Monday, December 20, 2004

Signing off for the year!

Well, I'll be heading back home to PA tomorrow, so don't be surprised if you don't see me posting for a while (not like everyone's gonna be on the web all the time anyways :P), but hope you all have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Kungfucius' Actual Cove!!

Thanks to finding a 10% coupon at Best Buy, I went out and snagged myself a Canon A95 as my late birthday present to myself ^^ The A series of Canon cameras had good reviews from the research that I've done, so I figured I couldn't go wrong picking one up. My brother though the A series were kind of big, but size isn't too much of a issue for me at the moment. With 5 megapixel capability and a plethora of features so that you can manually adjust how you want to take the picture if you didn't want the camera to auto-adjsut everything, this camera will surely last me a while ^^

Now that I actually have a camera, for those who haven't been to my place, you can now see what it actually looks like :P

Entrance to Kungfucius' Cove!

A look back at the door as you walk in.

What greets you when you walk in.

The rest of my room...

The bathroom

The kitchen

The bed

The messy open closet

The messy desk

Tech toys ^^

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Send songs to your loved ones ^^

If you're like me and can't sing, here's a nice gift you can give to friends or a loved one, espeically if you are looking to give them an MP3 player for Christmas. Instasong can automatically create a Christmas tune for your needs after you answer a few questions, and if you input the code bc2004, you can make it for FREE!!! To get the song for yourself so you can put it in an MP3 player, at the end of the song creation, just email the link to yourself, listen to the song at the link, and then pull the song from your Temporary Internet File cache in Internet Explorer (or from the folder that caches your webpages for your appropriate browser). A sweet and thoughtful gift for those who need one ^_^

Kungfucius' Christmas List

It's that time of year again where we all have wants, and hopefully by Christmas day, those wants will appear under the Christmas tree. As a kid, you always look to that time of year, but it seems like as you get older, that list of wants gets smaller, and you realize that most of what you want you probably already have, or you realize that everything in the world costs money, and for most of us, we don't have an unlimited budget to spend, and I feel I already spent a lot of $$ this year overhauling my computers since I built a new Athlon 64 desktop over the summer and recently got a new Dell 700m laptop >.< But, if I did have an unlimited budget (or I had a uber generous friend who had an unlimited budget to spend), this is what I would want.

1) Mini Cooper: Have you ever seen those Christmas Lexus commercials where they have a Lexus with a huge bowtie waiting in the driveway? Well, I wouldn't mind seeing a Mini Cooper waiting for me with a bowtie on my driveway :P (Estimated Cost: $~20,000)

2) Motorola V3 Razr: The powerbook of cell phones! Simply one of the coolest phones I've seen in a while. (Estimated Cost: $500-700).

3) A Vacation: Being a student for life at the moment, it's hard to find some free time to take a vacation outside of home for an extended period of time. (Estimated Cost: Depends, but probably expensive)

See, even with an unlimited budget, it's tough to think about things I would want. Then again, this might be a good thing since it means I probably have everything I ever want. Anyways, anyone wants to contribute to the Kungfucius Christmas Want Fund, feel free to Paypal any donations to my Paypal account :)

Friday, December 10, 2004

Google does it again! ^^

Here's the next evolution in Google: Google Suggest. How it works is as you type, it tries to complete what you are trying to search for and even gives you the potential number of matches, which is pretty cool ^^. Despite Kabitzin's allegations that Google hates Sea Slugs!, if you search for "sea slugs anime", Sea Slugs comes up first :P However, if you put in "anime blog sea slugs" it comes up 4th. So I guess it all depends on how you input your search terms into Google. But go give Google Suggest a try and see how Google roxors.

Thursday, December 9, 2004

My present to you all ^_^

Thanks to my pal Bad Company, he found this link containing many of the popular openings and closing songs of several anime series. So take a look and see if you find any favorites!

Wednesday, December 8, 2004

Where's Japan Break Industries when you need it!!!

Grr...for those who don't know, the Electroscience Lab has been undergoing renovations for the past few weeks. The renovations included repainting the walls and, unfortunately, breaking down walls (from east to west) in a very unquiet manner, and lucky for me my office room just happens to be next to the symphony of sledge hammers, which makes it tough to work at the office in the morning >.< These workers certainly don't work without a sound as the sound of cinder blocks hitting the floor has become ominous all throughout the past few mornings >.<

Tuesday, December 7, 2004

Two days till 25

It's that time of year again when my birthday sneaks up on me. Although as you get older, the grandeur of birthdays seems to fall of, but then again in two days, I'm going to be 1/4 of a century old soon, so maybe that calls for a celebration. Man...I'm getting too old :P

I managed to pick up Half-Life 2 along the way, and so far I'm enjoying every minute of it. When you open the box, you're greeted with 5 CDs (Grr...they're really cutting back on packaging as the 5 CDs didn't even come in a jewel case...just 5 paper sleeves), a $20 coupon for a purchase of an ATI video card up till March 1, 2005, and instructions on how to install the game. But other than that, no instructions on the background story or anything. You start the game up, and you're plopped in the middle of the game. So far, I'm not really finding any connection between the first and second game, but hopefully as I get further into the game, there should be more connections that become apparent. Although the game isn't as graphically amazing as say, Doom 3, but the presentation is done very well. Most impressive is how the facial movements sync up with the voice acting very well, better than any game I have ever seen so far. One of the small controversies is the decryption (when you first install the game, the files are encrypted) and verification process of the game through Steam, which is Valve's solution to counter pirates (but of course, Ender finds a way around it :P). Also, once you create your Steam account, the serial number of your HL2 game is forever bound to it. But so far, once you get pass the installation process, Steam only comes up to verify your game before playing, so it doesn't seem overly intrusive. Alas, age seems to have caught up with me as I can't play HL2 for more than an hour before getting dizzy or a headache >.< Ah well, hopefully that'll let me appreciate the moments I spend with the game :P

Wednesday, December 1, 2004

QE = Pass :)

I'm glad to report that I passed the oral part of my qualifying exam this morning ^_^ Overall, the presentation went off ok, but I had sort of a brain fart in the middle of it but managed to recover a bit later. For some reason, my presentation went a bit longer than expected since my advisor had to cut me off in order for him and the two other committee memebers to ask questions. I had about 15 slides, which I thought wasn't too much, but I guess time goes by quickly when you're presenting. But now, I'm officially a Ph.D. student ^_^

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Still alive and kicking!

