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Entries from December 1, 2008 - December 31, 2008


2008 in Review

I'm looking at the clock on my computer and I am just now realizing that 2008 as I know it has less than 24 hours left. Now's probably a good time to recap this year and talk a bit about what 2009 has in store.

In 2008, HackCollege

  • ...saw over 300,000 visitors. Granted, not all of them were students.
  • ...produced 36 podcast episodes.
  • ...was single-handedly responsible for at least 50 beers being shotgunned.
  • a few facelifts. HackCollege was hosted on some dinky shared hosting at the start of the year. That's hard for me to believe now. After moving to a virtual server and now onto Squarespace, the site is starting to settle down a little bit and I don't have to wake up at odd hours to restart something.
  • ...made friends. Now is a good time to everyone that helped us in 2008, specfically Gary and AJ Vaynerchuk, Steve Woolf, Zadi Diaz, Jim Louderback, Damon Berger and especially Gina Trapani. These folks have been more than willing to help us out. They also have kept our feet on the ground.
  • T-Shirts and hoodies.

In 2009, HackCollege will

  • ...have a book. Lesinski and I are putting the finishing touches on a book proposal. The pitch? Think of HackCollege distilled into book form.
  • ...change hands. Lesinski is graduating while I'll be sticking around another year to finish up my two degrees. The show will change significantly and we'll be looking for help.
  • ...have new tees. Eyes peeled, folks.
  • ...go to conferences. If you're around for any of the following, let's get together! See us at: CES, SXSW, the FOWAs, Web 2.0 San Francisco and a few more...
  • ...shotgun beer.

Thanks for reading, we'll see you in 2009!


XML Resume Library - Future-Proof Your Resume

Resumes. A necessary evil.It's that time of year again. Those of us graduating need to start focusing on job applications. The rest of us have to start searching for internships. One of the most troubling things about the resume is the software associated with it. Microsoft Word is a piece of crap. OpenOffice is nice, but still just as finicky. There's a tool out there (for the hardcore) that makes writing the resume a breeze: it's called the XML Resume Library. It's allowed me to easily generate text, HTML and PDF versions of my resume.

Click to read more ...


Guest Post: Advice from the Amtrekker

Photo from flickr user tom.arthur. Please check out his other photos!

I'm incredibly honored today to be putting up this guest post. This post is from Brett, known to the world as Amtrekker. Brett spent nearly 16 months traveling around the country, checking tasks off of his life's list. His experiences should resonate with any college student that's ever yearned for something more than a degree. Enjoy! ~Kelly

Hey Team,

I know it's kind of en vogue to graduate from college and make a beeline for Europe to live out your American Werewolf in London inspired fantasies of backpacking through foreign hamlets (and wolf attacks?) but thanks to some personal experience I may be able to give you a few lycanthrope free ideas to mull over before you stock up on flea dip.

Don't get me wrong, the draw is incredible and the opportunity to see new sights and experience new cultures is one that should never be passed up. However, after spending the last year and a half wandering
around America as a tech savvy vagrant I've learned that there are a couple fundamental problems with this particular trajectory.

The bottom line is that it's all about living life, right? Sadly, a Euro-romp through filthy hostels immediately following four years of filthy apartment living just isn't enough of a shock to the system to
prepare yourself for a lifetime of living life. You're still going to latch onto that tech support gig your dad's golf buddy offers up to you when you come back broke and desperate for a decent cheeseburger and if you're the "average American" it's going to be another four years before you realize you hate your job and make a lateral move to a different call center.

"Living" shouldn't be something you "get out of your system" during a month long backpacking trip after school. I took a couple short trips to Europe in college but after graduating I jumped head first into the
corporate world of make believe, working as a designer for Disney. After three years of making the Happiest Place on Earth just a little bit happier, I reached a point where I was either going to spend the rest of my life making things look "cute" or I was going to give it all up and do the things I always talked about doing.

Thankfully, Disney did give me a unique perspective. Have you ever watched a little kid's eyes light up as they walk into a theme park for the first time? I always laughed, thinking, "Kids are so easy to please. Just throw a 5 foot tall dude in a mouse costume at them and it's all over." It wasn't until around the time that I found myself sleeping on a park bench after spending an entire day hanging out with an Amish family playing lawn games and milking their cows that I put two and two together.

