Monday, June 30, 2008

Tablet Tips at Podcamp Ohio

Thanks to Doctor Anonymous for posting the clip of myself, Travis, and Steven at Podcamp Ohio.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Podcamp Ohio Update 2

So what has happened at @podcampohio so far? Well, I just ate lunch and the rest of the day looks like it will be filled with a bunch of sessions that will be very useful. The biggest problem is that most of the sessions I want to attend are overlapping each other.

I just ran a Speed Test on the internet here and it doesn't look like I'll be uploading anything here. I'll have to wait till I get back to my apartment tonight. I really wanted to get at least a picture or two posted but it look like the pipes just can take the number of people here.


I definitely have some plans for the future. It mostly consists of spending money which isn't that exciting. Travis has the plan of starting an audio podcast. I have no problems with that as long as he does all of the editing. Editing a video podcast is enough work as is, I really don't need to do that much more. Spending an hour each week just talking isn't going to take up that much of my time.

At a new media conference one would hope that you would be able to upload some media to the internet, but as it looks now I'll be uploading all night long.

Podcamp Ohio Update

So far the day at Podcamp Ohio has been informative. The first session I went to was on editing video under Linux. I probably won't be moving to Linux any time soon but it was something that really made me rethink some of the ways I've been going about thigs. It definitely convinced me that I want to record our audio using outside of our camera.

Right now I'm in a session on Twitter. I don't think I will learn anything new, but it is nice being in a room with other people who are into the whole web 2.0 thing and new media.

I've been having trouble getting on the internet so far. It seems that all of the Mac users aren't having as much trouble as the windows users. I already removed my OpenDNS settings and disabled IPV6. Luckily someone set up a wireless network that works. I probably won't be able to update as much as on my blog but will be Twittering all day: @jjhat1

Pre-Podcamp Preparatory Work

First off, I apologize to everyone on Facebook who is going to suffer as all of these rapid fire blog posts are imported into my Facebook Notes.



So far my data has consisted of work, a drive home, dinner, watching Wall E, and then getting everything together for Podcamp Ohio. I'd like to mention in a side note here that Wall E was an amazing movie. If I get the time, which I know I won't I'd like to write more about it. Needless to say it was one of the better movies of the year. Definitely an entertaining Movie with a very serious message.



We are bringing quite a bit of equipment and hopefully we get to have fun and capture a lot of video and pictures to bring back. Obviously since we do Tablet Tips, we have my tablet, Steven's tablet, and Travis's tablet in our collection of gadgets. We are also bringing my XTi for still pictures, Cassie's digital camera for some video and STUG's normal camera for even more video. I also brought along my Solio for a potential battery boost for the camera or my cell phone. I'll do my best to Twitter as the event is happening and I expect to get a big wave of text messages from Twitter as I have subscribed to the PodOhioCheckIn account.

I'm not sure how active I will be online during the event. I do have a feeling that Sunday will consist of some massive uploads to Flickr and since Podcamp wants video to be posted on Viddler I'll see about putting some on there. Hopefully I will have good enough footage to edit out a few episodes of Tablet Tips.


That about covers everything for now. One of my newest toys, the Scangauge II, is proving to be very useful on this long trip. It provides a large amount of very useful information regarding fuel economy. I really do want to do a blog post about that too, but again I don't know when I'll find the time. I really like the displays with MPG, GPH, and even simply how many miles were traveled, how much time has passed, and how many gallons have been used.

I have a feeling these next few days are going to be very fun but I'm not going to get any sleep and will be very tired for a while. I already can tell that I'll be excited to sleep in on Sunday. I'll be off to Podcamp in only five and a half hours. I guess I should get some sleep now.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Boom De Yada







This was too much geek overload for me not to post it.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Everything Spore

I've been waiting for Spore to be released for what seems like years now. I think I discovered it fairly early and watched all of the long form videos demoing the entire concept. I honestly built my current desktop with the requirement of being able to run Spore and not really anything else.



I have already purchased the creature creator and have pre-ordered Spore which comes out on September 7, 2008. It was the digital download through EA so I'll be happily downloading it the day it is released.

