[Link to 2011 posts]
Wings Over Pittsburgh 2010
I finally organized photos from this years Wings Over Pittsburgh air
show, which was held September 11 and 12. I didn't forget about
uploading pictures, but I was too busy to do that.
Minimalist's OpenGL programming framework for Windows, Mac OSX, and
I have promoted (sort of) "Mac OSX C++ programming template for
minimalists" to directly under my Programming section. I have
been using this framework for verifying algorithms for my research,
used in my C++ programming course, and it is based on the code I wrote
for YSFLIGHT, so it is well tested. And, it is small. You
don't have to be worried about framework-generated files filling up
your hard drive.
So, if you are planning to teach C++ and OpenGL soon, or if you are
looking for a small and simple framework for your research
programming, it could be useful. I also wrote
By the way, it has nothing to do with C++, OpenGL, or YSFLIGHT, but
I'll bowl for the final play-off tournament in
league. My individual average of this regular season was
191, and kept the top position. But, let's see if our team can
get to the first place in the final tournament.
Update at 23:08 Result of the bowling play-off games.
Our team lost the first game of the tournament. Everyone in
my team, including myself, bowled below average, and I bowled my
season low of 129 in the second game. Our team moved to the
consolation final for the third place. Our team won the first
game, and lost the second of the consolation final, and in the third
game, I bowled 10 strikes in a row. In fact, everyone was
watching my shots rather than the final game, according to one of my
friends. It was such a nice feeling :-) The 11th shot hit
the pocket square, I thought, but 7 pin didn't give way. I
missed my first perfect game, but I renewed my personal high by more
than 20 pins.
Score of the last game. Click to enlarge.
for Mac Reset Tool Test Version
I had uploaded YSFLIGHT Reset Tool for Mac. In Windows, it could
be done by selecting "YSFLIGHT - Reset Setting" from the start
menu. But, I couldn't figure out the way to do the same in Mac
OS X. So, I made a separate program for resetting the
configuration options of YSFLIGHT. (Test
version of YSFLIGHT for Mac Reset Tool is available from here.)
Fail! Dell Latitude XT Modernization
As you know, I put Amazon Affiliate Banner on this web site. It
works like this. When I buy something interesting, and I write
an article about it, you may also think it is an interesting item.
If you click on the banner and buy the item from Amazon.com, I receive
some percentage of incentive. So, whenever I buy something, (not
necessarily from Amazon, but anyway) and if I find it useful or
interesting, I try to post an article about it. But, the reality
doesn't work that way. This time, I purchased an SSD to extend
the life of my Latitude XT, but I ended up with wasting $500 of my
research fund. (Read more....)
YSFLIGHT Test Version Out for Download
I ended up spending half a day to compile and prepare test version for
Windows, Mac OSX, and Linux, but it is out.
If you are willing to help me testing this untested version, you can
download it from here.
Thank you for your help!
Taking one day off
I've been having fun but super busy this semester. It's going to
be over in two weeks. I should be able to take a good rest in
the Thanksgiving holidays next week, but I also took one day off today
and determined not to work. That's why I'm updating YSFLIGHT.COM.
I need to come up with take-home exam questions by Monday, but I'll do
it in the weekend.
Toward the end of the year, I have a few things I'm planning to do
aside from my work. First thing is, of course, to roll out the
new version of YSFLIGHT. There would be a lot of improvements in
the user interface. I really wanted to add virtual air traffic
controller, but I don't seem to have time for it. In fact, I
also wanted to add Western Pennsylvania map so that I can use it for
my IFR practice. It would be postponed to the future versions.
Nonetheless, I believe the new version includes good enough
improvements. Hopefully, I push the test version out during the
Thanksgiving. (Is it next week? Really? I cannot
believe it! Everything comes so fast on me!)
Another thing is to document my
YS-Class library. I'm learning Doxygen for that purpose.
In the next version of YSFLIGHT, sound-effect module will be a DLL,
and I'll open the source code so that an ambitious user can write an
add-on sound module. In a long run, I'm thinking to allow more
plug-ins to enhance YSFLIGHT functionalities. Since YSFLIGHT is
based on my YS-Class library, I want to better document it before
opening up plug-in interfaces. I have been trying to add plug-in
interface in YSFLIGHT for long time, and I'm making a very slow
progress. It'll eventually come. Sound DLL is the first
I also purchased the following two books. "Learning iPhone
programming" and "Cocoa and Objective-C: Up and Running." both from
O'Reilly. I have iPod Touch now and am interested in writing
programs for it. I loved Palm. But, only one complaint was
I was not able to write my own programs. I could have, but the
programming resource for PalmOS was limited. Now I have my
Macbook Pro, and the latest XCode comes with iPhone SDK + iPhone
Simulator. I can postpone signing up the iPhone developer
program ($99/year) until I am sure my program works at least on the
simulator. I need to visit Japan for my cousin's wedding late
December, so I am planning to read through the books during the trip.
