Computer Down: Part II

I’ve been on the phone with Toshiba for the last 15 minutes or so (I’ve never had a more scripted conversation). My computer is still under warranty (until Oct. 2007, baby) and I can either send it in to the depot or take it to my local Toshiba rep. Based on Tracy’s experience, I’m opting to take it to the local Toshiba center, Micro Computer Systems, Inc.

I’m calling them now.

[tags]Toshiba, m200, tablet pc, repair[/tags]

Computer Down! Computer Down! Oh Shit!

I think my computer’s hard drive just got shot. It made this weird noise, then the computer beeped twice, and then the hard drive just locked up.

I think the arm of the hard drive locked against one or more of the platters.

I have most of my data backed up or online, so it’s not the biggest deal in the world, but it’s still going to be a hastle to get fixed and I would like to be able to recover all of my data.

thisBoard Hits SourceForge

thisBoard is a project I started at the beginning of the school year as way to better keep track of finances between all the roommates in our house. I always intended to release the code about three weeks ago I decided that I needed to rewrite the original version. So I did and I released 0.1-Alpha just now on SourceForge! It’s barely complete (if you don’t count the lack of a SQL creation file) and has zero documentation. But it’s there and I’m happy about that. I hope to release 0.1.1 in the next few days and have Release Candidate ready within two weeks (I kind of need it for next semesters finances). I also hope to have a demo up and running shortly. thisBoard is programmed in PHP and JS. It also used AJAX and a MySQL DB. thisBoard is released under the GNU GPL.

Download thisBoard!

[tags]thisBoard, php, javascript, ajax, mysql, finances, roommate, sourceforge, college, gpl[/tags]

Quick Response

DHL dropped off a letter today:

Dear Andrew Ferguson,

We are excited to provide you an opportunity to be part of The Boeing Company. We take innovation and teamwork to a new level….

Awesome! Simply awesome! My internship is “contingent upon approved results or satisfacrory completetion” of a background check, drug testing, and various other forms.

This also means that A) I will be in Seattle for the summer, again; and B) Project 42 will have to wait.

Technorati Tags: , ,

BURL Update

I haven’t released any changes to BURL for three weeks, the last one change being the addition of Google Analytics tracking.

BURL continues to get about 30-40 hits/day, not including indexing by search engines.

Of things to note, someone has finally taken me up on my offer to use BURL under the GPL license. At first, I was a little angered. I really don’t know why. They did what I told them they could do. Humph. Unfortunately, the site doesn’t work because they haven’t configured it properly, go figure. Link: http://www.websys.jp/surl/.

I’m also planning on releasing a small change in the way BURLs are created. I think I’m going to drop the inclusion of sub-domains. It doesn’t provide a whole lot of context.

Blogers Rights

More Inboxen™ cleanout time. However, this is something that everyone who blogs, or is thinking about blogging, should read. As a blogger you have many rights and you probably should know about them. From BoingBoing’s EFF’s blogger’s rights guide for students:

Do Public School Students Have Free Speech Rights under the First Amendment?
Absolutely. Both minors and adults have First Amendment rights, and according to the Supreme Court, public school students don’t “shed their constitutional right to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate.” See Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District, 393 U.S. 503 (1969). In the Tinker case, the Court said that public high school students had a First Amendment right to wear black armbands to class in symbolic protest of the Vietnam War. “Students in school as well as out of school are ‘persons’ under our Constitution,” the Court said, and “they are possessed of fundamental rights which the State must respect…”
But I’m a Private School Student–What About Me?
You also have First Amendment rights, but those rights only protect you from government censorship, not private censorship. As a general matter, you will receive no protection from censorship or punishment by a private school or college. See e.g. Ubriaco v. Albertus Magnus High School, No. 99 Civ. 11135 (JSM) (S.D.N.Y. July 21, 2000) (dismissing claim contesting private school expulsion for content on personal web site). However, as discussed below, some states provide private high school and college students with additional speech protections that go above and beyond the First Amendment. Furthermore, if your private school has an applicable written policy, the school must follow that policy.

Also keep in mind that even though your private school may have the right to enforce a stupid rule, that doesn’t make it any less stupid. So, if your private school is going overboard in trying to squelch online speech, contact EFF. Depending on the facts, we may be able to help you publicize the problem and hopefully convince your school to be more reasonable.

Link: The rest of the student blogger FAQ

Link: More Rights for Bloggers

A Feed for Robert Scoble, et al

I’ve created two new categories and hence, two new RSS feeds (well three, but only because WP insists that I do).

The plan is to put content in the feed that I think will be of particular interest to said person. Anybody is free to subscribe to them, although I don’t guarantee that it will interest you as much as my main feed will.

XML Feed Robert Scoble’s feed

XML Feed Gary Anderson’s feed

So why am I doing this? Two reasons. First, if I can make someone’s visit to my site better or easier to access, then I will do what I can to facilitate that. Second, I believe that what I have to say is important (see “Why I Am The Future“) and getting that information in the right peoples hands is critical. So have at it!

[tags]robert scoble, gary anderson[/tags]

eBooks in School

I went into the Campus Bookstore to buy some 0.5mm pencil graphite and ended up chatting with Ann Fraley, Barnes & Nobles VP Stores for Territory 4 for the better part of 15 minutes (Full Disclosure: the CSM Campus Bookstore is operated by B&N).
I asked Ed Showers, who runs the bookstore, about eBooks (I use eBook to mean any book that is available electronically). Ed directed me to Ms. Fraley, who was standing next to him. Here’s the low down:

  • Pearson Education (parent company of Prentice Hall, “the world’s largest publisher of academic and reference textbooks”) is pretty much the only publisher who produce eBooks.
  • McGraw also produces some eBooks, but to a much lesser extent.
  • In order to get access to eBooks, the course instructor must explicitly allow the bookstore to sell them
  • Most eBooks are only accessible through the web.
  • Some eBooks allow printing, but only a set percentage of the total pages (e.g. 30% of the book)

I’m now going to email all my profs for next semester and have them allow access to the eBooks.

[tags]colorado school of mines, college, tablet, barnes and noble, electronic book, ebook, McGraw, Pearson, Ann Fraley, Ed Showers, for Robert Scoble, for Gary Anderson[/tags]