Sunday, November 28, 2010


Soo...I was just trying to install WebGL on my computer, and somehow in the thick of things I crashed my Gnome Desktop (e.g. I messed up some settings so it wouldn't load properly).

I count this as a blessing because it was about time to do other things.

Well, later.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Being Smart

I think for a lot of my life I stopped short of doing a lot of the hard stuff that I really wanted to do.
I grew frustrated, thought I was dumb, and then thought enviously of the many other people who seemed to
have such an easy time at it.

I believe now that the many smart people in my life were people who took risks, and maybe were
fortunate to have someone show them where to begin with the hard stuff (or at least support their endeavors).
They were passionate about things, but they were also confident enough to do them.

I labelled them as smart because they seemed to get by with things with such ease. But perhaps they were
just skilled. It is strange how being skilled, in just one area, can facilitate understanding in another.

I never was a National Merit Scholar or a straight A student. I was pretty average, although I did get the
Honor Roll a couple of times. And yes, I did get some really high grades in some classes. I also got some
pretty low grades too :).

I think the people who would be labeled as "smart" are hard workers, centered, and do not back away from a challenge.
By centered I mean they are not emotionally overwhelmed by a situation (e.g. they are able to maintain a
positive outlook), and they do not fall into the the temptation of comparing themselves to others
sucesses and failures. In addition, their centeredness allows them to manage their time, and plan ahead.

I believe these "smart" people are always exploring new things, and they are not all that
bothered by their failures in the past. Things like high grades, and doing really well on the PSAT
are side effects of an overall attitude.

It is not enough to think one is smart. Perhaps, dwelling on this alone is not good because it
is not centered on anything. It can become a source of blindness, and result in many acts of
stupidity (such as giving up things on the grounds that they are below ones intelligence).

To me, being smart more of an action than anything else.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Learning - 10/15/2010

When you want to learn something on your own, do not rely solely on others to teach you, but instead be unapologetically aggressive in learning all there is to know. Then, perhaps after you know more, perhaps people will reveal more.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

comment about compilers apparently gfortran on Debian Lenny 5.0, and Visual Fortran on Windows XP produce the same results.

Well nearly. The differences might be explained by the precision of the calculations, which may be affected by the fact that I used different computers for Linux and Windows XP.

Once a Compiler

Okay, this is annoying. g95, gfortran, and Visual Fortran work differently as compilers. I input the same code, and get different results!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Computer Programming

My experience with programming has been an interesting one. It has been a journey from curiosity, to fear, to perplexity.

When I was younger, my Dad showed me that QBasic could be accessed from the command prompt. At first I did not know what it was, but I thought that it was interesting that one could access a windows-like program by typing QBasic at C:\. I remember being quite relieved to be out of command prompt mode, because it was scary and confusing.

It was more like thinking what should I type, then trying to type something, and then drawing a total blank. I could have looked at the MS-DOS manual, but that did not happen much. Instead I stuck to low-level commands like C:\, cd, cd.. (maybe), C:\win, C:\SC2000, C:\Sierra (among others that I can’t remember).

In high school, I thought I’d better learn programming, so I took a class. It seemed important, and I wanted to go beyond typing BASIC programs into the computer, and having no idea what they meant (or really how to change them).

But I struggled getting the concepts. So I asked my Dad to buy me a book on C++, only to discover years later that it was actually a superset of C, and I needed to know C first. Hence, I asked my Dad to buy me a book on C. It was a good book, and I started writing some C programs, but I still had trouble gaining ground, and seeing the big picture of how it fit into the day to day computer world.

It wasn’t until graduate school that my lack of skills came to haunt me. It was MATLAB time, and I had no idea what an m file was. And that was just the start of it.

Finally, after few frustrating projects that could involve programming later, I was told basically, “here is a FORTRAN program, I want you to learn how to use it”. So now about 2 ½ years later I am learning about Makefiles, Dynamic Link Libraries, tarballs, and OpenGL.

It is an incredibly bad feeling that it took so long. It makes me think, “why didn’t I??” and is an incredible blow to my pride as well.

