dracodraconis: (Default)
Still recovering and trying to work through a backlog of feeds.

Next, off to San Diego on Saturday for a presentation to Videometrics X, then a full day of training on surface reflectance measurement techniques. I should be back on the country by Thursday (My flight goes through Chicago with only an hour between flights so I could spend another overnight there if anything breaks down).

Also: Southern hospitality is not just a myth. All the people I met in Louisville, Kentucky were friendly and helpful. Same goes for the conference (CMSC: Coordinate Metrology Systems Conference), one of the friendliest conferences I have attended in years. I'll have to see about going to it next year (in Reno, Nevada).

Postings this week will be intermittent, as they have been for the past 1.5 months (It's been a busy summer, and only half over).


Jun. 1st, 2009 04:40 pm
dracodraconis: (Default)
Now that travel (to Toronto, photos will be posted later) and visiting inlaws are finished, I should be able to get back to doing tech posts.

Also: Working on a post about High Dynamic Range which might appear if I feel it is sufficiently well written.


May. 22nd, 2009 01:19 pm
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Just returned from a trip to Toronto, but work on a paper (due today), then helping a friend demolish a dock, followed by the arrival of my in-laws means photos will be slow in being processed and tech posts will be sporadic.
dracodraconis: from Transmetropolitan (information)
Good news: I was surprised to discover that I've received a promotion to the next pay level, effective 1 June.

Mixed news: The workshop I was planning to attend in Washington has been canceled so I won't be travelling to the US. This does, however, mean that I have more flexibility in my vacation dates so can take that week off (it's a four-day work week in Ontario), and I don't have to navigate major airports during a swine flu outbreak (although there have been no reported cases in Washington).
dracodraconis: (Default)
No, I'm not dead yet.

I've been snowed under trying to finish some research for a conference paper (due shortly) so my usual posts have been interrupted. When I get home from a long day of coding, the last thing I've felt like doing is sitting in front of a computer. Regular posts will resume next week, perhaps more punctuated with absences as the arrival of spring gets me outside to do some photography (some of which I will post here).
dracodraconis: (Default)
Photos are up at Fotki and Facebook, so I'll try to put together a photo post/trip summary tomorrow (Monday). I should be able to pull a few from this set to put up on DeviantArt.

Meanwhile, back to work... I have a lot of work to get done and Friday I'm taking off so that [personal profile] ms_danson and I can go to a spa for our 10th wedding anniversary. Next week is going to be busy.

On a side note, I at least now know my French is sufficient to order food. We'll see what a week's semi-immersion training does for my language testing on Monday. I'm taking language training this fall and they need to determine what level I should start at.

Update #2

Aug. 23rd, 2008 09:30 am
dracodraconis: (Default)
I'm heading back to Ottawa today, with the usual brief stop in Montreal to change trains and a quick bite to eat. Hopefully I should have most of the photos processed by the time I get back, there being little else to do on the 6+ hours I'll be travelling. I'm doing most of the night-time photos as intensity-blends to maximize their impact. Unfortunately, most were taken at 1600 ISO so are noisy, but shooting at anything less resulted in too much blur. The exception are the couple of shots taken with the tripod, but I only used that on the last night.
dracodraconis: (Default)
I've been in Quebec City for the past week, getting my head filled up with the basics of how to use a massive 3D editing package called Polyworks. Much, much too much information to process properly, but it was very interesting, very useful, and well-presented. Many ideas now brewing for what we can do with it.

Once I get the photos processed I'll do a post summarizing some of the trip, at least the parts that don't involve sitting in a classroom.
dracodraconis: (Default)
After giving 3.0 a chance I've gone back to Firefox 2.0. The downgrade was simple, given I have plenty of disk space: I simply reinstalled 2.0 in a separate directory and all my add-ons (at least those that were 2.0 compatible) and bookmarks transferred without a hitch. The incompatibility with LJ was the break-point. I was constantly correcting javascript errors when cutting and pasting, making tech and photo posts a royal pain in the nether regions.

Now, back to Polyworks training. Yes, I'm procrastinating.
dracodraconis: (Default)
Subject says it all.

Going back to the lab now to play with lasers. I'll try to get a tech post out this afternoon because I ran across some interesting things that are going on in the research world.


Jun. 4th, 2008 03:56 pm
dracodraconis: (Default)
Very briefly:
- The diploma should have been signed on Friday, but until it arrives in the mail (I'm not attending the convocation... I'll be in Seattle) it still doesn't quite exist in my mind
- Why, after telling Carleton online and in person that I will not be attending the convocation do they still send me details on what will need to do when I go to the convocation. What is the point of telling them if they ignore it?
- My 2-year contract with NRC has been signed. I have also started on my first project which should keep me fairly busy for the next few months. No, I can't say what it is, but statistics figure largely.
- Headed to Seattle for 4 days next week to present at a conference. By now the presentation is getting to be old-hat, but at least this will be the last time I will have to present it.
- We are now looking for a house (freehold or condo) near NRC (hence the occasional post to that regard). It appears to be a buyer's market with housing prices dropping as the spring wears on. So far I have two agents courting us with offers, but we're not in a rush.
dracodraconis: (Default)
First, I picked up an new lens: Canon EF S55-250 mm with image stabilization (details on Digital Photography Review).

