2020 New Years Resolutions

Posted on December 31, 2019

In my 2019 resolutions post, I wrote that I wasn’t sure what my 2018 resolutions were. Thanks to this blog I know exactly what my 2019 resolutions were (see below).

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Visualizing Windows/Unix Directory Trees with Gource

Posted on June 7, 2019

I use Git and Github to keep all of my Ph.D. research in version control. This allows me to keep track of every change to the files and even pull out specific file versions from years ago (perhaps a presentation given at a certain conference). It also functions as a cloud backup in case something happens to your workstation or laptop. If you’re at the beginning of your Ph.D., I strongly, strongly recommend using a version control system. If you don’t want to pay for a private repository out of pocket, talk with your IT department, perhaps they already pay for Github hosting and can set you up with a private repo (thanks, G!).

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2019 New Years Resolutions

Posted on December 31, 2018

I’m not sure what my 2018 resolutions were, but I surpassed my reading goal of five books by one. The books I read were: “The Arctic Incident” (Artemis Fowl #2) by Eoin Colfer, “Endurance: A Year in Space, A lifetime of Discovery” by Scott Kelly (U.S. astronaut), “Eragon” by Christopher Paolini, “American Gods” by Neil Gaiman, “Grunt: The Curious Science of Humans at War” by Mary Roach, and, my favorite of 2018, “The Oracle Year” by Charles Soule.

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The Golden Sun Set - Arriving Dec 25, 2019

Posted on November 26, 2018

Over the next year, I will be working on a reorchestrated album of Golden Sun and Golden Sun: The Lost Age music called “The Golden Sun Set”. I’m hoping to release the album on December 25, 2019 on all of the major music platforms.

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October is Castlevania Month!

Posted on October 5, 2018

October is Halloween month, with everything that that entails: searching for or making the perfect costume, enjoying scary TV shows and movies, eating candy and Halloween-inspired dishes, and, of course, playing Halloween-y video games like Resident Evil, Dark Souls, or Castlevania.

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Comparing Julia, C++, Fortran, and Python Run Times with Coin Flip Code

Posted on July 7, 2018

I’m a computational materials scientist, and naturally, I enjoy programming. Recently, I’ve been thinking about picking up a programming language other than Python to help prepare me for a post-doctoral position at a national lab. I was having a hard time choosing between C++ and Fortran. On the one hand C++ would be pretty useful because it’s the language that LAMMPS is written in and so I could extend LAMMPS to fit my needs. On the other hand, Fortran is used in NASA Glenn’s MAC/GMC code (along with tons of other legacy code) and I would love to work with the micromechanics group at NASA Glenn someday. And then I found Julia which is a programming language designed for parallelism and cloud computing and combines the ease of Python with the speed of C++/Fortran, but it is still in beta (v0.6.3 is the current version). All three would be very useful to have at my disposal. Since I have a lot of time on my hands right now, I’m going to try to learn all three.

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Roleplaying with Skyrim

Posted on November 20, 2017

When I first saw the reveal trailer for the Nintendo Switch, I was quite surprised and happy to see The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim running on the hybrid console. I’ve put in nearly 150 hours into the original PC version of the game over several characters, but I still haven’t experienced everything the game offers. Of the three DLC expansions, I had only played Dawnguard (the other two being Hearthfire and Dragonborn). At the time of the trailer, it was speculated that the Switch version of Skyrim would be the special edition of the game. Now we know that it is the special edition which not only includes the three DLC expansions, but also has updated graphical effects. Some reviews are calling it the definitive version of the vanilla game (vanilla == no mods). I can’t wait to play it again come Christmas Day.

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Album Statistics with Python

Posted on September 20, 2017

In May of 2014, I released my first video game music album titled Aural Nostalgia Vol. 1 in partial fulfillment of the requirements to graduate from the Honors Institute at Michigan Tech.

