The Cottage itself is for sale!

Hey friends. My parents are now selling our beloved cottage building to make room for our next cottage. I’ve just posted a link to an ebay posting for the building. I decided to make a posting here on my site just to help the listing’s web presence. The building is located in Windermere, British Columbia. Check out the ebay posting if you think you may be interested!

Go here to see the posting!

Cheers to Cliff

Back in the fall of 2006 I began a full year course at the University of Calgary – cpsc550. This course is considered a privilege to take as the faculty exposes students in it to some special instructors who really are at the uni to do real work. My offering of the course had two instructors Darcy Grant and Cliff Marcellus. This post is about Cliff in particular. As the course progressed I came to deeply appreciate Cliff as he had a sense of humor I considered to be very unusual, he would say completely hilarious things that required you really be familiar with the topic at hand to really appreciate. Cliff and I exchanged a few emails containing some rather outrageous intellectual collaboration regarding physics and the workings of the universe as according to Star Trek. Towards the end of the course I showed Cliff some diagrams of a general purpose computer architecture I had thought up – he was highly enthusiastic about them and firmly encouraged me to continue designing.

Yesterday, which was one month after that fact, I learned that Cliff had passed away due to some kind of liver failure. I believe he was 48 at the time. While I can appreciate that a little blog post is really rather minor and insignificant, but I felt the need to say something somewhere.

I was deeply saddened to hear to news, especially since I’ve been trying to connect up with Cliff for the past month or so to discuss more bizarre physics from Star Trek. Cliff certainly was a massively outstanding person with a wonderfully crazy disposition. He’s a keen example of out of the box mentality and I will undoubtedly continue to miss him as I’m sure others will too.

So cheers to Cliff. I’m delighted to have had an opportunity to get to know him and can rightly say he made a real difference in my life.

Electronic Notetaking for School and Life

As I prepare for yet another semester of school, I’ve decided it’s time I finally find a method to electronically record my notes. At this point I’m putting a call out there for some help / suggestions on what would do the trick.

As a student there are a few main requirements I have for this project:

1. Cost ($500 would be ideal – $1K is getting out of control)
2. Functionality (must be able to draw notes in to it at a relatively high speed and resolution)
3. Reliability
4. Portability

As it stands there’s one device that meets 3 of these requirements really well, as far as I can tell. That would be the iRex iLiad (see image below).

iRex iLiad
Pros: Very thin

Uses e-paper display

Supports a ton of peripherals (USB, SD/MMC, Wifi)

Relatively large screen
Cons: Quite expensive (~$700USD)

First generation technology

Very slow startup / page turning times

So at present the iLiad is the best device I can think of for this job, but I don’t like the price tag and the fact that it’s a first generation machine. I seem to recall HP releasing a tablet PC for about $1K somewhat recently – so paying 70% of that for the iLiad kind of seems totally foolish to me, though a tablet pc will clearly be a lot heavier and thicker, as a student I don’t care, but I also don’t need a second laptop.

So the search goes on…

I’ve seen a youtube video that made reference to a new ebook reader from iRiver which looks pretty snazzy to me. In the video they said it had a touch screen interface, so that suggests it could be capable of recording annotations. See image below:

The challenge with this iRiver device is that it seems that iRiver still hasn’t decided if they’re going to actually put them in to production. Further it seems that the screens are relatively small and given I’m left-handed.

So that means that I’d only be able to annotate on the left screen as my wrist would ream pretty hard on the left screen if I were writing on the right screen.

So, community, please tell me, do any of you know of some other devices which will suit my needs? I wouldn’t mind the tablet PC option that lets me use MS OneNote – I think that’s an outstanding application, though I’ve yet to try Dia, which I hear is fantastic too.