Long time, no post … again!

Well it looks like I need to “s*it or get off the pot!”

I just have not kept up with content on this website of mine. Time to do a rework again and add relevant information. With all the additional outlets nowadays such as Facebook and Twitter, almost no need for a blog style site. I will have to ponder what I want to do with this web real estate. Looks like changes to come at a later time… :)

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Don’t be afraid of chemistry!

There is a great blog article over on the Chemistry Matters website about “Correcting chemophobia“.  Since I do have a chemistry background, it is disheartening when the general public sees anything “chemical” as being bad. This article talks about how the chemistry community has to try to bridge that knowledge gap to help the public understand all the good that chemistry does.  People tend to only see the bad side of things from high profile accidents, but don’t see the good side in everyday life.

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My definition of an NERD

Now that I have started down the road towards being a EntrepreNERD (or eNerd for short), I started thinking about how to define the acronym NERD.  A quick search for the term reveals some interesting definitions:

    National Establishment for Real Dorks
    Never-Ending Radical Dude
    Not Even Remotely Dorky
    Nimble Effective Resourcefull Dudes (or Dudettes)
    Network Emergency Repair Dude

Anyone who remembers Robert Carridine’s character in Revenge of the Nerds, has the wrong impression of what a nerd is today. It is time to debunk that stereotype!
I was not satisfied with these definitions so I decided to come up with some of my own.

    Network Enabled Research Dude
    Network Enhanced Research Dude
    Never Ending Relationship Diplomat
    Never Ending Research & Development
    Network Enabled Response Division
    Network Enabled Relationship Discoverer

I have not decided which term I will use from now on. What are some of yours?

Robin Martin (eNerd)

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Embarking on a new venture

Slowly but surely I am setting sail on a new career path. Back around December 15, 2011, I joined up with Nerds On Site. This means I am an independent business owner working with a global team of EntrepreNerds or eNerds. I have always had the interest in working with technology even though I chose a different career path initially, as you can read on my About page. Taking my degrees in Chemistry seemed like a completely different world compared to Computer Science. But now, computers and technology are more tightly integrated with chemistry as well as just about everything else. My switch in career paths was a gradual happening as my passion for technology was outgrowing my waning interest in chemistry. My years of providing technical and scientific support was weighed heavier on the technical side and less so on the scientific aspects. It was time for a change, but it was not an easy decision to make. Starting up a independent business was and is a scary thing to do, but there is the thrill of excitement and anticipation for the future.

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Announcing Sdfchecker beta-software release.

Sdfchecker is a free inspection and manipulation program for SDFiles (.sdf). It is useful for examining SDFiles before importing them into database programs such as ACD/ChemFolder, Cambridgesoft’s ChemBioFinder, MDL/Base to name a few.

Summary of functions:
– Indicate number of structure records
– Indicate number of blank structure records
– Display list of Data Field names
– Remove blank structure records
– Split large files into smaller multiple files, a single random sized file, or containing a
specified range of records
– Convert into individual MOL files
– Inspect for duplicate Data Field names within each record

Available for:
Mac OS X – sdfchecker_mac.zip

Windows – sdfchecker.zip

Linux – sdfchecker_lnx.zip

This project is a work in progress. Choose Help > User Guide within the software for documentation and further information. Any feedback or suggestions on the working of the program is much appreciated.

Update [2012-04-09]: New link for Mac OS X version. DMG is contained in the zip file for easier downloading.

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A nice visit to Newfoundland

Just got back from a first time visit to St. John’s, Newfoundland.  We actually had great weather with the sun shining for the most part.  It was not the weather I had expected.  Although near the end of the visit the “typical” weather did return with overcast skies and some rain.  Got up to Signal Hill and out to Cape Spear with some clear skies.  Was down to Bay Bulls and out on the O’Brien whale and puffin tour and was not disappointed.  The waters were very calm and we saw the whales and puffins up close.  Also went down to Cape Saint Mary’s Park Reserve and walked out to see all the birds on “Bird Cove”.

