Living Below the Line - Day 1

     

This year, I decided to take part in the Living Below the Line fundraising campaign. Living Below the Line aims to raise awareness about poverty by challenging people to live off of $1.50(USD) a day (the U.S. equivalent of the extreme poverty line.) In the start-up world, making do with far too little is a way of life, and that particular challenge is something I enjoy. This seemed to be an interesting way to test my frugal / inventive skills while trying in some way to help a good cause.


How to eat like a Vegan (Plant Based Eating)

     

The first thing I should say before any of this is: consult your doctor before you make any kind of health changes. However, keep in mind, most doctors are not trained in nutrition (and some nutritionist are just plain misinformed as well). Nevertheless, doctors can draw labs and tell you if you’re going to do something that would hurt yourself which, I am sure you would agree, is nice to know.


Are tween girls the profitable music demographic?

     

I am by no means a music industry veteran, but I’ve worked at a few music tech startups, and there is often this underlying theme from music industry insiders that tween girls are the target market. I’ve often asked why that is, or if there is any proof, and I am often met with a “well that’s just common sense” kind of answer. It has never made logical sense to me, and all of my life experiences point in a different direction, but being a noob in the industry I just assumed I was old, and it was true.


The iPad - I was wrong.

     

A few years ago when the iPad first came out, I didn’t like it at all. And to be fair, compared to OSX there wasn’t much you could do with it. At the time you could watch movies and well… that was about it. I cursed the thing with all my might for not being OSX, and I swore I would never own one. Well, of course, I now have one.


Playing and Recording Guitar on Ubuntu

     

When I moved back to Linux from Mac, I was a bit worried about finding replacements for two programs: Garageband and iMovie. While I don’t really need those applications, I do like to create media from time to time. I’ve found replacements for both. This is the workflow I am using for my guitar. Watch on YouTube This setup enables me to play my guitar into my headphones and add some effects.


Chinese Input on Android 2.1 (HTC Desire)

     

It took a bit to sort it out, but once you know how turning on and using Chinese input on Android 2.1 is very nice. Here is a quick movie showing how to install, enable, and use Chinese input using the HTC Desire (it should be the same for any Android 2.1 phone I would guess) Watch on YouTube


HSK Basic Study Aids

     

I’ve been studying Mandarin as a hobby for a few years now, but I’ve decided to step it up a bit this year. As part of one of my goals for 2010, I am going to take the HSK Basic test. While passing the HSK Basic would be a big boost for me, in the grand scheme of things passing the basic test means one simply has a solid base to really begin learning Mandarin.


YASnippet Emacs Snippets - Like Textmate

     

I’ve gone back to Emacs for all my text processing needs for some reason. Well, I think the main reason was I’ve been going back and forth between Linux, Mac, and Windows on my latest project at work, and there wasn’t a common editor between all three that I liked… save my old friend Emacs. I’ve always used emacs for one thing or another, but I’ve grown very used to Textmate on the Mac for coding.


Adventures in CSS2 Font Embedding

     

CSS2 (or maybe it’s CSS3 - who can keep up) lets you embed fonts into style sheets for use on your HTML pages. Since all modern browsers now support true type font embedding (that’d be Firefox 3.5, Safari 4, Chrome(?), and Opera 9), I figured I take a stab at it to see how practical it was. I think in the long run this is going to be a boon for designers.


CFML in gEdit (The Ubuntu Text Editor)

     

I’ve finished moving the basics of my work system from Mac to Ubuntu 9. Here is a screen shot of my desktop. I put the system together from unused computer parts laying around the office. This would be considered an underpowered system by most people’s standards, but it runs well - even the dual monitors and eye candy work seamlessly. It probably wouldn’t do video editing very well, but it’s powerful enough to run everything need, and doesn’t skip a beat.