Sorry I haven't posted in a while, but most of you all know that I've been a bit busy the past couple of days preparing for the qualifying exam. The good news is that my review paper on wavelets is all done ^_^, and right now I'm just preparing a presentation for my qualifying exam committee about my review paper and potentially how my research will connect to it. The presentation is slowly coming along (about 9 pages), and I think I'll be done sometime this week while trying to eat turkey and stay awake for any insane Black Friday deals. Oh, for those who are interested in finding some good black friday deals, take a look at this site or check out the Anandtech forum thread here. Anyways, I'm hanging in there and still prepping for my December 1st QE date.

Sunday, October 31, 2004

A quick 700m review.

I'm now posting from my new 700m, and I must say this laptop is a beauty. The immediate thing that I noticed about the laptop was the very mirror-like finish on the screen. Seriously, when the laptop screen is off, you could probably see a pretty good reflection of yourself on it. But once I turned on the laptop, I immediately noticed now clear and sharp this laptop displays everything. The Pentium M processor on this laptop is no slouch either. I ran the Matlab benchmark right after I installed Matlab, and this laptop only loses to the Pentium 4 3 GHz system when comparing this laptop to the various systems on the Matlab benchmark. Heck, it even managed to surpass a Dual G5 Powermac :P One thing that was kind of annoying is the smaller keyboard. The period key is even smaller than the regular letter keys, so I found myself hitting the foward-slash key many times while trying to hit the period. Also, the wireless networking in Windows was a bit of a pain in the butt to set up as well compared to the wireless setup on my old iBook, but I managed eventually to get it working. Also, although the 700m is probably the best looking laptop in the Dell laptop line at the moment (in my opinion), the construction of it isn't as clean or simple as my iBook. But overall, I am very satisfied with my purchase and hope to use this laptop for many good years to come. Also, feel free to send me a comment anyone is interested in purchasing my old iBook :P

Friday, October 29, 2004

Where does he get all those new toys!?!

Being the tech geek that I am, I always love to have new gadgets and gizmos to play with, but being the poor college student that I am, I don't have that luxury >.< However, there always comes that unexpected time where that once in a blue moon sale comes around and attempts to take your credit card hostage to encourange you to buy something. Last week on Monday, one of my friends sent me an email about a $750 Dell coupon on new Dell laptops. At first I was like o_O but after signing into Dell's website and plugging in the coupon code, it was indeed that blue moon sale as I saw that $1500 laptop I configured drop to $750! I passed the word along to Kabitzin since his companion Bunky needed a new laptop, and he ended up saving a good bit on moola. I was looking at the Dell 700m since it looked like the perfect replacement for my aging iBook: small, light, and powerful. Unfortunately, as word got out about the Dell coupon, the 700m's seemed to be flying off Dell's web shelves, and later on that day on Monday, the 700m became ineligible for the coupon >.<

I thought I missed out on a good opportunity, but a quick look to eBay quickly showed me where all those 700m's went, as there were literally hundreds of listings for 700m's coming up daily! So this past Sunday evening, I entered the eBay world and snooped around at all the lowest priced 700m hoping no one would notice :P Unfortunately at first, all those low priced ones quickly rose to the 1k level, leaving me a bit distraught. But I keep looking, and lo and behold, there was one sitting at $840 just waiting for the taking! I waited till about 2 minutes till the end of the auction, and jumped in at $850. Curses, someone beat me to it! But unwilling to be denied, I tagged on $10 more dollars to $860, and I was in the drivers seat of the auction. 1 min passes....30 seconds....15....5...3..2..1...DING DING DING! Kungfucius is now the proud owner of a new 700m!

Thursday, October 21, 2004

More strange cat action...

I don't know why all these good links I'm finding are about cats, but here's some fun with a cat and tape :P

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Infinite Cats

Here's an interesting concept for a webpage. It all started when someone took a picture of his cat with a flower, and it escalated into the Infinite Cat website where a cat looks at a picture of a cat which looks at a picture of a cat and so on. Pretty nifty and cute, so check it out! ^_^

Monday, October 11, 2004

Ring Ring Ring Ring Ring Ring Ring....

Bananaphone! :D

Weekend fun ^_^

This weekend proved to be pretty fun ^_^ Addie came over to visit over the weekend since she had Monday off because of Columbus day. This past Saturday was another home game for the OSU football team as we took on the Wisconsin Badgers, and armed with my football season tickets for home games, Addie and I and a couple of my other friends who ordered tickets together enjoyed an afternoon football game. Back at Cornell, I rarely attended any of the sporting events at Cornell even though the football gamd basketball games were free to students since Cornell really isn't up there in terms of athletics (although the Cornell hockey team is pretty decent), so I really didn't know what to expect. When Addie and I got to the stadium, we were greeted with a sea of people wearing red, grey, and white, and I was truely amazed by the amount of spirit that people had for the OSU football team. Now, this isn't just the students that were wearing the colors, but other families, kids, and even babies got into the spirit of the game. I was told that the seats my friends and I got were in the nosebleed section, but it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. We had a good view of the entire field and the giant screen that flashed stats, graphics, and other motivational tools used to rev the crowd up in cheering for the team. One of the biggest treats was watching the OSU marching band do their preshow before the players came out. They would start off in a square, but then proceed to spell out a script "Ohio" on the field, with a dotted 'i' to boot! It's hard to describe how intricately they spelled it out and how the band members weaved through each other to keep the cursive form, but it was truely sight to see! Unfortunately, the game didn't go OSU's way too much as the Buckeyes lost 24-13 :( Even worse, there was an obnoxious and VERY annoying Wisconsin fan yelling and screaming right behind me and Addie the entire game -.- Despite that, it was a great experience to sit and watch an actual college football contender ^_^

On Sunday, while Addie and I were out shopping at the Polaris mall, I finally got around to using this $20 gift certificate from Best Buy to get the first season of Knight Rider on DVD ^_^ Knight Rider was THE show to watch back during my younger days, and although it seems aged a bit, I still feel the same excitement watching it over again as David Hasselhoff drives the world's most famous Trans Am, the Knight Industries Two Thousand, through seemingly impossible situations such as dodging artillary shells in a bombing field. I hope the release the other seasons too on DVD! ^_^

Thursday, October 7, 2004

Fore! Incoming clubhead!

