Nerd things

Well, iPhone 5 is pretty nice.  It’s noticeably lighter than my iPhone 4, and it’s nice to have a fully functioning home button again.  The front-facing camera is pretty spiffy, and I feel like I can probably take decent pictures with it now that are a lot less grainy.

The biggest issue so far is the new dock connector (Lightning) – which, don’t get me wrong, I really like it, but I am used to having four dock cables plus the built in one in my Nissan.  Now I have only one and can’t use the iPhone 5 in my Nissan to play music.  I guess somewhat fortunately, the Alpine head unit in there is old and starting to have issues anyway (sometimes when I touch it or hit a bump, it turns off and turns back on), so I just went ahead and bought a new one rather than shelling out $30 for the dock/Lightning adapter, and now the new head unit should charge my phone (old one didn’t) and also do Bluetooth calling, which means I will actually be able to make phone calls in that car now.  Driving a manual is pretty prohibitive of holding a phone to your ear, which I guess is a good thing in its own way, but sometimes you have to make calls.  I guess I’ll just need to buy another Lightning cable, and I’ll be all set.

And LTE is pretty awesome.

Of course, the speed depends on where you are, and it’s much slower/sometimes not available at my house, but the speed above is pretty awesome considering my home Internet is about 13 Mbps.

I also bought an Intel 330 SSD for Melfina and two 4 GB sticks of RAM.  It’s been a really long time since I’ve bought computer parts, especially for legitimate upgrades to my main computer.  I’m really happy with Melfina, but the 80 GB capacity on my Intel X-25M G2 is not cutting it anymore, and RAM is just so cheap these days ($36 total) that there’s really no point in not making that upgrade, especially now that I’ll have the disk space for the larger swap file.

Also…I started playing World of Warcraft.  I managed to avoid that game for like eight years, but Sam plays it.  It’s something to do together, and those things come in short supply with the distance between us.  Playing an MMO brings back memories of Ragnarok, but I have been having those recently anyway due to the best new anime of the last season, Sword Art Online, which I highly recommend.

Oh yeah, and I got a new job that I start this week.  :D

Work/Mobo Asplode

I started my job on Wednesday. The people I work with are pretty cool, and all of them really know their stuff. My main duty is to manage the backup software on tons of state servers. It was really intimidating at first, but I was feeling a lot better about it by the end of the second day. Then, today, I managed to fix a problem that someone was having with a server not backing up, and that made me feel pretty accomplished (for my third day, at least). It was a simple solution, but by the end of the day, I felt like I’d be up to speed in no time. I don’t really want to talk about it a whole lot though, because I think I’ll be keeping work out of my blog, for the most part (I don’t want to accidentally say anything that could get me in trouble or something).

Getting up early is hard, but going to sleep early is quite possibly harder. It makes my day seem so short. I’m a night person, not a morning person.

In other news, the motherboard in Gravemind (my desktop) has ceased working. A new mobo will run me about $90, so it’s not that bad, but not having to buy a new one in the first place would’ve been nice. Actually, it was the video card, which I realized shortly after waking up this morning. I ordered another one, but in the meantime, I have Lysithea’s (my Hack Mini) GeForce 7200 in Gravemind.

I’m pretty proud of this Tiger Weekly article, even though it’s one of the most technical ones I’ve written, and therefore, probably one of the most skipped over by Tiger Weekly’s readers. It’s sad that that’s probably the case, because the article is actually pretty relevant to them, since like ~95% of college students have a computer, if I had to guess a number.

Sorry for the wall of texts lately, and sorry there’s no picture/video in this post to make it more readable. I don’t really have anything to post and I’m too tired to look. :P

-Philip

Thnks Fr th Blggng

(If you don’t feel like reading about some music-related stuff, do a control/command + f for “/music” and read from there on. :P)

I’ve been listening to music more and more, sort of like I used to, except now I’m actually listening to it on my desktop. I used to like to keep all of my music-related activities on my laptop so my iTunes library would keep a pretty accurate count of song plays and so I wouldn’t have to otherwise synchronize two libraries of songs, but uh, oh well. :D

Utada Hikaru’s new English album was released digitally on Tuesday (I think it’s in stores on May 12th). I got it today, but I haven’t had a chance to listen to it yet. The single features some rather straightforward lyrics, which is disappointing to me. I’m a person that loves metaphors and crazy references and allusions and euphemisms and everything outside or in between. At the very least, I don’t like the meaning of a song spoon-fed to me, and that’s pretty much what that song does. Clever lyrics would be nice. Her Japanese songs are better in pretty much every way. :

Here’s the Promotional Video for the single, “Come Back to Me.” You can see what I mean for yourself, if you’d like. I would’ve embedded it, but embedding is disabled on every copy of this video that I could find. However, this video is currently free on iTunes (I noticed earlier this week, so I assume that next week it will be up to $1.99).

