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the life with playstation folding@home project concludes

the life with playstation folding@home project concludes

Sunday, November 4th, 2012, was the last morning when Folding@home on Life With Playstation received my Playstation 3’s last completed work unit. One of the selling points for my reason of getting a PS3 was the capability of donating more CPU power to the distributed computing project.

the life with playstation folding@home project concludes

I took these last screenshots to preserve the memory of the application on my Playstation. I continue to contribute to the project on a regular basis by donating the CPU power of Diode, my trusty file server that has been folding proteins since I built it back in 2007, and occasionally from c0rey foldman, my desktop computer with a Phenom quad-core processor.

I have built and used many desktop computers that have contributed to Stanford University’s Folding@home project. I started donating around 2001-2002 with an Athlon Thunderbird 1.4  processor that I still have stored away somewhere but has been retired for years. I have used a couple Athlon XP’s and a few Athlon 64 X2’s (including the one in Diode that still folds on), and an Phenom X4 that I burn up maybe a couple months a year these days when the temperature drops considerably.

I was excited to gain a Playstation 3 back in 2008, because that fulfilled my dream of having the machine that folded using the Cell, the multi-core processor used in the PS3. I managed to donate 1533+ work units over the years with my Playstation. The images provided here are a little deceiving. I had a system crash that required me to reinstall Life With Playstation and lose the completed count from the first round. I can only recall that I was in the triple digits before that unfortunate incident.

When I fired on the Playstation today, I wanted to see if any changes were made to Life With Playstation since I last checked on Sunday. I read the news around the end of October that the program was ending, so I was not surprised. I was waiting for the actual end date which had to have occurred some time this week if not today. I started the LWP application, and it required an immediate update. After the 11MB file downloaded and installed, running the program again displayed this message:

the life with playstation folding@home project concludes

Folding proteins on my Cell microprocessor has finally ended. Technology is always evolving, and this milestone marks the end of a five-year relationship that I was proud to participate in.

^_^

On a numerological note: 1533 is the same sequence of numbers in 1.533GHz, the stable overclocked speed of the first processor I used for Folding@home, my Athlon Thunderbird.

the everlasting nap

A leftover chicken tender seasoned with salt, pepper, and garlic powder was cut it up and placed in a bowl with water and rice noodles. The bowl was microwaved for two and a half minutes, then the oil and flavoring included in the pho gà package was added. The contents of the bowl were quickly mixed around and microwaved for another minute and a half.

After the soup was given time to cool off to a pleasant temperature, it was consumed. Within half an hour, I was asleep in my bed intending to only take a nap for half an hour. I woke up to the sound of M walking through the door at one in the morning. I was supposed to pick her up from the airport but failed to turn on the ringer on my phone and slept through. Oops and argh.

the forward thinker

The month of August passed without an update. I just noticed that today. I was busier than usual that month with work clocking in around 50 hours a week.

August is the month that marks the anniversary of when this website became a part of the world wide web. This site has been online for over six years now.

Work is returning to normal. I have been averaging about 45 hours a week. I hope to be back to the usual 40 by the beginning of next month. The Texas heat is slowly leaving the state, and that makes me real happy. I really enjoy the cooler weather.

Since this post went stale before it started, I’ll end it here. Peace out.

the billie joe and mike of green day guitar center interview

Few musicians can claim a successful career that spans thirty years—let alone such a career that involves just one band. But that’s exactly the type of career Green Day’s singer/guitarist Billie Joe Armstrong and bassist Mike Dirnt have meticulously crafted . They’ve spent all thirty of those years not only playing music alongside each other, but they’ve transformed their small Berkeley-based punk band into full-blown rock royalty, with 11 studio albums under their belt and 65 million records sold worldwide.


the billie joe and mike of green day guitar center interview      “I first wanted to play guitar when I was really young, but my hands were too small. I was like 5,” says Armstrong, spending the afternoon with Dirnt at Guitar Center Pico & Westwood in West Los Angeles. “But then I started taking guitar lessons from a guy named George Cole when I was 8.” Dirnt chimes in with his introduction to the world of music, “My mom’s roommate played guitar, and he used to let me play it—as long as I took my belt buckle off,” he laughs. “That was kind of it. When you’re a little kid, I can’t think of anything cooler than a guitar.”

Even with their long and rich history, Armstrong and Dirnt can recall their earliest collaborations. “When Mike and I first started playing together. we were in this band where everyone was playing guitar—there was about four or five guitars players—and we were all trying to play ‘Purple Haze,'” Armstrong says. “So Mike and I kind of split away from that around 7th grade, and we learned three songs together. We had a big variety of tastes—everything from heavy metal to punk rock when it first started coming up, to very basic stuff that was on MTV or the radio.”

