Posts with mood accomplished (19)

PictureNotes: new Windows Phone app submitted! and on omitting features
Mood: accomplished
Posted on 2012-12-02 00:08:00
Tags: essay windowsphone projects
Words: 172

I just submitted the app I've been working on, PictureNotes, to the Windows Phone Store!

The idea is that if you're on vacation or somewhere you're taking a lot of photos, you can write captions or record voice notes right then. (I got the idea when we were on vacation and I took a lot of photos :-) )

I originally imagined the app as a Lens app (which is new in Windows Phone 8), but I ran into some issues with orientation changes - the live picture from the camera kept moving around. It mostly worked, but it was not a great user experience and since you can get most of the functionality by editing existing photos, I decided it wasn't worth making the app look bad by including the Lens part. (of course, now that I think about it I might have a way to fix it...maybe for the next version!)

Anyway, I don't think it'll be useful for that many people, but it will be useful for me, and that's good enough.


Italy recap: Day 9 (Il Duomo, Santa Croce)
Mood: accomplished
Posted on 2012-10-10 21:53:00
Tags: pictures travel
Words: 323

(click for more)

Monday 5:30 PM
OK, I'll admit it - I'm starting to suffer from art fatigue. I feel bad thinking "Ho hum, another beautiful 15th century piece" or "Yup, there's a majestic cathedral built 400 years ago; I wonder if there's a cafe nearby?" (actually, that one doesn't happen - there's always a cafe nearby!) Breakfast at this hotel is quite good - nice selection of teas and delicious muesli cereal with low-fat milk (I'm really not used to whole milk). We walked to il Duomo, the giant dome on the church of Santa Maria del Fiore and looked inside but didn't climb up the 200+ steps to get to the top.

Then we saw the Bargello museum which was decent - had some nice ivory pieces as well as some beautiful ceramic plates. (sadly, this was where art fatigue started to set in) After lunch we walked out to Santa Croce, a big cathedral with memorials to famous Florentinias, I'm guessing. Michaelangelo and Dante made sense, but I was surprised to see Galileo (I wonder if it was constructed after the church pardoned him?) and Macchiavelli(!).

On the way in, we saw a painting at an art stand that matched our living room nicely, but it turned out to be quite pricey. Oh well.

Did a lot of walking today so we've been reading and relaxing at the hotel - we're out on the terrace right now.

Something happened to my Kindle and the screen doesn't seem to work - not a big deal now as I can use my phone, but I'd really like to have it for the plane trips. Will do some research when I have WiFi later...

11:30 PM
Kindle's fine, just needed to reset it. I may have been a little grumpy before, but - one thing I will never tire of is pizza/pasta for dinner and lingering at meals and reading because we have nowhere in particular to be. Good times!


FitCalendar - the Fitbit data you (I?) care about!
Mood: accomplished
Posted on 2012-03-17 19:55:00
Tags: projects
Words: 145

I've had a Fitbit for a while now, and it's been motivating me to get my 70,000 steps a week. Unfortunately the Fitbit dashboard page is nice, but it's not easy to tell how many steps I'm ahead/behind for the week, or if I've made my goal in previous weeks.

So I decided to roll together FitCalendar to fix that. Here's my report - a quick view of whether I'm ahead or behind this week (and by how much), and whether I made my goal or not previous weeks.

For now, it's just a Python script and it doesn't run automatically or anything. I'm considering whether to make a whole app out of this, but I'm not sure I'm going to bother - having a live tile with this data would be nice, but not that much nicer given the effort it takes to make an app...


Debugging Windows Phone scheduled tasks
Mood: accomplished
Posted on 2012-02-26 14:43:00
Tags: essay windowsphone projects programming
Words: 641

I was about ready to release a beta for FlightPredictor, and then I realized that the scheduled task that updated the flights that are pinned to live tiles (a key feature of the app) was horribly, horribly broken. The reasons I'd been putting off dealing with this are:
- I have a WiFi only device, and so whenever it wakes up from sleep it has to reconnect to the WiFi, and I assumed this was why the tiles didn't update very often. But this is a pretty poor excuse, and turned out to be a little true but didn't account for many of the problems.
- I had trouble finding good ways to debug the scheduled task to figure out what was going on.

