We’ll meet again…

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Don’t know where, Don’t know wheeeeen~

Seriously though, it’s been a blast. This isn’t me sucking up. Obviously, I don’t need to now that the class is almost over.

At the beginning of this class, I didn’t really know what to expect. You hear rumors and different experiences involving college and the general classroom scene. I looked around and realized I was one of the few females, though, that didn’t particularly bother me. A lot less gossip that way. And all the guys in there were pretty nice. I can safely say I made some good friends.

The learning experience? It was as good as I thought it would be. You didn’t learn about one specific thing, but a plethora of different things that tied together. The only thing I disliked was the Assembly Language, but I understand that it’s a necessary part of the trade. My favorite was probably the HTML and binary. They’re definitely things that I’ll use in the future, no matter what career I decide on.

Dr. Brown was a great teacher. Blending the necessary discipline of the class with a caring attitude towards his students. The comics were awesome. I don’t think I would’ve learned that much from a plain, boring textbook, that’s for sure (that, and I didn’t have to pay for another school book, thank God.)

Overall, CSIT was the class I looked forward to being in through this semester. Not just for the people, but for the experience and the information. It was like opening a book and reading the introduction. You don’t know everything, but you have an idea of what’s ahead.

A projection of one’s soul into an alternate reality…

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That’s how  a lot of people define Roleplaying games and the like. Is it my definition? Well, that’s still up for debate in my mind.

My experiences with video games started out very young. My first system was the NES, but the first I actually remember is the Sega Genesis. Sonic the Hedgehog and Street Fighter II galore.

But the magic really started happening when I got to high school. My first MMO was a free one. I believe it was FlyFF. There wsan’t much character customization, because at that time it was in it’s early stages, but it was a magical experience. I did things I could only dream of. Fighting monsters, saving people, making friends who didn’t judge me by how I looked. Back then, I didn’t really have a life to sacrifice. No real friends to hang out with. And so, I got obsessed. I didn’t really want to do anything else. I stayed up ’till the wee hours of the morning and slept during the day. My MMO experience progressed to Guild Wars, then to World of Warcraft, and plenty of free MMO’s inbetween. Perfect World International, Fiesta, Trickster, Grand Fantasia, and others that were rather forgettable… *coughRunescapecough*

As I’ve grown older and developed a social life (a down-syndrome social life with a tumor, but a social life none the less), my time for MMO’s has shrunk significantly. Especially with school and work to think about. But, as much as I hate to say it, I don’t really need them. I’ve always had a rather vivid imagination, so if I want to get away, I just daydream.

A (very old) picture of Darkpope. She's 73 now.

I hope I die before robots get smart.

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… It’s a rather lame title, but it’s how I feel. I actually hope I die before a lot of things happen. Before I become old and feeble, before society looses it’s last shred of dignity, before we kill ourselves by neglecting the Earth so badly, etc.

Referring back to my previous blog post, I still think that we’ll be the ‘creators of our own demise’, as the Animatrix said, I believe. For considering ourselves so intelligent, we make some of the worst decisions. Especially in the long-term department. So I can see us completely screwing ourselves over when it comes to robots.

Though, I think that’s enough of my blathering about the end of the world. In retrospect, A.I. would be rather handy for wiping the ass of man when he can’t reach it himself.  And maybe if robots get smart enough, they’ll be able to fix all the things we’ve practically ruined…

This reminds me of a story I read in High School, actually. A man was strolling through his neighborhood, the glow of television screens filtering through every window he passed. The man ran into no other people. The streets were completely deserted, when an unmanned police car pulled up next to him and took him in for questioning, because of how strange his behavior was. If and when humanity’s world is run by robots, will we happily let ourselves rot on our mechanized chairs in front of the screen that keeps us attached to the “outside-in” world? It scares me, how possible such an outcome might be. So, as the title of the blog says, I hope I’m in the ground and eaten by insects before something like that becomes an irreversible reality.

