Farewell Das Blog

First and foremost, Dr. Brown is a wonderful individual yet extraordinary professor! Personally, I think this should be a required class no matter what direction your career path may take you… Technology is here to stay and is changing ever so rapidly. Overall what a great experience, especially when you begin from the creation of computer technology and work up to future concepts regarding artificial intelligence (AI). I have always been into computers since as far back as I can remember and taking this class has defiantly prepared me for future CSIT curriculum. In conclusion, Jesse Schell said it best “If you can make education… Beautiful, Customized, Shared, and Real. Then everyone wins”! Dr. Brown has in fact accomplished this within CSIT1110.

Posted on May 2nd, 2011 by Adam Schwitzer  |  Comments Off

Virtual Reality

Entertainment software is one of the fastest growing industries in the U.S. economy. In fact, according to PwC, the sector will remain “one of the above-average growth segments of the global entertainment industries through 2011.

According to data released in January 2011 by the NPD Group, a global market research company, computer and video game companies posted strong sales in 2010, with the industry generating approximately $24 billion in revenue. Sales of game software and content, including games made for consoles, portable gaming devices and PCs, as well as digital full-game downloads, downloadable content and social games, accounted for approximately $14.5 billion of that total.

Video games are no longer just a form of entertainment for children and young adults alone, and the old stereotypes of a gamer no longer apply.  The ESA’s “2010 Essential Facts about the Computer and Video Game Industry” show that 67 percent of American households play computer and video games. The research also reveals other interesting demographic facts about today’s gamers and the games they play, including:

  • The average gamer is 34 years old and has been playing for 12 years.
  • 40% of all players are women and women over 18 years of age are one of the industry’s fastest growing demographics.  Today, adult women represent a greater portion of the game-playing population (33 percent) than boys age 17 or younger (20 percent).
  • 26% of game players are over the age of 50, an increase from nine percent in 1999.  This figure is sure to rise in coming years with nursing homes and senior centers across the nation now incorporating video games into their activities.
  • 67% of homes in America own either a console and/or PC used to run entertainment software.
  • 58% of online game players are male and 42% are female.
  • 42% of heads of households report they play games on wireless devices such as a cell phone or PDA, up from 20% in 2002.
  • 93% of the time parents are present at the time games are purchased or rented.  76% of parents believe that the parental controls available in all new video game consoles are useful.  In addition, 64% of parents believe games are a positive part of their children’s lives.

Posted on April 25th, 2011 by Adam Schwitzer  |  Comments Off

Artificial Intelligence

AI (Artificial Intelligence) is an intriguing concept and has been for the last 3 decades. Hugo de Garis is one individual pioneering within this confrontational field of AI. Hugo de Garis has been a mentor and personal visionary of mine for the past 3-5 years. I really admire him in many ways! Ray Kurzweil on the other hand is a brilliant man when it comes to computation, yet all his research and beliefs are ultimately preordained for profitability. I would label Ray Kurzweil as a creative thinker (not a futurist), inventor, and entrepreneur. Never the less, AI technologies will never be throttled due to global interests. So the question is, will homo sapiens adapt and overcome or be left behind?

Twenty years from now, the author envisages the brain builder industry as being one of the world’s top industries, comparable with oil, automobile, and construction.” ~ Hugo de Garis (1996)

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Additional Information:

Building Gods

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Posted on April 12th, 2011 by Adam Schwitzer  |  Comments Off

Robotics

I didn’t know this week’s assignment prerequisite requirement was a minor in engineering. Just kidding… Up until this week I never heard of Lego Mindstorms. Back in my day we had Erector Sets. Lego Mindstorms is an erector set on steroids! I really enjoyed working with these components (hardware + software), and within a group environment. Michael, Sadie, and I grouped up this week and had a blast. The best thing about our group was that we all had our own proficiencies ranging from design, programming, electrical, and mechanical. At the end of the day, great assignment – great experience!

