Travel Log New Theme and Content

I spent some time in the last week or so updating my Travel Log website to a new theme. To give some background, the Travel Log is a Chinese language website that contain travel dairies written by a relative. The new theme is reminiscent of the old HTML website I made for one of the older series of travel logs before I converted the whole site the WordPress. In addition, I also uploaded my relative’s new Caribbean cruise travel log onto the site for those who are interested.

iPhone: iBroke

I had to get a new smartphone this week, because my old iPhone 4S went kaput. Even though people consider the 4S to be “old”, my phone is only a little over 2 years old. I guess it’s just bad luck, or Apple’s build quality isn’t all it’s made out to be. My iPhone worked perfectly fine until it suddenly froze, and I had to turn the screen off with the reset combination. Then the phone couldn’t be turned on, reset, or restored. Brought it to a local Apple Store, and they said it’s probably a hardware failure, and at this point it isn’t worth spending $200 to fix it.

My cell phone contract was up anyways, so the day after the iPhone died, I went to local AT&T store and got a LG G3 Vigor. I got an Android device because I wanted to change, and the iPhone breaking after 2 years only made the decision more justified. The Vigor is one of the cheaper smartphones AT&T had, but not the cheapest one. I’m not into chasing the latest and greatest, so I wasn’t going to pony up for the iPhone 6 or Samsung Galaxy S 5 and such. Now that I think about it though, I probably should have done some more homework before getting the phone, since the specs on the LG aren’t that great for the price they charge. If I wanted more bang for my bucks, I should have ordered a LG/Google Nexus 5 or tried to get one of those Oneplus One invites, but when I was at the store all I wanted was to walk out with a working phone. Since I don’t have a landline, not having my cellphone made me feel a little vulnerable since I couldn’t call anyone in case I got into trouble.

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Settling In

It’s been almost two months since I moved from upstate NY to my new place of work, and I’m slowly settling into my new environment. I worked at the new company for about a month and a half now, and that’s going okay so far with me finally starting to do some actual work. I’ve figured out where to buy the basics and even found a place to play badminton, and I’m exploring the area when I have time on the weekends. I’ll try to go out more and be more sociable, since it’d be harder when winter comes a long and works piles up. As for my apartment, I finally got my new, reclining couch in the living room, so I have all the major pieces of furniture now. It took a while, but the apartment is slowly starting to look like a home. It’ll take longer for me to truly become comfortable with this area I’m living it and with the working life, but things are on track so far.

TonyJiang.com: Year 8

I was busy moving and starting my new job recently that I completely forgot about the anniversary for my web domain. TonyJiang.com is now 8 years old! And I started running websites a few years before and I got the domain name, so I have been in this business for probably 12 years. I definitely feel a sense of pride and accomplishment, even though my websites aren’t all that popular. I’m just glad I kept up my hobby for so long.

Over the last year, I haven’t spent much time doing any development on my sites, mostly because I was trying to finish my PhD degree and find a job. I don’t know how much time I’ll have to devote to my websites now that I have a full time job, but I’ll do whatever I can. I’m in the process of sprucing up the theme for the Travel Log and adding some new entries to the log. Literally no one visits the Travel Log, but working on the site gives me a chance to refresh my web design and development knowledge and hopefully learn a few new things as well. As for my other websites, the Crabbing Guide is doing quite well in the summer months and is the main traffic driver my websites. Obviously I’m not raking in the web ad earnings, but it’s good that some people do visit my website and find them useful.

A Non-Iterative Method for Power System State Estimation and A PMU-Based Method for Assessing Generator Damping Contributions

I received my PhD degree in May of this year, but it took a couple of months for my dissertation to become available in RPI’s digital collections, so that’s why I haven’t posted the abstract here until now. Unlike my Master thesis, my PhD dissertation actually has a respectable number of pages (130 including all front and back matter). The dissertation features work on two not-very-closely related projects, and that’s why the title is a mouthful. I put 3 years of work into my dissertation. There are things I wish I could have accomplished in my dissertation, but I’m proud of what I was able to finish. And of course, I’m just happy that I was able to graduate with this dissertation. Obviously I don’t expect anybody to try to request a copy from RPI and read the whole thing, but if you are really into power systems research, my dissertation may prove to be an interesting read :wink: .

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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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