Transferring -- oh joy

I took a few hours to go over to the ASU campus today to speak to an advisor in the CSE department. The ASU campus is pretty big and it took me a while to learn that the CSE advisement building was not even in the main part of the campus but rather it is up Mill Ave amongst the shops and restaurants. After a nice walk (it's a wonderful time of year here in Arizona -- mid seventies and lots of sun) I made the last slot in the walk in advisement schedule. My advisor basically said "hey, these credits from CU are nice and all, but we want official class descriptions from the original course books (like I have those...) or we can't match them to ASU courses.

So, I've put in an email to my old advisor and assistant dean over at Columbia U. Hopefully I can get something they'll accept. (CU wasn't cheap... I don't want the time there to have been wasted!)

Also met up with my cousin Tim Garner while on the campus. He works at ASU doing something with architecture... (sorry Tim, I forgot the exact title!) Anyhow, he also takes classes there and as part of a current class he's put together an exhibit of masks and artifacts from Africa. Jeni and I stopped by to see the collection (it's great!) and give Tim some pointers on how we might make a 3d version of the tour for the web (using jME of course.) More on that later if it develops further.

75th

This weekend was a blast. My grandparents, parents and two of three brothers came over to celebrate my granddad's 75th birthday. We relaxed, munched on food and chatted for most of the weekend. On Saturday we went over to a mexican restaurant called Macayo's. It was packed to the gills. The food was excellent and the atmosphere very festive. Check 'em out if you are in AZ (they have one in Las Vegas too.)

Back in AZ

Well, I made it back to AZ... just in time for a day long rain shower.

Watched the Red Sox beat the Yankees on the flight home... (JetBlue rocks!) I'm sure a lot of my friends back in NYC are crying in their beers right now. I'm not a big sports fan. Taking in a game now and then is a lot of fun but I enjoy actually playing a lot more. Anyhow, my thought on the game? I just like seeing the underdog win. :)

Got another pool guy out to fix the pump. He cements a new pump in and turns it on -- no love. He fiddles around with the wires and says I need to call in an electrician. Yay. Next day I get in an electrician and he lays new wires, pump starts up beautifully. Total damage: $690 Ugh.

If home ownership is the American dream, I'd hate to see our nightmares.

blogger.com

Originally I'd set up my blog with a program called thingamablog. It had a nice format and worked fairly well. Unfortunately it did not allow comments and I couldn't post from anywhere but my desktop. So now I've switched to blogger.com which still allows me to host on my own site. Pretty sweet.

Long trip

Well it's been a long trip here in NYC. Had less business meetings than I'd thought, but those I've had have been good. Among those I've had the fortune to see again -- my old friend Dan a.k.a. Pop from a previous job at Comedy Central. He's doing well in his career and is quite in love with a beautiful gal.

I also met up with another old friend and prior co-worker, Chuck Gorder from my days at a company called Obj.X. We went bowling at the Port Authority in Manhattan (I hadn't even known there was a bowling alley there.) He's also a tech conlsultant and splits his week between LA and NYC (ugh!). His wife is an actress with a great stage career still working on a break in TV. Bowling was a hoot and dinner at the Mercury Bar was pretty good too.

Saturday we went out with Jeni's sister and some friends to the China Club in midtown for a birthday party. After having our eardrums rattled, five of us shot down to Chinatown sometime around 1am and had bubble tea drinks. I had my favorite green bean milk shake (try sago before you knock it) and Jeni had an almond one with tapiocca balls.

Other than that, it's been a pretty quiet 10 days or so. Went to our old eye doctor and bought new glasses. Walked around with Jeni and visited a few old haunts (if you go to Flushing you've got to stay for dinner.) Tomorrow we're back home.

Pools suck

Well, more fun with pools. Had a pool technician out from Leslie's Pool Supply. All my dealings with them so far have been positive... Fast, reliable and affordable; always a good combination. Today was no different. Their tech, a good guy named Lamant, stepped me through the testing process and gave me some useful pool tips. Unfortunately, the testing confirmed that the pump is fried. New pump and labor... $500+... ack!

So friends, to donate to the pool fund, just send your check or money order to... :) Ah well, worth a shot.

What a weekend

What a weekend I just had!

The good part... I'm going on a business trip soon where I'll need a laptop to code on. So, I decided to be a rebel and go Mac. Now I'm the proud owner of a 15" 1.5 MHz G4 powerbook. I've had experiences with OSX in the past, all good, but this laptop really takes the cake. If you haven't played with a Mac lately, do yourself a favor and visit your local Apple Store... even if it's just to play for a bit.

OK, now the bad part of the weekend... I got home from the Apple Store to find my Linksys wireless router (WRT54G v1.1) had bit the dust. I'd upgraded a few weeks ago to the latest firmware to try and fix a problem with the wireless dying every day or so and since then, the thing has been even more unreliable. I'd had another Linksys router before this (an 802.11b one) and it had crapped out on me as well. Now I'm the kind of guy who if you treat right the first time, I'll come back to buy from you from then on. That's how it was with Linksys and I've always bought Linksys network products. No more, I'm afraid. I hopped back in the car after a few hours of troubleshooting and bought a NetGear wireless router instead (WGT624 v2)

Now that's not really the bad part of my day. I got home and plugged in the new router to my favorite surge protector (you know, one of those REAL protectors... not a power strip that wants to be a surge protector.) Instant sparks! And my lights and computers all go dramatically dark. I unplug the router and stumble down to the power box, finding the flipped breaker and switch it on... back it goes off. I run back to the office, play with more wires, same result. Long story short, turns out my surge protector was somehow fried. I go and get another one and I'm back in business.

Now, if it had stopped there, life might have been good. Unfortunately, sometime during this whole mess, my pool's pump was also shorted out. The breaker on that will only stay in the off position no matter how much I play around with it.

What a weekend! At least my laptop's humming along nicely on the new NetGear router.

Calculus...

jME Cloth

-- jME Cloth Demo #3--



I've said before that I enjoy math. Well last night I was putting together my 3rd cloth engine and came across a mention of using Newton-Raphson and the Babylonian method for solving square roots. Looking around the Internet I found a good explanation of this method. After about an hour or so of work integrating that with a spring / mass equation using Verlet integration, I was able to get rid of Math.sqrt and add about a 40% boost in FPS! Sweet!

Unfortunately, the cloth acts a bit like it's in a vacuum so I need to figure in some kind of viscus drag equation. Ah well, we'll get there. Soon jME demos will include men in tights with capes... Well at least capes.

So now I have a very stable cloth simulation. You probably won't find a screenshot too much different than the last shot, but here's one anyhow.

Drop me a line if you have any suggestions or cloth comments.

New release

After 3 months of development work by yours truly and a another talented programmer named David, a new version (v2.1.0) of my company's financial software suite is out and boy does it rock! Response time is up by a factor of 5 in some cases. Lots of new features. Guess I can't really talk about most of them, but boy does it feel good to be done with that. :) Now for 2.2...