Replacing Dropbox Pro with Amazon Glacier, and other services

Recently I've started auditing my tech spending to save some money.  One of the things I decided to drop was my subscription to Dropbox Pro, costing me $99/yr for 100 GB.  (really 140, because they double your free-space with a pro account). Here's what I did. Photos: Amazon S3 Glacier Backup A big chunk of my data in dropbox was photos:...Read More

Trip Report: South Africa (Week 3)

Sorry for the delayed post, but I was just realizing that I would be remiss if I didn't post one of the most memorable experiences of our trip: our Safari. Unfortunately, it's hard to describe just how incredible it was to see all the animals on the savana, and after our camera broke shark-diving, my photos are only from my...Read More

Trip Report: South Africa (Week 2)

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="622"] Tasting wine at our neighbors' vineyard![/caption] The end of Stellenbosch Stellenbosch is basically the Boulder of Cape Town. There is great dining, good mountain biking, and many, many wineries.  Courtney and I enjoyed walking to different wine estates for tastings, which normally cost less than $2.50 for five wines.  We've also loved the dining here, with restaurants...Read More

Trip Report: Cape Town and Stellenbosch (The first few days)

The first law of travel is be flexible. With a sudden death in the family, our hosts had to fly back to the UK, and our plans in Cape Town changed.  We were still able to see our friends briefly before heading to the airport. [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="671"] Courtney Overlooking the city of Cape Town, with Table Mountain in...Read More

Tool of the Week: Stack Exchange

Over the past few months I've gotten a handful of requests on this blog to help write a custom piece of code. There are a couple reasons I don't do this: Ain't Nobody Got Time For Dat! One of the most valuable parts of my 10.5 years of higher education was learning how to learn. If I just gave you answers,...Read More

Reading/Writing to CSV in Matlab

When doing data analysis, many times your input will come in a .csv file, and you'll also want output in a .csv file.  Unfortunately, matlab's built-in csvread/csvwrite functions are exceptionally frustrating to use for anything than pure numeric input/output.  Luckily, writing your own code to read /csv files (especially with some knowledge of your desired input/output) is pretty easy. Reading...Read More

Project (In Progress): The $100 Quadcopter

I've always wanted to build a quadcopter, and I've got some free time so over the next couple months I'm going to try to build one from scratch.  Sure, there are a lot of tutorials out there on how to build them, but many come with pre-packaged controls and are basically just buying the right parts and assembling them. [caption...Read More

Reflections on Grad School: Tools and Tricks I wish I knew all along

I've done it! I've gotten my Ph.D.!  Here's a few things I wish I had done from the very beginning. Enjoy Yourself. You're going to take 4-8 years investing in yourself. This is time you've set aside to educate yourself about a subject you're hopefully passionate about.  Along the way, you'll learn a tonne about a multitude of subjects! Besides...Read More

Smartphone App: Google Hangouts

I've loved my mobile phone since switched to android from iPhone; however, there's been one basic thing that's been missing: A good text messaging app. [caption id="attachment_1435" align="alignright" width="168"] Hangouts has a clean chat like interface for messaging with multiple people.[/caption] Sure, I've tried a few in the play store: handcent sms and go sms to name a couple, but...Read More