Razer Gear

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A complete set of Razer products at the Razer store in San Francisco.

So, I’ll admit that I secretly really want some of the gear made by Razer. The lights really don’t serve any purpose other than looking really cool. You don’t need be a Twitch streamer to appreciate this stuff—LED color changing lights are bad ass.

Foo, I thought of you when I saw this. I’m surprised you don’t have your entire home setup decked out with this stuff. The Razer mouse pad retails for $51.99, and their Mamba mouse is $79.44.

Ps. Check out that bokeh in the photo above. Rainbow bokeh! It doesn’t top my christmas tree bokeh though.

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The Razer store hosting a game tournament on Friday afternoon in the mall.

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The Razer store located in Westfield Mall in SF

This is a really cool store. I’ve been there a couple of times. I may actually try to compete at the next Hearthstone tournament. ^_^

Street Photography in SF

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Homeless man with a sign that reads, “I need $24 for bus so I can make family court hearing on time and not lose my parental rights to my daughters”.

On my way back to the Apple store, I snapped a couple of pics. this is my attempt at some street photography in San Francisco. I need to read up more about street photography—it seems that SF could provide an incredible canvas to explore.

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Photographer taking candid portraits of strangers walking by.

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Photographer taking a picture of a woman and offering to show her his work.

This is probably some famous street photographer… or he could be a creepy old man taking pictures of random people—I’ll let you decide. He snapped a picture of an asian woman walking by and offered to show the photo to her.

Oh yeh, he’s using a pretty serious telephoto lens. I’m going to take a wild guess and say he’s using a Canon 200mm F2. That lens retails for $5,699 on B&H.

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The sun setting between the streets of San Fancisco.

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Man preaching religion and his faith in the busiest part of Mission St.

Everyone here has some sort of story. One of my buddies (Aram Taghavi) recommended to check out Humans of New York. This photographer captures candid stories told by individuals living in New York. It could be a good inspiration point for some of the stuff I’m working on now.

Getting My 2010 Macbook Air 11″ Diagnosed at Apple

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2010 Macbook Air 11″, 4g RAM, 1.6ghz

My Macbook Air was having some issues shutting down when I closed the lid, so I took it into the Apple Store to get it diagnosed. Looks like there’s a hardware issue. Doh.

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Customers shopping and waiting for Apple technicians to help diagnose their issues.

Apple has offered to replace the logic board for $280—a reasonable price, but I think that I’m going to use it as it is. Eventually, I’ll sell it on Craigslist.

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Fully loaded 2016 MacBook for $1600

I will say that if I was in the market for a new laptop, I’d be interested in the new MacBooks. So nice… Okay, I’ve got to stop looking! My life is served perfectly with my iPhone and 15″ Macbook Pro.

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iPhone 6 Plus (left), iPhone 7 Plus (right).

While I was at the store, I checked out the new iPhones. They’re pretty much the same form factor. The new 7 plus camera is actually a huge improvement on both sides.

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iPhone 7 Plus back side camera.

Right off the bat, the colors, detail, contrast and zoom are way better. The optical zoom is definitely cool.

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iPhone 7 Plus front.

Overall, the improvements aren’t really visibly noticeable.

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DJI Phantom 4 Drone.

Whoa, they’re even selling the new drones there. That would be a fuuuuuuuun toy. 4k… Curses, I need to stop looking at this stuff.

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Apple Store SF packed at all hours

Peak Design Camera Strap and Clip Quick Review

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This is the Peak Design CapturePRO clip

I’ve been eyeing the Peak Design Camera Strap for a few months now, and I at last, I got around to purchasing it. I can certainly say that peak design products are built with quality in mind.

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The base plate attached to the clip.

I typically use this clip on my book bag. It’s probably one of the best accessories I’ve purchased. It holsters my camera perfectly. I love that my hands are free, and if an opportunity for a photo shows itself, I can access it without opening my book bag.

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The Peak Design Camera Strap SL-2.

The SL-2 isn’t the cheapest strap, but it’s pretty comfortable. I would say it’s on the bulky side, so I’d only recommend this to people who are carrying a pretty hefty camera. If you’re using a full frame, you can go for the LITE version instead.

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The strap is padded, fairly wide, and it’s made of a seat belt-like material.

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The adjustment mechanism is clever and easy to tweak.

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The strap comes with a base that’s compatible with the SL-2.

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The actual quick release clip is ergonomic, though it’s a little on the tight side (to ensure a strong connection).

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Very nice microfiber bag that comes along with the strap.

I’m really looking forward to using my Peak Design strap soon. I’ll let you guys know how it goes.

A Short Stroll Through Shoreline Park, Mountain View

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Joe and Rudy posing next to the water reservoirs at Shoreline Park.

After our visit to the Computer History Museum, we grabbed some lunch and then did a quick hike over at Shoreline Park. I didn’t realize all of this was so near. The scenery was gorgeous, and it was nice to get a little sunshine and talk about tech.

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A view of the lake with the mountains in the background.

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A restaurant/bar next to the dock on the left.

The city of Mountain View bought the site in 1968 to build a recreational facility, but the cost of importing earth to raise it by 20 feet in order to prevent flooding was too high, so it was instead operated as a landfill accepting garbage from San Francisco. Shoreline Park opened in 1983, with some initial problems from methane fires. –Wikipedia

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Rudy and Joe enjoying the view, with a slight breeze against their backs

Rudy mentioned about the landfill underneath the landscaping… and yes, there was a distinct hit of “fart” smell all around us. Other than that, it’s a lovely place.