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Posted on April 11th, 2011 by Adam Schwitzer  |  Comments Off

Security

Privacy and/or Security on the Internet, isn’t that an oxymoron? If you’re doing something that you don’t want anyone to know about, then you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place. On a very positive note, my Scratch project is complete. YAY!!!

Here’s How Easily A Hacker Can Crack Your Weak Password(s)

Password Length All Characters Only Lowercase
3 characters
4 characters
5 characters
6 characters
7 characters
8 characters
9 characters
10 characters
11 characters
12 characters
13 characters
14 characters
0.86 seconds
1.36 minutes
2.15 hours
8.51 days
2.21 years
2.10 centuries
20 millennia
1,899 millennia
180,365 millennia
17,184,705 millennia
1,627,797,068 millennia
154,640,721,434 millennia
0.02 seconds
.046 seconds
11.9 seconds
5.15 minutes
2.23 hours
2.42 days
2.07 months
4.48 years
1.16 centuries
3.03 millennia
78.7 millennia
2,046 millennia

And how fast could this be done? Well, that depends on three main things, the length and complexity of your password, the speed of the hacker’s computer, and the speed of the hacker’s Internet connection.

Assuming the hacker has a reasonably fast connection and PC here is an estimate of the amount of time it would take to generate every possible combination of passwords for a given number of characters. After generating the list it’s just a matter of time before the computer runs through all the possibilities – or gets shut down trying.

Pay particular attention to the difference between using only lowercase characters and using all possible characters (uppercase, lowercase, and special characters – like @#$%^&*). Adding just one capital letter and one asterisk would change the processing time for an 8 character password from 2.4 days to 2.1 centuries.

Remember, these are just for an average computer, and these assume you aren’t using any word in the dictionary. If Google put their computer to work on it they’d finish about 1,000 times faster.

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Additional Information:

Hackers Wanted

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Posted on March 27th, 2011 by Adam Schwitzer  |  Comments Off

Programming

First thing that popped into my head once I seen the demonstration of Scratch was Nintendo. Now I know how games could/would have been created that operated on these platforms. It was too funny! Just think the original Nintendo entrainment system had an 8-bit processor. Yes, 25 years ago everyone was in ahh by Super Mario Brothers, Duck Hunt, and Excitebike. Another fun fact regarding this operating system was the game cartridge. No game on the Nintendo could be more than 192 kilobits! So you can associate the gaming industry in the late 1980’s vs. 2011, I saved just this paragraph in Microsoft Word and it was 13 kilobits… Typical PS3 game is 15GB! Capacity for a single layer Blu-ray Disc is 25GB.

What can I say that hasn’t already been said about Randy Pausch. Simply touching! Here are some quotes that I took away from “The Last Lecture”.

“The brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out; the brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. The brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough. They are there to stop the other people”!

“Did you figure out the head fake? It’s not about how to achieve your dreams. It’s about how to lead your life. If you lead your life the right way, the karma will take care of itself. The dreams will come to you. Did you figure out the second head fake? This talk’s not for you. It’s for my kids”.

“We don’t beat the reaper by living longer, but by living well, and living fully — for the reaper will come for all of us. The question is: what do we do between the time we’re born and the time he shows up”.

“It is not the things we do in life that we regret on our death bed. It is the things we do not. Find your passion and follow it”.

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Posted on March 19th, 2011 by Adam Schwitzer  |  Comments Off

Databases and SQL

“How has your view of the web changed through creating an HTML page from scratch and uploading it to a web server?”

Significantly! Due to manually coding our website I have a new found respect for the pioneers, the OG’s of the internet if you will. Here are some quick internet statics. Could you imagine manually architecturally designing, coding, and/or maintaining the following… As of 2011, there are 500,000,000 active Facebook users. Approximately 1 in every 13 people on earth! In the United States, there are 11 billion web searches per month! Nearly 2/3 of these searches are made through Google. At the close of Japan vs. Denmark world soccer cup, Twitter users published 3,283 tweets per second. That extrapolates to 196,980 tweets per minute and/or 11,818,800 tweets per hour. This leads me to my next topic, which I’ll have to save for later, server and desktop automation. It really is a beautiful thing…

Databases, SQL, and PL/SQL is where my passion lye’s. Not until working within business enterprise solutions like Oracle and SAP did I realize the importance and precedence of databases. Every time I think about the term database, I immediately recall the adage “knowledge is power”!

