I'm enjoying early Christmas holidays this
week. On Monday I visited Keio University where I studied for my
undergrad and master's degree to pick up a recommendation letter for
my green-card application. Shonan-Fujisawa Campus of Keio
University is close to Atsugi Navy Air Base. There is a place on
the north of the base where I can take pictures of landing/taking-off
airplanes. So, I stopped by that place to take some pictures.
On Tuesday, I was completely off. I went to north of Iruma Air
Base and stayed almost all day taking photos of airplanes. I
moved to Sendai late Tuesday, and visited Matsushima air base with my
airplane-fan friend. I was able to see practice flights of
Japanese Air Force's aerobatic team called Blue Impulse twice (once in
the morning and once in the afternoon.)
Today, my business trip was cancelled and I was completely free
again. So, I went to Atsugi Air Base again. Today, Runway
19 was in use, and it was perfect for taking pictures of landing
airplanes. I was hoping I could take pictures of Japanese Navy's
YS-11. I really regret that I could not see the last commercial
flight of YS-11. I don't know how long military version will
last. So, whenever I have chance, I try to take pictures of
YS-11 used by Japanese Navy and Air Force. The sky was clear,
and I was able to take many good pictures of YS-11 today. I'm
going to upload these pictures in my airplane-photo gallery soon.
I finished my business trip to Utsunomiya,
and am now staying in Kanda. Kanda is just one station away from
Tokyo. It is within walking distance from Imperial palace and
Akihabara. I'm staying in a hotel called Grand Central Hotel,
which is reasonably priced considering the location. Actually,
Kanda is not very accessible. There's no escalator or elevator
at Kanda station. So, it is difficult to move with a suit case.
In fact, rush hour in Tokyo is totally insane, and it is virtually
impossible to ride a train with a suit case anyway.
Alternatively, you can ride a taxi from Tokyo station. But, JR
train costs just 130 yen, and a taxi costs 700 yen minimum. So,
Kanda is not very friendly to a traveler. Maybe that's why this
hotel is reasonably priced.
But, working 9am to 9pm, while I was staying in Utsunomiya, was
exhausting. I'm used to work from 10am to 6pm. Working 12
hours straight was something new to me. A human cannot
concentrate on something for that prolonged period of time. So,
if I need to work for 12 hours in a row, I need to adjust my working
pace and should take more frequent breaks. But, anyway it was a
temporary stay. I left before I got used to 12-hours continuous
I'm going to meet with my friends from my college, and tomorrow I
will meet with a professor whom I asked to write a recommendation
letter for my green-card application. My visa has been issued in
two days. My travel agent, who processed my application, said my
visa was issued very quickly compared to other cases. I secured
another three years in Carnegie Mellon (assuming I am not laid off.)
But, I'll apply for green card soon before waiting until last minutes.
That's why I'm collecting recommendation letters now.
I will come back to Pittsburgh on January 5th. I wanted to
make it earlier, but I couldn't get an airline ticket. By then,
although I need to write some project reports, basically I am on
vacation. I will have time to work on YSFLIGHT code.
Because I renewed GUI library, I'd like to release it soon, but I also
want to add some features to address requests.
I'm staying in Japan all December for renewing my
working visa. But, for the first two weeks, while I stand by for
the consulate interview, and while I am waiting for the visa stamp
after the consulate interview, I visit some research sponsors and
potential sponsors. So, it's a half-business trip.
I left Pittsburgh on November 29. I had to
take 7:30am flight. In these days, airline companies are very
picky about the luggage. But, I had to carry enough supplies for
hotel stay 20 days in a row. My solution to this problem was to
wear small items instead of putting them in the suitcase. I
purchased a fishing vest, and put cables, wireless mouse, spare
batteries etc. I could put extra clothes etc. in the suitcase.
This strategy worked well. I could board the airplane with no
Over the international date line.
