Ubuntu: Awesome Support but noticeable compatibility issues

May 20, 2009

As you may have read in one of my earlier posts, I had fallen in love with Ubuntu.  Up until recently, I have been using Ubuntu for everything from web browsing to web design.

Regretably, I’ve been noticing that a lot of my hardware, in my Dell XPS 410 is not supported in Ubuntu (sound card, printer, etc…). The Ubuntu forums provides tons of “solutions” for hardware problems, but either I don’t have the expertise, the solutions don’t apply to me, or I have to add 20 lines of code to a certain system critical file.    I’m not saying that Ubuntu is a terrible OS, but I’m saying its a terrible OS for my PC and my patience.

I’m sure there are people who will be reading this who have the same PC as me and can’t figure out why I’m having so much trouble.  When it comes down to it, I work 10 hour days and don’t get home till 6pm at night.  Once I’m home I usually like to hop on my computer and shoot the shit with friends.  Sometimes I’m put in a situation where someone wants to talk on Skype.  I have an account from when I had XP and installed it on Ubuntu.   As it turns out, Ubuntu doesn’t support my sound card and it won’t recognize my mic.  So I googled solutions and found 100s of pages of restults.  I tried about 10 of them just to be left frustrated and let down.  Next thing I know its time to turn in for the night.  Now on the otherhand, I have Ubuntu 8.10 running on my Dell Inspiron B130 without any problems.   It does what I need it to and couldn’t ask for more from it.

Now I’m back using XP on my XPS and am loving how everything seems to be compatible.  No longer do I need to do custom editing on files.  Most problems can be fixed by downloading a program or driver.  Although, I’m experiencing a noticable performance defficiency in XP as compared to Ubuntu.  Overall, I’m happy with XP and will stick with it for my primary PC.

What are your experiences with Ubuntu as compared to XP?


Long time no Blog

May 19, 2009

So, its been a while since I posted on here and I figured it was time I atleast did something.   So here it is.     Recently, I have been going through an academic “rebirth.”  Its not the kind of rebirth in which I change my concentration of work in the field, but the kind in which I decide I need to do more.

I took and completed both the CCNA (Cisco Certified Network Associate) and CCNP (Cisco Certified Network Professional) classes throughout my academic careers.  I have yet to get the certifications.  Which is where I am now.  I have recently read over all of my CCNA Modules and have purchased a CCNA cram book that I’m reading now.  I hope to be certified by the end of next month.

I’m hoping that this will make my peers and employers take me more seriously and maybe, just maybe get me a promotion or atleast recognition.

I hope to post some more before I take the test, but in the case that I don’t, I will post on the results.

-Jim


Why Leaderboards and Ranking Systems are Ruining Online Gaming

December 18, 2008

YES!   Its true.  Online gaming, as we know it, is getting less pleasant everytime a new game comes out.   Ranking systems in games accomplishes many things: it turns people into assholes, removes the fun of the game, and adds frustrations.  Think about it.

xbox_360_liveWhen I first joined Xbox Live people played games to interact with each other.  This is where I met most of my online friends which I now know by name, address, phone number, email, etc.  (NO, I didn’t hack there accounts to get this info.)  We would play Call of Duty 2 constantly and laugh about how someone shot you in the head from across the map or how you got caught on a latter or were killed due to bad lag.  If you lost a game then, it just meant that you needed to improve your skills during the next game.  If I remember correctly, people used to switch teams between games so that teams would even out.

halo3medals-11-3

Halo 3 Rankings

Now if you play Gears of War 2 or Halo 3 you have to worry about being called a racist slur or having bad feedback left against you because you play the game better than someone else.  I can honestly say that my feed back was 85% preferred and 15% avoided during the COD2 time period.  When Gears of War 1 and Call of Duty 4 came out my feedback went to 65% preferred and 35% avoided.  I barely trash talk on Live and if I do its because someone insulted me or a friend online.

Like stated before, kids online are generally all assholes any more.  If you would have asked me back when I was 13 to say the words fuck, shit, or call someone’s mom a whore I would have rejected the offer.  I can’t even remember how many times I have been called a Nigger, Spick, Wetback, etc online by a white child who is somewhere between 10 and 16 years of age.  The worst part of it is that this language is used all too commonly without any type of coaxing.

Furthermore, I’m tired of hearing excuses.  FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, NOBODY HAS USED A LAG SWITCH SINCE HALO2.  Stop using that as an excuse for dying.  Maybe there was a murmer in your internet connection.  Did you ever think of that?  No, you probably didn’t since you can’t think rationally due to the competition.

What do you guys think about this topic?


