sailing the NorSea


WEEK 23 2014

Last Week- Sun- Mon- Tue- Wed- Thur- Fri- Sat- Next Week

Picture of the Week


Oxnard  Weather Underground
Click for Oxnard, California Forecast
Lancaster Weather Underground
Click for Lancaster, California Forecast
Martinez WeatherUnderground
Click for Buchanan, California Forecast

First Post, 17 March 2002
Twelve Years Ago, This Week 2002 Eleven Years Ago, This Week, 2003 Ten Years Ago, this week, 2004 Nine Years Ago, this week, 2005 Eight Years Ago, This Week, 2006
Seven Years Ago, This Week, 2007
Six Years Ago, This Week, 2008
Five Years Ago, This Week, 2009
Four Years Ago, This Week, 2010
Three Years Ago,
This Week,

Two Years Ago,
This Week,
One Year Ago,
This Week,

Saturday 7 June 2014
Saturday - Went to yard sales in the morning, picked up a few small things. Lunch with friends, then off to Home Depot for some swamp cooler hardware. Then, I admit it, I just napped. It was too hot out to do anything...

In the evening I went over to R&S's place, and had home made pizza, discussed the app with S, and we watched some streaming video from Netflix. The first was a documentary, "Mile... Mile and a Half",  about a group of six people that walked the John Muir Train, circa 2010. I admit that my skin crawled at the description: art yuppies trying to get back to nature, but it turned out to be a pretty interesting movie.

The second "Where the Yellowstone goes" seemed similar from the description,  a group of people floating down the Yellowstone river for 30 days, from the park boundary (you can't boat inside the park!) to the Missouri confluence. It wasn't bad, but compared to the first it lacked a lot of polish and lacked a unifying thread or character. Lots of fly fishing stuff, which doesn't (heh) float my boat. And it was too long, we finally gave up and turned it off.

Friday 6 June 2014
Friday - It is warming up, over a 100F, and I'm going to "install" the extra window evaporative (swamp) cooler unit this weekend I think. I'd like to put it in the east side family room window, but that's where the mechanical unit goes, so I'll probably put it in the western window, next to the existing unit. It would be a bit unsightly, but since people can't actually see it from the street, who cares?

I wrestled with the 'CIColorCube' thing for about a half day more, then gave up, for now. I can get it to compile and run, but the output image is the same as the input image, i.e., no filtering. I should mention that the official Apple Developer's documentation seems to be wrong (and incomplete). I found two other 'examples' on the Internet, but neither of those worked for me either. There's a number of other ways to do this, so I'm back to making masks and such...

Book #26 was Hyperbole and a Half, by Alice Brosh. It is, I guess, semi-autobiographical, and humorous. I was entertained, particularly by her description of 'simple dog', who stupidity reminds me of my own Dad's dog, and of her mental acrobatics used to 'motivate' herself.

This is the anniversary of D-Day, June 4, 1944, seventy years ago. My dad wasn't there, by the ship he later joined was, the USS Bayfield, APA-33. The Bayfield was an 'attack transport', she carried troops to land on the beaches. To do this she had a bunch of landing barges: those square sided boats with a ramp in front to unload the troops.

Bayfield landing barge
A landing barge from the Bayfield, on the beach in Normandy.

Apparently there was a documentary made about the Bayfield using national archive footage - some in color! - by one David Brinkman. The picture above is a still from a movie. Sadly it seems there are no copies available - I'd buy one if there were!

Thursday 5 June 2014

Thursday - Another day working on the app, a good 8 hours (harder to do at home than you'd think!). I'm not sure how much progress forward there was, but I covered some ground and learned some stuff. I was thinking of using filters to change the color of images, rather than drawing them repeatedly in different colors, to make things a little less confusing and code intensive. And S says she's an idea for an different (future) app that will need that kind of functionality.

Unfortunately the methods that use the CIImage framework are rather poorly documented, so I spent a lot more time on this than I expected. In particular I thought I might use color filters to remove the blue and green components to get a red image from an initial multicolor (white?) image, and red and blue to get green, and so on. What I ended up spending a lot of time on was the CIFilter and CIColorCube tools, which were a bit obscure. I finally figured it out (I think) but now I'm not sure that it'd be any improvement.

The trick with CIColorCube is that it represents every single color possible by the iOS display hardware, that is: it's a 3-D matrix (cube) of the size (all-possible-levels-of-RED * all-possible-levels-of-GREEN * all-possible-levels-of-BLUE ). Each of the cube elements contains a color and alpha (RED:0-1, BLUE: 0-1, GREEN:0-1, ALPHA:0-1). You can then change the value for each little element, turning it to a new color and alpha. Thus, if you set alpha=0 for all GREEN and BLUE components for all the little elements and use this cube in a filter applied to an image then your output image will just be shades of RED.

This being Apple and iOS you can't actually do it this simply, you have to translate the RGBa to HSV in the middle of things...

 (And I suspect "all possible"  maybe actually not be correct, it may be the iOS hardware values are interpolated between these.)

And you don't actually apply the filters to the image, oh no. Instead all these filters are applied to a virtual CIImage copy of your original, which can then be turned into a CGImageRef which can in turn can be turned into a UIImage that can actually be, you know, displayed.. (In Apple's defense the virtual image stuff is apparently because they are trying to offload the image processing from the iDevice main CPU's to the GPU's on a separate thread, and this was the way they came up with doing it.)

I actually figured out what was going on when running across a reference to a LUT (look up table) doing this sort of stuff for an old SGI system.