We can rebuild him…

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Cliche line, I know. But it was the best one I could think of. It’s amazing and frightening how far humanity has come in our endeavors to create beings with intelligence like our own. You see movies like Bicentennial Man and Terminator thinking “Hell, that’s not gonna happen.” But who knows? The answer to giving a robot emotions is probably right in front of our face, and it’s just a matter of time before we find it.

But is that a good thing? I’ve heard it said that man is destined to create monsters, and monsters are destined to destroy their creators. I’ve always held the assumption, like most conspiracy theorists, that if we did create a robot to match our own intelligence, we’d be in big trouble. With the cold and calculating robot having intelligence to match our own, logic rules over emotions. Humans are bad for this world. You don’t have to look far to see that fact. And even with some of the conservationists striving to change that, there are still people who could give less than a shit about their surroundings. Even with the rules of artificial intelligence in place, what would stop them from learning that, if done right, they could overpower, outnumber, and eventually exterminate us. Perhaps, not for the environment. Perhaps because they’re tired of doing our dirty work. Whatever the reason, it wouldn’t be hard for something as smart, if not smarter, to take us out.

With that out of the way, I’ve always been interested in playing with the Lego Mindstorms sets. I loved lego’s as a kid, and would get the magazine delivered to my door every month. We were a poor family, so it wasn’t like dishing out 300 bucks for a toy was a viable option way back when, but I could dream.

And now that I’m all grown up, I get the opportunity. Well, better late than never, they say. I would’ve liked it much more if we didn’t have to work in groups… Free reign projects like this cause strife between individuals with different ideas. I do, however, understand that supplying a class with expensive robot sets is difficult enough. Supplying each person is rather unrealistic.

Insert Clever Title Here…

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I guess I’ll start this one off by telling the story of how I got the worst virus ever.

Honestly, it was my fault. I, being the cocky child I was, hadn’t updated my virus software in a very long time. So there I was, browsing the internet. Then BOOM. My computer is like “‘Stranger danger! Stranger danger!” and freaks out.

I restart the old gal and try to figure out what’s wrong. Wouldn’t you know it? It’s a computer virus. But it’s not just any computer virus. It’s the anti-virus virus. I try to download more software, it redirects me. I try to download something, it blocks me. I go into safe mode, have a friend send me some different programs, and still don’t nip that thing in the butt until a week later.

Now I have Spybot, Malwarebytes, a couple of command-prompt like programs, and Hijack-This on my desktop just in case.

Anyways, I never in my wildest dreams would’ve imagined that hacking had gotten it’s start through the phone lines… With a captain crunch whistle, nonetheless. One of those “THE MORE YOU KNOW” kindof things. I have a respect and a bit of envy for hackers who actually know what they’re doing. You can usually tell the real deals from the script kiddies just by the way they talk. Not to say that all ‘professionals’ are good-natured, but most of them will speak through actions instead of words.

1 hour and 16 minutes of pure inspiration.

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It’s pretty amazing to see a man on his last leg of life doing nothing but smiling and reminiscing about the many good things he had in his life. Before we even started watching the video, I thought “Oh jeez. It’s more than an hour long. Better get out the paper and start doodling.” And, after Randy started talking, the thought didn’t cross my mind once through the entire speech.

It’s one thing to stand up in front of a group and talk about something. It’s another to actually have them hear you. This man that stood on stage. It was obvious that he had reflected upon his situation more times than we could possibly imagine… But instead of becoming cold to it, he accepted it completely. And, instead of reflecting on his shortcomings, he could only think back and smile upon all the dreams he’d fulfilled, and all the beautiful moments he had.

Even moreso, he was so determined to make his dreams come true, he didn’t let anything discourage him. I have never met anyone so completely determined, and probably never will.

I don’t think anyone can watch that and not come back feeling a little inspired. He was not a perfect man, and that’s what made him so real. He didn’t fake anything. He didn’t have to.

