Blog'n the night away...

Open Pandora

Wednesday February 23rd 2011

Today the UPS dude dropped off my Open Pandora. This slick little device, is bascially a Linux based open source handled classing gaming dream. I mostly want it for the emulation possibilities. I plan on running classing NES, SNES, and even Playstation 1 games.

Hello Reed William Newman

Wednesday October 20th 2010

Today my lovely wife Karen gave birth to our son Reed. He is 5lbs and very healthy. Welcome to the world Reed! I look forward to showing showing you many geeky things.

E3 and California.

Sunday June 20th 2010

For our vacation this year, Karen and I decided to spend a week in Hollywood, California.This is my first trip to the Los Angeles area. I'd been to California before, but never L.A. The first part of the trip was your typical touristy stuff. We drove ourselves around the area in a 2010 Ford Mustang convertible with the top down. As a Minnesotan, I am envious of the weather they have out there. One of my favorites moments is when we waked from Santa Monica pier to Venice Beach and back. I was amazed how much Venice Beach smelled like incense */wink*. Another day was spent at Universal Studios Hollywood.

The last few days of the trip I attended E3, which is also know as the Electronic Entertainment Expo. E3 is sort of Mecca for gaming geeks. It is basically where the big gaming companies show off what is coming our for the next holiday season. Yes, the conference is loud, crowded, with long waits. All of that aside, it was well worth it! I look forward to going again.

WineConf 2009

Tuesday November 10th 2009

I have just arrived home from another outstanding European WineConf trip. Each year CodeWeavers sponsors a conference for the open source Wine developers conference. We move the location each time. Every 3rd year or so, we host it in Minnesota. This year, WineConf was held in Enschede, The Netherlands.This is my second trip to The Netherlands, also known to us yanks as Holland.

I have to say, the Wine geeks really know how to drink. The funny part is, most of us drink beer, and not much wine.

Rocktober!

Sunday October 18th 2009
Rocktober is the month of living hard and getting your ass in gear before the harsh reality of Minnesota winter is upon us. I celebrated Rocktober by doing the following things:

Atom InsideAfter 4 years, it was time to finally give Sonic (my home Router/Firewall/Web,File Server) a full upgrade. It had been running quite well on a Dual P3 Slot 1 mobo. But, the 120 gigabyte hard drive was woefully inadequate. If I was going to do a upgrade, I wanted something low power, and more importantly, quiet. After a bit of research at Newegg.com, I found exactly what I was looking for. An Asus Intel Atom 330 with the ION chipset. This is the same CPU they have been using in most Netbooks. The specs read as dual core 1.6 GHz and 64bit capable. Perfect! The motherboard does have more features than I need in a Server, I disabled the Bluetooth receiver for example. The hard drive was upgraded to a Western Digital Caviar Green 1 Terabyte drive. Plenty of space for my needs, and low power to boot. Since this was a completely new system, I went the new full Debian install route, instead of just coping the old hard drive over. This will have removed any old cruft that build up over the years of Linux upgrades. So far it is purring like a kitten, a very very quiet kitten.

Game On! Rocktober marks the beginning of the flood of new games hitting shelves in preparation for the holidays. For me, the big games this month were Uncharted 2: Among Thieves and Brutal Legend. I already beat Uncharted 2 in less than a week. It still took me about 10 hours to play the main story of the game. I just could not put it down. It was that awsome of a game. 5 Stars for sure! I still have yet to play Brutal Legend, but it does look like it could Rock! (Yes, I know I stole or "borrowed" Rocktober from the Brutal Legend advertising campaign.)

Best of all, Rocktober is far from over, how are you rocking it? Next up... FESTIVUS!

Speaking of hard MN winters, this October has been unseasonably cold. We already had freezing nights, and at one point 2 inches of Snow. The normal for this time of year is 50's. Gotta love Minnesota! You just never know what kind of weather you will get here.

Minor Moonshine Upgrades

Thursday March 12th 2009
I took a PTO day today to work on my mental health. That, and I needed to spend some time putzing with my home puters. I have not performed any significant upgrades to Moonshine for quite some time now. In the last few months Moony has become somewhat cranky. Team Fortress 2 would reboot during game load, and other games would simply hang afer 10 minutes. Since I feel it is still not in my best interest to spend the buckazoids on a full system upgrade, I went the el-cheap-o route and simply upgraded the part most likely causing my headaches. The Video card.

After upgrading, here are the latest benchmarks, with comparisons to the last 2 generations.

