Narcissistic Vanity

SysMango.com is the personal website of Butch Lebo.

I'm really not all that interesting, unless you consider the coffee-fueled mania from my daily struggle of my love affair with data.

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The gears in my mind . . .

Why I bought a Sprout by HP

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[Disclaimer: I am an employee of HP, in Enterprise Services. HP has had no part in the creation of this post, nor are they aware that I am even writing it. The words here are my own.]

Late last year HP announced the creation of a new kind of computer that would help bridge the gap between the digital and physical worlds. This computer included a high quality camera, a depth sensing camera and a projector in an all-in-one package with what appears to be a decent Windows 8 computer. This was the Sprout by HP.

Yesterday, I ordered a Sprout for my family.

I first saw the Sprout demonstrated on YouTube while watching HP videos while working. Immediately, I saw the possibilities of the platform. Realistically, the Sprout doesn't do anything that I do not already have the possibility of doing here at home.

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Shore Drive Farm Market and Father's Day

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Natalie woke me up Saturday and reminded me that she had wanted to make a trip up to the farmers market that had recently opened up on Shore Drive.

Natalie had seen something of the Shore Drive Farm Market through facebook. The market had just started along Shore Drive last weekend and someone in her feed had said something about it. Farmer's markets and farmstands are one of those things that make Natalie happy. One of the things that she had noticed was one of the vendors was going to be Lynnhaven Coffee Roasters, and trying new coffee is one of the things that makes me happy. So it was off to the new farmers market . . .

Shore Drive Farm Market is a collection of tables in a parking lot on Shore Drive. This makes perfect sense, as they are only there on Saturday mornings, with the intent of being there every Saturday, rain or shine. The farmstand anchored one end of the parking lot--a collection of tables with an assortment of locally grown produce.

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Level 12

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Last week ended up being a busy week, possibly the business of the year. But I was able to start the week off with something that was at least positive.

After two years, and well after many agents who started after me, I finally reached Level 12 in Ingress.

And I've been so busy that this is the first I've been able to actually do anything with it.

May the fourth, normally a day when I think people expect me to be going off and doing something related to Star Wars. Honestly, I tend to skip a lot of the geekier holidays because I'm too busy or just forget. And this year, and I don't know if it was by design, May the fourth aligned to be 60 days after the Ingress Sojourner badge was released. This was the day that everyone who had been able to hack every single day since the badge became active was going to hit Gold level.

Ingress badges are currently divided into 5 tiers: Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum and Black. And after level 8, gaining levels is a combination of so much Action Points and so many badges of certain levels. And because I've been playing casually, getting AP has been easy. But making progress on badges has been more difficult.

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Another try at openSUSE Tumbleweed

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Today I decided to reinstall the operating system of my laptop.

There really wasn't a reason to reinstall anything. It all came down to there were some issues with the wireless network dropping at strange times, and I was starting to feel I wanted to see how KDE Plasma 5 desktop was looking these days. When I tried to install the packages for openSUSE 13.2, zypper would just crash. It seemed that just these packages caused the problem, so I figured it was something I had done. This led met to think a reinstall would not be a bad idea. And I've been seeing more about the Tumbleweed rolling release in my news feed.

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Thoughts on Destiny

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Destiny Line Up

Late in the summer, I downloaded the beta for Bungie's Destiny. I did this mostly because the boys had really enjoyed the Halo games, and this was something new and different. Originally, the boys didn't seem that interested in Destiny, but that may have been mostly because they expected Destiny was going to be more focused on Xbox One and PS4; we only had Xbox 360, and no plans to upgrade until there was no other choice.

The beta was available for the 360, so I downloaded. The worst case would have been that the boys didn't like the game, and we could just not buy it. There's always another game. The boys enjoyed the beta and we pre-ordered the game.

For about the next month, Destiny was the only thing that played on the Xbox. The three of us all played, in very different play styles. Sam was initially very much playing the story and strikes. Jake took to Crucible and enjoyed the PvP. I mostly spent my time in the Patrol areas, trying to explore most of the game. My twitch playing isn't strong enough for the other aspects of the game.