Moving away from that (before I cry), I gotta say that Scratch is pretty cool. Flash programs (as far as the one’s I’ve experienced) are so damn complicated. Scratch? It’s like “Hey kid! Lets take you through the magical world of flash! It doesn’t matter how much you suck at drawing, or that the only humorous thing you can think of doing is fart jokes, I’m here for you! I’m your beeeeeest friend.” And then it hugs you, which is sort of creepy…

Expect some kind of humorous animation from me, though. Because I’ve got some ideas in my head. It will be silly. Extremely silly. c:

The Wacky World of the Inter-Webs.

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First off, I won’t say that this was a life-changing experience or anything. But being able to create and upload your own webpage does affect your view of every other website you visit.

Think about those complex websites. I mean, how many hours did the programmer put into that thing?

Then again, with the packages out there now, maybe it wouldn’t be so difficult after all… I never really looked at any of them, so I have no idea. Anyways, our little database discussion on Friday made me nervous about what I do on the web. You think “Well hell, this is my personal computer. What’re they gonna do about it?”

Half of it sounds like the conspiracy theories you pull out from the festering corners of Youtube. Y’know. Lizard men, 2012, etc… But at the same time, with all the evidence, it’s hard to overlook. I’d known about how bad it is in England, with the cameras on every street corner. But I had no idea our government was following in their footsteps. Just one more thing that would have our founding fathers rolling in their graves.

How I love HTML. Let me count the ways…

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If the title didn’t hint to it, this wouldn’t be my first time dibble dabbling in HTML. I’m no expert in it, but the familiarity is a sort of comfort to me. Back in my Sophmore or Junior year (I don’t remember too much from those times), I took a web site design class and one of our first projects was to write up our own little webpage. It was a rinky-dink little bastard child, as I recall (to expect more from a C student high school kid focused more on what people thought of them than learning itself would be considered unrealistic expectations). But, I digress.

Ever since then, I’ve had more run-ins with HTML than I can really recall, along with a couple other more simplistic means of web tinkering. BBcode is something I use almost every day on different forums.

HTML is really something. You literally have to tell it to do something as specifically as possible before it will. Spacing, aligning, breaks, colors, fonts, everything. I dunno where people get off by saying it’s not “creative”. Just because you have to set your mind into learning something doesn’t mean it isn’t artistic. In fact, shame on them. To be a good artist, you have to understand all the principles to it. For every division of art.

And like it, you learn from experience. Forget to close something in HTML and it’s not gonna look right. But you usually remember it the second or third time around. I remember it took me awhile to understand how to correctly space things way back when. How to jump down a few lines. But once I learned that, it’s something I never forgot (kinda simple… But I really racked my brain over it in high school. Hahah.)

Assembly language.

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Two words: My God.

My headaches are less intense doing algebra, for goodness sake. I’ve been doing my best to keep a good, hard focus in class. And for some reason, the assembly language simulator and all of it’s glory blew right over the top of my head. I watched it being used in class and thought “Oh, okay. Yeah, this isn’t very difficult. S’in the bag. Easier than building my own computer. Totally.”

I really. REALLY. REALLY. Wish I’d looked over the assignment before the last minute. That’s what I get for being cocky, right? Just desserts, I suppose. I opened the assignment and sat down to the simulator with a big cheesy grin, answered the first few questions, then completely brain-farted. “duuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuur”, I believe, were my exact words. All I could remember from class was the iPad and how much I couldn’t stand to look at Mr. Jobs’s face.

I don’t particularly blame anyone but myself for how poorly I probably did on the assignment. I had every opportunity to go down to the lab with everyone else and make sure I understood it as much as I thought. Like, I get what all the different abbreviations do. It’s just where to put them that messes me up. Value? I still don’t get value. I read over that 7 times and still couldn’t process it in my meager portion of a brain. Que sera, though. I can’t change what’s already happened, I can only make sure I don’t derp on the next assignment. I’ve probably said it already, but this is my first semester in college. That fact doesn’t really grant me special treatment or a lame-ass pass, saying it to myself just kinda makes me feel a little better when I do mess up… And reminds me that I need to get my crap together.

My own computer…

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You don’t know how long I’ve wanted to do something like this. Sure, you can go out and purchase some dinky little computer from wal-mart (which is what my grandma did 2 Christmas’s ago… And the desktop I still use….), but if you can build your own to the specifications YOU want, why wouldn’t you?