To all my readers (all 3 of you :P), sorry for taking a while to update. I actually went back home this past weekend to spend some time with my girlfriend Addie. Since we're kind of far apart, it's hard to find time to spend together, but we're managing as best as we can. One semi-funny thing happened this past Saturday while Addie and I were out at a driving range out at Bumblebee Hollow. Addie was using her mom's clubs, and since I didn't have clubs of my own, her dad let me borrow his clubs. At first, I wasn't having too much success with my iron shots, so I decided to switch up to one of the 5-wood drivers. Now, on one of the shots with the driver, I made contact with the ball and began to watch the ball sail up in the air when I noticed there was something else travelling to the right of it. I looked down at the driver, and needless to say, the club head had decided to go travel with the ball >.< I felt really bad about damaging the club and began worring about what Addie's dad would say, but Addie assured that her dad would be fine with it. A quick cell phone call back to her house, and her dad didn't seem too worried about it, but he did say to try and retrieve the club head. So Addie and I went back to the pro shop and asked one of the guys there if they would retrieve the club head since no one is allowed out in the driving field. Thankfully, the guy said that they could retrieve the club head AND offer to send the club back to have it replaced (apparently, this isn't the first time a club head has flown into their fields :P). Although the shop charged a $25 fee for it, I felt a bit better knowing that the problem will be taken care of ^_^

Monday, September 27, 2004

Golf balls and football

It's been quite a sports filled menu for me this past weekend. On Saturday, my friends Yan and David (pronounced da-VEED) and I went to Dublin to hit some golf balls at the driving range. Now, for those of you who think that golf is easy, you probably only ever played mini golf, because being able to hit a golf ball consistently straight is probably one of the hardest things in life :P I didn't start off too hot either as most of my shots just slid along the grass in front of me instead of travelling through the air. Fortunately, David was explaining the mechanics of the swing to Yan since Yan had never been to the driving range before, and I began trying some of David's tips to try and get some better shots going. Fortunately, I found out that I was muscling the ball rather than leading with my hands in the swing and generating club head speed, which is apparently very important in getting the ball to travel in the air. Fixing that, I finally got some good shots going in the air, albeit they were slicing (meaning going to the right) :P

Sunday is always time for FOOTBALL, and the Green Bay/Indianapolis game turned out to be almost like a video game played on Tecmo Super Bowl :P The game was chalk full of crazy offensive numbers as the score was 21-14 at the end of the FIRST QUARTER o_O. But reality set in from the 2nd quarter on, but that didn't stop Payton Manning from throwing 5 td passes and 393 yards. Brett Favre didn't do too shabby either, going for 4 tds and 360 yards. Jevon Walker for GB likely had a career day with 3 td catches and 200 yrds receiving, but he had a critical fumble late in the 4th quarter that led Indy to take the lead for good. This game was built up on the qb matchups, and both Manning and Favre didn't fail to disappoint ^_^ As for my fantasy football team, I'm just barely ahead right now according to my pal Tony who's keeping score with Yahoo stat-tracker, but I still have players to go on Monday night. Hopefully, my team'll hold on for the win and sole possession of 1st place ^_^

Friday, September 24, 2004

Warning to all cats out there...

Do not be tempted by flying toys, or this is what will happen....

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Greetings from the Apple store in Easton...

I'm posting now from one of the new 20" iMacs. And i must say, Apple did a pretty nifty job of integrating the entire computer behind the LCD screen in a very clean manner. In terms of speed, it definately runs circles around my 2 year old iBook :P One interesting design decision was the idea of putting the speakers to reflect the sound out the bottom of the "screen" and off whatever surface you have your iMac sitting on. It doesn't seem to detract from the sound too much, but I'm guessing if you have your iMac sitting on some furry surface, you definately won't be getting good sound quality. One of the big complains of the new design was the fact that the iMac now has a prevailing "chin", which is the white block under the LCD display. On the 20" version, the "chin" didn't seem too bothersome since you're focused on the screen all the time. However, on the 17" iMac, the "chin" seemed to be more annoying due to the smaller screenspace. But overall, not a bad job by Apple d_(^.^)

First day of classes...

With classes now officially started, the streets of OSU are as crowded as ever as students both new and old start up their educational lives once again. The buses seemed to have a bunch of new drivers this year as I saw four buses stopped at one parking lot bus stop today when I was walking to the bus stop o_O The professor teaching my one class this quarter also taught EE 813, which is a similar class I took last year at this time. In fact, the stuff that he went through today was so similar that I went back to my old EE 813 notes, and lo and behold, it's almost an exact replica! Hopefully, since we're only going through an introduction right now, the material later on will be more interesting.

For some reason, i felt kind of sick to my stomach and weak during the afternoon, so I took off from my office after class and went home to take a nap to refresh myself a bit. But even now, the stomach pains still linger a little bit >.< Maybe I shouldn't have chomped down on that Chipotle burrito so fast...

Today's link of the day takes a look at some bad Cosplaying (and I can see Kabitzin already rolling his eyes :P). However, I really got a good laugh out on the expression from the black Gai-sensei :D

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Back on Campus!

