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The END…

Well it seems that I have reached the end of my journey in Dr. Brown’s class and I have to say for the most part I really liked it. Now I have a better idea of what I like and definitely don’t like, and that’s important if you’re an undecided like me. I liked the programming part a lot more than I expected, the Alice program a lot less than I expected (far more tedious than I care for, game design is for someone that’s not me), and I positively loved the robotics part!! When I first looked over the syllabus I didn’t even give it that much thought because it was so far off, then it just snuck up on me, I think I can honestly say the thought of playing with robots never really crossed my mind (Note to future students: don’t be afraid to try something new). Another thing I learned in this class was how far advanced technology really is. I always knew there was more going on than I knew about but learning about a printer that prints real live skin and the robot news anchor pushed me out from under my rock. My favorite Ted talk was about the little head set that let you control the image with your mind, I can only think of about a billion things that could be done with that. I do have a least favorite part of the class though… this blog, I really don’t like blogging I feel like as soon as I hit “publish” the whole world will automatically know that I posted and the idea is almost as horrifying as public speaking. It makes me even more nervous knowing that my name is only second on the list and there fore more likely to be seen by the incoming class. I hope you guys like it and it helps you get ready for an epic semester cause this class is a lot of fun.

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This is Zoola one of my many Sims (well at least it would be but technical difficulties prevent me from posting a picture at this time however I assure you she is awesome). Anyone who has ever enjoyed a video game knows how easy it is to got lost in a game to the point where the real world can just wait (at least that’s how I am with my favorite games). Every once in a wile I will play a social virtual world, but its just not the same, not that I dislike them there are just several things that I could do without. For example I do not wish to harass my friends in order to level up in a game, nor do I feal the need to tell them every time something happens (Zynga is a pro at this) and I do not enjoy getting online and having 82 game requests. On the other hand I love the MMORPGs where you don’t even have to have friends to start with but you can meet people from all over the world (I’ve met people from Singapore and a girl form Turkey who made me feel better about my own spelling), team up to complete tasks, and just have fun (preferably for free).

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I have never given much thought to artificial intelligence I guess I should have being a major Sims addict and all but up until now it never crossed my mind that that’s what it was. Now I am amazed at how complex the Sims 3 game is in that aspect. Unlike the 1 and 2 where when you left one family to play another the game would pick up right where you left off, in the third one when you leave one family to play another life goes on without you (less interestingly but sill) they continue to work, get promotions, and  grow old. It’s really interesting when you think about each character has its own artificial intelligence and there is no way to preprogram each little thing because the ways you can affect the game is pretty much limitless. On the other hand our attempt to give the robot personality proved much more challenging. For the first several tests it did absolutely nothing then when we finally got it to move it just jerked around all confused like and stopped. For a moment we got all excited because it started moving all around impressively but then we found out it was just the guy in the next group over who had taken out robot over with his phone. I think it would have been better if we hadn’t had to put the thing back to gather from scratch.

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  I don’t know why making something go forward and turnaround was so exciting but it was. We started out with one that was already put together and then arranged the censors the way we wanted them, that was the easy part, the hard part was making it go with out getting the cords wrapped all around the wheals and in a somewhat smooth fashion wile not smashing into everything. After some finagling with the ultra sonic sensor we finally got it stable  so it would see the bottom of the desk instead of hitting it and pushing the sensor up or down causing it to go crazy. The moment of success came when it went forward about two feet till it came to the wall and didn’t crash, instead it simply turned around and went the other way, YAY! I also got it to smile and make noise but not all at the same time. So far this is my favorite project.

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I have never hacked anything intentionally but I find the idea somewhat intriguing.  I see it as more of a challenge to see what you can make the machine do more than anything else. On the other hand I see why most people don’t see it that way because once you’ve got a person’s or a companies’ private information you’re probably not going to take that opportunity for granted. Still I don’t think wanting to see if you can make a machine do something new is bad, it kind of reminds me of that old saying “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” well maybe it’s the hacker’s job to break into it so we have to make it better.

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Programing and Inspiration

In highschool everyone always told me how hard programing was and how much was involved so when I entered this class I was a little nervous about the programing part. If I saw those people now I think I would laugh at them because it is no where near as hard at they said it was. In fact it is really fun! Scratch makes it so easy you really don’t even realise your programing. Although I think thats the point acording to Dr. Pausch. Nothing like words of wisdom from a deying man to make you realise how much time you waste.

