Shortlog - a log of everyday things



I have about a thousand things running through my head right now. But first, let's catch up:

My parents and little sister flew in last weekend + Monday (Oct 8, 9, 10) to visit. It was a ton of fun. The weekend in summary:

Saturday: I picked them up from SFO and then we drove into the City to visit Pier 39 and Ghirardelli Square. Traffic was the most horrible thing I have ever driven through in my entire life. We tried to route around the traffic and got caught up in a slew of streets that were one-way in the direction we didn't want to go. We wound up driving (VERY slowly) along the Embarcadero. There were crowds of people, all over - my mom described it as looking like Seoul, Korea. On the upside, we were getting quite the tour of SF, but we had no idea why traffic was so terrible.

Then I saw the B-2 stealth bomber.

It turns out that this was the tail end of SF Fleet Week, and there was a wicked-cool airshow. We found parking and got clam chowder in bread bowls from a street vendor, and then enjoyed watching the Blue Angels and Canadian Snowbirds do incredible formations. We walked about Pier 39, and I got to see F-16s do snap rolls while flying straight upwards and diving straight down. It was downright amazing. Tommy Kennedy would have been in heaven.

We walked over to Ghirardelli Square and my dad and sister bought chocolate while my mom and I just sat on the steps for a bit. We left the City just after 4pm. We had dinner reservations in Sausalito for 6pm. We called to warn them we'd probably be late. Horrible, awful traffic. From my friends' reports, BART was also very crowded.

While we did make it into Sausalito right at 6pm, we stopped at the scenic viewing area at the north end of the Golden Gate bridge for some fresh air and photo opportunities. Oh, I should point out that my dad loves taking photos and home video.

Dinner at The Spinnaker was delicious. We took the Richmond bridge back to Berkeley. I showed my parents my apartment and we talked and played cards. I took them back to their hotel, and they gave me a box of Crunchy Corn Bran cereal - apparently, my dad can only find it in bulk in 24-packs nowadays.

Sunday, my family went to the nearby Trader Joes and obtained breakfast. I picked them up from near their hotel and we ate at my apartment. We drove up to the Berkeley Rose Gardens and spent a good while there. It was a lovely day out - a little warm in the sun, but perfect in the shade.

I pointed out some impressive-looking spiderwebs. My dad went wild with his optical recording devices, and my mom quipped that they'd get home and have a half-hour of video showing nothing but spiders. It was fun, all the same.

We had lunch from Gregoire with the company of a long-time family friend Anna Theiret. After lunch, I took my family to campus and gave them the tour of the four buildings that I spend 98% of my campus time in and the student center. The BiD lab was surprisingly full of people for a weekend. Lora would later describe my family as adorable, particularly my dad shooting home videos.

The family went to Crepevine for dinner, which was also great, then played cards until late-o-clock. I haven't played very many 4-player card games lately, which is such a shame. Gotta get Andy and a couple other folks to play bridge. Alternately, we should get our D&D campaign back up and running, once Wes does his quals talk.

I got up early to visit my family at their hotel one last time before I had to leave to get my things and go to class. They successfully navigated BART to the SFO airport.

The week began.

I submitted a (rather short) proposal for a talk for 28c3 on reverse engineering USB protocols. If accepted, then I have one less thing to worry about (getting a ticket to 28c3 before they sell out) and one more thing to worry about (fleshing out said talk before the end of the year).

I have been working extensively on a project for the UIST 2011 Student Innovation Contest which I will disclose in more detail after we present it. Those of you who stalk me on github may have noticed the repo with my code already. I'll see if I can take a video of people using the contraption and post it here.

I've been updating my collection of OCRemix tracks and discovered that a bunch of folks whose remixes I've long loved now have their own professional discography. Many of the people that started out reimagining game music for the love are now employed by the game industry as composers. Andrew and Jillian Aversa (OCR: zircon and pixietricks) do some of my favorite electronica and celestial vocals, respectively. I bought all of zircon's discography; from the first two sets alone, I can conclude that I will be enjoying these for a long time to come.

I noticed at this week's BBQ that one of the Berkeley CS grads has sectoral heterochromia - in this case, a brown spot in an otherwise blue eye. I found it fascinating, so I looked up a bunch of reference on heterochromia and eye genetics. After doing the requisite reading, I wonder if I might have central heterochromia. Apparently, it's pretty common for people with green eyes. What do you think: do I have heterochromia?

Picture of my face cropped to just my eyes
Close-ups (warning: possibly creepy): Left eye, Right eye

I (finally (this has been a work-in-progress since late April (let's see just how deep I can nest parentheses (this looks kinda like Lisp)))) merged support for image registration into libfreenect this week. Special thanks go out to Kyle McDonald and Florian Echtler for their contributions to this (somewhat large) patchset.

I both hosed and recovered my laptop's Windows install today. Don't install self-signed USB filter drivers in 64-bit mode if you haven't turned off signed driver enforcement. Particularly if both your mouse and keyboard are USB and your machine (MacBook Pro!) has no legacy ports. Safe mode won't save you, but the advanced boot options menu will - it has "Disable Driver Signature Enforcement" as one of the boot options. Huzzah, all works. It's worth noting that none of the tools that use event tracing for Windows (ETW) can actually show you the data in the packets that your machine sends, since the kernel doesn't log that data, but filter drivers (like BusDog) can.

I went to the local Thai restaurant for dinner tonight. The waitress recognized me and knew my order. I had my food in something like 6 minutes from when I entered the restaurant. I think this is the first restaurant with which I've developed that kind of rapport.

Tomorrow morning I take Amtrak to Santa Barbara for UIST. I plan to write a Wikipedia article and grade assignments en route.