||Welcome to Eric Cheng's online journal!
You are not logged in.
[ Log in ]
Archive for November, 2005
I love Synergy:
synergy: [noun] a mutually advantageous conjunction of distinct elements
Synergy lets you easily share a single mouse and keyboard between multiple computers with different operating systems, each with its own display, without special hardware. It’s intended for users with multiple computers on their desk since each system uses its own monitor(s).
Redirecting the mouse and keyboard is as simple as moving the mouse off the edge of your screen. Synergy also merges the clipboards of all the systems into one, allowing cut-and-paste between systems. Furthermore, it synchronizes screen savers so they all start and stop together and, if screen locking is enabled, only one screen requires a password to unlock them all.
Went to the Museum of Photographic Arts in Balboa Park over the weekend (with my sister, Wendy), and saw an interesting exhibit called Only Skin Deep: Changing Visions of the American Self (also interesting was Lalla Essaydi: Converging Territories). Apparently, half the exhibit was at the San Diego Museum of Art, but because MOPA didn’t have any signs posted, we missed half of the show. I particularly enjoyed walking around the exhibit with Wendy because her graduate studies focus on minorities in America (I always learn a lot).
Also, we hopped into an antique photo machine and had our picture taken. The last time we had one taken was at a machine in Amsterdam, and my half (2 photos) promptly went into the washing machine when I returned home… (read more »)
I wonder if something is wrong with me.
Over the past few days I’ve had long “catch-up” telephone conversations with some of the friends in the Bay Area with whom I am the closest, and nearly all of the conversations were promptly followed by pangs of homesickness (or… friend-sickness?). After having developed close friendships, why would I take advantage of four months painstakingly planned without travel to uproot myself via a job in New York City?
I guess I’m sort of torn; I do have very good friends out here in New York, and the job (monkey coder) pays very well. Still, I can’t help thinking that what I’m doing these days is not the best thing I could be doing for long-term friendships. Or, maybe I’m just extrapolating the feelings I’m having into the realm of relationships (or in my case, a total lack of them). Moving around a lot and only being home for a few days at a time isn’t making things easy, and I’m afraid that I’m getting used to being alone.
SF BAY AREA PHOTO RECAP! (read more »)
Victor performed at the New York Improv Comedy Club a week ago, and he was very funny. I was pretty impressed by the range of talent there (pretty much from painful to hilarious), but Victor was definitely among the funniest! (read more »)
safe design, moma
I met up with Julia at the NY MOMA on Friday, Nov 18 (free admission from 4-8p!) to see Mandy’s ring on display in the SAFE: Design Takes On Risk exhibition, which will be at the MOMA until January 2. It was especially exciting to see Mandy’s ring there because the photograph right under the piece is an image I took of Wendy. ;)
Anyway, in our 2.5 hrs at the museum, we managed to get through fewer than two floors of displays. I am definitely going to go back as much as I can.
bev @ serendipity
The string of visitors was never-ending during my first week in New York. Mandy’s parents came into town to check out the SAFE: Design Takes On Risk exhibit at the New York MOMA, which features a ring by Mandy and Redstart Design. The Knoxes invited Victor, Anita and me out to a nice, Italian dinner, where we both enjoyed a nice meal and celebrated Mrs. Knox’s birthday.
Bev was also in town for a Google gathering at the NY office. When I met up with her at a bar one night, the Googlers had just finished raising their glasses in a proud toast: “TO PERSONALIZATION!” We left the scene.
View from my guest room at Al’s place, on the 37th floor: (read more »)
dad @ museum
Photos from my arrival to New York City on November 12th and hanging out at the Natural History Museum with my father.
Special thanks to Tony, for picking me up from the airport, to Peter, for the opportunity, and to Al, for his amazing hospitality.
kenny and kieran
I can’t believe Kenny is a father. Their new baby boy is really cute, though. He was only four weeks old when I went up to visit (for just a day, on November 6), and at that age, the little guy just sort of slugged around gurgling and trying to hold his head up.
It’s really too bad: I don’t get to see Kenny very much anymore, and his schedule as a neurosurgeon has been brutal. But he owes me a trip somewhere, and when I cash in, it’s going to be a big adventure. ;)
Last month, I went out to Denver for a few days to work on a Wetpixel project with Alex King. The project isn’t quite done yet, but I’m sure that after we finish, Alex will write up an in-depth entry on what we did.
I spent two evenings with my old friend, Rod Saito, who took me on a quick tour of Boulder one evening. Rod also treated me to dinner at Sushi Sasa, where we were babied by his friend (chef, and owner), Wayne Conwell. We had quite a sushi feast, and it was a real treat to find good Japanese food in Denver. Most sushi-lovers will be put-off by a non-Japanese chef, but Wayne was really fantastic.