Unfortunately, due to the cloud cover, I could not see the date
line drawn over the ocean. (* You cannot see it anyway :-) )
I flew (as a passenger) and arrived at Tokyo Narita
International on the next day. Next day, I had to stop by a
travel agency that I hired for visa-application preparation. I
gave my passport to them, and they were going to submit all the
immigration documents to the U.S. embassy in Tokyo. Most of the
processes were already done by E-Mails, but unless I had a passport I
couldn't come in to Japan. So, I had to come to their office to
submit my passport. In the afternoon, I had lunch with a
professor who influenced me when I was an undergrad. After
lunch, I visited Pentax show room in Shinjuku. There was a
service center attached to the show room, and they were able to remove
a dust on the CCD screen of my digital SLR in 60 minutes. That
dust was a stubborn one that I could not remove by myself. Then
I also visited Canon show room. I had an opportunity to actually
try to use EOS 50D digital SLR. I'm seriously considering to buy
EOS 50D and Sigma 150-500mm lens sometime next year. I wanted to
actually use it before making the final decision. My impression
on EOS 50D was very good. It should be a great camera for bird
watching and air shows.
Later in the afternoon, I escorted my wife to the
airport. She would stay with her parents until we go to the U.S.
embassy next week, and I headed to Utsunomiya for visiting one of my
I worked there for Wednesday and Thursday, and I
moved to Tokyo on Friday to visit a potential sponsor, to whom I gave
some demo and presentation of our research.
U.S.S. George Washington.
Flight deck of U.S.S. George Washington.
On Saturday, I was hoping to see one of my
airplane-fan friends living near Tokyo. I called him, and he
told me that he was going to go to Open house of Yokosuka U.S. Navy
base. So, I decided to go together. In that event, I had
an opportunity to see the aircraft carrier George Washington.
Last time I visited Yokosuka base, U.S.S. Midway was there.
Midway is now a floating museum in San Diego.
So, that's what happened this week. On
Tuesday, I will go to U.S. embassy for visa interview. Hopefully
I will receive my renewed working visa soon.
I have been extremely busy for the
past a few weeks. I have been in fact busy
for the past several months, but the past a few weeks were extreme.
I will temporarily come back to Japan in December to renew my visa, so
I have load of things to take care before that. I think I am a
faster-than-average programmer, but I am dealing with too many
projects. It seems to me, I've got endless programming duties.
(So, right now, my Inbox is
back-logged by roughly four months. I'll try to catch up, but if
you have sent me an E-Mail and haven't got a reply yet, please wait
some more. I apologize for late reply.)
The below photo is taken in the Carnegie Mellon University campus.
"The world most re-painted fence" (approved by the Guinness Book.)
The message was calling for voters to vote for Barack Obama.
I witnessed the history with my best friend who was one of the
volunteers for the Obama campaign. It was really a historic and
I still believe John McCain would have made a good president if he
had been elected in 2000 (except for the idea of privatization of
Federal Aviation Administration). But, this time, I believe the
American people made the right choice. Congratulations President
Although I was not able to participate the history, I was very
lucky to be able to witness the history in the exact country where it
was taking place.
In two days, the new president of the United States
will be elected. I'm living in the U.S., so it's not something
happening far away. It directly impacts my life.
Republican candidate John McCain is no doubt a war
hero. He flew A-4 Skyhawk, which is one of my favorite
airplanes, over Vietnam. He was shot down and had to spend years
in hostage. You know, I'm such a pilot who still is scared of
flying into New York class B airspace. Flying in Philadelphia
class B in actual IMC was a big-enough adventure for me. So, I
can only imagine how courageous he was to fly into hostile airspace.
As an airplane fan, and as a pilot, I admire Senator John McCain.
In fact, I was seriously hoping he could win the Republican candidacy
That said, if I were allowed to vote, I would vote
for Barack Obama.
We all know that Soviet Union had proven that
socialism or communism only mass-produces unhappiness. North
Korea is now proving it again. Sadly, that country is still
governed by the people who refuse to learn from history.
However, to me, it seems that what happened for the past eight years
in the U.S. had proven that extreme capitalism doesn't work either.
The current president is extreme of the extremes in the Republican
party - little tax and little government intervention. He just
let the market mechanism do everything and made this big mess.
