James's page
6/15/04 Long time no update

I'm updating more often at my Xanga instead. This site will just be my free web space for posting pictures and stuff. Speaking of which, I made a new picture page today, which is the reason I'm updating. More at my Xanga.

12/16/03 Graphics final project done!

My graphics final project is here for downloading. It's a program that lets you control a stick figure guy in 3d. You can drag him around with the mouse and he will flop all over the place in a hopefully realistic-looking manner. The camera is controlled by the right mouse button and scroll wheel.

8/19/03 Pictures of home

More fun with the camera. Digital cameras are great; being able to take pictures without worrying about wasting film is really nice, and you can do all sorts of neat things with Photoshop afterwards. These pictures are of the house and the farm.

8/5/03 Stuff, and stuff

Wow, it's been awhile since I updated this site. I should do it more often. Nobody probably even looks at it anymore, it's so boring.

A lot has happened since my last post. First of all, my internship at LaserFiche went well. It's over now, and I've just arrived at home. I'm taking a month off before school starts, although I'll probably spend a lot of the time working for my dad, driving a forklift. The internship was cool, I learned a lot of stuff. I learned a whole lot about Visual Studio, SourceSafe, COM, and Windows development in general. I've now written a Windows dialog box in C++, which is something I've always wondered how to do. I've learned that Windows programming in general is a huge kludge. It makes me wonder how Microsoft got to be so big when their programming interfaces are so awful. But enough about Windows programming.

The most interesting thing I did at LaserFiche was work on some software to remove the lines from forms. LaserFiche has a product called Quick Fields that basically takes images of forms as you scan them into the computer, extracts the information out of them, and prepares them to be filed away in an electronic database. In order to do that, it is useful to remove the lines from forms to see the stuff written on them more clearly, especially for OCR (Optical Character Recognition, basically the computer reads the text on the form). Last year's LaserFiche clinic team made some software to do that, but it was extremely slow and didn't work very well (it was a last-minute sort of thing, not their main focus). I was given an assignment to integrate their code into Quick Fields. When I found out how slow it was, I decided to see if I could improve it. In about 2 weeks, I made huge improvements to both the speed and quality of the line removal. It was really interesting coding different methods of removing the lines and doing research into image processing algorithms to find out how best to do it. The result still isn't as good as the commercial software that LaserFiche bought some time ago that does the same thing, but I think it's pretty good for one guy working for two or three weeks on it. With some more tweaking it could be competitive speed-wise with the code that LaserFiche bought for probably tens or hundreds of thousands of $.

In other news, I got a new computer. Finally. You know it's time to upgrade when, for a little over half of what your current computer cost a few years ago, you can build a new computer that is five times faster, with six times the hard drive space, and eight times the RAM. Having a gig of RAM is really nice. To celebrate, I've been playing a lot of Grand Theft Auto :-)

Wow, this post is getting pretty long. I guess I'll wrap it up by noting that I actually used my new digital camera and took some pictures of the Long Beach apartment that I shared with Ed during my internship, as well as some pictures of the LaserFiche building. I'll be uploading them shortly, so take a look at the photo page for those if you are so inclined. It's actually fun to go around taking pictures, so maybe I'll take some more now that I'm home.

5/14/03 Games, and stuff

Our LSD final presentation was today, now we're done! 3 more units down, 6 to go. Our team (Untitled #2, consisting of Jon Huang, Mark Nelson, and myself) developed three games during the course of the class: Academic Onslaught, Untitled #2 minigolf, and the final project, Slightly Pissed Off Marbles (not my first choice of name, but oh well). I think the final project turned out pretty good. If I can find a copy of Visual Studio .NET somewhere, I may do a little more work on it over the summer. I have some ideas of things I want to add to make it more fun. Download it and try it out!

In other news, I got an internship at Laserfiche for this summer. It's an interesting story. Last week I was introduced to a guy from Laserfiche (Kurt) by this person I don't even know, who recommended me for an internship. Kurt then set me up with a phone interview for 10:30 AM the next day (Wednesday). Then Friday afternoon he called me up and offered me the job!

My plans for the next few weeks are still up in the air. Now I'm scrambling to find a place to stay over the summer (Laserfiche is in Long Beach), while simultaneously organizing trips to the movies and planning for the trip to summercon, not to mention taking all my finals. It looks like I'll be finishing finals about Thursday, going to see The Matrix Reloaded on Friday, cleaning, organizing, and packing Saturday and Sunday, and somewhere in there driving to Long Beach to see about an apartment. Then Monday through the next Sunday will be Summercon. After that I may go home for a few days, but I'll have to come back before the week is over to move in before I start work the following Monday! Start work. It feels weird to say it. I'll be living in an apartment in Los Angeles, working at a job in an office. Weird.

3/30/03 Room Draw

The drama and excitement of room draw are reaching their peak now as mock draw begins, but I already know how it's going to turn out for me. Next year I'll be in a single in a South suite with George Kuan and Dave Gaebler. It'll be my first time in a dorm other than Case. George and Dave are cool people, so it should be fun!

George Dave
Suite circled on South map South circled on Mudd map
2/24/03 Photos page changed

I changed the photos page, and it actually has photos now! Go take a look. Or not, whatever.

2/23/03 LSD Project website

Project 1 for LSD (Large Scale Development, of course) is to develop a small game. My group developed Academic Onslaught!

2/1/03 New homepage

Well, I've been saying that I've been meaning to spend some time making a webpage. Here it is! I don't know what I'll be putting on it, but at least now I've made it. So if I ever think of anything that just seems like it needs to be on a webpage, I have a place to put it now.

Since you're here, why not check out one or two of the links over to the right. I like them.