The End

I didn’t attend many classes, and I didn’t get to know anyone in this class.  However, the information that was presented to me was extremely interesting.  I came into this class thinking we would learn what the difference between an input device and an output device.  I figured it would be incredibly simple and take no effort on my part to excel.   I was wrong.  This class has made me think and work harder than most classes I have taken up to this point.  Fortunately for me the material that Dr. Brown supplies online is AMAZING.  Without it I would have definitely had to drop this class.

Thinking back over the course of this semester, the most memorable thing that comes to mind would have to be the scratch project.  I messed around with that program for quite some time.  While my completed project was pretty terrible, the things I did behind the scenes were quite funny and probably very inappropriate for this forum.  Imagination is a terrible thing sometimes lol.  I checked out everyone else’s project, and I was amazed at what was accomplished.  I played one game where I was a dragon flying around setting fire to countless enemies.  It was quite the good time.

I will leave this class with a newfound respect for the people behind the scenes of old and upcoming technology.  It wasn’t until I went through this class that I realized just how intelligent some of these people are.  I can only hope that my future holds such promise.  I doubt that I will be designing the next best video game or developing a new way to tell my computer what to do.  However, it is my hope that I will one day be able to work alongside those men and women who are changing the world with new and ever more powerful technologies.

 

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World of Warcraft

http://us.battle.net/wow/en/character/korgath/Bulr%C3%B4g/

Since I no longer play WoW my character doesn’t show up. :(   I played a resto shammy named Bulrog on Korgath.. Horde.. of course.  I have played WoW since vanilla and just recently decided to let my account fall into disuse.  Unfortunately, I no longer have the time necessary to dedicate myself to the grind/raiding/farming required.  However, I did enjoy my time in the world of Azeroth and I oftentimes find myself daydreaming about past adventures and companions.  I’ve tried a couple times since quitting to return, but it just doesn’t seem the same anymore.  Most of the people I played with for years have also decided to give up their virtual worlds for real life responsibilities.  I now only delve into short-term worlds.. such as (currently) Skyrim.  I recommend it if you haven’t played it yet.

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AI

Artificial Intelligence is something that has always intrigued me.  Well, at least from a gamer’s point of view.  I originally started playing video games back sometime around when the original doom made it’s appearance.  As the years have come and gone, I have seen SIGNIFICANT changes in the way these virtual characters have interacted with me.  The FPS targets have gotten trickier, the wildlife on open-world rpg’s have become almost realistic, and the npc’s in most games have become almost like interacting with another player.  I can’t wait to see what the future has to offer, well, as long as it isn’t skynet.  However, we humans tend to warp and ruin most things we get our hands on so I wouldn’t rule it out.  Fear is our greatest enemy, it fuels our insecurities, resulting in our need to build bigger and badder weapons to protect us from our previous big bad weapons.

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TitanBoa!!! Rawr

So, what does a 60 million year old boa constrictor have to do with the field of robotics?  Well, let’s ask the researchers over at Great Northern Way Campus and eatArt.  They have designed a robotic snake after a prehistoric boa called a titanboa. This prehistoric monstrosity could reach sizes of 50 ft, and weigh in excess of one ton.  Check out these videos of the titan boa in action:

Http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ocyhbij9JYQ&feature=player_embedded

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RRJT8guEXwg&feature=player_embedded

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=UvoS8rP-dH4

Now for the tech stats.  Courtesy of titanoboa.ca:

  • Approximately 1 Ton,  50ft long,  1-3ft diameter (2011 machine = 35ft long)
  • 5 different modes of motion
  1. Concertina (Scrunch like motion that propels the snake forward)
  2. Serpentine (as shown in the video.. identical to a snake! Very impressive.)
  3. Sidewinding (like Serpentine but sideways)
  4. Rectilinear (caterpillar)
  5. 5th motion is Lateral undulation (or serpentine) mode of water movement))
  • 30 high strength aluminum vertebrae (2011 machine = 20 vertebrae)
  1. 2011 model no scales
  2. Scales anticipated on 2012 model
  • Dynamic internal lighting
  • Scalable Lithium polymer battery system
  • 6hp continuous, 18hp peak power
  • Controllable by rider or remotely
  • Multiple Arduino Mega micro controllers
  1. http://www.arduino.cc/en/Main/ArduinoBoardMega
  • 60 proportional hydraulic cylinders (2011 machine = 40  cylinders)
  1. actuation devices that utilize pressurized hydraulic fluid to produce linear motion and force
  • Animated eyes and Jaws

 

So, what is the point?  Well Great Northern Way is attempting to study, and show the world, different means of, “propulsion and power applications in transport.” This project is not only a means to point out that there are alternative ways to do things.  It is also a way for students to explore, according to titanoboa.ca, the exciting world of engineered kinetic sculptures.  It is their hope that while interacting with this massive machine the students will also consider the current effects of climate change and the ever growing need to switch to more environmentally friendly modes of transportation.