So, here are the three things I did to make debugging scheduled tasks a snap! (or, at least, possible)

1. ScheduledActionService.LaunchForTest: One thing that makes dealing with scheduled tasks difficult is that they have pretty tight restrictions - the PeriodicTask that I'm using can't use more than 6 MB of memory, or take more time than 25 seconds, and it only runs every 30 minutes. This last point would make debugging unbelievably annoying - luckily, you can call ScheduledActionService.LaunchForTest in a debug build to make it launch in a minute, or however much time you want.

For some reason, after a while of debugging on an emulator instance this call seems to stop working for me, and I had kinda forgotten that it ever worked at all, so I used it early in development but not since then. But it really does work, and if it stops working, just close and relaunch the emulator! This is a great way when you absolutely, positively have to step through code and see what's going on.

2. Little Watson - Andy Pennell blogged about this, and I had had it recommended to me but hadn't bothered to include it until a week ago. If your application crashes, you can capture the call stack, and then the next time the app is launched you can give the option to email you the stack trace. This is awesome for hard-to-track-down crashes, although I wish the call stack had a little more information. What Andy didn't talk about is the fact you can use this to capture call stacks if your scheduled task crashes! I turned this on yesterday and have already tracked down a few crashes I didn't know were happening - I was hitting the memory limit and not even realizing it...

3. ScheduledTaskLogger - This is my own creation - it's basically a way to log a bunch of data while your scheduled task is running, and then view it later in the main app. This helped me to find a glaring error in my update code (note to self: always look up the return value of CompareTo(), as I've gotten it wrong at least five times now...), and I'm hoping it can help me catch any other issues that arise.

Here are the code files for ScheduledTaskLogger:
- ScheduledTaskLogger.cs - This logs data while the scheduled task is running. You can set how many logs to keep, and also whether it writes out to file after every log message - probably not a good idea for release, but useful if there's a problem that's causing a crash. I also try to save the log in ScheduledAgent_UnhandledException.
- ScheduledTaskLog.xaml and ScheduledTaskLog.xaml.cs - these are the views in the main app that you can use to view the logs. There's also a button to email a particular log to support, although I need to add one that emails of all logs.

Edit: I added this code to the Nokia Developer Wiki.


Anyhow, I've squished a bunch of bugs and am on the lookout for more. I was kind of dreading trying to figure out what was going wrong, but good tools make everything easier!

1 comment

Palm Developer Day trip: Day 3
Mood: accomplished
Posted on 2010-04-27 22:53:00
Tags: pictures palm travel
Words: 450

The plan was to wake up at 8:15, which would give me enough time to get ready, check out, eat breakfast, and walk the .8 miles to the Caltrain station to catch the 9:34 to San Jose.

Everything was going well - I was out the door at 9, which should have been just enough time. I took a few wrong turns but still manager to arrive at around 9:31, figured out how to buy a ticket, and then saw there were two tracks. I saw a sign that seemed to imply the first set was for express trains, so I crossed to the other side behind some other people and looked around a little. Just then a train started to arrive, and the little pedestrian gates closed so I couldn't get back to the other side, and lo and behold I was on the wrong side. (later confirmed by an actual sign) So I had to wait an hour for the next one. And just a few minutes later the limo from my hotel pulled up and (presumably) dropped someone off. That would have saved a lot of walking.

Caught the next Caltrain (which was very loud and big) to San Jose, and then had to wait for the light rain to downtown, which wasn't too far but I wasn't sure I could walk under the freeway. The Caltrain runs every hour on weekends and the light rain runs every half hour, so I had a lot less time than I planned in the city.

Which turned out OK because I was tired of walking around. I checked out the Tech Museum of Innovation (pretty neat museum, especially for kids) and had a nice lunch at a local cafe, with tea even! It was still an hour until I had to catch the light rain but I convinced myself to at least walk along an island to the art museum, which was nice. It was still early but I didn't want to tire myself out before having to walk back to the hotel, so I went to the light rail station and promptly got on the wrong train. Easy enough to get off and take one the other direction, but I just missed the real train so I had to burn another half an hour sitting and reading. Arrived back at the hotel uneventfully but thirstily (was a little chilly in the morning with no sweatshirt, was a little warm in the afternoon) - and what kind of hotel doesn't have a water fountain in the lobby? The desk clerk helpfully informed me that there were water bottles in the minibars.

