Computer upgrades

I’m stoked. Stuffed a new 160GB hard drive into my computer over the weekend. Best Buy had an amazing deal on them last week. Retail price $199. With $100 in mail in rebates, the price was $111 with tax. 70 cents a gig…can’t beat that.

So now I’ve got the 40 GB that came with the computer, 160 GB partitioned into 30/140 GB and an old 3 GB drive that I’ve now dedicated to virtual memory. Had to take out the 2nd CD drive, but it wasn’t getting used much anyway.

My main reason for getting it was to give me storage space for video capture, with the Pinnacle Studio Deluxe video capture hardware/software I bought a few months ago. The video capturing worked pretty well, but the existing 40GB hard drive I had just wasn’t cutting it. The software has some issues, but nothing too major that I’ve run into.

Now I’ll have ample storage to tackle one of my first big projects…converting our wedding video to MPEG format. This video editing thing is going to be interesting and fun I think.
Next upgrade will be adding an extra 512MB RAM (2×256 MB RDRAM). I should do it soon while RDRAM is still relatively cheap.

Resurrected website concepts

Those of you who were surfing the web a few years ago might remember a website called SixDegrees, circa 1998-2000.

It was an interesting website based on the ‘6 degrees of Kevin Bacon’ idea. You created an account and linked yourself to friends, who were linked to other people and so on and so on. that way you and your friends formed a network with all the other thousands of people signed on as well. Pick any two people, and the website would compute how many ‘degrees’ away the two of you were. I always thought it was pretty cool. It shut down at the end of 2000, for reasons I’ve not been able to find out yet.

Recently a friend of mine sent me a link to a similar site, which is based on a similar concept. It’s not quite as full-featured or as easy to find people to link to as the old SixDegrees site was, but this one still seems interesting and worth checking out.

People interested in more ways to meet others (for purposes other than dating) with common interests should check out another website with an interesting concept that I ran into a little while ago: Meetup.

The idea behind this one is simple. They have a big long list of things people are interested in. Software, programming, Slashdot, gardening, etc. Go to the Meetup site, register and tell them where you are. Then search the list for things that interest you, and see who else is interested in the same thing in your location. Then once a month, you vote on a location to ‘Meetup’ (usually restaurants or bars) and if there are enough of you, you all meet at that location and get together to discuss whatever.

A good concept I think, providing a way for people who probably otherwise wouldn’t have the opportunity to meet each other in regular life. I’ve been to a couple of Slashdot meetups in the Charleston area, although haven’t been able to make it to much more for other reasons.

Job decisions

About 6 weeks ago, I accepted a research associate position at Duke University. A big jump for me, although mostly in a lateral direction.

My current employer, the Radiology Department at MUSC, likes me so much that they’re trying to tempt me to stay with a substantial increase in salary.

Should I stay, even though I’ve already accepted the new job, or go on to newer fresher pastures and new challenges. It’s a tough decision to make, more so because I don’t think either decision will be a bad one.

On the one hand, my current location is about as ideal as it gets, aside from the constant worry about hurricanes. And the higher salary is very very tempting.

On the other hand, it’s Duke University. In my field, it doesn’t get much more prestigious than that. Plus I’ll be working with old colleagues again, it’s a much larger and diverse population, research is something I’ve wanted to get into more and I’ll finally be in an environment where I can start work on a PhD. And did I mention it’s Duke?

Oh, decisions, decisions….

My first blog entry

Well, this is my first public blog entry. I’ve decided to hop on the blog bandwagon and see what the view is like. I’m normally not a very public person, and try to keep most of the things I do pretty low key, so this will be a bit of a departure for me.

Occasionally I’ll post significant happenings on my web page, which I guess could be considered a rarely updated blog. Maybe once I get more into this blogging thing, I’ll get around to updating my website more often. I don’t expect there will be a great deal of activity here at first, so be patient. Plus I’m still learning how this software works.
Stay tuned…