I also try to get better understanding of Objective-C. When I
ported YSFLIGHT to Mac OSX, I had only vague understanding of
Objective-C. This time I try to understand details that I didn't
clearly understand. I still say the biggest weakness of Mac OSX
and iOS is dependency on Objective-C. Objective-C is inferior to
C++. I was able to port YSFLIGHT to Mac OSX only because I
figured a way to minimize Objective-C code and write the rest in C++.
My hope is, by studying Objective-C, I can figure out the way to
further reduce transaction between my Objective-C code and C++ code.
I also thought about buying iPad and getting these books as e-books so
that I don't have to carry two books physically. I have been
skeptical about an e-book. I don't have too much free time to
read many books. The latest book I was reading was "Apache: Inside the Cockpit of the World's Most Deadly Fighting Machine
". The book is
good. I like to read further, but I was stopping simply because
I couldn't afford time. (I'll read some bit tonight maybe.)
So, I was not thinking e-book was for me. But, I realized that
if I put "C Programming Language (2nd Edition)
", "The C++ Programming Language: Special Edition
", "OpenGL Programming Guide: The Official Guide to Learning OpenGL, Versions 3.0 and 3.1 (7th Edition)
", and all those
programming textbooks and references, it would be great. I can
pull out those books any time anywhere. I don't need to send a
reminder to my own E-Mail address so that I don't forget to look up
what I was looking for when I am home. The problem of finding
things on the Internet is there is no way I can confirm if it is the
right way to do. For that point, textbooks and reference books
are more reliable.
However, I stopped short of actually buying e-books it because I
noticed all those e-books are DRM contaminated. DRM is such a
horrible idea as everyone knows it. You pay for something but
you will not own it. It sounds ridiculous enough to me.
Let's say I buy 100 e-Books. What's going to happen if someone
by mistake wiped out my account information? I lose all 100
books. If I lost my books because I didn't take backup copies,
that's my fault. I would be responsible for it. But, the
idea that someone else controls my property is unacceptable.
Or, what will happen if I become permanently unconscious due to an
accident or disease or for whatever reason? Nobody will be able
to access my e-books. So, the value of my e-books will be
jeopardized. Is it ok from the economics point of view? Is
it ok to let the property value vaporize into thin air? I think
this can be a potential threat to our economic system. The
current economic disaster started when the real estate suddenly lost
its value. Similarly, sudden disappearance of information
property could be the trigger of the next depression. I don't
want to lose my property because of someone else's fault. Unless
I can buy a DRM-free copy, I don't go for e-books.
One solution could be put heavy-enough responsibility on the company
who manages those access rights. In this world, the value of
information is as heavy as the value of money. Banks are held
responsible for the money trusted on them and are FDIC insured.
Same level of responsibility should be put on those companies who
sells music, movie, and books if they want us to trust those
information-access rights on them, and someone should insure the
And, always irony comes in the end. Later I figured O'Reilly
sells DRM-free PDFs of the above books, when it was too late. I
will carry heavy paper copies for this trip :-P But, I praise
O'Reilly for the right decision!
from Cleveland Air Show 2010
The air show was already a month ago. But, I couldn't take
time to put photos together. I finally did it and uploaded.
By the way, I forgot mention one more excitement from the last
week. I was in an accident while I was riding a bus. It
was not a serious accident at all. Rather it was a stupid
accident. The bus was hit by a truck from the behind when it was
stopping to load some passengers. Nobody was injured. But,
it was during the rush hour. Everyone had to get off, and take
the next bus. The next bus was totally packed due to this
accident. I didn't understand why the truck driver was able to
crash into the bus that was not moving.
After I was trained for my instrument rating, I believe that in
both driving a car and flying an airplane, I need to be able to
appropriately distribute the attention. Focusing on one thing is
bad. For example, talking on a cell phone while driving is
dangerous if the driver concentrates on the phone conversation.
If the driver is able to control how much attention goes to the phone
and how much goes to the outside, there is nothing dangerous.
Hitting a person while talking on the phone and hitting a person while
you are driving in an unfamiliar place and looking at street signs are
from the same reason. If the drivers are trained to manage and
distribute the attention, this type of accidents can substantially be
The following picture is a panel ripped by the collision.