Thus ends the trip wrapup; pictures are all up now:


official wedding pictures up! and yogurt
Mood: accomplished
Posted on 2010-04-13 10:58:00
Tags: pictures wedding food
Words: 229

Our official wedding pictures are finally up! Thanks again to Eric Hegwer, who did a great job photographing the event. I went a little crazy posting pictures (119 in total) because so many of them were so good, so don't feel obligated to look at all of them :-) If you're interested in a DVD with all 400+ pictures, let me know.

Yesterday I tried Sushi Zushi in the Domain for lunch. They had a wide selection of "real" sushi, but I just went for a Bento Box as I'm very inexperienced (I like California rolls but I've tried very little else). The meal was decent - (the miso soup was particularly good) but some of the stuff in the box was a little too weird to me. And it was fairly pricey - $14. But if you're a big sushi fan, they have a good selection and it's a nice place...

Anyway, on the way there I walked by Yogurt Planet, which is one of those "dispense your own yogurt and add toppings and pay by the ounce" type places. It looked like fun so I got one on my way out. It was amazingly delicious! I had fat-free mango yogurt with fresh blueberry, blackberry, mango and pineapple on top, as well as cookie dough bits and caramel. Seriously, check out the toppings on their site - it will make you hungry!


LJ for WebOS released!
Mood: accomplished
Posted on 2010-02-01 10:50:00
Tags: lj for webos projects programming
Words: 57

I'm happy to announce that my LiveJournal client for WebOS devices has just been released on the Palm App Catalog! It includes support for:
- viewing your friends post and own posts
- making posts with custom security, userpics, and tags
- uploading photos to and including them in posts
- viewing cached posts offline

Here's the official home page.


origami success!...mostly
Mood: accomplished
Posted on 2009-11-13 11:08:00
Tags: origami gay politics links
Words: 139

After a few hours of assembling, here's what I ended up with:

(more pictures behind the link) It's pretty unwieldly...hopefully it will survive on my desk for a little while.


- I've seen this around, but this support for same-sex marriage by age and state is pretty striking. Hopefully the 18-29 crowd will keep their opinion as they age :-)

- A US interstate map drawn like the London tube map. Really, I'm a sucker for anything that looks like a London tube map :-)

- Anyone else use Steepster? It's a neat way to keep track of teas and stuff. I might start recording ones I like...

- Because of some of the issues with Obama/the DNC I mentioned, a DNC donor boycott is being launched by the people at AmericaBlog. I signed up, although I don't know if I'll stick with it.

1 comment

Honeymoon quick wrapup
Mood: accomplished
Posted on 2009-08-08 18:24:00
Tags: pictures honeymoon travel
Words: 114

We had a very nice honeymoon. Hawaii is a really beautiful place. Maui is great for relaxing and sightseeing, and Oahu seems nice for shopping and whatnot.

We kept too busy on Maui. I don't regret anything in particular that we did, but we should have scheduled fewer activities and had more relaxing/recovery time. It's been a while since we had a vacation that we planned for ourselves, so hopefully we'll remember it for next time.

Amazingly, I didn't get seriously sunburned!

Stuff we didn't do this time but I'd like to do next time:
Maui: Surfing lessons, parasailing
Oahu: Polynesian Cultural Center, swimming with the dolphins at Sea Life Park

Full honeymoon pictures:


final musical notes
Mood: accomplished
Posted on 2008-08-11 09:17:00
Tags: asmc
Words: 255

notes...get it? (BOOs from offstage) ...Hmm, didn't like that one, huh?

I woke up a bit cranky and tired for our last two shows yesterday, and despite having a nice relaxing time in the guy's dressing room was kinda meh even up until the overture. (it didn't help that the audience, not even applauding at the end of the overture, sounded pretty dead) Once we got going, though, I felt really comfortable and the show went really well, probably our best one of the run. (the audience did laugh some, but they made us work for it!) The next show also went really well, and our wonderful crew was striking the set even as the show was going on. It was pretty weird having fewer and fewer props backstage every time I left the stage :-) We finished striking the set and a nice cast party followed at Spaghetti Warehouse.