In the mean time, I have been, along with Cassie, having a blast making a wide variety of creatures. Spore is really clever in that it stores the creatures you make as tiny little images. So, just for fun I've posted a few of my favorites on this post. If you have the creature creator you can just download these images and load them into the game and you'll be able to interact and edit them! As a programmer I have to admit this concept is amazing. Having all of the information to render the creature stored in an image that actually looks like the creature is bringing the usability of this game down to a level that everyone can appreciate.


This is my version of a T-Rex:


And this is Cassie's version:


Mine looks like it is off of Meet the Robinsons and hers looks more like it is off of Toy Story.

This is another one of Cassie's creations. It is a rendition of Gizmo off of Gremlins.


I have uploaded a lot of the creatures I have made to Sporepedia and they can all be seen on my spore page. If I get the time I'll blog a little more about the different creatures I've attempted to make and the much better ones that Cassie has made.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Student Tablet User Group Update

I spend most of my time outside of working for GE on my first co-op on STUG and Tablet Tips.  My last big project on STUG was doing a complete redesign of the intro and credits of Tablet Tips.  Not to sound self content with myself, but I feel like the new style of the video makes Tablet Tips look far more professional.  Our current weak point of the podcast is now the audio.  We are using the built in microphone and have not found any way to improve our quality without spending money, which we don’t have.

The next project that I really want to work on is a total redesign of our website, but I just haven’t forced myself to undertake that challenge.

In the past few weeks there have been some major milestones reached.  The primary way to judge the success of a video podcast is by number of views.  We have accumulated 7,463 views on YouTube and 2,719 views on Blip.TV.  While these numbers are not that low, I still hope that Tablet Tips can expand its audience and accumulate more views in the coming months.

The metric that I have consistently been proud of is gleaned from Google Analytics.  While our number of views hasn’t been very high our Average time on Site has consistently been hovering around five minutes.  Coincidently this is approximately the same length as one episode of Tablet Tips.  Using a slight jump in logic, it can be concluded that people are watching about one episode on our website when they visit.

The other metrics that I constantly follow are the Google search results for terms that directly relate to STUG and Tablet Tips.  After some quick Google searching of my own I have determined the following:

Search Term Rank in Google Search Results
STUG 9
Tablet Tips 4
Speed School of Engineering 13
Student Tablet PC 6
Louisville Tablet PC 7

The big accomplishment here is getting Tablet Tips in such a high standing.  It is a rather vague term and had to overcome a lot of references that didn’t have anything to do with Tablet PCs.  As for STUG, we still have to overcome the Sturmgesch├╝tz III, but the fact we are now on the first page of the search results is exciting.  There are some other search terms that are important but they are typically some combination of Tablet PC, Speed School, Engineering, and University of Louisville.  Most of those in any combination yield some reference to STUG’s website in the first page of results.

 

The next steps for STUG includes the possibility of having to make a poster for an upcoming conference on Tablet based learning.  Our focus in on using new media to educate students on the use of Tablets in the classroom.

Also, STUG will be attending Podcamp Ohip next weekend in Columbus Ohio.  I hope to enhance my understanding of the podcasting and the podcast community along with some networking with other podcasters in the area.  Expect lots of pictures, some video, and a few blog posts relating to the Podcamp.  If I can I’ll be posting while I am at the conference, but more likely I’ll be posting a lot about the unconference after I get back.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The Daily Show & The Colbert Report on Hulu

I woke up this morning to very exciting news in my RSS feed reader. I subscribe to new additions to Hulu and saw that two of my favorite shows are now available for viewing. (The Daily Show with Jon Stweart & The Colbert Report This is really, really exciting for me because I don't have Cable TV in my apartment. I now have an ever increasing number of ways to view my favorite shows on the internet very easily.

While Hulu isn't the perfect video viewing option, it is still a very strong competitor. A downloaded-able version of the videos in a local client would be a much better option. While DRM free podcast like feeds would be great, I would settle for a DRM infested player that would allow my to download the episodes and view them at slightly higher resolution.

Just my thoughts, I will definitely be watching Monday's episodes as soon as I get back from world.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Internet Maintenance

There is a big difference between being in classes full time and being on co-op working a full time job. During normal classes I'm always on my favorite websites in-between classes and keeping up-to-date on all of my important things. Yes, I admit to having email notifications on during class, but I only ever check my email if I noticed an important notification.

