It’s true! My little Thinkpad laptop is back from the dead! Last Saturday, I revisited the issue about why my Thinkpad had suspiciously stopped working, and I finally found the answer in this thread in some random forum I found on Google. The symptoms listed matched mine exactly, so I figured I’d give it a shot. Sure enough, the “magnet” like piece on the motherboard was barely connected. I yanked the piece off, resoldered it, and began piecing my laptop back together. To my amazement, it worked!

To reflect this great occasion, the My Computers page has been updated!

New Power Supply

Friday, July 7th, 2006

On Monday I recieved my new power supply from Newegg. Prior to getting this new one, my computer had had stability issues when running 2 gigs of ram. Removing one of the stick temporarily fixed the problem, but I found that it made game performance sluggish. Now, with a new more capable power supply, I can return to 2 gigs of bliss.

Here’s a picture of my new PSU:
My new power supply, OCZ GameXStreme 600

It’s a OCZ GameXStream 600, which boasts about 125 more watts of power (600) than my previous power supply, the Rosewill RP 500. I gave my old power supply to a friend, who said it made his processor overheat. I’ll believe it when I see it! Regrettably, this new power supply is a bit noisier than my old one, but it gets the job done!

Summer Job

Friday, July 7th, 2006

This summer, like last summer, I’m working at a little company called EDT. They design, manufacture, and sell PCI boards that allow you to connect your computer to various types of professional digital video cameras that are use in applications such as manufacturing, inspecting product, medical imaging, aerial photography, and security.

My first job this summer was to create and maintain their updated website. As you can see here, their current website needs a lot of work. My supervisor gave me a PSD with a design on it, and my job was to convert it into a fully fledged 100 page website. I finished up work on the project during my first week. You can see a preview here.

Now, I’m starting to get into real engineering. My second project is to update an existing addon card. The new card will be able to process data faster and more efficiently. I believe the addon card is used to allow current EDT boards to communicate via USB, but I’m not completely sure.

As the summer progresses, I’ll update more!