Thursday, July 9, 2009

New Ryan Kopf Website

I finished a really nice design for a new Ryan Kopf website. It features a little about me, links to some of my projects, news updates, and more.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Titles Are Hard To Think Of

Randomly writing. seems to be growing at a healthy rate so far. I've optimized the on-page titles and started getting links from convention websites, so I should see Google search visitors increasing at a regular rate. I need to get a lot of visitors to my websites (I have so many) so that I don't have to work so much. I guess I'll stick to adding conventions and writing articles for now, then build up some more PR. Also getting lots of incoming links is definately good. Some major sites get 190,000 hits daily, x $3.00 CPM is $570 daily. I would be happy with that amount monthly. In other news, I should prepare some hotel sharing for AFO 10, and calculate all our costs, plus prepare questions for our Anime Festival Orlando news articles. Lots to do.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Anime Conventions - Empire Building - Etc

I am BUSY. Yes, busy! I need to figure out a way to properly utilize all my time right now, considering the vast amount of work that I could potentially do in relativity to the amount of work that I must do. Back to the more concrete, right now I am working on:

  • A new Anime Convention website

  • A new UISG website

  • My twitter programs

  • Mindbridge Event Registration Software Database

  • Other Misc. Stuff Like Always

Now to start getting things fully finished to cross them off the list....

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

How To Make A Personal Cooling Suit (Vest)

If you don't follow me all the time, you might not know about me attending several anime conventions as Sephiroth (from Final Fantasy VII). The outfit, which is all black vinyl, can get very warm: here's a picture below.

As you can see, I have to get hot very quickly, and with no way to cool down I can't wear it for more than an hour at a time. That's why I decided to build my own water-based personal cooling system! Although getting the materials was tricky, and some creative genius was involved, it was actually fairly straightforward. Let me share what you'll need.


  • 1/4" tubing - water will run through this tubing around your body

  • An old shirt to sew the tubing onto

  • Some kind of battery operated rotary pump

  • A side belt-pack for the pump and ice

Alright, starting with the tubing. You can find this easily at Lowe's in the plumbing department. Get the clear kind that is easy to bend and flex. Anything bigger than 1/4" will probably be too big. Next you'll need an old shirt or some kind of vest to sew the tubing onto (very loose fitting). What you're going to do is pinch together parts of the shirt, sew, and then run the tubing through them. I'll provide more details on this part later when I can provide more pictures.

Then you'll need something to pump the water through the tubes. Finding a battery operated rotary pump was, I thought, impossible. But then I stumbled by the fishing section of Wal-Mart and found a device that was meant for helping keep bait alive by pushing air into water through such a pump. I'll give more details on the name/brand so you can try to find it later.

Next you need to put the tubing through the shirt you've sewn, and then have the two ends both come out one side. You're going to put them, with the pump, and ice packs (this cools the water) in a belt-pack or fanny-pack together. Use your pump to fill your tubes with cold water, then attach everything together, put the ends on the pump, in the pack with ice (you'll want to coil a few feet of tubing in the pack so that the water is exposed to the ice for a longer period of time).

Here are some pictures of my beta version (higher resolution will come when I find my good camera).

Saturday, April 25, 2009

5 reasons why is better than Microsoft Office

We all love lists. They're fast, we all love sometimes just skimming titles, and they're fun. Here are the top five reasons Open Office is better than MS Office.

  • 1. Free - Like, Forever is usable completely free of charge. The cost is zero as long as you have the internet, but that is nothing in comparison with what Microsoft wants for its products. All updates and new versions of are also free of charge. You don’t pay to upgrade, just download them free. New releases of appear once in several months, while Microsoft’s updates are issued once in two or three years.

    Note that you have to include the '.org' in the name because OpenOffice is a trademark to someone else.

  • 2. Open Source is open source software, both free as in free beer but free as in you can do what you want with it. That also means that lots of folks around the world are constantly improving the software. Releases then happen when the several of improvements is done, not when the marketers decide that the'll make the most money.