Thanks to all y'all who could make it - it really makes it more exciting to have people you know in the audience.

All in all, I had a good time - the best part is at the end, when the lines and blocking and music and choreography is pretty rock-solid and I can really try to channel my character. I had a rougher time at rehearsals this year than usual, possibly due to the compressed schedule. Also, my feet still hurt and there may be something wrong with my left big toe (hurts to walk without shoes).

Next up - vacation with my family in Maine from Wednesday-Saturday!


SxSW music
Mood: accomplished
Music: Bodies of Water - "I Guess I'll Forget the Sound, I Guess, I Guess"
Posted on 2008-03-25 10:19:00
Tags: health music links
Words: 262

Bands coming to South by Southwest (never been - gotta make it one of these years!) can release a free MP3. Paul Ford listened to all 763(!) of them and gave them six-word reviews. (short interview in the Houston Press, in which the interviewer mentioned he once listened to 24 hours straight of Houston radio, changing the station every 3 minutes) It even manages to be pretty amusing along the way.

If you're looking for a distraction, you could do a lot worse than listen to the 4 and 5 circles tunes. I was going to listen to all of them and pick my favorites, but I'm really busy now apparently, so here are the ones I got to listen to and liked.

* Creature - Brigitte Bardot - Didn't like them quite as much as Paul. Reminds me of Freezepop.
* Alabama3 - Woke Up This Morning - it's the Sopranos theme! I loooove that guy's voice - nice deep baritone.
* Wisely - Through Any Window - catchy guitar and vocals.
* Album - Stab You - "Mexican alt-rock" is a pretty good description.
* Black Tie Dynasty - Tender - as promised, kinda 80s-ish.
* The BoDeans - Everyday - nice guitar backing, sounds...good. (this is why I don't review albums)
* Bodies of Water - I Guess I'll Forget the Sound, I Guess, I Guess - interesting mix of choral folk singing and jamming and stuff. Nice harmonies. Very very good!
* Chiwoniso - Kurima - catchy African drumming and xylophone and guitar and stuff.
* Dr. Dog - The Girl - interesting Beatles-esque sound.

Also, randomly: this neat where you can share your experience with drugs/treatments. Article in NY Times about it.

(all via


accomplishments this weekend
Mood: accomplished
Posted on 2008-02-25 10:14:00
Words: 222

- Voted! (FYI: the Northcross Mall location is closed because of construction, but there's another place around the corner. Northcross is the mall that's on Anderson, right? I get that and Highland Mall confused.)

- Picked up my laptop with a new keyboard. It works! Check plus for service at the Apple Store.

- Went to fairydust1's game night, which was fun and relaxing.

- Took out the sink in our house in preparation for new countertops Friday. (taking the day off to wait for them) Cleaned the bathrooms and we even touched up the paint in the living room.

- djedi installed Ubuntu on his laptop and we (after only two hours!) got wireless working. (hint for future: use ndiswrapper, and don't forget to modprobe wlan0!)

- Finally fixed my stupid Django problem. (hint for future: if you need an int, use int())

- Set up cable/internet at the house for Friday.

- Played hours of the new Smash Bros, which may make the actual release less exciting, but that's OK. It were fun.

Things to do this week:

- Host game night Wednesday
- Set up homeowner's association automatic payment
- Get a car charger for my phone, which even though it's new barely lasts for two days between charges.
- Make some progress on non-work projects. Think about setting up a map of good lunch places.
- Watch more Lost? I dunno.

1 comment

Look what we can do!
Mood: accomplished
Posted on 2007-03-09 09:07:00
Tags: pictures worldofwarcraft programming
Words: 242

Last night, I accomplished the following things:

- grocery shopping
- mole check
- wrote a script to download data from the World of Warcraft Armory, and set it up to download every guild member's stats nightly. At some point I'll do something neat with the data. (to do this I used the new Python XML library elementtree, which is better than the builtin stuff, but not nearly as nice as e4x) I had to solve a bit of a mystery - when I would fetch the URL in Firefox and the HTML page would show up, but I could view source and see the raw XML data that I wanted. When I fetched it with wget or curl, I would always get the HTML page, not the XML data. The key is to fake out the user-agent: I guess if it thinks you support the fancy XML processing it does (with XSLT, I think?) it will give you the data, otherwise it gives you standard HTML any browser can handle. Neat idea, I guess.
- fixed my automatic bookmark backup script (the API had changed a little).
- seemingly fixed the problems with sending email from my computer, although it still complains that it can't write to the log file.
- put up a (very) few pictures.
- updated my backup script to back up some more databases

A lot of this stuff had been hanging over my head for a while, so I feel great today!


