Chris J Powell

The New Krispy – Style Makeover

So the time has come to really look to my closet and figure out what should stay or what should go.  You see, one thing that walking everywhere has done has made all of my clothes fit me like they were made by Omar the Tent Maker.  I went from a Large/Xtra Large Shirt to a Medium and from a 36 inch waist to a 34″ waist.  Belts don’t fit, pants and shorts can almost fit a second person inside with me and after 30 years of gathering clothes that had no real rhyme nor reason to the purchase (other than the collection of about 40 ties and my well known Friday Hawaiian Shirts) it is time to find my voice. Now it is important to note…I REALLY hate shopping and because I had been the same sized for the past 15 years, I could enter into any store, grab something that was my size and exit in under 5 minutes (barring a line up at the cashier)…but now my body has changed, my personality is different and I feel … Read more

Tales of a Pedestrian Commuter – Taking Care of my Tootsies

There are so many benefits to making the conscious choice to walk to where you need to go but I am finding out that there are certain, challenges to this plan as well.  You see, I am a cheap bastard.  I am not ashamed of this, it is not just because I currently work in a low paying job that does not really allow me to have the conveniences of a vehicle, it is just a lifestyle that I choose…but being a cheap bastard has meant that I tend to buy really cheap shoes…and this is not good for my primary mode of transportation. This weekend, after walking a little farther than I am normally comfortable (an unplanned 7 km walk in dress shoes), I broke down and entered a local shoe store that specializes in Walking Shoes. I entered the store and made the bold statement to the Sales Guy “I am a cheap bastard, so even being here is a big deal for me”.  The Sales Guy did not skip a beat, did not look down on me … Read more

Infographic of the Week – Know Your Image Format

In the world of images that is the Web these days, it can sometimes be hard to understand the difference between GIFs, PNGs, JPEGs and then there is TIFFs, BITMAPs and RAW images as well.  Well I stumbled across an interesting infographic in my slow days of internal reflection this week from the great minds over at DesignTAXI that at least explains the best way to use the three main types of images out there today:





Is Sony to Blame for the Latest Breach???

Data Breaches and Sony seem to be a fairly consistent theme.  Remember back to 2011 when the Play Station Network suffered a breach that leaked out 77 million records…well if you hadn’t heard, it happened again for the media giant…and this time…it is likely to cost a lot more than the $177 million that the last one did. The real question that must be asked is who’s fault is it?  Well the first line of defense against a data breach is each and every one of Sony’s 141,000 employees…and every company out there should take a lesson from the acts, actions and inactions that lead to the leaking of this information. While I have not personally seen any of the leaked files, the reports that I have seen list one of the main culprits in the breach as being the inclusion of plain text “password files” that had all the information the hackers needed right there in plain sight.  Access codes and a road map to the deepest darkest levels of the Sony “Digital Empire”.  Sure, some of this was … Read more

Open Letter to Bystanders and Do Nothing Onlookers

Technology is a wonderful thing, don’t get me wrong but it is not ok to stand by and watch or worse…pull out your Smart Phone and record the events for posterity (or a moment of Youtube fame).  I am sick and tired of being sick and tired of this world we live in be sucked into a cycle of depravity and glory because we as a people choose to do nothing. Recent events both in my life and in the world in general have me thinking that it is it time that we as a society take a lesson from our Grandparents and stop standing idly by when there are things that we can do right now to put a stop to the things around us that are morally repugnant. I wonder this, at what point did we as a society decide that we would ignore the need for us to act as a community and protect those that need protecting the most which is really anyone who can not defend themselves…and worse, at what point did we go from … Read more

Build vs Buy – My own NAS Conundrum

As it stands right now, I have way too many computers kicking around my home.  My Desktop PC affectionately known as the MonstaPuter, my current Media Server, my Chromebook, my Nexus 4 Smartphone and 3 Tablets…and when my daughter comes over…well then the network grows with her own HTC Desire Smartphone and her iPad. There is a plethora of options out there to just buy a NAS that will allow me to 24/7 stream my data, videos and music to any device that comes within the confines of my network but they tend to be a bit pricey for my liking and because I already have lots of components kicking around and being a cheap bastard that I am…I figured it was now time to actually commit to the act of building a real NAS, instead of living life with a jury rigged setup like I have. Currently, I have just over 11 TB of storage available for me, but that is actually coming close to being at capacity so like any good geek that has time on his hands, … Read more

Hitting the Pause Button

How I wish that life had a Pause Button…or even better a Rewind Button.  This past week has been more than a little tough and has caused me more than a little confusion and pain because as we enter into the Holiday Season….this will be the first time that I will be doing it all without my family.  Sure, I am building a new future and will have nearly two weeks with my wonderful daughter but the concept of walking everywhere does not really apply when those who you should spend the holidays with are all a 24 hour trek up the road. My hitting the Pause Button this week on nearly all of my online activities has meant a little bit too much time to reflect on what my future will hold and the wrong path’s I have taken in the past. To all who I may have wronged…I would like to say I am sorry but I am not going to dwell on what happened…only on what will happen. The challenges and struggles that we each face are as … Read more

This Day in Tech History – Project Gutenberg

December 1 On this day in 1971, the father of the modern eBook made is first post to what has now become known as Project Gutenberg (the digitization of the world of literature) when he used his valuable usAdd Mediaer time on the Super Computer at the University of Illinois to post the digitized version of the Declaration of Independence.  Little did he know that 43 years later, the Project would be home to over 46,000 free ebooks that anyone with an Internet Connection can access!  

Reflection in the Face of Adversity

The past 15 months have been more than a little challenging and my life has been filled with ups, downs and sideways twists.  As we close out 2014 I want to look back and reflect on the good and bad things that have happened in my life and really focus on how I can prepare to make 2015 a year to remember…not for the challenges but for the successes. Don’t get me wrong, there were a lot of good things that happened to me, but for the most part, those good things were wrapped up in darkness and it was only through really looking for the good in it, was I able to come out the other side…whole.  The following is one of those sentences that no English teacher would ever say was ok…but you see…I just have to get it out. You see, in the past 15 months I was asked to walk away from a company that I still to this day have strong connections to and if asked would go back without hesitation, I lost my Grandfather … Read more

This Day in Tech History – Super Computer

November 30 On this day in 1959, the first IBM 7090 was delivered.  This is a rather big deal as it was the birth of the Super Computer and the 7090 was used by NASA for both the Mercury and Gemini Space Missions but when we look at what this $3,000,000 piece of equipment could do…well it is a little less impressive.  Sure back in 1959 computing was still new and the ability to 100 Kflops/sec was impressive at the time…the Smart Phones we carry around in our pocket cost less than $1,000 and can do in excess of 85 Mflops/sec (Samsung S2 in 2012).