Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Jobs hunting beyond monster....

there was an article in the wall street journal that recommended some websites for those that were beyond entry level positions offered on monster and other common job boards:

a list of them here:


A couple others to look at:
accessquery.com, recruiterlink.com, onlinerecruitersdirectory.com, searchfirm.com and i-recruit.com.

No, not job hunting. Just good info to keep around somewhere that i thought others might be interested in.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Posts I'd like to write...

here's what I'd write about if i wanted to spend more time inside today:

A recent article in Communication of the ACM that recognizes computation as a natural process. More along the lines of a natural science approach rather than an engineering approach. My simple observation is that none of this is 'truth'. In the beginning of the industrial revolution, the world was clearly a machine to the intellectuals of their time. When timepieces were born, the universe was clearly a set of gears. When computation engines (CPUs and other realizations of Turing Machines) being our primary productivity drivers and most 'like a thinking device' we see the world as...sure enough, a computing device!

A few movies I've seen recently that I think are worth mentioning: The Last Mimzy was worth watching. Its kid friendly with some peculiar drug references and secretly a big ad for a large semiconducter company. Black Snake Moan fits some kinda weird southern culture love story that was really good, but you either get it or you don't and I am probably too poor at articulating myself to explain. Transformers was actually really fun and worth paying to see. Spiderman 3 was not as good. Haven't seen Fantastic Four yet.

LBOs are drying up. The cause is the credit markets drying up (saying 'we won't contiue to fund anymore debt at these crazy low interest rates'). The effect is that they do things like look for smaller investors to unload at the top of the LBO market. Now that they've spent time soaking up all the easy money with 20%+ returns they'll try now try to sell them to you and me (individual investors). We have no hope of seeing those returns and should avoid them. When money is cheap these deals make sense. As interest rates have risen the returns must decrease. Blackrock Group investors have experienced this and they are now having trouble finding money for Chrysler and Cadbury Schwepps. LBOs are yesterday's cash cow.

Portland real estate market. I think its unethical for journalists to stay so quiet with the current real estate market and the 6,000 (not accurate) condo units going up in the Pearl and NW Portland that seemed to have actively slowed their work in hopes of a turnaround. I want data on the current market and nobody is writing about how bad it is. I've seen a few signs that people are finally deciding to lower prices by a bit in the neighborhood. I'm not claiming some kinda huge crash or anything in Portland, but I am suprised at the lack of information regarding units on the market, etc. and the story of how these new condo buildings are doing.
RMLS only reports the first 200 units in the 97209 zip code. There is a story there to be written for a journalist with the guts to take it on.

People are so confused about games and education. Play is ABOUT learning. We could do so much with games to teach students. I learned so little in my public school education relative to my education playing games. I think experiential learning and putting people in scenarios where games could be used could be revolutionary. Let the capital markets figure this out, there will be billions made in teaching people through play. Don't forget, the best teachers fooled you into thinking you were playing when you were actually learning. Education should look so different than it does today and I don't have time or space here to begin to communicate my ideas.

Thursday, July 26, 2007


This is cool. Two girls playing Metallica on harps. Its Harptallica. Link from Matt Fife.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Nico Galoppo added to places to stop by...

Nico is a Ph.D. student working for my team this summer getting us smart on physically based modelling and soft body simulation. Added a link to his blog on the right. He has a great video posted from youtube, very funny. Check it out!

David Bookout published on gamedev.net

Check out Dave's article at gamedev.net on Shadow Map Aliasing. Dave is a graphics software engineer who I am working with on a Graphics SDK. He has previously published source code and articles on shadow mapping and shadow volumes on mainstream graphics hardware. This is a survey of shadow map techniques and a discussion of the tradeoffs of various implementations. Lots of great figures and math!

Shadow Map Aliasing
by Dave Bookout

First Draft Review of Technical Writing...

I capture a few common traits among almost all the articles and books I've reviewed. Note that I consistently do ALL of these things on my first drafts, and so does nearly every article I ever read in draft form. Save yourself and your editor some time and scrub this stuff yourself. These are just some notes I wrote for myself and want to keep around for later reviews.

The single most significant common mistake in all level engineers technical writing by 90% magnitude over anything else I ever review:

common comma problem: you can get rid of the comma by swapping the two phrases that make the sentence. it usually reads remarkably better when you do this. this is a result of writing it how you think it. this doesn't flow as smoothly and is not an email or blog entry which vary in expectations of quality.

this is, by the way, probably my most significant issue, as well.

Too many commas: two phrases joined together by a comma. common thing to happen: comma isn't needed at all (therefore, if it can be read without it, get rid of it for simplicity). Agh!!

space is required between references and text next to references: foobar is a good candy bar[xxx99] should be 'foobar is a good candy bar [xxx99].

periods at the end of a reference in your references section. i don't know why, we all always miss these. in fact, in the GUIDELINES for the book we're currently writing some of the example references were missing periods. agh!

[foo99] authors. title. more info

should be:
[foo99] authors. title. more info.