I can’t seem to turn on the television without seeing something on about how we are destroying the planet, or that we need to switch to a more environmentally friendly fuel source.  The commercial, news story, or reference in a show usually loses my interest fairly quickly.  However, stumbling onto this experiment immediately grabbed my attention and I believe the way they are approaching this matter is not only a great learning experience for their students, but is also a fun way to bring home a very important message.

 

Images:

https://encrypted-tbn2.google.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQDIsXXTsXGVX19Q7q_g8zgY3gIX27oQJL31NYydI7MLsVV_7rjTg

https://encrypted-tbn1.google.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcR8PprrlzM9CT_SHBFJ5XUXrGq4KWgnnqx-0bmRfhcUBNYczpNrEg

Additional Links:

Creators – http://titanoboa.ca/creators (Sorry way too many to write about.)

Cool pictures – http://titanoboa.ca/news (This has some great pics.. also a shot of one of the microcontrollers)

 

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Hackers gonna hack

Viruses, malware, and adware are a serious problem now-a-days.  With more and more people gaining access to the interwebs the ease of access for hackers has never been greater.  I have a friend whose wife will click on and download ANYTHING, that pops up while browsing without reading whatever it is.  Recently I was called over to look at their computer because it was running very slowly and random weirdness would ensue when they were trying to play around on facebook.  I loaded the only browser on the machine (internet explorer OUTDATED by quite a few generations) and to my horror I was greeted by a 10 minute wait and over 16 installed bars and addons.  I realize that these themselves are not viruses but are still quite irritating.  After installing a virus scanner (because they had no protection.. even going as far as disabling windows defender) I found 6 trojans, and more malware than you could shake a stick at.  I hate to think how many people they have infected through their negligence. I have received MANY emails from them that were malicious.

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Scraaaatchhh meow

Okay, so this program that we are supposed to be using, scratch, is in one word.. Awesome! I wish that I knew it existed before this point. I could have been making funny little cartoons while racking up the big bucks on youtube. I really enjoy the fact that we can add new sprites or even draw our own. The possibilities are ENDLESS!!! Imagine a world filled with bacon people who fry up humans, or giant narwhals drinking tea while debating politics. I, personally, will not be doing either one of those with my scratch project (Mostly because I lack the talent and creativity needed) Instead I am going to try and replicate the nyan cat.. dear god in heaven help us all. The “Building Virtual Worlds” video was definitely “more than meets the eye”. I thought going into it that it would be a boring video about virtual worlds. Instead I got an hour chalked full of humor and antics. I’m just a little sad that in my case the cake was a lie. /sigh (I fell for it again) We have come a long way since this lecture and I truly can not wait for the future of virtual gaming. I was just the other day watching a video on youtube about a battlefield 3 virtual chamber. I can’t do it much justice so.. I will just leave this here.. http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=nQR49JGySTM also another interesting article can be found here.. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/05/060510092605.htm

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Webpage, sql, and databases… woot

Alright, web page is done and looking okay. I can’t say it was my best work. However, I had quite a bit of fun reminiscing about the old days when I would throw up websites on geocities and tripod. I also had a slight hiccup uploading my files because I was clicking on the wrong link for the usernames. However, I was able to get it done, after emailing Dr.Brown before investigating the problem. I’m sorry lol. The webpage was supposed to be about a few hobbies of ours. Mine was indeed about a few hobbies. Eating, Beard growing, Procrastination, and playing hours of video games rank pretty high on my list of hobbies. The webpage was a bit crazy, seeing as I decided to be a super hero, but I think it turned out fairly well. Unfortunately, I didn’t put any java in and the only thing I did that caused me any amount of trouble was the frames. Thankfully the googles and Dr.Brown’s notes were very helpful in that regards.
This week we learned a bit about databases and SQL. I enjoyed reading over the comic and learning about flat files (I didn’t know about those). I work with databases and SQL quite frequently at my job and I personally couldn’t live without them. I was building a new database in access the other day and reading over this comic made me realize exactly how easy we have it. Also, in the comic it states that, “ Information is power. With control of information comes the ability to lead… to control… to persuade.. to distort.. and even to destroy.” THIS!! I cannot begin to express how accurate that quote is. With the little knowledge I have, I am able to manipulate data very well. Being able to manipulate data has allowed me great power in my line of work. The people I work for do not have a clue what I do, or how I do it, but they line up for what I hand out every week.

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WeBpAgE

I haven’t yet finished developing my personal webpage.  However, I have had quite a bit of fun messing around with html again.  I used to dabble with it when I was younger.  I believe my first web page was totally dedicated to DragonBallZ lol.  It was poorly done and had an insanely poor color scheme.  I think for this one I am going to try and make it look as professional as possible.  In the past the pages I made for myself were dedicated to random things that I was interested in at the time.  I’ve grown a bit since then and I have hobbies that aren’t the results of a whim.  So far, I’ve only been working with my webpage in the form of a .txt file.  I plan on keeping this webpage after completing it.  Also, I am going to implement some Java into the page since I’ve spent the better part of this semester studying it.  Of course, that COULD be a complete failure so don’t hold me to it. Oh, I did run into a small problem with trying to figure out frames…  FIXED.  Thankfully the googles was able to bring up a webpage that showed me the “error” of my ways.