GeForce 6800 GeForce 7800 GTX GeForce 250 GTS
3DMark 01 17846 25121 29558
3DMark 03 10169 17986 32356
3DMark 05 3884 8788 12646
3DMark 06 n/a 4936 8385
The new cards specs are: 512meg DDR3, 128 Stream processors, 738 MHz core / 1836 shader clock.
As expected, this is not a dramatic speed boost, just a nice increment, and stability is good again. I can play TF2 at full detail at 60+fps at 1920x1200. I Can't complain about that.

I still have no ETA on when the next FULL upgrade of Moonshine will happen. My current rough plan is to wait until Windows 7 ships this fall, then look at prices. It also depends on when a PC game ships that really needs more power than I have.

Snowboarding 101

Saturday February 28th 2009


Look at me go, at a snails pace, OK, well a snail would lap me. This video was from my 1st day attempts. Big thanks to Eric for the lessons.

Enter the iPhone

Sunday January 11th 2009
On January 1st 2009 my 2 year contract with Qwest finally expired. It has been no big secret around the Newman household that I have been absolutely drooling over the iPhone 3G since it's release a year ago. To complicate things a bit, MacWorld was on Monday January 5th. There was a rumor that Apple might release new models again this year. The rumormongers out there suggested that there either could be a smaller Nano version, or a more feature rich Pro version. Well, neither came to pass. Fine by me, the current model suits my needs just fine. So off to Best Buy I go to pick up my new gadget. (note: BBuy because of Reward Zone points, same price as Apple store)

I could not be happier with the iPhone. It meets and in some areas even exceeds my expectations.

Some of the sweet things I can now do from anywhere:
  • Browse the interwebs. My old phone could do this, but no where near as fast and fully featured.
  • Play games, big surprise I would look for a device that also had 3d gaming abilities.
  • Music, I don't have a large music collection, but I see that changing. Also, Pandora Radio on the road friggen rules.
  • Movies, book tickets, modify my neflix queue, watch trailers, get Rotten Tomatoes scores. Slick!
  • Monitor my calorie intake and exercise via the LiveStrong app.
  • Never get lost again with Google maps and GPS.
  • Facebook updates and Photo uploading
  • and so much more
Absolutely freaking awesome. Anyway, enough fanboy gushing.

Today I updated my Blog articles to display an article title in RSS correctly. Previously, it showed the date as the title. On this subject, my blog posts are now also displayed on my Facebook page. If you are on Facebook, look me up. A simple search for Jeremy Newman should do it.

Recent Hardware Upgrades

Tuesday January 6th 2009
In the last 6 months I've done a few hardware upgrades to Garfield. The My Computers page has been updated to reflect that. Mostly because computer parts are so friggen cheap now. I was able to get a new mobo, RAM, and CPU for 300 bucks.

I also cleaned up that page a bit to better show the progression of hardware upgrades. The log area of each system will from this point on show incremental upgrades as well as full system upgrades. Incremental upgrades will get a "dot" release, while full upgrades will change the main version number.

While I am here I'll use this time to editorialise a bit on PC hardware upgrades. As shown on the puters page, I have not performed a major upgrade on Moonshine since 2005. That is a new record. I've never had a system go such a length of time between versions before. One reason is that releases of PC games I am interested in has slowed. Another reason is that I have switched most of my game purchases back to consoles. Finally, I still feel that when I built Moonshine, I built it so bleeding edge, that the hardware was a bit ahead of its time. Whatever the case I don't feel the need to upgrade Moonshine any time soon. There still are no PC game releases coming soon that (A.) interest me, (B.) Moony can't run. Granted, having said all of that. Diablo III is possibly coming much later this year... maybe. I will re-evaluate upgrades if needed at that time.

The Year in Review

Tuesday December 2nd 2008
Looking back it has been an incredibly busy year for us. There certainly were less major events, however, that did not stop us from filling the year up with great small things. Like the old, axiom, The small things matter.

  • Disney Trip
  • Summer Cabin Fun
  • home remodels (basement, and upstairs bath)
  • La Crosse trip
  • Fair Fun (State Fair, and Ren Fest)
  • Jen and Brian's wedding
  • WineConf
  • CodeWeavers gets an arcade cabinet
I could ramble on and on about each event like I have in the past, but I will simply let the photos speak for themselves this year.

The last major event of the year is my continued weight loss. I'm pretty happy with the results so far. Since around May, I have lost over 35lbs. This time, all on my own. No special diet, just exercise and eating right. I still have not reached my goal of the decade. I have yet to break the 200 mark. I've come close. I may not reach it this year, but my current goal is to make it through the winter with no significant gain. Then, by next spring, I will definitely break that milestone.

Summing up, good year for both Karen and I. Woot and all.
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