Archive for the Personal Category

Amazon Prime – Totally Worth It

Posted in Personal with tags , on December 27, 2013 by jstevenperry

I joined Amazon Prime a year or so ago. Not only do I get free 2 day shipping on all my orders, they have fantastic customer service! So, I ordered some stuff that was supposed to show up a week before Christmas. Well, it never showed up. So I waited an extra week, just to be safe. At this point, I figured the package just got lost. So I started a live chat with an Amazon.com rep and in minutes I was told I will have a credit card refund. If I end up getting the items from UPS (I’ll be over here holding my breath), all I have to do is contact Amazon.com for a shipping label and I can ship them back at no charge.

That’s pretty awesome. I don’t know whether or not my outstanding customer service experience today is because I’m a Prime member, but I’d like to think it is. If not, then all the more reason to shop with Amazon.com.

My Resume

Posted in About Me, Personal on December 11, 2013 by jstevenperry

My Resume

As a consultant, I’m always looking for my next job (kind of like being a politician, only I’m honest and deliver something of real value). If you want to see what I’ve done, what I’ve written, where I went to college, click on the link above. Or the one below:

http://careers.stackoverflow.com/jstevenperry

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Breaking Bad

Posted in Personal, Philosophy, TV on September 27, 2013 by jstevenperry

I began watching this show on a lark, and was hooked from the very first episode. I’ve watched them all (now multiple times, thanks to Netflix), and enjoy them very much. More than once I have asked myself why I am so drawn to this story of greed, obsession, lust, avarice, and raw humanity.

Walter White is a superbly intelligent individual. But he is also a deeply flawed human being. Several times throughout the show he could have walked away a rich man, and chose not to. Though it’s not completely clear why he walked away from Gray Matter (which, ironically, would have made him more millions – legitimately – than cooking meth every did), a careful study of the show reveals that Walter always feels that his genius is unappreciated. So he sold his shares, left Gray Matter with a huge resentment and “a couple of months’ rent”, and subsequently slid into mediocrity. That haunted him until his diagnosis.

From the beginning we see a man on a mission, and it takes him from hero, to killer, to criminal mastermind, and finally to fugitive. Like the man, the mission is deeply flawed. Never feeling fully appreciated, his obsession (matched only by his brother-in-law Hank’s obsession to catch the mysterious “Heisenberg”) leads him down a very dark path from which redemption is hopeless.

That said, Walter seems comfortable knowing that what he is doing is illegal. He seems to grow more at ease with the terrible things he has done, but never tries to justify it in terms of “free markets” or any other such nonsense, and does not try to disguise stealing from innocent (if perhaps greedy) people as “Capitalism at its finest.” In fact, he proudly declares more than once that the money he has acquired by cooking methamphetamine is money he “earned.”

Perhaps the lesson is this: greed in any form, leads to destruction. Period.

Or maybe the lesson is, when you have 1,000 gallons of methylamine and you can sell it for $15,000,000, take the deal.

That doesn’t make for very good TV though.

I LOVE this! Android Open Accessory Development Kit (ADK)

Posted in Electronics, Open Source, Software Development on May 12, 2011 by jstevenperry

Every now and then, some really cool pops up on my radar. In this case I saw this article at Info World about Google’s Android Open Accessory Developer Kit (ADK).

I’m a bit of a do-it-yourselfer, so when I saw this, I just had to tell you about it (yes, all three of you who read this blog).

I can envision a number of really cool electronics projects that I could do with this. Of course, I’ll need to invest in an Android Tablet (but I was probably going to do that anyway), but the ADK is free to download, and there’s no annoying developer program to join.

Cool. Way cool.

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The King is Dead.

Posted in Music, Personal on June 28, 2009 by jstevenperry

I didn’t drive my chevy to the levy. I didn’t hang out with people drinking whiskey and rye. But it was a sad, sad day. See, I’m old. Well, not old exactly. But, old enough to remember when Michael Jackson was cool. Really cool. We called him the King of Pop. And it was a moniker he earned.

Memories of watching MJ (before “MJ” was Michael Jordan) sing Dirty Diana, and before that, Bad… Wow. Remember skating to Thriller? I do. That guy was cool. And we loved him. I grew up to Michael Jackson’s music.

It doesn’t matter to me what he did to himself later, how he squandered away his money, whose ashes he kept in his home. That guy entertained us well. I’m going to miss him.

Shocking!

Posted in Alternatives, Philosophy on June 25, 2009 by jstevenperry

There is just something about an electric car that intrigues me. Probably my inner electronics geek coming out. But in any event, Tesla Motors has been given a huge grant to speed up production of their electric cars. Here’s a link to the InformationWeek article.

At some point, our dependence on fossil fuels is going to taper off. That day will come forcibly, or on our own terms. Things will go much smoother if we will accept the inevitability that we cannot continue to burn fossil fuels at the rate we are, and embrace alternative fuel sources. We’ll see.

12 key Matrix-Enabled Keypad Project

Posted in Electronics on January 23, 2008 by jstevenperry

— Update —
It only took two years (I’ve been a little busy) but I got this working on my Javelin stamp. The code is ugly. I have to refactor it to make it generic. But it works. Here’s the setup, and me pushing the 7 key (the keypad I got from All Electronics doesn’t have the numbers, so imagine this keypad looks like a telephone touch tone keypad):

The Setup

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