Life is a Rabbit Pellet

Ramblings of a Zimbrindian's travels, life, and research.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Argh! bug

Still can't get all the bugs out of HMSVM. ARRRGH. This has to work, dammit! And there's still MarXIST to debug afterwards... oh no. If this is done by January, I will be grateful.

Still need to process the SDSS DR5 stuff. The Dr4 left eye rendering is going well - had done 2600 out of 5000 when I left. Since the last half will be done in a couple of hours once I restart it tomorrow, it'll be fine. I could have started them today at 1.30am, but decided to give myself a break and come home.

Did 30 minutes on a treadmill again. Is running 10km a week on a treadmill any good? Probably not, but it makes my legs feel better.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Visualization for the SDSS

I've not managed to get HMSVM working using SVMStruct yet. Drat. You'd think I'd be further along by now but noooo... I had to work on Ndaona (more whining about this in a moment) and the stereo SDSS movie for Adler. The stereo movie, which we've been working on for ages, might be shown at the big Schramm event in a couple of weeks. It would be ironic if a bunch of dignitaries, including a couple of billionaire and the University president, get to watch stuff made by an amateur rookie who has to borrow money to eat, but... oh wait a minute, it's not a maybe. They are going to see stuff I helped make - certainly on the dome (thanks, SkySkan) even if not in stereo. Mostly SDSS and
cosmic ray shower stuff.

I wonder if I'll bother going and seeing that myself... my time would be better spent learning ... learning what? I can't learn. I'm morally incapable of learning. It's not just birds that fly into glass windows again and again and again... I even put the glass there myself so I can fly into it. At the moment, it looks quite likely that I'll miss it, even if there is food. What's in it for me?

Slowly adding a chapter now and again to my HP fanfic. It's nice to write again, to have to think about plots and how to write the perfect sentence, and all that good stuff.

GR & I have been learning the innards of computers - we cannibalized an internal CD player from an old machine whose hard drive was kaput to the new old machine I bought from Mat last month. We also moved the ethernet card, but now I'm not sure we moved the right thing.

I've been placing some of our old movies on Google Video. Some are crappier than other. I'm going to have to make a bunch of new ones ... about my stuff.

Just heard that a friend I thought I had lost (through my own unreliability, not his) still wants to be friends. Who am I to deserve such good friends as him?

Since I moved offices from the dungeon to the cubicles, I have been much happier, and felt much more connected to the other cs grad students. Pity I did it so late, but I'm glad I did it. IM and VS and I have a great ML reading group - our last meeting (admittedly one of our better ones) lasted three hours. IM is like Hermione, reading stuff and following details, and bring them up. Like Gibbs sampling. That was a really good one. She brought that up in our other reading group with GL - and I brought the wrong paper to class. (A good wrong paper, though, fortunately.)

Made half the stereo movie today. It had been rendering over Thanksgiving. I haven't seen a high res version of it yet; VirtualDub was still composing the rendered images into a movie when I left. Meanwhile, the left eye version (which is a corrected version of the left eye version I made over the weekend instead of trying to meet a conference deadline which I eventually failed to meet) is being rendered out now. Just checked... 866 out of 5000 frames generated. It's going at about one a minute now, so by the time I get back to school tomorrow, it should have got to 1500. Aargh, that's slow. I could restart it again - there's some memory leak or something in Partiview (our renderer) that makes it slow down after a while.

Got some free food out of RL - that was nice. Now I just hope he put my application for a small stipend increase in...

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Goblet of Fire

Yesterday G & I went to watch the new Harry Potter movie in IMAX at Navy Pier. The UCPSDSC had bought a hundred group tickets and subsidized it so we paid $5, a third of the regular price. The bigness definitely helped, as this was a very visual movie. I didn't enjoy it as much as I enjoyed Prisoner of Azkaban though, as there wasn't much plot in the book (except at the end, when Voldemort comes back) - it's my least favorite book.

The astronomy graduate students and I discussed the movie as we went on the bus home. After finding out all the things that got left out of the movie (which I see nothing wrong with), we thought briefly about what got IN ... and decided we liked Ron's dress. (The portrayal of it, anyway.) Mr Grint's facial expressions are, as always, a source of much amusement.

Some comments - MK won't be surprised to hear that I think Hermione looked great EXCEPT when she wore that dress for the ball. I must have a thing for jumpers.

Neville Longbottom really looks different, and I couldn't believe it was the same actor. But it is - Matthew Felton really has lost weight! Meanwhile, G thought the actor for Draco had changed, but he hasn't either.

We were placing bets - rather, being penniless geeks, we were computing odds on - which characters were most likely to die in Book 7. (Incidentally, I have been told that the next book will be called "Harry Potter and the Writer's Bulging Bank Account".) Highest odds - i.e. it's considered very possible - are on Voldemort. Harry gets medium-high odds, while Hermione gets the lowest odds. Choosing a good candidate for cannon fodder is hard, even though Rowling has given us several options.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

New words

diurnalism - discrimination against people of a nocturnal disposition (e.g. scheduling meetings at 10am)

colanderous - full of holes (e.g. forgetful = having a colanderous memory)

realism - discrimination against people who live in fantasyland.