Done and done...and I mean done!
Mood: accomplished
Posted on 2007-02-05 08:54:00
Tags: microresolution
Words: 208

My most recently expiring microresolution was to make 5 hand copies of the letter and put up wedding pictures. Success! I wrote the five copies over the weekend (while watching "Heroes" and the Super Bowl), and the letter still seems good (mostly because there's no way I'm writing it another five times!) Next up - getting addresses for people (wonderjess, can you help when you get a chance? It's not too immediate or anything...) and such. I also put up Leigh Ann's wedding pictures (I took more than 100, so this took a bit longer than I had thought) and I just need to let djedi's family know. Many of the pictures didn't turn out that great due to lighting conditions and my poor timing, but I did the best I could. I also installed a "Shopping Cart" module to my gallery, so you can select an album or a bunch of pictures and download them as a zip file for your convenience.

My auctioneer microresolution is also coming along nicely - it returns basic data and I just need to add the more detailed statistics, which looks like it shouldn't be too hard. (the data's in mostly the same format, just the names have changed...perhaps to protect the innocent?)


more netflixing
Mood: accomplished
Posted on 2006-10-05 09:35:00
Tags: netflixprize
Words: 152

So I submitted my first entry last night - it did poorly, of course, but at least I'm on the Leaderboard! (I'm "teamgreg" because I really didn't want to think of a name) Crunched some more numbers last night in support of my next submission, which I have to wait a week for. It's a little annoying that just reading in all 100 million entries takes, at a minimum, 40 minutes (not to mention any processing, but that's all been pretty quick so far), although it works decently if we're doing other things that I can start a run of that and then get back to something else. As long as that "something else" isn't WoW, because it really sloooows my computer down. :-)

I'm impressed one team already has a RMSE (root mean squared error) of .9571, which is within spitting distance of .9474, which is how Netflix's algorithm does on the data.


pictures, actually
Mood: accomplished
Posted on 2006-09-25 22:50:00
Tags: pictures
Words: 18

Yay pictures! My humblest apologies for the long delay. Here are apartment pictures, sightseeing-ish pictures, and Philadelphia pictures.


Victory over the MVA!
Mood: accomplished
Posted on 2006-09-08 15:57:00
Words: 745

(Texas:DPS::Maryland:MVA) So today was MVA day. The hope was we could both get driver's licenses and I could get my car registered and license plates and all that. We got going a little late (*wink*) and got to the nearest (as far I as I could tell) place that did that stuff, which is 20 minutes or so away.

Back story: To get your MD driver's license (fun fact: the state tree is the White Oak!), you need, among other things, two proofs of your new address. One of these could be the leasing contract with the apartment (check!) and the only other possibility we had for the other was a bill sent to our address. Well, most of the stuff this time around is in David's name, so he was set with a Comcast bill, but I had...less good options. So, to cover my bases and give myself the best chance of getting a license today, I brought:
- A City of Austin electricity bill (sketchy because it's not a local utility. Also, when I said "Swift Stream Place" over the phone, the woman entered "Swist Stream Place" without even asking if the first word was actually any sort of English word. So the address is off by one letter.)
- A Janus notification sent to my old address that I had changed my address to the new one (sketchy because it was addressed to the old address)
- An envelope that a Bank of America statement came in that showed it had been forwarded to our new address (sketchy because nowhere on the statement does it say anything about our new address)

So I wasn't sure I would be able to get a license, but at least I would be able to get my car registered and David would get his license.

I was a little worked up and anxious on the way there when David discovered that you actually do need a Maryland driver's license to register a car. Crap! So it's possible this whole trip will be wasted for me.

We find our way there and enter the separate building where the driver's licenses are being done. We take a number (A38 and A39) and stand around, for there are no seats (seats opened up 20 minutes later or so). The MVA is not a terribly interesting place, so I'll skip the intervening 2.5 hours(!) that we waited. Oh, and we were in a hurry so forgot to bring a book or anything to do. Whee.

