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Review: AOC E2243FW

Posted March 7, 2011

Back in the summer of 2007, flat-panel screens were fairly expensive. As someone who worked full-time and made some good cash before starting my final year of high school, I decided to upgrade to a flat screen myself. Unfortunately, when it comes to computers, I have this small obsession over aesthetics. I’m not really fond of black colored electronics because they’re already everywhere and it’s boring. I like white because it looks more futuristic and cleaner. Most importantly, it was different. As a result of wanting everything to be white (which I eventually reached), I purchased a $430 HDTV that supported PC input at an unethical resolution of 1360 x 768. I could have purchased an actual monitor that boasted twice the resolution for half of the price, but instead I bought this one because the cabinet color was white. Since then, not much has changed. I’m still obsessed over white and trying to find a good white monitor is like trying to find something that only exists in storybooks. Just within the past few weeks, I discovered the AOC E2243FW on Newegg. A super-slim black and white cabinet color monitor that boasted a full 1920 x 1080 resolution for only about $155. It was the lowest price I had seen for a (partly) white monitor and the customer reviews about the monitor were all positive. It seemed like the perfect opportunity to finally upgrade my screen but I decided to wait just a bit longer… long enough that I caught TigerDirect selling it for only $120 a pop. Yes, that’s right. $120. I decided to indulge and purchase two of them for only $240. It was a great decision at the moment because the product was sold out the next day. I spent almost half the amount of my HDTV for twice the screen, resolution, and desktop space. I’ve had some time to thoroughly use my newly purchased monitors. Was this really a good investment, or did I just throw money at a cabinet color again?

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Too much memory

Posted February 18, 2011

So today, I received my new RAM upgrade for my PC. Went from 8GB to 16GB DDR3 1600 PC3 128000. “Whoaa, 16 gigs?? That’s overboard!!” Well hell, I think so too. But the main reason I upgraded was for overclockability. The original RAM that I placed in my PC at the time that I built it was not very overclockable. Running stock was really the only 100% stable way to get the computer to run without having a BSOD slap me in the face every time I attempted to boot up the machine. I could have settled for 8GB of better RAM, but what’s the point of throwing down money for the same amount of RAM? I might as well spend a little more for the size jump. I managed to snag it at Newegg at %15 off, so almost $40 saved.

But anyways, now that I’m free of RAM performance limitations, I was able to overclock my Core i7-860 from stock core speed 2.8GHz to a stable 3.5GHz after hours of strenuous trial-and-error testing. It’s an impressive jump and a noticable speed difference. The fact that I have 16GB of memory juice running in the sucker is something that makes me all giddy inside like a little girl. It’s a good investment that will definitely help in the long run, especially when multitasking and performing operations such as testing code in Linux virtual machines for example.

CPU-Z report file

Next upgrade will probably be focused on the hard drive. I really want to upgrade to a good solid-state drive. The performance boost will definitely be night and day, but I have to make sure I’m getting the most out of my buck before anything. Probably not willing to spend over $150 for a good one. Sometimes, I hate being such a PC enthusiast. Why can’t I be as enthusiastic about homework? It wouldn’t be as pricey to say the least.


Regret of Math

Posted January 30, 2011

What makes somebody skilled or elite at math? Do they have to be Asian? Do they have to appear smart? Sadly, I know neither of that is true based on experience.

This semester I am taking Physics 218 (Physics 2425) and it has made me think a lot about how lacking my math skills are. Physics is an extremely difficult class that obviously relies on good math skills. I’m not saying that I can’t (or can) handle it, but I feel that falling behind will be inevitable, no matter how hard I try. I feel that in order to learn more in Physics, I have to take the extra time to learn a lot of math principles and concepts that I haven’t learned before. It really sucks. But why am I so horrible at math? A computer dork that’s horrible at math… well imagine that.

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Prologue is done. Chapter 1, shall we?

Posted December 28, 2010

On August 19, 2010, after 21 years of happily living my life in my hometown of Killeen, Texas, I packed up everything I had and set out to start a new chapter of my life in a not-entirely-too-distant town called College Station. Little did I know, this wasn’t the start of a new chapter. Nowhere near. This was only the beginning. It’s what you would call the warm-up, the starter kit, get-your-feet-wet stage… It was only the prologue.

A lot has happened since then. After one semester of attending Texas A&M University and shifting my college career into 2nd gear (I’m technically classified as a Sophmore, don’t judge), my lifestyle has dramatically changed in many aspects. I made decisions that have impacted myself and shaped me into who I am today. There’s been good days and bad days. I made new friends and lost others. I lived and I learned, but it’s not enough. Not at all.