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Personally I thought the assembly language simulator was very hard to use.  I believe that I found it so hard because I basically had to teach myself to use it.  I started out by reading the instructions (I definitely think these could have been more informative) and attempting to run the programs assigned.  I was successful at running the programs but I still didn’t have a firm grasp on exactly what was going on.  I understood the assembly, and how it was loading the instructions into the ram..  after that.. I’m still a little clueless.  I plan on continuing to use this simulator until I am knowledgeable about all of its functions.  So far in this class we have learned history, hardware, and software.  I’ve always thought that I had a firm grasp on the technology world.  Unfortunately, knowing how to build, repair, maintain, and network doesn’t make me an expert.  It is a humbling experience finding out that what I thought I was familiar with is a vast mysterious world.  Oh well, I’ll just have to keep learning.

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My Dream Computer

For this blog I decided to try and build a gaming computer to rival all gaming computers.  While I probably didn’t succeed I think this build is pretty extraordinary.  I did visit a few uber gaming computer websites for ideas and this is the end result.  I HIGHLY doubt I will ever be able to build this computer but for enjoyment sake here are the specs.

I will be running Windows 7 Home Premium and the total cost for this monstrosity would be around – $4534.46

 

Parts list, Link, and Reasoning – Also in order of installation.

  • COOLER MASTER HAF 932 Advanced RC-932-KKN5-GP Black Steel ATX Full Tower
  1. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119160
  2. I chose this case because it is roomy and of course because of it’s looks.  I will need a large case in order to easily install and maintain my hardware.
  • ASUS Rampage III Extreme LGA 1366 Intel X58 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

  1. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131642
  2. Everything I need and more (by more I mean ROG connect for overclocking on the fly)  I’ve never used this.. but it sounds like a fun option.. I even read that they will be having an Iphone app for this. Nerdalicious

 

  • Intel Core i7-990X Extreme Edition Gulftown 3.46GHz 6 x 256KB L2 Cache 12MB L3 Cache LGA 1366 130W Six-Core processor

  1. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115079&Tpk=Core%20i7%20990X
  2. I chose this just because it is one of the fastest processors out right now.  Also, quite costly.  I drooled a little just now.

 

  • Antec Kuhler H20 620 liquid cooling system

  1. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835209049
  2. Always a good idea to keep the dream machine cooled.. maybe I should submerge it.. ;)

 

  • Silverstone ST1500 1500W ATX 12V 2.3 & EPS 12V SLI Ready 80 Plus Silver certified active PFC power supply

  1. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817256054
  2. Okay.. I know.. a little overkill here.. I could have EASILY gotten away with using 1.2 or even 1k power supply.. but.. go big or go home.

 

  • 2x EVGA GeForce GTX 580 (Fermi) FTW Hydro Copper 2 1536MB 385-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
  1. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130601
  2. Why?  Really?  Because of the deliciously beautiful graphics of course… Why settle for one.. when my motherboard can hold two.  There are quite a few games that don’t support SLI.. but for those that do.. here I come.
  • CORSAIR Vengeance 12GB (3 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory
  1. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820233146
  2. I chose crucial because I have used them in the past.. and.. well.. They work.  As far as why.. or if they are the best.. I’m not sure.  I’ve not really researched ram in depth.
  • Crucial M4 CT512M4SSD2 2.5″ 512GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive

  1. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820148444
  2. I’ve not used a SSD before.. so I figured if I was going to build a dream machine.. why not try out something new.  I will be installing my OS onto this drive along with a few chosen applications.

 

  • Western Digital Caviar Green WD30EZRX 3TB IntelliPower 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5″ Internal Hard Drive
  1. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136874&Tpk=3TB%20Western%20Digital%20Caviar%20Green
  2. For all my other storage needs.. 3TB should be enough.
  • LITE-ON DVD Burner – Bulk 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 12X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM Black SATA

  1. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827106289
  2. Basic DVD drive.. I’m not a huge fan of Blu-ray.. so why add it in.

 

  • Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Professional 70SB088600002 7.1 Channels 24-bit 96KHz PCI Express x1 Interface Sound Card

  1. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16829102019
  2. Was that a weapon reloading behind me.. Did I hear some dog tags jingling from somewhere up above.. I might with an amazing sound card and the appropriate headset.  I’m taking my gaming to a whole new level.

 

  • VisionTek Bigfoot Killer 2100 Gaming Network Card

  1. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833189002&Tpk=Killer%202100%20Gaming%20Network%20Card
  2. Reduced lag.. Higher Frame rate.. yes please.

 

 

 

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