Archive for August, 2007

Monkey Island

August 19, 2007 Leave a comment

Step 1: Download and enjoy Monkey Island I, The Secret of Monkey Island
Today I’d like to pay tribute to a great LucasArts game… The Secret of Monkey Island. Monkey Island I and II are freeware now, so you can download The Secret of Monkey Island here:

Step 2: Watch this video. It’s hilarious.
I was thinking about Monkey Island today because I saw this video: (Mirror)

It reminds me of the End of the World video… classic.

Step 3: Complete the other 3 games in the series.
Your life will be enriched. You’ll love the series if you like Pirates of the Caribbean. You’re welcome, but you fight like a cow.

Categories: Appreciation, PC Software

MACRS table by calculation: Very precise values

August 17, 2007 2 comments

MACRS, an acronym for Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System, is the system used by the IRS to quantify the depreciated value of personal property for tax purposes. A table such as this one specifies how long the MACRS depreciation period will be for an item. The depreciation over that specified number of years is calculated using variable declining balance depreciation using 150% DB for 15 or 20 years or 200% DB for 3, 5, 7, or 10 years. When advantageous, the depreciation method switches to straight line depreciation for the remainder of the depreciation period. This entire process can be completed by a single Microsoft Excel function as shown below.

MACRS depreciation can be calculated using Excel’s VDB function.


To calculate the percentages per year using MACRS for personal property, use equations such as the one that follows.

First year:
=VDB(100%,0%,[MACRS depreciation period],0,1/2,200%)

  • Variable declining balance, declining from 100% toward 0%
  • Necessary MACRS depreciation period: 3, 5, 7, 10, 15, or 20 years.
  • The first year of MACRS depreciation starts in year 0 and ends in year 1/2. This is because MACRS convention only allows 1/2 year of depreciation in the purchase and sale years.
  • Use 200% declining balance for years 3, 5, 7, and 10 years. Use 150% for 15 and 20 year depreciation periods.

Middle years:
=VDB(100%,0%,[MACRS depreciation period], n-1.5, n-0.5,200%)

  • Where n is the year: year 2 starts at 1/2 and ends at 1 1/2.

Last year:
=VDB(100%,0%,[MACRS depreciation period],n-1.5,n-1,200%)

  • Where n is the year: In a 3-year depreciation period, the last year of MACRS depreciation is year 4, which starts at 2.5 and ends at 3.


Categories: Math problems

Buckeye Bullet in Bonneville

August 14, 2007 Leave a comment

Keep in touch with Ohio State’s Buckeye Bullet team as they put their vehicle to the test in the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah this week!

O-H !

Ohio State bringing broadband Internet access to Ohio’s small towns

August 13, 2007 Leave a comment

The Ohio Supercomputer Center (OSC) and The Ohio State University Office of the CIO, with major funding from the American Distance Education Consortium (ADEC), the Governor’s Office of Appalachia (GOA) and the Ohio Community Computing Network (OCCN), are bringing broadband Internet connectivity to rural Ohio Appalachian communities from a satellite 23,000 miles above the Earth through the Connecting Rural Ohio (CRO) Wireless Neighborhood Project.” – Connecting Rural Ohio Project

OSU Honors trip to Greece

August 6, 2007 Leave a comment

Every winter quarter Ohio State’s honors program honors a trip to Greece by application. The program includes a class about Greek culture, Modern Greek H241, followed by the trip to Greece over spring break. I plan to take the class this winter and go to Greece in spring 2008.

Here is information about the program:

Matlab: Stateflow

August 5, 2007 Leave a comment

The Ohio State University ChallengeX team is working on applying Dr. Shawn Midlam-Mohler's research to substantially reduce the harmful emissions of a diesel engine. This summer I've been continuing the work Courtney Coburn and Rishee Bhatt have done to control the system with the MotoHawk development and control system based on Matlab Simulink. I ran into a little issue implementing Stateflow and I'd like to document what this error means, because I could not find documentation anywhere when I had the issue.

"C:\Documents and Settings\John\My Documents\ChallengeX\Exhaust\Code\John's
Code\Atomizer Error Reporting Aug 03
2007\Atomizer_Control_Stateflow_Build\Trigger_FGND_RTI_PERIODIC_138p001.c", line
248: error #20:
identifier "Atomizer_Control_Stateflow_IN_N" is undefined
= (uint8_T)Atomizer_Control_Stateflow_IN_N;

"C:\Documents and
Settings\John\My Documents\ChallengeX\Exhaust\Code\John's Code\Atomizer Error
Reporting Aug 03
2007\Atomizer_Control_Stateflow_Build\Trigger_FGND_RTI_PERIODIC_138p001.c", line
253: error #20:
identifier "Atomizer_Control_Stateflow_IN_E" is undefined
case Atomizer_Control_Stateflow_IN_E:

"C:\Documents and
Settings\John\My Documents\ChallengeX\Exhaust\Code\John's Code\Atomizer Error
Reporting Aug 03
2007\Atomizer_Control_Stateflow_Build\Trigger_FGND_RTI_PERIODIC_138p001.c", line
255: error #20:
identifier "Atomizer_Control_Stateflow_IN_N" is undefined
case Atomizer_Control_Stateflow_IN_N:

This means that an output from Stateflow should be defined in the base workspace using the Model Explorer. This is not stated in the Stateflow tutorial, which would have been helpful. The image below shows where these variables need to be defined, in addition to being set up as Data > Outputs.

Categories: Electronics, PC Software

Google Talk Shortcuts

August 3, 2007 Leave a comment

Google Talk recognizes in-text shortcuts to create smileys, bold, and italic text. These are very useful and I think more people should know about them.

Conversation Text

  1. A message can be 32767 characters long.
  2. Certain smileys are recognized by Google Talk and will be shown in blue.:-
    :-O 😑 πŸ˜› πŸ˜€ πŸ˜‰ 😦 : :O 😑 πŸ˜› πŸ˜€ πŸ™‚ 😦 ;- ;-O ;-x ;-P ;-D πŸ˜‰ ;-( ; ;O
    ;x ;P ;D πŸ˜‰ ;( B- B-O B-x B-P B-D B-) B-( B'( BO Bx BD B) B( B) And you can put
    a ‘ between the characters to get another one shown in blue.
  3. To write text in bold, put it between *asteriks*
  4. To write text in italic, put it between _underscores_
  5. You can insert special characters like β™₯β™«β˜Ί with ‘Start / Programs /
    Accessories / System Tools / Character Maps’.



It’s very versitile and useful to note that bold italics can be created by any permutation of *’s and _’s. Bold italics can be achieved by typing “*_bold_*”, “_*bold*_”, “*_bold*_”, or “_*bold_*”.

Categories: Uncategorized