Guest Authoring at GottaBeMobile

Update: It’s up! Check it out: GottaBeAStudent and The Myth of Battery Life. Also a special thanks to Mom and Dad for A) proof reading it, and B) providing me with a title.

Starting later today, I’ll be doing a series of articles on GottaBeMobile.com that deals with tablet issues from a student perspective. We’ll, at least from my perspective (if you know me, you know that I can bring a unique perspective to anything).

GottaBeMobile is the site for Tablet PC information, so it’s a pretty big honor to write for them.

I also need to take a moment to point out the incredible irony that finds me, an engineer, writing in a situation like this. One of the reasons I went to Mines was to get away from all the writing that high school and humanities classes had. Yet, I find my self blogging several times a week on my personal site and writing articles for two outside sites.

In any event, it’s going to be more of an article based series, rather than the short and informative posting I do like to do at StudentTabletPC.com. However, I think many will find them just as helpful.

I’ll post again when I put up the first article later today.

I’d also like to thank Rob for giving me (and STPC) a chance to expand my (our) audience and Tracy for letting me get away with it 😉 . Rob was also very helpful and kind in helping me make the decision to contribute to GBM, including helping me with a list of topics.

Skate Set

<a href='https://www.andrewferguson.net/2007/10/28/skate-set/skatesetjpg/' rel='attachment wp-att-2165' title='skateset.JPG'><img src='https://www.andrewferguson.net/wp-content/uploads/sites/7/2007/10/skateset.JPG' alt='skateset.JPG' /></a>

Skate Set on Flickr

The Great American Beer Festival

The Great American Beer Festival (10/11/2007) was pretty awesome.

I’ve never seen so many different beers before in my life, and therein lies the problem. Being of the analytical sort, I was completely overwhelmed with my choices of beer. I knew I couldn’t taste them all, but I was unprepared for a coming with a methodology to taste what I could.

In short, I was frozen with the overwhelming task of trying to sample beer.

I basically decided that the best course of action was to follow those I knew. I followed Trevor around for a while before breaking off to go find some food.

The floor is ordered by region, which is makes it nice and easy to find the beers I knew I wanted: Alaskan Amber, Full Sail, and Buttface.

For whatever reason, The Ram didn’t have Buttface on tap! So I had to settle for the Blonde (yea, I know…poor me). Nick introduced me to the strongest commercial beer in the world: Samuel Adam’s Utopias. Holy crap. I’m not quite sure what it is, but I can assure that it does not go down like beer, and at 25% ABV1 I wouldn’t expect it to go down like a normal beer either. Oh, and at $100 a bottle, it ain’t cheap either.

I’m not quite sure what I’m going to do for next time. I’ll definitely need a better plan.

Other notes:
There is a purposely sour beer floating around the GABF. I don’t remember it’s name. I think it’s out of Nevada, but I’m not sure.

ferg_characture There was a free caricature artist there, Alan J. Lewis, he drew a picture of me and we chatted for a while. He’s not like most caricature artists who draw really fast. He took his time and we chatted for a while. We eventually got to talking about the Northwest and how I was from Seattle and he wanted to move to Portland. It was pretty cool and he even drew the Space Needle in the background of my caricature.

Do not drop your sampling glass on the floor. It makes a “tink tink tink” sound and everybody turns and boos you.

There are few things more amazing then a bunch of drunk people watching the Rockies play post-season baseball.

1011072152

1 Alcohol by Volume

Force User Field Registration v0.5

A real update this time! Version 0.5 of Force User Field Registration finally includes that back end I’ve been promising to put in. This should make it pretty easy to use now. I also updated some of the code to take advantage of some already established WordPress functions.

Read more or download it!

The Bet

The Rockies and Red Sox are playing the World Series (in case you didn’t know). Seeing as I’m going to school in Colorado and my good friend Jeff is going to school in Boston, I figured we’d make a little bet.

Every Christmas Break, we all go to Cheese Cake Factory to get together.

Thus the bet comes into place.

Let it be known that Andrew Ferguson and Jeffrey Staples have a bet for dinner at The Cheese Cake Factory not to exceed USD$ 20, loser pays.

Boston: Day Two

Note: This actually took place 10/14/2007. I’m just super busy and haven’t been able to get it all typed up until now.

The following takes place between 6ampm and 2am, Boston Local Time:

Three hours of sleep is not near enough. Fortunately, it was race day and the adrenaline began rushing soon after the alarm went off. We were all out by 6:40am and had Colin dropped off around 7am.

We drove to the prime spectating spot and then found a Dunkin’ Donuts for breakfast.

DSC_0835 It wasn’t long before Colin made his first appearance. I think he took us all by surprise since when had no idea where he was in the pack. Jeff, Tim, James, and Elizabeth were ready with Gatorade, goo, and change of clothes. I stood back a bit with the camera.

DSC_0847 Colin shed his hat and jacket and kept on running. It would be about an hour before we saw him again. Elizabeth, with some input for others, made a hilarious sign for Colin.

DSC_0865 The next time around, we were a bit more ready. Gatorade and goo hand off, plus a little bit of running along by Tim.

DSC_0852 As we later learned, Colin never notice the sign. Which is unfortunate because it’s awesome.

