Sunday, August 9, 2009


I'll do an update, I swear! Lots of stuff has been happening, so I've been a very busy person :)

Real update soon, kthxbye

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

I'm really bad at this aren't I...

So here I am, finally posting an update. Been long enough hasn't it? Not a day has gone by since my last update where I haven't wanted to post something. It just seems like every day comes and goes without me actually getting around to doing it.

Lets see here, what has happened? Well about two weeks ago I went to the Games Workshop annual convention "Games Day" and had a blast. Took a bunch of pictures for our website, but have still yet to upload them. Why? Well let me get to that...

My power supply, the same one that I've had for about 6 years, finally died. Prior to that it was making some funny sounds, so I knew that the end was near. I got home from work one day, and it just didn't turn on. Upon openning the case, I could smell that magical smoke that is released from electronics...that don't work anymore. After taking appart my power supply (what, I'm cheap and wanted to see if I could fix it) I discovered that it wasn't something simple like a resistor; it was one of the main induction coils, making the thing junk.

Since I wouldn't be able to use my desktop till the weekend (which would be the only time that I would be able to get a new power supply) I borrowed one from work for the time being. Thinking that I might as well take one that looks like it doesn't suck, I do (after asking of course) and that night get it installed.

A few days later a new problem crops up. Since the list of symptoms is far too long and detailed, I'll give the shortened version. The motherboard was getting power, but the computer refused to turn on. Sometimes it would turn on, but then turn off randomly, to then either a) repeat that or b) not turn on. Whatever I did that seemed to fix it each time would be different every time. Eventually I managed to get a new power supply, hoping that my motherboard wasn't causing the above issues and it was just the power supply from work.

Thankfully, I was right, and it works completely fine again. I picked up the OCZ StealthXStream 500w PSU from canada computers for $30 after rebates and junk. It apparently has nearly the same internals has a much higher end PSU, just missing modular cables and some feature. It's working very well so far, and I'm happy.

On the World of Warcraft front, I started raiding again after a 3 week break. We had a little (and by little I mean big) explosion on the forums where a bunch of people's built up thoughts errupted. The entire conversation was based around the fact that many members of our guild were tired of having to carry people constantly through the raids. As I did in my last post, it got to the point where we just couldn't get anything new done. Not because it was too difficult, just because there were a few people holding the raid back every single time.

Because of all the talking that we all did, we had a guild vent meeting just a few days later to talk all this over. In the end, lots more people started signing up for raids, and the administration used that to help buff up the groups for the more difficult content. Because of that we managed to get Hodir down again in our 10 man group, and we finally managed to get him down in 25 man! And before you ask, I didn't get the token :P . I did get my T8.5 gloves off of Emalon in a guild ad-hoc VoA run last week. Just need chest and legs off Hodir (25&10) then hope that my 10man group can do Thorim 10 for my shoulders. Then I'll finally have my 4pT8 bonus!!!! EEEEEEE!!!!

Lorentz has had only a little bit of focus on him. He's level 76.

Other than that I've been doing some physical labour around the house....shovelling mulch and moving rocks. Lots of both. LOTS. OVER 9000!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Choo Choo Northrend Express

My enhancement shaman alt, Lorentz, just hit 75 the other night. Which makes him about half way done Northrend. The funny thing is though, he's not even done Dragonblight (and he didn't do the Fjord!). By done I mean finished the quests.

Once I hit 75 I ran on over to Zul Drak for a few moments just to knock out the ampitheater and that wanted elite giant fish guy. Got myself 2 new weapons to replace my matching fist weapons (the ones from UK and Nexus) from those quests, and headed back to Dragonblight to finish the Wrathgate quest. Just gotta head back to SW now with his shield then (a few conversations later) I'll be able to do the Undercity attack again.

Northred really is flying by though, and I'm happy for that. Those BoA shoulders + rest experience really do make a huge difference.

