The online home for Greg Leedberg, since 1995.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Site changes

Well, I'm back at Cornell.

But that's not the point of this post. The point is, I ifnally made some changes to this website that I have been working on for a long time. The changes are subtle, but signficant. I'll point out the changes here.

The biggest change is that this top page no longer directly links to the sites hosted here. Software Creations is still listed here since it is active, and the rest of the sites are accessible by clicking on "Leedberg.com Sites". The reason for this? Many of the sites are inactive. Also, I'm a 23 year old graduate student and, yes, I'm embarrassed that when people went to my homepage on the web, some of the first things they'd see were links to Mortal Kombat and Mad Magazine websites. These websites no longer reflect my interests, but were given disproportionately large screenspace on my website. These sites will stay online for the foreseeable future though, because many people still visit them as a resource of information.

Other changes? I now have a profile of myself online, and a link to my resume. There is now a whole site devoted to my computers. This site gives specs on my computers, history of each component, and even a blog where I can give commentary on upgrades as they happen. This stuff interests me a lot, so hopefully someone else out there will find it interesting too :) There's also now a page devoted to the history of Leedberg.com. This website is now 10 years old, and I had a lot of fun writing up this history document. I also added buttons to the front page for Firefox and Thunderbird, added a link to each blog post to the permanent URL for that post (in case you want to bookmark a specific post), removed the "The site, blog, and life of Greg Leedberg" tagline, and shortened the welcome text.

So, lots of changes, but nothing that hits you over the head. Originally I was going to redesign this page completely, but decided against it. I'm also considering changing the focus of this blog. Right now it is basically a journal blog. But, nothing too interesting happens in my life :) So, I might make it more of an editorial site where I can just write about whatever is going on in the world -- new editorial, movie reviews, and just a little bit of a journal on my life. I don't know for sure yet.

Anyways, check out the new sections of the site and leave some feedback in the message board!

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Movie party & a movie

Well, I had a movie party this past Saturday. It's my first movie party since my "final" movie party at UNH last spring (and my first movie party at home since high school!). It was a lot of fun.... unfortunately the bad weather here in New Hampshire kept most people from coming. But, there were 6 people that braved the snow and it was still a lot of fun. It was the longest movie party I've ever had, but that was good because the people there had largely not seen each other in a long time. We watched The Mexican, Muppet Treasure Island, and played telephone pictionary and Cranium. If you don't know what telephone pictionary is or how we pick our movies, see my last post on movie parties.

Today, I went to see Phantom of the Opera with my girlfriend, her sister, and her sister's friend. I was very impressed. I've liked most of the recent musical movies (namely Moulin Rouge and Chicago), and have always like the music for Phantom (after having borrowed the London musical's soundtrack from my library a long time ago), so I was excited about this movie. It was not a disappointment. It wasn't quite as good as Moulin Rouge in my opinion -- probably largely because I didn't feel there was much character development. In Moulin Rouge you really come to care for the characters, but the characters in Phantom are noticeably flatter and less complex. In the end, though, the songs were all quite well done (though not as well performed as in the London musical), and the translation to screen was artful. For good or bad, the musical numbers here are all "bigger" and more extravagant than what you'll find in Chicago. That can be nice in small doses. Unfortunately, my other complaint with the movie is that it was a tad too long -- the 2 and half hours could easily have been cut down to just two (which I think is just the right length for a musical movie). Imperfections aside, I loved it overall and would recommend it! (And either my girlfriend or I will be adding it to our DVD collections, I'm sure).

Also, I'm going back to Cornell this Saturday. I cannot believe I will be starting my final semester of grad school!

Wednesday, January 05, 2005


Well, I have officially survived Cornell now... grades came in last week, all A's and B's. I'm happy... the GPA is slightly lower than at UNH, but only by a small amonut. I expected to see it dip a lot more. Cornell has a reputation of being the hardest of the Ivies (and the one with the least amount of grade inflation as well), and I certainly did work harder for those A's and B's than I ever worked before in my life.

In other news, the job search has begun. I've been sending out lots and lots of resumes, but I'm trying to stay with just companies that I am truly interested in (i.e., I'm not resume spamming :-) ). Lots of jobs out there that are appealing, it will be interesting to see what I end up with (if anything at all, given the current job market...).

Also, Christmas and New Year's were fun. My big gift for Christmas was an iPod. I absolutely love it. Just a year ago, I thought iPods were too overpriced to own. But then I started using the iTunes music service to buy music online. Buying music from iTunes has completely changed the way I discover music... I have found so many artists that I love who I probably never would have explored before. iTunes is really good for that. Examples? Bonnie McKee, the most. I never would have tried her music if I had to pay $20 and had never heard it. But you can hear 30 seconds of all songs, and $1 isn't much to try the entire song. I've also discovered lots of songs by artists I already knew of, but songs that I otherwise probably would never have heard.

Once I started using iTunes music service, I discovered just how great iTunes is for listening to music. I was previously a WinAmp faithful, and iTunes initally seemed too big and bloated, but it really is not. It's so great being able to access music by artist... or album... or song... or genre, or anything else. And being able to search my entire collection of ~3,000 songs instantaneously. And being able to rate songs (and then have highly rated songs play more often in shuffle mode!). And smart playlists are great... I have a playlist of all my highly-rated songs, a playlist of music I like to listen to while working (slow, soothing stuff), and (since my highly rated playlist happens to be dominated by slow, soothing stuff) a playlist of highly rated songs that don't appear on my work music playlist. It's so amazing what you can do with playlists. And there are lots of small touches that show that iTunes was designed by people who love listening to music, for people who love listening to music. iTunes is such an amazing music player in so many ways I can't even go into them all here.

And once you realize how great iTunes is, you realize how great the iPod must be (to carry around all the functionality of iTunes with you all the time!). And it certainly is. I love having all my songs with me, all the time, and all my ratings and play lists as well. The iPod may cost a lot, but now I realize that it is entirely worth it. $300 to completely revolutionalize how you listen to music? Worth it. Entirely.

We get Napster for free at Cornell, but it absolutely pales in comparison to the iPod / iTunes combo, to the point that I refuse to use my free subscription to Napster in favor of iTunes. Napster is (largely) subscription based, so you have to keep paying $10 - $15 a month just to keep your music (I like music a lot, but don't spend nearly that much each month on iTunes, and I get to keep my music forever). Both iTunes and Napster have digital rights management, but only on Napster do your rights change depending on what song you downloaded. And, iTunes effectively gives you the same rights as you get when you buy a CD -- since you can always burn your music to CD once you've bought it, you can then do everything you could have done with it in the past, if you so desire. And I have yet to see a Napster player which looks nearly as sleek as the iPod, or which is nearly as useable (it isn't easy to navigate 3,000 songs, but the iPod does it gracefully).

So, in conclusion, I love my iPod :) And if you aren't already using iTunes, you should.

I also got nesting dolls from my girlfriend (little known fact -- I collect them!), one of which is authentically Russian! And a Bonsai tree... I needed something to take care of in my life, not to mention something to liven up my room at Cornell! :)

For New Year's, I just went down to my girlfriend's, and we watched movies and TV till midnight. It was a LOT of fun. I love just relaxing and spending time with her.

Well, that is it. I go back to school in a week and a half. I'm sure I'll post again before then, I will hopefully be doing a lot between now and then!