I also met up briefly with the other Eric, and with Justin Kestler.
ben & peggy
On November 5, 2005, Benjamin Chen and Peggy Chao were wed in Saratoga. The reception was held at the Dynasty Seafood Restaurant, which I got a big kick out of because much of the event felt like it had been imported directly from Hong Kong. I was proud of Benjamin, not only because he managed to navigate through bachelorhood ending up with a lovely wife, but also because he pushed successfully to not serve shark fin soup.
We also had a musical reunion of sorts, with Daphne, Florence, Joel, Ed, Annie, Jonathan and I playing in an ensemble to support a choir during the ceremony.
Chester has a really lovely voice
I had planned on sharing the photos I took on my own webpage, but Chester’s BLOG ENTRY
about his own birthday is much more effective at explaining what happened. Especially exciting was all of the singing, and I hope to post some videos one of these days. (by the way, this entry is really late. i’m trying to catch up…)
At the end of the evening, I had to copy a couple of gigabytes of images onto Chester’s notebook through a USB 1.1 interface. Cindy and I were incredulous that someone who runs a couple of local computer stores would use a USB 1.1 card reader instead of one that supports USB 2.0. Plus, 2 GB at USB 1.1 takes roughly 30 minutes. As a response to our heckling, Chester replied (with much wit), “BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH!”
I’m in the process of uploading all of the photos I took to my smugmug site. Check ‘em out, if you’re interested
(you can download hi-res versions and order prints, too).
I’m so glad that Peter has put his old page back up. He used to have it online at his Stanford CS page, and when he took it down, we cried.
I’m trying to get some photos posted, but NYC has been kicking my ass.
Anyone have suggestions for the best web log analyzer out there?
I’m currently using Webalizer; it’s built-in to PLESK, but I’ve also been running it at home on my PC. I used to use AWStats as well, and I think I prefer that to Webalizer. Using Webalizer, analyzing 1GB of logs (about a week of Wetpixel logs) takes just over 7 hours on my 3Ghz system — it barely uses any CPU, so I’m where the bottleneck is. Analyzing a month’s worth of logs might take a full, 24 hours (!). That is really, really slow, but I’m willing to wait if the results are comprehensive…
UPDATE I tried out Sawmill, and it went through 6 months of logs in about 14 hours on my cheapie P4 3Ghz Dell (as opposed to 7 hours for 1 week’s worth, using Webalizer). Pretty cool.
I don’t normally get this excited over performance tweaking articles, but this one is totally worth doing. If you use Firefox, have a fast connection, and use a relatively modern machine, go to ExtremeTech’s article right now and try out all of their config tweaks. My browser feels twice as fast as is was before. It’s REALLY fast, and it’s strange how excited I’m getting over it. :)
Anyway, it’s all about how fast computers feel.
My friend Dan told me one day, “Eric, you have more computer problems than anyone I know.”
Well, no shit! I use computers more than anyone else he knows. I lose hard disks all the time because I have 20 of spinning at any given moment. I also host something like 18 domains for various people, and computers basically all suck — especially when you aren’t an educated sysadmin (I am not). Also, Windows XP sucks on notebooks. My desktops are all rock solid, but my notebooks all tend to have driver problems.
But this entry is about PLESK, qmail, and spammers. (read more »)
NEC SpectraView 2180WG-LED
As some of you know, I use a Sony Artisan CRT monitor for my photography work. I would really much rather use a LCD of some sort to save desktop real estate — especially with a few friends getting the drool-inspiring 30″ Apple Cinema Display — but at the moment there is simply no matching a good CRT for color fidelity and range.
A few days ago, I read about the NEC SpectraView 2180WG-LED on Tom’s Hardware Guide, the first display that uses LEDs to backlight the LCD, giving the monitor the added advantage of software-controllable backlight color (color temperature). The SpectraView is capable of displaying the entire AdobeRGB color space, which is what many of us use for our images. I think I read that the price of the monitor will be something like $6,500 — too expensive, and the moment, but definitely a sign of things to come.
One of my friends has two 23″ Viewsonic VP2290b LCDs, which feature a resolution of 3,840 x 2,400 pixels each — insane, really. Modern operating systems don’t properly support such high density displays yet, but I’ve heard that such support is coming. Combined with good color reproduction, we’re looking at the future of display technology!
black-tip reef shark, moorea
I’ve finally posted photos
from a trip to French Polynesia in March/April of 2005. Special thanks to Douglas Seifert and Krissy Gossman, who got me involved with the trip in the first place, and to Ron and Valerie Taylor, who graciously invited me to join them on a special extension to Moorea. As usual, please leave comments in the travel journal itself, if you want to. :)