briansjournal1

uncensored, unfiltered, thoughts

Category: Tech

Revelations and Updates

Time for an update! Recently I’ve been feeling overwhelmed with the amount of exams I’ve had/will have these past few weeks. The timestamp of this post should probably be an indication of that. I’ve been procrastinating extensively because I’ve been lured away by into the beautiful world of computer build log forums especially this one called linustechtips. It’s a great site but it causes me to think about buying really expensive computer parts that I can’t afford on a minimum $8/hr job. The worse part about it that it’s kept me from my studying for some time now so this is why I’ve been feeling so overwhelmed in the first place. I’ve been going to bed at 3AM on school nights because I’ve been so mesmerized by people’s awesome computer builds and I’ve been up late researching ways on how to do these things. It almost seemed like an addiction because no matter how many times I told myself that I would get something done that day I would just slack off and browse these internet forums for a long period of time until it was too late or I was too tired to do anything. My reasoning was that if I could research what I wanted now and make plans on how to buy these things then I could be truly happy and then return to studying.

Well, now the problems begin! About a week ago I was browsing the internet looking for ways to secure a loan without credit (bad idea in the first place) and I stumbled upon this website that talked about getting a car title loan. I thought it was a scam but I filled out their online application and low and behold I actually got a call from someone two states away in New Hampshire. They explained the whole process (minus the actual financial details) and then I got this crazy idea that I would actually drive 80 miles up to this place and get a title loan. Well, I did and there were several red flags that should have stopped me from signing my life away to these loan sharks but I didn’t care because I wanted quick cash for a computer build. Well, they told me it would cost 22% interest, I would only be getting $850 financed even though my car is worth at least 3x that much and that the minimum payment would be substantial. Oh yeah, and they charged a $186 finance charge. So fast forward to now and I finally realized what I got myself into. I have to be popping $200 a month on interest on a $850 loan and if it takes me too long I might end up equaling or exceeding the amount borrowed in just interest! That’s getting close to a mortgage! It’s like a credit card bill. People like car finance places know what they’re doing. They’re loan sharks knowing that they’re always going to make massive profits over idiots like me who are too excited/too desperate for money that they would sign away to almost 4x higher than a bank’s interest! So, basically I’m in debt so I’m trying to sell as much of my unwanted/unneeded technology and working as much as I can at my minimum wage job to get the money I need. If my hours slip for any reason, I’ll end up having to pay out the ass for interest. I’m never doing this to myself again!!! The only legit real loan is the one you go to your bank about when you’ve established excellent credit and have a good job with steady pay that will allow you to pay it back quickly! This obsession over money has now spilled over into my studies and my need for increasing amount of hours is cutting into my study time which I consider very important so it’s really stressing me out. I’ve never experienced debt before and I don’t know how so many of us Americans can fall into it. You should never buy something that you can’t afford. That’s the danger of credit – it allows you to do that and has no safety net for when you do.

That’s enough about that.  Onward onto my plans for the future and my rants:
I read an interesting education article a few days ago that asked the question ‘does your college major really matter?’ and then it proceeded to explain how most students are seeing school as a means to an end rather than a learning experience and thus are coming out with lackluster critical thinking and communication skills. I think this guy hit the nail on the head. Everyone got into a big puff because he was debunking the whole college major thing – “Zomg, I’m an engineer! Don’t tell me a English major can get my job” – No one’s saying that. What the guy was trying to point out is that we’re telling kids that college is a way to secure a job when it’s not really as straightforward and clearcut as that. College is supposed to be a time for learning and skill development but it doesn’t really truly prepare you for a job – only related experience can do that. College teaches you about how to think and communicate. It teaches you to not take facts as undisputed truths and to delve deeper. We now live in a global environment so businesses are going to increasingly need strong problem solvers. This all starts with the proper education.  We need to teach kids the basics of communication and listening because these things are not being taught. We need to teach them how to study, we need to teach them how to think and inspire them to think; the one gift afforded to humans that allows us to change with our environment rather quickly.