Windows now uses DirectSound API. Ended up with having more
doubt about the right stuff of a Microsft programmer
Last week was an eventful week for me. First, I made a day
trip to Norfolk VA for a business trip. Norfolk is a military
town. There are navy, air force, army, and marines bases.
The 1st fighter squadron is based at Langley AFB nearby Norfolk.
I've been wanting to go to the Langley air show sometime. But,
it is 7 hours from Pittsburgh by car. It's a bit far. But,
I realized it is 2.5 hour flight in Cessna from Pittsburgh. If I
knew about the business-trip schedule early enough, I would have
reserved an airplane for one day to make this trip. But, this
time I flew as a airline passenger.
On Wednesday, I gave Quiz 2 to my class. This year's students
are doing very well, and they got 89 average last time. I was
aiming to make it 85 average. This time I increased the level a
little bit. The result was 84.75 average. I guess I made
it right this time. I was not too generous in grading, and they
still got 85 average. I was happy with the performance of my
students. It keeps me very busy, but it is so much a fun.
When I came home on Wednesday, I saw a piece of paper in my
apartment saying the owner of the apartment building has changed, and
they no longer collect garbage every floor and I need to walk three
stories down to the dumpster, and they close down the apartment office
so no one will receive my packages any more. I knew about the
rumor of the owner change. But, I never knew the new management
was going to close down the apartment office. Previous property
manager was very kind and maintaining the apartment very well.
She had been in charge for at least eight years since I moved in.
If I knew that they were going to close the apartment office, I wanted
to say good bye and thank you to her. But, I didn't have chance
to do so. The practical problem is I can no longer buy stuff
with online shopping any more. I don't mind buying
not-so-expensive things, but I cannot order like a computer equipments
or camera equipments. For the meanwhile, I ship everything to
CMU. But, if the new management does a bad job, I may have to
move next year.
On Sunday, I received an E-Mail from a YSFLIGHT user reporting a
problem of sound effect. Actually, I have been thinking to get
rid of old Windows multi-media functions and replace them with
DirectSound, but I have been postponing to do so. I decided to
finally do it. And, I was able to do it. But, it gave me
additional doubt about the right stuff of a Microsoft programmer.
You can read more details here.
Foliage-watching flight & Hovering in Cessna
I have uploaded "Foliage-watching flight & Hovering in Cessna" in
CaptainYS's Flight Logbook.
By the way, due to my work load in this semester, there is an
record-long delay for replying E-Mail. I apologize for delays,
and I'll reply you as soon as I have time. Thank you for your
Roughly 1/3 of the fall semester is over.
I'm teaching a programming class this semester. But, I have same
level of research work to do. In fact, I used to have one
high-priority task that I needed to focus on, and I didn't have to
spend too much time for other less priority tasks. However, now
I have two high-priority tasks in addition to teaching. So, I've
been quite busy. There used to be super-busy time in the past,
but such period didn't last more than two months. The difference
of the current busy-ness from the past super-busy time is that now I
am heavily loaded but a little bit short of super-busy. Instead,
this elevated work-load is continuing longer.
Anyways, I am having so much a fun in teaching. I'm really
enjoying it. In fact, I have been wanting to teach a programming
course. It's my another dreams-come-true! So far, my
students are very well keeping up with my pace. I'm happy with
that. Some students are having tough time keeping up with the
pace, which is understandable because many of the Mechanical
Engineering students have absolutely zero experience in programming.
For those students, I am planning to have an optional
boot-camp work-shop session this Friday. In that
session, I'll try to let them work as a "human debugger." I'll
let them follow some sample code line by line and write every change
of the variables. I'll start from a very short example and try
some relatively longer code, too.
Another thing I do in my class is live programming demonstration.
Honestly, I cannot teach what I don't know. All I can do is
transfer my programming skill and experience to my students. I
want to tell them how I think through and how I write my program.
I can present them some typical patterns of doing that, but in a real
programming, for my research and for my work, I have some exceptions
almost all the time. So, I thought it would be nice to show how
I write a relatively long (compared to the assignment problems)
program in front of them. I did the same a few times when I was
teaching as a co-instructor last year, and I believe it was a good
presentation. So, I am increasing this type of live programming
Through my learning of the computer programming, there were some
moments that I understood something all of a sudden. The pointer
in the C language was one of them. At one time, suddenly I was
able to connect my knowledge of the assembly language and the pointer
used in the C language. Initially I didn't get the point of the
C++ virtual function, but when I was reading an article in the Dr.