Normally image stabilization adds at least $300 to the price of a $200 to $300 lens, but this one was $50 more than the 55-200. I compared the 55-200, 70-300 and the 55-250 IS in the store and at ranges above 100mm the image stabilization REALLY makes a difference. I spent the afternoon shooting with it and was very impressed with how well it handled (photos soon.... I'm behind by two photo sessions with about 100 photos in each session).

Next, May is travel month.
- May 2nd to 8th I am in Boston with [personal profile] ms_danson while she attends a conference.
- May 10th to 18th I am in Victoria. This time she attends while I am at a conference. The first part of the week we will be at the Fairmont Empress, then moving to the Albion Manor.

June has me in Seattle from the 10th to the 14th of June at another conference.

Finally, here are a list of coming movies for the next few months from FirstShowing.net. Click on the image for the trailer.

May 2nd

May 16th

May 22nd

June 13th

June 20th

July 11th

July 18th

July 25th

August 1st
dracodraconis: (Default)
Today should finish the edits on the thesis (that would have been completed last week if I wasn't brain-fried from working on it constantly, resulting in my taking some "mental health" days). It now goes to my supervisor for review and, assuming few to no more edits, to the printers for copying and binding, then on to Graduate Studies to archive as they see fit. At that point, my work is done and I just wait for them to mail the diploma (No ceremony for me. Even if I had wanted to attend, and I don't, I will be in Seattle that day presenting at a conference).

Tech posts will resume either this weekend or next week, whenever I am not sick of staring at a computer screen.

Meanwhile, I have chainmail to work on in the Real World(tm).

Final news... Arthur C. Clarke died yesterday at the age of 90. Just so that you can see that I'm actually reading the news occasionally.
dracodraconis: (Default)
So far, two conference papers and a revised journal paper edited and submitted. Thursday will be devoted to editing the last journal paper, then finishing the powerpoint slides for my thesis defence.

Until then, tech posts are going to be scarce.
dracodraconis: (Default)
I have been accepted to the American Control Conference in Seattle, WA, which rounds out a very full spring of travel and presentations. It's considered a tough conference to get into (I've been there once before to present my Master's work), and each full paper is reviewed by three people in a related field. The comments were pretty good, so I should be able to fine-tune the submitted paper to address the problems they noted.

I will be sick of travel by the end of June.
dracodraconis: (Default)
The coming-of-age of 3D cinema - This one is, in fact relevant to one of the sessions I attended on the issues involved in generating cost-effective 3D versions of movies (such as Beowulf). There was, in fact, a full portion of the conference devoted to 3D cinema.

Nanonails go from hydrophobic to wettable at the flick of a switch - I covered this briefly a while ago. The surface is made up of nanoscopic "nails" that are normally upright so liquids roll right over them. Introduce a charge and the nails bend, allowing liquids to reach the surface. They plan to use them for self-cleaning surfaces and to extend battery life.

Gecko glue may let robots climb walls - The glue works in this way: as more lateral force is applied, more of the fibres make contact with the surface, increasing the cohesive force. Pull straight back and the fibres let go easily. The trick is that bending the fibres increases their attraction to the surface, but straightening them causes them to let go.

Just in time for the next solar cycle... cuts to UK space weather program - Major cuts to astronomy and physics are expected to make it difficult for UK scientist to handle solar storms that can wreak havoc on satellite-based systems such as GPS, communications systems, and remote sensing. This just as the next solar cycle appears to be warming up to unleash a barrage of solar storms.

Pope warns that science can be seductive - Specifically, he is concerned that our science-oriented culture will forget to respect humanity in it's drive toward progress.

Caffiene can boost sugar levels in diabetics - The study found that caffiene can disrupt the glucose metabolic cycle, throwing glucose levels out of whack. For most of us that is not a huge problem, but for diabetics it can make it difficult for them to properly control their glucose levels.

Time to go into the next session: 3D rendering of the solar system
dracodraconis: (Default)
Made it to San Jose, arriving at 9:30 local time (12:30 Ottawa time) in light rain. Although the airline said they sold food, they appear to have forgotten to offer it, or more specifically, I didn't know I had to ask for it when they were handing out drinks. United is not a bad airline (staff is good and they seem to be doing the best they can under the circumstances) but the lack of food on a 6 hour flight was not pleasant. Fortunately, although the kitchen was closing at the Marriott where I was staying, they made a sandwich and put together a tray for me. I had ended up arriving at the hotel a bit later than expected because there is another Marriott closer to the airport so I ended up going there first by accident. The staff there were very helpful and put me in a taxi that got me to the right place.

