November and December were very hectic months for me. I think I
was twice as busy as I had been in the same time of the last year.
The main reason was because I got some urgent tasks several times.
When I get such an urgent task, in general, I need to stop something
that I am working on, and finish up the urgent one, and get back to
the original thing. As a result, I need to think about "what
part was I working on?" every time I stop and restart something, end
up with spending some extra time for the same task. But, my boss
gives me such urgent tasks because he thinks I'm capable of finishing
up tasks quickly. So, I worked as hard as I could to fulfill his
Also usually I get unexpected type of input to my program in such
an urgent task. It helps finding bugs that have long been hiding
in my program. In fact I found three bugs that have been hiding
in my foundation class liabrary during these two months. The
same class library is used for YSFLIGHT. So, the next version
may become a little more stable than the previous one.
Speaking of stability, I'm thinking what to do with "Free Memory
When Possible" option in the YSFLIGHT network configuration, which was
giving problems in the past two versions. This option is for a
server that runs long time, and if this option is on, the program
frees memory occupied by a remains of dead (or safely terminated)
airplanes when no user flies for several minutes. The option
must be useful when you want to run a server for long time, like a
week or even a month. However, originally I designed YSFLIGHT so
that it records all the events during the simulation. So, if
something disappears from the record during the simulation, something
becomes inconsistent, and may crash the program.
On the other hand, even with this option, the program keeps some
data such as airplane templates in the cache, and the program consumes
up to some amount of memory anyway. I can clear the cache
regularly, but, considering the troubles in the past versions related
to the "Free Memory" option, I'm a bit nervous about doing so.
Then, how much extra memory the program takes if this option is off?
Actually, not much. The program eats a little bit of memory
every time a player takes off and returns. But, this amount is
not a big deal if the server is reset once every 24 hours or 48 hours.
So, I'm thinking about dropping this option in the next version.
I have been working on writing aerobatic autopilots for YSFLIGHT.
I don't think I can make it available for playing, but I was re-making
"United States and Japanese Aerobatic Screensaver" with this
autopilots. The current version is not based on the YSFLIGHT
kernel, and it cannot take advantage of OpenGL features, so the new
version will be totally different from the previous version.
However, I'm going to make it free upgrade. So, if you already
have the registration key for the current version of "United States
and Japanese Aerobatic Screensaver", you can use the new version
without paying extra. I'm now running a exhaustive, or
carpet-bombing testing (means, running the screensaver in as many
available PCs as possible). I'm hoping I can upload the new
version to the Vector software library before the end of year, so that
the new version will be available early January. I post some
ship Bomb Burst Upward. 6 airplanes perform one-point cross
Roll, just before rolling out.
I got involved in an accident. Not in an airplane. But
on my bicycle. On Tuesday morning, I left my apartment at around
10:00am. I rode down to the intersection nearby Forward +
Murray. I stopped once at the light. Then continued on
Murray avenue. When I reached in front of Starbucks coffee, the
driver in Hyundai Sonata, parallel parked in front of Starbucks,
suddenly opened the door to my way. In my impression (just
impression though), I was 3 to 4 feet behind when the door was opened.
I didn't have time to react, and collided into the door. I hit
my shoulder hard, but luckily, the bone seemed to be ok. I
bounced on the door edge, and fell on my back pack. I practiced
a technique I learned from Judo training, and avoided impact on my
head. It is not the first time that technique saved me.
Lucky to me, I didn't collide into the door on my fingers.
The biggest loss is $850 bike I purchased in July. But, at
the scene of the accident, the damage was mainly front part of the
bicycle, so it looked repairable. (Later it turned out bike
frame was bent, and buying a new one was even cheaper than repairing
it.) I heard that it is common to exchange information of
driver's ID and insurance information and not to call police when
there's only property damage, so I thought it was ok to do so this
time. But, this decision threw me into a very bizarre situation.
The driver took my bike to a nearby bike shop, and took me to work.
