A Quick Update

There’s not really that much to update this week. I’m still trying to adjust to this semester’s schedule, and I fear it’s going to be rather demanding.

The grueling pace already being set by my classes have put most of my little projects on the back burner for now. I’m hoping another week or two will let me get into a manageable rhythm which will allow for something not school, work, or sleep related here very soon. Spring semesters are the roughest for me. The short Christmas break between fall semester and spring isn’t enough to fully recharge my batteries and clear out the mental cache from the previous classes.

On a positive note: I can see the light at the end of the tunnel now. Not much longer before I can build a frame to house this degree.

A random observation and semi-rant:

I don’t really understand the fascination with the word “cyber.” The university I’m attending had a well-established curriculum for information assurance and security, along with aptly named classes. However, this semester I’ve noticed that the IA focus has been renamed “Cybersecurity,” and quite a few classes have “cyber” in the name now. What gives? Does cybering all the things make them better? I don’t think so, but then again the overuse of this word gets about the same reaction from me as nails on a chalkboard. If you listen to the Defensive Security Podcast, you’re probably in the same boat with me on this matter. If you don’t listen to the Defensive Security Podcast, head on over to https://defensivesecurity.org and check it out, or subscribe on your podcast app of choice. You won’t regret it.

Once again this semester I had vainly hoped that everyone wouldn’t be assumed to be using a computer with a rectangular pane OS installed. Once again, I was grossly mistaken. If you use any sort of *nix OS, you can pretty much guarantee that there’s going to be some professor you have that insists on using at least one particular piece of software that won’t run anywhere else. Mac users fair a little better now, but the rest of us are left in the cold. It wouldn’t be so bad if the applications were the modern versions of themselves, but there are holdouts that insist on using program x alpha version 0.2. Heaven forbid that you mention that other programs are available that do the same things, and are open-source or mostly open-source! In retrospect, I guess I’m sort of a holdout myself. Leave me and my IRC alone! It’s set just the way I like it!

At least so far this semester I haven’t been told that I needed to use XP. I wish I was kidding, but I literally was told that by a professor last semester. I’ve considered printing that email and framing it.

On the creative front:

I did manage to get a chance to play around with the external flash I received as a Christmas present. My little N1 lacks a hot-shoe, so I have to trigger the speedlight with the on-camera flash. I have an accessory handle that mounts the light beside the camera, but I encountered problems triggering the flash when the on-board one strobed. The intermittent triggering happened in larger spaces where there wasn’t much wall space to reflect the tiny triggering flash. I’ve found that holding the flash in my hand, or setting it up near the subject on a stand or tripod solves this problem. I took a few decent photos in a poorly lit room, and even put on one of the colored gels to create some more goofy looking shots. I still haven’t put them through post yet, so in essence the jury’s still out. Regardless, I got to play around and learned a little more about the shiny new accessories.

Enough for now! I have even more homework to do.

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