jestin's blog

Reinventing the Wheel

Before I have even gotten around to finishing my Wii device library written in C++, I am rewriting it in Java. Here's a quick vid of my progress:

Universal Health Care as Economic Stimulus

I just had a random thought that I felt I had to share with the world. Does the United State's lack of universal health care stifle our economy?

When I left college, I immediately started looking for a "real job". A big motivational factor for me was that I needed to get on a health plan. I have a congenital heart defect, so finding affordable health care is something that is simply not possible for me unless I'm part of a group plan. I could not stay much longer on my parents plan, so getting a "real job" was almost necessary.

Transistor vs Cotton Gin

A while back I asked my brother the trivia question "who invented the cotton gin?", to which he immediately replied "Eli Whitney". Directly following his answer was the inquisitive phrase "how did I know that?"

While his answer was correct (although some controversy exists), there is still the question of how he knew it. Obviously, it was drilled into his head sometime during his education because the teacher thought it was important. My next question, however, was not something included in his curriculum: "who invented the transistor?"

What If Apple Switched To Linux?

In a recent Wall Street Journal article, it was reported that Apple has started hiring microchip engineers in an effort to produce in-house chips for many of Apple's products. This mostly just means iPods and iPhones, but with a growing netbook market, one must wonder if Apple will consider producing in-house chips for it's other products.

This leads me to my wild speculation of the day: what if Apple switched it's operating system to Linux?

Linux Skype Webcam Fix

I have always had bad luck with webcams under Linux, but it is usually application specific. With some apps the device works, with some it doesn't. The most notoriously troublesome app for webcam use in Linux is Skype. Luckily, I have found a fix, and one that works with other apps you may be having problems with as well. This fix is really for Ubuntu Hardy, Intrepid and Jaunty, which by default load the wrong v4l driver for my Logitech webcam. Gutsy, for whatever reason, does not need this fix.

Conscientious Objection to Software

As anyone who knows me also knows that I am a user/supporter/evangelist of free (as in freedom, not beer) software. I tend to know a lot of other people who are similar in my attitude towards software, but usually to varying degrees of zealousness. The big question that I'm always debating in my head, is whether or not free vs non-free software is a moral issue. The arguments on both sides are convincing to some extent, and I have had no shortage of people giving me their $0.02 on the issue. What I'd like to know for certain, is where I stand on the issue.

TWiT and Twitter

I thought that I should write another post that uses alliteration in the title, and since everyone on TWiT won't shut up about it and everyone at work won't stop asking about it, I thought that I need to write about Twitter.

Code and Comments

There is an old saying in the world of computer programming, that goes something like this:

"Good code should require no comments, and good comments should make coding trivial"

Despite being ambiguous to whether the speaker is pro-comment or not, I think the message is somewhat clear. Good programmers either write good code, or write good comments.

Remote Robot Debugging

Being a remote employee of my company, I have a lot of experience working...well...remotely. Still, there are some things I just don't do from a remote location. Fixing a homemade robot that is being controlled by a computer I've never even seen before is one of them. This is where persistence and quick thinking pay off.

The Beauty of Simplistic Design

For those who don't know, one of my crazy project ideas has spiraled out of control to the point where around 5 people are building a giant labyrinth game for Science City. In doing so, the simplistic software design that I created to quickly get the job done on the original project has turned out to make life a lot easier now that we are expanding the concept.

Syndicate content