  • 3. Use Anywhere, Freely (Cross-Platform and Portable) runs on both Windows and Linux and Mac OS. Download the right version and enjoy the same great functionality on any platform or operating system you like to use most. OOo always saves in the same, portable format that is open and free.

  • 4. Fast, Friendly Interface has a simple, user-friendly and fast menu interface with a high performance. You don't have to hunt around for the features you want - they are in the most logical location. You shouldn't have to wait several seconds to open multipage document or large size file also. also consumes less PC resources, allowing its applications run faster and more effectively.

  • 5. Efficient Calculations Calc (the alternative to Microsoft Excel) is faster, simpler to use and less demanding in terms of memory and disk space. It excels in its calculation functions, and in its flexibility in fine-tuning of diagrams is also great. Calc also has plenty of very useful and convenient filtering features like Excel, which makes it a good and balanced choice for anyone who wants to use a reliable and flexible spreadsheet.
  • Friday, April 24, 2009

    UISG Election

    The UISG election is over, and Go! Party won in the end. I hope they take some of our many ideas into account. We had a great run, meeting many people and impressing plenty with our ideas and energy. There will be a lot to do. Sorry for not updating too much, I've been very busy. Need to catch up on homework, sleep, studying, et cetera.

    • Keep Tuition As Low As Possible

    • Improve Safety With Subsidized Cab Service

    • Make UISG more connected with students

    Wednesday, April 22, 2009

    Tuesday, April 14, 2009

    Voting Rescheduled

    After thousands of students had tried to casts votes and found themselves unable, the University of Iowa Student Government Election is being postponed! Voting will now take place next Monday, April 20th, starting at midnight. Although this will cause a lot of extra work for the campaigns, the candidates, and the parties, it provides a new opportunity for students to learn about the candidates in this election. In the end, this can go two ways: 1) more students will choose not to vote, because of the extra campaigning, or 2) more students will vote after having more of a chance to learn about all the candidates.

    Be sure to learn about the L platform, and vote April 20th! :)

    Wednesday, April 8, 2009

    Have I Met Everyone?

    Hey! I keep wondering, have I met every student at this school yet? Then I remember: of course not. But as I travel from student organization to student organization I meet dozens of students from every background, every creed, every race, every religion, and every department. I remember we have one important theme in common: we are all hawkeyes and we all love the University of Iowa.

    This exemplifies why I hope to become President of the University of Iowa Student Government. I believe that I will bring a new level of openness and accountability to our student government, requiring our executive officers to blog, and posting Senate meetings on YouTube. I will then work hard to advocate for all students on a daily basis as President, meeting with student organizations on a regular basis. Don't forget to vote April 13 or 14 on ISIS.

    Learn more at our UISG Election website.

    These are the groups we've met with so far:
    • Social Work Students Association
    • Association for Computing Machinery
    • The Journal of Race, Gender, and Equality at the Law School
    • Student Video Productions (General membership, plus Iowa Desk & Couch and Talk Iowa)
    • Campus Activities Board
    • Pan-Hellenic Council
    • Content Magazine
    • The Daily Iowan Editorial Board
    • Bijou Theater
    • Indian Student Alliance
    • HawkTrade
    • Burge and residence hall students
    • Dance Marathon Executive Board
    • Phi Sigma Pi
    • Economic Human Rights Organization
    • Students To Assist Recruitment
    • National Alliance on Mental Illness
    • Public Relations Society
    • Students Today Leaders Forever
    • Public Interest Research Group
    (I believe we have more, I hope to update later.)

    Saturday, April 4, 2009

    Leading the Way!

    Our campaign, the L grassroots movement for real change in the University of Iowa's Student Government, has so far been an entirely positive, meaningful campaign focused around the issues - and that's what we're sticking to. Our platform, found on our website, is detailed and comprehensive, and we're completely open and transparent in our goals.

    We've had fun so far, and it's about to get even better. This weekend I've been spending time further organizing our volunteers, working to get people to come to our events, and trying to get the word out in the most positive manner possible. Today we were on the PedMall, projecting our name and giving out stickers and shirts. Monday we will have "L" buttons, and continue passing out fliers.