Phew, I had a pretty rough drive going back from PA to Columbus. I left PA at around 10 pm, thinking that since I had took a nap in the afternoon that it would be enough to carry me the entire way. Well, the first 4 hours of driving weren't too bad, but the last 2 hours were killer >.< After stopping a couple of times at the rest stop to take a nap, I finally arrived at Columbus at around 5 am >.< On top of that, I had a dentist appointment in 3 and a half hours to get to, so I got in about 2 hours of sleep >.< Luckily, the dentist checkup went well, so I had the remainder of the day to rest up.

School'll start back up again at OSU tomorrow, but luckily this time around I only have one class to worry about :P However, I do have research and a qualiftying exam to worry about, so I didn't want to hassle myself too much while I prepared for the qualifying exam. It's all part of the master plan d_(~.^)

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Summer is almost over...

Man, it's hard to believe that summer just came and went just like that. And just right around the corner, classes will be starting up soon here at OSU next week on the 22nd. It's kind of funny looking back because I never thought that I would be pursuing a Ph.D. But I guess unexpected things in life creep up on you and send you on pathes you never thought you woud take. Although I sometimes wish I could be out in the job force working, I feel that this will be the best path for me to take, and hopefully in the long run it will be the most rewarding one as well ^_^

I was talking to my office Brian the other day, and he was telling me about how his family in Louisiana was prepping for Hurricane Ivan to head towards the shore. He said that the cities in Louisiana near the Gulf were actually under sea level, and the land is sort of shaped like a bowl with the cities sitting at the bottom of the bowl. Needless to say, if this was the case, one of the worst case scenarios for the cities of Louisiana was that they could be under 15-20 feet of water once Ivan passes by o_O Man, can you imagine that much water submering a city? It's almost unthinkable that something like that could happen, but apparently, this might be the case at Louisana. Hopefully, the citizens down there are prepared for whatever the hurricane will throw at them.

In tech news, it looks like Amazon will attempt to unseat Google as the online web searching champion as they release While Google has been known for their simplicity, A9 takes that (FYI, A9 uses Google's search technology) and tries to add on some useful features such as a list of history of things you have searched for and access to various texts in books. However, it'll be a long road for Amazon if they really want to take down the giant Google gorilla.

I'll be going home tomorrow, so don't be shocked if you don't see me update in a while!

Monday, September 13, 2004

Not much going on...

But I have this pic to show everyone :)

Click on the first link in the first post. Don't mess with this Sheriff!

Apparently, this is not a photoshop as this article shows here.

In other news, 2 games that I recently posted on Amazon were sold rather quickly. My one copy of Halo on PC was sent out this morning, and I just found out that Metroid Fusion was sold. Although I could try to eBay them, the nice thing about Amazon is the fact that Amazon doesn't charge you for listing anything, so I don't lose anything if nothing gets sold :)

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Weekend of Sports

It's been quite a busy weekend of sports for a sports fan such as me. On Saturday, the college football scene is fired up, and OSU was completely swamped by people dressed in their red shirts, jerseys, shorts, almost anything possible that can be worn in red was worn. OSU had a home game versus in-state rival Marshall, and although I didn't watch the game, it came down to the wire, but OSU always seems to find a way to win close games as they pulled out this one 24-21.

The tennis fans in me enjoyed the traditional "Super Saturday" of the US Open with two men's semifinals and the women's final. Actually I only watched the men's semis since the women's final really didn't interest me that much. Both Hewitt and Federer played very well in their respective matches and won in straight sets. So the final seemed to look pretty interesting on paper where you have Federer, the current ultimate all court player versus Hewitt, who is the human backboard in men's tennis at the moment. Unfortunately, except for the 2nd set, the match was pretty boring as the Fed Express rolled through Hewitt 6-0, 7-6, 6-0.

Also, the football season started on Sunday, and so far my fantasy football team is holding up ok. As of now, I'm only 1.5 points behind, but my opponent has used all his players, and I still have Steve Smith in the Carolina/GB Monday night game, so I just need Smith to give me more than 1.5 points for the win!

Friday, September 10, 2004

It's Friday already!

Wow, I think we should have Monday's off more often, because this week just feels like it has FLOWN past. At the lab today, there was a meeting with all the graduate students and our lab director, John Volakis, to discuss student concerns and such. Most of the student's concerns seemed to be about the shuffling of offices, but Dr. Volakis reminded us that we had about 20+ new students coming in the fall, and the constant moving was necessary to accomodate the new students and squeeze as much out of our rooms. The good news is that the ESL lab will undergo an expansion in the next 3 or 4 years where a new building will be built that will connect to the old one. In addition, new renovations will also be done in the building to bring the building out of its aging World War II look.

The American men didn't fare too well today as the US Open resumed its schedule from the near rainout from yesterday. Andre Agassi fought back in his match against Roger Federer and evened the match by taking the fourth set 6-3. But Federer regrouped and pulled out the match in the 5th set 6-3. Andy Roddick, the defending champion, almost matched Joachim Johansson serve for serve as these two big servers dualed it out into the 5th set. However, Roddick dug himself in a 0-40 hole in his service game as he was behind 4-5 in the set. He saved the first two match points, but he hit a backhand long on the 3rd match point for Johansson to lose the match. Looking at the statistics of the match, you probably would have figured that Roddick had the match won. He had more aces, won a larger percentage of his service games, and won more points overall. But tennis is kind of funny in that you don't have to be better statistically; you just have to be the better competitor in the match and win all the crucial points.

Thursday, September 9, 2004

Are you up to the challenge????

My friend Scott showed me a video that he and his friends (known as the Kline Four Group) at Northwestern University made, so here it is...The ALTOIDS CHALLENGE!!!

Meanwhile, a thug gets pwned by...a karate instructor!

Wednesday, September 8, 2004

Happy Belated Labor Day!

