Garden Images

Hey there!

For all Grade 12 students at FMSS, today is a special day; the final day of school.

Final exams were concluded for all courses today, with report cards being distributed Thursday.

Although disheartening, this is a milestone that will lead to many new, crazy, and awesome adventures in the future. I wish all graduates an extraordinary summer, and the best of luck in their future!

To celebrate such an occasion, here’s something pleasing to look at; rays of sunshine illuminating a small garden box plant.

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COMPLETE – Project Minecraft + NEW About Page

Hey there!

Project Minecraft is now complete. Upon accessing the page, you will be able to:

  • See a list of online servers.
  • View raw server properties of all available servers.
  • See a list of offline servers.

The data on this page updates every ~2 minutes.

 

Secondly, there is now an About Page.

This page will function as both an about page, and a CONTACT page.

 

Anyways, that covers it for new site changes.

Have a great day!

Windows System Management – Utility Comparison

Managing a Windows System can be difficult; not because of a lack of customization-ability, but rather a question of what utility to use.

Here’s a quick overview of several built-in Windows Utilities that can aid you in your modifications whilst ensuring safety away from 3rd party software.

Control Panel & Settings

Due to the fact that Settings is but a prettier, albeit limited duplicate of Control Panel, we’ll stick to discussing Control Panel.

The common, classical, go-to interface for accessing various GUI applets with options and wizards to help configure hardware and software. From setting up a network to adding a printer, Control Panel is the one-stop shelf for accessing the various utilities and setting screens for nearly everything.

With the exception of new icons and the Windows 8+ Settings interface, Control Panel has relatively remained constant throughout multiple versions of Windows.

control_panel

Intended for:

  • Common Windows OS Users who may or may not know what changes need to be made. The simple GUI serves as a walk through.
  • Quick and simple GENERIC system/hardware modifications.
  • Safe modifications that may need to be done by various users of various levels (e.g. Standard users to Administrators).

Not Intended for:

  • Network Administrators, no simple way to port changes over various machines at the same time, unless if changes are included in an image.
  • Those seeking to change advanced parameters not found in Control Panel (e.g. Modifying login-screen, Security policies).
  • Integration with installer utilities.
  • Automation of tasks.

 

Microsoft Management Console (MMC)

The ultimate toolbox containing various utilities to make system-wide, even network-wide, changes. MMC itself is a ‘console’, a mere shell or casing that houses the framework and interface for various utilities known as Snap-Ins. These snap-ins themselves range from various utilities such as Disk Management to Event Viewer.

MMC is essentially an advanced control panel with direct utilities for changing advanced settings across sessions, users, groups, and even machines – take Windows Server Group Policy for instance. MMC allows a user to rapidly deploy system changes that have a wide-area of effect. Take Local Group Policy for instance, where a System Admin can quickly designate a password length restriction across various grouped users.

MMC is known as one of the few legacy applications that have never really changed with time, having an interface today that still resembles that of the Windows 2000 MMC.

mmc

Intended for:

  • System Administrators who wish to deploy advanced settings, and have a need for a tidy, tabular work-space.
  • Deploying various settings and policies across certain groups of users, or systems, in a quick and clean method.
  • Role-based systems administration, where different admins utilize different sets of consoles loaded with specific utilities for specific tasks (e.g. Logger using Event Viewer, Account Manager using Local Groups & Users, as well as Group Policy).
  • Educator/Student learning about the different configurable settings in Windows – MMC Snap-Ins have useful in-depth tool tips.
  • Developers who wish to create a modification utility for their software/hardware.

Not Intended for:

  • Access by standard users for system modification.
  • System developers who wish to configure advanced/custom parameters of software.
  • Access by software installers or 3rd party for automation.

 

PowerShell

The competitor to the popular Unix terminal and predecessor of Command Prompt, Powershell has brought with it a new look, and set of tools that have changed the way Windows users think of CMD.

Built upon the .NET Framework, Powershell boasts a set of powerful administrative tasks in the form of Cmdlets that allow the management of local and remote systems; both Windows and Linux. Using the .NET Framework allows for full windows system integration, as well as the simplicity that comes from being an experienced user in .NET.

Powershell comes included with Windows 7+ with several editions; x86, x64, and ISE. Powershell ISE is an integrated scripting environment; essentially Powershell with a GUI. This makes ISE perfect for educators/learners, or for users creating complex scripts who require an IDE-like interface.

powershell

Intended for:

  • Automation of various windows tasks, services, and applications.
  • Administration of networked/domain machines.
  • Custom scripts for windows management, or even .NET Framework applications.
  • Low-graphic, limited GUI, or limited resource environments.

Not Intended for:

  • Day-by-day system modification by the common user.
  • New users to the command-line interface (steep learning curve).

 

Registry & Regedit

Windows Registry is a database storing Windows configuration settings. The Registry is the main location for configuration information accessed by other hardware and applications, including other system configuration utilities such as Control Panel, and CMD’s.

RegEdit is a system utility that sorts Registry keys and information into a GUI, where it is sorted hierarchical for view and modification by experienced system administrators/engineers. This utility also has the capability of exporting sets of registry data for backup, or for deployment across other machines.