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After our short hike, Joe shares ideas about the future while sipping on his drink in the shade.

I’ll probably be out here again. Days like this make me wish I had a car or motorcycle so I could explore a little more.

The Computer History Museum

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Continuing our quest to find more inspiration, our team went to the Computer History Museum this afternoon. Let me first start off by saying that this was an incredible experience, and I highly recommend that you go with a group of engineers. It was pretty fun watching Joe and Rudy geeking out over all the hardware and the history. I have to admit, it was eye opening and the museum gave me much more context on how and why our technology exists.

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The museum wasn’t an architectural marvel (compared to MOMA SF), but it had so much substance.

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The information is pretty dense, so expect to carve out at least 2-3 hours to go through everything.

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To be honest, you could probably spend even more time here if you really wanted to dive deeper. There’s a lot to absorb.

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What you’re seeing are the early calculators. Everything was manually driven, and they were used to help aid people do math. In this particular case, this device was used to perform insurance calculations.

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Man, I remember my mom using the abacus when I was a kid.

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Some of these machines seem so alien. This one was called “Tim”, otherwise as the Time is Money Calculator from 1910.

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These were smaller, portable calculators. you had to crank them, and they would help you perform calculations on the fly. People would try to take them apart to see how they work, and could never put them back together. There were over 600 parts in each one, all intricately connected together.

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The calculators continued to evolve, so did automation.

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Most of the early computers was used to track time and calculate compensation for workers.

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The founder of IBM’s motto was “Think”. Kind of interesting and somewhat motivating. Everyone should have this as a poster somewhere.

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Joe described this as the birth of our first monitors. This machine would literally draw mathematical formulas on graph paper.

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And as crude as this looks, this was the beginning of circuitry. Everything was manually connected, and cooled with some sort of industrial fan. Could you imagine trying to debug something?

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As much as we love today’s technology, we owe most of the innovation to the military. Early on, technology was used to model ballistics. And yeh, technology has a dark history when you start looking at how it’s been used.

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This was the ENIGMA, a machine that encrypted messages for the Nazis. Apparently, it was taken from a German submarine and was later decoded by Alan Turning. By cracking the intercepted codes, the world was able to defeat the Nazis.

The sad thing was that Turing was prosecuted for homosexual acts and was chemically castrated. Two years later, he committed suicide. A mathematical genius that saved the world was brutally punished for being gay.

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Computers used to be the size of rooms. You’d think that this was a giant data center, but it’s just an early computer.

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Some of this stuff is just so amazing to look at. As time progressed, circuitry design became more sophisticated. Who else thinks this is art?

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Look at all those buttons. Who wouldn’t want to play with that?

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The earliest machine that visually tagged things.

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It’s crazy that everything was controlled using tubes. The designs are hypnotic.

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This was a particularly fun part of the exhibit—data storage. It’s funny that CDs are now obsolete.

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Seriously, do you guys remember hi-density, double sided floppy drives? It’s f’n insane how far we’ve come. I’ll just give you a minute to soak this in. This disk was a scaled-down version of IBM’s 8″ disk, and held 1.2 MB.

1.2 MB!!!

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In contrast, the earliest forms of storage were punch cards and paper tape.

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Yes, that green thing was a state-of-the-art calculator.

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This is a visualization of how programming languages evolved. It shows about 150 of the thousands of languages that have been invented.

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As time progresses, technology miniaturizes… and parallel processing begins.

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This was one of the early consumer facing computer products, designed to store recipes for house wives. None were sold.

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And of course Moore’s “Law”. It seems it’s more of a marketing scheme than actual fact. Joe explained that for the first time in history, we are no longer exponentially advancing. I need to investigate this a little more. I’m not sure exactly what all of it means, but it’s fascinating.

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This shows how a silicon ingot becomes a computer chip. Check out how they’re made here.

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Here’s a micro-chip under tremendous magnification.

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Then we checked out some robotics.

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I have a new found appreciation for all the effort that went into building this machine.

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This was a really fun part of the exhibit—gaming. Joe explained how the gaming industry has really pushed graphic technology forward. In many ways, gaming has pioneered virtual reality.

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This, my friend, was my childhood. I loved the gold version of zelda—what a brilliant concept.

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And yes, that’s Dr. Mario over there! This brings back so many memories. I can’t believe that I grew up during this time.

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The Atari—it was before my time, but I recall some kids with it.

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And this one is for you old timers.

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No museum would be complete without including Apple.

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Here’s a Commodore, running off a tape. Say whaaaaaaaaat???

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Variations of all the early computers, designed for consumers.

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And here are the tablets before the iPads.

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And the sub-notebooks before the Macbook Airs.

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And the greatest moment in modern history, the iPhone. Anyone still have their original? Don’t sell it—keep it forever. I was stupid and sold mine. Doh!

This museum really opened up my eyes—I can’t believe how much effort went into the computer I’m using to blog this instance. We live in such an incredible time, and I’m so happy to be experiencing it.

Okay, let’s end it here. That was a lot to go through. If you’re ever in town, you should definitely go check this exhibit out.