Ah...I'm back once again in my cool and cozy dorm room at Ohio State after spending the long weekend back in my real home in Pennsylvania. It was pretty fun and relaxing to stay at home for a while. Almost immediately after I got back on Friday, I went with my mom to the Scion dealership to take a look at the xB. Now, my mom had poked fun at me for a while about how boxy the xB was and such, but she was really surprised (as was I) to see how roomy it actually was despite the short length and height of the car. Even nicer I thougth was the fact that Bob, the car salesman who talked to me at the dealership, just gave me the keys and said to have fun testdriving the car (i.e. no salesman sat in the car while I was test-driving it). The xB itself was a really fun car to drive, kind of like a large go-cart :) The centrally placed odometer took a bit to getting use to, and there was no stereo installed in the model that I drove. Apparently, the dealership customizes the car to the buyer's preference, so that's why they leave it out of the car. Overall, despite my mom nagging me about the car's shape, I was very impressed with the xB as it is a very practical and reliable car. With taxes and tags, the xB costs about $16,000, and it has a very nice standard feature set that satisfies all my needs. However, I'm still kind of deciding whether to get it or not, and my parents want to see if they can sqeeze a bit more out of the Acura before I get a new car. I'm now driving a 2000 Honda Odyssey around on campus, as my parents wanted to have a mechanic that they know take a look at the Acura and evaulate whether it was worth keeping or not.

My parents held a pretty large BBQ at our house on Saturday, and I think we kind of overcooked for this occasion as I brought back about 12 or so fully-cooked hamburger patties that are now sitting in my fridge. Ah well, at least I won't have to cook for a while :)

Grr...the rains have put on hold a great matchup between current #1 player Roger Federer and the old warrior Andre Agassi as they squared off in their quarterfinal matchup. Federer got off to a pretty good start and took the first set 6-3. But Agassi , who has usually played percentage tennis late in his career, began to find the range on his groundstroke and fired back in the second set. Along with some unexpected errors from Federer, Agassi rolled off the 2nd set 6-2. The third set was played pretty closely by both players in the 3rd set, but Federer managed to sneak in a break at 5-all and served out the 3rd set at 7-5. At deuce in the first game of the 4th set, the rains suddenly came out of the sky, putting this great match on hold till some later date. Although I think Federe will likely win this match, I'm pulling for Andre as he has hinted that he might be retiring soon, and it would be great to see him go out on top at the US Open.

In sad news, as I woke up on Tuesday morning, I heard my mom talking on the phone and sounding upset and sad. After she hung up, she told me that one of her friend's daughters had been found dead at Princeton. :( The cause of death is still unknown, but hopefully the investigators will find out what happened. It's always tough to lose those who are closest to you :(

Some links to pass the time...

In my previous blog I usually posted some humorous or interesting links for my handful of fans out there, so here are a few to pass the time :P

Interesting news report from Iraq

How fast do you type? I'm rated at 98/93

Wednesday, September 1, 2004

The cost of being a student...

Well, the compiling problems are slowly going away. My friend Ryan, who is also my officemate, helped me get going with compiling the Taucs code on my office PC using Cygwin, which sort of emulates Unix. Ryan already had Taucs running on his machine, so he showed me two libraries I had to download to get it working. Unforunately, one of the libraries called Altas has a very involved installation process that optimizes the code when you compile it, and from 1 pm till around 4 pm when I left the office, Atlas will still compiling on my office pc -.- Hopefully, it'll be done by the time I come to the office tomorrow.

My credit card also got a pretty good workout today as I paid ~$150 for some new disposable contact lense after my morning eye check up to make sure the trial lenses were working ok. Also, I got to the parking office today to get myself one of the new parking passes, which set me back $68. Man, everything is so expensive these days -.- And to think that I'm maybe looking to get a new car to replace my Acura. I've been reading up on the xB, which has kind of grown on me the more that I see it. For around $15k, you get a very spacious car with a good selection of standard features, and it's not boring like a Camry or Accord :P When I go back home this weekend, I'm gonna drop by the local Scion dealership to give the xB a test drive.

There was a good US Open match this evening featuring Roger Federer, the current number 1 tennis player in the world, and Marcos Baghdatis, a qualifier from Cyprus, an island off the coast of Greece. Although Baghdatis got off to kind of a nervous start, he showed some good fight and gave Federer all he could handle as he run down balls and hit some blistering forehands. Baghdatis even managed to take the 2nd set in a tiebreaker! However, Baghdatis showed that he wasn't quite fit enough to compete with the top tier players just yet as he began to show signs of cramping at the end of the 3rd set and start of the fourth set, and Federer basically rolled through the match from there. However, big props to Baghdatis for giving the NY crowd and tennis watchers a great performance (^_^)b

Taucs and Tennis

I resumed my battle with the compilers today, but the errors continue to plague me. I'm trying to compile a set of codes called Taucs that solve matrices, and althought the website mentions that there should not be too many problems compiling the code on OS X, I have found otherwise. However, I had thought of an idea just after I left the office, so I'm going to see if I can expand on that idea tomorrow when I go back to the office.

The US Open tennis tournament in Flushing Meadows, NY started this week, and I managed to catch some of the live evening matches on USA network. Juan Carlos Ferrero, last year's finalist, had a very difficult time in his matchup before finally pulling it together in the last set against Tomas Zib. Ferrero still seems to be finding his range after missing a good part of the beginning of 2004 with chicken pox. Maria Sharapova, this year's woman's winner at Wimbledon, got all that she could against American Laura Grandville before winning the last 3 games in the third set to take it 7-5. After winning Wimbledon, the expectations on her get higher and higher, so it'll be interesting to see how she handles it. Andy Roddick had the easiest day as he only lost 4 games against Scoville Jenkins and packed some major heat in his serve, clocking it at 152 mph in the beginning of the match. Scoville Jenkins was the winner of the Boy's 18 and under US National tournament at Kalamazoo, and the winner of that tournament always gets a wild card into the US Open. Unforunately, the wild card gets you bracketed with the defending US Open champ, and Roddick was the defending champion. However, the crowd got Jenkins going for a bit, and he managed to play a bit better in the 2nd and 3rd sets as his nerves calmed down, but Roddick was serving too good and kept his errors to a minimum to comfortably get through the match.