It’s been a while since I’ve written here. The fact that I haven’t done so is a statement within itself and represents how busy I’ve been adjusting to my new life. I feel that it’s finally time to start again, but I can’t do so without writing down all that has happened since that last time I’ve written. So here it goes. After a few months, this is me.

A&M

Attending a new school was very tough at first. From the first day of classes, all the way to the last, it was an experience and a transformation from attending community college to say the least. The campus was rich, robust, and full of life. Students and classmates were very kind and outgoing. Everything seemed to be great on the outside, but after about a month, I began to feel very homesick. I wasn’t depressed, but the thought of being away from home and even farther from my (then) girlfriend was depressing. I began to have silly thoughts. “What if I lived in Austin instead? Why not attend University of Texas? I would be closer to home and I could visit my girlfriend more often! That would be cool, wouldn’t it?” Those thoughts led me to fill out a transfer application to UT. All I had to do was write a short essay and submit it. But I didn’t submit the application. Why? Because it was premature. I was considering looking into UT when I didn’t give A&M the fair chance that it deserved. I was judging A&M based on my current situation and I wasn’t looking at the big picture and how it will affect me in the long run. It goes without saying that I will never do that again. After taking the time learn and gain experience, I’ve come to love A&M and realize that this is where I belong. I am proud to be a fightin’ Texas Aggie and I will never look back!

My classes turned out pretty good. Instead of sitting in a room with a bunch of older, quiet, and awkward people, I’m socializing with courteous people that are my age and really outgoing. My science classes are no longer cougar towns. From my ladies in Chemistry, all the way to my buddies in Intro to Programming, they’re all great people to be around with. The course material was tough stuff. A&M is no slouch when it comes to education and I will admit that I was not prepared for it when it came charging at me with all guns blazing. I fought back though, but I feel that I didn’t fight back hard enough. I ended up dropping one class and finishing the semester with all B’s in the remainder of my classes. I’m determined to do better next semester. Obtaining a 3.5 GPA for the year isn’t entirely too difficult and is a very practical goal. I have to really work hard for it this time though, and I won’t be stopped.

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Killeen to College Station

Posted August 22, 2010

I’m sorry for the lack of blog postings and I certainly hope that nobody tries to bite my head off for it. :V

I have been busy this past month, working as hard and as much as possible before it was time for me to leave Killeen on the 19th of August and move into my apartment in College Station. After three days of spending a fortune and cleaning this place, I believe that I finally have everything more or less pretty situated. The apartment is about 30 years old and it’s quite clear that the couple that lived in here before did not take good care of the place. On the plus side though, I have a new tub and carpeting. Numerous things are still broken, but the maintenance team has been working hard to get all of my requests taken care of in a timely fashion. The only major thing I have left is to have that dreaded kitchen sink replaced. There’s at least three layers of paint chipping from it and it’s disgusting.

School starts in about a week. I’ll be focusing on getting all of my finances straight and everything else situated before then. Here’s some stitched panoramics of the place.

Bedroom, everything I need.

Living/Dining. Eh. Who needs couches.


Review: Pandora One

Posted July 15, 2010

This article was written in 2010. Pandora has gone through many changes since then, including switching to a better, HTML5-based player. Please note that this review was written in for the original flash-based Pandora experience and doesn’t reflect any changes that have been made since then.

Slightly less than a year ago, I started using Pandora‘s internet radio service. I first asked for Paramore and it gave me Fall Out Boy. I hated Fall Out Boy, and for this I hated Pandora and gave it no mercy. Lack of music from eastern Asia (specifically Korean) was also a total bummer and a disadvantage when compared to last.fm. I boycotted Pandora for a short time and stuck with last.fm. Come to find over time, last.fm was very disorganized with duplicate songs, constant repetitiveness, and incorrectly tagged music. I would hear the same song repeat as much as three times in a row or hear music from a completely different genre that didn’t even relate. For this, I decided to give Pandora another shot. After getting to know how it worked, it surely did not disappoint.

Always working in front of a computer screen, whether at home or work, I found Pandora to be quite the companion. I was slowly discovering new music, artists, and genres that I have never heard about. It became addicting. Unfortunately, it all came at a price: a 40 hour per month time limit and 10 to 20 second advertisements every 3 to 6 songs. I would always use up my 40 hours halfway through the month and the advertisements began to become annoying. I can’t even count how many times I’ve been repetitively told by the same advertisement that the Baseball world series was on TBS. For a reasonable price of only $1, you could suspend the 40 hour time limit for the remainder of the month. I was fine with that, but those freaking RAMEN ADS! They were getting persistent! Figuring that Pandora has already given me a lot for so little, I decided to succumb, pay $36, and become a victim of Pandora One for an entire year. It’s been over 9 months since then. Only question remaining now is: was my money wisely spent or did it become a lost cause?

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