Monthly Archives: December 2006

+5 Things

Ef vanlandw for starting this. Here are TEN things you probably didnt know about vanberge.

  1. I met Anthony Kiedis of the “Red Hot Chili Peppers” when I was in the 8th grade. He is genuinely probably 5’4”
  2. I learned to juggle while sitting in the ‘dugout’ being a designated hitter on my highschool baseball team. I was a DH because my batting average was over 400, and because i couldnt field ground balls.
  3. The first Rated “R” movie that I ever saw was “Predator”. I was 12.
  4. I did not use a washing machine ever in my life until i started attending GVSU. I don’t think vanbergs has even yet.
  5. On the “J.V” basketball team, I led the team in blocks my sophomore year with 9 on the season. (in 12 games)
  6. I am pretty good at the ‘yo-yo” I can do tricks like “walk the dog” and “Rock the Cradle” and “Around the World”
  7. I was elected to national honor society in high school… All well taking “Foods, Foods II, Metals, Woods, Parenthood, Contemporary Living”
  8. I made “Deans List” in both semesters of my final year at GVSU.
  9. I am absolutely petrified of heights and/or falling. I can’t climb ladders. I can’t lean over rooftops. I can barely walk next to the hand rails on the 2nd story at the mall. I get the ‘ball tingler’.
  10. I started my college career majoring in “Elementary Education”. Quite a stones throw from where I ended up: “Information Systems”

Now i am re-calling out everyone who did these ‘5 things’ – pick it up vanlandw, flo, kramer, vanbergs, etc. do 10 things noobs.

Sheer Holidays

I’ve had a couple of days off this week, just to burn up the rest of my vacation time before the year’s end – and it’s been nice. Yesterday i loafed around and watched a few movies. “Jurassic Park” (hadnt seen it in awhile and i own it.), “Dirty” with Cuba gooding Jr., and “Covert One: The Hades Factor” with Stephen Dorff and Mira Sovino. Overall, all three movies were pretty good, even considering the “Jack Bauer wannabe-ness” of Stephen Dorff.

Today I did all of my Christmas shopping. And it wasn’t even hard. GG Best Buy, EB Games, and Eddie Bauer.I’m really looking forward to Christmas… There’s really nothing like a Christmas spent in the Kingdom of Vanhood. I’m not sure when this’ll change for me… but The kingdom of Vanhood really still feels like home to me. When I stay there for a weekend or holiday, its always hard to leave… I love Hart Michigan. 🙁

Now a bulleted list of ‘things’:

  • Added some Ubuntu/Beryl Screenies. Its much cooler with transparency
  • Rockbox is still running my ipod.
  • Rocky 6 really is coming out.
  • Guitar Hero II on expert is not possible.
  • I hate comment spam. (on wordpress and Gallery2)
  • Google provides a customized IE7 now… that rocks.

Beryl and Linux

Probably two or three times a year, i make an attempt to migrate to linux. I install fedora, red hat, suse, ubuntu, mandriva… Pretty much whatever I feel like at the time. I use it for a while, then i switch back to windows after a couple weeks. 🙁 Well, After some experience with all the popular distributions, i keep coming back to Ubuntu linux as my favorite. So, this week i’ve made it my project to migrate to linux for the final time. No chance of going back to windows. I downloaded and installed the newest version of Ubuntu (6.10) and then hooked my windows HD up as a slave and copied in all my files.

After getting everything set up how I wanted (mp3 playback, dvd, email… etc.) I decided to take a quick look into xgl because i had heard and read a little about it. I started reading about it, found some wiki’s… and before i knew it, 2 hours had passed and I had installed “Beryl”. It was surprisingly easy and painless to configure, and it runs surprisingly well on my computer. Beryl is a 3 dimensional window environment that integrates with the Gnome desktop manager (or KDE, but i like gnome better). It has some very cool features and functionality, does some very cool things, and pretty much is the 2nd coolest thing i have ever seen. (#1 is Jack Bauer killing Nina Meyers.).

My conclusion is that Beryl running on top of Ubuntu linux is legitimately the best operating system / desktop I have ever seen. The media players sync up my ipod, everything works beautifully. I am never going to use windows at my home again.

Here is a video i recoreded of me using Beryl/Ubuntu.  Here are a couple of other ones if interested…  Overall, i’m very impressed with the entire setup.

“Real” Detroit Lions Update

The Real Detroit Lions have just completed their regular season play.  As such, here is a brief overview of stats and highlights for the team and some standout players.