I realize you might find a strunk and white like book that says the first is acceptable. its wrong, its not elegant, its not clean, its ambiguous if you have some that can end in a period, and some that don't.

english writers not writing american: not a read issue, but in general striving for consistency in a book we want all words to be spelled consistently. i'm not claiming one is more correct, i am simply saying consistent:

synchornisation should be syncrhonization.
initialisation should be initialization.
(ed: thanks to jake for pointing out typo in original posting for initialization.)
zed is z.

figures are not mentioned in text, this is not proper technical writing. All figures should be cited somewhere in the text.

figures are not numbered correctly (embarrasing).

writing like its a conversation in prelude or prologue, especially at the end of a paragraph or beginning of a paragraph.

the article) : 'now, just bang out a the piece of code and we are done'. 'a bunch of functions just need written up, and you are done'.

Mostly, I wanted to capture this stuff, so that I don't do it myself ever again[lake07]. :)

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Sweet Tea in Virginia and the Mason Dixon Line

A fun little shockwave app a friend Matt Fife pointed me to. You can check out his blog over on the right. i need to take a look over there myself.

Here's the neat little app. Those that are sweet tea fans will appreciate.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

More apps for the iPhone

Appleopolis.com, for instance, provides a directory of iPhone applications, while Mojits creates a virtual homescreen on your iPhone with icons for your favorite Web programs.

From here.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Cool iPhone Apps and Developers Guide

If only one had infinite time!


Here is the iPhone Developer Guide I found pointed at from the above site. Lots of good info to get started developing iPhone Apps.

My favorite so far is the movie listing app suggested in the WSJ yesterday here. You type your zip code and can get to all movie listings in your area. Next, you can click a time to purchase and it takes you directly to fandango (who charges you a buck to get you a ticket, a BUCK!! This should be like $.25. You can also click on address and it jumps you to a visual representation in Google Maps. Ahhhhh...

One week with my iPhone

So I've had my phone for a week now. Last night we left to see some music in Lake Oswego at Lacey's, forgot to look up the directions. Whoops! (This is the Josh problem...when you hang with Josh, the fun moves to fast, you can't think straight, and you end up driving 20 miles out to the suburbs to see live music....explain that one.

oh, so back to the story...out pops the jesus phone to gasps in the car...how's that going to fix it? I SMS google for
Lacey's Lake Oswego, OR. Bam! up pops the address. I type it into google maps (there's probably a way to get it straight into GMaps, but i don't know it yet). My home address is already bookmarked. Bam! Google maps provides driving directions on the screen to our destination, step by step if i'm interested.

The battery life rumors: I don't get it. I have used the phone for hours every day at this point and not even gotten it below 50% (yet).

I did have an episode yesterday, a couple funny things. i had it in my pocket, it was pretty hot outside, and when i tried
to unlock it the unlocking slider on the screen wouldn't slide. I had to lock/unlock the phone with teh physical button on teh side. I rebooted and it fixed the problem. About 20 minutes later I got a phone call and noticed the screen was blank so i couldn't push the 'answer' button. This was strange. I couldn't shut the phone off (or couldn't tell it was shutting off cause the display (driver) was crashed it seems. I did get the menubar on the top of the screen but nothing in the big window in the middle. I took it home and redocked it to the computer and it was fine after a rescynch and reboot.

If you're the kind of person looking for a reason to not buy the phone you can feel great relief and vindication that I have had a problem. The wait and see attitude has been validated. This in fact is usually my stance with technology (see recent $1 billion charge for xbox overheating). In this one case I felt willing to deal with a few expected glitches in such a revolutionary device. In fact, I expect even more serious glitches to come. along with new features :)

How to get a free iPhone

Just for fun, I thought I'd post the status of my free iPhone. Here we go:

Current Price 26 shares at 132 = 3432
Bought 16 AAPL @ 124.9894 = 2000
bought 10 AAPL @ 89.53 = 895.30
Total cost basis: 2895.3
Total Taxes: 0 (roth IRA)

Total Gain(loss): 536.7
Total Phone Cost: $600

Maybe I shoulda bought the 4GB version, woulda had a free phone in 7 days!

Sweet Phone. Sweet Sweet Phone.

Monday, July 02, 2007

3 days with my iPhone

A few comments about this device: first and most important: it is not a phone, it is not a computer, it is in fact something in between. A mash-up of all my favorite things my computer can do for me with all the things my phone used to do for me only better. plus an mp3 player.

the interface...oh the interface...i could write poems about how nice it is. the touch screen works great. the zoom feature on google maps by squeezing your fingers together or moving them apart is truly intuitive.

today on the way home from work, i looked up mac and cheese recipes in the parking lot of fred meyer and just walked in to

the screen is beautiful. battery life is (so far) easily a full day. just got ipod functionality last night.

haven't tried bluetooth yet.

2 megapixel camera is solid.

edge network can be slow, wifi worked well. i wanted to post this blog entry via iphone but maybe i'll do that later.

keypad on screen is okay/still getting used to it.

voice quality, etc. is great.

love the visual, downloaded voice mails. this productivity enhancement ALONE justifies the price for me.

hoping i don't lose it, my new iphone.