Now don't get me wrong, I don't mind the leveling process. I just prefer to get it over with. Unless that is, I'm leveling with someone. In that case I enjoy doing the quests and having fun with them. Its just that doing it alone is so...lonely? I'm not sure what to say about that really. Well I guess that kinda makes sense. At max level (assuming you don't completely suck at the game) you can attend raids with other people. You can do heroics. Even PvP (ok, you can 70-79, but lets be honest sucks). A lot of the time when leveling you see a few people only in passing. Finding a group for anything can take forever....assuming you can get a group at all. Its just a strangeness about it that turns me off lingering around the leveling train.

In order to level with somebody you would have needed to have made that decision a long time ago in that toon's life. Its practically impossible to find a random person in northrend (or anywhere in WoW) that is on the same parts of the same chains as you are. And even if you do find someone to quest with that day, what happens the next? What if the other person logged on earlier and played without you? Now you have to find someone else.

I'm not saying that I'm a lonely person. I'm just saying that since I don't level with anyone, I don't have a desire to hang around in the leveling stages. Maybe its that whenever I did level with someone, it was the fun in "hanging out" with them that made me want to wait for them to log on instead of leveling solo to rush up to max level.

Or of course, maybe I'm just thinking too hard about this :P

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Purplez, Breakz, and Technolust

Sorry everyone, its been a busy week. Much stress was had at work. On a positive work-related note, I got my ASP.NET calendar working how I wanted. I had to get it to highlight days that had events in the SQL server for. Then also show the details in a hoverover div.

On the WoW side a good amount happened too. Last friday I finally got my first piece of gear from Ulduar! I managed to grab the leather head piece from heroic Auriaya....and when I wear it I feel like my Druid is a character from Sailor Moon or something. I would link the item and some pictures, but I'm not at my personal desktop atm.

That night we ended up making some progress on Hodir, getting him to 25% on our last attempt (which happened to be the same attempt where we didn't die prior to enrage). Not that bad for my guild.

On the weekend it was another story. Well, most of the weekend I spent with my friend who came to visit me for saturday&sunday. She left prior to my sunday ulduar-10 raid, which I was excited for. On the saturday they downed everything up to Hodir, minus the IC. We went straight for Hodir....and spent the next 1.5 hours dying on him. Some players didn't understand the concept of moving to stay alive. On one attempt this mage died 3 times (brezed 2x obviously). That same mage also never broke 2k dps. In fact, the majority of the dps never broke 3k. I could do better than some of them in pvp boomkin spec with resto gear! /sigh

So once we FINALLY didn't all die on Hodir and hit his enrage timer, he still had 25% left. So we left him and went to Freya. We spent about 45 minutes on the trash and managed to get 2 elders down. I died so many times from random things its not even funny. DPS breaking CC, mob goes straight for me, spam heal myself, no one takes the mob off me, I die. Or how about the pulls where I would put 1 rejuv and 1 LB on the tank as he runs into the pack of mobs, and all of a sudden 3 of them run at me....with no intervention by anyone. When I played mage that would be a time I would frost nova to save the healer! In the end, we killed not a single boss.

Because of this frustration, I'm taking a break from raiding with my guild. I just can't stand it these days. The majority of them really are great people. Its an adult only guild too, so I don't have to deal with the problem that a lot of guilds have being immature children. I just can't stand raiding with them some times.

Oh well, it'll give me some more time to do some work around the house.

The big thing that I've been working on the technology side is the planning for a multitouch table. I've got some big plans, and I really hope that I can do this. Its going to be a lot of work. The main things I'm working on for it are finding out where I can find infrared (850nm specifically) light sources (I've found some good online retailers, but seeing if I can find local), how to program the UI, how I want to make the UI, securing a projector (I have access to one to test my designs with), and lastly a webcam with a ir bandpass filter. The rest is fairly trivial.

To learn more about this stuff, check out

Since I had to spend all day at work today in a "diversity training" meeting thing (I don't know why...apparently everyone in this building has to including myself [IT] and maintenance) I was working on writting down my ideas for the UI and what I want to do with it. I was even working on the database design for how to store some of the information.

Now to learn OpenGL....

