Archive for September, 2010

12 Days to Finish Starfield 3D

Wednesday, September 29th, 2010

A while ago, I did a little starfield test app. It was pretty neat so I registered the name “Starfield 3D” with Apple and planned to get back to making it a real app someday. Well, I got a notice that I have to submit my app by Oct 10 or else the name gets released for anyone else to use. So “someday” just became “this week”.

I was thinking about making it a free app with iAds and possibly have an in-app purchase to get rid of ads. Anyone else have any ideas? Bear in mind that they’ve got to be pretty simple ideas because I’ve only got a few hours to any sort of coding between now and the deadline…

Haunted Cat

Sunday, September 26th, 2010

Remember that blog post I wrote last week about the NPR fiction contest? You had to write a short story of no more than 600 words that began with “Some people swore that the house was haunted” and end with “Nothing was ever the same again after that”.

Well, I managed to have some free time over the weekend so I gave it a shot. It was hard to get it short enough (my first version was 1108 words long) but I juuuust managed to do it (the final version is 596 words). I call it, Haunted Cat. Check it out!

As a side note, this is one of the nice benefits of having your own blog. If you enter a contest like this, no one really notices unless you win. But if you’ve got your own blog, then at least your blog readers are going to see the post about it. Of course, maybe none of you are actually going to read my story. But at least there’s a chance. =)

Cutting My Hair With a Web Cam

Friday, September 24th, 2010

It was a little tricky using a web cam instead of a mirror. The hardest part was that iMovie doesn’t flip the image so my left side shows up on the right side of the screen. And the image was kind of dark and grainy. But I think it turned out okay. I mean, I’ve had worse hair cuts. I once had a mullet. And as awesome as that was, once you’ve had one of those, the haircuts can only get better.

Shopping Spree

Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010

I go shopping for clothes, maybe, a couple times a decade. It’s just not something I’m into. But it was recently my birthday, so Tracy gave a friend of ours a budget and told him to take me out shopping in San Francisco.

It was lots of fun but man … clothes sure has gotten expensive (or my friend has expensive taste). In one of the photos, I’m wearing an “ensemble” worth $2500. Can you guess which one? And no, I didn’t actually get it. What the heck am I going to do with a $2500 ensemble? I sit in front of a computer all day. And I have a baby. You know what happens to people who have babies and $2500 clothes?

They end up with $2500 baby wipes.

Three Minute Fiction

Monday, September 20th, 2010

I was listening to NPR the other day and heard a segment called Three-Minute Fiction. It’s a contest where they give you a first line and a last line and then you submit a short piece of fiction (600 words or less) that uses those lines. They pick a winner and read it on the air. The story has to start with:

“Some people swore that the house was haunted.”

And then it has to end with:

“Nothing was ever the same again after that.”

I sort of have an idea but no real ending, so I’m working on that. I’m not sure if I’ll actually submit or not, but I thought the idea was neat. The deadline is September 26 so check it out!

Internet Dying

Friday, September 17th, 2010

Router dying at home … sporadic internet connection … will hopefully resume blogging soon.

Exercise Time with Gibbon!

Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

One of my friends got this toy gibbon for the baby. He really loves watching it move so I made this little video. On a side note, I think he’s starting to figure out how to crawl. This parenting thing is getting to be tricky.

Windows Phone 7 Impressions

Monday, September 13th, 2010

I went to a Windows Phone 7 event on Saturday. There’s stuff I’d like to talk about (hot women everywhere, freely flowing alcohol, torrid passion into the night) but hey, what happens in South Bay stays in South Bay.

Just kidding. It was a fun day of hanging out with about 50 other people eager to learn more about the new Windows platform for phones. I didn’t know much about it or the earlier versions but I could compare it to the iPhone, which I know a bit more about. In some ways, they moved closer to the iPhone (eg., they gave up some direct access to the phone hardware in favor of a more unified end user experience). In some ways, they’re quite different — like their system of “Live Tiles”, which you can think of as large icons that change dynamically (eg., a social networking app might have a Live Tile that’s constantly showing different friends from your network).

From a developer perspective, Windows Phone 7 has some significant differences from iOS4 as well. For example, the iPhone stuff is built on a single system that integrates OpenGL and Cocoa. But in Windows, you can either use their standard window stuff with Silverlight or you can do 3D graphics with XNA but you combine them.

It’ll be interesting to see where the platform goes from here. I think it has a lot of potential.

Installing Windows 7 on a MacBook Pro Using Boot Camp

Friday, September 10th, 2010

I’ve recently spent many, many, maaaany hours attempting to install Windows 7 on my MacBook Pro. I’m hoping that others can learn from my experiences. Here are the two main problems I ran into:

  1. the 64-bit version of Boot Camp wouldn’t install in Windows 7 mode
  2. wireless didn’t work in Windows 6 mode (probably because I have a relatively new computer and the drivers weren’t included)

The first problem was actually pretty easy to fix. Just insert your Mac OS X dvd, go to the DVD drive -> Boot Camp -> Drivers -> Apple, then right-click on “BootCamp64” and select “Troubleshoot Compatibility“. Then click on “Start the program” and continue until it’s all installed.

The second problem was waaaaay more complicated. I spent much of the weekend, plus a fruitless hour-and-a-half phone call to Microsoft technical support in India, and many, many Google searches to find this web page. This isn’t going to help you unless your hardware is similar to mine (Firmware Version: Broadcom BCM43xx 1.0 ( But hey, if you’ve got a MacBook Pro from 2009 or 2010, give it a shot. The actual driver is here and it’s called sp41675.exe. You’ll have to download it on the OS X side and then transfer it over to the Windows 7 side, though.

See Jane

Wednesday, September 8th, 2010

Last night, I had the chance to attend a fascinating talk about female characters in film and television. Geena Davis was one of the speakers and she talked about an early catalyzing experience, which inspired her to start an institution. From their web page:

Five years ago, while watching children’s television programs and videos with her then 2-year old daughter, Academy Award winner Geena Davis noticed a remarkable imbalance in the ratio of male to female characters. From that small starting point, Davis went on to raise funds for the largest research project ever undertaken on gender in children’s entertainment (resulting in 4 discrete studies, including one on children’s television).

The research showed that in the top-grossing G-rated films from 1990-2005, there were three male characters for every one female – a statistic that did not improve over time.

It gave me a lot to think about and it’s a sobering thought that it hadn’t improved in the fifteen year period of the study. But at least it’s better than the Smurfs, which had a ratio of 100 to 1…