gxcad.com site updates

July 30th, 2010 No comments
Hey guys,

Well! I find myself right back in the flow of updating my blog(s) quite often! Recently, I have been working on a couple hobby projects of mine, but mainly they are all related to other sections of this website, or my 2 youtube channels.

Earlier this year, I started a second youtube channel called ‘gxtechnology’. The videos I post on this channel are much more technology focused on technology news or topics, and I felt it has a significantly different target audience from my main channel (gxcad), Hence, the separation in channels. I will continue to post anything that doesn’t qualify as a technology related topic in my main channel, so anyone reading this that follows me on youtube can decide whether they want watch one channel, the other, or both.

I will probably transition some videos I feel no longer qualify on my gxcad channel over to their appropriate channels over the coming months and clean up and focus the topics of my channels to be consistent for anyone that subscribes, so that they can have a more consistent expectation for each video.

I also have ideas for a third and fourth channel. While that may be arguable as diluting my channels too much, I really feel those topics are so far and away different that they would have entirely different audiences from the 2 channels I have revealed in this post. Either way, I’m working on getting this site (www.gxcad.com) as the main hub for all of my public content so people wishing to follow everything I do publicly on the internet can do so from this site. If you remember and frequent this site, you can always be updated about what I’m up to, or the latest videos I post.

Currently, you can see some links on the sidebar on the right and a twitter widget which doesn’t seem to be updating correctly at the moment (LOL…) but you can click it to access my twitter page too. I decided to protect my tweets for now, so just add me and if you’re not a advertising bot, I’ll add you!

For the exact reasons I mentioned earlier, I’m not going to branch out those next 2 Youtube channels for a while. Those reasons being I wonder if I can still update at a reasonable interval when I have so many topics to cover, and still maintain an audience? …Maintain an audience? Since when did I care about that?

Its true, at first, I started Youtube out of curiosity using a built in webcam in my laptop. I started getting a few views and subscribers, and they were pretty awesome people. One of them gave me a lot of constructive criticism on how to make better videos, and it started to really become a hobby for me. But, I realized that interacting with viewers is one of the best parts about posting videos on youtube. In order to maintain all but the most loyal viewers, you have to update in reasonable intervals. I’ve decided that interval for me is a minimum of 12 videos a year, or one video per month.

I also want to get a more powerful computer and a bigger monitor. Tools like this are great for increasing productivity when doing video work. Over the last year, I’ve acquired a very good HD camcorder and a great tripod, which I’m quite happy with, and I’m sure you guys have seen and heard the improvements in my latest videos.

In the next couple of days, you should see another video in my gxtechnology channel, and maybe one in my gxcad channel, too.

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How to make Edamame

July 29th, 2010 No comments

Edamame is a delicious and healthy snack that is often eaten by Japanese people. What some people may not know is that it is incredibly easy to make (easier than instant ramen!), extremely easy to clean up after, and extremely cheap from the right sources. Details in the video above.

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ROOM CLEANING PROGRESS – END OF DAY 8

July 15th, 2010 No comments
I’ve been slacking lately. First off, I’ve moved from LJ to my own website for my blogging purposes, and generally been playing around and touching up my site. Its actually quite fun, although frustrating at times :). Although I cannot remember exactly what was accomplished on day 7, I can safely say I got nothing done on day 6 or day 8 in terms of actually cleaning my room and very little on day 7, if anything.

As far as being productive, I guess I did get a working decent looking website now and a couple cool things on the sidebar like a twitter display, a shoutbox (which I’m not 100% happy with because it won’t send when hitting return – you actually have to click ‘add’). The shoutbox is not a big priority for me right now and at least it blends in visually, so it will do for now. Oh, I also installed forums LOL if anyone feels like going in there to post stuff, feel free. I am currently looking into adding a store section to the sidebar, just for fun and put random real things I have up for sale there through paypal LOL.