In fact, it is nonsense to discuss if capitalism is
good or socialism is good. Neither works by itself. It's
so simple. Wherever a healthy competition exists, the market
mechanism works extremely well. However, there are many areas
that we need for our life where there's no competition. An easy
example is, I don't think anyone wants to privatize the military.
We pay tax, and the tax money is used for the public services
including police, military, fire-fighters, maintaining
infra-structure, etc., but I don't think nobody calls it a socialism.
This mechanism just covers where the market mechanism doesn't cover.
And, to discuss tax, you should consider two things:
(1) how much tax you pay, and (2) how much work that the government do
for you. I don't understand why so many people only look at how
much tax they need to pay, and don't look at how much work that the
government do. The government may reduce tax to zero, but if
nobody comes to fill the big potholes on the road or if nobody comes
to get rid of snow from the main street, we get stuck.
Right now there are so many problems. Economy
is the biggest one. But, skyrocketing health-care cost, college
tuition, etc. Don't forget border security. To stay legal,
I spend so much time and money to prepare documents for USCIS (U.S.
Citizenship and Immigration Services). If whoever decides to
legalize illegal immigrants, let them go through the same painful
paper-filling process. Otherwise it's unfair to me! There
are so many things that needs to be cleaned up, and each one of them
takes considerable money. And, most of it needs to be paid from
Senator McCain says he would pay for that by cutting
wasteful spending, but I don't know just cutting spending is enough.
The government is inherently inefficient. To make it efficient,
only option is to hire a good government employee, but such an efficient
person may most likely be already working for an industry and well paid.
So, to make the government work efficient, the government needs to
hire a good employee, and to do so, substantial salary needs to be
paid to him/her. Nonetheless, certain tasks can only be done by
the government. So, it's not so easy to make money by cutting
wasteful spending. The idea - paying for fixing those problems
by cutting wasteful spending - sounds to me, very uncertain.
Senator Obama is clear about this point. He
will pay for that by (1) finishing the Iraq war, and (2) increasing
the tax for those who are making more than a quarter million dollars a
year. To me, it sounds more logical and makes sense. I believe Senator Obama's policy works better for cleaning up this big mess.
There are many good reasons to vote for John McCain.
So, if you have already decided to vote for John McCain, I don't
persuade you to change your mind. But, if you haven't decided who to vote, go for Barack Obama!
Current poll indicates that Senator Obama will make
a landslide victory. I'm hoping for that. This Tuesday
will be a long day.
I have been waking up early since Saturday, and I'm
getting exhausted. I was thinking to skip the morning sessions and
sleep longer today. But, I realized that Dr. Michael Garland (who is
very famous in Computer Graphics research) was going to give a invited
speech, so I decided to wake up early and go there.
So, I left my apartment only to find my car got a
flat tire. Yesterday, a valet guy told me he had to add air to the
left rear tire twice, but I was able to drive back home with no
problem, so I did not think the tire had a leak.
I had to call AAA (I was glad to be a gold member),
and they sent a road-side assistance quickly. The guy found a nail
penetrating the tire and told he could repair the tire for $15. I
asked him to do that. It took less than 5 minutes for him to fix my
tire. I thought I had no chance of making the morning session, but I
barely made it.
After listening to the invited talk and the first
talk of the morning session, I came out of the session and was
modifying my Power Point presentation for my presentation in an
afternoon session. While I was listening to the morning session, I
notice it would be good to add one page for my presentation. Usually,
I prepare my presentation package at least one week before the
presentation practice several times and perfectly adjust the timing.
But, this time, I had too many extra tasks did not have time to make
the final adjustments. I hope my presentation finishes within 25
In fact, I could fix my presentation packages in the
session with listening to the presenter. But, a chair used in a
conference is not usually very comfortable. I can sit and write a
program all day in my office. But, sitting in a dark (for projector)
conference room for several hours is very tiring. I didn't want to get
too tired before my presentation. So, I walked out of the session and
worked on my presentation in the lobby. Usually I just go back to my
hotel room to work, but this time the conference is held where I live,
so I didn't have my hotel room. It's one of few disadvantages to have
a conference locally.
