Thursday, June 23, 2005

RIP, Mighty GeForce...

Looks like my old-but-trusty 128 meg Triplex GeForce 4 ti4200 has finally conked out. I went to run Counter-Strike: Source last night and all I got was video noise... ugly video noise. I'm talking nothing but black and white horizontal bars covered with static.

Not good.

So now I'm running on an old MX420 I found lying around (*shudder*...), looking for a new graphics card, and trying (as usual) to get the most of my money. Right now a couple 256 meg BFG 6800 GT OC's are going for $250 on ebay, which is a little more than I planned to spend, but not a bad deal at all. With the money from graduation ("college" stuff not included) I've got plenty, but there's other things I'd wanted to buy this summer, so I don't want to totally splurge.

*sigh* This would be so much easier if Blockbuster/Hollywood Video would just get their acts together and evaluate applications. That Boston Market job is looking awfully good...

UPDATE: Crap! Both of the $250 "Buy it now" GT OC's have been sold! Grr... time to keep looking.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

I'm Back!

...and ready for an insanely long catch-up post! Hmmm, lots of things to cover tonight, so bear with me.

If you are likely to get bored, I've split it up into sections so you can skip what you don't care about.

Pretty nice ceremony, although it was threatening to really rain throughout most of it. Thankfully, the water held off until the moment we started crossing the field to throw our hats, leaving us with mostly a (very welcomed) cooling breeze. The speeches seemed interesting enough, when I wasn't being distracted by the weather. The whole thing was a little bittersweet though. Sure, graduating high school is an awesome feeling, but I was saying a lot of goodbyes to awesome people I might never see again. This is definitely a major change in my life.

I didn't have a graduation party like some of my friends, but I did have a bunch of relatives come visit. I got some money from everyone, but my grandparents on my mom's side really surprised me. The preface the card by saying "It's for college", then I open it to find $2000! I think... yeah... that's definitely the largest lump of money I've ever received at one time. Now maybe my savings account can actually earn interest at a level measured in dollars.

The Hunt for a Job
After a fruitless attempt at a Best Buy job in late April (I should've known), I also applied to Blockbuster and Hollywood Video. (Hey, I already pulled a "Spielberg" by getting rejected by USC's film school, I may as well pull a "Tarantino" as well.) That was about.... 3 weeks ago. Having not heard from them in awhile, I stopped in last week to see if Blockbuster had filled all their openings yet, and was told that they hadn't even started evaluating the applications yet! Jeez, if I had known that they'd take so long I would've waited until after graduation to apply so I could put down more available hours. The "Now Hiring" sign is still up, so obviously they haven't decided yet, but Boston Market is looking better and better...

..or at least, the closest I'm coming to one this summer. This past weekend I went up to Michigan with my family to visit my dad's parents and see my aunt and uncle from California who didn't come to graduation. While there, I got to see the Nextel Cup Batman Begins 400. (it's a NASCAR race) I'm still not a racing "fan" by any means, but seeing dozens of cars whipping around a two-mile track in 15 seconds was a very different experience to say the least. (as was trying to get out of the parking lot with 100,000 other people...)

College Course Selection
Will already talked about this, so I might as well jump on the bandwagon. Syracuse does their course selection by mail, and I filled out the form before I left for Michigan because it was due while I was gone. As a first-year student in the Film/Drama program, four of my first-semester classes were already locked in; Practices of Academic Writing (meh), Survey of Film History (cool), Introduction to Acting for Non-Majors (ugh), and Introduction to Theater (why was a completed movie not a good enough portfolio for Film/Art, again?)

With those four already picked, I had two slots left for first semester. Unfortunately, even though I'm in the School of Visual and Performing Arts, I can't fill these with studio (art) electives, they have to be academic electives. At Syracuse, apparently academic electives basically means "languages or social sciences". (Or math, but having gotten a four on the AP Calc test I'd have to start at Calc 2, the highest course offered to first-year students. I think I'll pass for now.) I had to pick 3 choices (in order) for each slot. Nothing seemed to jump out at me, but this is what I finally came down to:

Elective A:
1) Logic (listed as a philosophy course - should be interesting)
2) Theories of Knowledge and Reality (possibly a class that gives serious discussion to some of the stuff brushed upon in The Matrix? Who knows?)
3) Political Theory (meh, a political course. I'm interested and opinionated, but not as confrontational as some of my friends... usually.)