Compare that song to this one, which is one of her slow songs:

Everything about that song is better, even the translated lyrics, which lose some of the meaning when they’re translated (correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe Japanese songs are translated very literally in most cases).

And for more reference, compare it also to this one, a much more upbeat song:

They just seem…better. But anyway, I need to give the whole album a listen and I’m sure I’ll report back, but until then, if you like the song “Passion” (the last video I posted up there), don’t forget that I karaoke subtitled it a very long time ago, but it’s still available for download if you click that link. :P

/music

Anyway, I officially start my job on April Fools’ Day (hope that’s not a bad omen :P). They ended up telling me I could just sign the paperwork on my first day, so I’m getting pretty excited, and a little nervous. I’m excited that I’ll finally be back in the workforce and doing (hopefully) what I love to do. The people that interviewed me seemed really cool, so I hope to get along with them pretty well too. The nervousness is just the natural feeling that comes with starting something new – you know, making a good impression, getting used to a new workplace and way of doing things, etc.

I keep having trouble falling asleep lately. I think it’s a mixture of things, including the fact that I have been waking up late, and also that I seem to get a weird earache when I lay down. It’s not unbearable or really painful, it’s just annoying enough to bother me. When I sit up, it goes away, so I’m really not sure what’s going on there. I’ll probably need to go to the doctor and see what’s up whenever I’m covered by my new health insurance from work (unless this magically goes away, but I doubt it. It’s been around for a few months, at least).

-Philip

DVD Burners Just Don’t Like Me

I really don’t understand this. The Superdrive in Kalmiya (my MacBook Pro) is going out. It still reads discs just fine, but it fails burning 75% of the time. It’s under warranty, so it’s not a big deal, but it’s such a hassle, and I hate being without Kalmiya for the few days it takes to get fixed.

Anyway, after noticing this a few days ago, of course today I realized the DVD burner in my desktop no longer reads discs. I need to do some more testing to make sure I’m not having a software issue, but it appears to be down for the count.

And of course, the DVD burner in my Hack Mini doesn’t write discs, but it does read them. However, I built that computer with that old, broken drive on purpose, since it doesn’t need to burn discs.

Luckily, I have an external DVD burner, but I’m sure with my luck, it’ll be out in the next few days. :

I made a list of the things I need to buy when I actually have some real income, and it’s just growing longer. Speaking of the job, I haven’t gotten the acceptance papers in the mail yet, and if that doesn’t get done in time, I can’t start on the first of the month like I was supposed to. Hopefully I’ll get those tomorrow or something.

I got my digital cable back last week. I really missed it – mostly for the guide and the HD channels. I don’t even look at SD channels anymore. Even shows that aren’t broadcast in HD look amazing on the HD channels, albeit, they’re not widescreen, so I have to overscan the picture to make it look right, but i usually leave it alone.

Apparently before Katy Perry was the Katy Perry, she sang most of the songs for a group called The Matrix. They recorded an album in 2004 but the project got canceled, and only after she found success in her solo career did they release the album. It’s got some pretty good songs on it. :D I really like this one:

One last thing – Dragonball Evolution leaked onto YouTube, and it looked pretty terrible, but the quality was too bad for me to stand, so I didn’t watch it. I still want to see it though, even though I’m sure I’ll be disappointed.

-Philip

Movie Night + Job

I had a movie night on Saturday. Eric, Ashley, Alisha, and Jack came, and though it was my first time hosting such an event, I think it was pretty fun. Halfway through it turned into random dancing, and then back into movie night. Nothing wrong with that! :D

This picture is pretty epic:

We had a random informative session about how to take a proper MySpace picture. Here, I was demonstrating the proper ratio of the picture-taker’s arm that is supposed to appear in the picture:

I’ve got lots more pictures, but if you really care, you can find those on Facebook.

On a more serious note, today I accepted a job offer from UNO (the University of New Orleans), but even though New Orleans is in the name, I’ll actually be working in Baton Rouge. It sounds like a really cool position and the people that interviewed me seem pretty awesome. My official title is “Junior Systems Administrator,” which is right down my alley. So I’m pretty happy and excited about that. I should start sometime at the beginning of April. :D

-Philip

Samsung Camera #3…Go!

Thursday was my birthday, and hooray for birthday money. With it, I ordered a new point and shoot digital camera. More on that in a bit.