It's hard to pick a winner because the depth of the men's and women's game have risen dramatically, and having to win 7 matches over a span of 2 weeks is a daunting task for any player. I'm just hoping that there will be some memorable matches to see in the next 2 weeks, and with roudy and energetic NY crowd, there's bound to be some ^_^

In tech news, Apple publically announced the new iMac, and it now looks like one of their new digital displays except it's thicker and made out of plastic. Apparently, the designers of the iPod were given a chance to express how they would design the iMac, and if you look at it from the side it does kind of remind you of an iPod. After watching the Mac Expo keynote speech introducing the new iMac, I was thinking "eh, it looks kind of cool, but not overly groundbreaking..." Then again, I guess these iMacs will find a home for the non-power user that don't demand for 1 GB of ram and the fast graphics cards like me :P

Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Monday Blues

Mondays are pretty uneventful, and today was no exception, except for maybe the wrecking crew that was going through our parking lot today. The parking lot in my office has to be one of the WORST maintained lots I have ever scene. There are literally tens of hundreds of potholes that greet your car when you drive off the road onto the lot, and numerous cracks lining the lot itself like tempered shattered glass. The maintenance crew have done a half-assed job in the past attemping to fill in the holes, and you can bet after a day or so, the holes will return. Now, the maintenance crew finally decided to bring in some heavy equipment and almost rebuild everything from scratch, staring with the lot itself. So it was quite noisy outside my office today as the bulldozers and such ripped up the lot, and a new layer of asphalt was put over. Now the lot kinda looks like it has black bandaids all over it from the new asphalt. I'm hoping they tackle the driveway leading to the lot very soon.

Now I also came out of the office a bit later than usual today because I had to get some code from one of my old officemates to work on. Programmers have complained about code not being easy to go cross-platform, and today I felt their pain as I attempted to execute some C++ code that was written on a x86 machine running Linix on my iBook running Mac OS X, which is based on Unix. The terminal screen lit up with errors galore, prompting me to go back and recompile the numberous .cpp files, which greeted me with more errors -.- Looks like tomorrow will be debug day. On top of that, since I came out of the office a bit late, like around 6:55 pm or so, the bus service had stopped running, which prompted me to walk 30 minutes back to my apartment -.-

However, the day ended on a good note as Kabitzin, Ender, me, and a couple of other friends finally were able to get together on FFXI and go off on a good leveling run. We hit some bumps on the way: one friend ran into a cactaur, which looks like a cute cactus will arms and lets, but do not be fooled! It has one spiny attack that can bring even some high level characters to their knees, and our party suffered under its wrath (the cactaur also got some help from the local scorpion that also happened to be standing there -.-). Despite that, our group managed to gather some very good experience taking down some crabs, and my warrior is half way through to level 53. So the day ended on a high note ^.^

Sunday, August 29, 2004

FOOTBALL!!!! and other stuff :P

Not too much happened over the weekend, but the major event happened this past Saturday morning when I took place in a Yahoo fantasy football online draft. The pool is consisted of mostly some of my Cornell friends, but some other acquainted friends are also joined in for the frenzy. We have 12 teams in our pool, and for the past 2 years that I have done this, it has always been a fun and competitive league between everyone, and it gives me an excuse to take a break and watch as much football as I can on Sundays! ^_^ My team consists of the following players...

Starting Lineup

QB: Michael Vick

WR: Torry Holt

WR: Steven Smith

RB: Duce Staley

RB: Chris Brown

WR/TE: Reggie Wayne

WR/RB: Peter Warrick

TE: Randy McMichael

Kicker: Mike Vanderjagt

Defense: Seattle


QB: Jack Delhomme

WR: Eddie Kennison

RB: Mike Alstott

TE: Anthony Becht

Kicker: Morton Anderson

Defense: Green Bay

So far, I feel pretty good about this team, although I heard that Vick is semi-injured. However, if he is healthy, I am confident Vick will do well. Torry Holt was a monster last year receiving, so I coudln't go wrong with him, and Steve Smith has been consistent for Carolina. I'm sort of worried about the WR/TE and WR/RB situation, but I'll let Wayne and Warrick play it out and see how they do. Duce has the nod in Pittsburgh as the lead running man after a nice stint in Philly last year, and I unintentionally picked Chris Brown (well, the Yahoo picker picked it for me since I missed out on selected a person in the given alotted time), but it looks like Brown will be the man in Tennessee, so hopefully he's due for a breakout season after Eddie George left for Dallas. Randy McMichael was the only familiar name in the TE group when I was picking for a TE, so he got the nod for that position :P Vanderjagt is on Indianapolis, who can score score score, so he'll definately get his changes to kick field goals and extra points. I was kind of unsure to have Seattle as a defense, but someone at the draft exclaimed that it was a good pick, so hopefully that's a good sign of things to come! As for my past team performances, my first team 2 years ago was up and down, so it managed to get the 8th and final playoff spot. BUT, I did upset the #1 seed in the first round of the playoffs, so that was a good feeling ^_^ The team I had last year was SOLID in the RB position, which consisted of Priest Holmes (Mr. Touchdown), Jamal Lewis (Mr. Lots of Running Yards), and Stephan Davis (Mr. Consistent), so I had pretty good scoring weeks if all three of them were playing. I was kind of weak in the QB position (Drew Bledsoe laid a egg after having two good first games), but Jon Kitna had a breakout season, so it kind of evened out. I predict that if some of my starters are injured, I might linger near the 7th or 8th position out of 12, but if all the starters are playing without injury, it'll be interesting to see how well my team does ^_^

I also managed to catch the Bourne Supremacy on Saturday evening, but my friend Dennis and I went to 3 theaters to find a time that was suitable! The first theater was sold out at the time we wanted to see, the second theater had a showing with a 2 hour wait, and we only had to wait an hour or so at the third theater. The third theater was at the Easton Shopping Center, which is a really nice mall, so if you ever decide to come visit Columbus and really like to shop and browse, Easton is definately a place to go. Anyways, the Bourne Supremacy is a decent movie, but the ONE big problem I had was with the camera work. Every action scene was SOOO JITTERY it was almost unbearable to watch the action because you couldn't follow it -.- But other than that, if you want a good popcorn action movie to see this summer (and your eyes can scan fast), the Bourne Supremacy is definately one to watch.