After lunch was the session in which I was going to
present my research. This session was about hexahedral meshing, which
is exactly my research interest. There were some interesting
presentations. In my turn, at the beginning, I said gI guess I won the
longest-titled paper award of the conference.h (because the title
ended up very long). This joke worked fine when I said to the
committee members, but it was less effective this time. Nonetheless, I
could do the rest all right with my buddy laser pointer.
Then, there was conference-hosted banquet. In this
conference, we invite a banquet speaker. Since all of the attendees
are getting tired of listening to meshing-related talks, the good
choice of a speaker was something intellectually interesting, but not
directly related to the meshing research. Two years ago, when the
conference was held in Birmingham, the speaker was a former astronaut
who was then a professor at the University of Alabama. Last year, when
the conference was held in Seattle, the speaker was a person who was
doing a research on aviation history. Since the conference was held in
Pittsburgh, I wanted to invite someone from Robotics Institute of
Carnegie Mellon. I have a friend who is working in the
autonomous-helicopter laboratory of Robotics Institute. So, I
contacted him, and asked if his boss were willing to give a banquet
talk. He kindly accepted to be a banquet speaker.
However, when he arrived at the hotel, the valet at
the hotel refused to park his car saying he would not park his car
unless he was staying in hotel. I couldn't believe that. We were the
only group using the Doubletree hotel for a conference, and everyone
was supposed to know that participants were coming. I was allowed to
park a car at the hotel, and so were other attendees. The valet was
supposed to know he should have allowed him to park his car. I will
definitely complain about it to the hotel. It was hotel's
responsibility to share the information with the employees. I clearly
cannot talk to every employee that we were holding a conference there.
I was very unhappy with the incident.
Despite the parking incident, he gave a fantastic
presentation. Everyone paid attention to his talk to the end since his
talk was very interesting. I thanked him a lot.
Tomorrow, my advisor is going to give an invited
talk. Actually, who was supposed to give an invited talk cancelled his
talk last minute, and we asked my advisor to be a pinch-hitter. I am
going to introduce him at the beginning of the session. I reviewed his
bio to prepare for that. My other duties tomorrow will be to chair
another session, and attend a meeting called Sandia Cubit Review
The 17th Meshing Roundtable Conference is
going on in Pittsburgh since yesterday. This conference focuses on the
numerical mesh generation, which is exactly my research interest, and
I have been presenting my research many times in this conference.
I have been serving as an organizing committee of this conference
last year and this year. It's two-year term. It is my last year as a
committee. The conference location was decided by committee members,
and initially we were talking about a nice place like Boston. During
the discussion, I just gave a shot and suggested Pittsburgh. And,
Pittsburgh ended up with winning the vote. It's not a big conference,
and just about 100 to 150 attendance. Nonetheless, I guess I was able
to return my appreciation to Pittsburgh, which gave me all these
opportunities, by making a small economic stimulus.
Many conferences are held in a hotel. There are some exceptions
like when the conference is hosted by a university. But, this time was
not the case. The conference is held in Doubletree Hotel in downtown.
But, if we deliver conference supplies to the hotel, the hotel
charge some storage fee. So, we decided to have proceedings and
T-shirts delivered to Carnegie Mellon University. Then we've got a
problem. Just one week before the conference, the proceedings have not
arrived. It was an emergency. We contacted the publisher many times,
and finally they said they re-shipped the proceedings by express
But, even express shipping could arrive late Friday. If it did not
come before 4pm, nobody would be there to receive the boxes. We
contacted the carrier again and told them to hold the boxes at the
airport. Then I drove to the airport and picked up the boxes. For the
first time, I went in to the cargo area of Pittsburgh International
airport. I wish next time I can receive a package at Allegheny County
airport, which I am more familiar. Three boxes of proceedings (books)
were pretty heavy. I felt the car was not decelerating as usual when I
pushed on the brakes.
On Saturday, I delivered the boxes to the conference hotel. This
time, the conference secretary helped me carrying those boxes. So, we
didn't have any problem in braking. Later in the day, when I came back
from weekly bowling league, I got a phone call from the conference
chair. He apparently was stuck at Houston due to airline delay. He was
supposed to introduce an instructor in one of the short-course session
on Sunday, but he didn't seem to be able to make it. So, I accepted to
be a pinch-hitter.
