A lot has happened since I last posted. Must update you when I can. For now, I managed to finally purchase my domain back, so it is redirecting here.
Got books, comics, video games, miniatures or collectibles? Want to trade them with other geeks?
Then sign up at Geekfest, and do it!
Geekfest Jeddah is hosting an exchange to rule all exchanges! If you have any items that you would like to trade with someone else, sign up for this.
You can trade
- Video games
- Miniatures/ collectibles
- Sign-up for the exchange starts September 29 and ends October 6.
- To sign up, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with pictures of the items you would like to trade, and your contact details. (See example.)
- Pictures of items for trade will be displayed at GeekFest. Interested parties will contact you directly.
- Transactions, money involved or otherwise, will be between the trader and the interested party.
- GeekFest is only hosting, not managing the exchange. Take conflicts outside!
My blog has been moved over to it’s on domain:
Bringing Web-Apps to the Desktop
I’ve always liked the idea of “cloud computing” ; where basically all the software you use, is available on the Internet (aka “The Cloud”) as a service. Google Apps is a prime example of this. However, I was never comfortable with using the web interface. The risk of the browser crashing, causing me to lose my work, added to the hassle of having to sift through the list of tabs to find the app I’m using, made using web apps more of a hassle than anything. Although browsers are convenient and portable, because every operating system has one, they tend to be rather clumsy and counter-intuitive at handling applications.
Projects like Mozilla’s Prism aim to solve this hurdle, by allowing user to launch web-apps as if they are “regular” desktop applications. Although it seems to do nothing more than provide a means to launch the application, without the web-browser’s interface getting in the way, it’s a nice step forward. It still doesn’t address the risk of losing work should the application crash, or the connection time out.
And this brings me to Windows Live Writer, an application that I’m currently testing with this blog post. My first impression is that it definitely takes a step towards reducing the risk of data loss. It has a “Save Local Draft” feature, which is located under “File” and can be accessed with the CTRL+S shortcut; very familiar to those who are used to using the Windows interface. I can’t seem to find any option to backup all the blog posts, but if I do find anything along those lines I’ll update this post.
So why bother with cloud computing, if you prefer to use desktop apps? Well for starters, specialized desktop apps are more intuitive, stable and integrate nicely with the operating system. They (should) also allow one to save and backup data locally to prevent data loss. And worst case scenario, one could always fall back to the the web-interface.
Here are the rules:
- Link the person(s) who tagged you.
- Mention the rules on your blog.
- Tell about 6 unspectacular quirks of yours.
- Tag 6 following bloggers by linking them.
- Leave a comment on each of the tagged bloggers’ blogs letting them know they’ve been tagged.
First of all; what’s with the number (6)? Why did it have to be the exact number of bloggers that I don’t personally know, or the exact number of quirks that I don’t have? This is going to be tricky.
1. I’m a visual person
I learn quicker by watching and imitating. That’s how I learned basic Karate, and the first 7 Katas; by watching VHS cassette tapes. By the time I found a proper Dojo (during 3rd grade elementary school), I blew my way through the green belt because I had already known all the basic moves. I was raised on Run Run Shaw movies (thank you Abi!), and that fueled my passion for the Martial Arts. If I was a Heroes character, I’d definitely be a muscle mimic.
2. I’m goal/solution oriented
I love to solve problems, and I hate it when solutions elude me. I have been kept awake many a night because of a bug in my code, that I refused to allow to “win”. It’s a strength, because my motivation to solve a problem only increases with the difficulty of such a problem. However, my focus can often lead to “tunnel vision”, which may occasionally rob me of an opportunity to step back, and think outside of the box. But I’m learning, and more and more I appriciate the art of avoiding problems all together.
3. I love technology
I wish I was a technopath, so that I could interface directly with any machine. I intend to major in computer engineering with the hopes of gaining an in depth understanding of how to speak the language of the machine. Then I hope to apply my knowledge to help solve problems to help humankind. Corny I know, but that’s where my heart is; I want to use technology to heal our environment, and in turn heal humankind.