Edit: I have spent a great deal of time working with HTML (with extremely limited emphasis on forms), and some time with the mostly non-programming aspects of Flash 5 and MX (except for frame and button controls). I do not consider HTML to really count, but the more I think about it, maybe it does, but isn't like "solve this". What I am saying is, it seems an awful lot more like formatting and referencing than algorithms. It doesn't seem procedural. It doesn't seem very much alive.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Project Youtube

I have a few Youtube videos at

Unfortunately, I do not find that they are very professional.

In order to improve this, it seems that I should:

(1)Develop a systematic way of organizing my thoughts, and writing things down.
(2)Develop a means of capturing this video, and importing it into editing software.
(3)Obtain editing software.
(4)Add and edit sound to my video.
(5)Improve music theory knowledge.
(6)Obtain necessary props.
(7)Obtain necessary actors.
(8)Obtain a better camera.
(9)Learn basic film-making technique.

To solve these problems in the order given above I find that:

(1) A standard script writing technique will do. I can make auxillary comments as necessary. I will read

(2) The camera I have only produces video in the Quicktime (.MOV) format.
Luckily I found an Open-Source program called Virtualdub that includes a plugin - linked from the Wikipedia article: that will allow me to effectively convert the Quicktime format to the .avi format.

(3)I have a program called Windows Movie Maker that came with my computer. It accepts the .avi format.

(4)There is an Open-Source program called Audacity - that allows for the manipulation of audio files. I can obtain a sound source from my Sony tape recorder and/or my Casio CTK-480 Electronic Keyboard. Audacity also generates simple waveforms like the sine, square, and sawtooth waves in addition to other sounds such as white noise, clicking, and plucking.

(5)I will need something like basic piano theory. I have found that a site mentioned by my understanding music teacher called will be useful. In addition, there are websites such as as well as this obscure website from a elementary school in California that will be useful.

(6) Props will have to be things around the house, like books, computers, food, etc.

(7) It would be ideal to have more people. But considering my experience....

(8) I have a Nikon Coolpix L11 camera. It hardly produces the quality that I want, but it will have to do. Otherwise, I could borrow one.

(9)I have a book on photography, but no book on filmmaking. The Internet and/or other sources will have to do.

Edit to (5), (4/11/2010 6:53 PM): a book by Dominic Milano called Synthesizer Programming may also be useful.

Monday, April 5, 2010


I am thankful for:

1. Completing my BS in Chemical Engineering
2. Being in a good financial situation, (omitted for post)
3. Completing all my coursework for my MS degree in Chemical Engineering
4. All of the friends that I have had that have supported me during difficult times
5. God’s love (You have no idea how much this means to be in light of all the mistakes that I have made.)
6. All the knowledge that I have accrued throughout the years. Google is amazing.
7. God’s help appreciating everything (My schooling, my degree, my failures…)
8. Oklahoma University Libraries. Thanks for all the Journal Articles and countless books on interesting topics like Physics, pyrotechnics, and noise formation.
9. (omitted for post)
10. Being given the situation where I conquered my fears and learned computer programming.
11. Doing well this week with my research.
12. Nerdy discussions on Talk-Polywell. My Age of Boron Blog.
13. Friends in my life that really have inspired me to grow to appreciate more things, as well as things about myself.
14. Macromedia Flash 5. I have not found a more entertaining computer program. (plus it’s great for finding a hexadecimal values for creating webpages with color!) It’s also helped me draw stuff, which is really helpful considering…
15. Facebook.
16. All of the website experience I obtained while fooling around on the Internet when I was younger
17. Friends that I can relate to.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Fuzzy Melon

I went to Whole Foods today and found a fuzzy melon. (

Which reminds me, I really enjoy Whole Foods and Central Market. I wish that they had one (preferably both) near to where I live. Going through there (when hungry) is torture, but oh so worth the experience. This sort of comestible rush is hard to come by.

Oh, by the way, traffic is crazy here. Thank goodness for other people in the car.