May 22, 2006

Again with the website abandonment...

I know, I know...I totally and completely abandoned my website before it even got a chance to get good. Work started and it kinda took off from there. Here's the whole thing in a nice outline form:

  1. November - I begin training to be an Apple Desktop Tech Support phone agent
  2. December - Training lasted a month - many agents were lost during training
  3. I hit the "floor" in late December and stay as a "regular" agent until January
  4. Sometime in January, I become an unspoken "Lead Agent," meaning that I can watch the floor for the supervisors should they have to leave the area - I act as Lead Agent for a single Saturday night
  5. February - I get a phone call while at home before I come in for my scheduled shift - twas one of the supervisors from work. Turns out that they offered me a position in Columbus to train another class of desktop agents - however they fubar'd the dates and it fell through
  6. Still February - Instead of me going to Columbus to train a class, I get to go back into training locally to pick up the tricks and act as a co-trainer
  7. March - following their class, I hit the floor waiting to be made into an interim QA (I'd listen to calls and grade the agents on their technique)
  8. Still March (I think) - I get a msg on iChat (Mac AIM equivalent) saying "You can add supervisor to your resume"
  9. March/April - I'm an Apple Desktop Tier 1 Supervisor :-D
  10. End of April/Beginning of May - QA department goes buh-bye - Supervisors take over QA positions as well
That brings us up to now...

Oh yeah, two other big things have happened since November:

(The one, the only, Bridget!!)
[That's right, 2 exclamation marks]

Life honestly has never been better, although it is a little strange getting used to living on my own. Not to mention that I hella miss my dog :-( I'll try to post some pics of him later.

My hope, "going forward" (<--that's the most overused phrase at Calltech/Teleperformance), is that I'll update this at least weekly. At the very least, I want to keep this updated with tons o' pics for rememberance down the line. If anyone sees this and feels inclined to comment, please do so. Also, I'm looking for anyone that's up for some DS gaming action or Puter/Electronic modding. Lemme know.

November 15, 2005

Mario Kart DS

If anyone reads this and has Mario Kart DS, my wireless ID is 3266-0959-6058-2000 Hit me up, I wanna play some online.

Other future projects...

Today I picked up an Atari Flashback 2 unit that is basically an Atari 2600 with 40 games built in and comes with 2 standard controllers. On Hack-a-day, they had a post about adding a cart slot to play games that aren't included :-) The parts are ordered and should be here for a future post. I just gotta brush up my soldering skills. I figure that the CVS Disposable camcorder cable should prove a tiny bit o practice. Those parts should be here before Thanksgiving. For those of you that don't know what I'm talking about, CVS is selling a "disposable" digital camcorder that holds 30 mins of audio and video that you're supposed to take back to them and pay for it to be put onto DVD. Well you can make your own cable for it and get software so you can keep it forever and have your own digital video cam. So that's what I'm doing, now I just have to find a CVS that sells them :-( Anyone in Western PA know where I can snag one?

Neutron Update

Ok, my friend Mikey came through for me and helped me out with the LED info. I'm waiting for a 6 C Battery enclosure to arrive and then I should be all set with that project. I got the puter up and running and I've been getting it all set up for operation. I think that if the weather keeps up (It was 74 Pennsylvania), I'm going to give it another coat o' paint. Below is the purdy mspaint version of the wiring that's going to happen. I'm not an artist so don't mind the crappy job :-) Hopefully it'll work, that's all I care about. The red stands for positive wires, blue for negative, the green circles are the LEDs (they'll actually be blue), the weird black blobs on the positive lines are resistors, in this case, 480 ohm and you can see where I marked the switch's location. I'll probably mount it right at the battery case. Since I don't plan on keeping the lights on 24/7, I went with the battery method and the 6 C's should give it more than enough juice for a while. This way I can use the base for other things should I ever take the puter off of it.

November 12, 2005

LED Assistance

Ok, this is what I'm trying to do. As mentioned in the one post below, I'm making legs for my one tower to keep it off the ground. I'd like to take 5mm blue LEDs and wire them into each of the 6 legs. The problem I'm having is that I have absolutely no electronics knowledge/experience and I'm not sure how I should go about this. There will be 6 blue LEDs that require 5V each. I'd like to have these on their own power supply independent of the computer whether it'd be batteries or some hack job on a wall outlet setup. I'm saying this because this base may end up being used for things that aren't computer towers later in it's life. Does anyone have any ideas?

November 07, 2005

Current Project - Big Screen Companion PC

What I've been working on lately is a reincarnation of my old computer (named Neutron, I roll with an atomic theme with my main puter as Proton) that is being converted from being a windows server into some kind of all in one media hub to attach to the big screen TV in the living room.

In it's previous state, it was built in my old LAN party case that was painted with textured black spray paint, with a Unreal Tournament logo applique on a side panel window. I also built in a handle on the top (if you try this, use BIG washers on the inside to spread the weight), and I put on 4 caster wheels on the bottom for easy mobility. I then added the standard cold cathodes (blue) and I cut a hole in the bottom for an aluminum intake fan to pull up cool air since it's raised off the floor by the wheels. To top it off, it has a lighted Unreal Tournament fan grill on the bottom intake fan.

Inside, it's running a P4 2Ghz on some unknown mobo that I got as a combo for my old Archos 6 gig MP3 player. It's kicking it with 512 of RAM and has a Lite-on 8X DVD+/-R and 3 HD's for about 150+ gigs of space. It's been using random video cards that I leave in whenever I test them, but lately has been sporting a GF 5600 Ultra 128 Meg that is gonna stick around for the next version. I'm also using onboard net and audio.