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Posted on March 10th, 2011 by Adam Schwitzer  |  Comments Off

Networks (HTML)

Creating a web page within Notepad was defiantly an experience. Other than modifying pre-existing items on a web page (Facebook, MySpace, etc.), that was pretty much the extent of my knowledge base within HTML. I really enjoyed the assignment granted it was allot of work! Appreciation market share of GUI interfaces has increased in my book after this assignment. Creating the web page allowed me to understand HTML page structure in its entirety. I’ve never utilized web editing software but after researching this subject matter, here are a couple of examples (Adobe Dreamweaver, Bluefish, CoffeeCup, Expression Web, Komodo Edit, NetBeans, phpDesigner). R-E-A-L-L-Y looking forward to SQL next week!

Posted on February 27th, 2011 by Adam Schwitzer  |  Comments Off

Software (Assembly Language Simulator)

Topic this week; Computer Software along with practical application of the Assembly Language Simulator (ALS). Software for the most part was cut and dry. However, the ALS was a cleaver educational tool regarding the process(s) for which software works in cohesion with hardware. After experimenting with the ALS, what literally boggles my mind is the computational velocity of a computer. Granted, I had a good understanding of computers prior to attending Dr. Brown’s course but as I’m looking back, it was the 30,000 foot view perspective. I know I’m repeating myself but as we dive deeper within the curriculum, I enjoy it more and more…

Additional Information:

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Scratch)

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Posted on February 14th, 2011 by Adam Schwitzer  |  Comments Off

Build A Computer

I’m calling shenanigans on this assignment! Building such an uber platform, yet no follow-through… Within any project you have to ask yourself three simple questions. One [Scope]; What will be your primary function for this computer (e.g. data entry, editing, gaming, internet, etc.)? Two [Budget]; How much can you spend? Three [Lead Time]; Most individuals don’t think about this step but it can either assist or destroy your budget.

Ultimately, I was looking to build something over the top regarding esthetics and performance for gaming. Illustrated below are key components that I selected with no budget in mind. Just because there wasn’t a budget doesn’t mean I generically searched for the most expensive item on the web. Each item was specifically chosen to maximize internal and end user productivity. Needless to say, latency will not be an issue!

I would continue to utilize various pieces of my existing setup. Don’t want to be too flamboyant. LOL! Items would include but not limited to, UPS Battery Backup, Logitech Wave Pro Keyboard / Mouse, Cisco Wireless Router, and two Asus 27” Widescreen LED Monitors.

Item Description

Unit Cost

Thermaltake, Level 10 Gaming Case

$749.99

ASUS, Super Computer Motherboard

$409.99

Intel Core i7 980X Extreme Edition Processor

$999.99

Ultra X4 Modular Power Supply

$199.99

Silenx iXtrema Pro Fan (x2)

$12.99

Corsair, Hydro CPU Liquid Cooler

$79.99

Ultra, Thermo-Control Case Fan

$22.99

Aerocool, Shark Black Edition Fan

$15.99

Corsair Dominator RAM

$289.99

Samsung, Solid State Drive (x4)

$499.99

Ultra, 2.5″ SATA HDD Internal Enclosure (x2)

$34.99

Plextor, Blu-Ray (x2)

$169.99

Creative Labs, Titanium Fatal Pro

$139.99

EVGA, GeForce GTX 480 (x2)

$419.99

Startech, 2-Port PCI Express 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet

$119.99

Logear, Serial Adapter with Bluetooth Wireless Technology

$67.99

Ultra, 3.5″ Internal Card Reader with USB and eSATA

$39.99

Microsoft Windows 7 Professional – 64 BIT

$139.99

Total Cost (www.TigerDirect.com): $6,552.75

Posted on February 7th, 2011 by Adam Schwitzer  |  Comments Off