I guess I’ll start off with the motherboard. I’m no fancy-pants show-off when it comes to things. In fact, I’m sorta thrifty. So when I look for something, I’ll usually check out the cheapest first.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813138124

Not the most inexpensive, but it’s enough to blow my pitiful compaq out of the water and out to the stars. Reasonable price, decent maximum memory, 4 memory slots. Could’ve used more USB, but I’m not gonna lie, I’ll never have enough USB ports. Ever. This little devil fits nice and snug into the case. Gotta match up the respective holes and wiggle it in a little. But it should snap into place.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103772

Next up, CPU. This one actually IS the cheapest they sell on newegg at the moment, and a few of the reviews admit that it’s aging a little, but they also say that it’s still got some power behind it and it stays pretty cool. Slips right on the motherboard and latches in (just don’t touch the pins).

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835185125

And here’s a nice cooling fan for that CPU. Compatable, quiet, easy install… And not very expensive. It should just latch right ontop of the CPU. And plug in the power chip right on the side of the motherboard.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231166

Take a guess at how much my current desktop has memory-wise. Just guess. If you said 1 and a half gig’s, you’d be sadly correct. I don’t download videos. I watch them online. I have pictures, but I keep them on external hard drives/flash drives. Really 4 gigs is more than enough. And if I end up needing more, no big deal. I order more. These little buggers click right in on your motherboard. And, on a side note since I actually learned this installing memory, keep yourself grounded. that’d be 90 bucks down the crapper if this stuff shorts out.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811146060

Ohhh, the case. So customizable and full of possibilities. It looks up at you with… Well… It doesn’t really have eyes… And says “Make me into something beautiful!” This one isn’t the cheapest, but actually has a 5 star… Egg… Rating. I always take customer reviews into consideration when I’m buying ANYTHING, because they’re average Joe’s (Or Janet’s, I guess…) like me. This is, of course, compatible with all my previous selections, pleasing to the eye, more usb ports (eeee), pretty lights (No… I don’t need them, but I sure do like purdy things), and a lotta fan power.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817152035

And what could be better than a matching power supply, complete with it’s own LED lights? NOTHING, THAT’S WHAT. Okay, that’s a lie. A higher powered one would be better, but this one is only 60 bucks. Once again, not the cheapest, but enough that my wallet doesn’t call the police on me for harassment. Since we’re kinda going for the middle-man computer, it fits perfectly as far as power goes. Since the power supply goes on the bottom of the case, that’s where it’d fit in here.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/NewProduct.aspx?Item=N82E16822136490

I feel like I’m behind the times nowadays, because when I see TB, it blows my mind how the price of memory has SIGNIFICANTLY gone down. Anywho, this is the hard drive I’d choose. I do believe it’s the cheapest internal desktop hard drive and has more than enough for my meager standards. To install, you take off the drive case, slide it in from the back, and screw that sucker in.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/NewProduct.aspx?Item=N82E16827118030

Sony fangirl right here. I’ve got the PS3, Sony Alpha DSLR, and if sony made toilets, I’d probably buy one of those too. They’ve never let me down, so I tend to trust them a little more… So getting an optical drive from them just seems like the right thing to do, since it’s also in my price range. The optical drive is placed on the front of the computer and slides in from the front. Then you’ve just gotta screw it in.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/NewProduct.aspx?Item=N82E16814161319

Last but certainly not least, the video card. Now, I consider myself a gamer. But… PC gaming isn’t really my thing. I do play World of Warcraft, but if my netbook can run it, I doubt that this videocard will have too much of a problem. The videocard has it’s own little slot in the motherboard and clicks right in just like the memory does. No problems there. But you do have to screw it in to the back of the case, unlike the memory.

And the last step in making the computer work is taking the cables and placing them in their respective slots, which should be semi-labled for your convenience. After that, you install the OS and you’re done. (Hope I did this right. First time trying to plan a computer build, haha.)

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