I am the captain of my own starship.

Fly with me, "boldly go where no man has gone before!"

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Cumulative Updates Dec 2017
Updated - 12/09/2017 05:05:36
Category: Recent Updates
Keywords: Updates, New Job, Commute, Learning, Rubiks Cube

It is a long time since the last post. This will be the last post of the year. Since the last post, a lot of things had happened. This post will be summarizing of all these. From this point on, if I will post updates like this almost every month. I have to start writing, all this site will turn into a wasteland.

At the end of August, I quit my job and began searching for a new one. Within a week, I have found a new opportunity. The background check took a long while, two weeks. For that time, I stayed home. Although, I didn't do much, the house work kept me busy. And I did spent a lot of time watching some TV. I finished "Full Metal Alchemist - Brotherhood". It has 64 episodes, and took a long time, 3 to 4 days to finish the binge watching.

While I was binge watching "Full Metal Alchemist - Brotherhood", the build in WIFI adapter in my laptop was broken, so I bought a couple equipment, a TP-LINK usb WIFI adapter, a WIFI range extender, a pair of earphone, and a battery bank for my phone. All these are great equipments. The usb WIFI adapter was a very good replacement to the broken WIFI adapter. The WIFI range extender solved a lot of my WIFI issues. My internet modem is in the basement. the laptops don't have much issue with this setup. I also have a Pixel C. Just like what has said in a lot of forums, Pixel C was no good with choppy internet connections. With the range extender, my Pixel C is working in medium efficiency. It is enough for me to read web pages with Pixel C. This made me very happy. The earphone was a great choice too. it was about $15. I use it almost 6 hours of 8 working hours during week days. With such a high usage, the thing is definitely paying for itself. The quality of life they brought is worth of the cost of these equipments.

After starting working, I was taking bus to the transit center, then took CTA L-train to downtown. I spent about $4.50 a day. The whole trip is super boring, but totally avoided the trouble of driving. It saved gas money, and I had a lot more time standing up during the day. Besides being boring, the ride on the train is quite crowded. In the morning, it gets crowded at Logan Square station. It reaches full capacity at Damen. Then it unloads 1/3 of its capacity at Clark and Lake. And at Monroe station, the train is at 1/4 of its capacity. When it is packed, the ride can be claustrophobic. The everyday work routine is still the same. I work about 8 hours a day. During the day, I walk the stairs for 48 to 50 floors for exercise. On weekend, I exericse for about 90 minutes. I should have more physical exercise. But there is little time for it.

During the break, I wrote two small programs. Both utilize FFMPEG for video conversion. One is used to converting mp4 files into mp3 files. The other would cut the video or audio files by picking a start time and end time. Both made my life easier when I have to do some audio and video work. It took a week to do both, and they both worth the time. It also gave me a little time to work with Win Form applications. It was a nice break from web based applications. After this blog engine was done, I kind of felt lost.

I found some interested in audio and video editing a while back. At first, I was using FFMPEG for cutting and conversion. FFMPEG is pretty awesome. However, it is not user friendly, and it does not work with complex conversion and stitching. So I got Adobe Premiere, which is truly awesome. Editing video is just something I am doing for fun when I am not doing programming. It will also be a new skill I am going to learn for 2018. This reminds me, I need to make a list of things to finish for 2018.

The most exciting moment for me this year is that I learned how to solve Rubik's Cube. When I was very young, I was envious of kids who had a Rubik's Cube. When I became a little bit older, I realized not many people can solve this thing. I know I can't solve it. So I didn't really care about having one. I remembered the day my wife bought a key chain with a cube on it. We played for several days, and she managed to solve one side. That was very exciting. I remembered I learned from her how to solve one side. And I was really bad at it. This thing takes spatial coordination. When I had kids myself. Finally a full size one showed up in the house. And the kids twisted around for a while and left it in the corner. Then I met a guy at the new work place and he really know how to solve it. So I did the same thing as I learned fishing. I asked him to teach me how to solve it. I spent 4 weeks to learn. And I finally got the knowledge needed to solve it. It affirms again the idea that if I put my mind into learning something new, I will get it. The key is learning the knowledge, then put lots of time into practicing it. The outcome is that I am one of those people who can solve the cube. Yay!

As I said before, after getting this blog engine completed, I was a bit lost. The work of getting this site completed is so exhausting, that I just can't do another project like this. Yet, I just don't feel like I have done enough. I need to create more web based applications, more show cases, and different varieties. After the break, I started experimenting. Then I decided a long term project -- a web site for writers. It should have some very simple features, a way to publish chapters, and allow people to download pdf version of the chapters. I have not sort out the details yet. It will keep me busy for a while. For this one, I will do it in a pace I am comfortable with, and not getting myself exhausted.

This is all the update I am willing to share. The next post will be more interesting. I am going to write some notes on video editing, some new technologies I am learning, and any fun experience I am having.