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Bored Druid is Bored


Honestly, I wouldn't have a problem with the down time if they actually gave a realistic end time. If I was told originally that it was going to take this long, I would have started something else a long time ago. But the problem is I don't want to start something to do it for only a tad, then go back to WoW (seeing as I was waiting for it!).


:( I just wanted to relax after work :(

All this down time has made me miss horde though. Maybe I'll make a horde toon for me to play when I'm bored. I've got a druid (duh), a shaman at 73, a pally&rogue both at 58, DK at 60 (does that really count? :P ), and a mage at 71. I've played a warlock to low 20s before. I refuse to play a hunter because I hate pet management, especially to the level that hunters have to deal with. Any suggestions?

[edit] Extended again until at least 9:30 PDT (12:30 my time)....THATS IT TIME TO DO SOMETHING ELSE [/edit]

Monday, June 1, 2009

There Should be a Licence to Use the Internet

So while I was on the computer, my sister came up to me asking how to save her word document to a USB key. I explain that you have to plug it in, then go File -> Save As, and select the USB key from the drop down list. Easy enough.

No apparently that was too difficult.


So when I get to the laptop, the first thing that I notice is that the USB key (aka Nerd Stick as I call them) is plugged into the ethernet RJ-45 port.

Best part: I got yelled at when I pointed out that she made a stupid mistake.

Lets assume for a second that one does not know much about computers, but you have a brain that functions. You take this device that you know is a "usb stick" and that if you can plug it into the computer you can save your files to it. So you take a look at what the connector on the "usb stick" looks like, and try to search for something that kinda looks the same.

Looking at the usb stick you notice that its pretty rectangular. On the laptop (which in this case is a Dell Inspiron 1525) you see a few "slots" on the sides. There's some that it can't go into (ie VGA, s-video, etc), some that are far too small (ie mini-usb), and some that it might fit into. These would be 4xUSB ports, a HDMI port, ethernet, and modem. The ethernet and modem are pretty square though, and you have a rectangular thing, so it'll probably fit in one of the other slots much better. You try one port which happens to be the HDMI with various orientations with no luck. You do the same for what is the USB port. After flipping it over, it plugs in, and Windows starts talking about how its found some new hardware. Success!


Seriously, I've been told my entire life that my generation is the "generation of technology and information!!!!" but I have yet to see that. All through out my life I've seen examples like this one above. Its just sad.

Not even a little sad. Massive fail sad.

What do you guys think about the current generation and their ability to use technology? I think its so sad that, continuing with my rant about Facebook, the Internet really should have some sort of "basic training" or a quick exam in order to pass. You must be at least this not stupid to be allowed to use a computer.


Facebook really has become a bloated POS

I feel that I should copy what I posted on Facebook the other day here. I hope its not THAT hard to read; I did type this up at 1am in bed so keep that in mind when my sentences don't make any sense. I've editted and expanded it to help correct my mistakes :P

So the other day when I logged onto Facebook I stopped and looked at the site. Lately its been pissing me off, but I was always in too big of a rush to look at all the flaws that I find in it. When I stopped to really look at it, I've found that it really has become a bloated POS that has reached this point due to the general idiotic population. You know the people that I'm talking about. The highschoolers that "are cool", the 20-something-ers that never grew up, and those people that when you talk to them, you wish that the internet required a licence to use akin to driving.

You see, I've been using Facebook since before it was cool. I had it when nearly everyone that I talked to had never even heard of it. That said, I was introduced to it by someone else. Specifically, it was my then-not-yet-(now ex)girlfriend (who I despise to this day, but that's beside the point). Back then it had a purpose that it did well. I could send little messages to my friends quickly, and they would get them. I could share photos that I've taken instead of having to email them out or publish them on some photo sharing site that blows ass. I could even type notes out (like this right here), if I wanted to speak my mind a little.

But of course, then Facebook got popular, and the site had to change.

They added more and more "features". As I take a look at today's Facebook homepage, I see crap. Its actually really really bad. Although they have made some good design changes of the revisions, it is still REALLY BAD. Looking at the homepage, the biggest one is the complete waste of space. The main center column (and main purpose) of the frontpage is the update minifeed thinger. To the left and right of that middle column is crap. Now I understand that they made the site an absolute width (instead of making it relative to the viewer's resolution), but then they go and make the main column even skinnier. HUGE amounts of wasted space under the useless content in the left and right hand column. That is poor design.

Then what about all the crap on the frontpage? The first thing that I have to do when I log on is block a bunch of quizes because it is useless information made by some person that has no idea what they are doing. And of course to top it off, the Facebook programmers didn't add an option to block all quizes right I have to block them individually. Or how about all the crap on the right hand side? I don't care if someone "became a fan of funny faces", or that it is suggested that I add to my friends list people that it thinks I know (and clearly must be friends with). It is "features" that they add that have no real value.

Its because of all the stupid people, and the decisions made by the administration that have joined Facebook that it has gone the direction that it has. All the moronic people that think that it is a good idea to have some of this crap, which clearly the administration changes their product for (biggest proportion of customers) when actually, a lot of the features do absolutely nothing of value.

The original site that I joined way back had a purpose. Although I can still do a lot of it, there is now a ton of shit leaching off the useful part of Facebook that makes it hard to continue to see the benefit of using their service.

This reminds me of Windows. The core of it is serves a purpose, and it does it pretty well. Its only recently (hint hint vista hint hint win7) that the thing has so much OOO LOOK SHINY that is suppose to make it "better" when its really worse.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Auriaya Down!

Something that I did not see happening when I went into Ulduar last night happened....we got Auriaya down on 25 now!

Me spanking my friend at healing

The picture above was our second attempt last night on her. We got her to 3% before she killed us all. I think the funniest part is that Frostblade (my irl friend) and I both forgot to re-equip our weapons after our previous

To be fair to him though, he is a pally healing a fight where the MT doesn't take that much damage (after the initial pull heh).

Actual kill shot.
Notice I'm still beating Frostblade :D

Right after that we got her down. And yes, I remembered to put my weapon back on this time. My total healing was less this attempt though. Which is not a problem of course. We went in much better prepared to make sure that we called out when the add she spawns is almost dead (so people can get a head start of moving out of the void zone), and making sure that she AoE shadow damage dealie was interupted. We had minimal deaths this time (previous attempt we had a few dps die early due to standing in void zone).

It was good times. We moved onto Hodir after that to get some attempts in....too many people failing. I got rooted once at the same time two small runes appeared under my feet (roots?), so by the time I could move again (shapeshift in + out) they both did damage to me, 1 shotting me q_q . That was our last attempt for the evening though, and I was brezed a while later, but I was dead for a good amount of the fight. Here's a shot of how that attempted ended.

Notice: Bear balls in Frostblade's mouth

Normally when we are all dieing Frostblade will DI me if its up and, of course, I'm still alive. This time he decided to spite me and DI our priest Sofi (damn you Sofi!). I decided to take this opportunity to give a little payback to Frostblade :) .

Maybe I'll type up a "how I heal Auriaya" post in a few days or something...

Friday, May 29, 2009

Meet the Druid!

Alright, so I may not have a cool intro video like Valve does for its classe updates, but still, this is a post about my main character in WoW...Fermi from Dragonblight, the resto druid!

Yes, I forgot to take a screenshot of my talents. Stats are completely unbuffed.

A few common questions people have for me after they find out that I play that character are, where is your character's name from? Why do you play a female character? Alliance...whaaaa? Well, here's some answers for you folks.
  • My character is named after the physicist Enrico Fermi. He's famous for his work on the first nuclear reactor, and did a ton of work in various nuclear, quantum, and stat mech fields. For more information see here his wikipedia article.
  • Why do I play a female character? Well, since I'm an alliance player now, and since I wanted to be a resto druid, it was either male or female night elf. Since the male night elves look...well...silly, I rolled female. Plus, I didn't want to spend days looking at what is suppose to represent the back side of a
  • Yes...I'm playing alliance these days. Although I'll always be a horde at heart (my first characters were horde, and I miss my 70 tankadin), I decided that if I was going to come back to WoW, I was going to play with my friend that I live with (when I'm at university). Since he's always played alliance in pretty much the same guild since vanilla, I figured that I would join him. This isn't my first time playing alliance first max level toon was my mage during BC....and that was a human!
Now that we've got that part out of the way, I'm going to talk about Fermi's history.