To be honest, 10 days ago gxcad.com was a proud domain name I held but with nothing more than a couple links to my other presenses on the web. So, its safe to say I’ve made a huge improvement to it. It is constantly a ‘work in progress’ but now is much more polished and adds a couple functions people can mess around with (not to mention easier on the eyes!). I will be transitioning to blogging on this site only which is easy to do now that my friends on LJ are much less active, making it less beneficial to stick around. It is also a lot easier for me to add content or mess with the page now that I have proper paid hosting (and some of you may notice I recently tweeted about how good $2 a month can get as far as web hosting). Well, that is actually how much I am paying (2 year contract mind you, but come on thats still only $47 or so). They are actually giving me a free 25 day trial or something like that, so I can cancel if I want really easily, which is really cool! I’m very happy with the hosting though, so I will definitely stay on board. If anyone wants to get paid hosting, and is interested in the one I use, let me know and if there is any referring bonus we can split it. Paid hosting make it a lot easier to get stuff working and is smoother and more reliable than the free host I used to use before. Although, for free, you really cannot complain, right?

I have 2 plans for tomorrow. One is to make a new video. Its not something I have to do, but I want to, and I SHOULD do it. The other thing, is to go to the bank. The video will be the focus, though. I better end here because to be honest it is 4:20am right now and I don’t want to stay up much longer.

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ROOM CLEANING PROGRESS – END OF DAY 4

July 9th, 2010 No comments

Well, here is my update from the middle of day 5. It is safe to say I will get little to nothing done for the rest of day 5 for starters.

Day 3 – Some Shredding – Day 3 was pretty unproductive, especially compared to day 1 and 2. All I was able to accomplish was to bring down my dads super shredder (which must weight like 20-30lbs btw!) and shread maybe 20-40 sheets of paper (which means thats all that I threw away on day 3). I also shredded all of the cards (creditcard sized cards) that I had that were utterly useless such as my SF and SJ library cards (which haven’t been used in at least 5 years). Old AAA membership cards, other OLD membership cards (current ones that have had use within 1 or 2 years were kept). Although I am being much more ruthless than usual about what I throw away, I am still keeping things of reasonable size that have sentimental value. So while I may not keep my huge items, I am keeping things like cards and notes I’ve received.

Day 4: – Google Voice – I honestly don’t think I did ANYTHING on Day 4 with regards to cleaning my room. I did however start messing around with Google Voice, so you could say I learned about what Google Voice is – and signed up. Since Google Voice is such a big deal these days and relates to my industry of expertise, its not unproductive to learn about it, you could argue. Google voice gives everyone a free new phone number which you can choose (from what is available) I got a cool new phone number that you can dial if you wanted to, its pretty easy to remember :). Works just as if you called my current number. GV also has an option where you don’t have to pick a new number, and it’ll just simply take over your voicemail. Its like Youmail, only better and completely free even for the advanced features. Here is a breakdown of the coolest features of GV’s voicemail portion:

1. You can have a VERY SHORT outgoing message with none of that “if you would like to send a message press blah blah if you would like to leave a message please stay on the line” BULLCRAP that takes like 45 seconds. My outgoing message just picks up and says “Ken’s Voicemail” *beep*. This feature was also present in Youmail.

2. You can have customized outgoing messages which change automatically based on who is calling you. I used to have messages such as “You have reached Ken, who is INCREDIBLY BUSY at the moment, please leave a message and he will get back to you in *robotic voice* 4192 hours” when I get calls from work, or outgoing messages in Japanese for people I knew who spoke Japanese. This feature was also present in Youmail.

3. One of the COOLEST features of the Google voicemail is the speech to text transcription. Anyone who leaves you a voicemail is reasonably clear english will automatically get translated to text and emailed to you. Since I have push notification, as soon as I get an email my phone lets me know and I can go and READ the message that was left for me, or listen to it from the attached soundfile. The text transcription is SURPRISINGLY ACCURATE! Youmail had this feature, but it cost money. Google’s version is completely free.

Unfortunately, as famously published many times such as here, Apple has rejected Google’s official app for iPhone (shortly after accepting it, I’ve heard). Many speculate this is due to AT&T’s influence, since Google Voice has a lot of features that replicate what AT&T charges money for, only Google does it all for free (or very cheap, if we are talking about international calls). For that reason, GV support on iPhone is clearly behind that of Android (which sounds really well integrated). People with Android phones who don’t have Google Voice better look it up! *hint hint to someone who reads my blog and recently got a brand new Android phone!*

Plans for the next couple of days:

Well, rather than cleaning my data (which is just as big if not a bigger deal than cleaning my physical room), I decided I’ll clean my actual room instead, since it physically gets in the way, while data is not messy when my computer is off. I also want to spend some time learning 2 things that have been around in the technology world and I think I should understand better. Those 2 things are RSS feeds and WordPress. I do think I will be transitioning my blog to WordPress pretty soon, and I want to use it and understand what it is capable of. After I weigh the benefits of LJ, I think recently that comes down to almost nothing. The main benefit of LJ is that people who already have accounts can comment easily on my posts, and the “friends page” gives a good summary of every friends latest posts, but since my friends recently don’t post at all, and WordPress has good support for guests wishing to post comments, I basically am ready to ditch LJ in the coming months.