Anyway, so it's 12:45 or so and finally I get called, and right afterwards David gets called. The moment of truth! I explain that I need a MD license to my clerk, a lady who is kinda slow-moving and talkative, but seems friendly enough. I decided to lead off with the utility bill since it's actually a bill. She looked at it and was confused at first, but when I explained it was an electricity bill she moved on. Yay!!

So we're going through the process, and it gets to the point where she's entering my Maryland address. Since we only have one copy of the lease, we're sharing it, and David's clerk is looking at it now, so she uses the electricity bill to enter the address. Uh-oh. Decision time: should I let this go and be doomed to a driver's license that has a slightly incorrect address, or should I point out that the address on the bill is wrong and risk her rejecting it as a proof of address? Thinking that she seemed pretty laid-back, I pointed out that the address was wrong, to which she replied that she couldn't use it. Crap!

I go to my second choice of address proof - the forwarded address letter from Bank of America, which she looks at and says is fine. So disaster is averted!

Anyway, the rest of it went fine, and I have a shiny new Maryland driver's license, which is awesome. We decided that djedi would go grab lunch for us while I waited in line for the title and registration. Anyway, the rest of that was relatively uneventful - an hour and a half later we had eaten lunch and I had license plates and registration for my car. So that's what we accomplished today.

Tonight we're going to the Games Club of America meeting here. Dinner's provided, which is pretty neat. I'm excited but nervous about meeting new people. We'll see how it goes!


1099Q? WTF??
Mood: accomplished
Music: Sonya Kitchell - "Too Beautiful"
Posted on 2006-04-13 14:37:00
Tags: taxcenter
Words: 274

So, I volunteered at the tax center for the last time last night. Going in to the night, I was a little disappointed with the experience this year as opposed to last year - our site (Goodwill) tended to be less busy than the one we worked at last year, especially by the time I got there, so I did a lot fewer returns this year. And I translated a fair bit more Spanish, which was fun but stressful and I'm not very good at it.

But, as expected, there were a ton of people yesterday. There was a small lull right around dinnertime, but I got there at 5:15 and didn't leave until 9:45 (the center closes at 9). I did a bunch of returns and a lot of translating too. By the end, I was exhausted but happy; I had helped a lot of people, including a few that had gone to commercial tax preparers last year (so I was saving them money as well). I also discovered what a 1099Q form is (disbursement from an educational fund of some sort), and that the earnings aren't taxable. Whee!

I'm a little sad we most likely won't be around next year to work there, but I'm hoping we find something similar wherever we end up (and I suspect we will, since the program is run by the IRS). Anyway, if you're looking for a volunteerish activity next November or so (which is when the training is), I'd highly recommend it - you get to help people face-to-face, it really isn't terribly difficult, and you can learn more about taxes and such :-)

(and djedi's back - yay!)

1 comment

Yes, I'm still around...
Mood: accomplished
Music: Tori Amos - "Raspberry Swirl"
Posted on 2005-05-10 15:01:00
Words: 254

Wow, it's been a while since I've posted "for real". I guess I've been busy, and at the same time, not much has inspired me to post. *shrug*

djedi talked about our weekend some already, so check it out. The Drafthouse was a lot of fun - apparently they're going to be showing the Wizard of Oz and playing Dark Side of the Moon there (syncing them up). This sounds wicked cool, and it's something I've heard about and always wanted to try. So maybe I'll convince some people to go :-)

Game night at Todd's last night was fun - wildrice13 and quijax (who's staying with us for a while) headed down there with me, and we played a quick game of the Pipe Game, followed by a Star Wars Epic Duel (that was pretty epic...). We capped off the late night with a game of the Big Idea - neither one of them had played before, and the group of people playing (us 3, Todd, and onefishclappin) was a pretty good group. I certainly enjoyed it!

Work is going decently today...kind of a "try something, see if it works (which it probably won't), try to fix it, etc." sort of day. But there's a light at the end of the tunnel at least...maybe even before I leave work.

I'm still a bit tired from last night, but I'm feeling pretty good in general. I've been a little more moody than usual lately - don't know why, really. I'm sure it'll come and go...

Have a nice day!


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