It’s funny, I once read a review on Amazon on a Calculus textbook. The guy in the review was talking about how kids nowadays have everything dumbed down for them and how only 60 years ago the math textbooks of the day challenged kids a lot more and as a result that’s how we had the great wonders that emerged from the post-WWII era. He felt that kids nowadays don’t have the skills necessary to be able to survive in the workplace of the modern age. That made me think: are we really making things easier for kids? Are we truly not preparing them to enter the real world? Are we not inspiring the thinkers, inventors, writers, of this generation? Will this generation solve the greatest threats facing humanity as we know it?

I don’t know the answer to these questions because I’m a 22 year old kid going through the ‘system’ just like many other kids are but it does cause me to wonder. What are we lacking or how was the past better?

Finally, I’m going to wrap up this long and grammatically incorrect post with an idea I would like to to delve into deeper in the future: Remember that idea I had about a computer business? Still want to do that but I had an idea concerning an underlying problem in my city. It came to me when I remembered what Senator Mike Rodrigues said about my city – it has the potential to grow but no businesses want to expand here because this is a forgotten factory city. The workforce is not skilled enough to be able to fill the jobs that businesses need filled. He also told me how a local medical software company was changing all that by offering full time positions to programmers with associate degrees. Then it hit me, I should start a non-profit in my city to help get peoples technical skills up. Am I perfect for the job? No, some of my friends would make me look like a ape in front of a computer with their level of technical finesse and skill but I want to get people who have those skills and are passionate about helping others to join me in my efforts. I think this city has great potential but that potential is drying up what I like to call a vicious cycle and I think the only way out of it is proper affordable education. I want to offer free education on technical literacy to these students – real localized instruction utilizing state of the art instruction techniques and brain research – taking those who are computer phobic to intermediate programmer. Okay, maybe not that far but get these people started and skilled enough so that they don’t break into cold sweats when they see a monitor. Think about it: if my city has a more educated workforce I could possibly bring business here, I could succeed as a business because I could supply the big businesses, and best of all I could help the local new tech savy populace. People might think I’m crazy – that the only real tech savy people exist in sun bathed California but I wouldn’t knock these old factory workers for the count. There’s a market out there for IT and I may not be the best guy to find it/teach it but I want to lay the steppingstones so someone else can take over my work.

Maybe I’m glamorizing the whole thing but a clean office with a nice view helping my local community surely doesn’t sound that unreal to me!

-Over and out!

Advertisements

I feel like a bum…

I write this not to put myself down but because I really feel like I haven’t accomplished much this summer and I kind of feel disappointed in myself. I told myself before the summer even started that there were three things I wanted to get accomplished: 1) study accounting and refresh myself to where I feel like I never left class 2) Learn Excel proficiently so I could really know how to use some complicated formulas and pivot tables and 3) refresh my memory on algebra so my business stats class coming up would be easier. So, far I’ve only gotten to chapter 2 of accounting and Excel and I haven’t studied any algebra.

I’m supposed to be getting getting or hoping to get an internship for the fall and they asked me if I’d be available for their audit. Without remembering on how to do even the basics I’d feel awful if I messed up some of their financial records because I don’t know what I’m doing. Audits are huge deals and every penny has to be accounted for. If it’s not, they could face huge fines. So, I’m really worried that I’m not going to get caught up in time. Also, if my Excel skills aren’t on par and I don’t have internet access to look up how to do things, when I’m asked to make sense of some data, I’m going to be scrounging around learning how to put in different formulas and writing my own. I feel if I don’t get my studying done quickly to where I feel comfortable accepting this internship that I would just cause more bad than good.

As for the algebra, I don’t know how involved business statistics is in that kind of stuff but I’m pretty sure I need at least a good working knowledge of it to be able to succeed in that class. They even list it as a requirement course if you didn’t score high enough to place out of it. Luckily I did, but I don’t want to be stuck in a stats class where they’re talking about the quadratic formula and polynomials and I have no clue what’s going on. I’ve looked up my stats teacher on ratemyprofessor and she’s been voted as hard so that makes me worry even more. I just hope I can get through this class because stats is useful in anything. I’d actually like to learn this stuff even if the teacher is a bit of a snob (have heard that from other students and have met her a couple of times and she comes across as one).

