Monthly Archives: February 2011

Ridiculously awesome pic of Discovery and the ISS taken from the ground! | Bad Astronomy | Discover Magazine

According to this article you, could see this with the naked eye under the perfect conditions. Very cool.

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An Update is Available for Your Computer – sticky comics

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Cool video of a Solar Flare 

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A picture of the Space Shuttle launch, shot from space by a cameraphone

That streak of light breaking out of the “space barrier” around the Earth is the Space Shuttle Discovery, photographed by Droid 1, an Android phone lifted into space by a weather balloon…

Taken by an Android phone, very cool

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Installing Gingerbread Custom ROM on Original Droid

The ROM can be found at

I rooted my phone after the latest Froyo update but had not installed an ROMs. A friend of my pointed me to this Gingerbread ROM with an over-clocked kernel. 

  1. Backup all applications and data, since you are already rooted, use Titanium Backup.
  2. Download the ROM and kernel
  3. Copy the ROM and Kernel to the SDCard, I put them in the ClockworkMod folder.
  4. Install ROM Manager
  5. Install ClockworkMod from ROM Manager if not already installed
  6. Backup existing ROM using ROM Manager, the phone will reboot and stream data on the screen.
  7. Select Install ROM from SDCARD and select the gingerbread ROM. Select wipe data and cache. The phone will reboot and stream data on the screen. 
  8. Once installed, setup your google account again.
  9. Install Titanium Backup from the marketplace again.
  10. Restore all your applications, a bit tedious but better then searching them all out in the marketplace and re-downloading.
  11. Select Install ROM from SDCARD and select the kernel. I chose the 1GHz and it works great. Using SetCPU I have the phone switch between 1GHz and 500MHz on demand to conserve battery life.
  12. Enjoy the gingerbread.

So far (2 hours), I find the gingerbread to be more responsive and I like the darker interface.


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The Blade Itself

Just finished The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie. My review on

Love this book. Especially that it didn’t wrap up in a epic battle just in time to start the next book of the trilogy. I’ve read too many series where each book completes one part of the story nicely just at the very end and begins again at the start of the next book. This book just kinda leaves you hanging wanting to read the next book.

Great book, getting started on the next book in The First Law Series.

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Laser Flashlight Hack! (via kipkay)

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Norn Week Begins! – ArenaNet Blog

They come from the land of the ice and snow—the norn! A valiant race of shape-changing barbarians, the norn are one of the five playable races in Guild Wars 2. This week we’re going to get within axe-throwing distance of the norn on the ArenaNet Blog with posts full of lore, art, screenshots, audio clips, fiction, and more. On Thursday, Feb 24th, we’ll be updating the norn page with a brand new video featuring the Shiverpeaks, the norn hunting grounds.


The norn, who first appeared in Guild Wars: Eye of the North, are a larger-than-life race of shape-shifters who revere the Spirits of the Wild. Driven from their homeland in the distant north by the rise of Jormag, the Ice Dragon, the norn resettled in new hunting grounds further south.

So what makes the norn so…norn?

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What Legends Are Made Of

Strength alone isn’t enough, though. The strongest person, no matter their race, will be forgotten in time if they don’t do great things. A lasting legend requires exalted deeds, tremendous fortitude, and unmitigated heroism. But even that isn’t enough if nobody hears about it. Norn tend to be very vocal about their deeds, giving importance and gravity to even the most routine acts. Few people can know for sure what they’ll be remembered for once they’re gone, but the important thing is that they’re remembered. So long as someone keeps telling the legend, they’re immortal.

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Watch Felicia Day throwing daggers and taking names in the first Dragon Age: Redemption teaser

Looks interesting. Felicia Day is great.

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Managing Humans: Biting And Humorous Tales Of A Software Engineering Manager by Michael Loopt

Managing Humans: Biting and Humorous Tales of a Software Engineering Manager by Michael Loopt is like a study in the psychology of the workplace. This might make the book sound uninteresting but it was far from reality (as long as you work in software). Chapter 1 is “Don’t Be A Prick”, well this really captures your attention and sets the tone for the rest of the book. I was hooked. I wish I had read this book 3 years ago when I started out an a manager. I’ve been feeling my way around with my primary guiding principle “do the things I always wanted my past managers to do for me, but usually didn’t”.

I love the author’s definition of what a good manager is: “My definition of a great manager is someone with whom you can make a connection no matter where you sit in the organization chart.” This and listening better are my personal goals for 2011.

“Mangers are Not Evil” – This chapter should be read by the employees just so they get an idea that we managers to just sit around all day finding assignments for our teams. It seems like half the time we sit in meetings trying our best to keep our team out of the meetings so they can get “real work”  done.

NADD – I love this. Nerd Attention Deficit Disorder. I’m afflicted with this, even though I have never heard of it before. I rarely have less than 5 tabs in my browser open with music or a podcast in my ears while at the office or the TV on while at home. If you’ve read Peopleware, they talk about 15 minutes to make the “Context Switch” from an interruption back to developing software. I’ve worked with people like this, but I’m usually able to get back into things much quicker than that. I believe this is part of NADD.

Saying No – The management pixies are hard to avoid. Its so easy to put on that hat and say because I’m the manager, that’s why. Have to try hard not to do this and trust your employees to do the right thing. But there are those times where you have to make a decision or pass a decision down from upper management (unless you are CEO, you can always blame upper management).

The Soak – “Having no clue where to start a new project and wanting to rip someone apart in e-mail share one important characteristic. The best move in both cases is to start with a good long soak” . This is why they make browser extensions to prevent you from sending that drunken email or the flame email. Taking a break before sending that email or starting that new project is definitely a good recommendation. I’ve solved some of my most difficult problems while sleeping. There has been cases where I’ve been frustrated with a problem and decided to call it a day, and the solution hit me when I was 5 minutes from the office. Sometimes I go back and continue to work on the problem.

Status Reports 2.0 – Unfortunately, the necessary evil. Upper management needs to know what is going on with the entire organization. Luckily my boss sends his direct reports a copy of the report he sends to his boss so we at least get to see what is going on within the rest of our department. I wish my company had the open policy of putting these reports into a wiki or at least a blog but my company is still too secretive. I know I should take the initiative and put my data up there but I’m not sure how that would go over.

All in all this was a good book and fun read, definitely recommend it to everyone.

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