Dobb's Journal, I saw two words "runtime binding" that was the moment
I totally understood what the virtual function was. At the same
time I understood what "hidden-pointer problem" was. That two
words "runtime binding" was all I needed to understand the concept of
the C++ virtual function. It is just a function pointer to a
member function, that's all! That issue of Dr. Dobb's Journal
was particularly useful for me. I believe that issue taught me
how to use C++ template as well. I threw it away already and
cannot remember what exactly that issue was. In each of those
experience, dots in my brain were suddenly connected like a lightning
bolt. I am hoping I can give such an "Aha!" moment to my
students through my teaching.
And, thinking how I can explain concepts of programming so that I
can give them an "Aha!" moment is really a fun. I am really
hoping the Mechanical Engineering department will let me teach this
course for the next year and on.
Hummingbirds gone with the summer (again)
I was able to take some nice pictures of a Hummingbird. I
have uploaded them to the bird photo gallery.
PNG Encoder / Decoder for C++
I received a bug-report from a viewer, and I fixed it. The
problem was that my decoder was not processing single-color
transparency in interlaced 16-bit true color PNGs. I appreciate
the report. Good catch!
Bought iPod Touch.
I've been in a panic mode since the beginning of the fall semester.
Before that, my weekly schedule was simple, and I was able to remember
most of my schedule. But, I was not able to keep track after the
semester started. Occasionally, a student comes to my office,
and I answer questions, and I lost track of time. Once I noticed
it was 3:18pm when I was supposed to be in a meeting from 3pm. I
determined that I needed a PDA. On the same day, I went to
nearby Apple store and purchased the 64GB model of iPod touch. I
wanted 32GB model, but it was out of stock. The shop employee
suggested he could place a back order, but I desperately needed one.
So, I took the 64GB model. The first impression is good as
advertised. I installed free Solitaire. I am able to waste
time anytime anywhere. And, I almost always have access to a
wireless connection, I can now see weather radar while waiting for a
bus. (In fact, I really wanted to do it.)
Some of my friends suggested to get iPhone since my current carrier
is AT&T, but I still don't like the idea to combine PDA and cell
phone. If iPhone is totally SIM free and can work as a
stand-alone PDA when the SIM card is removed, I would take it.
But, I don't want to pay monthly phone bill to access my own
information. I don't like to rely too much on a cell phone
carrier. I want to be independent.
So, my choice had long been Palm. But, since Palm
discontinued the Palm OS PDA, I stopped using it about a year ago.
I was using a paper media for about a year. But, apparently once
my brain got used to PDA, I cannot live without one.
I have also been interested in writing iOS apps. I would try
on the XCode, and if it works, I would sign up for the iPhone
Developer program. (I want to port YSFLIGHT to iOS if possible.
But, currently I don't seem to have time. Maybe I can try making
a YSFLIGHT airplane viewer.)
Since I already have a cell-phone holster on my belt, I will carry
my iPod touch in a pouch hanging on a neck-strap. I don't need
to use iPod Touch while it is in the pouch. I am happy to take
it out when I need it. Rather, I wanted to have a better
protection in the crowded bus. So, I also purchased a digital
camera pouch, Lowepro Sausalito 20, and attached it to a neck strap
that I picked from the air-force booth in Dayton air show. I
also considered some silicon iPod cases with a neck strap, but I think
such a case may be torn apart if it catches on something (like someone
else's backpack). I paid $400 for it. I don't want it to
be broken. I want it to last for at least 5 years. One
concern would be battery life. I charged on Tuesday and got 20%
capacity in four days. Which leads to 90 times charge in a year.
I will charge about 450 times in five years. I hope the battery
capacity will not shrink too much by that.
My ideal device would be something that can conform to a laptop PC
and works as a secondary internal drive, or if I connect it to my
office PC it can be accessed at the native speed, and it works as a
stand-alone PDA when disconnected from the PC. When iPod Touch
supports native USB 3.0 connection, it would become close to my ideal
device. But, since the internal media is a Flash memory, it is
subject to the writing-time limit. I hope someone comes up with
a new Flash memory that can tolerate as many writing as a hard drive.
In fact I expect someone will do soon.
Cloud computing could solve my problem. But, with current
network speed, I don't want to compile my C++ source code on the
cloud. I want to access some type of data at the native
hard-disk speed. And, I am curious who takes responsibility if
my data on the cloud is leaked or lost. Some files cannot be
compensated by money, like if I lose my research code in the middle of
developing a new idea. Internet itself had spread over the world
by postponing a lot of discussions on responsibility issues and
potential risks. Now cloud computing is spreading just like
that. Trusting your information to someone else is nowadays same
as trusting your money to a bank. Money in the bank is insured
by FDIC. Information in the cloud is insured by whom? I
guess cloud computing will spread anyway. And, some of the users
will experience disaster. Then, someone will make better rules
and mechanisms. Then, I may start using cloud computing.
