Hello world!

Amid the flurry that is life, a lonely webpage sits forgotten…

As life goes on, things change. In the case of website, technologies change. When I first made yingster.net in the late 90’s, it was a simple, static, single-paged website. A few cool gifs, and some radical bookmarks. A bit later, I wanted to be like the trendy people, and added a guestbook. Ah, those were the days. Then, like all trends, guestbooks eventually go out of fashion. The cool thing was to add a blog. Blogs were magical. Everyone wanted one. Everyone wanted to broadcast their thoughts and feelings. I jumped on that bandwagon, but the wagon never really went anywhere.

My original blog was made using TextPattern. It was the hip new thing back in the mid 2000’s. Alas, the blog it powered sat around for 10 years, untouched by the hands that created it.

Finally, just days ago, that contents of that blog were migrated into this new WordPress home for the content. WordPress was also the fancy new tech in the 2000’s. Now it’s just good old reliable software that I am already using in other places.

But, aren’t blogs going out of style? Shouldn’t I be investing my effort into some sort of micro blogging or other social medium? Well, I guess that depends on what my goal is. I am not monetizing my website(s). I am not looking for followers. As always, core beliefs about the internet are:

  • It should be a free place where people can express themselves
  • It should not be monetized
  • It should retain it’s history
  • It should be viewed as a place to find information on any subject no matter how niche.

And that brings us here. My niche blog. It’ll probably be neglected for years at a time, but maybe, just maybe, I’ll have some thoughts or knowledge that I want to share right here. And that’s it’s here for.

Ideas I should have patented…

I have noticed that I have had some pretty good ideas growing up. Unfortunately, I neglected to ever actually pursue these ideas, thinking myself either incapable of completing or engineering these ideas, or because I simply forgot. Without Further ado, I give you the things I should have patented:

1. The scroll-ball
In the nineties, I got my first mouse with a scroll wheel. Such a novelty! So convenient for surfing the net, and equally great for working in Photoshop! Not long after having one, I thought it would be super to combine that technology with the already popular trackball, and make a super mouse that could scroll both up and down as well as left and right. Well, I never did anything with that idea, and 6 years later apple released the “Mighty Mouse.” I got my wish (but no cash… Bummer).

2. The touch-mouse
Once the “Mighty Mouse” (Now just Apple Mouse) was invented, I thought about how it was able to sense that fingers are present in either the left or right positions, thus knowing when to right versus left click. I found out that the principle of finger detection is the same technology they use for track pads on notebooks. I thought to myself that having a track pad on the top of the mouse instead of the scroll ball would be way cooler. There would be no ball to clean, etc. Well, Apple did finally do that too when they created the “Magic Mouse.” It also has multitouch capabilities as an added bonus!

3. No-Glasses 3-D Screen
Remember those cool pictures that moved when you changed the relative viewing angle? (lenticular animation) Well, that is because there are 2 or 3 images split up into vertical line segments, and spread across the whole area of the image with a prismatic lens on top which allows only one set of vertical lines to be seen at a time. Well, this seemed like a perfect technology to combine with the high-pitched LCDs. If 2 images (stereoscopic) were positioned in vertical lines and placed behind this same type of prismatic lens so that the left eye and right eye will only see isolated images, the effect of 3D would be produced. Well, I didn’t jump on this idea, and now it’s been patented and even demonstrated. This example is not exactly the same, but it uses the same principle involving a lenticular sheet, and augments it with 16 projectors.

4. The Digital Rubick’s Cube
Back in the day when I first learned to solve a Rubick’s Cube, I thought to myself that it would be quite convenient to have a a digital one capable of shuffling itself or solving itself. Well, many years later such a thing was created. It’s called the “Rubik’s Touchcube.” To bad I never saw it through to actually creating it. I must say however that mine would have been cooler…

I’m sure there are more, but this is good for now.

My cat, Ying


June 21, 1992 – December 12, 2008

I love my cat. Back in the summer of ’92, we found a fat stray cat on our porch. We decided to keep her. She was very friendly, and thus we named her “L.C.,” which is short for Love Cat. One day, we found out that she wasn’t fat at all, she was just pregnant. She had four kittens, and they were very cute. We gave 3 of them away, and kept the one we called Bluey. L.C. was going to get “fixed” to make sure there were no more unexpected presents, but lo and behold, she was already pregnant again, and this time, she had a litter of 8 kittens. Ying was one of the 8, along side Bert, both of whom we kept. The cats over the years developed their very distinct and different personalities, as well as their habits of where to sleep and generally live. Ying stayed upstairs, where, incidentally, I also resided. Out of all the cats, she was the one with whom I was most familiar and most attached. She was very loving and enjoyed sitting on tummies and kneading them with her paws. She slept on my bed, and would always be where the people were (and where the whippet wasn’t)

On December 12, 2008, my kitty, Ying, was put to sleep. She was 16 years old. She had a tumor in her abdomen, and was considered too old to be put through a treatment. Why am I telling you this? It’s my way of remembering my cat, and preserving a memory of her. My whole website was named from her back when I first purchased the domain in ’98. People probably don’t understand what Yingster” means, but to me, it represents my cat who was always there during my life growing up. She will be missed, but not forgotten.