Saturday, August 28, 2004

A message to all aspiring ninjas.....

Don't be like this guy here

Click me!

It's alive!!!!

Althought I try to keep my PC in tip-top shape as much as possible, there comes a time where it inevitably needs a fresh start, which calls for a reformat and reinstallation of Windows. Now this is the first PC that I've built that has Serial ATA (SATA) built into it, which is the connector used to link up the hard drive to the motherboard. Although SATA is much neater inside the PC case and provides faster hard drive speed throughput theoretically, it is a pain in a butt to install with, as you need to do the F8 salute during the Windows XP installation to install some drivers for the SATA chip, and to do that requires a floppy drive. Forunately for me when I was building this PC back at home, I took out the floppy in my parent's computer and installed the drivers accordingly. Now, back at my dorm, I don't have a working floppy drive lying around, so an online trip to Newegg was in store. After a quick search, I settled on this Samsung floppy drive which seemed to have pretty good reviewer feedback. The drive came in today, so right after I got back from the office, I got started with reformatting and reinstalling.

Now, Microsoft had been working on Service Pack 2 for XP for quite a while to fix the annoying security problems that have crept into XP. Now, I'm all for keeping your own PC secure, but XP seems to go way overboard in terms of checking to make sure you don't download malicious files and such. Every download so far that I've done popped a window saying that file attempting to be downloaded was "not verified". I guess for the average user who doesn't know the difference between a Firewall and Firewire, this might be a good thing, but for those who are power users and very maticulous and careful about taking care of their PC, it's a major annoyance.

One more rant: ATI really needs to do something about their drivers. Every time so far when I have reinstalled their graphics drivers, I always run into the annoying problem of the drivers setting the monitor refresh rate at 56 Hz after installing the drivers and rebooting. Since my LCD doesn't support that rate, I'm greeted with a blank screen as Windows boots onto the desktop. The "easy" way to fix this is to scour into the Registry and modify the registry entry that controls the refresh rate from 56 to 60, but it still makes me mad to do this every single time when ATI has a new driver release.

On a semi-good note, the yearly Yahoo fantasy football draft is tomorrow, and I always get pumped up for it since my Cornell friends and I are very competitive in our own league. Last year I was fortunately to have a good running game consisted of Priest Holmes (aka Fantasy Football RB God :P), Jamal Lewis, and Stephan Davis. My qbs were kind of weak, but Jon Kitna had a breakout year last year; unforunately, he has been displaced this year by Carson Palmer, the Bengel's first round pick in last year's NFL draft. I really haven't decided yet who I'm gonna pick, but I'll see where my draft spot is and strategize from there.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Too much crying in sports...

Granted that I haven't been paying too much to the Olympics this year, all I hear about it is news about athletes whinning about this and that and about how things are unfair and such. Just today, when I was talking to my office mate Brian, he had mentioned that the Spanish coach Mario Pesquera was complaining how the US only played 40% of its capacity in the early rounds and has now just begun to turn it around. Spain had been undefeated in the round-robin games with 5 wins and earned a #1 seed in the quarterfinals. The US team earned an 8th seed, which drew them to Spain for their quarterfinal matchup.

Someone needs to tell Mario to suck it up and take it like a man. I didn't hear him complain before the game about playing the US. In fact, I would be willing to believe that he was glad to be playing a sub-par US basketball team that had been struggling. But now, only because his team has come up short, he now wants to whine and bitch that "oh, it's not fair! The US team was playing possom!!!" Come on Mario, look at the history of US basketball teams before. This year's US basketball team might not be the dream team, but they do have pride and compete hard to win every game. Do you really think that the US would purposely downplay in order to get an advantage in the later rounds? And if you really did think that the US would downplay, why didn't you just lose a game or two so you didn't have to play them?

Granted that the US basketball team wasn't the best that could have been put together, you don't see the players complain "oh, if we had so and so (insert Kobe Bryant, Shaq, Kevin Garnett, etc), we'd be dominating this tournament!" The US players have taken their lumps along their way in this year's Olympics, continued to play hard, and it probably was a matter of time before everything started to fall together. The team shot over 50% from the field and from 3-point range against Spain, and only struggled a little bit at the free-throw line. The players on this US basketball team should be applauded for their efforts thus far as many of them probably realized that this might not be the best team put together, but they have managed to put aside their egos and pride to proudly represent the US.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Sound of bounce my way now!

It has been a while since I've played some team basketball. While I was at home, I went to the gym at my mom's community college to shoot around for a bit to regain the shooting touch, but there was never anybody around to play a team game with. Luckily, when I was back at the lab, I asked around with some of my Turkish friends if they were still playing bball, and they said they were usually playing on Tuesdays and Thursdays, so I decided to go hit the court with them tonight.

We all met up around 9 pm at Jesse Owens South, an on-campus recreation center that has gym equipment, all the stairsteppers and cycling machinary you could ever want, and 2 indoor bball courts. The nice thing about this particular rec center is that I only have to walk about a block to get to it since my dorm apartment is almost right next to it, so no driving necessary ^_^ Anyways, about 6 of us showed up at the courts, so we got some 3 on 3 games going on a half court. Believe it or not, I probably was the shortest and lightest person on the court, and I promptly got stuffed pretty badly while trying to drive to the basket. However, since I now have contacts, no more worries of destroying my glasses while driving to the basket! ^_^ My outside shooting was kind of off tonight from the 12 to 15 feet range, but I pulled off my best Reggie Miller impression at the 3 point line as I brought my team back from 11-9 to take lead at 13-11 with two consecutive 3 point baskets (3 point shots counted as 2 points in our game), and we won that game 15-13 ^_^ But I was pretty beat after the first game, so I kinda slowed down in the next 3 games and got lazy on defense, which allowed Koray, one of the guys from Turkey, to drive around me and get some easy layups -_- I still did some damage beyond the 3 point line, going like 7 for 13 beyond the arc, but my team lost 2 of the next three games. Ah wells, it was still fun to get out and play some ball and get my Asian butt out for some exercise ^_^ The new sneakers I got held up pretty well too, and no turned ankles to report! :P

Monday, August 23, 2004

New Stuff!

