10 May 2009 - 10:24pmBS in CS

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Today I officially received my Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science. The graduation ceremony, though a bit long, was very nice.  I especially enjoyed the bagpipe/drum marching band that led the processional into/out of the arena at the beginning and end of the ceremony. Remarks given by the various people in attendance were very well done and, though I thought it would be boring, I found the ceremony to be quite enjoyable.

Now that I’m finished with college it’s off to the real world, I suppose. Joelle and I are getting married in 2 months so we have several planning-related things to take care of in the next several weeks. In addition to that, I will be moving to Baldwinsville, NY at some point in the next week or two.  Joelle and I found a pretty nice apartment there that puts me about 15 minutes from my new job in Liverpool, NY.  I’ll be working for Lockheed Martin Maritime Systems and Sensors as a Systems Engineer. I’m nervous and excited at the same time. I just hope I’m good at whatever it is they’ll be expecting me to do. Joelle will be moving in with me after we get married and hopefully she’ll be able to find a job also. There are definitely many more opportunities in the Syracuse area than there are here in Binghamton.

Also, I got a sweet present for graduation. My parents bought me a Garmin Nuvi 760. It’s a really nice widescreen GPS for the car and will come in really handy when Joelle and I are trying to find stuff in Syracuse and also while we’re in Colorado for our honeymoon.

With that, I’m done for now.

1 Comment | Categories: Clarkson, COSI, Life

26 February 2009 - 12:24amBears. Beets. Battlestar Galactica.

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Google it.

Today I finished migrating everything over to my new web host. All of my websites seem to be running fine and I’ve begun taking advantage of some of the features that DreamHost has to offer. If you find something wrong with the site anywhere, leave a comment and let me know so that I can take care of it.

This week, I worked on my first programming assignment for Computer Graphics. It took 300 lines of C to create a flat surface and a ball that rolls around when you press the arrow keys. Ridiculous. Once Ryan and I figured out how to do it properly it was a pretty neat assignment. I actually feel a sense of accomplishment now that I’ve finished it.

I guess that’s about it.

P.S. I’ve taken the limited time scrolling, blinking title feature offline. If you missed it, you missed out!

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11 February 2009 - 4:46pmSSH Port Forwarding

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For some reason, Clarkson has recently found it necessary to block incoming requests to dorm subnets, making it impossible to directly access your campus-connected computer from somewhere else in the world.  This is very frustrating, especially if you host services on your computer, such as Subversion, a web server or other things.

To remedy this situation, I’ve done a little reading on using SSH to forward ports from your computer to a remote computer, thus providing a pathway (encrypted, I might add) from your off campus computer to some location on campus.  This is quite beneficial for a number of reasons and I’ll list some examples to help me explain.

First, I used the following SSH command the other day to download a file from the web server running on Ryan‘s computer:

ssh -D 8080 -Nf <username>@<ssh server on campus>

This accomplishes a few things.  First, it creates an encrypted connection between your computer and some server on campus (obviously one that’s accessible from the world).  Secondly, the -D 8080 portion creates a SOCKS v5 proxy on your local machine that forwards all requests it receives across the ssh connection.  This means that if you open Firefox’s connection settings and set your SOCKS v5 proxy to localhost:8080, you can access webpages as if you were directly connected to the Clarkson network.

Second, I used this command just today to access my computer’s Subversion repositories (over http):

ssh -Nf -L8080:<remote server>:80 <username>@<ssh server on campus>

I was then able to check out code from Subversion on my campus-connected computer using svn co http://localhost:8080/svn/.  Everything requested from localhost:8080 is sent over the SSH connection to the port on the remote server specified.  This same idea can be applied to any ports you might need… 3389 for remote desktop, 22 for SSH, 20/21 for ftp, etc.

I should also mention the -Nf portion of each command.  -N tells ssh not to execute remote commands, aka, don’t give a command prompt after connecting.  The -f piece simply sends the ssh session to the background once connected.  Both of these are particularly useful when using SSH to forward ports for other services.

I’m sure this is just touching on the surface of what’s possible when using the port forwarding features of SSH.  These two ways of doing it have proven very useful for me and at least now they’re documented here for me to reference.  Hopefully you find them helpful too.

P.S. For a limited time only, please enjoy the improperly nested blinking marquee at the top of the page!  No telling when this feature will vanish, so soak it up while you still can!