    Thursday is our movie screening of "The Youngest Candidate" - a unique documentary about young people and politics in 100 Phillips Hall, Iowa City, at 6:30pm.

    Building A Collaboration

    In building a new synergy, and a new collaboration for our student government, I have been meeting with a number of people. I meet with President Sally Mason on Tuesday, and Provost Loh on Thursday. I have met with VP Rocklin, the Director of the Office of Student Life, the Director & Assistant Director of Housing, and many others. To try to build collaboration between the two overarching student governments at Iowa, I have met with Steve Wieland of ECGPS, and Tim Paschkewitz of GSS.

    Thursday, April 2, 2009

    University of Iowa Student Government

    Hey! Long time, no posts, but that should change.

    I'm running for President of UISG at UIowa! So far I've talked to several student organizations, finished our first debate, had several interviews, and more. Thankfully, it's been going rather well. We've built the substance of our campaign - a solid foundation based on our platform and our people. Anyone can visit our website to learn more about what The L Party really stands for on a plethora of issues - making us the most transparent campaign ever created.

    We've had the chance to talk to student organizations ranging from Students To Assist Recruitment, to Public Relations Society of America, to Students Today Leaders Forever. Every time I am impressed by the students that are in these groups, and it reminds me of why I want to fight every day on their behalf. I believe I will be the strongest advocate for students that the University of Iowa has ever seen - not just by pushing things through, but by building a consensus around common goals and common ideals.

    Saturday, February 28, 2009

    Politics, Platforms

    I've been reading a lot about President Obama lately. It's refreshing to see the change Obama has been working towards finally show up in the form of a proposed budget. This budget includes improvements to our health care system that will help save us in long-term costs, a cap-and-trade system for greenhouse gases, and increased spending on education, all great things. In the end, the entire country will realize that by investing more money in education now we will have a continued competitive edge in the world economy, even as other countries rise. We will improve our health care system by making data electronic, and by modernizing our systems to save administrative costs in any health care situation. And finally we will reverse the poor policies of the Reagan era by making taxes more fair, by decreasing them on the people who have the least money, and increasing them on the people who can afford to pay them.

    In other notes, I've been working a lot on my own stuff - keeping very busy. All in great fun, though.

    Friday, February 27, 2009

    Asterisk PBX

    I recently discovered another piece of Open Source software that I hadn't examined much before. It's called Asterisk, and it's designed to let you create your own telephony system. The problem is... it seems to be very complex and poorly documented. Although it's been around for a long while, it looks like no one has taken the time to build solid documentation - so I bet it's been reserved to hackers and linux masters, excluding those who don't have years of experience playing around with these types of systems. Might be fun to use if I can get it to work, though. According to the site: Asterisk is an open source framework for building communications applications. Asterisk turns an ordinary computer into a communications server. Asterisk powers IP PBX systems, VoIP gateways, conference servers and other custom solutions. It is used by small businesses, large businesses, call centers, carriers and government agencies, worldwide. Asterisk is free and open source. Asterisk is sponsored by Digium. It would be cool to use this to automate and simplify things, maybe even create our own professional sounding office voicemail system without paying hundreds a month.

    Friday, February 6, 2009

    Acer Aspire One - Running Slow No More

    So, I had thought I managed to nearly kill my wonderful Acer Aspire One, without doing anything at all! Originally, after I first bought it, I could open files to edit, listen to music, and browse Facebook all at the same time with ease. Then, without much warning or little reason, it started going SLOOOOOOWWWW. It took tons of research and clever Google keyword mashing to find out the solution in my case. My hard drive was running in PIO Mode. This a) eats up CPU speed because PIO mode needs CPU overhead, and b) makes accessing any read/writes slower too. You can check if this is your problem by going to Start -> Run -> devmgmt.msc -> IDE ATA/ATAPI -> Primary IDE Channel -> Advanced Settings. If it says Current Transfer Mode: PIO (or anything less than Ultra DMA Mode 5) then you might be experiencing the same problem.

    This happens automatically by windows when it thinks your hard drive has errors - often caused by multiple or frequent hibernating/standbys/restarts. Fixing it requires making the computer take less of these errors before it enters this mode.

