Blog Optimizations

So I took some time to check things up, and I looked up some stuff. I took a look at Mashable’s 11 Ways to Speed Up WordPress. I picked up W3 Total Cache and set it up. I set everything to store in memcached, and in two memcached instances, one on my server that runs my blog, and one that runs on a virtual machine on a server in my basement.

It seems to have sped some loading time up, but I don’t know. If you think it did, by all means, comment.

Thanks to those behind W3 Total Cache, and Cyrus Patten, author of the post on Mashable.

Google Authenticator and a finished robot

Last Tuesday, we got our robot shipped, or rather, put in a big clear plastic bag with big red zip tie on it. Although we shipped overweight, and missing a few components, this is better than last year on completeness at ship. I have a few pictures in my “Robots” Facebook album, showing off Ursa Major (our robot).

Last night, I upgraded my Debian VM to Squeeze, and set up Google Authenticator on it. The Makefile is kinda terrible, but it works as of now. I just scanned the barcode that loaded the secret key into the authenticator app on my phone, and now I can authenticate with time-based one-time passwords. I got it to compile on Mac OS X (some things are hacked up), but I don’t think it exactly works. I’ll have to dig in further to figure it out though.

Google Authenticator works rather well, although one thing I want is a timeout indicator so I know when my password is going to expire, so I don’t get half-way through typing it and it times out.

That is all.

Half-Life 2 for days…

So, my gamerscore on Xbox LIVE got reset, as it was indeed modded. So, I started to collect my achievements again. I started off by playing Half-Life 2 over again. It was fun. I paused in the middle to play Portal, which took 70 minutes, including me pausing to talk to some friends. That was especially fun, especially when pulling the cameras off.

So, when I turned off my Xbox 360, then turned it back off, it said that I had none of the Orange Box achievements I had collected. Such BS.

However, I had fun playing Half-Life 2 again, as well as Portal. I started Half-Life 2: Episode One, and got out of the Citadel, but stopped to play some Halo: Reach with my friend Brant, and later, Lane joined us, while we were attempting to complete a weekly challenge.

So this weekend was turbo fun, and now people can be less mad about me not writing a blog post. Great job.

So have fun, and stay alive until Mid-Winter Break.. 😉

Robots and their construction

As you probably know, I’m in my high school’s robotics club. We participate in the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC), a competition sponsored by FIRST, For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology, which also holds lower level competitions.

The “Build Season,” when we construct the actual robot, has started. Four teams have been assigned components to complete, with one team integrating the components together, as well as building the basic chassis. Many teams are already jumping onto completing their tasks, and are making good progress to completing our robot.

Something this will accomplish that is very critical is being able to build two robots, and have LOTS of driver practice. Driver practice is critical for success, and the last year, we got next to ZERO driver practice in.

Of course, I can’t reveal details, as it’s top secret, and if other teams were to get in on it, I’d be in real bad trouble, but I can tell you that this reorganization of the club will certainly make our robot a serious contender in the competition.

This isn’t going to be the last time I post about our club, but it’s the first this year.

As We Approach A Season Finale

Of course, we’re talking about the season finale of life itself. Although shows are hitting their mid-season finales, namely Stargate Universe being the most notable of series in my posse at the moment.

This season, has been a great one, and since this is an awesome show, after the finale, the premiere is right there!!

Stay tuned for the final 23 episodes. However there’s not really a way to not be tuned…

Peace be in the galaxy.

Snow Fun Time!!

Here in the Puget Sound, we’re having a stormy winter. We’ve gotten about 6 inches of snow, and we’re remaining below freezing all day.

My school district has cancelled school for today, and many students believe that we will not have school tomorrow either, as many of the roads are covered in thick ice, and since the temperatures are remaining low, standing water from melted ice is just gonna freeze back up.

On a slightly related note, I have finished watching all of Stargate SG-1. This puts me at having watched over 81% of all Stargate (if movies are counted as two episodes)

I will be completely caught up by the time Stargate Universe Season 2.5 comes around, so then I will just wait like everyone else for new episodes.

VMware ESXi

I recently installed VMware ESXi on my abandoned server, as it would not start any GNU/Linux distribution for some strange reason (during udev startup.)

ESXi installed quick and set up easily. Set the password and configure the IP and I could let it be, physical access wise.

From there, I simply installed the management software, VMware vSphere Client. Then, I deployed a Virtual Appliance for fun. After downloading, right from the management software, the appliance was ready for me to play with within minutes.

From there, I sent an ISO to the server and installed a Debian 5 virtual machine. I also used the physical server’s DVD drive to install OpenSUSE 11.

You can also take VMware Workstation virtual machines to your server effortlessly.

Right now, I’m setting up the Mobile Access appliance, but the server is on a 10mbit switch and a weak wireless connection, so it takes time to send the disk.

Overall, I give a recommendation for ESXi if you have a brand new server and want to virtualize. It’s free from VMware’s website:

The Great Sand Dunes of Colorado

More adventures are happening on my trip, as mentioned in my previous blog post.

I went to the Great Sand Dunes of Colorado today, right after it rained, so the sand wouldn’t be thrown into the air.

I also wrote “” in the sand.

A picture is included.

Tonight, I’m staying at the Columbine Inn in my own loft, but it’s hotter than hell, and there’s no AC.

Salt Lake

Today, I waded in The Great Salt Lake here in Utah. The island, Antelope Island has a supposedly soft sand beach. NOT TRUE! Walking out to the actual beach is painful, and difficult to return from, as you’re walking up a hill that’s made of sand you sink easily in.

After, we looked at the Ranch on Antelope Island, which was started in the 1800s, and continued to operate until 1981, and is Utah’s longest operating ranch.

Then, we proceeded to visit downtown Salt Lake City, where we visited the Church of Latter Day Saints. Its tallest spire stands 210 ft, with a golden statue of an angel atop it, and walls at the bottom of the church stand 9ft thick.

Tomorrow’s adventure is to go to the Great Sand Dunes.