And, I asked her to show her driver's license, but she said she didn't
have it with her. Also she only gave me her insurance company
name, but she didn't give me her insurance policy number. At
that time, I became suspicious, but I had a photo of the license plate
(vehicle registration number), so I thought I would just call police
with that license plate photo if she tried to get away. In the
afternoon, the insurance company called me, and I explained the
situation of the accident. It looked ok so far.
Things turned upside down on the next day (Wednesday.) The
insurance company called me again, and told that the driver is now
denying the accident. So, the driver is now saying she was
working all day, and she was never been to the place of the accident
on that day. What's the hell going on? I called up the
driver by the phone number she gave, and asked her policy number and
the driver's license number, but she refused and hanged the phone.
She only gave me, before hanging the phone, the phone number of the
branch of the insurance company, and the name of the person she talked
for the first time. I called that number, and told the person
that something might have been screwed up. The answer from the
person on the phone was "then why did she tell that she took you to
work?" It seemed that the person had the right accident report,
but something had been distorted. That time, I began suspecting
I then called the police, ended up with knowing the police does not
react unless I had injury if I exchanged information with the driver,
no matter how true or false it is. It was a kind of shock to me.
The police was more bureaucratic than I thought. I asked them
what if the information was false, but they only repeated they didn't
But, didn't the insurance company think it bizarre? Someone
made a phone call and reported an accident. On the next day, how
come that person denies the accident? I called the insurance
company and told it looks to me a fraudulent case. To my relief,
the person on the phone said to me they were going to investigate.
On Thursday, I knew the phone number of the driver. But, I
didn't know the address. I was suspecting even the name was
incorrect. When I was thinking about what to do next, one of my
colleague found a potential address that corresponds to the phone
number by searching on the Internet. So, I drove up to that
location. I thought the car might have been hidden if she was
trying a fraud. Despite my suspicion, the car was parked on
street. Now I got the address. I immediately called the
person of the insurance company who is in charge and reported that I
found the car and the address. To my surprise, the person who
was in charge of the claim already knew the address. She said
she was trying to find out who exactly the driver is.
On Friday, I got a phone call from a different person of the
insurance company. She gave me a new claim number. Looked
like they pin-pointed the driver. They told me that the driver
IS in fact the customer of that insurance company. They also
told me that she indicated that I had swerved into the car after
losing balance. I've been riding a bicycle for years. I
don't lose balance easily. And, in fact I didn't lose balance
before hitting the door in this case. I told honestly to the
person on the phone. My best interpretation is the driver wanted
to think that way. But, I was so suspicious, and even suspected
that the phone was someone outside the insurance company to get my
knowledge to that point. So I decided to call the person who was
in charge of the claim and tell her about the new claim number.
Actually she already knew about the new claim number, and who was in
charge. She also told me the real name of the driver. The
driver was giving me a false (or probably maiden) last name. At
this point, I know her real name and address. If I decide to sue
her, I have enough information. But, I think I don't need to do
it because the insurance company is now investigating and if the
insurance company decides not to pay, I don't think I can overturn the
decision by a lawsuit.
If it was in Japan, the driver is responsible for checking behind
the car before opening the door. So, if the driver opens the
door when bicycle is right behind the vehicle, and if the bicycle hits
the door, the driver is responsible 100%, as long as the bicycle is
following the traffic law. But, is it true in U.S.? Is the
bike responsible for avoiding a door opened right in front? I'm
certain that, in the Tuesday's accident, even if I had pulled the
brake with zero delay, or even if I had turned the bicycle with zero
delay, I could not avoid the collision. I don't know if I can
ever be responsible for such a collision. I'm waiting for the
call from the insurance company.
It was a particularly busy summer for me. Getting married,
business trip to Japan, three airshows :-), etc. The most
important airshow of the year for me was Wings Over Pittsburgh (
http://www.wingsoverpittsburgh.com ) where I saw F-14 aerobatics
probably for the last time. Luckily the weather cooperated, and
I could take my nice farewell shots. Some of them are available
I cannot believe it's almost end of September. I intended to
release the new version of YSFLIGHT in August, but I couldn't make it.