I installed a free Solitaire. I like Baker's
game included in Sol Free from Smallware (www.smallware.com)
Lowepro Sausalito 20. It looks perfect for
protecting iPod Touch.
screenshots from the work-in-progress version of YSFLIGHT
Although I haven't received too many requests regarding GUI of
YSFLIGHT, I am trying to improve the usage. I am trying tabbed
dialog in the work-in-progress version, and it seems to be working all
right. Since new weapon types are added in the next version,
airplane-selection dialog was getting crowded. I think this tab
feature makes the dialog organized.
Dayton Air Show 2010
I have uploaded
this year's Dayton air show.
PNG Encoder / Decoder for C++
Added PNG Encoder for C++. You can generate a PNG file
programatically by adding two C++ files and two .h files to your
project. And, as long as you take responsible for the
consequence of using my encoder and decoder, it is absolutely free.
I realized that my PNG encoder didn't calculate CRC code if it was
compiled with a 64-bit C++ compiler. The problem has been fixed.
Drawing a String of Characters using
OpenGL (Bitmap version)
Updated. Improved the font. It
should be more readable (less ugly) than the previous version.
Also added 6x10 and 7x10 fonts.
Bowling Young Adult League!
It has nothing to do with YSFLIGHT, airplanes,
programming, or bird watching, but our team has won in the play off of
the bowling league organized by the nearby bowling alley. It is
my second time to win the play off, but in the last time, I was not
able to bowl in the actual play-off games since I was out of town.
That time I pre-bowled and left my scores. This was my first
time that I bowled in the actual play-off games and won the trophy.
The rule of the play off was as follows. We bowl up to three
games each in semi-final and final. The team which wins two
games first moves up to the next level.
During the practice and warming up, I felt that the lanes were
better oiled, or wet, than usual. My ball was hitting the head
pin a little thinner than I wanted. I countered the oil by
slowing my shots. In such a wet condition, I can slow the
initial speed of the ball, but still the ball doesn't slow down much
while rolling on the lane due to less friction, so the ball can have
as much kinetic energy as faster shots at the time of impact.
The first game was really a close game. I was the last bowler,
and I needed double strikes to win. I don't get nervous usually.
Nonetheless, getting double strikes is not easy in any situation.
And, I ended up with getting "XX7" (double strikes and then 7 pins.)
Actually, I didn't check the score in detail before throwing these
shots. I knew I needed double strikes, but as soon as I had
double, I thought we easily won the game. But, it turned out we
beat the opponent team just by one pin. In the second game, I
had 202, and my teammates bowled well, but the other team bowled
better, and we lost. If I missed the last double strikes in the
first game, our team would have been out. The third game was not
so a close game. I had 224, and other teammates also bowled
well, and our team has won the game with good margin.
So our team moved up to the final. We had to move from lanes
3-4 to lanes 5-6. (To be fair, the opponent also moved from
lanes 1-2. So both teams didn't know about the lane condition.)
Our opponent was really a formidable team. In fact, they won the
first place in the regular season total. We lost by about 70
pins in the first game. The ace bowler of the opponent team made
248, and I made only 182. With that big loss, we were almost
losing hope. But, the second game, we managed to win. My
score was 185 by the way. The last game was another close game.
Our team had only 40-pin lead after the 9th frame. The opponent
team could have overturned the game if we made mistakes and they
didn't make a mistake. It turned out, our teammates (and myself)
didn't miss the spare in the 10th frame, and we were able to keep our
lead to win the trophy.
When I was younger, I was able to bowl 20 games in a row.
But, 6 games in a high-stress situation was very tiring. I am
spinning the ball a lot harder than I used to. Maybe that's why
my arm feels much more tired than before. Below picture is the
two trophies I have earned so far.
screenshots from the work-in-progress version of YSFLIGHT
I have uploaded some new screenshots. In the next version, you
will be able to use High-drag bombs, External fuel tanks, and
chaff/flare dispenser pods.
By the way, fall 2010 semester will begin in just about two weeks.
