on upgrades, robots and new software

Three quick things for this post.

I finally upgraded the RAM on the home computer. Not that big a deal for most but last time I touched RAM on this thing was to remove some as it was corrupting something and requiring me to reinstall the OS every week or two. Could be lots of reasons for what happened, but I never really looked into exactly why. That was three and a half years ago. Since then the computer has been, as they tend to do, getting slower. It has been really bad recently. It dawned on me that since we had been paying off the credit cards completely these last few months, now was a great time to do something about the slowness. So I went to Crucial and used their tools to identify what type of RAM I needed and how much would max out my motherboard. It was all very straightforward, even for my level of paranoia. I use Crucial at work a lot so I was in a good position to trust them, and the price was also nice. I ended up going from 256M to 2G. It was amazing. I think I actually got whiplash from the speed the first time I turned on the computer. It has been a long time since a simple upgrade reminded me just how much fun these things can be when working as intended.

I am taking a class this semester. Not for graduate school, which I already finished. But instead an "Intro to Computing" class being offered at the sister school to where I work. Some may wonder why I am taking an Intro class, after having just finished a Master degree in the same subject. A very good question. The answer is "'cause it has Robots!" The class is part of a grant from M$ exploring the use of robots in intro cs classes. Each student gets their own robot for the duration of the class, and all of the programming assignments etc are focused on getting this little wonder to do what you want it to. It is very introductory but lots of fun. More on that another day.

Finally, I moved off of Yahoo photos and onto Flickr, and I love it. Especially the ease with which I can upload pictures to flickr using their upload tool. I generally do not like the various tools from web sites but this one has had a huge (positive) impact on how I use the service. It is much simpler for me to go thru the pictures and right click on them and select "send to flickr" than try to remember the directory they were in when using explorer and then go to that same directory using the web based tools. This is as much my fault as anythings, as I never changed the camera settings so there is a folder for each day pictures where taken. Frequently there is a single picture or video in each, which makes finding things a bit tedious. Yet, with the uploader installer, in one evening I was able to get almost entirely caught up on posting pictures of our little one. You can follow the link at the top of the left column to my flickr page and poke around for the latest pictures. Yes, he really is that cute. Except when he is trying to play us. Actually even then he is cute, since he knows that helps. The "not cute" starts when we do not respond according to his plans and he protests such injustice.

Ok, that is enough for now. I hope you and yours are well!

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