Kids' lives are filled with wonder (and it's not because they don't have the brain capacity to figure out that Mickey is mostly just some fiberglass slung over a guy that probably chain smokes his way through a fifteen minute break every half hour). Wonder comes from experiencing something for the first time. And you can only do that if you understand the importance of continually expanding your comfort zone.

Getting comfortable after college is the worst thing that can happen to a person looking to lead a life fully lived; and continually challenging yourself is no easy task. Don't rely on a once in a lifetime trip to take the place of actually living.



Apply for Your Christmas Present: The STA Summer Intern Position

During the many hours of downtime over the Christmas holiday, I stumbled across something nothing less than awesome. If you're like me at all, you might have the travel bug pretty bad. Or maybe you've never been out of your home state. Either way, hopefully you'll find the STA Summer Intern position interesting.

STA is a student travel agency. To be their "intern," you have to travel to 14 different countries during this upcoming summer. Sounds like a boring summer to me.

If you're looking to skip the country this summer and have got some time to put together the application this break, head on over to the World Traveler Internship site and get started. I know I'll be applying.


Merry Christmas -- Free software!

Courtesy of pfala | FlickrHas the bad economy got you down a few presents? Last year, we counted down the days to Christmas by counting down our favorite pieces of free software. It's like a 12-day advent calendar -- all in one day!


VLC is the most widely-compatible media player around. The latest version has some iTunes-like flare.

Drive back-up software

Kelly explains a free back-up solution for each platform, including rsync which is already hidden on your Mac.


Miro will automatically download your favorite TV and web shows when the come out. It's like turning your computer into a DVR! And it's easy.

Quicksilver (Mac)

Quicksilver is still one of the greatest productivity applications in the world. It's also impossible to explain in less than one sentence.

The Power Hour

Another multi-platform rundown that solves the problem of timing a classic drinking game.


Skype is a popular VOIP client (it's like a phone on your computer). But it has some free extensions that would officially put Alexander Graham Bell out of business.

Firefox Add-ons

Firefox, a web browser, is free. So are these 7 must-have extensions.


OpenDNS will change the way you connect to the internet. Read how.


Tor will let you browse the internet completely anonoymously. Cover your tracks while you pirate music on campus.

Sizzling Keys (Mac)

A mind-blowingly detailed global shortcut program for iTunes. You'll be happy you have it.

Clean your computer (PC)

End your virus and spyware issues with free software.

Facebook syncing

Free ways to get contact info and pictures out of the social network and on to your hard drive.


Announcing the HackCollege T-Shirt Design Contest

Photo from the (very cute) flickr user SOCIALisBETTERHave you ever thought, Hey, I could design a better T-shirt than that? Have you also thought, I would die for HackCollege? Well, we might have a little something to keep you busy over the holidays.

We've sold out of our initial investment of 50 T-shirts and it's time to buy more. Chris, I and everyone else aren't artists by any means. Why not let someone else exercise some creative might? Whether your idea is a artistic masterpiece or the wittiest phrase you've ever thought, go ahead and submit it.

What do you stand to win? Obviously you'll get one of the new T-shirts and the fame associated with having hundreds of others also wearing your shirt. But we're also throwing in a HackCollege hoodie. These things are expensive to make, but you deserve it.

Start submitting your design ideas today over at the HackCollege T-Shirt Contest Page.

Contest ends January 7, 2009, so get sketching!


The Christmas Episode - Season 2 Episode 10


In a special double-length episode, Chris and Kelly are done with the semester and are going over Christmas lists, opposing thumbs and Christmas caroling. This is the last episode of the season, the guys will be back in mid-January! Topics this week:

Sponsors this week:


The Christmas Episode - HackCollege Season 2 Episode 10



In a special double-length episode, Chris and Kelly are done with the semester and are going over Christmas lists, opposing thumbs and Christmas caroling. This is the last episode of the season, the guys will be back in mid-January! Topics this week:

Sponsors this week: