Sunday, September 12, 2010

Ready, Set....

So yeah. The term starts tomorrow. I've got so much I still need to do. I've still got a bunch of classes to sign up for. Ugh forms.

The return trip from Boston went well. Went straight from the airport to Waterloo. We installed some blinds on all the windows in the apartment so that we can have some degree of privacy. Afterwards, we went to the Futureshop and picked up a new 37" LG TV. Its very shiny. I'm in the process of installing software to the HTPCs now that they can be used. I just finished installing XBMC Live edition to the first one, did some system updates, broke the nvidia drivers, and now updating those drivers to work again.

But whats a awesome day without some difficulties? Once we finished with those adventures, I went to sit down and browse the internet. I glanced at the dsl modem, only to find that the power led was red, and the only other led that was on was the green wireless led. I finally managed to figure out what was wrong, and it turns out that the power adapter died. Apparently its common for this model of dsl modem to have this problem. Thankfully, I had my PSP power adapter around, which just happens to have the same output specs as the stock adapter. After biking to work to retrieve said adapter, the internet was back up and running.

At least I didn't have to end up purchasing a new modem.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Vacation End and Term Start

So as I sit here in the guest bed, getting ready for my last sleep of my vacation, I can't help but want to reflect a bit on my adventure to Massachusetts...

Everything has been pretty awesome. This area is a nice place to say the least. The family with whom I've been staying with have been very kind to me. They've allowed me into their home, and everyone has welcomed me with open arms. Coming from a much smaller family, the large number of people has been a fun experience.

Today was the first day after several of "no driving allowed" for Carolyn (due to doctor appointments), so we went into Boston. Our goal was to visit Harvard and MIT. Seemed simple enough....until we discovered that parking is pretty much impossible. At the end, we got to drive by some of the buildings. Considerably less than I was originally hoping for. Oh well. Next time, proper visit!

Tomorrow morning I leave for Logan airport to return to Ontario...where I will promptly start getting ready for my 4A term. I have a nice selection of classes this term....and by nice I mean OMG SO MUCH WORK
  • Quantum Physics 3
  • Quantum Theory 2
  • Electricity and Magnetism (part 1)
  • SYDE electronics course* & lab*
  • Econ 101*
  • Research project*
* indicate courses that I haven't been signed up for yet...sigh

On another note, I started thinking about what content I want to put into my Phys 10 presentation about the misconceptions of quantum computing.

Anyways, gotta get some rest for tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

NES to USB Adapter

A few days ago I ordered a NES to USB adapter from , and it showed up in the mail today. I had it sent to the address in the USA I'm staying at this week to save on shipping. I also had the foresight to bring a NES controller with me so that I could test it out when it showed up. That said, it seems to be working like a charm.

I gave it a test on my laptop (running ubuntu 10.04) and after installing a few packages, got it to work as a generic joystick. Seems to be pretty good! Now, it might be my lack of practice, or my aging laptop, or the power setting mode, but I feel like there is the ever so slightest input lag. I'll have to check it out more because I suspect it isn't the adapter, but a combination of my laptop and the software that I was running.

Overall thought, I'm very happy with it! So far, I would definitely recommend their products.

On a more personal note, my flight to Boston went excellently. I'm still here (until Saturday) and having a great time. The people that I'm staying with have been very nice to me so far. I'm hoping that we have the time to go visit MIT and Harvard before I have to leave.

Thursday, September 2, 2010



So I was (freaking finally) given connection to the internets yesterday. The Bell tech needed access to the apartment (turns out our unit's phone lines were cut) but no one was home. When my housemate returned, he called to let me know that a message was left. After informing him to take care of it, he did, and my poor DSL modem that has been struggling for a week to connect to Teksavvy was finally able to see the data signal.

The odd part of this story is when the tech went to the modem to see if it had connected, he noticed my gigabit switch also plugged in. Apparently he declared it "not necessary" and unplugged my switch. This is after he's seen my expensive custom computers around the house. Needless to say I called him up after I returned home, thanked him for getting our internet to work, and (kindly) gave him feedback on unplugging the switch. Yeah, I'm like that.