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September was a busy month!

Well, I’ve accomplished a few big things over this past month, even though I haven’t been updating this blog as often as I had planned. Let’s go ahead and list these things out.

1. I am engaged! After two years of dating my wonderful fiancee, I proposed to her on September 7th. We’ve been making a lot of progress as far as wedding planning goes, too. Our venue was booked in a week and honestly, we probably have most of the big details figured out already.

2. I’ve been hired by the University of Oklahoma to work in cancer research! While my duties won’t have much to do with my field, OU does provide some incentives for students working through their degree, and it does seem like it will work well with my study schedule. I’m very excited to get this going.

3. As of yesterday, I have an apartment all ready to go! It didn’t have the best reviews online, but it didn’t have the worst, either. My fiancee and I honestly aren’t too picky, and we were big fans of a layout that gave us both an extra room to use as a study and guest room, so I won’t have to work on my homework in the same room that I sleep nor in the same room that the TV occupies.

The last two lead up to something that isn’t necessarily an accomplishment right now, but more like a clarification for my current direction. I’m going to be aiming for OU’s Electrical Engineering program. While it doesn’t seem to transfer as smoothly from Tulsa Community College as Oklahoma State would, I do feel better about this move. First of all, it was really looking like OSU was closing their Tulsa program for EE. This left us with three options. We could stay in town with the University of Tulsa, and just hope that we have the funding to pay whatever the student loans can’t touch. We could of course transfer to Stillwater, but that’s a college town with very few stable job prospects, especially within OSU itself. And then there’s the option I’m going with, the University of Oklahoma.

This necessitated the move down to the Oklahoma City area from Tulsa. And that’s kind of a bummer, because frankly, I like Tulsa quite a bit, as much of a Thunder fan as I am. But this is progress, and I’m very excited to be starting out on this little adventure. We also have some very nice features nearby, including a Homeland, a newly-built library, and some nicer parts of Edmond. Also another bonus of OKC: I can look into the University of Central Oklahoma’s program in Biomedical Engineering. Yes, it is ABET-accredited, albeit their only engineering program. Still, it is a bit closer to our new apartment, and also even a little cheaper than OU, especially once you figure out the gas costs!

So that’s that. I feel like I’m leaving out an important piece of news, but I’ll just make another post if that’s the case. I did get a new keyboard for my iPad, which I used to type out this post. It did a surprisingly good job, and because it now has my beloved tablet in a chokehold, it might coerce me to write my updates more usually. Woohoo!

PragMaddux.com is now mine!

ALLL MIIINE!!!

Alright, pardon me if I seem a little too excited about this. Registering a domain and putting together a website is something I’ve always wanted to do, and I finally bit the bullet on choosing a name and seeding the online persona that will hopefully be representative of everything I have accomplished so far.

I’ll be updating the “About Me” page in a moment here (which is still set on default…yikes) and then figuring out some way to get back into twitter (under the username PragMaddux, of course!) and integrating that into my site. Ideally, there will also be a convenient way to work with LinkedIn…at least a sidebar widget, right?

In case it isn’t obvious, PragMaddux is a terrible pun between the word “pragmatic” and my last name, Maddux. I figured that if I were going to register something as a personal blog, I would probably want it to be something unique, short, and personal to my name. It was going to be “ProblemMaddux”, but that isn’t quite as positive a word, and the M’s might get merged and misdirect people. So, PragMaddux it is! 

Podcasts!

I wanted to write a post about  some podcasts that I’ve picked up on. I’ve been listening to podcasts for a couple months now, and I’ve been able to learn lots of different things about the processes in the engineering field as well as the roles played by different engineers.
 
By far, the best one for those in Electrical Engineering is the Amp Hour podcast. It’s hosted by Dave Jones of the EEVblog (another great resource) and Chris Gammell of Contextual Electronics, which hosts a class I want to check out more. They interview a lot of very interesting people who share their experiences regarding the process, and also about getting hired and working for different companies. I actually jumped in on a Kickstarter after hearing their interview with the creator of the very successful Microview, Marcus Schappi.
 