  • Steve Vanbergs – Wide Receiver:  NFL MVP, Offensive Rookie of the Year, Pro Bowl Selection.  3,080 yards on 126 catches, 36 touchdowns, 24.4 avg yards per catch, longest reception 86 yards.
  • Eric Vanberge – Running Back:  Offensive Player of the Year, Rushing Title, Pro Bowl Selection.  312 Carries for 2,302 yards (NFL record), 28 touchdowns, 7.4 yards per carry, 86 broken tackles, 92 yard longest run, 0 fumbles.
  • Wes Vanlandw – Defensive Back:  Defensive Rookie of the year.  267 Interception return yards on 8 interceptions, 34 tackles, 2.5 sacks, 8 interceptions, 4 defensive touchdowns, 22 passes defended.
  • Ryan Payner – Middle Line Backer:  48 Tackles (25 for a loss), 8.5 sacks, 1 forced fumble.
  • Mr. Mickeyvb – Quarterback:  Pro Bowl Selection. 84.9 passer rating, 229/449 passing(51%), 4,708 yards passing (Led NFL), 48 Touchdown passes (Led NFL), 41 Interceptions (Led NFL).
  • Detroit Lions, Team:  16-0 Record, 6,987 Yards of total offense, defense allowed only 295 rushing yards all season.

So, the lions have had an undefeated season with some breakout/all star players.  The Vanbergen family is going to the pro-bowl, Payner and Vanlandw led a stellar defense,  The lions are firing on all cylinders and going into the playoffs with home field advantage.
Eric Flo kicked sphere once in awhile.

Rockbox slash WordPress Upgrd

Edit: Got some Rockbox screenshots from my ipod.
I finally got the motivation to upgrade to wordpress 2.0.5. Yay. Obviously it is only a bugfix/security fix release.More importantly, I stumbled across possibly the coolest thing on this entire planet: Rockbox for the Ipod. Rockbox is an open source firmware replacement for alot of popular mp3 players, including the Ipod… I read a little about it, and after seeing some of its capabilities i decided it was time to give it a shot. I had previously tried IpodLinux a few times, but was never really happy with that product.

The “goals” of Rockbox and IpodLinux are totally different, even though they end up with a similar result. Rockbox aims to be a jukebox/music playing firmware replacement that is cross platform and written from scratch. Where as IpodLinux’s goal was to port linux onto the Ipod. After hours and hours of messing around with IpodLinux, and only being half successful (i never played an mp3); i decided that ipodlinux really sounds alot better on paper than it actually is in reality. Ef you ipodlinux.

Rockbox = much easier. I read the installation instructions… I had to downolad a couple of extract/write utilities for the firmware, run a couple commands to extract the apple firmware and patch the rockbox firmware into it, and i was seriously done in 15 minutes. Rockbox booted with no problems, and vastly increased the functionality of my ipod. Rockbox can play different file formats like OGG and flac, It has more extensible customization as far as a user interface and equalizer options, and it has all kinds of nifty plugins/games that come bundled in. I am never going to switch back to the apple firmware, or to ipod linux.

A summary of the cool features Rockbox offers:

  • Built in File/Directory Browser.
  • “Theme” Capability – make your own or download any contributed themes from their site. Which is good, because the default theme was rancid and boring.
  • Custom Fonts Capability – put an assortment of fonts on your ipod.
  • Enhanced Equalizer Capabilities
  • Seems to maintain all usb functionality. It even works with my DLO transpod FM transmitter in my car!
  • Awesome assortment of included games. Including Pacman, Doom (yes, doom), tetris, solitaire, pong, bejeweled, chess, sudoku, asteroids, that shooting colored bubble game… i mean seriously its frickin’ awesome
  • Some sweet plugins/utilities. Including a Gameboy emulator (so far i played tecmo bowl and bowling), Jpeg viewer, battery benchmark, stopwatch, disk cleanup util, etc. etc.
  • Can still boot the apple firmware if you ‘want’.
  • Overall “Cool factor” is there.. Ipodlinux didnt have that.

A couple “Not so cool” features of Rockbox:

  • Rockbox DOES NOT read/sync to the itunes databases. Therefore, you can’t sync music using itunes. Although i have a feeling this really isn’t rockbox’s fault. Apple would probably shut them down immediately if they reverse engineered that capability. Rockbox does half way make up for this with its own database functionality – so you can still filter/play by artist, album, genre, etc. But, you have to manually copy the audio files/folders of music onto your ipod.
  • Doesn’t play videos. I have an ipod video, so it would be nice to have the ability to play video files. If it can play doom, i would think it could launch a correctly formatted mpeg or avi.
  • Battery life. Rockbox likes batteries alot more than the apple firmware. 5-6 hours looks like.
  • Sometimes runs a little sluggishly when navigating the filesystem. Which to me was surprising, because it can only be used on FAT32. NTFS and/or other (mac) filesystems are not supported.

Regardless of those ‘negs’ – I thoroughly enjoy rockbox as an free alternative to the apple firmware. I’ll never switch back. I’ll see if i can get some screenshots or pics of my Rockbox somehow. But in the meantime checkout some screenies here and/or here. (2nd link shows themes, 1st shows the ‘default’ theme.)

If you own an ipod (or any other mp3 player for that matter), you should consider trying rockbox. Install instructions can be found here. They look alot harder than they really are. Unfathomably easier than ipodlinux. ef you ipod linux.