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That last post was hard

I realized trying to write the previous post how out of practice writing anything I am. It was a bit difficult putting together what I wanted into any kind of meaningful narrative. And I don't think I did a very good job of putting that post together. Other then mentioning Darsana, I didn't tie the post into the image. And the post just felt like it was too long before I made it to what I wanted to talk about.

I may got back later and rewrite it. Part of me just wanted to get the post out there.

After 11 years, I still do not have one complete idea about what I want to do with this website. And that makes writing a little more difficult, because there is no focus. But as this is my personal site, I don't want to focus on one thing.

This is a hobby, and I don't ever see myself making money off of it. I'm not looking to be famous (as if that were even possible).

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Some thoughts on Ingress 2nd Anniversary

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Thoughts on Two Years of Ingress

DarsanaSwag

Saturday November 15, 2014 was the second anniversary of the launch of Niantic's ARG, Ingress. We were lucky enough here in Virginia Beach to host a satellite site for the Darsana Anomaly series. After not being able to go to Richmond, Baltimore or Gettysburg, I just had to go to a local event. And to have that event be part of the second anniversary made it feel more important.

Two years ago I had been looking for something new. At this point, I don't remember exactly how I had become aware of Ingress.

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Run up to Authur

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Talking about the weather is boring, but I'm sitting here under the first Tropical Storm warning of the season, and we're watching the weather.

National Hurricane Center: Tropical Storm Arthur

From what we are seeing on the maps and projections, via both the Internet and TV, I'm not expecting to see hurricane force winds, but there will be wind and rain, and a lot of it.

The advantage we have is that our part of Hampton Roads is tucked in behind the bay, and further west than either OBX or the Eastern Shore. For Ingress, this causes some interesting problems. For storms, it seems to provide some safety. It doesn't mean we aren't going to see anything.

What are we expecting? If history is any guide: SysMango Comparing Irene and Isabel

Hopefully, there isn't must of anything to talk about, but I'll probably keep posting short messages to Twitter, G+ and ADN.

I'm sure it will all be very boring. Here's hoping.

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New laptop: The first week

The laptop I ordered finally arrived Monday afternoon. By Tuesday night, I had installed Linux twice on the box making the box dual-boot Windows 8.1 and OpenSUSE 13.1.

I've decided to keep Windows just in case I should some impossible situation occur and I need it. I didn't order a recovery disk, so I only have the recovery partition on the hard drive, so I don't exactly want to worry about if I should ever need to install Windows. But I suspect that I am only going to ever run Linux. I get enough of Microsoft Windows at work, and honestly, I find the change of environments for my personal compute refreshing. Now if I could only figure out how to get the bootorder to stick past one reboot . . .

At this point I can say that I have almost no interest in actually living with Windows on this laptop. I am leaving Windows on the drive, as I may want to boot to Windows for a few older programs that I may have things that will be easiest to deal with in Windows (and that I haven't tried to get using Nat's or the boy's machines) but that's about it. At some point I might just reinstall Linux and remove Windows.

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Finally bought a new laptop

A little over a week ago, I finally gave into the frustration of trying to work on equipment that had mostly been bought before Windows Vista came to market and bought myself a new laptop. And in a little less than a week, the new machine will be here, and hopefully remove the problems I have trying to get something done on the excessive mass of machines where I run my digital life.

I know for some people, buying a new laptop might be something they do every at least once a year. This is not something I have had the luxury to do. I've tried to make sure Natalie and the boys have sufficient technology to do what they need to do. That normally means that someone is normally telling me about a problem they are having with either the availability or performance of sufficient technology.

Fortunately (or unfortunately), Natalie and the boys are fairly casual users of technology. Most of their needs can be handled with the laptop equivilent of a toaster. There's some light gaming from the boys, mostly Steam. Everyone pretty much lives in their browsers and their office suites. Social apps take up most of their computing.

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