Elective B:
1) Anthropology of American Life on Film (Intriguing. It looks at how national cultural values and moods are expressed in the movies it creates. Ties in well with my major. I hope I get this one!)
2) Introductory Music Theory (Eh, I agree music is an important part of filmmaking, so knowing more about it might be nice. Like I said, I really want to get "Anthropology of American Life on Film.)
3) Introduction to Shakespeare (I really hope I get into "Anthropology of American Life on Film!)

For the most part, I wasn't too blown away by the class offerings, so hopefully I'll be pleasantly surprised in the fall.

Will's New Car
Will, I hate you...

Although in all fairness, the Powerbook my parents got me for Christmas/Birthday/Graduation cost about as much as a good used car, so it works out. Besides, Syracuse doesn't allow freshmen to keep cars on campus, so I'd have to give it up in two and a half months anyway.

...but I still hate you. ;)

Friday, June 10, 2005

Analysis of Apple's Move to Intel

At the risk of further convincing my friends that I am not only a quasi-hippy liberal but also a quasi-hippy Macolyte, I'll just say that Dan Knight of has summed the whole situation up far better than I could in this humble little blog, and I agree with most of his predictions (except for the whole "#2 behind Dell" thing. That's just plain wishful thinking.) It's a pretty good read, and it does a good job explaining the pros and cons of the two architectures.

Bottom line: it's a risky move, but if Apple doesn't botch it, you can expect them to become a lot more "relevant" in the computer industry in the next decade.

In other news, my commencement ceremony is tonight. I guess this is It - high school is receding back into the distance, and Life looms large ahead. The next journey begins...

Side Note: What is this? Blogger's spell checker doesn't include the word "blog"? That's just plain stupid!

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

High School:The End

Well, here I am; The last period of the last day of the last year of my high school career. I've been saying goodbye to a ton of people, some of whom I haven't even talked to in a few years. A lot of people took pictures, but I was too dumb to bring a camera. There was a Senior Tailgate thing this morning before school, but I couldn't make myself get up that early.

It's a weird feeling, kind of surreal. School has been such a part of my life for the last, well, 12 years that it's hard to imagine it not being there. Not that I want it to continue or anything, it's just sort of a strange feeling, y'know? Three things I will definitely not miss are: 1) our school's cafeteria "lunches", 2) The utterly stupid web filter on the internet, and 3) The near-total lack of air conditioning (except in a few computer labs). That last point was really hammered home the last 3 days - it's been hot!

In any case, the commencement ceremony is on Friday (weather permitting) and I don't get my diploma until Monday. But for all intents and purposes, today is The End.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Apple Moving To Intel!

Hell has frozen over.

Just minutes after my earlier post, I'm killing time browsing around the internet, and I find this!

Woah. Just woah. This is one of those things in the tech world you'd bet your retirement on not happening (akin to Microsoft deciding to base the next version of Windows on Linux). I don't really have anything to say about this yet, I'm still trying to digest it!

2 Days Left To School!

That's right, just two more days of high school - ever! Well, plus the 20 minutes or so of study hall left today... Can't beat having your study hall teacher say "it's too hot today, let's all go over to that empty computer lab." Computers + air conditioning = heaven!

There's really not much of anything left to do this year. I already presented my big AP CompSci final today, as well as writing the first part of my English final (which is actually pretty funny, so I may post it later if my teacher gives it back). All that's really left is the second half of my English final, which is supposed to be one of those "you can't study for it just sit down and write" deals. Other than that, it's pretty much just yearbook signing and movie watching, and that's about it.

My feelings on graduation are sort of mixed. Don't get me wrong, I can't wait for school to be over. However, like most of my friends have noted, the prospect of being in charge of one's own life, totally, is pretty damn intimidating! I mean, here I am, legal adult and all; do I really feel, as we used to say as little kids, "All grown-up"? *sigh* It'll all come together in the end, I suppose. It always does. All I know is that once I lose the momentum of school/graduation, I'm gonna be pretty relieved... and more than a little "lost".

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Half-Life 2 Domino

Just a random thing I found. If anyone had any doubts as to what the HL2 physics engine could do... well, just take a look at this:

MilkandCookies - Half-Life 2 Domino

More meaningful post later... when I feel like it.