Lego Battlebots

July 18th, 2015

Ever since Dyson did a Lego summer camp a while ago, he’s been really into Lego. He told me about how they built robots to battle each other on tracks. I didn’t quite understand what he was talking about until we ran across a Lego activity center that had the same kind of battling robot setup. So Dyson excitedly challenged me to a duel.

It’s a pretty cool setup. They have an incredible assortment of Lego pieces and they’re all sorted into different buckets. You can build ships, houses, pretty much whatever you want. And when you’re done, you disassemble everything and put them back into the appropriate buckets. But Dyson wanted to build robots so that’s what we did. And then we battled them.

It was fantastic. My brother and I used to make stuff like this out of Lego when we were kids but we were always limited by the number of gears or motors in our sets. But here, the sky was the limit. So I got to design some more fanciful robots, even if they did get occasionally trounced by a five year-old’s.

Google Cardboard for iOS!

May 28th, 2015

I’m at Google I/O today and tomorrow, working the Cardboard booth on the third floor. Theoretically, by the time you read this, they have made the announcement at the keynote that Google Cardboard is now available for iOS! (Man, I hope that link works by the time this post goes live…)

This is what I’ve been working on for the past few months and it’s been intense trying to get something built from scratch with a small team in such a short time frame. And it was really down to the wire. It typically takes about 8 days for an app to go through the review process and we got a build submitted to Apple 10 days ago. Even after that, I was touching up a lot of the content that gets streamed to the app up until yesterday.

In addition to working on the app in general, I did a lot of work on two of the demos in particular:

  • Ported the “Exhibits” demo, which re-used a lot of the code from the Android Cardboard app (although I added a little bonus object at the end).
  • Created the “Kaleidoscope” demo (which is actually what I was working on in this picture from last month).

So if you’ve got an iPhone 5 or 6, check it out! And if you like it, please leave a review.

How to Cut Your Hair

May 26th, 2015

I’ve done quite a few hair videos in my time. This time, I decided to go a little more in depth with the tips and tricks. It just takes practice. And a willingness to shave off all your hair if you mess up. Actually, maybe mostly the latter.

36 Questions to Fall in Love, Part 3

April 5th, 2015
It’s the series finale! Doing these videos has been an intense experience. They’re the most personal videos I’ve ever done and they’re the longest so I wasn’t sure what kind of reception they’d get. But I’m very gratified with the response so thank you to everyone who watched and commented!

It was hard to be this open and personal. But it’s also been very rewarding. I can see how powerful this experience might be to do in real life with another person. I think a big part of that is just the willingness to try it. Life can be pretty amazing if you’re just willing to take that first step.

36 Questions to Fall in Love, Part 2

March 30th, 2015

Surprisingly, a few people actually commented on my last video, asking to see more. So I did part 2. If there’s interest, I’ll finish it off with part 3.

36 Questions to Fall in Love, Part 1

March 23rd, 2015

I saw a neat article a while back about an experiment designed to make people fall in love. My wife wasn’t interested in doing it with me and it seemed like it’d be kiiiinda awkward to do it with anyone else. But I thought it might make for an interesting video, so I tried it out.

Whoo, 36 questions is a lot! I only made it through the first 12 before it started getting pretty late. I know it doesn’t seem like much, but every minute of video basically takes me an hour or two to make. That’s mostly because I keep on messing up. That, and, there’s a lot of editing and post involved. So this was one took a long time to do.

I don’t know if I’ll make another one of these and I doubt that anyone’s going to fall in love watching it but it was fun making this. I can imagine it’d be an intense experience doing this in real life with another person!

Race and Gender Terms

March 14th, 2015

The wife and kid are out of town for a few weeks so I have some time to do stuff! Like making silly videos! Having dinner with friends! And … hopefully some updates to some of my iPhone apps, which are apparently broken or crashing on iOS 8. Gah…

Anyways, for some reason, my white and/or male friends occasionally ask me about race and gender issues. I think I’m like the closest they have to having a Black and/or female friend. And my female friends often talk to me about their boyfriends. Maybe I’ll eventually make a video about that. Why does nobody ever want to talk to me about how sexy Asian males are?! Ah, someday…

I Did a Video for Google!

February 6th, 2015

Hey, check it out! I did a video for the official Google Developers channel. They were looking for simple iOS developer tips. I had one and now, I’ve got a little video for it. Enjoy!

Broken Hand

February 4th, 2015

BrokenHandI broke my hand over the holidays while I was in Japan visiting relatives and friends. I learned several important things:

  • If you slip on a flight of stairs, try not to land on your finger.
  • A broken hand doesn’t hurt as much as I thought it would.
  • If your hand is immobilized and enclosed in a cast for weeks, the skin keeps growing and gets reeeeally gross. Like, I’m talking mummification.
  • Health care in Japan is amazing! I paid less than $100 for an X-ray, doctor consult, and a cast. And that was without using any insurance.

My Second Novel

November 19th, 2014

Years ago, I participated in NaNoWriMo, an event where people attempt to write a “novel” (50,000 words) in a month. It was incredibly hard, but I actually managed to do it and wrote Jumpgate Blues.

I always wanted to do it again but hadn’t. Too many things kept on coming up: having a kid, stuff at work, a new job, up to five hours a day commuting, etc. Come to think of it, that’s probably why I haven’t blogged as much lately. But this year, my kid is a little older and I’m not quite so new at my job so I wondered if I could do it again.

The answer is: No. No, I can’t. I just don’t have the time. Well, I suppose I would if I sacrificed spending time with my family and just abandoning all housework and child-rearing to my wife. But I’m not going to do that because those other things are more important to me.

However, I did actually start writing my story about a guy with Low Survival Instinct. And although I don’t plan to actually finish in a month, I do enjoy the process of writing. So I plan to continue, albeit at a much slower pace. If you end up reading it and find it interesting, let me know! It might just spur me on to actually finish it.