ACD Labs – Check yo’ internets!

February 3, 2011

Just a little something I noticed today while trying to look something up about ACD Labs. This is current as of maybe 20 minutes ago:

Sorry it’s a bit small, I suggest you view the full pic. Check out the first and last entries I’ve included from my screen-capture. Have a chuckle at it before ACD gets wise and fixes it.
Either someone at ACD labs has a weird sense of humor, is a dissenter, or there’s some skulduggery afoot from a third party.
Oh. Also:
skul·dug·ger·y
/skəlˈdəgərē/

Noun: Underhanded or unscrupulous behavior; trickery


Signs from a higher power.

November 15, 2009

And that power is Google.

About halfway through last week, my TI-89 went on the fritz¹, so instead of doing quick lab calculations on my 89, I’ve been using Google. Yep, that’s right. If you didn’t know, you can input plenty of mathematical operations into the Google search bar, and it’ll spit out an answer. In addition to the math calculation, it’ll also spit out whatever it interprets as it’s actual search.

So, when mindlessly inputting values to determine masses in my scintillation vials (and because years of advanced math courses have robbed me of basic math skills), such as “13.0946-13.0266″, google will interpret it as math, but also as coordinates on the earth. And, given the quantities of stuff I’ve been working with lately, and the mass of the empty scintillation vials, I keep getting coordinate hits in Senegal, which is close enough to Dakar.

This got me to thinking. I’m totally using lab data/google hits to plan some kind of epic vacation/geohashing. Maybe I’m not going to Dakar just yet, but as soon I get a hit for Hawaii, I’m taking it as a very strong sign from a higher power that I’ll need to take a pilgrimage to Hawaii. Or, if down the line I ever freak out and have some sort of mid-grad-school-life-crisis, I’m taking this as a sign to enter the Dakar Rally. (Although as of now, it no longer goes to Dakar) If ever I straight up drop chemistry, or need to take an immediate and unexpected break from it, the Dakar would be a TOTALLY bad-ass way of doing so.

So, next time you happen to punch in a quick calculation to google, keep an eye out for any “hidden message.” You never know where it may lead you, or your procrastination…

PS, for those keeping score at home: stop it, that’s kinda weird. But if you’re interested, definitely keep an eye out during the coming week. I’ve been slaving away over a hot keyboard the past few days and have a few fresh posts raring to go. One of which is relatively serious and heartfelt, and I hope you’ll fully appreciate. The other two, well, less so, but I hope you enjoy them for what they are.

[1] All better now! And I learned how to force a reset if a program freezes, or you give it a calculation that takes WAY too long…


We have the technology…

October 25, 2009

Just felt like sharing: I got Windows 7. Although I didn’t mind Vista, my Windows Update got all kinds of fucked up way back at SP1, and I’ve since never been able to update properly. Which, in turn, didn’t allow me to connect via a hardwire to my campus network. (My lappy has to have all its shots, and be up to date to connect with a network cable… I could still connect to wireless hubs, though. Weird…) So I did a clean install of Windows 7 yesterday, and am now in the process of reinstalling drivers/software/networked things as I need them.

Right off the bat I can say:

  • It seems stable. If I open the task manager, the CPU meter quickly goes to zero instead of fluttering around like with vista.
  • It does eat up a bunch of memory/HD space. On a clean install from Vista, the OS alone takes up 28.6 Gigs worth of HD space (I moved the windows.old file to my external, but to be honest, I don’t know if there’s other Vista residue lurking around). With Firefox open now, and McAfee running in the background (not actively scanning, just on) I’m already eating up 930 MB of RAM. I’m not enthused…
  • Along with the other obvious tweaks to the user interface, they re-vamped the task bar. As a default, programs running in the taskbar don’t have text, just the program icon, and now, you can drag and reorder things on the task bar. Despite the obvious similarities to Mac operating systems, it’s about damn time.
  • If you’re a student and considering upgrading, definitely consider the über-cheap student deal. While full price is the suck, 30 bucks is wicked cheap.

So, blogosphere, don’t expect a full review or anything from me, but if you have any specific questions, perhaps regarding how it handles chem related software, let me know and I’ll try to be of some assistance.

UPDATE: I just learned Windows 7 Home Premium does NOT support automatic backup to a networked drive. I admit, it was a published difference, but given dirt cheap student deal vs crazy ‘spensive regular deal, I hadn’t paid the most attention to the minor details. Regardless, for that luxury, you need to bump up to one of the more expensive versions. Weak sauce, Microsoft. I believe even Vista offered network backups at any product level…

I am not pleased with this, as my wifi enabled apartment of the future is now slightly less futuristic.


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