Thoughts of an Angel

Oh, Hai!

08/30/2011

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My apologies for the late resuming of blog-posting.  Let's see what's new..I am graduated from UNT now and I have a job with a company called CoreLogic, and IS service company for banks and mortgage companies (primarily).  There, I am on the valuations support help desk team where I get to talk to appraisers who are having issues with their appraisal software.  I am also being cross-trained in disaster recovery, which is a field I am beginning to find fascinating now that I'm seeing the process that other sites of the company are going through on the east coast as a result of Irene.  I am also in classes for my CCNA certification, so I will look to have that by next Spring.

I have more to talk about, but I must be up for work in the morning.  Now that I am an "IT Professional," I will probably have more to say pretty shortly.  For now, stay classy, my fellow/fellowette IT people!

Angela
 
 
Just in case you're interested in competing next year, registration will begin July 15th at 3:00GMT.
http://www.imaginecup.com/Info
See you there!  :-)
 
 
As one who considers herself a spiritual person, as was raised as such, I'd like to think that I am fairly well-educated about most theological matters.  I find it quite important to know what you believe and why.  If nothing else, college has given me opportunity upon opportunity to "sharpen my claws," as it were.  The same concept applies to computers.  If you think that sounds cheesy, you may be right.  After all, who would think that the belief you may base your values and morals on is akin to technological beliefs?  Don't believe me?  Try telling a Mac user that they may even be *remotely* wrong and you may have a technological Jihad on your hands.  Personally, I don't mind debate, and even welcome it - so long as one is well-informed about their subject matter.  What I believe that few people realize is that when they argue Mac vs. PC, they are essentially arguing over whether to have green beans or strawberries for dinner.  They reach out to different target markets with little overlap.

The Church of Macintosh - I have to hand it to Apple.  They know their market.  Many of its consumers buy their products because they want a computer "they can just use."  So, Apple heard the cries of their consumers and built one of the most stable OS's around - the Macintosh OS.  You don't have to think to use it.  That's the beauty of it.  One of the primary factors leading to its stability is the proprietary hardware, Apple's middle finger stuck out to you daring you to not try to install its OS on any other hardware.  (Hackintosh to the rescue!) I see that anyone who tries to use it beyond its capability (which isn't saying much) happens to be the one to experience problems with it. 
Then we have the all-inclusive Apple Care.  If you were able to actually afford the machines in the first place, you have to pay more for the AppleCare - the only way you're going to get the computer fixed for cheap, if not free.  Now, I have heard no complaints about AppleCare.  In fact, I hear nothing but praises from them.  Still, one would think that after paying the nearly 50% premium for a Mac, they would just get the AppleCare with the product.
The other reason people love the Mac so much is that it doesn't get viruses.  A quick read of this FierceCIO article and a US-Cert site search will tell you otherwise.  The only reason they don't get many viruses now is because of their low market share.  While their individual market share is increasing, their corporate share is lost to Microsoft. Corporations are who hackers generally want to go after.

The Microsoft Cathedral - While Apple is busy reaching out to the average everyday tech consumer, Microsoft is focusing on one of its strengths - business software.  Their Azure program was released primarily for businesses (if you want a private cloud, just get a VM).  After being at the TechEd Conference and through the Imagine Cup IT Challenge competition, I have found that it is possible to run your entire home, business and IT architecture off of Microsoft products alone.  I'd like to see any other proprietary-based software company do that.  This is why Microsoft has a majority of the corporate market share.
One of the things that I believe Microsoft suffers from is the same as Google with their Android phones - hardware inconsistency.  If you want to build a computer from scratch, you build a Windows computer.  Within reason, you can customize it right down to the amount of circuits you want on your motherboard, and if your mobo was properly built, Windows will still run on it.  Fantastic and terrible at the same time.  The only real trouble with such hardware flexibility is that with inconsistent specifications, you're going to get inconsistent software behavior.  All an OS is is a GUI interface between the user and the hardware.  So, it is up to Microsoft to continue broadening their OS's capability to communicate with different types of hardware.
Amazingly enough, Microsoft only now started including anti-virus software with its Windows 7 machines (not that it didn't need it). 
While Apple is indeed catching up in the gaming department, so far, nothing's been able to beat Windows Aero in the graphics viewing - a gamer's dream come true!  =)

Linux - What?  No church name?  Linux does not need that purely because there is no standard to measure against.  What I mean by that is that if I tried to compare the Linux OS, then I would have to compare all distributions - maybe that'll be another post.  These OS's are more for the saavy who just likes to make their own things - which I admire.  I like the spirit of the developers.  Heck, I've been contemplating turning this laptop into a Linux box.  We'll see about that though. 
Tl;dr - Don't bother with Linux unless you a) *really* don't want to think about what you're clicking (might I suggest Ubuntu or Mandriva?) or b) can do nothing *but* think about what you're doing (you'd love back-trac, RedHat, Fedora, etc). 

In the end, it's all a matter of personal taste and needs.  A Mac is going to be better at fulfilling some needs more than Microsoft is and vice-versa. 
 