As soon as her level was high enough to enter deadmines, she stopped doing quests in favour of instance runs. My friend and I had everything worked out so that we would have multiple lvl (approx) 60s through instance runs. I demanded that Fermi was the first so that I could start my outland questing while we worked on getting our other alts through the instances.

Eventually, I hit 80 and started to gear up. Over the course of 1 weekend I pretty much got everything I needed for my guild's "raid level 1" clearance. I was still missing just a few things at that time however. That week was also the guild's first time battling Malygos. They needed another healer since someone didn't show up, so I said that I would help out.

And boy oh boy, that was fun.

It was the first time that I would be healing alongside my friend in a raid situation. Of course, he's an awesomesauce pally healer, so it was good times. So even though I had terrible gear, I came out in the top few of the healing done, beating the other better geared resto druids. How did I do that? I'm better than them, that's how :P.

We ended up downing him the second night we went in. A bunch of us (spearheaded by me) on the forums came up with a strat that would work for our guild's skills. I was then lucky enough to get the leather healy belt from Maly that night; my first raid epic. Woot!

Now when ever I do maly (which isn't that often these days because everyone is on ulduar), I decimate the charts. I use a combination of grid+clique and mouseover macros to heal. During vortex I'll mash my LB button and move my mouse over people's icons in grid to apply a single LB to them. In maly, LB can be upwards of 50% of my healing.

I *still* need the cape from KT, as it's looking to be the BiS still for resto druids even with ulduar out. Never did get the OH from maxxena either. If I can find some time to do the during-the-week ulduar runs (work keeps me from staying up too late during the week) then maybe I can get The Ironmender from heroic-kologarn.

I wants it naow!
(especially seeing as its going to be ages before I get 4pT8 q_q )

I've got some Life/Computer stuff I'll post about later, but this one was dedicated to ma drood.

Until next time!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Back into the Swing of Things

Yes. I know. I fail at posting. Blah blah blah.

First off, how about a school update? I finished by second year of undergrad at UW. Woot! How about a summary of how the courses went?
  • Classical Mechanics & Special Relativity: WOW this course ended up being pretty intense. It started off ez-mode (summary of basic calculus and mechanics) but then turned to WTF mode. Assignments took us upwards of 14+ hours to groups. Yeah. Was a fun course though. Prof was awesome; he tried his best to connect with the class. Not sure if that worked for everyone, but it worked for me. I did end up getting killed on the final though :(.
  • Optics: That was one boring class. Not sure what else to say. The content was easy, but just SO BORING. Actually, it was more the professor's ability to make it interesting that was lacking. Useful course? Yes. Good prof? No.
  • Thermal: Nice course, fairly easy throughout most of it, much more difficult at the end. That's about it.
  • Stats: Wow what a joke. I would not have taken that course if it wasn't a prereq for a 4th year course that I would like to take (applied crypto). Take it if you have to, other wise skip it.
  • Intro to Combinatorics: Hands down, best math course I have taken to date. I now understand power series stuff (unlike my inability to grasp the concepts during DE in 2A), and graph theory was a lot of fun. I'm take the 3rd year Graph Theory course this fall (3A term). Most people complain about this course for its difficulty, and they are right, it isn't easy, but once again, best math course I have taken to date.
Now about a social life update? Lets see here....hmmm....yeah. lol

In the fall I'm moving off campus (finally) to live just north of campus with my 2 good friends. We're living in a small 3 person townhouse, so that should be fun. I've been working my ass off this summer so far trying to figure everything out that I need for the networking side of things for our house. Which reminds me....

I HATE ROGERS. That is all.

Started my summer work since I'm back at home now. Working at the same place as last summer, doing more or the less the same stuff. Today I managed to get version 2 of the intranet website rolled out, which was much fun. I'll type more about work another time.