4. I won’t get it, until I break it
Before I can wrap my head around a problem, I have to de-construct it, then find every possible way for it NOT to work. I just love the process of learning how things work on the most basic level. This approach allows me to be very daring, and to generally not be afraid of making mistakes. But sometimes it bogs me down to the point that I become two wrapped up in my “quest for comprehension”, and ignore the greater goal at hand. However, as a student, I find that it gives me the motivation and stamina I need to hack away for hours on end until I’m satisfied that I “get it”.
5. I’m a neat freak
I love to organize and categorize. I love having a place for everything. Right now I’m tagging my MP3s, and sorting my movie catalog. Tomorrow I’ll be stuffing more books onto my bookshelves, and sorting through my lego collection. Then I’ll refold my clothes and decide if I need some new polo shirts for the summer. I have a social life I swear! And if I’m comfortable with you, I will gush endlessly at how I discovered a new way to organize my stuff… I need me one of these…
6. I love the wind
Something about the wind energizes me. I get supercharged during windy days. Just hearing the wind gets me fired up. I love walking and feeling it beating against my back, or sweeping through my hair. I love flying kites, and paper airplanes. I love watching the trees dance and sway, while playing a beat in my head and imagining that I am in harmony with the music of the universe…
During windy days, I wish I could sprout wings, and glide on the wind.
Yes, I only listed 3, and that’s all you are gonna get. Cry foul all you want…
This is the World Wide Web!
Since when did it matter WHERE I accessed content from? I noticed that first it was for licensing constraints; but now, even sites that offer user generated content are adopting this philosophy. Okay, so Veoh offers some network television content; here’s to hoping that they manage to isolate that content from the rest. Until then, I remain bitter. I can only imagine what users that generated content for that site, and were subsequently blocked, must feel like.
This regionalizing of the Internet is starting to tick me off. When my access to certain sites is restricted simply because I am not on the right side of the Atlantic, I can’t help but feel a little short changed. Want me to pay? Fine, I just might, but at least give me some kind of option.
Thankfully for every site that restricts user access, there are sites that offer alternatives. And so long as people are free to share their Information, the information restricted will always remain but a drop in the sea of that which flows freely.
My only complaint now is that these sites, which have blocked me without prior notice, have access to all my registration information in their databases, and who knows how they are benefiting from the data they’ve mined during my various login sessions. My only hope is that any records of my presence on their servers are purged.
Until they change their strategy, I doubt that I will continue to support such sites when I return to the U.S. I just can’t bring myself to agree with restricting access based upon geographical location, for whatEVER the justification might be. There are so many arenas in which such restrictions currently apply; we do NOT need this paradigm to start corrupting our Internet.
So I decided that I should build an online presence. I already successfully use Facebook for networking, but in the back of my mind I always worried about what would happen if I could no longer access it.
I realized that I need a bit more control over my data, and what the Internet has to say about me. Trust Lifehacker to post an article on this very topic. I dunno how Lifehacker manages to always be in sync with my techie-concerns, they must have some kind of satellite that taps into the ether or something *tinfoil hat wraps*
So now I’m a proud owner of a brand spanking new URL (menelikseth.com). For now I have the URL directed here, to my blog, while I work on my website. My plan is to have a personal site that I can point people to, and that will (hopefully) be the first search result people will see when they Google me. The top Google search result currently belongs to my profile at Programmers Resource; so I find it comforting that I am currently my own worst competition (although I do wish it pointed to a place I frequent more…)
A friend of mine pulled my coat to a PHP Framework called CodeIgniter. I had originally planned to hand code my site from scratch (as I did with the PeaceZone), but upon looking into CodeIgniter, decided to use a framework instead. Not only would it be a good opportunity to learn how to use a framework, but also to see how PHP looks when its properly structured.
So my ongoing quest for knowledge continues, once again under the pressure of producing results as I go along. I’m determined to bust out a basic website that is properly structured, so I can easily expand it as needed. Eventually I plan to use it is a place to host all of my projects online: 3D CG work, coding experiments, fictional stories etc. so stay tuned.
Incidentally, Lifehacker has another article on managing your online reputation. Those guys must be psychic or something because I was JUST thinking about this as I typed up this post, I just happened to glance over into Thunderbird before sending this out… Lifehacker rocks!