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Guess what?! I like it! I almost can’t beleave it, not only did I write my own web page in HTML from sctatch but I also uploaded it from my own computer, using filezilla!!! I thought I would never be able to do it my self , and there weren’t even as many hang ups as I thought there would be (that is of course after I downloaded the right version of filezilla, that helped a lot).  SQL it sounded scary at first but Dr. Brown explaned it really well and it makes sence, and life a lot simpler. Its crazy how with just a few simple comands you can access and organize mass amounts of information. The only thing I didn’t really get was flat files, I mean other than they are a pain and hard to manage how they work is still a mystery to me… I think I’m just lacking a visual.

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I thought I had already posted but I guess not. I love HTML its so much fun! It’s like learning how to speek a difrent language, only its not backwords like other languages. I took two classes on it in high school but this is actually my first page I ever wrote myself. I high school we used dream weaver and only wrote html to spice it up. I feel accomplished now that I have wrote my own.

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I get it!!! Programing I mean. I was so nervous cause I thought it was going to be  really hard but its not that complex. It only took me a few minutes to figure out what it was doing (and a few more to figure out I needed to hit the load button first). Read asks for input, Store stores it to the RAM and Load puts it in the registers to work with. The thing I had the most trouble with was the hardware, but eventought I had alot of trouble with I think it was the thing I learned the most about.  I still have a lot to learn about it but at least I found out that I really like it and want to learn more.

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The Dreded Machine

DUN DUN DUN! Harder than a sciencefair project, more frustrating than techsupport, its the Dreded Machine! Well maybe its not that bad but considering I’ve only seen the inside of a computer maybe two or three times in my life I am quite happy with myself (even if it is late). In fact I might just take take it on as a personal project this summer.

CPU:Intel Core i7-870 Lynnfield 2.93GHz 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1156 95W Quad-Core Processor BX80605I7870                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           I went on to tom’s hardware and compared CPU’s I originaly chose the sandybridge but I couldn’t find a whole lot of parts to go with it then I went on to new egg and looked for similar CPU’s and this one looked superfly, had good ratings, and fast is good. And so the first part was chosen…                                                                  

Motherboard: GIGABYTE GA-H55M-S2V LGA 1156 Intel H55 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Not much to say good ratings, fit the CPU, was pritty and blue…

Memory: G.SKILL Sniper 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBSR                                                                                                WHOO HOO!!! Finaly found some meomory I have no idea why I couldn’t find it before but I have it now and its nice.
Hard Disk: Western Digital Caviar Blue WD6400AAKS 640GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5″ Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive                                            
     Well… I don’t realy know I was tired and tired of looking. The ratings look good and its simple.

Video Card: GIGABYTE Ultra Durable VGA Series GV-R685OC-1GD Radeon HD 6850 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card with Eyefinity                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I don’t game often but when I do they are usually big games so I wanted something that could handle that and then some and this seemed to be compatabel and work well                       

Case: NZXT Apollo BLUE NP Blue SECC Steel Chassis ATX Mid Tower Computer Case                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Dosen’t that just look like it could fly!!! And the motherboard fits and everything!          

NZXT Apollo BLUE NP Blue Computer Case With Side Panel Window                                                   

Power Supply:Rosewill BRONZE Series RBR1000-M 1000W Continuous@40°C, 80Plus Bronze Certified,Modular Cable Design,ATX12V v2.3/ EPS12V,SLI Ready,CrossFire Ready,Active PFC”Compatible with Core i7, i5″ Power Supply                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Its campatible with my CPU and motherboard, and it has a light… uaha a blue light… can I say awesome.
DVD: ASUS Black 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 12X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA 24X DVD Burner – Bulk – OEM                                                                                                                                                                                                        I am not actually sure how to tell if this part fits so I just went by the ratings…

Time to put it together! First I’ll start with the mother board and the CPU, open the pin and place the CPU then close the pin, the most importaint part is also the easiest to install. Must not forget the fan (speeking from personal expereance overheating is BAD) so I’m just going to use the fan that came with the CPU. Place the heat pad side down on the cpu and clip it in and plug it into the mother board or it won’t have any power. Next up the memory, make sure not to touch the gold parts cause their special, place each stick in the corect slot in the corect order and push it down and clip it in. Open up the case by unscrewing the side pannel and push in the usb and port cover (don’t know the technical name for it) line up the ports on the motherboard with the port slots and the screw holes and screw it down. Now this next part confuses me a little because my case says “screwless” but this is how it worked in the newegg video so I assume this is how this case works. When you push your hard disk and DVD in the rack instead of lineing the screw holes and screwing them in all you have to do is push a little button on the side to slide it in and push it again to lock it in. Power the force that drives the machine, line it up and screw it down. Then the video card slides in to the motherboard and also uses a screw to hold it into place. Finaly conect all the wires and TADA!! You have a computer.

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