The bugs associated with the new features are apparently almost
exterminated. So, I'm running pre-release test. The new
one will be online hopefully by the mid October. I think some of
you are disappointed with the new features, but my priority of this
release was stabilizing issues added in the previous release.
So, please look forward to the next one. I'm not necessarily
adding the most wanted features because some of them are a bit
difficult to implement, but I try to address as many requests I
received as possible. (By the way, does anyone want wireframe
mode, or care-nothing-but-frame-rate mode?)
About this time last year, I was preparing the trip to London for
watching final flights (actually, I should say final landings to
Heathrow airport) of Concordes. That was the best experience in
my airplane fan career. I want to make a special page for that
trip, but the project is pending, too (too many things to do :-P)
If you ask me what my favorite airplane is, my answer is definitely
Concorde. I ended up with making three round trips to London
last year, but that was the trips I had to make. I've never seen
such a beautiful and graceful landing. I miss Concorde. If
someone starts restoration project to make one of them flyable again,
I'll donate at least $1000, which is a big chunk of money considering
my economic situation.
By the way, I recently dropped (actually, a little more than
dropping though) my PDA, CLIE TH55, and destroyed it. And I
realized that the warranty does not cover physical damage when I
called up Sony tech support. So, there's no warranty. (I
can fix software issues by myself!) I initially intended to use
TH55 at least for three years before buying a new one, so that the
cost becomes about $130/year, but it's gone in just half a year.
So, I felt guilty to myself to buy a replacement in a short time.
But, I got so disorganized, and realized I cannot live without a PDA
any longer, and I got a cheaper CLIE. I really wanted to switch
to Zire or Tungsten because Sony has announced that they discontinue
to sell CLIE overseas (I mean, outside Japan), but I already invested
to extra battery chargers, travel HotSync cables for CLIE, so I
decided to buy another CLIE. It is so sad to buy another CLIE
knowing that there will be no successor to this model.
I've been to China for the last week. I left Pittsburgh on
04/09, and came back 04/18. It was quite an expedition.
The main purpose of the trip was to make a presentation in
Modeling and Processing 2004.
I flew to China two days before the conference, and visited the
forbidden city, and the great wall. When I entered the gate of
the forbidden city, I felt like it's just an ancient building, but
later I realized the entire facility was huge. That was
something. The great wall was really great. And, I
wondered how they built such a building on very steep slopes.
(It was really steep.)
to the other side of the forbidden city
I had expected that I would have difficulty in communicating with
Chinese people in Beijing, as same as nearly no one can communicate in
English in Tokyo. My guess was right. Actually, to
communicate with a few English-speaking Chinese people, I needed to
use a very clear English, and my sloppy English was not good enough!
I had to be more careful in my English than when I was in Pittsburgh.
However, I survived the trip by making use of my PDA. I wrote
down many Chinese expressions (like, "Please give me a receipt", or "I
want to go to airport") obtained by an automatic translator, and
showed it to Chinese people when needed.
translation for "Please give me a receipt"
Although it was difficult to communicate in English, I could make a
guess of the meanings of signs written in Chinese characters because
Chinese and Japanese have many common characters. (Grammar,
pronunciation, combinations of the characters to form a word are all
And, another fun thing was riding a taxi. It's like a racing
game. The separation between vehicles were just a few inches.
Not only between vehicles, but also vehicles and bicycles and humans
were so small!
I wanted also to visit Beijing Air Museum, but I was worried about
the transportation. I could have reached the museum, but
probably I would have had difficulty in coming back :-P So, I
gave up. Maybe next time.
On the last day of the conference, I skipped the workshop in the
afternoon, and went for shopping. I purchased some Chinese
sweets for the lab members. But, I couldn't finally find out how
old those sweets were, and how long they were supposed to last.