Though Green Day sells out entire stadiums today, the band started like any other up-and-comer, playing small clubs, backyards and even basements to gain fans. “The hardest part was just trying to get a qiq,” says Armstrong. “One of the first times we jumped on the bill was at a party in San Francisco.” Dirnt takes over. “Yeah, we played on the top floor of somebody’s place, between this tiny living room and the bathroom. I mean you’re talking about 22 people standing in a room that only holds 11—but it was such a good time. you know? Just add beer.” he laughs.

Green Day would go on to sign with Reprise Records in 1994, and has been with them ever since. The two reflect on their decision to join a major label. “When we started out, we didn’t know the kind of music we were playing could become popular,” says Armstrong. “And then Nirvana came along, and it seemed like there was this small window where we thought it seemed like a good time to do it. I mean, we just wanted to be able to play forever,” he laughs. Dirnt adds, “We were at a place where we were selling more tickets to shows than the clubs could handle, so we really had to make a choice,”—Armstrong interrupts. “We were selling more tickets than we were selling records. There were a few naysayers that felt like maybe we were gonna get burned or something by a major label, but it’s been nothing but good—I can’t think of a bad record or even a bad situation that we’ve ever truly been in.”

Immediately upon signing, Green Day headed into the studio to record their breakthrough album Dookie. “We were just so excited to hear our stuff recorded really well—and not have to knock it out really quick in the same room without any isolation of any instruments,” Dirnt says of the recording process. Armstrong adds, “Our first record cost $600. our second $1,200. This time, we actually had a good budget, and we were like. ‘This record rules, and it’s better than anything on the radio.’ But we didn’t know if everyone else was gonna agree with us,” he laughs.

Key to the success of Dookie, and an undeniable part of the band’s sound since, is producer Rob Cavallo, who also worked with them on Insomniac, Nimrod, American Idiot and their upcoming triple release, ¡Uno!, ¡Dos!, ¡Tré!. Says Armstrong. “When we first presented him with the idea of doing three albums, I think he thought we were crazy. But then when he came into the studio, heard us rehearsing, and saw the set list for the three different sequences we were working on, I think he was like, ‘This is awesome. This is gonna happen, and it’s something that’s never been done before.'” Dirnt adds, “Rob’s great at helping us with recording techniques, getting good guitar sounds—he’s a great translator, able to go from what we’re going for to the technical aspects of laying it down.”

At this stage in their career, Green Day can afford countless studio hours writing and perfecting new material, but the band still prefers to have everything well thought out and prepared beforehand.” Says Armstrong, “You can’t create a whole chapter of your life inside a studio within a two-month period. I think it’s important to keep documenting things within those couple of years leading up to making the record.” Dirnt continues, “If you want, you can be 90% ready and then leave 10% up to spontaneity and fun—that’s great. But otherwise, it’s just mailing it in—and being haphazard about it.”

And, when it comes to writing and preparing material, they’re quick to clarify it’s a collaborative effort. Says Dirnt, “Billie writes the majority of the stuff, but at the end of the day, we all know how to structure songs, write songs, write melodies and put everything together.” Armstrong adds, “I usually come in with a skeleton of a song, but the more we rehearse, the more the song evolves, and everyone starts adding.” He continues, “For example, with ‘Kill the DJ,’ Mike said, ‘Why don’t we try something more four-on-the-floor, a cross between Blondie and Gang of Four?’ So, I came in with a riff and a melody, and Mike and Tré jumped all over it.”

Most bassists can attest the spotlight is typically reserved for lead singers and guitarists . Dirnt has this to offer about his role as Green Day’s bassist, “It’s the same role as everybody else in the band,” he says. “If everyone’s doing their part right, the song will sound appropriate. Sometimes you have to step out and be on Broadway and carry the song—other times you have to sit back, It’s about finding what the song is calling for.”

With decades spent on the road and in and out of studio , Dirnt has had a lot of time to perfect and hone his signature bass tone—an iconic part of Green Day’s sound. “It just kind of happened,” he says, “Number one, I play with a pick, and I play with a lot of power, so I think that punches it up a little bit. Beyond that, I think over the years I’ve had to cut through some pretty big guitars, and that helps formulate me finding my spot. And then, it’s just a matter of me playing peak-a-boo with certain parts of the song,” he laughs. Armstrong adds, “I think with the new material, the bass comes across a lot more. [¡Uno!, ¡Dos!, ¡Tré!] has a cleaner kind of guitar sound—we’re using more vintage amps like early ’70s Marshalls, Vox, stuff like that—and Mlke’s bass lines are able to cut in and really compliment the melody of the song.” Dirnt chimes in, “There’s some songs on the new record where I couldn’t believe there wasn’t a rhythm guitar being played—because it sounds so full with just one bass.”