Once more around the loop for Colin. Tim and James when a couple miles down the way to prepare for jelly bean dispensing (pure sugar for a quick energy boost). Meanwhile, Jeff, Elizabeth, and I moved across the bridge for the third meeting.

DSC_0941 Colin was looking good. The last Gatorade and goo handoff when without a hitch and Colin was on his way. The three of us jumped into the van and drove to the finish line.

Traffic was hectic near the end. With streets blocked off, runnings in the road, and bridges closed, it was near impossible to get around. Jeff dropped Elizabeth and me off near the stadium where the finish line was. We started into the arena when I saw Colin passing me on my left.

Not wanting to miss him finishing, I took off in a dead sprint to beat him into the stadium. Unfortunately, I had no idea where I was going and was almost bear hugged by a volunteer to prevent me from racing onto the field.

DSC_0984 I back tracked a few paces, whipped out my camera and had plenty of time to capture Colin crossing the finish line.

DSC_1001Colin recovered pretty quickly. We doddled around the stadium for a while, took a group picture to commemorate Colin’s Boston Marathon Qualifying Time, and then headed back to BC.

I had a nap on the way back since I was dead tired.

We had dinner when we got back; which reminds me that BC has pretty fantastic dining service. It’s frustrating that Mines is locked into Aramark, because they do a pretty shitty job. This, however, is a topic for another day.

To cap of the day, Jeff and I went to Mass. I think I’ve only been to Mass once before, and that was for Stephanie’s High School Graduation. My Mom’s cousin was married this summer and they had a Catholic wedding, but no Mass (although we all bet heavy money that there would be one).

Rockies World Series Ticket Clusterfucks

In case you haven’t heard, the Rockies are going to the world series after winning 20 of their last 21 games and sweeping both the Phillies and the Diamondbacks in the divisional playoffs.

To help makes things for the thousands of fans wanting tickets, the Colorado Rockies decided to only sell tickets online. Fair enough.

Well on Monday, millions of people attempted to buy tickets to the World Series at Coors Field. I was one of them. Using my tablet in the middle of Digital Logic, I was going to try and snag a couple of Rockpile tickets (Rockpile Tickets to the World Series: $65/each). Well, I sat there for about 10 minutes, a battle waged against server timeouts. I finally gave up.

The story reported later that night went something like this:
From colorado.rockies.mlb.com:

This morning, after more than 8.5 million hits on the Colorado Rockies website, Paciolan (Pack-ee-o-lan), Major League Baseball’s ticket vendor, experienced a system wide outage that impacted all of its North American customers. As a result, the Colorado Rockies have suspended the sale of 2007 World Series tickets scheduled to be played at Coors Field.

By this morning, the report had changed a bit. “System wide outage” turned into “external malicious attack” and eventually the Paciolan/MLB was playing the role of victim to a denial-of-service attack.

Yea, DOS my ass. Drew calls BS on this one and I have to agree with him:

From www.thedenverchannel.com:

Drew Curtis, the owner of Fark.com, called the denial of service claim “bogus.” Curtis, who has been on the receiving end of DOS attacks, told TheDenverChannel, “If they notified their upstream provider that they were under attack, the upstream provider could have shut that off in no time flat. They’re lying.”

Curtis said the heavy traffic Monday was likely coming from ticket brokers.

“Scalping is big money, big enough for scammers to develop utilities to open thousands of simultaneous connections attempting to buy tickets. I suspect that was at least part of the problem.”

Confident they’ve beefed up their network enough blocked the culprits, Rockies tickets went back on sale today at noon local time, kind of. I got on a campus computer1 at 11:45am and was online trying to get tickets until 1pm, when I had to leave for a meeting.

I spent wasted over an hour of time either looking at a 120 second countdown timer assuring me that the systems were under severe loads and I would be ushered in in the order I arrive or this screen:
timed_out.JPG

That screen, my friends, is a server timeout screen. In short, I was blocked again. Rocktober has frozen into Mocktober.

I looked for a report on a local news site saying that ticket sales would be suspended again because gremlins had been mucking around in the systems again; no such luck.

Tickets were selling, apparently. But at the appalling rate of 1500 per a minute.

So here’s what I don’t get. Pick any A-list music performer (U2, Dave Matthews Band, The Police, etc). Most of those performances sellout within minutes, like eight minutes. 60,000 tickets gone in a flash at a rate five times faster then Rockies were selling tickets. How come they never have any issues?

Let the scalping begin!

For more information on the squirrel with big nuts: http://www.fark.com/farq/about.shtml

1We sit on the FRGP Network, which, for the sake of this post, well call A Really Fast Connection™

Information R/evolution

This is an amazing video that helps show the issues we (as people) have with organizing things in a natively non-physical world. It’s made by Michael Wesch, Assistant Professor of Cultural Anthropology at Kansas State University:
Information R/evolution

Wesch has a some other great videos worth watching on YouTube: MWesch’s Videos

via TechCruch

Snow and Thunder

It’s snowing outside right now and thundering.

Yes thunder.

It’s the weirdest thing.

We’re supposed to get 4″-8″ by 6pm tonight here in the foothills.