A Connected Life

Blog Posts

I remember the first time I got online, typing commands into Trumpet Winsock on Windows 3 to establish a dialup connection over our single phone line. From that moment onward our house answering machine message was effectively modem sounds – I kept a computer online as much as possible. Even when I was nowhere near [...]

Another HTPC Build

Blog Posts

I spent the first couple of evenings this week putting together a new home theater PC for our friend, classmate, and neighbor. I wanted to give her enough power to smoothly play 1080p content on her TV, while leaving some headroom for upgrades down the line (and space for extra internal HDDs). All the parts [...]

Pi Day! (with pictures)

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This week included March 14th, or 3/14, the holiday in commemoration of a certain special number celebrated by geeks and nerds everywhere. The homophony with pie provides instructions on how said day should be observed. Our Pi Day party featured a spread of six delicious pies: Blueberry, apple, peach praline, key lime, chocolate pudding, and [...]

RPGs are Powered by Characters, Not Stats

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I’m super-excited about Dragon Age 2, Bioware’s latest RPG.  One thing that always comes up when a new RPG is released however, is whether or not the gameplay has been “dumbed down.” The idea is that hardcore RPG-players want a high level of customization so they can fine-tune their character’s development, while the wider audience [...]

Crytek is Going to be Just Fine

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Remember Crysis? That mediocre first-person shooter with massive hardware requirements that turned “But can it run Crysis” into a phrase that still hasn’t left the geek culture consciousness? The studio behind the game, cleverly named “Crytek,” has been working on the sequel (scheduled for release in late March). An unfinished version has leaked online, prompting [...]

More Media Tracking

Blog Posts

Ever since I started using Last.fm, I’ve been looking for similar services for other forms of media I intake. Goodreads was an excellent find, providing a lot of similar features geared toward books. It’s fun to integrate “what I’m doing” type lists into my website, but more than that the two services have generated some [...]

Scott Pilgrim

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My friend Jeff first introduced me to Scott Pilgrim when we were still in Maryland. Jerks that we are, we moved before the movie came out. It seemed like a good film to invite my fellow first year MD/PhD students to come see with me, but it turned out they were in Canada, Japan, and [...]

Home Theater PC: XBMC on Zoe

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My new computer setup has an older machine, Zoe, serving media to my TV. Before this, I used TVersity to stream content from my desktop to my XBox, a solution that worked decently well for standard definition content. Unfortunately, the XBox 360 doesn’t like a lot of the popular containers for HD video, like .mkv, [...]

Boarding Pains

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Everybody who’s flown before is likely familiar with the boarding sequence. First class, elderly and parents with children, military personnel. and everybody else beginning with the back of the plane. For the most part, it makes sense. But thanks to airlines charging fees to check baggage, most if not all of the passengers are bringing [...]

Holiday Hiatus

Blog Posts

Over Christmas I underwent a kind of internet fast. It wasn’t exactly self-imposed or rigidly enforced, it just kind of happened because I was away from my computer, Rachel commandeers the laptop to be her e-reader, and my phone is from before phones really figured out how to access the internet [...]

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