Finally, as for new updates, I’ve finally quit that god damn Home Depot job. I’ve been able to land a computer sales gig at Best Buy. Yes, it’s still retail and the pay isn’t great but I finally get to be out of the sun and into some AC and get to be around technology, albeit, overpriced, but still! To be in an environment where I actually care about what I’m selling as opposed to toilets and lawnmowers is great. I hope to really contribute to this job because it’s something I’ve always wanted to do (I want to own my own computer business after all). I’ve been trying to stay on top of new technologies (like understanding Haswell and staying on top of AMD’s steamroller upcoming CPU generation) before my orientation to really be on the ball. The mobile processors always still trip me up because all I know is that they have better integrated graphics and they consume less power.

I’ve also been able to purchase my video card and although I’ve been getting some weird black dot graphics errors (due to AMD’s drivers not always been updated), I have no complaints. The card is a Sapphire 7970 Vapor X. The thing has been silent when I’ve run my games and that’s a really good relief! I thought it was going to be overpowering loud. It makes me happy because this is my first time getting into PC gaming and I’m actually enjoying it a lot better. Borderlands 2 is my game of choice for now along with some Minecraft. I can’t FPS worth shit but the game [Borderlands 2] is hilarious and fun so it’s definitely worth the hours of me trying to get my aim down.

As for the upcoming website, that’s going to be on the back-burner for a little bit (I certainly have some cool ideas for it so I hope you stay tuned). I’ve run into some unexpected expenses and I’ve got books and a vacation (hooray!) to pay for in the upcoming month so that’s really gonna take a toll on me. I also plan to get a secured card and contribute at least $200 and keep upping to up to raise my credit limit. I hope this will be the start of a good credit history because I have student loans to pay for in the upcoming year and since my parents pay for everything in cash they have virtually no credit like I do. Thus, I can’t rely on them for cosigning a loan and so I need a decently high credit score to help me get a loan. I want to live on campus after all!

Back from a long vacation

I don’t mean for the title of this post to be misleading – I didn’t really go on vacation, I just haven’t been posting in my journal for a while.

Updates:

Well, I finally am starting work on this new computer I’m building and it’s freaking sweet. It’s so fast right now and I’m going to keep pushing it for as long as I make money! Some guys have their cars, I have my technology :p

I’m also thinking about starting a new website where people can just join and chat about whatever they want and share their computer pics and other pictures. I’ll be using it a sort of personal portfolio of sorts so I can share some signatures and beats I’ve made in the past and will continue to make in the future.

Finally, the last update of all and the most gruesome: While my girlfriend was away on her study tour in England, she contacted this guy and flirted with him sexually. She says its because she didn’t feel like I wanted to be in the relationship anymore and that I’d be better off – without formally calling it off. So basically, this dude ends up asking to fuck her and she’s OK with it and then finally she says to ‘get him off her back’ she sends him pictures of her tits.
Sorry for the bluntness and matter of fact stating of this stuff, but I write about it because it hurts. She says it’s because I gave her doubts and I did – I wanted to have sex with other girls and took steps in that direction. Had some of these girls not changed their minds at the last second I could have very easily crossed that line. So, she had right to think that I didn’t want to be in the relationship, despite whatever I said. Actions always speak louder than words.

We’re working things out now and I put that behind me but I have a feeling that I’m going to keep getting reminded of some Oxford asshole having access to those pictures anytime he wants and him possibly being better than me.

On that note, the new limited edition Picachu Nintendo 3DSXL looks freaking sweet and expensive! I definitely will be getting one for Pokemon X and Y in October.

Look forward to the new website folks! I hope to have some of you on it and joining in on some interesting discussions. 😀

Short Update

This is going to be a short update to what’s going on with me. The reason for it being short are as follows 1) I’m hungry 2) I got work early tomorrow 3) I got homework 4) I’m frustrated.

