MonthJanuary 2005

it is done.

My typical day for the last week before the SIGGRAPH deadline went something like this:

Wake up at 8, shower, dress, eat. get on my bike about 9:30 and ride to the BART station. Spend the next hour in bliss reading a book or a magazine that has nothing to do with smoke. Get out at Berkeley, walk up the hill to Soda (since the campus buses mostly weren’t running). Arrive at Soda about 11am, an hour or so before almost anyone else will show up. At noon, join the author of the paper I was helping with (also named Bryan). Work on getting smoke to look right until the last train home (usually 11-11:30pm). Repeat.

Now, to be honest, not every day was like that. I took a few nights off to spend with Les or to hang out with friends and exercise, but mostly that’s the way it went. It was gruelling, but mostly fun. The atmosphere in the lab of all the people working day and and out on the papers was electric. I was usually one of the earliest to leave. Bryan stayed many nights until 3 or 4, and he had company.

At the end I got to help out with more than just rendering. I put together figures, and also helped on the text. In the end our product was a 5-page paper and a 2-and-a-half-minute video. I think, in sum, the work I did for those two weeks exceeded that which I did in any three months at Apple. But what motivation. Looking into the future, I hope that writing the paper can be done another way. It’s just not my style to pack it all into a month of frenzied work at the end. Hopefully I can exert enough control on the process to work mostly during the day the next time around–when I’ll hopefully be working on my own paper.

Anyway… quite an experience. It has triggered some serious slacking this weekend, so I’ll probably only start thinking about my classes tomorrow when I have to go back to school again.

almost there

I’ll probably write more about the whole process when I get to the end, but for now I give you this and this. Let it be Thursday soon.

suddenly busy

I was at Berkeley yesterday, helping another graphics student on some renderings for his paper. We went in to talk with James in the afternoon, at which point I was invited to take a bit more responsibility for doing the renderings and, in return, maybe be an author on the paper. This was very flattering–that James thought enough of me to give me the assignment, and thought the work merited authorship on the paper. It also means a lot of work, and expectations of accomplishment. Well… it was about time for this vacation to officially end. Things should be kind of hellish until the 26th–the SIGGRAPH submission deadline–but also a lot of fun, I hope. Graphics is weird in that there’s really just one conference, and so everyone in the graphics hallway is there, with a mug of coffee, hunched and typing. I am, too, but in the first-year office where there is currently no one else. I pulled an old, crappy pair of speakers off the shelf and hooked them up so I could code to some Phish and Orbital (the more mindless, the better). Once I make sure that it’s kosher, I’ll post some pictures of what I’m working on, but basically, it’s smoke.

a slow week

I’ve been back in town a week now, but I’ve decided to ease back into real life instead of going for the stark change that Leslie went through on Monday. You get the luxury of these choices when all your vacation is unpaid.

It’s been almost a year since we stopped freeloading off of UT and moved overt to a professional hosting service. Over the last few months, we discovered that the hosting service we picked also likes to host spammers. Because of this, we’ve had a few emails blocked from our servers because the host in general is being blocked. We called and bitched at Servepath (the host), who calmly told us that they have a zero-tolerance policy toward spam and that the offenders’ accounts would be cancelled. All lies, actually–they seem to have a policy of lying to customers and taking spam money, so we’ll be leaving them shortly for a new host–I’m not sure yet which, but I’ll try to make the swap as trouble free as possible. If you have any ideas, let me know.

Most absurd xmas present award goes to Doug, who bought me a 27″ HDTV. Damn. I’m still reeling from that one. My favorite thing about the HDTVs is that they don’t make the whine normal TVs do when turned on. The whine is caused by the refresh rate, which is 15KHz, outside of some peoples hearing range, but not mine. HDTVs refresh at twice that rate, so only dogs are in trouble, I guess. In any case, I love it.

Leslie has entered into her last 100 teaching days. Praise jebus. I have been officially classified as a California resident for tuition purposes, which means I’m free to travel where every I want this summer… finally. Whether I’ll actually go anywhere… that remains to be seen. We do have this wedding to attend and yet another move to yet another Bay area town.

It’s been raining here all week. I feel justified in extending my quasi-vacation to prevent myself from being soaked on the way to the train station.

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