X-mas Goodies

IMG_0010

I’ve finally gotten my new desk and new speakers setup that I got for Christmas. It seems as though my setup is gradually becoming more and more infiltrated by Apple and Apple-esque products.

Next step, (cleaning up that ugly mess of cables and) enjoying the wealth of desk space since my old desk was extremely cramped!

Seeing Saturn for the First Time

saturn-2009-04-08

Today my Astronomy Lab was a bit more exciting than usual.

Instead of simply learning about the stars and constellations, we finally got to take a closer look.

I’ve seen plenty of pictures of Saturn on Space.com, Google Images and in text books, but seeing the real thing is a little exciting!

I found an image that someone took of Saturn on March 17th, 2009 and altered the image a bit to reflect the way it appeared when I saw it! Basically identical, just tilted.

saturn-2009-04-08

As you can see in the image, this time of year the rings are edge on and may not even be noticeable to weaker telescopes.

The telescopes that the University owns seem to be of decent quality. Now I think I’m going to start looking around for one similar to theirs and start taking some pictures myself of other cool celestial objects.

NC State ACM/AITP Website Update

acm-aitp-site-upgrade-2009

I just finished (or reached the publishing or pushing live step) the update to the NC State ACM/AITP website.

The improvements over the previous design are pretty drastic when it comes to user interface and ease of use.

I ended up going with a K2 theme for Drupal since I’m such a big fan, but it just didn’t seem right for the site at first. I ended up going through and modifying a great deal of a barely and poorly done version that I came across online so I had to finish up most of it myself, but that just allowed for making it suit my (read ‘our’…for the club) needs.

acm-aitp-site-upgrade-2009

After working with the html and tweaking it hardcore until I got it clean so it passes HTML Validation inspection it was time to tweak the CSS.

This became a breeze with Opera’s Dragonfly developer tools. I was able to select an element and tweak the style sheet live so I could see real-time results. After making an adjustment it’s as simple as updating the actual stylesheet.

After tweaking the style almost obsessively for hours the first day I decided it was time for a break. It wasn’t long before I got back into the groove the next day and finished it up (for the time being).

I really have to say that I am in love with Dragonfly now. I’ve used Firebug in the past and to be honest I’ve never been a Firefox fanboy…it’s a good browser, but it’s not pushing standards support at the rate that I want and Opera is just better at a lot of the things that I use and need from a browser… anyways, I got used to Firebug a while back and Dragonfly vs. Firebug isn’t a fair competition because the both are still very different, but I find Dragonfly being easier to use ever second compared to Firebug.

After getting the code working it was time to push the update. As a result, the NC State ACM/AITP club now has a much friendlier outlet on the web!

Now I have the pleasure of tackling any smaller issues such as stylesheet problems. :D Updating the content will now be much less of a pain now that it can be updated directly from the browser for most everything.

Hello December

The start of December brings the start of a very studious week for me. I’m going to be pretty busy finishing up the semester, but hopefully I can find the time to blog here and there and finish up a short tutorial for Opera Watch.

Time to start writing a few papers and getting lost in my course books. :(

Time to crunch on school work

It’s getting close to that time of year when every class begins to get a little crazy.

Before it gets too crazy, I’ve started getting a head on most of my material. I hate finding myself with too much work to get done and I need a free weekend to relax, so hopefully I can finish up everything for the rest of the week and start of the next one by the end of the night or tomorrow.

I just took a break and watched Die Hard (1988) and Die Hard 2 (1990). Both excellent movies and I even have the other two sequels in my Netflix queue. Hopefully I can relax and watch those this weekend.

Mid-Term is over…time for some peace

I just handed in my Mid-Term that I was slaving over for so long. I feel pretty good about it, having time to do pretty several extensive checks on most of the problems to make sure they were correct.

Now I’m looking forward to enjoying the rest of the day (beautiful weather here..81 degrees right now and sunny :D ).

I’d really like to just waste time on the computer as I usually do in my free time, but I think I need to catch up on some sleep. So until next time..have a great day! ;)