So, I told them "eat them on your own risk!", but apparently no one
(including me) got food poisoning. So, it looked ok.
I also visited a music shop to buy some Chinese music CDs. I
would probably not understand what they are singing at all, but just
for curiosity. However, they were using an unknown (unknown to
me) specification of the CD called HDCD, which is 24bit and 192kHz.
I don't think such HDCDs are available in U.S. I purchased two,
but I don't know if I can play it. I'll try it later.
I just have written things (without organizing) I can remember
before I forget. In total, it was a fun trip!
Received CLIE TH55! (It actually arrived on 03/17 though).
Tried installing a Japanese add-on.
Yomeru5 didn't work. It initially worked, but soon CLIE
hanged up and never respond again. Hard-reset and started over
Next I tried CJKOS. It worked. Probably I'll purchase
Note Pad (free hand memo), which came with Palm m100, was not
included. I didn't know it was not one of the standard programs.
In CLIE I need to use Free Hand Memo of CLIE Organizer. I need
time to get used to it, but should be ok.
Next problem was Solitaire. I played Solitaire in m100
whenever I needed to wait something. I liked Baker's game, but
it didn't come with CLIE. But, I later found I could download it
So I downloaded and installed.
I also tested Wireless LAN connection from Kiva Han. Worked
CLIE TH55 looks a good PDA. I like it so far. I plan to
use it at least for three years. So I hope it doesn't break as
soon as the warranty expires :-P
Sorry for no update for a while. I was super-busy in
February. I'm not as busy as I was in February though.
I'll try to restart YSFLIGHT Scenery Editor as soon as possible.
By the way, I ordered a Sony CLIE TH55 PDA. I've been using
Palm for about one and half years, and now I'm addicted to it, and I
cannot live without it. Originally, my friend gave me my current Palm
m100. I thought I would see if such a PDA can be any help.
That was a beginning of my addiction to a PDA. Now I cannot
manage my todo list, schedule, and memos without a PDA. So, now
I know a PDA is super useful to me, and I thought it's about time to
get a new one. I initially considered Palm Tungsten T3 (I was
almost seconds before pressing "Buy" button). However, I changed
my mind and chose TH55 because Tungsten T3 didn't have Wireless LAN
connection. I'm wondering why PalmOne didn't add Wireless LAN
capability in Tungsten T3. I looked at several reviews of
Tungsten series, and in my impression many reviewers were criticizing
lack of Wireless LAN capability of Tungsten T2. PalmOne could
have listened to the reviews and could have added Wireless LAN
capability to Tungsten T3. When a company stops listening to
voices of the users, the company will die soon. Wait, Gateway is
still alive. Why is it? Gateway gave me terrible customer
support twice. Now Gateway is entitled as one of my Axis of
Evils. A service center shouldn't send a malfunctioned laptop
back to a customer without repairing it. Well, I heard that the
CEO of Gateway has changed since then, so the customer service now may
not be as bad as it used to be, but the two incidents totally
devastated my image of Gateway. I swear I never buy anything
from that company.
Actually, that was not the only laptop I suffered malfunction.
For some reason, the two laptops I carried to U.S. had been all
broken. Probably I was using them too hard. Manufacturers
may be assuming no user runs compilers and 3D graphics application on
a laptop. I don't know. But, that's the reason why I
cannot rely everything on a laptop. If I put todo list,
schedule, data files, source codes, memos in a laptop, and if the
laptop breaks, I cannot recover from the loss for at least weeks.
Now I carry Firewire HDD for data files and source codes (they are
regularly backed up in two different PCs and a set of monthly backup
CDs), and Palm for todo list, schedules, and memos. For the same
reason, I cannot take Palm OS powered cell phone. If I drop such
a cell phone in a water, I immediately lose cell phone and Palm.
Isn't it too much a risk?