 
I have owned what is known as the "most advanced Android phone on the market" for nearly a year now.  For 10 months, I've loved it.  What's not to love about the HTC Evo 4G?  The "4G coverage" is a rip-off to be sure (My videos play better.  That's literally the only difference I've seen), but how often do you buy two digital cameras, a GPS unit, web browser, gaming system (albeit primitive), radio, social networking station, and finally a phone all in one device for less than $500?  Thought so.  You can tell how easily amused I am by the joy I expressed as the phone proceeded to download all of my friend's contact information from Facebook (I mean really, how cool is that?!) so I didn't have so much data to transfer over to my new phone.  People complain about the battery life on it.  I will grant that the battery life is terrible.  I am lucky if I do not have to charge it more than once a day.  And it takes several hours to fully charge (a few hours when it's turned off).  Still, this is actually pretty standard for most smartphones.  You can see comparisons for most smartphones on the market here: Smartphone Battery Life Comparison.

After the 10th month of what seemed to be the ultimate Android honeymoon, my phone decides it's not going to accept a charge anymore regardless of where I plugged it in or how.  I have since swapped for a brand new phone, changed out batteries four times, and am in the process of ordering a new one.  I have been late numerous times now due to this stupid thing.  Sprint has a wobbly stance on the phone.  They prize it as one of their best-selling and their best phone available.  The forums say otherwise.  Even a couple of Sprint techs say otherwise.  It is, nonetheless, a known glitch in the phone that if you let it die or even let it get past 15%, it refuses the charge.  There never was any physical damage to it, so they couldn't very well charge me $100.  I'm now expecting my third HTC Evo in the mail as they will not give me a different type of phone (even knowing the phone is glitched).  Let's hope for the best on this one!

Here are a couple links to some of the forums with the same issue I'm having:
HTC Forums
Android Forums
 
 
So, I'm embarking on my first "real" Java project (er, so I want to do this in Java).  This project is in the form of an application that helps control inventory.  For every time the barcode on a box is scanned, the inventory count decrements by one.  I've got the algorithm and the arithmetic involved down.  I just don't know how to get the Java application to recognize USB input (such as something like a mouse).  So now I inquire: how would you go about doing this?

Thanks,
Angela Fox
 
 
Due to some needed correction, I have redone the test and made sure that they both came from the same servers (thanks, Billy!).
Picture
Google Chrome
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IE9

Eh...they have their trade-offs, it looks like. 

My guess would be that given that we were on a Microsoft network in Atlanta, that something was configured specifically for the browser, IE9.  Still, "kudos" to Microsoft for making their browser a great deal better over time. 

I still maintain that Bing makes for an awful verb. 
Professional Tip of the Day: Now go Bing yourself.
 
 
Here's the Dropbox link to my pics from the event:
MSTechEd 2011 Photos

Cheers!
Angela Fox
 
 
I am in Texas again.   Here are the results:
Picture
Google Chrome

Picture
IE9

'Nuff said.

As for location, I am currently in Arlington, the sweaty and slow armpit of internet connectivity.  I only have to sit on a different side of a couch before my phone begins roaming.  And well, the router was $15 at a garage sale...and it's AT&T service (can someone say *blegh!*?).

I also noticed that IE9 had to draw from a different server, which I find interesting. 

Anyhow, g'day!
 
 
Now that I've had a chance to recover from travel, show off new swag, and catch up on the latest Doomsday news that unfortunately needlessly spams our Internet, I shall give a bit of a commentary on my past week in Atlanta, GA.  It has to be brief as the time where I go to the In-N-Out Burger that just opened in Frisco is fast-arriving (heck yeah!). 

I really liked the TechEd Conference.  It was a lot of fun.  A few of my initial impressions were a bit wrong. For instance, due to the three buildings it spanned throughout, it was often more of a track meet than a conference - but it was a very educational track meet.  I did not go to as many seminars as I had originally wanted to, but feel that I gained more from talking with some of the attendees and fellow staff members anyway.  I went to see the Keynote speaker who spoke for nearly two hours about the Cloud, and a couple of the security-related ones such as the Wireshark course, WiFi, and "Defense Against the Dark Arts" courses.  I found most of these informative, but I feel that I should have gauged the courses better to gain more, but that's for next year.  I learned a lot not only about the security of my technical network, but of my personal network.  By that, I mean to say, how to network with people.  I made new friends, found out about different types of businesses (I never would have actually thought that a third party business would make another's application run more efficiently.  Isn't this what the programmers themselves were supposed to do?).  I also learned a lot about techniques in my own job search.  I learned that I was smarter than I thought I was.  Out of it, I got a plan for at least the next five years of my life, which is not something many other college graduates can say they have.  This is priceless!  

I certainly will not leave this blog alone any time soon (though am considering a host change).    There will, however, be a few weeks where updates will be scarce as I finish my last class for my Bachelor's Degree (*happy dance and hallelujah chorus ensues*).  In the next couple of days, I hope to have some pictures up.

Meanwhile, cheers! 
Angel Fox

P.S: Just in case Pastor Crackpot is right and the Rapture really does happen
tonight: So long, and thanks for all the fish!
 
 
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