Quakecon, Part 2: Electric Boogaloo

10 Days: The True Story of Marvin McNerd

It's down to the wire now, boys. It's clutch or kick time. Go big or go home. So you know from Part 1 a little-it-of-everything about how to prepare and what to expect from your first Quakecon journey. What questions remain unanswered? Let's cover a few of the main ones.

How does check-in work?
They will check your stuff in the line for the BYOC and likely barcode your tower and monitor (not your peripherals) so that everything can be tracked and secured. This line is long, and will probably stay long most of the day. Be patient. There are 3000 people trying to get their rigs checked in and a lot less volunteers trying to do it all. You'll receive a lanyard with a tag on it that has your name and a few other details, you'll need to wear this around while you're at the Hilton Anatole. This is your pass to get into the BYOC and the exhibit halls.

The schedule is out...what events should I plan on attending?
The PC Perspective event is my personal favorite, mostly because they give out a bunch of stuff. Last year they were giving away entire builds (from case to CPU). Master Pancake is a comedy group that has been a staple of Quakecon, and there is a reason for it. If you're into Quake itself, plan on attending the finals (at least). Download the Quakecon app to your phone for a full list.

Thoughts of the Week 6/26/14

Dates are easier. Yeah, let's use the date from now on.

Content
The first criteria for good content is originality, for me. Also, it is the greatest struggle for most content creators. What makes a good content creator? Originality. How many times have you said, "I could do that I just didn't think of it first"? I'd love to do something that people want to watch on Twitch.tv or what-not, but what is actually original that I could do? Behold, the golden question.

All it Takes is Money, Right?
Man, I've been really wanting a 144hz monitor. And you know what? I'm gonna get me one! I'm paying off my student loan in just THREE DAYS (Thank you based Dave Ramsey). Only thing is, I need to get another GPU (darn, right?) to run it. Incoming GTX 770 and Asus 144hz monitor. Pics will come...it's gonna be gr9.

Server Issues

I know I don't have a lot of visitors...but my site has been nearly impossible to access over the last week. My VPS provider believes they have resolved the issue with the node, so hopefully no more 30 second HTTP requests.

The Death of the Undergraduate Degree

This will speak only to the fields related to technology, programming, IT, and the like.

In 2007, every job posting for something I, myself, would be interested in would stress in big bold letters, "REQUIREMENTS: BACHELORS IN COMPUTER SCIENCE OR RELATED FIELD". From the year 2000 up to 2009ish, there was a boom...a culturally viral push, so to speak...the idea that you were going to go to college and get a degree and, as Dad would say, "and that's final, young man!". Well, here we are in the year 2014 and I think we are making funeral arrangements for the undergrad's degree in anything related to the above fields.

A bit of background, for posterity: I am in the middle here. I had 4 different 'advisers' in my final 2 years of college who misinformed me so badly that it caused my grace period on my student loan to run out and I was forced to drop out and find work in order to start paying for it. After 5 years, 134 credit hours, and a 3.1 GPA, I was leaving college without a degree. I do my best not to let my personal feelings toward college get in the way.

When to Use (and NOT Use) db_query()

Up through Drupal 6, the world revolved around using db_query() to perform database queries and it was great. We had a way to indirectly interface with our DBs and increase security. The world rejoiced. At least most of us did. Probably.

But the things that D7 brought to the table blew db_query() out of the water and took things to the next level. Drupal 7 brought us an incredible update to the Drupal Database API & PDO that not only increased security within that layer, but made our code more universal and portable between various types of databases and drivers.

Of course, we know that db_query() couldn't go away completely... however, there are some Drupal developers out there running on 7.x that don't seem to care one way or the other about the new DB API features and continue to write everything the old way because "it's what they know". Time to teach an old dog new tricks!