My mom cooked gumbo and the family came over and we had a good time eating gumbo and Mr. Ronnie’s king cake (Mr. Ronnie’s has the best king cakes ever. They’re big donuts) and socializing. I wanted to do something with my friends in Baton Rouge, but all of them seemed to be busy or out of town. Oh well, I’ll have to have twice as much fun next weekend at Samantha’s Team IS party. :D

Anyway, on to the camera.

That’s it – the Samsung TL34HD (NV100HD). It’s an ultracompact point and shoot with some pretty awesome features. Its 14.7 Megapixels are overkill, but it’s slightly thinner than my current camera (about ~.78 inches) and takes 720p videos, which was one of the must-haves when I was shopping for it. I love Samsung quality (they’re my second favorite consumer electronics company, after all; I’m sure you can guess who #1 is), and in following my camera tradition, this will be my third Samsung digital camera. I’ll have more to say about it when I actually get it in.

The only concern I have is that the format it encodes the video in is kind of…funky. QuickTime with Perian installed plays the videos just fine, but they don’t seem to work in iMovie. This was the case with my old camera too, I think, and it’s definitely supported now, and has been for a while since I shot all four Team IS movies with it and edited them all in iMovie. Anyway, I’m hoping whatever weird codec it uses will be supported soon, but in the meantime, if I need to edit the videos, VLC can very easily transcode them, albeit with a slight loss in quality.

I also ordered an 8 GB Class 6 SDHC memory card for it. Not much to say about that!

I have more to say, but I’ll save it for later (unless I forget :P).

-Philip

Finding Employment

When I left Houma to come to Baton Rouge for college, I always expected to return back to Houma when I graduated to find work. I still felt this way when I graduated, but after having been in Houma for a couple of months, I feel like there’s not too much for me to do there. I think I got used to the big(ger) city. Plus, most of my friends are in Baton Rouge, and for some reason, I kind of feel like besides my family, there’s just not a whole lot for me in Houma.

There’s not a whole lot of open positions in Baton Rouge that I have the qualifications for (I really wish I had some real Server 2003 experience), but every once in a while, a position pops up that I am qualified for, and I send a resume to all of those that open. I’m really hoping one of these works out, because I’ve made some really good friends in Baton Rouge, and many of my old friends are there as well.

I’ve been keeping an eye on some jobs in other cities, but I’m not ready to apply to any of those yet. Though not having a job (besides my Tiger Weekly column) makes me feel completely and utterly useless, I still want to give it some more time before I go to a completely new place and have to leave behind everyone and everything I know (not that I wouldn’t come back at least monthly to visit).

Anyway, to anyone that cares, that’s how that part of my life is going.

-Philip

The Status of the Job Hunt

Despite the fact that the local economy isn’t really reeling like the national economy is, I think people around here are still scared to be hiring in such an uncertain time. However, there are some places hiring; they’re just far and in between. I hate sitting around at home all day, but I did get to feel useful today by fixing Mary Catherine’s uncle’s computer. :D

So anyway, I have an interview (holy crap, I wrote “I have an exam,” stared it at, shivered, and deleted it) on Tuesday in Houma. Interviews in Houma are becoming less and less attractive, as they never seem to turn out well, but I still manage to get my hopes up enough to keep applying. I really wish some jobs in Baton Rouge would pop up. I even started looking out of state (Florida, in particular, since I like Florida). I haven’t applied or anything, but there’s really nothing stopping me from giving it a shot.

It sure would’ve been nice to get an analyst position at ResLife, but alas, there are none open or in sight of opening. :(

-Philip

I Can’t Hear You

I started watching an anime with the weirdest premise last night. It’s called Akikan, and it’s about soda cans that turn into girls. Nope, this isn’t a joke – Japanese people are just that crazy. It’s actually pretty good though (and funny), I marathon-watched all 4 episodes that are currently out and I’m eagerly awaiting more (so I guess that makes me equally as crazy for watching it, eh? :P).

I had another interview today in Houma. It went pretty well, from what I can tell, but it doesn’t really mean anything if the compensation sucks. I officially turned down the job at Computer Sales and Services today, and I’m going to officially turn down the job with the parish government tomorrow. It really annoys me that employers don’t post the salary with job listings, because when I turn down a job based solely on the pay, it wasn’t only a waste of my time, but also a waste of theirs.

Anyway, for the sake of my friends that are still in college, I sure do hope President Obama works his wizardry soon and fixes this economy (yes, that’s a bit of sarcasm, but it would be cool if it came true).

But hey, maybe I should have said Kryptonian superpower instead of wizardry…

Thanks, Internet.

-Philip