Saturday, December 24, 2005

up up and away!

ok, so I may not be flying, but I am going away so there. off to garden I go. see y'all on the 27th.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

ever wonder how a keyboard works?

well, as many of you know, I'm taking a course to prepare for the MCAT in a couple of months. one of the perks of taking the course is that you can subscribe to an e-newsletter called the pre-med edge. there's a section in there called 'pop science' that basicall explains how stuff works. this month's topic is the keyboard. most of the info is adapted from the website which I highly suggest you visit if, like me, you've ever wondered how stuff works. maybe I can finally figure out how that toaster works... anyways, below is the article on keyboards.

How Computer Keyboards Work

The part of the computer that we come into most contact with is probably the piece that we think about the least. But the keyboard is an amazing piece of technology. For instance, did you know that the keyboard on a typical computer system is actually a computer itself?
At its essence, a keyboard is a series of switches connected to a microprocessor that monitors the state of each switch and initiates a specific response to a change in that state.

The processor in a keyboard has to understand several things that are important to the utility of the keyboard, such as:

Position of the key in the key matrix.
The amount of bounce and how to filter it.
The speed at which to transmit the typematics.
The key matrix is the grid of circuits underneath the keys. In all keyboards except for capacitive ones, each circuit is broken at the point below a specific key. Pressing the key bridges the gap in the circuit, allowing a tiny amount of current to flow through. The processor monitors the key matrix for signs of continuity at any point on the grid. When it finds a circuit that is closed, it compares the location of that circuit on the key matrix to the character map in its ROM. The character map is basically a comparison chart for the processor that tells it what the key at x,y coordinates in the key matrix represents. If more than one key is pressed at the same time, the processor checks to see if that combination of keys has a designation in the character map. For example, pressing the a key by itself would result in a small letter "a" being sent to the computer. If you press and hold down the Shift key while pressing the a key, the processor compares that combination with the character map and produces a capital letter "A."
Adapted from

Friday, December 16, 2005

there's still hope

on my lunch break today, I decided to have BK simply because I didn't really have any "lunch food" at my place. as I was heading in, I stopped and opened the outside door for an elderly lady walking out. behind the old lady was a mother with three children behind her. the oldest of the children held the inside door open for her and his little brothers AND ME. I walked through the door and kindly thanked him for his troubles. it's things like this that make me smile and think that maybe, just maybe, humanity may survive this spiral of despair it seems to be on. in this world of "me firsts" and "out of my ways", it's nice to see that there are still people that are still courteous. his parents did a good job raising him and in the off chance that you're reading this, thank you. so, long story short, be courteous, it does make a difference.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

o christmas tree! o christmas tree!

andrea and I put up our tree a couple of weeks ago but I've been too busy/lazy to put the pictures up until now so here they are:

here's our tree with the lights on

I got us a 2005 ornament to celebrate our first tree together

here's our tree all lit up

and a close up of our tree topper

my arms shake like a bowl full of wait...that can't be right...

well, as you can probably tell, I've been working out with the eye toy thingy again. I just got done and although the games are fun and good for you, I believe the toning sections are just there as the trainer's way of torturing you. I did the upper body toning section again and I can already feel my triceps tensing up (it usually takes me three days to feel the result of any workout) so I'm definitely looking forward to three days from now. should be fun doing sticks if I can't bend my elbows. and my reward for torturing myself? a glass of water and a red pear. mmmmmm...delish. and the plans for the rest of tonight? clean up the apt and prepare some food stuff for tomorrow. andrea and I are having some people over for a christmas-ish gathering and since she's got to work all day tomorrow, I have to do most of the prep work. what else...? oh yeah, I went down to manhattan yesterday and spent the night at shannon and nicole's place. we played warhammer which was pretty fun. we played a skirmish scenario where the weather changed every turn, thus producing different effects on either teams. it was fun and unpredictable. the highlight of the night was when chris's flamer rat-thingies, the only things that could've seriously damaged every figure on my side, spontanesouly combusted the first time it tried to fire its weapon and killed itself. I laughed lots. in the end, good triumphed. I believe it turned out to be a decisive victory or something like that. other things I did today include driving all the way to Nebraska Furniture Mart, that's an additional hour's drive from getting back from manhattan, to get my sister's christmas present only to find out it closed five minutes before I got there. that's all right. I wound up stopping by the nearby border's, best buy, dick's sporting goods, and bed bath and beyond for some christmas shopping. only two more presents to buy. one for my parents and the other one for a friend of mine. well, off to relax and clean a bit. if you don't hear from me tomorrow, you can rest assured that it won't be because I don't have anything to say. it'll be because I won't be able to control my muscles enough to type.

Monday, December 05, 2005

let there be eggrolls!

well, I called home tonight to tell my parents that I proposed and that she said yes and whilst on the phone, I asked my mom to make eggrolls for the christmas party. I can confirm that there will be eggrollage and fried riceage. let the feast begin!

she said yes

quite a bit of an emotional jump from the previous post to this one. just to let anyone that is interested know, andrea and I are now engaged. I asked yesterday and she said yes. so you can look forward to wedding news sometime or other. in other news, we went to vespers yesterday (the christmas concert) and it was awesome as always. this'll be the fourth year we've gone and we've never been disappointed. it has the choirs as well as the symphonies and they sing carols from all over the world. they even have sing-a-longs. well, I'm kinda hungry now so food good. anything else I've forgotten to mention can wait.