Unlike other configuration utilities and applications, the Registry has no ‘safe’ method of modification. This requires a user to be experienced with the workings of the Windows registry, as a slight misconfiguration could lead to system instability. It is normally recommended to leave the Registry untouched.

regedit

Intended for:

  • Advanced system administration/engineering in an experimental environment.
  • Debugging or engineering of critical system/application processes.
  • Housing of application configuration data.

Not Intended for:

  • Administration by human users.
  • Automated configuration by scripts, OR cleaning/optimization.
  • Common access. High security and elevation recommended.
  • Storing user data, such as media or documents.

 

Anyways, I hope this clears up a lot of misconceptions many have with various system configuration tools. As with anything, there is no “Best, or Worst” utility. There is only the utility that best fits your needs.

Major Site + Domain Update IN-PROGRESS

EDIT: All content should be back where it was, with the exception of MiscMath (Deprecated) and Minecraft (In-Progress).

Hey there!

Quite recently, there have been some major, unannounced (sorry) changes with how this website and my services are delivered.

Firstly, I am now using a dedicated .ca domain; alvinr.ca
Thus, services such as Minecraft and Teamspeak can now be accessible with the same credentials, but under the address alvinr.ca

Secondly, I’ve switched the entire site over to a CMS – WordPress.
My original goal with this site was to develop it from the bottom-up – from raw HTML to something amazing. Due to a lack of time and resources, I’ve decided to use WordPress. This should give the site a more ‘complete’ feel, whilst having full mobile-accessibility.

I will continue developing projects/experiments as usual.

Note that not everything has been carried over, yet.

Another update will be released upon the finished migration of web-content. As such, expect missing pages/content.

Thank you.

Genius Hour – Wind Turbine Technology

Hello friends,

Today, I’ll be talking to you about wind turbine technology and ways that we can improve its efficiency.

. . .

Oh, wait. No, I’m not.

But if you DID come here to see/view the Genius Hour page for Wind Turbine Technology by Alvin and Gorgin, then feel free to click here.

Sorry for the misunderstanding!
Feel free to browse around though.

Have a good day!

LTT – Rezonate – Canvas

Hey there,

I hope you’re having a great day out there!
It’s time to bring out that bag of sour cream & onion chips, warm up the fire, and listen to some great music!

Without further ado, Rezonate – Canvas.

[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/131175296″ params=”auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true” width=”100%” height=”450″ iframe=”true” /]

Stay warm, and have a great day!

December Update + FLL

Hey there,

Yes, I know, it has been awhile.

Fall is nearly over, and with winter around the corner, so is the new year.

So, let’s get this out of the way:
No, I was not dead, just preoccupied with a lot of school-related things. One being a seminar on Fibre Optic Technology, and the other being FLL.

For those unaware, FLL – FIRST Lego League – is a program that introduces and encourages child interest in the Science and Technology fields. This years challenge was known as Trash Trek, and quite ironically, involves handling the growing concerns over garbage buildup.
Children collaborate in teams, either created by schools, or by communities. They must engineer their own solution towards this issue, and create a presentation on it.
The other portion – my favorite portion – is the robot game sponsored by LEGO. Children must build autonomous robots out of LEGO that complete this mini-missions on a game board.
My high school was fortunate to be hosting our regional FLL tournament for the 2nd time.

A majority of my time was spend being a referee, and becoming affiliated with the accommodations of this event.
Was it a lot of work? Hell yes.
Was it worth it? Most definitely.
There is no end to the satisfaction felt from realizing that you’ve just inspired a generation of children into loving Science and Technology. Who knows? One of them could be the next great engineer.
Ever since participating in the FLL Food Factor 2011 Challenge, I’ve been hooked to both FLL, and FIRST.
I’ve also mentored my middle school’s 2012 Senior Solutions team, and reffed the 2014 World Class Challenge.

Anyways, I’m sorry for my abrupt appearance, and haste departure.

Before I go, let me leave you with the suggestion of checking out FIRST (go ahead and click the logo above!). It’s changed my life, and I bet it would for you as well.

Have a good day!

LTT – Bon Iver – Skinny Love

Good day/night to you!

I hope you’re having a good time! It is the weekend after all!
Care for a suggestion on this weekends activities? Get outside.

Literally. Get out there. Tend to your garden, take a walk, bike, frolic in meadows – just take in that fresh air and enjoy the world around you.

Quite recently, I’ve had an experience which led to reminisce in the simple things. Through this ‘window’, I’ve managed to experience the life we leave behind in our drive, our evolution, towards a futuristic age.

And before this turns into a discussion weighing the pros of active human ingenuity and the simple, but quiet past, I just want it known that it never hurts to remember – and if you cant – then think, about the simple days.

Days where you awake in the morning to not 8 o’clock traffic, but the sound of birds.
Days where your job didn’t involve working in metal structures built above ground, but on the ground itself.
Days where sleep was greeted not with dread as wasted time, but as a period of serene relaxation for the days ahead.

Ladies and gentlemen, Bon Iver – Skinny Love

Again, just try to recall the elementary days. You’ll be a better person in the end, really.

Enjoy, support the artists, and have a great day.