Wednesday, June 25, 2008

New camera

I was really missing the video camera function of my old canon, so I decided to invest in a small camcorder. Brett:

got a small hand-held waterproof Sanyo, while we were hanging out in Japan. He loved it, he was always filming something. "You have no idea the peace of mind that comes from knowing this is waterproof" he commented while skittering around on a seaside cliff.

Well, his reviews were pretty good, so I ordered one (Sanyo E1) and got about a week ago. I'm a little disappointed that "waterproof" means "to a depth of [only] 5 feet, for up to 1 hour." But being an engineer, I know that specs are never brick-wall, sometimes reporting only about 1/3 of the actual capability of the equipment. I'm guessing I could go to 10 or 15 feet for as long as I could hold my breath.

Other than that, the thing is fantastic. The zoom works great, the image quality is good, and surprisingly, the sound quality is not half bad. Normally, with a cheap (i.e. digital camera) camcorder function, you have some major dynamic range problems. If the factory sets the gain to capture normal level voices, then you can't record a concert. If they set it to record concerts (which they don't) then you can't record normal conversation. I've already taken my Sanyo through some extreme acoustic beatings, and it has done much better than any digital camera video function I've used.

I didn't mean to turn this into a review. Oh well, it's a good camera.

The timing also conveniently coincided with the birthday party of Ruth Hummel, a long time friend here. So I put together this video afterwards. It really taxed the camera's limits: the lighting was very low (hence the grainyness), and the music was extremely loud. Also, I'm filming while I'm rollerskating, so a steady hand is a hard thing to achieve. But here you go:

Hmm... that was extremely pixelated. Dogalog does a much better job, but you have to wait a while longer (the screen will go black when you click. You just need to wait a couple minutes while it downloads). Here's an improved version:

Hopefully, I'll get some good stuff from Paris, next week,

Monday, June 16, 2008


Hmmm once again I have not been blogging much. I guess I don't really have a whole lot to say right now. Um... I saw Kung Fu Panda. It was absolutely hilarious, I was laughing the whole time. I highly suggest it. Digital animators have gotten so good at the details of facial expression.

Then, I also saw Prince Caspian. I enjoyed the first 3rd of it. I liked when the children initially returned to Narnia, that was very enjoyable. The filming location was absolutely gorgeous. New Zealand, I discovered 30 seconds ago after some google investigations. Fifty million movies and the testimonies of several friends can't be all that wrong, the place must be downright gorgeous. The movie started loosing elevation after that. There was a disturbing scene involving a sword through the back followed by a flashing of a statue of Aslan. I also found the monster trees irksome. But, if I were to just sit down and watch the movie without any C.S. Lewis background I would have found it enjoyable. Actually, I did find it enjoyable. Especially the first part. I already said that though.

But, I am no movie reviewer, so I'll move on.

Work is going slow. I guess that's all I have to say about that.

Outside, about half an hour ago, there was this incredible, torrential flash-floodish downpour followed by hail. The roof of the building I'm in was thundering loud with all the precipitation and... thunder. I was raining so hard it would have been worth standing out in it for the experience, however, the temperature plummeted to some ridiculously cold level (65 I think) so I decided to stay inside. Besides, that just can't beat the 3 inches of snow that everyone got back at home last week.

Sort of looking forward to going to Paris in a couple weeks (for technical presentation, not sight-seeing. Supposedly.) Word on the street is, if you don't know any French you get the could shoulder from pretty much everyone there. Guess I'd better expand my vocabulary from "Le poisson" to, uh, more than that.

Got a lot of friends taking off, this summer. Dan:

one of my best friends here, and a crucial member of my movie pack, just submitted his thesis. Good, because, well, that's a good thing, and he's graduating and going back to South Africa and going to have a great job and all. Bad because, well, he's a very enjoyable guy to be around, but he's not going to be around.

Also, my acoustics padawan (ok, that's an exaggeration, but he's following up on my old research branch) Paul of whom I have no pictures but also with whom I eat lunch with every other day, get my butt kicked in Halo, bum around, ridicule mercilessly (it goes back and forth), go to church with, and do many various things is also leaving. Going back to Atlanta to work for Bruel & Kjaer. Makers of probably the best (and probably the most expensive) measurement mic's in the world. Maybe he can spot me under the table, next time a bust one of those $2800 1/8th inch mic's. At any rate, he will be very [very] sorely missed.

Then, (Hae) Won;
is leaving. Hae Won is pronounced "Hi, Won" but for some reason this confuses me more often than her. Also, the Won is the base monetary unit of Korea. She's been with the Christian Grad's group since it's founding, like... 7 or 8 years ago, I think. She is deserting my movie pack to return to Korea so she can eat Kimchi and seaweed soup all day [grrrrrr]. She too will be sorely missed.

Then, news not related to the summerly mass-exodus, Ash:

is moving into a new house this week, that still happens to be located in State College! Ash and his wife heather are the leader/staff coordinators for the Christian Grad's ministry here. The new house they will be in is amazing, I think it is going to be a real benefit to the group. We are already envisioning the guitar hero tournaments to be held in his basement with the 6 foot wide HD projector.

Let's see... anything else... oh yeah, I thought I made an unfair cut against the Logos Latin curriculum in the language post I made a few weeks ago. Given the objective and the resources, I think the way they taught it in grade-school was reasonable. I think they've probably improved it since then, but at least for the level being taught to elementary students, I think it was a pretty good warm up for a more in depth study later.

Oh yeah, dad alerted me to this, there was a big quake near Sendai. No people I knew got hurt, but they say it was pretty big. In light of the catastrophe in China, I don't want to make light of these things. But, provided you are not in any immediate danger, being in a large earthquake can be kind of... interesting, actually. Or, weird. Almost fun, just because of how bizarre it is, but mixed with a lot of fear because something which you take most for granted as being firm and solid is suddenly rocking like a horse.

Well, looks like another night ride in the rain. Safety +10, though, because Tracy gave me a little flashing red light so I wouldn't get hit by a car [thanks].

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Mana burgers

ha ha

This song still scares me...



actually... got to edit this post to add another. One of my favorite Keith Green songs. Pretty low budget but I laughed

Wednesday, June 04, 2008



Spatially coherent noise

So, I got into the lab at 8:45 today, and it is now 10:15, I'm still here, I've been hitting this problem really hard all day. I was trying to make a model for wind noise based off some equations that I found in an article. But the way it was given in the article was all screwed up, so I've been trying to fix things in my code. I had this one hang up at about 6:00 o'clock that resulted in me nearly losing it, then searching franticly for something mindless to do for an hour to give my mind a break. The end result was, however...

a code that worked just as well but over 20x faster.

I guess that sometimes problems, for all the miserable head-banging sorrow they cause, can result in a better end product than you initially had before you discovered the problem. For example, if I hadn't noticed this small glitch in my program, a) it would have given me incorrect solutions in certain circumstances, and 2) I'd have to spend about an hour for every evaluation. However, it still has a problem with coherency at higher frequencies that I'm sorting out. Well, the simulations probably about over, guess I'd better mozy on down to the lab again