ysflight.com - From Author


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 expectations.

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 screenshots below.

6 ship Bomb Burst Upward.  6 airplanes perform one-point cross after this.


Delta Roll, just before rolling out.

Pitch Up Break.

Rolling Combat Pitch


Bike accident:

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 a fraud.

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 get involved.

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 at http://cielab3.me.cmu.edu/~soji/photo/040619Pittsburgh/e.html.

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 Geometric 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.)

2004/20040419-4.JPG (536475 bytes)Tian An Men
2004/20040419-13.JPG (558342 bytes)The forbidden city
2004/20040419-16.JPG (525589 bytes)Exiting to the other side of the forbidden city
2004/20040419-21.JPG (510193 bytes)The great wall

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.

2004/clie-0404080001.png (5271 bytes)Chinese 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 different though.)

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 again.

Next I tried CJKOS.  It worked.  Probably I'll purchase this software.

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 from http://www.smallware.com  So I downloaded and installed.

I also tested Wireless LAN connection from Kiva Han.  Worked good!

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 result. 


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 http://www.ysflight.com .


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 Kiva Han.

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 unwelcome.

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 on.

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 download the 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   ;-)

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