I'm going to teach a programming course, which I am looking forward
to. But, the student who was supposed to be a teaching assistant
cancelled last minute. The reason she wanted to cancel the TA
duty is understandable; she needs to study for her Ph.D qualifying
exam. But I wish she had cancelled it earlier so that we could
find someone else quickly. Now the department is looking for a
replacement TA. But, at this time I cannot have a meeting with a
TA for planning the course. Honestly, it's impossible to teach a
programming course effectively without a TA. Without a TA, what
I can do will be substantially limited. Another thing is the
Mechanical Engineering department outsourced computer cluster
management to the Electrical and Computer Engineering department, and
no one knows who to talk to if I want to have Visual C++ installed on
each computer in the Mechanical Engineering cluster. I'm
expecting a rough start of the semester....
Scenery Editor work in progress
The next version will be available for Windows, Mac OSX, and Linux.
I have ported all the current functionalities to the YSFLIGHT GUI
library and was able to compile the program on MacOSX and Linux today.
It still is iffy. I will test and correct issues.
in to Dayton Air Show!
I have visited Dayton air show by renting an airplane with my
instructor and another pilot friend. I have been wanting to fly
in to an air show. My dreams finally came true!
World's only airworthy B-29 "FiFi" will fly again!
Wow! Cool! I once saw it when I visited Allegheny County
airport for static display, but I didn't see it flying. I hope I
can see it flying in an air show in the near future. It would be
spectacular if this B-29 flies a formation with a B-1, B-2, or B-52 as
a heritage flight.
Uploaded "Re-gaining Instrument Currency". By the way, the
picture below is B-17 Flying Fortress that came to Allegheny County
airport for an event.
Uploaded some more screenshots from the next version.
The following link has been added. The information may be
useful if you have problem running YSFLIGHT for Linux.
Autoestopista Informatico - Installing and Running YSFLIGHT on Linux
Head Up Display and Instrument Panel Work In Progress
Head Up Display and Instrument Panel in the next version of
YSFLIGHT will look like these. (Read
Tragic deaths of baby Blue Jays
Sad to say, all three baby Blue Jays died for unknown reason.
The parent birds apparently were thinking their babies were just
sleeping and tapping their back to wake them up. But, none of
them opened eyes and answered to the parents. It was such a sad
ending of the Blue Jay family. I never saw such a case that all
of the baby birds died after surviving first several days. Of
course they are wild birds. Unless they survive harsh
environment, they just die. Nonetheless, the nest was in CMU
campus. Since people walk around, not much predators attack the
nest, and in my impression, almost all baby birds grow up to take off
the nest. I never thought I was going to witness such a tragedy
through my tele-photo lens.
Three Baby Blue Jays growing in front of Mechanical Engineering
Three baby Blue Jays are growing in front of Scaife Hall
(Mechanical Engineering building) of CMU. Hopefully, the baby
birds will leave the nest in 10 days or two weeks. I'm keeping
eye on it.
downs of Bowling
I've been bowling in
bowling league for a while. I will not be able to bowl in
the game day this week, and the league allows me to pre-bowl before
the game day. Today I pre-bowled, and renewed my best score.
My high was 252, and now is 267. I had eight strikes in a row in
the second game. I had no doubt I was going to get 600 series
(600+ three-game total score), but I ended up with getting 5 splits in
the third game, and missed it....
Scenery Editor Test Version
I have uploaded a test version of YSFLIGHT Scenery Editor. This
executable should work on Windows 7.
Three waves of
Pittsburgh was struck by three waves of thunderstorm late afternoon
to evening hours. The first storm was the strongest, and in fact
we were under tornado warning. We didn't see an actual tornado
though. The first wave was too early and too bright. I saw
spectacular lightning but was not able to take any good picture of it.
The second and the third waves came later, and the environment was
dark enough to take pictures of lightning.
Below pictures are from the storms today.
|The bar cloud in
front of the lightning was slowly spinning and passed above us.
I suppose this cloud failed to become a tornado. It could
have become a tornado if the wind shear was stronger and if it
reached the ground.
|I wish the cloud
hiding the lightning hadn't been there. It could have been
really a nice picture. The lightning struck a pole nearby my
|This is from the
second wave at around 8pm.
|This was from the
third wave at around 11:45pm.
Airplane Photo Gallery
from Seattle Trip. Only two days after returning from Chino,
we visited Seattle. I was originally planning to visit Japan
especially because it is 50th anniversary of Japanese Air Force's
Aerobatic Team, Blue Impulse. I really wanted to go to one of
air shows in Japan. However, Japanese yen is now too expensive,
and I had to give up Japan trip. Instead, I invited my parents
to the U.S. We met them in Seattle and then traveled to
Pittsburgh together. (Read
photos from Chino Air Show.