Neutron V.2

Now onto the new case modifications...
I'm going to be stripping off the wheels and replacing them with a little railed riser that I'm making out of legs from some blacklight peraphanalia that I had when I was younger (I had a whole blacklight phase...who didn't...STOP JUDGING ME!). They're black legs with transparent blue plastic feet. This will allow the tower to be way off the ground for better ventilation through the bottom intake. I also plan on running LEDs down into each leg to light up the feet since they're clear, I'm just not sure about how to power them. I'm thinking about putting some blue EL tape underneath the case to give a subtle blue glow downwards, all depends on how much the lighting annoys me when I'm watching TV. I'm going to mount on the non-window side of the case both a wireless keyboard/mouse receiver and my old creative remote receiver and to top it off, I'm going to mount a little 802.11b USB wifi card/antenna on the top of the rig behind the handle.

For the inside, I'm thinking of putting in this dinky WinTV card that I got from a friend that needed some minor soldering work. It's been working in my other PC pretty well so I think it'll make the move to Neutron. It doesn't have any DVR capabilities, but it'll let me do basic video capture if I want to record a clip/show in progress and take screencaps. I'm going to have the audio out go to RCA into the TV along with the vid card outputting through S-video converted into RCA (my tv is older, lacks any newer inputs).

As for usage, I'm mainly planning on using it when I'm too lazy to get up from in front of the tv to check out e-mails or AIM or whatnot. I might even decide to game on it when the mood strikes since the vid card can handle most games still and the TV won't require uber high resolutions. To make things a bit more convenient, I'm mounting the keyboard with velcro to stick under the coffee table along with a little harness to hold the mouse when not needed and the creative remote might just get velcro'd to the back of the normal TV remote.

As this project progresses, I'd like to get pics, but my girl "stole" my camera when I visited her in Dallas and I'm not going to be getting it back until Nov. 23rd. In the meantime, I might try my hand at some uber mspaint renderings :-)

Like always (well, going to be like always), if anyone reads this and has any ideas/suggestions/complaints/whatever, post a comment, lemme know what you think.

November 06, 2005

Information Overload

(If you haven't noticed, there's currently no organization to any of this so I'm just gonna post whatever comes to mind whenever)

I, like most uber PC nerds, am running a dual monitor setup for the plethora of tasks/info that I like to have at my command at all times. Not too long ago, I was running a 17" CRT as my main with my 15" LCD off to the side as my #2. This worked well because I only ever had IRC (I'm in efnet channel #q2zone 24/7), AIM, Winamp and DU Meter running on my #2. On my main screen, the only additional proggies I had showing were Statbar across the bottom and Motherboard Monitor in the system tray to keep track of CPU temps. Times have changed though...

In my IRC hangout, most of the regulars had the tendency to match up hardware. One of us would get a kick-ass piece of PC hardware, then tell everyone else and they'd pick it up as well. The latest that seems to be spreading is the Dell 2005FPW 20.1" Widescreen LCD (with Picture in Picture). Click the link to get details if you want. In any case, it was a hefty jump in screen real estate, especially when you run at 1680x1050 compared to 1024x768 or even 1280x1024. I also ended up adding in some extra RAM and a better vid card (BFG 6800 OC) so that I could appreciate games at the proper resolutions. With this newfound power, I've ended up adding on the proggies. Now, in addition to the old mainstay programs, I'm not also running 2 Konfabulator widgets (Weather and a Sunbird Calendar Reminder), and a Countdown proggie until my girl gets in for Thanksgiving break. I'm also running the Google Desktop sidebar that shows me my gmail, news clips, RSS feeds, has a little built in notepad, 15 second delay slideshow and todo list, all coupled with a google search box. Normally I'm not a fan of sidebars of such size because it would just waste too much space, but since this is widescreen, it seems like I'm still in business with more than enough horizontal pixels to go around, even if 150-200 pixels are taken, I'm not really hindering any normal task. Now let's just recap what all I have on my screen(s) as far as information:

1. ircN with #q2zone on Efnet
2. AIM Buddy List
3. Winamp (when applicable)
4. DU Meter (tracks downloading and uploading...duh)
5. Konfabulator Weather Widget
6. Konfabulator Mozilla Sunbird Calendar Reminder Widget
7. TimeLeft Freeware (Countdown proggie)
8. Google Desktop Sidebar showing
-RSS Feeds for Slashdot, Hackaday, Penny-Arcade and Fark
-Mini-Photo Slideshow
-Todo List
9. Statbar showing
-Time Syncronization
-Ram Usage (w/graph)
-CPU Usage (w/graph)
-HD Quick Viewer/Selector
-Volume Control
-Winamp Controls
-Windows Locks
-Lock Status (Caps, Num, etc.)
10. Motherboard Monitor for CPU temps

And believe it or not, but it leaves me with over 1500x950 free on my main screen for whatever else I'm trying to do.

I know this isn't the best written article ever, but I just find it astounding how much information is visible to me at all times. Is there anyone out there that can beat this much info on screen at all times? Is there anything I'm missing? Post a comment, share the love. If you haven't tried any of the programs mention, I highly recommend them all. Most are freeware, others usually offer some alternative or some nominal cost.


Today's feature modification is for your little furry friends. (Disclaimer: This is a JOKE, do NOT turn your pets into weapons, pets do not equal weapons) Posted by Picasa

I <3 Google

Um...testing... Posted by Picasa

The preceding was a test of the Picasa/Hello Blogger Photo Upload system.

I <3 Google


Yet another website/blog to pollute the web

I've been hella bored since my job doesn't start until later this month and nobody is around this area anymore so I've decided to retreat to the net in an effort to In any case, I've been wanting to get another website going since my old one ( has been gone. I hope to turn this into some kind of community page for PC modders/hardware hackers/gamers/nerds whomever that just wants to share ideas for projects without all of the "Sponsored Links" and ads filling so many other modding/hardware sites.