Engineering Should Come With a Warning Label

Someone I know at school, Islin Moy, posted this note. I felt compelled to share it because it’s basically what I’m feeling right now.


In your senior year second semester, you will experience stress levels not felt since failing your first test, over a prolonged period of time, at the same intensity.

This is due to senior design and the “random” decision of professors to double your workload, including the ones you took courses from before.

Senioritis and the general decline of your attitude towards school also doesn’t help.

The question is, do you really want to graduate?

If the answer is YES, then forge ahead and take your sleeping pills/other methods to fall asleep at night to wake up 4 hours later! Only 72 days left!

There is no such answer as NO. You got this far.

And it’s actually only 66 days left now. I’m glad to hear other people are in the same boat I’m in.


Update on Rain :: Volume II

Some updates on the photography book I’m working on:

Obviously January 31st has come and gone with no book, this means that the release date will be May 8th. I’ve also got an ISBN number for my birthday from my Uncle, so I’ll be joining the Big Boys™! I was actually thinking about this the other day, my desire to play with the big boys. I remember in 2nd grade when we had to write “books”, I tried really hard to make my books look like the real thing. I’d have the blank pages, and the about the author page, and one time I think I even had some sort of coupon you could send in. Some things never change.

Anyway, May 8th will be the date. I’m glad I’m waiting because I think I will be able to put some amazing pictures in that I take this semester. I’m also thinking about preordering some books and selling them at my graduation party.

There’s also a chance that the book may be more than 40 pages. Unfortunately, this will add $5 to the cost. The good news is that I get up to 40 more pages with that $5, so the book could theoretically end up being 80 pages (yikes).

I’ll leave you with this picture of Dan Fluharty that I took a couple weeks ago at The Feed. The Feed is this awesome event we do every other week where we eat dinner and then go roast s’mores outside. If you’ve ever tried to take pictures around a campfire, you probably noticed how they end up appearing white and the glow of the fire is completely lost. Well, I had this idea to use a CTO (Color Temperature Orange) gel on my flash. It’s really just an orange sheet of translucent plastic that makes the light look like a tungsten lamp (which is 3200K…daylight is 5600K-ish). As it turns out, CTO is pretty close to the color of a campfire. The net effect is that I can now use my flash to supplement the light of the campfire. Don’t forget that the goal isn’t to blast the subject, just provide some fill light. I thought the pictures turned out pretty well for this experiment:

Nikkor 50mm || 1/60 || f/1.8 || ISO1600

As always, check out the rest of the photos on Flickr: The Feed


Countdown to Graduation

  • Mines

[fergcorp_cdt_single date=”Fri, 08 May 2009 9:30:00 -600″]

I started college [fergcorp_cdt_single date=”Tue, 24 Aug 2004 11:00:00 -700″]

Note: This is a sticky post


Campus Benefactors: Simon Guggenheim

My latest article for The Oredigger is up. It’s been several years since I wrote a bona fide article for The Oredigger.

My article this week is about Simon Guggenheim, a campus benefactor. One of the oldest buildings on campus is named after him: Guggenheim Hall.


After becoming a multimillionaire, Guggenheim moved north to Denver in 1892 and married Olga Hirsh on November 24, 1898, at the iconic Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York. To celebrate their marriage, the Guggenheims provided a Thanksgiving dinner to 5,000 poor Manhattan children.

I was also able to get some pretty good photos too, which is the real reason I took the article. I tried a couple of new techniques with balancing the light. First, I adjusted the exposure to just barely clip the highlights (pure white pixels). Then I adjusted the blacks to just barely clip the shadows (pure black pixels). This, in theory, maximizes the contrast ratio of the photo; which is important because photos already have quite a bit less contrast than the human eye does, so we best make use of all of it. Next, I tweaked the fill light to bring out the body of the photo. Some of the photos almost ended up looking sort of HDR-ish I think.

Simon Guggenheim - Color
Nikkor @ 18mm || 1/60 || f/11 || ISO200

Simon Guggenheim
Nikkor @ 18mm || 1/500 || f/3.5 || ISO200

Simon Guggenheim - Color
Nikkor @ 38mm || 1/80 || f/4.2 || ISO200

As always, there are some more pictures over on Flickr: Guggenheim Hall set

Also don’t forget to read the article: Campus Benefactors: Simon Guggenheim


Passed The EIT

I got my results back from NCEES/ELSES:

Congratulations on achieving a passing score on the October 2008 exam and completing this important step in your professional career. NCEES policy prohibits the release of individual exam scores; thus results are reported only as pass or fail. Please review the enclosed information to determine how to proceed with the licensing process in your state. We wish you much success as you pursue your professional career goals.

Now I just have to figure out how to get registered in the State of Washington (since I passed the Colorado State Boards).


Final Schedule

Even though registration for next semester was several weeks ago, I didn’t get my class list finalized until today. My schedule for this semester has been a thought in the back of mind for a while now, this semester is the linchpin. If I couldn’t get all my classes to fit in, I would have to be here another semester, which I didn’t not want to do.

As it turned out, I was able to get all my classes in…although it took a bit of finagling.

Here’s what I’ll be taking:

  1. Introduction to Robotics (EGGN 400): MW 11-12, R 2-5
  2. Analog and Digital Communication Systems (EGGN 483): TR 11-12:15
  3. Advanced Robot Control (EGGN 514): MW 5:30-6:45
  4. Introduction to Ethics (LAIS 320): TR 8-9:15
  5. Senior Design (EGGN 492): T 8-11

I’m taking a total of 16 credits, which is one more credit than I was planning taking…oh well. Also, Advanced Robot Control is graduate level class, so that should prove interesting. Finally, Senior Design officially meets on Tuesday mornings, however we will rarely meet for class in practicality.

Bonus: No class on Friday. I see lots of skiing in my future.


No Shave November

As I’ve done for the last few years (see this, this, and this), I participated in No Shave November again. I think this will be my last year.

I ended up trimming it, which means that I’m keeping a beard for time being. I like to call it my Beard of Power. We’ll see how long that lasts.

Also, finished up Senior Design (for this semester at least) and Machine Design today. That’s seven of my 19 credits wrapped up.

Nikkor 50mm || 1/60 || f/1.8 || ISO640 || tripod


This Seems Familiar

Well, it’s 4:49am I just got back from Kinkos FedEx Office. What was I doing at FedEx Office at four in the morning? Making copies and getting our Senior Design presentation bound, of course.

As I was driving home, I had a flash back to the Fall Semester of my Freshman year when Josh Gresham and I basically finished up the EPICS project all by ourselves.

I really try not to pull all nighters these days. It just isn’t worth it and the amount of work I get done is minimal, especially when compared to the amount of time I spend just trying to stay awake.

Anyway, I’ve been up since about Monday at 8:30am, so that puts me at about 21.5 hours of uptime. I’m going to go grab a quick nap before we present at 10am.

Ferg out.


Sometimes What I Do

Sometimes What I Do
Cellphone || LG8300 || Verizon

I made my own 12-key keypad on Tuesday. I think it would have just been easier to order one from Digikey.