I've also completely moved to Ubuntu 9.04 on my personal computers for everything that I do other than video games. Its just so much better than XP. There is no doubt in my mind about it. While I was typing this I was working on installing 9.04 on my laptop. It did have 8.10 on it, but I wanted to do a "minimal" install, and of course, use ext4 as my filesystem. Seems to be working much better now.

But what about video games Steven? Yes yes, I have been playing a bit. And by a bit I mean a decent amount. And yes the game is WoW. I'm back!

So during my 2B I got WoW up and running again with a new account for 3x experience goodness. With that bonus experience I managed to get myself a lvl 58 druid, rogue, shaman, and paladin. Since then my druid has gone resto and hit 80, my shaman 72, and the other characters are awaiting me to play them :).

My resto druid is clearly my main. And for the first time ever in my WoW, I am very VERY well geared. Although I didn't have full BiS pre3.1, I was still full epics with my lovely Torch. These days when I heal Ulduar I'm either the top healer or what feels like the only healer (aka completely blowing the other healers out of the water) in both 10 and 25 man. Although I don't like the LB changes from 3.1, it has made me an even better healer. I just can't wait until I get 4pT8... /drool.

In case you were wondering my main's name is Fermi on Dragonblight. My shaman's name is Lorentz on the same server.

I'm going to spend some more time posting this summer. I enjoy being able to share my thoughts with anyone interested. I have a feeling that there will be a good amount of WoW healing information coming this summer so you all you trees out there can be awesome-sauce healers in your raids like myself.

Until next time!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

And now for the 2B term....

Yes, I failed at posting, I know. Basically I went home after my exams, and didn't feel like typing anything long there with the small screen and stuff. Blah. I'm going to do my best now to recount what has happened in the past month and do a better job at not failing at keeping up so I can recount details better.

After my CS exam, I went home the following day. Home was meh. Actually, it was slightly better than I was expecting thanks to my dad's ability to keep me at least slightly entertained throughout the week. And of course, no one pressured me about school. Which believe me, helps a lot.

During the break one of things that I did was indoor Go-Karting, and it was AMAZING. My father and I had the entire tract to our selves for our run, and I had a blast. It was clear though that I am far too light for those machines because around every corner, regardless as to if I was on the accelerator at the time or not, could feel the back end sliding. Of course, being on the accelerator made the sliding more profound, but still.

Over the course of the Christmas break I aquired the following (that I can remember at the time of writting this of course :P ). Some sweaters, a dress shirt, scarf, gloves, a Canon 'PnS' camera (which I still have to install the CHDK on :/ ), bunch of money in cash and gift cards, the new Sonicare toothbrush, new watch, 640GB WD HDD, Vantec Nexstar 3 HDD enclosure, and my Introduction to Quantum Computing book. I ended up spending my $50 Futureshop card on another gig of (the now dead format) DDR1 RAM and the WoW Battle Chest for 3x experience goodness.

I'm trying to find a job for this summer that doesn't completely suck. Well, by that I mean a job that is actually even mildly related to what I'm studying here at UW. Andrew is asking a few PhD physics students that he knows if they have any need for me, and I have a few professors in mind that I would like to ask. I only just a few minutes ago find out where they're actual offices are (due to UW having inconsistent and old information scattered across everywhere).

Classes I'm taking this term are the following:
  • Phys 256(L) Intro to Optics and the lab component
  • Phys 263 Classical Mechanics and Special Relativity
  • Phys 258 Thermal Physics
  • Math 239 Introduction to Combinatorics
  • Stat 230 Probability
OH! I just remembered! Andrew was kind enough to buy me TF2 for Christmas when it was on sale for only $10. I good number of hours of that this week; its quite a fun game. I enjoying playing as Medic, but I'm getting better at Sniper to.

There were some other things that I was going to type about, but now its getting late and because of that I have forgotten what I was going to type about. Well, there's a few things that I can think of, but I don't feel like getting into that at the moment.

Anyways, here's to me not failing as much at posting. Now that I'm back at UW I should fail less.