Although I might be getting older, it's still always cool to get new stuff to use and play with, and today was definately a day of new stuff. I had an eye exam two weeks ago to check up on my vision, and I also wanted to get some contact lenses since my glasses have taken quite a beating when I played sports. The legs were bent outwards and the nose pads were spead far enough that they didn't grip my nose that well anymore, and if I turned my head quickly, my glasses would likely fly off my face. I had thought it was a lost cause to fix up my glasses, but forunately, during the intermission period of my eye exam when they put those drops in your eyes to dilate them, the women who was responsible for fitting and selling glasses fixed and tightened up my frames, and they feel new again! Anyways, 2 weeks go by, and today I go to get my new contacts. Since I have astigmatism, the optomotrist had to fit me with some custom contact lenses called toric lenses, which are weighted so that they orient to your eye in a particular way and won't move as much as you blink or look around. Well, whatever they do, the lenses worked surpisingly well, and I'm able to see details again that my blind vision use to filter away :-P One other thing I noticed is that everything also looks BIGGER looking through contacts then through glasses, which was kind of weird at first, but I slowly got use to it. Apparently I need to rebuild my tolerance back up for contacts, so I only wore them for about 6 hours today, and I can add 2 hours every day from now on till I can basically wear them all day. But so far, they're working well ^_^

Another new thing for today was the new office I now have at the ESL lab. Although I didn't have too many problems with my old office, it was kind of dusty and messy and uncosy sitting in a room surrounded by yellow-colored cinder blocks and no windows to look outside. Well, that has all changed as I'm now officed in a more spacioius room with new desks and lamps, cubical dividers, AC, and a window to look outside too! ^_^ One strange thing I noticed though was that the door to my office seemed to be sawed in half but held together with makeshift bolts and duck tape, and this is a metal door we're talking about o_O! But other than that, I like my new office :-P

The last new item of the day was some new Nike cross trainers. My old running shoes were begging to be retired as the treads have long been worn off and the left shoe has a hole large enough for my big toe to poke out of, so it was time for a new pair. I went to Famous Footwear to check around the selection, and walked out with these Nikes. For me, spending more than $50 on shoes is a bit much, and these were on sale for $39 from $60, so just in my price range ^_^ I'll give these guys a test run when I go play some bball tomorrow night.

I like new stuff ^_^

Back in action!

Well, I never thought I would get back into this again, but here I am back once again into the blogging world after a year hiatus.

I had just come back from visit my good friend Allen up at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. The trip up was pretty rough at first due to the fast passing thunderstorms that dropped marble-sized raindrops. The visibility was so bad that cars that traffic slowed to around 35-40 mph. I didn't see any accidents along the way, so traffic was at least moving through the strorm. The trip itself going up was a bit shorter than I though, around 2.5 hours or so when I though it would probably take like 4 hours.

Once I got up to Ann Arbor, the hard-falling rain had cleared out but it still continued to drizzle a bit. As I followed through the Mapquest directions, I noticed that Allen's apartment was very close to the medical center, which I found kinda funny since I also lived pretty close to the medical center at Ohio State. One thing about Mapquest directions: although Mapquest seems to route the shorest track possible, it sure doesn't map the most convenient one. I later found that I could have just followed this one road all the way to Allen's apartment instead of taking 3 or 4 turns like Mapquest suggested.

Usually, whenever I'm scheduled to go somewhere, I usually get there much earlier than what the scheduled time is, but I was a bit worried that I might have gotten to Allen's place too early. He had said it was ok to get to his place around 6 pm, but I somehow ended up getting there around 3 pm o_O Luckily though, after a quick phone call I was able to find Allen just waiting at his apartment. Although I had seen Allen back in March when he and a couple of other friends came down to visit me and go to Cedar Point, it had felt like a while since I seen him. But Allen was still the Allen I remembered, so it was cool to be able to pick up our friendship where we left off, talking about games, anime, and other random stuff that ever came to mind.

Saturday was a great day weatherwise in Ann Arbor. The sun was out, the humidity was down, and the temperature was just right, not too hot or cold. Since Allen didn't have access to a car, we went out and did some grocery shopping. We hit up Meijer's Grocery, Sams Club, Target, and the Home Depot. Now you might ask why of all places were we at the Home Depot? Well, we were searching for a toilet plunger after I nearly caused the toilet to overflow at Allen's apartment. Luckily, the toilet management skills I acquired from living back at Valentine Place came to good use as quickly turned off the water flowing to the toilet :P I felt really bad after it happened, but Allen said that this wasn't the first time this had happened, so I felt a bit better afterwards. However, things almost got worse as Allen called up the front office requesting for maintenance, only to find that maintenance had left for the day, and we might have to live with this clogged toilet for a day or so! However, a maintenance guy came by almost 10 minutes after Allen place the call, and the toilet was promptly taken care of, leaving Allen and me in relief as we wouldn't have to resort to going to the engineering building to use the bathroom!

When Sunday finally rolled by, I left Allen's place around 2:30 pm. Driving back, I wanted to see if I could find a route faster than the one Mapquest created by taking major highways and interstates. However, this proved to be a futile goal as I found myself taking a hour more to travel back :P One good thing though came out of this as I was able to drive through some rather beautiful roads through some vast farmlands with cornfields as far as the eye could see. Oh, and did you know that there was a city called Flag City?

All and all, it was a fun trip to end the week with :)