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14 January 2009 - 3:11pmBoring

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Operating Systems is boring.  So I figured I’d write a blog post.

My schedule for this semester is slightly different than I’d originally planned for.  Instead of taking CS464 (Game Development), I’ve decided to drop that and take COSI for 2 credits.  The grouping situation for the project in CS464 wasn’t going to work out well for me and since I don’t need that class I decided I’d be better off not having to worry about it.

For COSI, I’m going to be working on a few different projects.  So far, I’ve started working with Ryan and Zach on setting up and testing a storage technology called DRBD.  I don’t know too much about it yet, but we’re thinking it may be a good solution for the storage configuration in the server room.  More information to come as we learn more about what its capable of and how well it works.  Beyond that, there are a few possibilities for other things to work on, but nothing solid yet.

I guess that’s all for the moment.  I’ll attempt to keep this more up to date this semester.

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6 November 2008 - 11:51pmClasses

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So my schedule for this coming semester (my last one!) is all set.  It goes as follows:

  • COMM 444 (Unix Web Administration) – MW 4:00-5:15
  • CS 444 (Operating Systems) – MWF 2:00-2:50
  • CS 445 (Compilers) – TTh 9:30-10:45
  • CS 452 (Computer Graphics) – TTh 1:00-2:15
  • CS 464 (Game Development) – TTh 8:00-9:15

I think it looks pretty good (aside from the 8am class on Tuesdays and Thursdays).

1 Comment | Categories: Clarkson, COSI, General

30 April 2008 - 9:55amHappy Birthday Joelle!

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Today is Joelle’s 21st Birthday! If you see her or have some way of contacting her, wish her a happy one. I’ve got to get her a present this weekend (or maybe I already did…).

It has been a long time since I posted on this thing, so several items of importance follow:

First, an update on the RSS Challenge I mentioned that we had in COSI. I didn’t win, Ryan did. My entry had some database issues and several bugs which needed to be ironed out.

An update on Android: We submitted our entry to the contest on the April 14th deadline and are now waiting anxiously to hear from them. Winners for round 1 are notified on or about May 5th.

School: Last week was dead week (the last week of classes before finals). That means I had a buttload of work to do and no time to do it all. I had two programming assignments due last Thursday, a project presentation on Friday, another presentation this past Monday as well as write ups for each of those. I had one final each Monday and Tuesday and I have two today (one of which is already over). Good news is that I got everything done and turned in on time and I think I’ve done decently on all my tests so far.

I start my co-op on Monday and will be working almost full time from then until Christmas. I intend to work on a few different things this summer, hopefully one of which will be Android (I really hope we win this first round). When the fall gets here I’m thinking I’m going to follow along with the Cryptography course Tino is teaching via Ryan and Jake. I’d like to take the course but I won’t have an opportunity since it’s only offered in the fall.

All that said, I have about 80% of my stuff packed and will be heading home tomorrow probably around noon. Hopefully I’ll have time in the near future to mess with the theme and get the colors the way I want them (I know some of you have said it’s too light, too boring, etc.).

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31 March 2008 - 11:28pmOh, April Fool’s Day

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April Fool’s Day was welcomed just 18 minutes ago (EDT) and already there are a wealth of pranks littering teh intarwebs.

First, I present to you the Global Internet Maintenance Organization (GIMO). The GIMO is the organization responsible for the cleanliness and upkeep of the intertubes and has designated April 1st as its annual “Internet Cleaning Day”. The GIMO’s very own Alexander Gotham sent out a mass emailing just today announcing this to all internet users. For more information, visit their website.

Second, Google released a brand new service today called gDay. Powered by MATE technology, gDay seeks to provide the user with tomorrow’s search results today. Check it out here.

Third, the author’s of XKCD, Questionable Content and Dinosaur Comics have teamed up to present what I find to be the most humorous April Fool’s Day prank I’ve seen. Take a look at their respective websites, keeping in mind which you’re clicking on. I think you’ll find the results quite amusing. Of course, this will probably no longer be valid after April Fool’s Day is over.

Fourth, heeding the requests of the aforementioned Alexander Gotham of the GIMO, P-Dub of pdub.net has brought his site down for spring cleaning.

