Learn from Seymour & Get Smarter

Upon graduating recently, I found the Engineering group had a special treat – a copy of Seymour Schulich’sGet Smarter” was given to each grad. In an atypical move, I decided to read this non-textbook source of information.

Worth Reading

I quite enjoyed it, Schulich has arranged the book in to a ton of tiny chapters. In each, he quickly and effectively conveys an opinion or experience of his. If you’re not interested in something, it’s easy to skip on (granted I never did) and the rest of the book will still make sense. Given Schulich’s history, this is a man with some neat concepts to convey. He discusses a vast range of topics from his opinions about assessing career options to finding meaning in life.

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Kobo – Unboxed & Linux Friendly

I’ve recently acquired myself a Kobo eReader. Read on to learn of my initial experiences, thoughts and reactions..

For those who remain unaware of what an ereader is…

They are little device designed to replace physical books. The key to success of the major ereaders (of which the ipad is NOT included) is the use of a completely distinct display technology called E-Ink. The important detail about that is that things displayed on E-Ink look just as though they were printed on paper. Compare this to viewing a typical LCD screen (like that of your phone) in the bright sun. The LCD has to overcome the ambient light, which is really tough in the day. The sharp contrast in brightness is similarly tiring for eyes in good lighting. E-Ink is free of that burden.

Deciding against the Kindle and Nook

In the moments since I got my Kobo the eReader world has changed. When I ordered it, it was about $100 less than the Nook or the Kindle. However, as the battle heats up, both of those competitors have been re-priced and thus I likely would have ordered a Nook if I could go back. HOWEVER.. I’m finding the insanely minimal approach of the Kobo to actually appear to be it’s winning feature. It’s damned thin and very light. The Sony ereader is the only other that sort of rivals it in this regard – I looked at that one in a store and noticed its screen was quite reflective and I kind of don’t enjoy burning my eyes out via glare.

So I suspect even with the new pricing, the Kobo is still worthy of MAJOR consideration. This is for those people who are interested in getting a device that does one thing especially well. The Kindle comes pretty close in this regard though, but it has more parts and complexity. Still, if you’re completely afraid of operating a computer to a basic level, you should probably just go with one of the others. I, like many of my generation, don’t even consider operation of a computer effort.. So whatever to that point for me.

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8 Years, 2 Degrees, 1 Internship & 0 Regrets

Engineering GradComputer Science Grad
Well, for those that know, it’s been a damned long time in coming, but I have finally fully graduated as of June 7th and 8th 2010.

The tale of my 8 year tenor at the University of Calgary is somewhat of a unique animal, there was a lot of pain and a great deal of fun. As I look back after just completing that journey I am delighted to be through it and I’m keen to move on in to new areas of life. But I also know that these years were great and I’ll happily reflect upon them as I drift away from this phase.

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Erlenmeyer Flask of Drinking

I’ve long since loathed the wide range of drinking vessels that I know react with my water. I’m already seriously irritated about the mandatory fluoridation of my drinking water. So I hardly like that drinking from a metal container tends to make my water taste metallic. Then there’s my instinctual concerns about anything plastic.

This led me to glass. However, I remained unconvinced that typical glass products are plain nonreactive glass.. Thus, I decided upon chemistry glasswares. From there, I decided to run with an Erlenmeyer Flask as it’ll sit well on my desk and can defend against the attacks of cat tongues.

This was an expensive way to go but some people, like me, are willing to pay for some decent piece of mind – and I’ll be drinking from this thing for.. well.. as long as I can.. So may as well pay once for something decent that you use every day!