    Fixing it in my case was easy once I found the right registry keys. Warning: I am not responsible if this damages your PC, don't try this at home. I found "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEMS\CurrentControlSet\Control/Class\{4D36E96A-E325-11CE-BFC1-08002BE10318}\0001" in regedit. Then I changed MasterDeviceTimingModeAllowed to 0xFFFFFFFF by typing f eight times in the box after clicking it.

    Then I opened the properties (advanced settings like above) for that channel, changed 'device 0 transfer mode' to PIO Only, then clicked okay. Then I went back there and changed it back to "DMA if available". This is sort of like a 'soft reset'. After clicking okay, and checking again, I was running in full Ultra DMA Mode 5 speed.


    Friday, January 30, 2009


    Staying busy. I am now the Executive Director of ARH, and will be meeting more frequently with leaders of the University, which is certainly good news. I will need to work harder on being organized and getting everything done to it's fullest. Taking 18 credit hours, getting a lot done with the Open Source University Meetup, and working towards building everything from the ground up.

    Tuesday, January 13, 2009

    MDC Chicago

    I just got back from the MDC (Microsoft Developer's Network MSDN Developer's Conference) in Chicago. It was very interesting, and definitely fun and exciting. We attended a few of the different sessions, learned about the latest things from Microsoft, and more.

    • Azure - Microsoft wants you to deploy your apps on their azure service, thereby taking over the world again (this was actually said!).

    • Future Of Languages - Learned a little about the future evolutions to VB and C# .NET. They will be trying to make the two run more parrallel. One thing is they added fake dynamic typing. You statically define a variable to be dynamic "dynamic thisvar1 = 5".

    • WomenBuild - Was very interesting. We expressed concepts via legos, like "model with the legos a particular diversity issue you can think of" and then modeled solutions. Probably the most interactive part of the conference.

    I'm still processing most of the conference, though, so I have more to say simply just about being in Chicago and that overall experience. The Trip Overall was... expensive, but I learned a lot in a number of ways.

    • Don't Park Downtown Chicago - It was $48 for overnight at our hotel. I bet we would have saved $10-$20 parking elsewhere downtown, but it was so confusing!

    • The Hyatt Regency Club was awesome. By asking the right questions, and booking online, we got the Regency Club in the west tower for nothing extra. The room in the conference hotel was, however, already $180 with taxes. We got free snacking from 7 to 8:30, free desert until 9:30, and free Sierra Mist all night.

    • The Subway is cool but expensive. I used Google Maps "By Public Transit" to get around chicago, it was amazing and said to use the Red Line subway/train. $4.50 for both of us to get there, and $4.50 to get back (we went to Chinatown).

    • The Conference Food was great too. Very awesome.

    • Total Costs: $180 Room, $48 Parking, $9 Subway, $20 Lunch at Noodles Place - Minimum Total: $257. I'm probably missing something, so it was probably more. Expensive city.

    Monday, January 12, 2009


    I'm in Chicago right now, staying overnight to await the MSDN Developer's Conference at the Hyatt Regency Hotel. Although I'd rather attend a Java conference of some sort, and I don't have tomorrow's plan laid out yet, I'm still having a great time here. We spent a little time downtown, and then took the subway to Chinatown. It was exciting to see all the cool things there, but I haven't bought anything (just the hotel and parking itself are expensive!!)

    Tomorrow is the conference, and hopefully I'll learn something - or at least get some top-notch prizes.

    Saturday, January 10, 2009

    Winter Break

    Winter break continues here, and I'm still not in the comfort of my room. That's the primary reason I'll be getting an apartment here in Iowa City, because I can't take an entire month away from all my most important possessions. Not that I'm being materialistic, but I need access to my main computer to get a lot of work done. It's tough setting up ad-hoc work areas wherever I go - I need my desk, too.

    Fortunately, it will be ending soon – and also I will be soon enough signing an apartment lease. I've already got my plans for getting the location I want, and they'll take a lot of work. In the end, it'll be worth it and I'll have a great place to keep all the computer systems I need access to, along with great proximity to campus.

    Much work to be done. Charge forward!