However, CLIE TH55 that I'm going to get is English version.
Because I sometimes (very rarely though) need to read Japanese
documents, I will need to install a Japanese add-on. I found
three possible choices of such add-ons: CJKOS (http://www.dyts.com/),
Yomeru5 (http://www.geocities.com/b_palm_ug/), and J-OS(http://simple-palm.com/).
But, J-OS apparently is not compatible with CLIE. So, I'm left
with CJKOS and Yomeru5. Unfortunately, both CJKOS and Yomeru5
are not officially compatible with the newest CLIE model, TH55.
So, I really don't know if I can install a Japanese add-on. I'll
try anyway. Maybe I'll post a report here when I know the
I'm pretty busy in these days. I'm not super-busy, and I
don't have to work overtime. However, there will be a big step
in my job at the end of this month. So, I'm gradually becoming
busy toward that thing.
Northeastern U.S. has been freezing cold in this season.
Pittsburgh is no exception, and the temperature has been below normal
for weeks. I feel very warm today, but I realized the
temperature is just normal. Apparently, Pittsburgh will be
frozen again tomorrow and the day after tomorrow.
As for the new version of YSFLIGHT, I received the confirmation
E-Mail from Vector Incorporation
saying it will be online by Saturday afternoon (Japanese Standard
Time). So, it'll be online soon. I'll post the information
when it is available on the top page. This version is the most
difficult one to complete for me due to the server crash problem.
I really appreciate your cooperation in tracking down the cause of the
problem. Unfortunately I could not pin-point the exact cause,
but the prime suspect is a delayed weapon launch packet. In
fact, the server crash problem disappeared after I corrected the
program so it can take such a delayed weapon launch packet. So,
hopefully the official version will work stably. Of course, the
main purpose of developing YSFLIGHT is for fun, but also I'm trying to
learn programming techniques that I don't use in my research.
I'm learning a lot from implementing network feature in YSFLIGHT.
And, I know many people are waiting for the YSFLIGHT Scenery
Editor, but I cannot take time for it until I get my current work
done. So, please give me some more time. Thank you very
much for your patience.
By the way,
http://member.nifty.ne.jp/ysdynamics will become invalid soon as
I've written in the top page. If you have bookmarked to this
link, the link will not work. Please change your bookmark to
There is a small cafe called Kiva Han nearby the campus of Carnegie
Mellon University. It's a nice cafe, and I often go there to buy
a cup of coffee. I'd grown in a rural city called Hirosaki,
which is far away from Tokyo. Although Hirosaki is a small city,
there is a national university in Hirosaki. And, there was a
nice small cafe nearby the university, and in there everyone including
professors and students was hanging out. I liked that place, and
I thought every university had a nice place to hang out like that
cafe. When I entered Keio university, I moved to a city called
Fujisawa, which is about an hour away from Tokyo. So, I expected
I was going to move to somewhat less rural city. My expectation
was totally wrong. There were no cafe, no shop, nothing.
Only entertainment was U.S. Navy airplanes taking-off and landing
Atsugi airbase. I'd lived in such environment for seven years (4
years undergrad, 2 years masters, 1 year doctoral which I didn't
finish because I moved to CMU).
Kiva Han at Forbes Ave. + Craig St.
Next I came to Pittsburgh. Immediately I thought "Carnegie
Mellon is a great university! It is great because there is a
cafe within walking distance from the campus!" :-) Since then, I very
often go to Kiva Han to buy a cup of coffee. In fact, much
portion (more than half, I suppose) of my Ph.D thesis was written in
However, a disaster struck last month. A Starbucks opened a
cafe right across the street of Kiva Han.
Kiva Han and Starbucks
Ok, I don't hate Starbucks. In fact, I often use a Starbucks
nearby my apartment. However, Starbucks at Forbes + Craig is
So, I started a resistance. Before Starbucks opened there, I
was coming to Kiva Han less often because I moved to a new apartment
and Kiva Han was no longer on my way to CMU from home. But, now
I'm determined to buy a cup of coffee from Kiva Han every day.
