Archive for the 'General' Category

2012 ManicTime review

As 2012 ended, I wanted to take a look back at this year and review my computer usage/consumption in order to reduce time wasting activity. That time should be channeled into more meaningful activities like learning a new language, improving my current skills, practicing piano and more.

The following data has been collected from August 11, 2012 to December 31, 2012. There is about 14 days which do not have any data (application was closed).

The data covers my computer usage with over 966.21h of active usage. During the period for which I collected data, the computer was also powered off for 1686.30h and left unused (away) for approximately 58.04h.

If we account 2 months of 31 days + 2 months of 30 days + 20 days (August) – 14 days without data = 128 days of data. This would average to 7.55h/day of active computer usage. The way it is currently “structured” however is that computer usage during the week is about 4-5h/day while on the week-end, it is about 12h/day.

This sounds a bit high, but there’s a reason to this. I’m not ACTIVELY using the computer for all that time. In ManicTime, the computer is considered active if the computer is being used at least once within a 60 minutes time frame. This means I could potentially be using the computer for 1 minute (or less) every hour and it would count as an active usage of 1h. But for the sake of this review, I’ll consider myself as a computer addict (which I am) and will count every minute as an active minute.

The following top 10 items accounts for 876.18h out of the 966.21h of active usage of the computer.

Application Hours
Google Chrome 457.76
Remote Desktop Connection 179.11
League of Legends (TM) Client 72.69
VLC media player 62.9
HexChat 35.81
Free Alarm Clock 15.02
mRemote 14.9
Sublime Text 2 14.56
Windows Explorer 12.13
Torchlight II 11.3

On first sight we can see that I spend a lot of time browsing the web. I do various things on there and since it is the biggest chunk of my time, it is worth looking at what I do exactly on the web. The following table is the top 10 websites I’ve spent time on.

Web activity

Website Hours
www.reddit.com 165.53
www.jolteon.net 19.33
www.youtube.com 17.51
docs.google.com 12.79
-confidential- 12.66
www.twitch.tv 9.34
www.google.ca 8.18
en.wikipedia.org 4.92
www.facebook.com 4.81
mail.google.com 4.08

This covers 259.15h out of 457.76h (56.6%) spent in Chrome. This means that I have a long-tail (a list of many different websites which I visit for a brief period) of 198.61h. The major time consumer here is www.reddit.com, which accounts for 36.2% of my time browsing. Even though reddit is a news/media website (useful for staying up to date with world events, not sure I do that…), it also contains a lot of content which I would categorize as time wasters: funny pictures, pictures of cats, videos as well as discussions about topics of interests (computer science, software engineer, robotics, electronics, etc.). I spent about 1.3h/day during the 128 days for which I collected data, which I find to be quite a lot.

As for the other sites, here’s a couple of notes:
www.jolteon.net: This is a bug tracker I use to track new features/bugs where I work. It serves as a personal system for me to track these issues. I use it frequently to update task statuses as well as enter anything that I may have forgotten to add during the day. I also like to review it frequently to remind myself of what is left to work on (and let my mind figure that out while I sleep)
www.youtube.com: I often get on youtube because of reddit. I enjoy watching documentaries which last from 30-45 minutes on average.
docs.google.com: I’ve spent some time writing documents in Google Docs simply because it allowed me to share them with others so they could review my work.
-confidential-: This is a website I use to manage “things” for work. I generally go there every day and it takes me from 5-15 minutes on average.
www.twitch.tv: Watching streamers of Starcraft 2 and LoL for a while.
www.google.ca: Looks like I spend a lot of time searching…
en.wikipedia.org: Whenever I don’t know something about a subject of interest, wiki is a good source (generally…)
www.facebook.com: Checking that everyone I know is still alive
mail.google.com: Because I like spam

Back to the apps

If we go back to the applications I use, the next in the list is Remote Desktop Connection. I use Remote Desktop Connection to connect to my PC at work so that I can do some work from home. As you can see, I have spent almost 1.44h/day working remotely. Considering that I am not a “work at home” employee, I find this to be outrageously high. I would like to see this be as close as possible to 0h/day.

Next is League of Legends (TM) Client. I’ve recently been interested in the game and started to play it on a more regular basis. I would like to keep this at around 1h/day or lower.

I’ve used VLC media player to watch series as well as movie on my PC. Series are 20-45 minutes while movies varies from 1h30 to 3h30. I’d say that about 225h/year looks like an acceptable amount of time spent on this.

I’ve stopped using MSN to chat with friends. My main communication channel is now through IRC, for which I use the HexChat client. I want to spend a maximum of 1h/day on communication though.