Day 1 of the conference is interesting. I presented my paper as the last session in the afternoon in my section. There are several 3D imaging sections so I missed the 3D-displays presentations in favour of the data acquisition sessions. Tomorrow I'll float around a bit more between the sections. Monday and Tuesday have most of the things I want to see, so I can do some sight-seeing during the last two days.

I have photos on the camera from my room but I have to upload them. I have a night shot shot taken from my hotel window at three aperture stops so I'll convert them to HDR to see how that works. I also have a morning shot of the mountains in cloud, as well as a shot from later in the day when the sun finally emerged. Apparently the entire west coast has been hit with wet weather, coming down as rain in the south and snow in the north. It had been raining all last week and today was the first day of sun. A view out my window shows the cloud has come back, promising more rain, but it it expected to move off by Tuesday. By then I should be able to get some shots of the city from more than my hotel room.

Edit: Oh, and, in true Canadian fashion, I had to set the hotel room temperature on cool. The person who picked me up at the airport was saying that it's gotten cold the past few days. I just thought it was a comfortable temperature. I also, apparently, have no accent, except perhaps a hint of British (according to a gentleman from North Carolina that I spoke with at lunch).

Time to go find something for supper.

Brief post

Mar. 29th, 2007 05:10 pm
dracodraconis: (Default)
Freshly back from the land of the diseased, things are starting to, slowly be accomplished (hence, no tech posts until next week).

- The laptop died (hard drive motor) last week but is now back requiring only [livejournal.com profile] ms_danson to add the Airport Express software and associated passwords to get it back online. The data was not recoverable so we'll just rebuild from the backups that we have.
- The conference paper now reviewed by all co-authors and was submitted today after a last grammatical and spell check. I'll know in May whether it has been accepted, and if so whether it be poster and oration.
- I'm still working on a first pass of my survey paper, addressing concerns raised by my supervisor and identifying what things require experiments to demonstrate. Probably another week will see it off my desk again and back into the review process.
- I still have to put together another conference paper using the data I've collected. The method works fine and will become Step 1 in the process I've been developing for my thesis. The just-submitted paper constitutes Step 2 to Step 4. There are 13 steps in the process.
- I have put together the sketch of how the remainder of the thesis will go. Significant changes were required based on experimental results, but this should result in a more bullet-proof thesis without significantly affecting the timeline. No simulation is required anymore; everything will use real data.
dracodraconis: (Default)
As some of you may have noticed, there have been no tech posts since Thursday. So, time for an update on what has been keeping me busy:

- One journal paper finally back. A week or so of editing (adding a few simulations and such) should get it to the point of being publishable as a survey paper. The rule of thumb is that two journal papers equal one PhD (in my department), so getting that accepted somewhere is a good chunk of the way to completing my research

- Two more papers currently in review, probably for short papers in a couple of journals.

- One conference paper almost (as of today) completed. First pass editing done and two more co-authors have yet to have a look at it. The conference deadline is soon, so I'm hoping to have the paper into the submission process by week's end. Interestingly enough, as of today, they conference paper is already out of date because I've since improved the method(but have not tested the improvements in the lab)

- On the queue: a second conference paper (data has been collected) which will be written over the next two days. No conference for that one yet, but it will be ready for the next one that comes up.

- I've been bouncing in and out of the lab over the past few weeks, collecting gigabytes of image data to process. So far, the bugs have been worked out of the first part of the method, and the limitations have been identified theoretically and experimentally. Today's work finished the method and one more data collection set should wrap it up sufficiently for me to move on to the next stage.

- In my most recent meeting with my supervisor, we established that if the methods I'm developing can be verified experimentally rather than in simulation, then the simulator can be dropped from the thesis. Looks like I'm back on track to finishing in the summer, if the current rate of development continues.
dracodraconis: (Default)
For the musicians out there: Rose Garden ( http://www.rosegardenmusic.com/ ) music software is Open Source and looks like it has some powerful features. Only runs on Linux though, so I can't give it a go myself.

According to Warren Ellis ( http://www.warrenellis.com/ ), Valentine's day was another Christianized pagan holiday that originally involved blood, sex, and werewolves. He suggests we great each other with "Happy Horny Werewolf Day".

Paper #1 has passed two internal reviews and just awaits a review by my supervisor at Carleton. After that, it goes to a journal to see if it will be accepted. Papers #2 and #3 are on the queue for today and tomorrow.

The difficult part of research is not the theory, or even coming up with new ideas. It's attempting to jam the round peg of theory into the square hole of what your test equipment can do. Often, as I am being reminded currently, the system was never designed to do what you want it to do because you're the first one to think of making it do that.

January 2010

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