Oh how things change

I haven’t posted on this blog in nearly 3 years. I have migrated it from running on my Mac Mini at my home, onto a real VPS in a datacenter, but I just haven’t posted on it.

So what is the point of this blog now? Truth be told, I don’t know. I just don’t have a strong desire to blog anymore.

I spend my time mostly playing Dota 2 and other multiplayer games these days. I hang out in IRC channels, even one on my own small network made of my server at home, and the VPS that runs this blog. Sometimes I make a small cool application, but I’m just not that creative, nor am I confident in what I make.

I suppose one thing I can share is my Stargate Episode Randomizer, which suggests a random Stargate episode to watch. It is very simple and programmed using the very light Camping web framework for Ruby.

I know this post isn’t much, but maybe you’ll be inspired to develop some application of your own.

A Post? What?!

Well, it’s been far too long since I’ve posted here. I just changed the theme here, and enabled some snow, for the fun of it.

Things have been kind of slow for me in life, but I’m doing well. I’ve had friends over the past few days which has been quite fun. This Christmas I’m getting an Arduino Mega 2560, and I might publish the fun things I end up doing with that here.

I hope everyone has a great winter break, and hopefully you’ll get to see some snow (in person)!

Kindle Fire Somewhat Review

So, I bought myself a Kindle Fire from Amazon.

Quite simply put, I quite enjoy the tablet. It’s just the right size, and isn’t skimpy on computation power.

I haven’t done a fair comparison of having accelerated browsing on vs off however, but I did notice that it does not like CloudFlare’s IPv6, but then again, most things don’t.

In general, it is a nice tablet with good battery life.

My only complaints are that it doesn’t include all the Google stuff, and there’s no 24-hour clock option.

So while this is just a quick review, feel free to ask questions in the comments, and I will answer.

(This is so short because I did it on my Kindle Fire.)

A post? They have those on blogs?

I load the front page of my blog nearly every day. I just can’t seem to create a post that has enough value that it’s worth posting at all. However, now I will.

That aside, I have been looking at CloudFlare, and I’ve implemented it in some areas. WordPress is locked to a domain, so this blog isn’t behind CloudFlare. Most sections of theoks.net can be viewed behind CloudFlare by replacing theoks.net with theoks.tk.

What CloudFlare does for you is that it caches static resources like CSS, Javascript, and images, closer to you, resulting in faster load of images and styles. Especially on the image board, and the zoomable Minecraft map render this can be advantageous.

I have also added Google’s +1 button to post pages, as well as the home page, and moved the Tweet button with it to below the post content.

In related news I got into Google+, which is pretty exciting. You may ask me for an invite, but I cannot guarantee that you will be allowed to join.

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.

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: vmware.com

the iPhone 4 is something!

I was in the Apple Store when I decided to try out the iphone 4. After all, what else is there to do in the apple store? Yes, I know there’s a lot, especially for those of you who take a million pictures of yourselves on the iMac cameras ( you know who you are. )

Anyways, the iPhone 4 immediately caught my attention. At first glance I did not believe my eyes. It was something! And something quite a world apart from the previous iPhone model. The first things I noticed were-

  • its glossy oleophobic screen (which I tested)
  • the awesome new rounded rectangular body
  • the complementing metal siding and buttons
  • the retina display

Just to test Apple’s claims about the magic oleophobic screen, I smudged my fingerprints all over the iPhone (something I would never do on my phone) then I wiped it against my shirt. BAM. Fingerprints gone. No streak marks. That was something.

It felt so nice to hold. Maybe because it wasn’t in such a weird shape like the previous iPhone model.

Then came the controversial retina display. I put my eyes as close to the iPhone as I could without risking them falling into my eye sockets. Sure enough Apple’s claims were right… Again. I could not distinguish the individual pixels. One color merged seamlessly into the other. Lines and text were crisp and sharp. I was blown away again.

it doesn’t stop there though. The touchscreen felt renewed under the glass surface of the iPhone. the iPhone worked seamlessly, no jumps or breaks. The touch functionality was effortless. Its five megapixel camera was stunning, but of course will not replace a regular camera.

Yes, the iPhone 4 is Amazing beyond belief but there are some things I would like to point out. The multitasking involves going from one application through the home screen to get to another app, instead of simply jumping from app to app (maybe its something I missed…) The other funny thing is that you can see the individual pixels quite clearly in apps not built for the retina display. Also, I don’t know if this is just me, but does the iPhone lose its wifi signal when you hold it in a certain fashion?

I didn’t try calling anyone so I can’t day anything about its antenna issues.

On the plus side the iPhone 4 supports tethering (F*CK YEA.) and customizable backgrounds.

would I get it?

if I wasn’t going to call anybody, antenna issues aside… YES! It is absolutely amazing. Great for business. Great for the casual. Great gift. I don’t know about communication via phone, but it seems like even phone calls are getting old fashioned.

For $300, this is major bang for your buck. but make sure you try before you buy.

P.s. I did not try the FaceTime feature and I can’t figure out how to download apps from the app store.

Posted with WordPress for BlackBerry.