I visited Chino air show and uploaded photos from there. The air
show was hosted by the Planes
of Fame Air Museum, which has variety of restored historic
airplanes including a Japanese A6M5 Zero fighter. Zero fighters
dominated the sky over the Pacific in the early stage of World War II
and no doubt had significant impact on aviation history. I long
wanted to see it flying. (Click the pictures below to read
(By the way, during the trip, I was for the first time in my life,
I was carried to an ER in an ambulance.)
(13:54EDT Added Two Pictures)
YS's Flight Logbook
I'm a Commercial Pilot!
Honestly, I was almost losing hope to get it done this month since I
was going to be very busy for numerous events and trips in the last
half of this month. It was my very last chance in this month to
go for a check ride, and I made it! The weather finally gave a
break just in time. Finally, I am a Commercial Pilot!
YS's Flight Logbook
Alert Stand-by for Commercial Check Ride:
So, I had to cancel my check ride yesterday. The examiner will
call me whenever he finds some time, and I will scramble to the
airport and go for a check ride. (Isn't it called an alert
YS's Flight Logbook
Commercial Check Ride Pre-poned (and most likely
postponed again). Curse Pittsburgh's weather. Turned out,
the examiner needs to visit his family for mother's day, and he cannot
give me a check ride tomorrow. So, the schedule is moved ahead
by one day (,which is today). I am supposed to take off as soon
as the weather recovers. Right now, the sky is not too bad, but
the wind is blowing like a hurricane. The forecast is not
expecting any better condition through the day. I don't think I
can take off in this condition.
Birds around Carnegie Mellon
Uploaded some recent photos. I'm keeping track of multiple nests
of Blue Jays, Robins, and Mourning Doves now.
YS's Flight Logbook
I'm back on track. I flew 3.1 hours of night solo yesterday.
I am now absolutely certain that I satisfy all the flight-experience
requirement to become a commercial pilot.
YS's Flight Logbook
Commercial check ride postponed. As I was double-checking my
logbook, it turned out I am 3 hours short of night solo flying time to
be eligible to go for a commercial-pilot certificate. I'll fly
on Tuesday and Wednesday to fulfill the requirement and will go for
the test again, hopefully in a week.
YS's Flight Logbook
My commercial check ride is set for May 1st. The forecast is
predicting poor weather, but if I cannot fly on that day, I will have
oral exam only and will fly on a different day.
20100331 Ready for Download!
Thank you for your patience. YSFLIGHT 20100331 Official
Version is ready for download. I have receive many bug reports
from users during the testing period. I appreciate your help on
debugging the program from my heart. You can download the latest
version from here.
YS's Flight Logbook
Uploaded "Barely passed the Commercial Stage Check". It was an
YS's Flight Logbook
Uploaded "A fox on the runway." (This fox violated the Federal
YS's Flight Logbook
Uploaded "Gearing up for the Commercial-Pilot Stage Check."
Birds around Carnegie Mellon
Uploaded "Birds are coming back!"
Vector Award Result
YSFLIGHT was at the 50th place among 100 software nominated for
the final-round voting. Considering the number of
flight-simulator players among all PC game users, I think getting 50th
place among all software programs (not limited to game programs) was a
very good result. Thank you very much for your vote!
Vector Award Final-Round Voting
A few months ago, Vector Inc.
started a popularity contest called "Vector Award" competition, which
decides the most popular software among the ones hosted by its
software library. Vector
is the biggest software-download site of Japan, and I have been using
its hosting service to distribute YSFLIGHT. And, YSFLIGHT is
nominated for the final-round voting. It means that YSFLIGHT is
within top 100th of all the software programs hosted by
Vector. Considering that
the percentage of population of flight-simulator users among all
PC-game users, I think YSFLIGHT is doing very well in the competition.
The final-round voting is open through March 15. Vector is a
Japanese company, and the voting site is written in Japanese.
Unfortunately there is no English version of the voting page.
But, if you can read Japanese, please vote for YSFLIGHT from the
following link. (In fact, it's just one button click though)
I have received numerous E-Mails saying GepolyX stopped
I wrote this program before coming to CMU. If I hadn't come
to CMU, I would have continued the development (but in that case,
YSFLIGHT would have never born). But, since my research topic
here became very different from what I was doing back in Japan, I
discontinued the development of this program. So, I cannot spend
time to add functionalities of improve the usability of this program
at this time. Nonetheless, I appreciate that some users still
use a program that I wrote long time ago. I don't know why this
program stopped functioning now, but it would work again if I compile
the code with the latest version of Visual C++. I compiled the
program with Visual C++ 2008 Express Edition. You can download
the executable from here.
Uploaded "YSFLIGHT Status Update".