Another one I’ve enjoyed is hosted by Elecia White, who wrote an O’Reilly book on Embedded Systems. I first heard of her on the Amp Hour podcast, when Dave and Chris interviewed her. Her podcast is now called “Embedded “, after its name was recently changed. She finds a lot of great, interesting people to interview as well. And when I say that these two podcasts interview interesting people, I mean ones who have worked for places from toy companies to wearable hardware!
 
Those are the only two podcasts that are really relevant to this blog, but there are a few more that I enjoy. Most of them actually come from NPR, like The Moth, Car Talk, Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me, and the TED Radio Hour. There’s also eBay Scavengers, who I’ve been listening to because they are running a business on eBay and are very open on what has worked for them. The Art of Manliness has a really inspiring interview every now and then. and finally, I listen to This Week in Tech often, although sometimes it seems to run for a little too long, with really annoying ads.
 
And that’s that! I also use iCatcher on my iPhone, which works pretty well.

State of the Blog Thing

First of all, I plan on changing the name. While I haven’t forwarded it to anyone or mentioned it anywhere, it has occurred to me that the name “0 to EE” could also be mistyped as “zero 2 E E”, or “02EE”, or pretty much anything. Possibly even as a hex number! So that’s got to go.
 
Speaking of which, just what how an EE pronouce that acronym? I’ve been listening to the AmpHour podcast, and Dave and Chris have both pronounced it “double-E”, and that does sound much better than just the double-vowel pronounciation. I probably need to hang out with more engineering people to understand that. That will probably be a seperate post, where I can also talk about how acronyms are pronounced in this context. 
 
 
Secondly, I think it’s time to post.
 
I know that this is the fate of millions of blogs, that the author gets started, posts a couple great things, and then completely halts their production. For me, I’m pretty determined to get at least some kind of web presence out there.
 
To get that presence, I’m probably also going to be getting some action in on LinkedIn, which is really looking like a great place for students to get involved. Someone I know got a cold call from Google, in fact, and was interviewed for a position without having to apply for it! I will also be opening up a devoted twitter account, and learning how to unshun that community…it’s terrible to be learning that so late, but hey, you have to admit that the hashtag thing is really annoying.
 
But mostly, I’m going to blog…a lot. The goal will be one post a day, maybe more. I’m thinking of doing a “100-day challenge”, that will end with the beginning of my fall semester at OSU-Tulsa. 
 
I will continue the intended focus of this blog, which is to link fellow students and future colleagues to all the great resources that are available for EE majors and professionals. These will be things like online communities, other blogs, podcasts(which I’ve grown addicted to), and different online references. I’ll also hopefully be covering some local stuff, at least with the IEEE chapter here.
 
So that’s that! Here we go. 

IEEE Renewal

Well, it’s that time of year again. Just renewed my IEEE student membership for my second year. I must say, the IEEE Spectrum and Potentials magazines are very informative for being included, and so I added on some society memberships to receive even more journals and magazines.

They also give access to the IEEE Xplore online archives, with decades of papers and articles articles available depending on which societies you join. Unfortunately, it’s tedious to search through these databases, as it appears you can’t search within only the publications you can access. I also wish it was easier to access the articles on a tablet; currently the only real option is to download the PDF files and then transfer them over. 

Even though I am disappointed with how inaccessible the IEEE Xplore database makes itself, I am quite excited to read the articles. One journal I am particularly looking forward to receiving is the Biomedical Circuits and Systems Journal, though the papers on instrumentation are very interesting as well. And another bonus: even more magazines!

Whew! Busy summer

I finished the C++ and Engineering Design courses this summer. Tomorrow, I take the final for an intersession history course, where we squeeze an entire semester of American History into one week. Keep in mind, I took the midterm yesterday. It’s been quite a rush, but really quite rewarding. Good professor, too.

Besides being busy, this summer has also been sweltering. We’ve been having grass fires around the state. Today, though, a monsoon seems to have hit Tulsa. It’s nice to finally have rain again.