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Archive for February 22nd, 2009

Dropbox

 

A long exposure shot of a UCSB beach.

A long exposure shot of a UCSB beach.

For my last lab report I was collaborating with my lab partner on data analysis, in the past we e-mailed the documents back and forth which resulted in several duplicates and on one occasion a misunderstanding because of file versions.

Then I joined him in using a program/web service called Dropbox. With Dropbox (the free version) I have 2 Gb of online storage for files. I designate folders on my computer and those folders and their contents are constantly synced with the online service so I can access them anywhere. Likewise if I had multiple computers the folders would stay in sync between them.

Important to my lab work my friend and I can share a folder where we both have access to contents. Secondly revisions are saved on the Dropbox server so if someone, say me, accidently overwrites an important file we can go back and restore the previous version. 

Overall I am really satisfied with the service and it would be perfect if it enabled the editing of the files online (even just basic text files) to keep an ongoing notes file.

In the end the impetus to make me join was that one day I forgot my flash drive and I could not work on my lab without any of my files, after that I quickly joined.

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Sometimes the train tracks need to be crossed for a good photo.

Sometimes the train tracks need to be crossed for a good photo.

 

Recently on Facebook there has been a viral meme spreading called 25 Things. In it someone write twenty five things about themselves and tag twenty five people who repeat the process including tagging the original person. I was not tagged for a while then recently I was, I felt that I should write twenty five things but only tag those that tag me, in effect ending my branch of the tree. If I had not read an article (that I can’t find right now) about how this meme spread I might not have been interested enough in doing this. After writing it I thought I could repost it here.
 

The rules for this meme is to write twenty-five things about yourself and tag twenty-five people including the person who initially tagged you. Sort of a chain letter of narcissism. I was initially hesitant about writing one of these, then I was tagged and felt I should end the spreading on my side by simply not tagging anyone new except those that tag me in theirs (not a long list).

  1. I have a compulsion to make people laugh through words, it does not always work but I feel that I should try.
  2. Due to this I am usually shy around new groups of people until I know what types of humor will make them laugh.
  3. Ever since I was little I wanted to be a scientist, I imagined an organized lab with incompressible equipment and most importantly myself in an awesome lab coat. I have come to realize that as a physicist I will never have the clean lab nor the lab coat.
  4. I love playing games with other people: card games, board games, video games, laser tag and anything that requires planning and strategy. However I don’t care much for team sports like football (both kinds) or basketball.
  5. I used to play a lot of video games during and before high school, now I find that I rarely play any game that is not with friends in the same room.
  6. The best I have done in any sporting events is being a part of the second place novice male recurve archery team for Edinburgh University and eighth place in a fencing tournament for novice male foil for UCSB.
  7. I just got my driver’s license at the end of last summer and that might be because the guy giving me the test was texting throughout the whole thing. 
  8. I have a general aversion to talking on the phone, don’t know why I have it but I find myself almost always preferring any other means of communicating. I really should learn semaphore to help with this.
  9. Growing up I never thought much about religion as an institution, I generally thought along buddhist lines with karma but never identified with a single religion. Looking back I can see that it was a generally progression to being an atheist. 
  10. While an atheist I still find my diction to be flavored by religious phrases and imagery.
  11. I want to live without having any regrets, in the end I want to be happy.
  12. I read everything that I can, if nothing is available I will start reading signs, ingredient labels (some good stuff there) or even the safety card in airplanes.
  13. When writing I spell out numbers two words or less in length and try to follow grammatical rules. Texting takes me a while.
  14. While I consider myself at least a decent photography I find myself really bad at taking photos of people and events. 
  15. I don’t like wearing just t-shirts. Whenever I can I like to either have a collared shirt, something hooded or a sweater. However I don’t go all the way and wear blazers like a philosophy major.
  16. I enjoy mooching rides from people. For almost all of the school breaks (aside from summer) I have found a ride with someone to someplace sort of near my home. It is always fun to see if a conversation can be kept going for five to six hours. Unless we are stuck in traffic, that is never fun.
  17. I associate various bands, albums and genres with particular periods of my life, for example: the first two Franz Ferdinand Albums remind me of Edinburgh while Jack Johnson and the Beatles remind me of my freshman and sophomore year at UCSB. 
  18. I love science: physics, chemistry, biology, geology, materials and astronomy. Sure there are some I would rather just love a surface level but overall I really enjoy learning about what we are learning. 
  19. I probably own more then forty feet of books, a majority of that consists of science fiction, fantasy and science books. It is unlikely that I will sell any of them.
  20. When writing non-academically I use the words “so”, “well” and “but” o the point where it starts to bother me.
  21. I really dislike so many of these with starting with “I”.
  22. I have never figure out how to use a semi-colon except in computer languages.
  23. I enjoy a good story be it from friend, a book, a movie, a TV show, anime, video games, the internets, music, poetry or art. Especially if there are lasers involved. 
  24. I love baked goods. It could be that I rarely had any freshly baked items growing up (maybe four times a year) but I do love well baked items or those that are at least half butter or sugar.
  25. I am content with calling pi/3 roughly one.

I really should have spent the time writing this working on my lab report, it has been glaring at me this entire time.

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