I have found it really hard to keep up with my Google Reader. I subscribe to a TON of feeds and it wasn't uncommon for the past few weeks for me to have over 1000 items unread. Now, I've removed some things from my reader and it seems like things aren't as bad as they were for a bit.

I also had some time the past few days and managed to go through my Facebook account and put my friends into group and add some restrictions on those people who I am just acquaintances with. Apparently it is rude to say no to someone when they try to friend you, but many of the people I have on Facebook I will likely never talk to again.

I even managed to get through some backlogged banking and file maintenance the past few days. I really feel like I am up to date. The thing about this is, all of my important documents are on my Tablet and not on my desktop (don't worry, they are encrypted... twice) and I only feel like I have things up-to-date when I also feel like I've been using my Tablet a lot. I guess that is just intrinsic to where the files are stored.

On another random note, I have started using Twitter via my cell phone. This is mainly because my cell phone plan was bumped up to unlimited texting because my younger brother doesn't know how to not go over. I now have a significantly higher volume of text messages sent to my cell phone. They are mainly from Facebook, my bank, and Twitter. I haven't really got into the habit of texting other humans except for Cassie.

I was meaning to update STUG's website theme this weekend but that just proved to be too intimidating of a task for me to undertake. I will try to break it into smaller goals and see if I can't make some progress. I just wish FireBug was compatible with Firefox 3.

I guess that about raps up my fairly random blog post. I've been meaning to post more but things are just so crazy it is hard to get to every thing I want to do each day.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Tablet Tips Has a New Look

After an entire weekend of work and some major processor time on my slow desktop, the 22nd episode of Tablet Tips is now out. However, it doesn't look anything like the first 21 episodes. The main difference is the intro, the music, the lower 1/3, and the credits. It really has a level of production quality that will set it apart.

Now that I have the first episode of this new style out it should be easier to release episodes of this higher quality. Also, I updated the formats that I export each episode in. They should look a little better than they have been. Thanks to Cassie for doing a ton of work to make this look as good as it does.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

New STUG Intro (Work in progress)

While this isn't finished, I thought I would post it anyway. This is the new intro for Tablet Tips. I think it is a great start. Now I need to start working on the outro. Cassie did a lot of work to get this intro finished. The stop motion animation of the Tablet PC was her idea and she did a lot of work to get it from an idea to an actual video.

How much internet (bandwidth) do I use?

I was curious as to how much bandwidth I actually use. Since I am no longer on the amazingly fast dorm room connection at UofL I thought I would do a little test. And by test, I mean 1 month long test. I installed NetLimited on my desktop, my main computer. While this test didn't measure the actual total amount of bandwidth I have used in a month, it is fairly close. I have been using my laptop a limited amount, the Wii doesn't use that much, and my Skype Phone isn't used enough to make a sizable impact.

What this is really measuring is my big uploads and downloads. I am a HUGE consumer of online video. I subscribe to over 30 podcasts and will regularly stream content from YouTube and Hulu. The regular big downloads for me come from Revision3 and my other podcasts I watch. Many of them approach 300MB in file size. I am a fan of the HD versions, the look great on my computer screens. In addition to all of the free content I download, I have started renting moves from Amazon Unboxed. The download is typically fast enough to start watching a move in less than 3-5 minutes.

My uploading is actually higher than my downloading. Most people may be suspicious of this, but since I use Carbonite to backup all of my documents, including some rather large files, it does add up. I uploaded 51GB of data to Carbonite in the month of May. Now, you may be asking where all of these large files come from.

Just because I am a big consumer of internet content doesn't mean I am also not a big publisher as well. I have my digital camera and a Flickr account. This means I end up doing some major uploading from time to time. For example I just uploaded 360 pictures of the Kentucky High School State Track Meet yesterday. In addition to uploading pictures, I upload video on a regular basis. Between Tablet Tips and uploading random videos to my personal YouTube account, it starts to add up. Take into account those videos are uploaded twice, once for the upload and once to Carbonite, it makes sense I upload more than I download. My internet upload speed tends to be saturated for long periods of time while I push my content into the cloud.

So, having installed NetLimiter over a month ago I have statistics for an entire month. Here is the breakdown for my daily upload and download:


The interesting thing to notice are the days where the upload is always almost 5 GB. This just happens to be Carbonite's daily limit. I am probably an exception to the standard person primarily because of my use of online backup. However, I still think that this information was interesting enough to publish.