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My Thoughts on the Nintendo Switch

Posted on October 20, 2016

Let me start off with saying that I’m tremendously excited for the Nintendo Switch. So excited that I’m hoping to get the Switch at launch sometime in March 2017. I have never gotten a Nintendo console (or any other console for that matter) at launch. The closest was waiting in line at Walmart in February 2007 for a Wii. I’m so excited that I’m pretty much trembling while simultaneously writing this blog post and looking up news about it.

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How to set two separate wallpapers on Linux Mint 17.3

Posted on October 15, 2016

One of my biggest disappointments after moving to Linux was discovering that DisplayFusion doesn’t support Linux. DisplayFusion is hands-down the best way to manage multiple monitors on Windows and is definitely worth upgrading to the pro version. But this post isn’t meant to be a product endorsement, it’s meant to show how to set two separate wallpapers on Linux Mint 17.3 Cinnamon.

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My Best Zoo Pictures So Far

Posted on July 26, 2016

When I studied abroad in Chengdu, China three years ago, my Dad loaned me his Canon point-and-shoot camera. I fairly quickly realized that I take pretty good pictures (China pictures here, Update May 2019: only working on desktop for now), so for Christmas that year I received a Canon PowerShot SX260 HS. It’s a great camera for my needs which include taking pictures at tourist locations (zoos, museums, etc.), taking still pictures of family, friends, and pets, and taking the occasional video. It has served me quite well.

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How to Install Ruby and Jekyll on Linux Mint 17.3

Posted on July 1, 2016

As I said in my first post, I’m using Jekyll, Git, and Github Pages to build, version control, and host this blog. One workflow you can have is writing your posts locally and pushing them to Github where Github builds the site for you. Another workflow is writing your posts locally, and building and viewing your website locally before pushing to Github. This second workflow allows for things to break without affecting the public website. For instance, I’m thinking of making this blog’s style match the style of my main website, but I’m not super familiar with Jekyll’s structure and way of doing things. So if I inadvertently break something, my mistake won’t affect you, my readers. I had wanted to use this workflow for a while, but I ran into error trying to install Ruby and the github-pages gem. I’ve finally figured it out and I’ll share my solution here.

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My Thoughts on the new Zelda, Pokemon, and Mass Effect

Posted on June 20, 2016

This post is about the new Zelda, Pokemon Sun and Moon, and Mass Effect: Andromeda. I don’t have a PS4 or Xbox One and don’t really plan on purchasing either one so I haven’t followed their respective E3 news. I do have a Wii U and 3DS (and PC), and I’m very much a Nintendo guy. Always have been, probably always will be.

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Reorchestrating Video Game Music

Posted on June 14, 2016

In my spare time, I enjoy reorchestrating video game music. Reorchestration is the process of arranging a piece of music for orchestra and then using high-quality sample libraries (virtual orchestras) to render the piece of music. I’m the Lead Reorchestrator of Metroid Reorchestrated, a website dedicated to transforming the music of the Metroid video game franchise into orchestral masterpieces. Metroid Reorchestrated, or MREO as I will be referring to it from now on, hasn’t been updated in a while because I’ve been quite busy with my Ph.D. coursework and research. Hopefully I’ll have some time this summer to reboot an MREO project called “Metroid Orchestral Fusion” which focuses on arranging/remixing the music of “Metroid Fusion” in orchestral and electronic styles. Please see the link above for more details.

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Hello World!

Posted on June 13, 2016

Hi! My name is Will Pisani. I’m a second-year Ph.D. candidate in Mechanical Engineering - Engineering Mechanics at Michigan Technological University. My area of research is in using high-performance computing clusters to conduct molecular dynamics modeling of polymer composites. Understanding how polymer composites (widely used in the aerospace and automotive industries) behave at the molecular level is critical for building better polymer composites. Thanks to this guide by Barry Clark, I now have a blog that can be version controlled with Git. I plan to write about technical topics like Linux, molecular dynamics modeling, programming with Python and C/C++, and maybe a few other things. I’ll also probably write about gaming and arranging video game music.

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