About

Here lies the disorganized ramblings of a computer systems engineering/computer science double major at Arizona State University’s Tempe campus. If you’re interested in a brief overview of my journey through the lands of digital devices, keep reading, otherwise go enjoy the posts.

My fascination with computers began with learning HTML and a bit of CSS in order to throw together a little webpage using nothing but notepad. I also became a ham radio operator, learning a bit about electronics before I even knew enough Algebra to understand Ohm’s Law. At this stage most of what went on inside a computer was an interesting and mysterious thing, and as Albert Einstein once said in one of my favorite quotes, “the most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science”. Soon after, I developed a vendetta against a party (who I shall not mention the name of here) which lead me on exploration of computer security and the Linux operating system, as well as the discovery that you can’t possibly understand either without some background in programming. After that, I self studied enough Python to make some simple little programs, and then enough TCL to write some useful scripts to sort and analyze log files of an APRS ham radio program, while trying different Linux operating systems and having a brief experimention period with Free BSD. Somewhere in there I managed to write a 1,000+ line Internet Relay Chat (IRC) Bot in TCL. Near the end of High School I took a class at the local community college on Unix command line tool and shell scripting. When the time for deciding a major in college came, the only real question was between the Computer Science, Computer Systems Engineering, or Electrical Engineering program.

Since those days of reading library books and online tutorials to learn the basics of programming, I’ve been busily going to ASU full time and working part time, limiting the number of personal projects I have time for. I’ve still managed to install a serial port and Linux operating system on a Zipit Wireless Messenger, which was the original project that gave me the desire to chronicle my ramblings in a blog, but ironically I never got around to blogging about that topic. Maybe I’ll get to eventually. So far in college I’ve learned C++ and Java, took a course on digital logic, and get to play with Assembly and C next semester.

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4 responses

3 12 2008
chris

Hi,

So as I read your notes, its not easy to install the ubuntu 8.10 on the Vostro 1400.. right?

I am planning to buy one (it has the intel wifi card), so I am curious about how easy is to install ubuntu there..

regards

chis

3 12 2008
pherricoxide

Perhaps my posts came off too critical; it isn’t too difficult to install, most of the problems are with the 64-bit version of Ubuntu. If you install the 32-bit version of Ubuntu 8.10 on the Vostro and fiddle the sound a little but, you should be fine. The performance improvement with 64-bit isn’t worth the problems with configuring and compiling software most of the time. If you buy your Vostro with XP or Vista on it, they will most likely be the 32-bit versions anyway.

As for the wireless card, it works great, but there is a chance you may need to plug in an Ethernet cable when you’re installing in order to let it download the correct drivers for your wireless card. I’d say installation took no more than 30 minutes, with maybe a couple hours after spent customizing things and updating some software. If you’re familiar with Linux you probably know that installs can always be time consuming. Overall though, the Linux support for most newer Dell laptops seems to be fairly good, no problems a few Google searches couldn’t fix. I’m running Ubuntu as I write this reply right now.

26 05 2014
Rajiv

Hi,

I saw your post on stackoverflow regarding USB video streaming.

We are building a USB stick with Linux on it. It mostly resembles Chromecast but instead of HDMI output we have USB output. We would like trasfer uncompressed or compressed video through that USB port.

Can you Please help how to do this in Linux 3.4.25?

I could see some ray of hope with UVCs. But no time to get to know them completely as the time is very short.

Thanks in advance!

R

3 07 2014
Mike

Hey man, have you graduated from ASU yet? I just transferred to ASU and started two classes July 2. One of which is an online class and I just learned that I will be taking my tests using the Respondus Lockdown Browser. Obviously there is the two computer method available to pretty much any student to be able to bypass the lockdown, but I wanted to know it’s vulnerabilities and potential impacts on my system. I want to write some sort of petition to someone so that they stop spending my tuition money on such a useless piece of software. I could understand if they wanted to use it on their own machines to administer tests in a computer lab (still pointless as you could just simply have a proctor monitor the test takers), but for an online course where you take your test at home it is quite obviously useless. However, I am not a computer science major, just a nerd that lacks the credentials to properly articulate the flaws in the program and potential negative impacts on my system. Is there any chance you could assist me with a more technical breakdown of it’s flaws?

I’ll leave a throwaway email here for you to contact me if you wish, if you can see the email I used to register for this comment then use that one.

jd03511985@gmail.com

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