Friday, August 15, 2008

On Lofty Goals and Worthwhile Causes

It's that time of year again!

Blog Action Day 2008 Poverty from Blog Action Day on Vimeo.

Once again, I'll be participating - perhaps a little more in-depth than last year - but without being as sanctimonious, self-righteous, or preachy as I imagine some bloggers will ;P

My city, Winnipeg, is often referred to as "Child Poverty Capital of Canada", and I encounter poverty and homelessness on a daily basis on my way to and from work. I will endeavour to write about these daily experiences, good or bad, and what an "Average Joe" like me can do about it.

On another note, I'll have a few web-related surprises for my readers in the coming weeks (possibly including the inaugural edition of my podcast), so keep your eye on this space.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Uh Oh, Back to the Lab Again...

Ever get a stupid song stuck in your head?

I've had "Back to the Lab Again", a Cartoon Network homage to Dexter's Lab, running through my already irreparably-damaged brain all fucking day.

Catchy, ain't it?

It's probably been a good five years or so since I last heard it - not that I'm complaining, but its central message accurately sums up where my life is at right now.

First off, I've started hacking again.

Not hacking in the all-too-overused-and-sensationalist media pejorative sense (breaking into computers, planting virii, stealing credit card numbers, etc), but hacking in the original sense of the word - experimenting.

I found myself "back in the lab again"after a number of years, dusting off my old workbench, checking to see what of my ancient equipment still works. Turns out, all of it still works.

I recently bought my first actual PC (x86 architecture) in ages, a generic 2.8GHz machine running Windows XP, through my dad. A fellow he works with knew someone who'd bought out a failed business' equipment, and had a consignment of these things. For $90, I wasn't going to complain. The first thing I did when I got it home?

I installed Linux on it.

So, once again, I found myself at the keyboard of a generic, mass-produced PC, and quickly began building all the old tools I used daily back in the day. I hauled up a few bits and pieces of equipment (Palm Pilot, digital cameras, printer, external DVD burner, ipod, etc) and got it all to work without any trouble. Even got my old Double Profighter and Game Doctor 7 SNES copiers to work with Ucon64!

After pissing around with the stuff for a few hours, I realized how much I missed the old Unix/Linux crowd and the console hacking scene and quickly sought to re-establish old ties, and to acquire new equipment. More on that later.

This weekend will be spent cleaning out the lab, and resuming where I left off several years ago. Oh, and watching soccer, as both the English Premier League and the Bundesliga both start up again this weekend.