As far as recording a triple release, the duo say it was a natural progression of events. “We originally went into the rehearsal studio with a handful of power pop songs,” says Dirnt. “But we kept our noses down and kept writing, and when we got to around 30 songs, we realized there were three different elements going on. ¡Uno! is more like classic Green Day. ¡Dos! is more garage rock—a little dirtier, like you’re in the middle of the party, and ¡Tré! has this more self-reflecting, epic nature to the songs. Once we saw that each of the three records would have their own personalities, it just kind of made sense.”

With ¡Uno!, ¡Dos!, ¡Tré! being Green Day’s 9th, 10th and 11th albums, Armstrong and Dirnt definitely have seen how advances in technology influence the way albums are recorded and bands are made. “The quality of recording at home is so much faster and so much more usable today—so much cheaper, too. And for me, I think when you hear a good band, everything truly goes back to what the kids are doing in the garage, or in their bedrooms—just trying to get that gig. That’s the way 1look at it.” Dirnt adds, “It’s never been cheaper—guitars are so cheap now. I remember when I bought my first Squier Strat. It was like 350 bucks. For $350 now you can get a Fender especially on a good sale.” Dirnt laughs. Armstrong has also once again teamed up with Gibson for his new double cutaway signature Les Paul Junior. “We wanted to do something a little different, so this one’s based on a 1960 model—the neck is thinner and it’s finished in TV yellow. No tricks or anything like that—just plug it in, turn it up, and start rocking out.”

As seasoned musicians with three decades of experience. Armstrong and Dirnt still know the struggle of picking out the perfect guitar. Their advice is simple, “Plug into everything there,” says Dirnt. “People say, ‘I don’t know what I want.’ Well, go plug into everything—and for that matter, actually turn the knobs and see what they do,” he laughs. Armstrong adds, “Don’t be afraid of the instrument—control the instrument. Don’t let it control you. Strum hard. Turn the volume up as loud as you can. Do your Pete Townshend windmills. Don’t walk on eggshells around the instrument—break the thing in—that’s what a guitar or bass wants.” the billie joe and mike of green day guitar center interview

Source | At: Guitar Center, September 2012

the sadwich

Before I go to bed for the night during the workweek, I prepare my lunch for the next day. Two pieces of bread go into the toaster. After they finish toasting, I let them sit and cool off to room temperature. Then I add a slice of cheese (currently jalapeño jack) and four slices of smoked turkey to construct my simple every workday sandwich.

Tonight, I was down to a single slice of turkey, the last slice of cheese, and the last pair of bread slices not including the ends. Instead of the standard four slices, tomorrow’s sandwich will only have a single slice of lunchmeat partnered up with the last slices of bread and cheese one last time before I have to make a small trip to the grocery store.

Maybe I should just go with a peanut butter sandwich but the texture isn’t pleasant after refrigeration. Maybe I should treat myself to Taco Bell but the current parking situation prevents me from leaving the office to visit a drive-thru. I am settling with my single slice of meat with a single slice of cheese cozied up between a couple slices of honey wheat toast. I will satisfy my hunger tomorrow with my hopefully first and last sadwich for lunch. Peace out.

the tv lift cabinets

A high-definition television is a mainstay in most homes. We depend on this device to provide us with news and entertainment. After a hard day of work, relaxing on the couch in front of the TV helps many people unwind. On the weekends, watching sports or a good movie is commonplace across the country.

Televisions are not easy to view when sitting on the carpet or hardwood floor. They need a sturdy piece of furniture or some sort of way to position them near eye level or above for everyone to enjoy. With lift furniture for televisions, watching your favorite show will be enjoyed to its fullest potential. These cabinets have space to store Blu-ray™ discs, game consoles, or anything else like extra coffee table books or family photo albums that are not usually sitting out.

TV lift cabinets are available in many sizes and designs to fit anyone’s home and television setup. Traditional cabinets made of wood are made to last a lifetime. Modern cabinets are equally as strong but have the sleek design that some people may prefer over the classic selections. For anyone looking to upgrade where they set their flatscreen television, browsing online to discover a cabinet fit for the décor is the best first step in the search for that perfect addition to a living room or bedroom.