Friday, August 26, 2005

Busy, Fun Day

Since I moved in a day early, I didn't have to do much yesterday. Instead, I had to do it all today! First I had to go shopping for a few things I either forgot or didn't have time to buy previously. This included blank CD-R's and DVD-R's, and my own copy of "Monty Python and the Holy Grail"

Then it was time to do... "stuff". There was a big tent set up in the middle of the Quad, with stations for most all the things a new student would need to do. I opened up a free checking account with Citizen's Bank because, unlike PNC, they actually have ATMs on campus. I got the computer problem settled (still not sure what went wrong). I picked up the textbooks I had reserved ahead of time - thank god they're all paperbacks! Unfortunatly, there's one 1700-page collection of plays - and those of us in AP English Lit. last year thought the poetry book was bad! Anyway, I then visited the big poster sale in the bookstore basement and picked up a giant reproduction of the "Matrix" onesheet, as well as a photograph from the set of "Monty Python and the Holy Grail". Posters from two of the film major's favorite movies?: check! Then I attended the informative but uninteresting first floor meeting. One thing I picked up: apparantly Syracuse is going crazy with "Anti-Hate" stuff. If you, say, scrawl "FAG!" on someone's door whiteboard, you risk penalties up to and including full-on expulsion! Don't get me wrong, I'm all for ending racism, sexism, nativism, and uh, "sexualorientationism", but that seems a little bit extreme. Jerry would be gone in a day.

On the subject of ending hatred, this post is already too long without actually including this, so I'll just link to the moving post Emily made on the dangers of homophobia.

In the evening I went to "Orange Blast!" which was a lot more fun than last night's activity. At first it seemed boring, until i discovered most of it as located not on the Quad by the people with the sound system, but in the student center. I entered the Texas hold 'em poker tournament in the beginner's section, and somehow managed to make it to 2nd place! The top two players from each of the three catagories then went on to play in the final game, which was against a professional-level player named Jim Karol, who is also a magician. I didn't win that game, but at least I wasn't the first out. (most of my friends know how common an occurance that is!)

The prize for the poker tournament was just a bunch of raffle tickets, proportional to how well you did. This worked out well for me, as I won both a Syracuse sweatshirt, and a $100 gift certificate to the campus bookstore!

So that was my day. I know I promised pictures, but the ones I took today are out-of-date (no awesome posters!) and I don't feel like taking pictures at 2 AM, so they'll have to wait for tomorrow.

Good luck to all my friends who are either in college already, or about to get there!

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

First Post From Syracuse

Wow... this has been a really long 3 days. Lots of last-minute shopping and packing.

But now I'm here... college. Met my roommate, Lenny. He seems OK, but I'll have to get to know him better. It took hours, but my dorm room is mostly the way I want it. The closet still needs some work, and the walls are downright barren, but it's functional.

My habit of dual-platform computing has finally come back to bite me in the ass. I got the PowerBook registered for ResNet service (I'm typing on it now), but the PC is another story. Syracuse does not allow the use of hubs, switches, routers, wifi access points, or any other form of expanding the network beyond the two ports in each room (one for each person). I figured I'd just swap one ethernet cable between the two computers. Sure, it'd be inconvenient, but heck, it's what I did at home back before I got wifi, right?

Well, the PC doesn't want to register. Thge registration page won't even come up. I guess the connection assumes that once I did the Mac, I'm done. *sigh* I guess I'll have to pester to the CMS guys tomorrow, and justify this by saying that my situation is no different than when people request an extra IP for their X-Boxes, I just prefer PC games. (but still need Apple video editing software)

Or... I could just get all sneaky and play with internet connection sharing over FireWire... >:)

Anyway, I'll try to get some pictures up of the dorm tomorrow.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

I Hate Windows

After getting a new 160 GB hard drive for college, I have just completed the tedious process of installing Windows XP Pro, updating Windows, installing SP1, updating SP1, installing SP2, and updating SP2.

Now I have to do it all over again!

Remember the "old days" of Windows 95 and 98 when we had that sill 2 Gig limit to hard drives (or was it 4? whatever). You'd think those days were over, but you'd be wrong. We haven't gotten rid of the Gigabyte Ceiling, we've just moved it. Apparently Windows XP versions prior to SP1 (such as the one on my install disk) can't handle drives larger than 137 GB. So I ended up with a 120 GB hard drive with the rest as "unused space".

Now I have to use Western Digital's tool to reformat the drive the way I want, install Windows onto a pertition it doesn't officially support, then hope updating to SP1 after-the-fact will make everything OK. And I'm going to a LAN party tomorrow, to boot.

I'm sure Longhorn/Vista will completely render this issue moot, but I have a sneaking suspicion I'll be ranting again when I, say, purchase my first 4 TB hard drive. (Probably won't be this number specifically, just using the example to make my point.)

I hate Windows.

In other news, I'll be off to college in less than a week. Yeah, I can't believe it either. Last couple of days I've been thinking about all the little things I'm going to miss. One of my friends has already left, and several more will be in a couple of days. Sad and exciting times.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Hanley Films Is Up! (sorta)

I still don't have the full, fancy PHP site with professional-looking movie viewers and such done, but I've put up an interim page at where you can download my movies. Note that at this time I do not recommend anyone on a non-Mac system bother downloading the H.264 (Quicktime 7) versions of my movies. Quicktime 7 may rock on OS X, but it isn't officially out on Windows yet, and although the Preview Release (aka "Beta") does work, its pretty crappy in terms of performance. I'm talking playback of a 30fps, 640x360 movie at 800 Kb/s is struggling to maintain 15 fps. So just use the 480x270 versions until Quicktime 7 comes out for Windows (should be soon).

Friday, August 05, 2005

Eagle Ceremony

I just sent the invitations out today, but I'll remind my friends here anyway. (At least the two or three that I know occasionally read this blog. Of course it's not much of a reminder if I've never mentioned it before, huh?)

Anyway, my Eagle Court of Honor is on Monday August 15, starting at 7:00 pm at Berkely Hills Lutheran Church (yes, that one on Sangree). My parents would like people to RSVP so we know how much cake to get (among other things) - If you're someone I want to come, you already have my phone number! :)

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Hell Freezes Over... Again

First Apple said they were switching to Intel processors, and now they introduce a multi-button mouse! It's about time! On top of that, they not only made a 2-button mouse, they made a 4-button mouse (left, right, ball, squeeze) with a scroll ball that can scroll vertically, horizontally, and diagonally. I'm not sure if it will be any good for gaming (most "interesting" mice usually aren't) but it seems pretty cool for standard desktop use.

What puzzles me is why they haven't made this standard equipment on new Macs. The biggest complaint most of my PC-centric friends have about Macs is "NO RIGHT CLICK!!!!!11". Although Apple now makes a mouse that can right-click, the user is still basically in the same crappy position as before: If I want to right-click on my Mac, I need to buy another mouse. Hopefully Apple is just trying to milk some initial cash out of this thing for a few months before bundling it with new Macs. There's really no excuse not to make it standard - this is the perfect mouse for Apple. By default when you plug it in, both main buttons do the same thing, so it retains the "one-button simplicity" Apple seems to think novices require. If you are a more advanced user (anyone who wants a real mouse) you just make a quick trip to the System Preferences to configure all 4 buttons.

I want one... but certainly not for $49! That's a bit much. I'll stick to my el-cheapo Logitech for now.

As a side note, what is it with Apple giving products, well, stupid names recently? iWork? iPod Shuffle? Mighty Mouse???? Someone needs to Think a little less Different...