Learning about exactly what RSS feeds are (in more detail – I know the basics) should just be a short reading session in a web browser. Will try to update regularly.

Addendum: Weekends will be considered off days.

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ROOM CLEANING PROGRESS – END OF DAY 2

July 7th, 2010 No comments
Ok, so the legend of cleaning my room continues.

Recently I started cleaning my room again. Today is day 2. I just want to go over how much I got done. Unfortunately its not as easy as most rooms since by cleaning my room I somehow also mean cleaning up my DATA. This is a huge undertaking in itself, on top of going through GINORMOUS stacks of paper to see what I need to keep and what I need to SHREAD. Yesterday, I started off by cleaning my desktops. Oddly enough, I cleaned my computer desktop, and I cleaned my physical desktop (so I can put my computer on it). Today, I cleared out the drawer immediately under where my computer now is (below my desk). I found a binder in my drawer that I have looked at every time I opened that drawer for the past 12 years, but today I opened that binder to find out it contained not mine, but my friends 12 year old homework assignments:

Seriously all this time that binder has been taking up the majority of the space in my drawer and I find out 12 years later its not even mine!?

I changed, I started ruthlessly throwing away stuff I never use. Stuff that I used to keep “just in case” or because “it had some value”. Today i threw away at least 3-5 things that I could sell for $5-$10 each. Why? It simply isn’t worth the hassle. For example, old CPU’s, enormous quantities of unused staples. If I don’t need it, why in the world should I keep it and have it take up space!? If anyone reading this wants nearly 5000 staples, let me know and you can have it! Comes in a neat and tidy box. Otherwise I’m gonna leave them in my car and drop them off at my hotel the next time I’m there so at least they will go to use. I’m also throwing away a stapler, so same thing goes for that if you want it let me know its old but works, somewhat compact, and black and standard looking.

I also went through all the plastic cards I’ve acquired recently. Heathcare memberships, AAA, old creditcards, ID, library cards, old school IDs, AMC movie watcher cards. I even found one card that I have NO FUCKING IDEA what it does. I also found an old Bestbuy gift card. Its so old the number is almost rubbed off, but I could see it so I called the number on the card (this card must be pre internet, I mean aren’t there websites to check gift card balances these days!?). There is actually money on it!

Speaking of money, I keep finding some! Holy crap it scares me to think how much big stacks of money are lying around my house because I found probably $8.71 worth (some of it was Japanese Yen, so it would depend on the exchange rate…) so far. I found this TINY TINY plastic ziplock bag so I squished all my yen coins in there and since it wouldn’t close, I wrapped it up with electrical tape instead. You think I’m joking, don’t you?

I also found a bunch of phone numbers written on various pieces of paper. Since I was late to the cellphone bandwagon, I remember thats how I used to keep phone numbers of people I know (and since my friends had cellphones, I’d borrow them to call people I knew). One of my friends Eliza even recopied all my phone numbers onto a 3×5 index card (from various scraps of paper which were fading) back then, and in the process wrote HER OWN NUMBER WRONG. Who does that!? LOL!

The small stack on the right is my Japanese yen coins in a tiny plastic ziplock bag sealed with electrical tape for WIN.

Actually, the phone numbers I found that was not a part of that “summarized index card” were mostly girls. I am so pimp. I even found the phone number (home) and pager number of the prettiest girl in my high school. What? You don’t know what a pager is?

Tomorrow my Dad is going out of town for a bit, and he has a big, fat, juicy paper shredder. Seriously its hard core, I think it could dice up iPod Nanos and puree a buffalo if I could squeeze them in that little slit. It even eats CDs for breakfast (I kid you not, this feature was actually advertised on the box when we bought it!)

Oh, by the way, I kept the index card Eliza wrote for me, LOL. I can’t throw that away, it would be WRONG.

My drawer is very empty now.

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