On Sunday, I went to the short-course session, and introduced the
instructor. Then, I took a friend who came from Birmingham to attend
the conference for a sight-seeing flight. It's a foliage season, and
some trees were turning red and yellow. The sky was clear and the air
was very stable with almost infinite visibility. It was a good flight.
Then when I came back to the apartment, I realized that I forgot
picking up my laser-pointer after the short course. I offered my laser
pointer to the course instructor. But in fact, he also needed my
laptop PC because his iMac could not be connected to the projector.
It's just a laser pointer. But, I purchased it in 1998 when I left
Japan and came to Pittsburgh as a Ph.D student. I thought I should
have many chances to present my research in a conference. So, I
purchased this laser pointer at Akihabara. Since then, I used it for
my Ph.D thesis proposal meeting, thesis defense presentation, and many
conference presentations. So, itfs already like my buddy who fought
through many battles. For me, itfs like a light saber for a Jedi
Knight. I forgot picking up such an important laser pointer because I
On Monday, I had to do a session chair for one of the morning
sessions. Then, I asked around and searched for my laser pointer.
However, nobody saw my pointer, and the hope seemed to be fading. I
was deeply depressed with a feeling as if I lost a long-time friend
due to my stupidity.
But, later in the day, a hotel employee, who was very kind and
helped me search my beloved laser pointer gave me a good news. Someone
found it, and he would bring it to me. Later I finally received my
pointer. (I will never let anyone else use it.)
Tomorrow, I will present my research in an afternoon session. I am
happy to be able to use my 10-year old laser pointer.
I'm working for Carnegie Mellon University as a research associate.
Basically, my job is to do research under supervision of the advisor.
In a typical U.S. university, we need to get funding from an outside
source. In general, we get funding from a sponsor company by
doing a joint research project. My salary is paid from such
We have started a research project with a sponsor company, and
I was told by my advisor that I would take part in that project.
But, it had nothing to do with the projects I had been working on.
I thought I would just do some work until someone else took over.
However, I ended up with working as a main programmer of that project.
That was early this year. The expectation of this project in the
sponsor company was
high. It was a good opportunity for us to gain a trust from
I was spending considerable amount of time in this project, though,
until mid July, I was working on this project as well as other
projects that I was already assigned. Then we have received a
list of required functionalities end of July. They wanted us to
implement those functionalities until the end of August so that they
could show it to their supervisors. It was an impossible amount
for a single programmer to do in a month, that's what I thought.
I might be able to finish them, but if you are a programmer, you can
easily imagine that something looks easy often turns out to be very
difficult. I answered to them that I would do my best, but I
could not promise that I could finish them all in time.
Nonetheless, if I could finish them in time, and they could show
a blockbuster demonstration to their supervisors, it certainly would
increase our reputation and increase the chance of continuation of the
project to the next term. I started marathon-programming. In my age,
overnighter doesn't do any good. If I stay awake overnight, working efficiency will virtually drop to zero for the following
several days. I tried to maintain the fastest pace that I could
sustain for a month. I had to work in the weekends and after
dinner during the weekdays. But, at least I took one day off a
week, and no overnighter. As a researcher, my usual job is
like 50% thinking and 50% programming, but for this period it was
like 10% thinking and 90% programming. It was very
And, I had finished all the items yesterday, three days before the
deadline and sent my program to the sponsor. I have received a
very positive reply, which was very pleasant to me after this hard
work. I will take three-days off next week. A new research
associate have joined our lab and he will take over some part of this
project. So, I should be able to get back to the normal work
CaptainYS's Flight Logbook.
Uploaded summary of flights in May. I've been extremely busy for
a few weeks and could not update the web site, but I was managing to
fly as often as I can to keep my currency up.
I was staying in Stony Brook for the last three days
for a conference called ACM Solid and Physical Modeling 08. This
conference is relatively competitive conference, and I used to think
it was impossible to have my paper accepted to this one.
