Google Chromecast First Impressions

I finally jumped on the media streaming device bandwagon and bought myself a Google Chromecast. I wanted to put my TV to better use since I don’t have cable/satellite, but I didn’t want to spend $50+ for a Roku or similar streamer, so I ended up buying a recertified Chromecast off of Groupon. It was a good deal after the $10 off $25 purchase discount. I finally got my Chromecast a couple days ago, and here are my quick impressions of the device.

Chromecast Box

Getting into the media streamer game.

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Starting the Working Life

After about three months of what mostly was vacationing and not doing much work, I finally said goodbye to Troy and RPI, my place of abode for four years. I packed whatever I can into my little RAV4 and took the long drive to a new city and area to start my working life. It’s been two weeks since I’ve moved and I’m still trying to settle into my new surroundings. It’s going to take time to get to know the area and become comfortable with the environment. I didn’t really start hiking and exploring the Capital Region until 3 years into my studies at RPI, and it might take longer in this new place because I’ll probably have less free time now that I’m a full-time professional. As for work, first week is the usual orientation, but there is challenging work lined up for me. The work will keep me busy and might become difficult, but I’ll make the most of the opportunities to learn and develop myself, and hopefully work on projects that make a real difference. Wish me luck.

My Graduate School Experience in Summary

Years ago… well up to two years ago I had the habit or writing a yearly reflections article on what I did in school and just life in general. I forgot or didn’t bother to do it for 2013, and now it’s 2014 and I’m finally done with graduate school, so I might as well summarize my whole graduate school experience. My four years of grad school has been good overall, and I can’t complain much given that I graduated “on time”. Read on to find out my thoughts on my grad school career, looking for a job, and various other things I did while I was trying to become Dr. TJ.

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Maine – Acadia National Park Trip

Recently I went a trip with a few travel buddies to Acadia National Park in Maine. We had a pretty good time, and this post contains some photos and highlights of the trip. This was probably the last long-ish vacation trip I’ll have for a while, since I’ll be starting work soon. Yes, I did finally find a job, but I’ll leave that for another post.

Schoodic Point

Schoodic Point has a lot of the trademark pink granite of the region

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Oregon-California Road Trip

Accounts of a week-long road trip with my parents through Oregon and northern/central California, passing through three national parks and the Bay Area.

The beautiful Crater Lake, showing a little bit of its radiant blue color in the middle of the picture.

The beautiful Crater Lake, showing a little bit of its radiant blue color in the middle of the picture.

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Recent Travels

I’ve been busy with graduation recently, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been going to places. Actually, I’ve traveled a fair bit, both near and far, around the time of my graduation, and here’s just a post to summarize where I’ve been recently.

Kaaterskill Falls in full view. Some adventurous people ventured onto the level at the top of the first tier.

Kaaterskill Falls in full view. Some adventurous people ventured onto the level at the top of the first tier.

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Improving performance of the non-iterative direct state estimation method

I’m posting my theses and research papers from the grad school career on this site. This paper is the first paper I wrote that made in into IEEE’s IEEE Xplore digital library. It’s only a conference paper, but I’m happy it was included into IEEE Xplore. I still don’t have a journal paper to show for my grad school career, but hopefully that’ll change soon. Anyways, read below for the abstract and the link to the IEEE Xplore entry for the full paper.

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A Linux-based, Flexible Phasor Data Concentrator Design

Now that I have finished grad school, I am posting my Master thesis on this blog since this blog is a collection of my works, even scholarly ones. At around 45 pages including front and back matter, my thesis is quite short by thesis standards, but it’s still too long to post on this blog, so I’ll only post the abstract and how it can be accessed from my grad school Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. If you don’t know what a phasor data concentrator is, that’s okay. Most people don’t know either. My thesis is a long read that’ll only interest a small number of people in the power systems area. Read on to find out the details.

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You may now call me Dr. TJ

That’s right. After 21 years through the formal education system (not counting kindergarten), I have received my PhD degree in electrical engineering. I received my degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute located in Troy, New York, USA. I’ve spent the better part of four years at RPI working on power systems research, and also got my Master degree from here. I put considerable effort and hard work into earning my PhD, and the last semester had been somewhat hectic with me trying to finish on time. But I did it. I prevailed, and this closes another chapter of my life. I consider myself fortunate to have met my adviser, who is probably the nicest research adviser a grad student can hope for, and also good colleagues and friends through my time at RPI. Of course, I have to thank my family for their love and support as well.

The commencement ceremony I attended for my PhD may mark the last time I’m recognized as a student, but we all know learning is a life-long process, and I’ll strive to learn and apply my knowledge to something beneficial and worthwhile in my career. I’m still looking for a job, but things are looking better now that I have more time to focus on the job search. Hopefully I’ll have some good news to share soon. Other than the job search, I’ll also be taking some vacation time to travel around, as this summer may be the last extended vacation I’ll have for a while.

1 Million Unique Visits!!!

My core websites (this blog, the crabbing guide, and the Smash Bros. guide) surpassed the big 1,000,000 unique visits mark some time during the last week. I haven’t been checking the web counter very often these days, so I’m not sure exactly when the count passed a million. It took almost 10 years to reach this mark, and you can see the stats in the graph below. Most of the hits come from the crabbing guide, and you can easily see the cyclical nature of the traffic where there are more visitors during the summer months than the winter months. I’m proud to get to 1 million and also proud that I kept my websites around for so long. Hopefully it’ll take less than 10 years to reach the the 2 million mark.

TJ web stats 10 years

Visitor count for my core websites since Aug 2004, courtesy of Statcounter. Click to enlarge