I also decided to upgrade YSFLIGHT for Linux and Windows with new
release of YSFLIGHT for Mac OS X. They are now in test phase and
available from YSFLIGHT Test
Are we still in State of Emergency?
I haven't heard that the local government canceled the state of
emergency. But, finally I was able to drive my car. The
road condition was gradually getting better, but to be safe, I didn't
drive for two weeks. I still see snows on the road shoulder and
in some places I feel dangerous to drive. But, finally the
temperature came above freezing since yesterday, and the snow started
melting by itself.
Following photos are from several days ago.
YS's Flight Logbook
Uploaded "Landing Practice at Beaver"
Pittsburgh under State of Emergency
We had record-breaking snow fall from last night to this morning.
According to the local TV news, it was fourth largest snow in history.
Snow started falling in the afternoon yesterday, and by 9pm, the road
was covered by snow.
|At around 9pm.
Plow trucks apparently were too busy dealing with free ways, and
didn't come to in front of my apartment. Some trucks passed, but
they were either out of salt or was not plowing and just drove by.
Plow trucks were not able to keep up with the snow fall.
|In the morning.
Still even I-376 was snow covered.
It is hard to see from the photos, but Morrowfield is a steep
slope, and in this condition, there was no way to drive through.
If I go up, I will stop in the middle. If I go down, I
cannot stop until I hit the bottom.
Since I need to drive down Morrowfield ave. to go anywhere, I
couldn't move my car. In fact, the road in front of the garage
was also covered by roughly 2ft of snow, and I was not able to even
reach Morrowfield ave.
|Top-center area of this picture
is I-376 near Squirrel Hill Eastbound entrance.
Early afternoon, finally they were able to remove snow from I-376.
Below are the photos I took when I walked from my apartment to Forbes
+ Murray intersection.
Actually, the sky cleared very quickly as soon as the snow stopped.
|Morrowfield still covered by
As of tonight, the road in front of the garage is still covered by
2ft of snow. I cannot get my car out, and even if I could, I
don't want ski down Morrowfield ave. in my car. So, still I
cannot use my car. The bus is not moving, either.
Pittsburgh is totally paralyzed, and the city is under state of
emergency. I hope things gets normal soon.
I was supposed to bowl in a league tonight. I called the bowling
alley to ask if the league is on or cancelled, but no one answered.
The bowling alley is just 5 minutes walk from my apartment. So,
I just walked there anyway, and figured that the road behind the place
was still totally covered by snow, and I couldn't even reach the door.
I presumed the league game was cancelled and came back.
Below photo has nothing to do with this snow storm, but it looked
beautiful. I tried to look up the cloud in my aviation-weather
textbook, but I was not able to identify it. I think this type
of wave-like cloud has something to do with turbulence. In fact
AIRMET-T (turbulence) was in effect when I took this photo. I
flew on this day though. I didn't go up as high as this cloud
anyway. I went up to 6000ft, but the air at 6000ft was stable.
Apparently, the air was turbulent at high altitude and low altitude.
Joystick-reading function and Joystick calibrator
Updated so that it works on Mac OS 10.6.
YSFLIGHT for Mac OS X
I believe now it can read joystick in Mac OS 10.6. Also, I have
added some visual effects.
YS's Flight Logbook
Uploaded "First flight of the year (Finally!)"
YSFLIGHT for Mac OS X
Now the program can detect control-key stroke. You can use
in-flight configuration change with the default key binding.
Close Encounter of the Mac Programming
How to detect Alt-, Command-, Shift-, and Control-key strokes.
Those keys are called modifier keys. Also,
OS X Programming Framework for Minimalists has been updated so that
FsInkey and FsGetKeyState functions can detect modifier keys.
Happy New Year!
I was able to relax during the new year's day weekend. I will
resume normal schedule tomorrow. I suppose no students will be
coming yet though.
I went to an event called Hartwood Celebration of Light last night.
It is an annual event in which we can drive through enormous light
illuminations that are set up throughout a park called Hartwood Acres.
It takes about 40 minutes to drive through. I used
my suction mount and
took a video of the illuminations. Following pictures are the
snap shots from the video.
In fact, I thought it would be nice to see it from the air, and I
tried to fly over Hartwood
Acres once. But, I suppose this event is set up so that it
appears the best from the car. It was even difficult just to
find the location from the air. This time I noticed that many
light bulbs are tied to the tree branches to make a visual effect of
driving through a light tunnel. Such illuminations will not be
visible from the air because high branches will block the light.
This time we were able to enjoy impressive light illuminations from
Links to the last articles of 2009