However, this is already my second time to present my paper in this
I had to change an airplane at Philadelphia and then
flew to Long Island McArthur (Islip) airport. From Pittsburgh to
Philadelphia was nearly the identical path to that I flew in Cessna.
I wanted to fly by myself. In fact, Carnegie Mellon allows to
rent an airplane for business trip (attending a conference is
considered a business trip) if the pilot is instrument rated.
So, I'm qualified for that. However, I couldn't rent an airplane
for whole three days. So, this time, I had to fly as a
passenger. The airplane from Philadelphia to Islip flew over the
Atlantic to avoid New York class B. From the airplane, I could
see a spectacular sun set.
Stony Brook is just 55 miles east of Manhattan.
So, I was hoping that I could skip some sessions and go to Manhattan.
However, the only practical (affordable) way to go to Manhattan from
Stony Brook was by train, and it takes 2 hours. That's what I
heard. The train station was away from the conference site
(State University of New York) so, skipping one or two sessions was
not enough to go there. So, I gave up Manhattan and attended
almost all sessions. Nonetheless, I took a lot of work to do
from Pittsburgh, and was writing documents and programming while
listening to the presentation. I was put in a poster session and
had only three minutes to present my research. At least my paper
was printed in the conference proceedings though. Apparently the
projector was not capable of synchronizing to my laptop, and initially
I could not show my power-point presentation, but I had also copied my
files to my USB drive. So, I could do my presentation. I
don't know how many of you are in grad school and studying CAE and
computational geometry, but anyway I made my paper available from
here. Just FYI.
In the campus of State University of New
York at Stony Brook
On the second day, there was a conference banquet.
Pittsburgh is far away from the ocean and I was missing fresh seafood.
So, I was determined to eat as much seafood as possible during my stay
in Stony Brook, which is on the ocean. However, when I stood on the line for the
buffet, there was no sea food. Later I found shrimps and big
lobsters. So, I stood on the line again, but they were all gone
before I reached shrimps and lobsters. Luckily, another batch of
shrimps and lobsters came later, and I could eat two big lobsters.
I fulfilled the biggest (?) purpose of the conference.
On the last day, my airplane was supposed to leave
6:40pm, but the conference was over by 1pm. The weather was not
so good, and anyways nothing was within the walking distance.
So, I just came to the airport soon after the conference was over.
But, lucky to me, the airplane I was supposed to ride was delayed
(probably cancelled) and
I was switched to the flight via Boston. Immediately, Legal
Sea Food restaurant came to my mind. I had no complaint!
The problem was, the airplane to Boston was supposed to leave at
1:55pm, but the woman told me to switch to the Boston airplane at
2:00pm. There seemed to be no chance to make it. But I ran
The Boston weather was perfect IFR. The
airplane was Beach 1900, and there was no cockpit door. I could
see the cockpit window from the cabin. I believe the crew shot
an ILS approach, and the airplane apparently broke out of the cloud
just before the minimum, i.e., the runway was insight only several
seconds before the touch down. I saw the runway slightly to the
right, and the pilot made a slight right turn to get it aligned, and
landed. Probably, the ceiling was just about 200 to 300ft.
While taxing to the gate, the control tower was partially hidden by
the cloud. Due to the weather, the airplane from Boston to
Pittsburgh was also delayed. I enjoyed three pieces of raw
oyster, clam chowder, and crab cake for late lunch. Then the
airplane delayed again, and I had one piece of raw oyster and
Blackened Raw Tuna Sashimi for dinner. I also purchased a medium
clam chowder for my wife. I had never enjoyed the airplane delay
this much before. It was really good to attend this
Perfect IFR condition at Boston. The
control tower was
partially hidden in the cloud.
I've moved. But, within the same apartment
complex. I was living in a small one-bedroom apartment, but this
time I moved to a large one-bedroom apartment on the same floor.
So, we have been busy moving stuffs from the old apartment to the new
apartment, and making phone calls to tell address changes.