Not much else going on. I thought the elementary school down the street got out earlier this week, but the usual morning Indy 500 of teachers and students are occurring at the usual times, so I guess not.

Wednesday 4 June 2014

Wednesday - A pretty good day: a good 8 hours on the app, got the UIView animation cascades working in a fairly consistent way and without 'nesting' them, which is almost impossible to debug. Even made a little video of the (admittedly primitive) prompt scene and sent it off to people. The Quicktime player on OSX can do screen grabs of movies, even grab them from a selected area (rather than full screen), so that's kind of neat.

Not much else. No yard work, no walk, no visits or lunch with anyone.

The cats have realized that there are windows behind blinds, and are going crazy exploring - i.e. crashing around and breaking and damaging them. They seem immune to the squirt bottle deterrence, so I just raise them a bit, allowing them to look out and sit on the window sill without all the commotion.

The tooth is better, so I wasn't in pain the last couple of days, which may explain some of the forward progress...

T called in the evening, on his way home to San Diego from Ventura. I didn't even know he was there, but he was helping D & C finish up the report on the inspections we did back in ... early April. Sheesh.

#everythingisbroken: Tim said he was having trouble with the Time-Warner service, and on looking into it discovered that they'd rolled out a new digital-only service, and that the modem/adapters that came with it don't work properly with their software. I guess he 'Dale Carnegied' the tech for more information, and the tech said it'd be four to six weeks before TW really had a fix. In the meantime I guess millions of people in California are just scr*wed...

I offered to send Bob a picture of Mom from Christmas 1997 (the earliest I have in my personal photo collection), but he declined, stating he didn't want to remember her in her declined state. I understand, it was a horrible shock when I ran across those photographs mistakenly filed in a folder under 2004 or something. Scans of some old film photo's. that I made at some point apparently. The film development date is October 1998, but of course Mom passed on Good Friday of that year.

You can also see pictures of my niece J in my sisters arms, just a month old or so I guess.

I was something of a camera enthusiast before going away to school in 1981, but all my stuff disappeared at some point while I was there: the enlarger, chemicals, film, and sadly, archives of the negatives and prints of photo's I took. Not that there were too many of my family probably - at a young age you don't see the need for that, you think things are going to remain the same forever (or for the next ten or twenty years, which seems like much the same thing).

And while away from home at school, and afterwards working hundreds of miles from home there aren't many pictures I have - a few from birthdays and holidays. This was in pre-digital times, when developing was a pain and an expense.

Eventually I got my first digital camera and started taking lots of photo's, but that was in 2001 or so.

Ah well.

Tuesday 3 June 2014
Tuesday - Not a very exciting day, spent it working on the app, a good eight or nine hours. Solved a little animation/rasterization problem, and working on cascading animations using Objective-C blocks (closures).

I missed a couple of phone calls - I left the phone downstairs and was working upstairs, but no-one called back, so I guess it wasn't too urgent.

Monday 2 June 2014
Monday - Dad passed away five years ago, today. Kind of sad. I exchanged a couple of emails with Bob, he sent along this picture:

Dad, the early  1930's?
Dad, the early  1930's?
 Florida or San Pedro I'm guessing, from the palm tree. Winter, since he's wearing a coat.

I finished Book #25, The Martian, by Andrew Weir. I really liked it. An astronaut is stranded on Mars, and has to think of a way to stay alive for a couple of years until he can be rescued. He's a mechanical engineer and botanist (anyone sent to Mars is going to cover multiple specialties) and a creative sort of dude, in his own snarky way. He improvises, succeeds, fails, and keeps going. Recommended. In fact I might an actual copy for K, I think he'd enjoy it.

I read this on the Mac's browser, btw.

My phone has started announcing messages to me. "You have an email from So-and-So", or "Text from Somebody". It's just an announcement, it doesn't read the body of the message. I think there was a system update pushed in early May, and that started it. I can't figure out how to turn it off. K says that his droid will do it if the GPS detects he's moving quickly, i.e. driving, but that doesn't seem to be the case here: it does it at any time including sitting on the kitchen counter, and my phone is in 'standard' mode, not 'car'. It's not massively annoying, but it is a little puzzling.

Sunday 1 June  2014
Sunday - I started to do yard work, then said to myself,:"The Heck With It". I've been working, I deserve some time off on the weekends.

So I fiddled around with the library download service, 'Overdrive'. I still can't download, but I could read my book in the browser, Safari on the Mac. So that's something. On a 27" monitor it's OK. I've read books on a small smartphone, this is easier.

Sheryl was invited to go with Kirk to a Jamboree commemoration at the Ronald Reagan Library and Museum. Since she couldn't go I went in her place. It was pretty cool, very interesting to visit. There was a dinner, a guest speaker, and a number of videos and stills from the Jamboree. The food was quite good (and free!) and it was a lot of fun. I didn't get home until almost midnight, and my jaw hurt (should have stayed away from the Jelly Belly's), but I'm glad I went.

The 707 that was Air Force One when Reagan was president was there. It was spiffy and new in it's day, now it seems a bit small and quaint. The President flying around in a 707?

Oddly the Reagan years probably mark the high water point of American power, yet the grandiosity and imperial trappings about the president continue to increase. Ah well.

Picture of the Week
The Angeles from up on Mt. Baden Powell 
Photo Notes: The Angeles Mountains from Mt. Baden Powell.

Last Week- Sun- Mon- Tue- Wed- Thur- Fri- Sat- Next Week