I’m not too sure why Free Alarm Clock is part of the top 10. I believe this has to do with the note I wrote at the beginning mentioning that ManicTime would consider a program active if there was some movement on the screen in the last 60 minutes. Since Free Alarm Clock was set to show up (and take focus) every hour, it is quite possible that it simply appeared from time to time while I was away and “sucked” the time out of whatever was running in the background.

mRemote is another application I used briefly to do remote desktop. Since it doesn’t support multiple monitor remoting, I’ve stopped using it.

Sublime Text 2 is my text editor of choice. I haven’t spent a lot of time in it since August mainly because I haven’t been doing any coding at all in the past few months.

Windows Explorer Some time spent searching for files on my PC!

I’ve played through the whole campaign of Torchlight II, which was pretty awesome! I’d be really happy to try multiplayer with some willing friends to see what the end content is like (single player end of game content was pretty funny, but playing it alone wasn’t very satisfying for me).

Conclusion

The important part of this process, other than reviewing what time was spent on this year, is to decide new objectives going forward. This means deciding what should be cut down, reduced, increased or added. For each application I’ve already determined what was my goal/limits thus I simply need to make sure I follow them. A monthly review should be sufficient.

Recommandations

  • Reduce reddit usage below 1h/day
  • Reduce/cut time spend doing remoting for work
  • Redistribute free time on learning activities and skills improvement

Daniel Pink – Motivation

Automatic Mechanical Self Replication


Éthique de l’ingénieur et drones militaires

Les départements militaires sont souvent les premiers à placer leur argent dans des technologies révolutionnaires qui pourraient leur permettre d’avoir un avantage stratégique sur leurs ennemis. Un exemple connu est celui de la conception de l’ordinateur. Les ordinateurs avaient comme but premier d’effectuer le calcul d’équations complexes décrivant la trajectoire d’un projectile. Ces équations contenaient plusieurs paramètres tels que la vitesse du vent, la distance désirée, la gravité ainsi que la vitesse de déplacement du navire qui tirerait le projectile. Avec les ordinateurs, les scientifiques étaient en mesure d’effectuer ces calculs de manière accélérée. Ils pouvaient de plus assurer que les calculs ne contiendraient pas d’erreurs humaines puisqu’il fallait répéter cette même tâche plusieurs centaines de fois. Une seconde invention développée par un département militaire, DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency), est Internet, un des systèmes de communication les plus employés à l’heure actuelle.

Avec les avancées technologiques effectuées au fil des années, les départements militaires ont commencé à chercher des moyens d’accroitre leur capacité d’absorption d’information. Il fallait de plus que cela ne nécessite pas l’augmentation du personnel nécessaire pour ce faire. Une augmentation dans le volume de communication aurait pour impact d’augmenter les chances de transmettre des messages subtilement différents entre individus, ce qui pourrait causer de graves problèmes, surtout en situation d’urgence. Afin d’accroitre leur intelligence sur le terrain en temps de guerre, les départements militaires ont acheté des drones aériens provenant de contractants. Un drone aérien est en quelque sorte un robot, semblable à un avion, mais sans pilote dans le cockpit. Le drone est piloté à distance par un pilote, les deux communiquant par système radio ou satellite. Ces drones ont pour objectif de survoler certains points cibles afin d’obtenir de l’intelligence et d’attaquer des cibles stratégiques à l’aide de l’information obtenue de diverses sources.

Les recherches actuelles tentent de concevoir des drones qui seraient pilotés automatiquement (sans assistance humaine) et capables de communiquer entre eux afin d’augmenter leur efficacité globale. La conception de systèmes étant capables de tuer se basant sur une intelligence artificielle ou des décisions préétablies amène à poser la question suivante :

Est-il éthiquement défendable pour un ingénieur de concevoir des drones aériens intelligents employés pour des fins militaires?

Afin d’arriver à une conclusion justifiée sur cette question, une étude de chacune des positions sera présentée. Premièrement, il s’agira de comprendre et analyser les raisons qui appuient la position, c’est-à-dire qu’il est actuellement défendable pour un ingénieur de concevoir de tels systèmes. Deuxièmement, nous aborderons les raisons qui soutiennent qu’il n’est pas défendable de concevoir ces systèmes intelligents. Finalement, une synthèse de cette discussion permettra d’établir la position qui semble la plus appropriée pour l’instant.

Pour lire l’ensemble du texte: Télécharger le PDF

Ajouter une image à partir d’une URL distante

J’ai toujours détesté le processus de devoir télécharger une image pour ensuite l’uploader sur mon blog. Deux étapes, c’est toujours beaucoup trop comparativement à une seul. Enfin, j’ai découvert qu’il est possible de télécharger directement les images distantes en insérant l’url lorsque WordPress nous demande l’endroit du fichier “local”.

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