Basically, this acquaintance turned friend of mine had sold me an old computer a few days ago on Tuesday the 9th. I paid $100 bucks for it and it was an old Optiplex Dell computer. I don’t know what I was thinking when I bought it but I thought because I could use it to prevent me from spending a fortune on a complete upgrade I’d be good. This friend of mine (his name is Jeremy btw) did present me with what it looked like on the inside. Basically, it stopped working a few days ago and he was willing to accept a return. I opened the computer up to try to fix it and see what my upgrade options were should I get it working again. Well, I get it working again and I really realize how limited this machine is. I actually bought a solid state drive the other day and I wanted to put it in there and even though it runs SATA, the motherboard would not recognize it because it’s too old. I started having buyers remorse and I wanted to trade back with Jeremy so I could get my money back. I put everything back together and it would have been perfectly OK to sell because it’s not broken at all. I offered to show him how it was working and he basically said “fuck off, I’m not accepting returns. I’m moving out of my house so I need the money” Obviously, he didn’t quite say that. That’s my overdramatization but basically what leads me to suspect that he didn’t want to do the return besides his own personal reasons and him feeling that I just had buyers remorse and I wasn’t entitled to anything, was the fact that he was moving out and getting an apartment and he has been begging on Facebook for someone to move in with him for a while now. He needs money and he needs help and thus, he wanted to hang on to that $100 as much as possible otherwise he probably wouldn’t be able to move in despite me giving him time to pay me back.

So basically, I’m now left with a old piece of shit computer just sitting here that I paid 100 bucks for to use as a paperweight. He says I could sell it for $100 easily because it contains Windows 7 Enterprise and then I told him anyone who bought that might think that the OS is pirated because a lot of people do that to make a quick buck. He instantly became offended  and that’s when the cream of the crop happened. This newly elected member turned officer (2 days in) who I thought would be a great member and leader for this club quit just like that and removed himself from an event he agreed on doing. I told him this was unprofessional and he was involving our personal disagreement in the club and that’s wrong but he didn’t care. He ignored me and then told me that I made changes to the constitution by myself that he didn’t read. He also reminded me that he didn’t sign anything and so he could do whatever he wanted and leave when he wanted even though I had a short clause that said that all members or officers could be removed for not meeting their responsibility (which in this case would have been giving us 2 weeks notice). It was also stated that it was important that officers and members read the constitution before joining. Therefore, technically it was on him for not doing what he was supposed to.

Man IDK. Part of the reason I enjoy this blog is because I don’t have to make sense when I talk and I feel like this is one of those times.

I called this the BCC Tech Club and we’ve run into so many fucking issues of late! I’ve wanted to give up,  I’ve had huge member inactivity, officer removals, etc. I won’t give up on this organization or its mission though. IDC if it takes me to the edge.

Basically now where it stands, I’m going to have to rewrite the whole constitution or at least major parts with another officer before this event on Thursday which leaves us with 4 days to make entire changes to this club so the members know what’s expected of them and what the rules are. We’re planning on having a  quiz on the constitution to test peoples reading, knowledge, and acceptance of its bylaws and terms. We also need to rewrite it so that it looks more official with amendments, sections, articles, and the whole business.

This is going to be a rough few weeks with this thing. I wish I could start over but you know what? If the club doesn’t succeed here at this campus than I would have learned something. Without a plan you’re nothing, and pick the right people you hang out with!

That’s it for tonight. So, yeah, not really a short update but meh, I tried. Now to finish some homework and have some peanut butter and jelly.

PS: I’ve officially quit working out to bulk up and get muscular. I’ve let go of a lot of guilt I’ve had with it because I’ve realized I’m not that into it and without 100% dedication and motivation I would not have gotten the results I wanted. It also eats up too much money when you’re consuming $3,500 calories a day. Right now I’m trying to focus my money on paying for summer classes I got to take and building a newer computer that I can be proud of. It will be my second build ever. Go me! 😀