BlogInfrequent Blog Posts

Server and Desktop Setup by Brian Mitchell

A little over a week ago I finished building my new server. It’s the second computer I’ve built (after my desktop), and is primarily a file and media server. Ryan (@ryanmr) asked me to do a spec sheet, so this is the result.

Learning New Technologies (MEAN Stack) by Brian Mitchell

While taking the Software Design and Development course last spring, we (the class) used Backbone as the main framework on top of Node.js. I never really got the chance to appreciate Backbone due to being slammed with a towering wall of new technologies that make up the Node.js world. I mostly stuck to my own world of Hogan templates, jQuery, and plain JavaScript. This worked reasonably well. While it got a little messy, it worked, and I knew how it worked. During this whole time I was slowly feeling more guilty for creating a monster of jQuery calls that who knows how I was able to keep track of. I wanted to use Backbone to manipulate the page and handle all of the functions, but at that point, I didn’t want to tackle the massive refactoring that would have needed to happen to move it to Backbone properly and moved to a different part of the website completely (design and usability). Maybe I’ll go back and properly refactor the code someday, but for now, that’s a ways off.

Designing a Logo teaser image

Designing a Logo by Brian Mitchell

I had some time to kill today, so I thought to myself, “Hey, why not make a logo?” I then sat and thought for 30 seconds on how I could make a cool logo that had to do with my name, “Brian Mitchell.” In the past, I’ve made little icons that were just squares with a ‘B’ or “BM” inside. An example of this is below:

HDD to SSD by Brian Mitchell

For the last two years, I’ve used an SSD in my 15” MacBook Pro with Retina Display, and for the last ten months or so, I’ve used a Samsung 840 Pro SSD for OS X in my Hackintosh. I’ve become quite accustomed to the speed and reliability of solid state drives. Last April, I tri-booted my Hackintosh and installed Windows 8.1 and Ubuntu 14.04. I had an extra 500 GB WD Scorpio Blue hard drive laying around, so I put the operating systems on there. Performance was pretty good, I have an Intel 4770K and NVIDIA GTX 760, so things move pretty quickly, but both operating systems crawled a little at boot and could be a bit slow at times. I decided that it was time for an upgrade.

Long Car Rides (And MICS) by Brian Mitchell

Today I drove (by drive, I mean rode in a car while someone else drove) to Verona, WI for MICS 2014. MICS (Midwest Instruction and Computing Symposium) is an annual conference that has a career fair, robotics and programming competitions, and research paper presentations. I am attending with two professors from The University of Minnesota and 12 fellow students. I am competing in the both the robotics and programming competitions. I’m very excited to compete! All I hope is that we have some fun and that our robot doesn’t fail epically. Video of the robot shooting during testing