smartperson's blog

Album Review: "Thirteenth Step" by A Perfect Circle


This is a great album. It represents significant growth for A Perfect Circle, and gets better with repeat listenings. Addiciton is a dark subject, but APC takes a refreshingly honest look that most heavy-ish rock fans can appreciate. You can find the album on Amazon in CD and MP3.

The motivation behind and experience of creating an Instructable

A picture of my dad's Breville BCG450XL coffee grinder.2 years ago I picked what I thought was the perfect birthday gift for my father, a conical burr coffee grinder. In his retirement he has (oddly), become very interested in drinking coffee; in particular, he had taken an interest in the careful preparation and appreciation of fine coffee. Unfortunately this great coffee grinder suffers from a strange design flaw: in addition to having a 'start' button, it also has a binary 'on/off' button. That alone would not pose a significant problem…

Musings: My First Semester at Harvard Business School

HBS LogoThings have been extremely busy since my last blog post about music; the process of applying to business schools combined with the chaos of an extremely busy work life have taken a toll on the more creative pursuits that I try to make time for, including writing.

However, now that I have finished my first semester at HBS (Harvard Business School), I thought it would be a good opportunity to reflect on the MBA experience so far: the lessons, the challenges, and the great things yet to come. I will try to avoid repeating information you already know about the business school experience.

A Look at Varun's Personal Music Development

I've spent a fair amount of time thinking about how my tastes in music have changed and evolved. A little time in OmniGraffle yielded the chart you see here (enlarge). Obviously this isn't a complete representation of how my musical preferences have changed: there are many omissions in bands and genres, but I tried to capture the key ones from my past and a good list of current ones. There are several songs that I've picked out as pivotal to my development. It's a lot of information, but I'm curious: can any of you trace how your taste has changed over time?


Macbook not working with 2 new RAM modules, but 1 new and 1 old works?

Subtitle: “Whoa, I just reprogrammed a RAM chip”

I purchased 4 GiB of RAM for my sister and brother-in-law’s old Macbook. Did you know that Apple shipped a Macbook configuration in 2008 that included only 1 GiB of RAM? Since I upgraded them to Snow Leopard (64-bit!) and they want to use vmware Fusion to run Windows 7 side-by-side, they sorely needed some more memory.

I bought two of these RAM modules for their computer and had them shipped to my parent’s address, so that they were available when I came home for the long weekend. I put both of the RAM modules in, and was dismayed by what happened when I tried to start up; instead of the gray-on-grey Apple startup screen, I got no chime and a solid white light from the power/sleep indicator. I took one of the modules out and put an old 512 MiB modules back in, and it started up and showed 2.5 GB of memory installed.

Anime Round-up, February 2010

People have been asking my recently about anime I’ve been watching that I really liked. Here are some, in no particular order, that are mostly available on Netflix:


Blood+ An anime with international intrigue, corporate dealings, genetic research, references to Vietnam, opera, and vampiric creatures? Yes, please. As the name implies, it’s pretty bloody and violent, but still a little Magic-Girl-feeling. This was picked up a few years ago by Cartoon Network, but I believe the whole series is currently available on Netflix.

Concert Report: Breaking Benjamin, Three Days Grace, Flyleaf 2/13 @ Tsongas Arena

I’m sorting the bands in this title in order of decreasing Awesome when describing this show.

One-line summary: These guys came and rocked pretty hard in a good venue with a pretty good crowd.

Okay, now for specifics…since more than just music goes into making a concert a good concert.