Fifth, Zach and Ryan officially announced the end of the Clarkson Open Source Institute. All hardware is either being sold or donated with proceeds benefiting the K12 Program and the MCS Department here at Clarkson.

Sixth, I saw this link at the top of my Gmail screen last night, but at that time it didn’t actually go anywhere. This morning, however, it leads to a new feature in Gmail known as Custom Time. Check it out for yourself.

What a funny day. I will probably update this list as I become aware of new pranks, so stay tuned.

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13 February 2008 - 10:51amThis class is boring…

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Some news. Again broken into categories for your convenience.

Life – This past weekend consisted of a series of activities that took place back at home. In no particular order: pizza from Rossi’s, Sportsman’s Show in Harrisburg, church, dinner at Russell’s Steakhouse, grocery shopping and two appointments. Now I’m back at school and very excited because Joelle is coming to visit me tomorrow!

Books – I just finished reading Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card. It was an excellent book and I’m looking forward to reading the one’s that follow it, which I ordered yesterday. Check out my books page to see what else I’m planning to read.

New work – I’m going to be working with a high school student who is part of COSI on a website for some sort of cheese store (?) in the area. Should be interesting.

Databases Class – As boring as always.

Android – After a somewhat lax (is that a word?) week behind us, we should be picking back up this week and continuing to move forward. The new deadline for submissions is April 16th, so we have a good 9 weeks or so to get our project ready.

I guess that’s it for the time being.

2 Comments | Categories: Clarkson, COSI, Life

21 January 2008 - 4:46pmStuff

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It’s been far too long, blog.

This post is dedicated to new news. I will discuss this news in several categories. Enjoy.

My life: I miss home, Joelle, my family, and my dog. I’ve been back at school for almost 2 weeks now, just trying to slip into this semester’s routine and stay on top of my work.

Google Android Contest: As I’ve mentioned, a group of us from the lab have set out to build an application that will run on Google’s new Android platfrom (part of the Open Handset Alliance). Progress so far is very good and we’re actually hoping to have two separate submissions for the March 3rd-ish deadline.

Classes: They are going well. Most everything has been fairly straightforward so far but I’m expecting the workload to get somewhat heavier as the semester progresses. One thing I’m looking forward to is an idea Pat and I have for a project for our Computer and Network Security course. I’m not going to delve into too much detail here because I don’t want to leak information about it to anyone on the Clarkson campus (it could affect the results of our little experiment). If you don’t go to Clarkson and would like more details, let me know.

COSI: Maybe I should finish the time server project I started last semester. Hmmm…

K2CC: For those of you who don’t know, I’m a member of the Clarkson Amateur Radio Club. The club does a lot of neat projects, a few of which I get involved in here and there. Check out the wiki I set up. There’s a license exam coming up on February 2nd and I’m considering upgrading to a General Class license. I’ll let you know how it goes.

My Website: Recently added on the right hand side of my blog’s home page is a link to a calendar that shows my schedule. I’ll try to keep this thing as up to date as possible so that if you want to know when I’m available or what I’m up to you can check there. Also, I’m working on a photo browsing application (using some AJAX) that I hope to put up here at some point, I’ll let you know when that becomes available (it will probably be password-protected, so you’ll have to know me to check it out).

Clarkson: Is a mess. There’s construction vehicles all over and it’s become one huge mud/snow pit. Due to the abundance of dirt everywhere, maintenance has decided to use dirt to coat every slippery surface on campus. Not only does this make the surface somewhat less slippery, it contributes a great deal to the mud collection here at the University. This is as opposed to using salt which would effectively melt the ice and actually prevent a muddy mess, and that would be terrible.

Potsdam: It’s cold here (sorry, that’s not new news). This morning my computer informed me that it was -1. -1 is cold.

Snow and Mud

I think that will be all for today. I’ll try to post more often, I promise. :)

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14 December 2007 - 11:43pmYay for break

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I’m writing this post from my bedroom… looking forward to a good night’s sleep in my bed. :) Arrived home safely today around 1 and am very happy to be finished with school for a couple weeks.

Thought I’d update you all with an addition to the things to do list for break. Some of us from COSI have decided to participate in the Google Android Contest. We have a few pretty sweet ideas and work is to start over break with the hopes of having a basic prototype done by the start of the semester. If you’ve never heard of it, check out the site to see what it’s about. Should be a lot of fun.

Anyway, it’s late and I’m tired.

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