Terminal Tip: Drop Box


Where I work, we are often placing files from one Mac to another by placing files in each others “Drop Boxes.” (~/Public/Drop Box) This is a very nice system, however it does have it’s flaws. Not all computers seem to experience this, but for myself and others where I work, we found that the files retained the permissions of the user who dropped the file in the drop box instead of inheriting the permissions of the drop box, which would make the recipient the owner of the file. This isn’t a huge deal. It just means that we had to save a copy of the file, or get info and change the permissions in order to edit and save. My clever brother helped me by giving me a command to run in terminal that makes any file placed within the specified folder inherit the permissions. In this case it’s using ACLs (Access Control Lists). Below is the command.

sudo chmod -R +a “USER allow readattr,readextattr,readsecurity,list,search,read,execute,file_inherit,directory_inherit,delete,writeextattr,writeattr,write,append,delete_child,add_file,add_subdirectory” /Users/USER/Public/Drop\ Box

Be sure to put your correct user name in place of the word USER in the above command. I hope this helps someone who is experiencing the same problem.

Reception of the new MacBooks

I’m always excited for new products being announced by Apple. Yesterday, Apple announced new laptops and a new external monitor. I was excited to see some change. It’s been a while since something completely new has emerged, and I was excited. Although, there are things I definitely don’t like, it was still fun to see something new come out.

MacBook
I love the new MacBooks. I think they are just wonderful for non-pro users. All of my major issues were addressed in this update (not that I didn’t already love my MacBook…) First of all, the aluminum enclosure. I love it. It’s much more durable and less scratch prone than the plastic. It looks nice. The back-lit keyboard is a welcomed addition to the pack of features. That is something I have wanted for quite a while. The glossy display? I’m not so keen on it, but since I rarely use my MacBook for work, and it’s already got a glossy display, I don’t mind. The battery indicator on the side is a nice addition as well. One thing that does make me sad however is the lack of FireWire 400 or 800. For me, FireWire is a necessity. I don’t care much for USB, and I enjoy being able to use Target Disk Mode to connect my laptop up as an external disk. This lack of FireWire wouldn’t be too devastating if Target Disk Mode could be achievable through USB… But alas… a tragedy.

MacBook Pro
I was not a pleased with the direction the new MacBook Pros are taking. I certainly enjoy the new manufacturing process and overall look of the new MacBook Pros. Additionally, the ability to easily replace the HDD without removing 32 screws, and removing the top-case is a welcomed change. However, I am deeply disappointed that there is not an alternative for the glossy display. As a professional computer, and as a computer that is known for being a standard in the graphic-arts industry, I feel glossy display’s are the wrong choice. I feel that the over-saturated and untrue colors are more of an appeal to the trendy-college-student types rather than the working professionals.

LED Desktop Display
So good, and so bad, all rolled up into one. I love the methodology for using this display as a secondary display on a laptop. The screen acting as another power adapter for the laptop is just clean and brilliant. No clutter, no fuss, just sweet convenience. And finally, a screen with a built in iSight, just like the iMacs. I’ve been wishing for that for quite some time. But then, there is the glossy problem. To reiterate, I don’t like the glossy displays. Colors become different as they transition from one part of the screen to another. Angles combined with the gloss make it impossible to tell exactly what you are getting. I use a glossy iMac at work, and I love the computer, and it’s great for most things, but it is lacking when it comes to fine tuning colors.

All in all, there were some very neat new things introduced, but in my own opinion, there was nothing that made me want to jump up and buy a new computer… Maybe once they give me the option for a non glossy display…

Iron Man



I finally got around to seeing Iron Man at the 3 Dollar theater. I wanted to see it before it came out on DVD, and I do think that It was worth it.

I am not as familiar with the origins of Iron Man as I am with other comics, but fortunately the movie did not require any fore-knowledge to be enjoyable. I’m sure die-hard fans caught things which I did not, but that’s to be expected. The visual effects were pretty dang good, and it had some good one liners. I also thought that the casting was well done.