It has quite the hilly terrain as opposed to boring and flat Southwestern Ontario.  The drives around the coast lines are similar to those you find on the Cabot Trail in Cape Breton, NS.  You climb some big hills and then come flying down the other side!

I look forward to returning again in the future when I go to visit my brother once he moves there next year.  Then we will have a chance to further explore the interior and western parts of the island.

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I am inspired by iWoz

I just completed reading “iWoz”, the autobiography of Steve Wozniak. It was an inspiring read hearing his side of the story of how he developed the Apple I and Apple II computers. It was a great inside look of how he and Steve Jobs got along in the early years and how they started up Apple by turning a personal hobby project into a vey successful enterprise. He provided a look into his thought processes and designing principles he employed.  Being an introverted type myself, I was able to identify with how he liked to do things on his own.

What also stood out for me was how he was happiest just working on his engineering projects and left most of the selling and marketing to others.  But that was a problem when he was left out of the designing of the disaster that was the Apple III. As he described it, it was designed by committee of mostly marketing types and this lead to all the problems.  This must be why I don’t value marketing all that much either. They want the “pie in the sky” but don’t bother to talk to the technical people that will be impacted the most by their crazy ideas.

Look for it at your favourite book store (physical or electronic).

iWoz by Steve Wozniak with Gina Smith
ISBN-10: 0393330435
ISBN-13: 978-0393330434

 

 

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Today’s music ain’t got the same soul..

I went to see Supertramp in concert on Saturday, June 11 in London, ON. It was an awesome concert. I was wondering how the songs like “Breakfast In America”, “The Logical Song”, “Dreamer”, “Give A Little Bit” and “It’s Raining Again”, were going to sound without Roger Hodgson as the lead vocal. Well it was very impressive with the guys who did those vocals. These songs were just like the originals.

The “Breakfast In America” album was my first real exposure to Supertramp back in 1979 when I was in Grade seven in Petawawa, ON. One of the bus drivers had a stereo system in the bus (I believe it was an 8-track tape player) and he was playing either Supertramp or Steve Miller. It wasn’t a really long bus ride and there was enough time to hear about three or four songs. I believe this is around the time that I really started to pay attention to music and the songs being played on the radio. I was entering my teen years and this is when the music started to have an affect on me.

So of course it was the ’80s with all the different styles and genres. I listened to mostly the mainstream Pop/Rock songs and still pretty much still listen to the same music today.

I remember telling myself and maybe some friends as well, that I was going to be a person that kept up with the popular music of the day. I was not going to be like our parent’s and say “today’s music is not like it was in my day!”…

Well I was wrong! Over the years I have tried to stay somewhat current. There have been some bands that I have found that I like or at least some individual songs. A lot of the new stuff I just don’t like or cannot get into. I keep going back to the music and bands of my teen years. I will occasionally pick up a CD (only if I really can’t find a downloadable version) of a band or a collection of various artists’ songs from the ’80s. Sometimes I am looking for hard to find “one hit wonder” stuff that just never made it to CD and may never be available electronically.

I am not criticizing what today’s teen’s listen to because someday they are going to end up in the same situation.  Music is an ever changing and mutating organism, phenomenon, beast, etc.  What was popular for me is not the same as is popular today and will be different again for the next generation.

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New Mac OS and iOS updates coming in July

Well with the announcement this week from Apple about the upcoming updates for OS X and iOS, I am getting excited to update my devices. I have personally had no problem with any of the updates in the past.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not a die hard Fanboi. I am very comfortable using Windows and Linux as well. Yes my current personal platform happens to be a Mac along with an iPhone4 and iPad2, but I don’t go around “dissing” Microsoft and it’s products. I am even using Windows 7 in a virtual machine on my Mac as there are just some things I need to keep up on in the Windows environment. It all comes down to using the tools you need to get the task done.

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My New Blog

It was time for an update to my website and I decided to add a blogging component. I have not completely determined what I will post here, but it will probably evolve as I continue to work on it.  Stay tuned.

 

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