Everything went well, except the phone. The
phone was supposed to be transferred on Wednesday morning. But,
I didn't get a dial tone in Wednesday afternoon. I called
Verizon again, and they told the phone will be available by Thursday
morning. Later on Wednesday, I received an automated phone call
to my cell phone, and told Verizon technician will come to the
apartment in the morning of Thursday. On Thursday, nobody showed
up. I called Verizon again, and they told the phone would be
available by 5pm. But, no dial tone in the evening. Today,
I called Verizon again. They said, they can send a technician,
but they will charge $90 for the first 30 minutes. I had enough. I called Comcast
to switch the phone service from Verizon to Comcast. Lesson
learned: If you want to lose a customer, charge your customer for
something that has not even started.
Birds (and Animals) Around
Uploaded "Battle of Flag Staff
Hill". A pair of Blue Jay started building a nest
in Flag Staff Hill. However, a pair of Robin also started
building a nest on a tree right next to Blue Jays' tree, and the
territorial dispute apparently started a battle over tree-dominance.
CaptainYS's Flight Logbook
Uploaded "Landing Practice in Gusty Wind". This time you can see my
not-so-smooth landing video. I'm now instrument rated, but it
does not necessarily mean I am a wizard of landing.
I try to take back up copies of my important files regularly. Although
I had a horrifying experience of losing almost all the working files
late last year, my backup files turned out to be intact, and the hard
drive that I though lost was actually not lost. So, that
incident horrified me, but I actually didn't lose any files.
I started taking monthly back up in 1999. 1999 was a year of
big change for me. One year after I entered Ph.D program of
Carnegie Mellon University, I faced the Ph.D Qualifying Exam.
Until then I never knew what winning something was all about.
For the first time in my life, I fought with all I had. I never
knew that there was a occasion that I broke into tears from
overwhelming joy. It was a real taste of victory that I had
And, I released the very first version of YSFLIGHT in May 1999.
I was writing YSFLIGHT little by little when I wanted to get away from
study for Qualifying Exam. In that version, there was no OpenGL
version and Direct 3D version. Virtually no graphics card could
accelerate OpenGL. So, there was no point to make OpenGL
version. That time I never expected YSFLIGHT was going to grow
to this level and used by so many people over the world.
When I was organizing old backup CD-Rs last week, I found the first
version of YSFLIGHT by occasion. It reminded me of the days of
my Qualifying Exam. Now I can say it's a good memory because I
passed it. (It could have been my end-of-career!)
As for YSFLIGHT, I was going through pre-release test for the new
version and found a bug in the landing auto pilot. As a
programmer, I sometimes encounter a bug that makes me wonder why the
hell this program was working? The bug in the landing auto pilot
was one of that kind. So, it took me some time to fix it, but
it's gone now. Hopefully I can upload the program to
Vector.co.jp and will be available early next month.
The weather in Pittsburgh was not good for
flying for several days. But, today is an extreme.
Pittsburgh is in a brutal blizzard. The photo below is taken
from my apartment. Occasionally, a parking behind the building
across the road was not visible. So, it was almost zero
Now, what does Allegheny County airport's weather report say?
Saving Dell Latitude XT.
I was suddenly assigned to a
sketch-based CAD interface project last year. That put me into a
panic mode for a while. But, in return, my advisor purchased one
of the most anticipated tablet PC, Dell Latitude XT. I received
it, but it suffered from the infamous Blue-Screen-Of-Death (BSOD) when
it was funning on battery. I don't know if anyone is suffering
from the same problem, but I uploaded how I reached the solution and
saved my Dell Latitude XT from being scrapped in Saving Dell Latitude XT.
My first flight of 2008 was a night flight
to see a light-up event called Celebration of Light from the air.
The event was held in Hartwood, which is about 10 miles north of
Allegheny County Airport. I drove through the event last year,
and it was really an impressive light-up show. However, it was
not so impressive from the sky. It took five or ten minutes to
find the place. The city lights of Pittsburgh was more
impressive from the air. Unfortunately, the maximum sensitivity
of my digital camera used for taking flying video was ISO400, and it
could not capture city lights well. The below video is from the
landings when I came back to the Allegheny County airport.