The story built from Iron Man’s beginnings and continued to build through the end. After all the build up of how he becomes Iron Man, there wasn’t much time in the movie where he was Iron Man. He fights the Iron Monger, which is a good action sequence, but not too long. I’m looking forward to a movie where we get to see him in action for a longer amount of time.

Overall, it was a good movie, and I was entertained. I can’t wait to see the sequel.

The Dark Knight



Well, I managed to wait two weeks before seeing this movie in theaters. I liked it a lot, but it still could have been better.

The reason I say that this film could have been better is because I didn’t care for the story as much as I did for Batman Begins. In Batman Begins, I enjoyed how they showed his becoming Batman. The technology was somewhat explained and made it feel plausible. Now, he just has new toys and technology without any real explanation. For example, he has the new echo-location system which seemed to far-fetched for my taste. The change of environment also bothered me a little. In Batman Begins, Gotham is a dark city with many high rise buildings, and the giant train infrastructure etc. It felt foreign and different, and dirty. In the Dark Knight the same city felt more familiar, almost like Chicago; Big, but generally clean. The big train infrastructure and thousands of giant high rise buildings from the first film were all gone.

I thought that the performance of Heath Ledger as the Joker lived to the hype. He wasn’t a crazy Jack Nickleson type Joker, but rather and anarchist Joker who wasn’t doing it for the money, just for the kicks. Heath Ledger delivered big time. Over-all, i really think the casting in both this and Batman Begins is fantastic. The visual effect were amazing, the sound and music and also the timing of scenes were all to perfection. Overall, this was an amazing movie.

Wall•E



Wow. Can I just say wow? This movie was right up my alley.

One of the things I have always loved about Pixar movies/shorts is the ability to exude humanistic qualities from very non-human objects. (ie: Luxo) Most of their shorts are able to do this without even any dialogue, which is one of the things I really liked about Wall•E. The first portion of the movie was sans-dialogue, or at least very minimalistic dialogue. The humor was accessible to people of all ages, ranging from physical humor, to niche humor especially for the nerds (like me). the movie was a little preachy about saving the planet, but I think it wasn’t too over-the-top.

I liked this movie absolutely. It was amazing, and I can’t wait to go see it again!

Skeet Shooting


Have you ever been skeet shooting? It’s fun. Maybe it’s a guy thing, but having a gun and being able to blow up a little clay disc hurling through the air is just cool. It’s been at least 4 years since I have been skeet shooting. Needless to say, I was out of practice. My first round I only scored an 11 out of 25, and my second was 14.

For those of you who don’t know, in skeet shooting, the shooters take aim at small frisbieish clay things called pigeons, which are fired from the left and right. We take shots from different stations in a semi circular layout. We get 24 different shots, and one extra shot in case we miss one, totalling a perfect score of 25.

I went again the following weekend, and my score jumped from 14 to 17. So, I’m making improvements. Yay!. Well, if you ever get the chance, I recommend trying it out.

Crowd Control


You know what really just bugs me?! A lot of things. It’s true. I’m easily annoyed. However, in this particular case, I am speaking of overly excited supporters of varying sport oriented teams and players. Yes. Those “fans” as we call them. They annoy me. They make sporting events nearly un-enjoyable, as they are constantly yelling things out.

Many of the things they yell are not constructive. Lets be honest. The athletes are professionals. They practice for hours a day, and get paid a lot. (Probably more then I’ll ever see in my lifetime…) Do you really think little Mr. sports fan’s advice to fake left is really going to make them win the championship game? No. Little Mr. Sports fan is just trying to look cool by “knowing” what he is talking about… It might even make him feel like he’s part of the team. In either event, it’s a selfish thing to do, and benefits no-one. Please don’t do that.

This brings me to the next point; The anger and competition that so often goes along with team sports’ spectators. So often people will root for their team and shun the other, even ridicule them and their fans. And for what? When the team wins, all of the respective fans celebrate as though they have accomplished some great feat! It’s really amazing that they were able to sit on those stands for a whole hour and watch professional athletes work very hard. Those spectators really earned that victory and the bragging rights to go with it. No.

Even the really notable feats of athletic ability are lost by competitive fan bases. A person rooting for one team is not inclined to acknowledge the accomplishments of athletes from the opposing team. I think that a lot of sports (thinking to the Olympics) were to showcase the physical abilities of athletes and teams. By so single-sightedly focusing on and rooting for one team, a lot of the admiration for perseverance and ability is lost, in my opinion. The team you may not be rooting for can be good, and can be respected and acknowledged by you. Is this not so?

So, this is why I don’t like watching sports. Honestly. It’s annoying. Thanks for listening to my rant.