So I’ve finally gotten around to editing some videos from our adventures around central Florida. Episode One is from a day at Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure. You can check out episode one below. For anyone wondering about the name “Project Orange” — The name comes from the fact that we had been wanting to move to Florida for several years, and by the late-2000’s the concept got a formal name — “Project Orange.” So, now that the move has come to fruition, the name “Project Orange” lives on in the title of our Florida adventures…
On November 10, 2018, my family set out on a quest. A quest to find a nice new television to place on the living room wall. Sure, it seemed like your average, everyday trip to Best Buy… Little did I know it would turn into a series of events of “Samsung Epic Fail” proportions… I know that Samsung has its hand full with another, more popular epic fail at the moment, the horribly designed Galaxy Fold “smart” phone. But the large failure that is the Q7F series of TVs has received little attention apart from the
30, 31, 32 pages of complaints on Samsung’s community forum. Read on for a deeper dive into this roller coaster ride, which is still not over.*
On the surface, the Samsung Q7F series of televsions looks like a great, albeit expensive, product line. To this day, the product still rates 4 out of 5 stars on Amazon.com:
Anyway, the television was delivered in an acceptable time frame. Not the fastest, but acceptable. The picture quality was great. No complaints. It was a pretty smart TV. The story goes downhill after the break…
Leo Laporte and Chris Marquardt discuss some new and interesting uses for technology that deal directly with digital image creation and manipulation. The websites mentioned, This x does not exist, and This person does not exist, provide a creepy insight as to exactly how computers can create realistic images and information using a “GAN” (Generative Adversarial Network). I’m quite interested in the painting application that Chris discusses. I would like to see that in action. The video below starts at 56m25s, at the beginning of their conversation.
Listen to a bit of the video and check out the links for more info.
Just a quick post comparing a photo I took almost nine years ago with one I took this past weekend. We took a stroll from Epcot to the Swan and Dolphin and took a shortcut through Disney’s Boardwalk resort. After sampling a bit of the food from the International Festival of the Arts, we stopped off for a nice bite at the Big River Grille & Brewing Works. My first trip to the Swan and Dolphin was for a conference back in 2010.
The picture/camera quality is quite different between the two pics, with the new picture being much clearer and sharper, but there’s something about the lighting, the stillness and the sunset in the first picture that makes me prefer it.
That’s all I got to say!
So, what a year it’s been. My family and I have seen more change this year than ever before. In April of this year we started our trek south to central Florida. There have been so many ups and downs throughout the year, but I wouldn’t change anything.
It’s been a great change of climate! I do not miss the snow! And as of yet, I’m not tired of the heat. The hardest part? Missing our friends and family. However, there are just so many things to see and do around central Florida — and not just Disneyworld and Universal. I’ve had so much good food — and put on a little weight in the process. Here’s a sampling of some of the sights we’ve seen, some of things we’ve experienced, and maybe a few familiar faces from 2018:
(There might be a picture or two of some food in there too!)
I love Cadbury chocolate. I really do. I think I can probably blame this fact on having British relatives and having a deep English family connection. Cadbury Flakes? Yes, please! And of course, “no bunny” knows Easter like the Cadbury Bunny.
But I did not come to you tonight to talk about chocolate. I came to talk to you about Easter Eggs. Not even the Cadbury Crème ones… or even the ones you hide in early spring that occupy the kids for hours on end, and you end up finding in July after playing a long guessing game of “where’s that smell coming from?”
I’m thinking more of digital Easter Eggs. Hidden rooms, messages, inside jokes or simple artwork found in video games (especially early games) that were part of the inspiration of the movie “Ready Player One.”
So, the first example of a hidden “Easter Egg” comes right from the movie itself. One of the most prominent “eggs” in the movie involves this one from the Adventure game for the Atari 2600, released in 1979:
What a tumultuous year it’s been! Every year, Google summarizes the year in search, and this year they’ve settled on trying to find the answer to a simple, but important question: “How?”
How implies action. How implies change. “By what means can one reach an end?”
This year saw turmoil and disaster. But it also saw organization and relief. And as long as people continue asking “How?” there’s hope.
Or… “Ryan’s 16th Birthday”
Well that was fun. Ryan and a few of his friends headed to Morgantown last week to get Taken. Not literally “taken,” but instead, participate in Morgantown’s premier escape room experience.
The four of us had participated in an escape room in Ocean City, Maryland over the summer. It was a fun experience, but it was definitely a work in progress in O.C. I’m sure over time, the O.C. escape room will be terrific. But this one in Morgantown was the full package.
The general idea behind an escape room is to solve a series of logic puzzles, have keen observation and great teamwork. You must use all of these abilities to escape a room or series of rooms within a certain time limit. In the games that we’ve played, we’ve had one hour to escape. In this case, the kids had just 54 seconds to spare… Nothing like cutting it close guys!
One week after Microsoft Ignite 2017, and I think it’s a good time to take a look back. The keynote speech by Satya Nadella was inspiring. I have to admit, the discussion about quantum computing went over my head. The one question I have: If Windows 10 crashes on a quantum computer, does the universe come to an end?
I enjoyed connecting with and meeting several of the speakers and presenters. A few to point out: Brad Anderson, Corporate Vice President of the Enterprise Client & Mobility Team; Michael Niehaus, Microsoft DIrector of Product Marketing; Dona Sarkar, Head of the Windows Insider Program at Microsoft, along with the other #NinjaCats: Blair Glennon, Jason Howard, and Jen Gentleman, among others.
Listening to some of the Windows deployment speakers, such as Mike Nystrom and Johan Arwidmark was incredibly informative. These guys are well-known for their blogs relating to SCCM deployment and it was great to talk with them in person.
Also, this is cool:
Brad Anderson’s Lunch Break featured Brad riding a golf cart around the bus loop at the Orange County Convention Center. Participants could ask Brad anything… My question for Brad didn’t make it to the video, but my selfie did! The entire video can be seen here:
The most beneficial speakers and sessions I’ve linked to below:
All presentations and slide decks are available at the Microsoft Ignite website for viewing. Nerds of the world, tune in and see what you think!
This year I am experiencing my first Microsoft Ignite conference in Orlando, Florida. I was prepared to be blown away by all the innovations, and it sure is overwhelming!
To follow along this week, just follow #MSIgnite on Twitter.
I will (probably) write up something a bit more comprehensive when this is all over. I don’t want to spend all this week in Orlando typing behind a laptop when I could be experiencing Ignite. So, more coming soon!
Microsoft Ignite 2017: Opening Video