When you come to Pittsburgh, please join my resistance, and buy a
cup of coffee from Kiva Han at Forbes + Craig
:-) (Not from Starbucks at Forbes + Craig :-)
I've been in San Francisco. My primary purpose in San
Francisco was seafood. Because Pittsburgh is far away from
ocean, I cannot eat good seafood here.
On the way to San Francisco, I had to change my airplane at
Cleveland. The flight from Pittsburgh to Cleveland was a very
short leg, and naturally they used a very small airplane - Beach
1900D, in fact it was the third smallest airplane I've ever flown
following Cessna 150 and Piper Warrior. Beach 1900D didn't have
a cockpit door, so I could see the cockpit from the cabin through the
entire flight. Actually, on the final approach, I could see
runway lights! Cool! I'll definitely take the front most
seat next time.
I stayed in Crowne Plaza Hotel in San Francisco. It's one
block away from the Union Square. Right next to the hotel was
the Powell Street, which a famous San Francisco's cable cars run
The first and second days in San Francisco were ok. The
weather was good. I could look around with no problem. I
stopped by Virgin Mega Store. I did not understand why tourists
visits such CD/DVD stores although they can buy such things online.
But, now I understand. There's no such big CD/DVD store in
Pittsburgh, so I cannot look and buy. It's fun to shop in a such
big store. Actually I purchased an English version of an old
Japanese anime, "Lupin the 3rd." This one was released when I
was a very little kid. Good old anime. I wished I could
find "The Galaxy Express 999," (another good old one) but it may not
have been translated, yet. Japanese anime became so common, and
so many titles are produced in these days. But, just like
Hollywood movies, most of them are rubbish. And, again just like
Hollywood, rubbish makes a big hit. If you like Japanese animes,
I recommend you to watch good old ones.
On the third day, the weather deteriorated. It rained
heavily, rather rained like a hurricane. But, I was determined
to eat seafood once more before returning to Pittsburgh. Such
rain cannot prevent me from eating seafood. So, I went to
Fisherman's Wharf. I had pan fried oysters, clam chowder, and
crab cake. Yes! I fulfilled my goal. But, my shoes
got totally wet. I didn't want to wear wet shoes during 6 hours
overnight flight. :-P
However, the shoes soon became not my primary concern. I had
to endure terrible stomach problem throughout the flight. I
suppose I got food poisoning from either oyster, crab, or clam
chowder. Miraculously I drove back to home from the airport, but
I backfired things I ate, and had to stay in bed for a day. I
still cannot eat much. But stomachache and headache are already
gone. I'll fully recover soon.
I think it's been almost a year since I said I was going to start
this section. I've been lazy :-P Sorry ;-)
Actually, I thought it was a good idea to start this section on
17th of this month, which is the 100th anniversary of the manned
powered flight. But, I got several reports of the server crash
problem after I released a new test version of YSFLIGHT on that day,
and I was working on figuring out what was causing the problem.
Actually, the true cause of the problem is still unknown. If you
don't mind spending some time on helping find out the cause of the
server crash problem, please
test version of YSFLIGHT and try. But, if you just would
like to enjoy YSFLIGHT, please use the current official version.
By the way, I have some more stuffs pending like photos from 2003
Dayton Airshow and final commercial flights of Concorde. I'm
going to prepare and post them when I have time.
I don't think I can update this page regularly, but I'll try to
post some developments of YSFLIGHT, and maybe something interesting I
find in Post-doc life :-) Maybe I can update often during the
holidays, but once the semester begins, I'll be too busy to update
this page regularly.
And, actually although I've been living in Pittsburgh for six
years, I still make a lot of mistakes in English. Especially,
"The" and "A" thing is a headache to me. I always get a lot of
corrections from a proofreader when I write a paper. So, if you
find any English mistakes, please let me know ;-)