Are Video Games Making Me Lose My Head?… Pun intended

November 15, 2008

Much like most of the masses, I purchased Gears of War 2 for my 360 on Friday. I owned the first of the two and loved everything about it. Although, I did find one part of the game to be more appealing to me. EXPLODING HEADS. Shooting people in the head in Gears of War has to be the most enjoyable thing in life, in fact I don’t believe anyone can truly say they lived a fulfilling life until they pop the head off of a grub or a gear.

headshot11843448201

Its not really the sight of chunks flying, its more the sound that it makes that pleases me.  All of those that play Gears can agree that the sound of a headshot is awesome.  Usually when you hear the squishy popping noise of a head exploding, the sounds of players shouting, “OH SHIT” or “JESUS CHRIST” are soon followed

If you happen to join a game on live that I’m in, you better believe that I have the sniper rifle in my hand awaiting the moment that some poor chap stops to pick up grenades, or any weapon for that matter.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not even close to the best sniper in the game, in reality I’m probably second to last.  The rarity of me actually getting a headshot makes the successful shots all the sweeter.


WeAreCentralPA.com…. Don’t be so proud…

November 7, 2008

Today I noticed an add on wearecentralpa.com that was advertising a computer component.  A quick glance showed that this was no mere computer monitor.

15dolalrmonitar

Turns out it was a good-working Dell computer MONITAR!!! I’ve never actually seen a monitar before and was thrilled.  What sucks, is that I was going to buy it but don’t know the U.S. currency exchange for 15 DOLALRS

Can anybody help me out?!?!?!?!

*exit sarcasm*


I’m tired of seeing those god forsaken MAC commercials!

October 23, 2008

Am I the only one who thinks this way?

“I’m a MAC, I’m cool, hip, and can have any girl I want!”  “I’m a PC, I have seasonal allergies and get off to WoW!”  Freaking stereotypical bullshit.  I refuse to watch any movies with Justin Long in them due to the fierce amount of anger I feel when I see him.  I don’t even understand how MACs can be trendy!
What is it that kids find so awesome in MACs?  Is it the awesome 1 button mouse?  Or perhaps how outrageously expensive they are?   Better yet, maybe the pretty multicolored loading wheel?

The only people I could possibly see owning a MAC is, at best, graphic art students due to the MAC’s hardware performance and exclusive software.  Otherwise, buy a freaking PC with Windows on it!  Hell, buy a PC and put Ubuntu on it!

It just drives me crazy of how high and mighty Apple thinks they are… Oh! well they did come out with the iPod, so therefore they must be the greatest thing since nipple slips.  Ipods, in my opinion, are the biggest rip off ever (with the exception of the iPod touch).  I recently bought a Sansa mp3 player which is basically an ipod for 3/4 of the price an iPod.  Why are people paying an extra 40-100 dollars for the apple logo?  Because they are slaves to trends.

I’m just glad that Microsoft has finally started firing back with their weird assed Bill Gates/Jerry Seinfeld and “I’m a PC” ads!

Let me know what you think on this subject by participating in my poll!

***BONUS POINTS****   Steve Jobs,  please wear a different colored shirt for the love of god!!!!!!!!!!!!


Analog Fax Machine over Ethernet (The Ghetto Way)

October 18, 2008

It was recently brought to my attention that we do not have a fax machine at my place of business.  Keep in mind that I work for a fortune 500 company which likes to keep up with emerging technology.  Apparently users have been complaining amongst themselves about our lack of fax machines but decided to not bring it to my attention.  It wasn’t until a programmer was unable to send a fax to a software company for it to come to my attention.  It turns out that our office Copier/Scanner also has a built in Fax Machine.  Regrettably, there are no phone jacks located near the copier.

What I had planned to do was purchase a Cisco modem (we’re mainly a Cisco ran company) which would convert the analog fax machine into an IP fax machine.  From there our network admin could assign a number to it through Cisco call manager.  My boss however decided that this would be a waste of money and suggested that I figure a way to hook it up for next to nothing.  Like stated previously, there are no phone jacks near the fax machine.  In fact, there’s probably only about 5 phones jacks in the building. Yes that’s right, we are strictly VoIP.   This means, of course, that I have a plethora of RJ45 wall jacks to choose from.

RJ45 half of my RJ11 to RJ45 cable.
The RJ45 half of my RJ11 to RJ45 cable.

After mapping out where the closest ethernet wall jack ran and where the analog phone lines are terminated I brainstormed a resolution.  Luckily, the ethernet patch panel and 66 block (phone patch panel) are loacted in the same room.  What I figured was my best plan of action would be to run a CAT5 cable, with a RJ11 connector on one side and a RJ45 connector on the other, from the fax machine to the wall plate.  From there I would run another CAT5 cable from the patch panel to the 66 block.

Blue CAT5 cable punched down on the 66 block

Blue CAT5 cable punched down on the 66 block

Once I had all of the cables crimped and installed, the final step was to map the fax machine to one of our phone numbers.  To do this, I simply punched the ethernet wires down parralell to a phone line that has a number leased from the phone company and then conected the two connections with briding clips (the silver clips shown on the picture to the left).
I searched for hours looking on a how-to for this topic with no luck, that is why I decided to document this.  Consider this a starting point for people who are in the same predicament.