Just realized

that this blog is almost 12 years old now. I started it during the election season where George Bush was re-elected. It let me get out my frustration around the shambles that I felt the US was descending into. Since Barack Obama was elected, I haven’t felt much need to be publicly political. These days, I have some very strong opinions about what is going on in US politics, but I feel others are doing a better job with the facts and rants. I’ve been more focused on where I think I can provide a more unique voice.

Some of those old posts are bit embarrassing to me now. Like reading the poetry you wrote for class in High School or College. I’ve thought about purging them or separating the blog into multiple ones for photography and discussions of leadership and management (which is what I mostly post on today). I think that past has it’s value though, so for now it stays.

I wonder what I’ll think about today’s posts 12 years from now…

2015 Personal Report

I’ve been playing around for a while mining my own data. This is a report I’ve generated for 2015. Have a bunch more work to do around formatting, but it is fascinating what you can learn about yourself. I’ve redacted some of the most personal data, and this is overview data for the year, as opposed to more correlated data that I’ve been using to try and get better understanding of cause and effect.

Travel

countries visited in 2015: 13
countries: United Kingdom, The Netherlands, Belarus, Italy, Czech Republic, Denmark, Poland, United States, Sweden, Germany, Iceland, Switzerland, Spain

top countries by day:
304 Sweden
38 United States
10 United Kingdom
9 Germany
7 Italy
7 Spain
5 The Netherlands
5 Czech Republic
4 Poland
3 Belarus

cities/towns visited in 2015: 78

top cities by day:
303 Stockholm
13 Sigtuna
10 Mercer Island
10 New York
10 London
9 Albuquerque
7 Barcelona
6 Chicago
6 Gothenburg
6 Skokie
5 Seattle
5 Berlin
5 Prague
5 Amsterdam
4 Newark
4 Florence
4 Munich
4 Lecchi
4 Värmdö
4 Krakow

Music

4762 songs listened to
Biggest listening day: August 16 – 75 songs in Stockholm

Top bands:
126 Teddybears
97 Max Richter
89 Naked Raygun
78 Radical Face
67 Madredeus
65 Tom Waits
58 Clint Mansell
58 Jóhann Jóhannsson
57 A Winged Victory for the Sullen
52 Yann Tiersen
Top albums:
62 Recomposed by Max Richter: Vivaldi, The Four Seasons – Max Richter
51 Ainda: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack From “Lisbon Story” – Madredeus
50 Fresh – Teddybears
43 Moon – Clint Mansell
41 What Poor Gods We Do Make: The Story and Music Behind Naked Raygun – Music from the Motion Picture – Naked Raygun
40 Atomos – A Winged Victory for the Sullen
37 Gravity – Ben Lukas Boysen
36 Tiersen: Pour Amélie, Piano Music – Yann Tiersen
36 Ask Me About My New God! – Maria Bamford
36 Trax! Box – Revolting Cocks
Top songs:
20 Hey boy – Teddybears
20 Heroes – Måns Zelmerlöw
19 Neon Baby – The Comet Is Coming
18 Together – Nordic Giants
17 Rocket Scientist – Feat. Eve – Teddybears
12 Let It Go – Idina Menzel
12 The Strip – Naked Raygun
10 Black Belt – Teddybears
10 Run Rudolph Run – Single Version – Chuck Berry
10 Surf Combat – Naked Raygun
9 Suspect Device – Naked Raygun
9 Dog at Large – Naked Raygun
9 Knock Me Down – Naked Raygun
8 Richter: Recomposed by Max Richter: Vivaldi, The Four Seasons – Spring 2 – Max Richter
8 Gravity – Ben Lukas Boysen
8 Guitarra – Madredeus
8 To The Hills – Ben Lukas Boysen
7 Richter: Recomposed by Max Richter: Vivaldi, The Four Seasons – Summer 2 – Max Richter
7 Welcome to Lunar Industries – Clint Mansell
7 Let It Go – Single Version – Demi Lovato

Exercise

Biggest steps day: September 26 – 28500 steps in Prague
Total steps for the year: 3392181
Biggest distance day: September 26 – 12.5026967462 miles in Prague
Total distance for the year: 1495.31034948 miles
Biggest floors day: March 14 – 72 floors in Albuquerque
Total floors for the year: 5501
Longest sleep day: November 22 – 15 hours, 11 minutes in Amsterdam
Total sleep for the year: 2206 hours, 33 minutes
Average sleep per night: 6 hours, 2 minutes

Most common things to do:

Reading e-mail
In a meeting
Eating
Talking to someone
In a 1:1
Attending an offsite
Playing with my daughter
Websurfing
Watching tv
Waiting for my daughter to go to sleep

Most common places:

most common places:
Stockholm-Arlanda Airport (ARN) (Stockholm-Arlanda)
Stockholms Centralstation (Stockholm)
Arlanda Express (Stockholm C) (Stockholm)
Fabrique (Stockholm)
Panini Internazionale (Stockholm)
Kronobergs Parklek (Stockholm urban area)
Arlanda Express (Arlanda N) (Stockholm-Arlanda)
Rålambshovsparken (Stockholm)
Bollywood (Stockholm)
Thai Wok Stugan
Jade Hotel (New York)
Phil’s Burger (Stockholm)
Courtyard Airport Albuquerque (Albuquerque)
Göteborg Centralstation (Gothenburg)
Alchymist Grand Hotel & Spa (Prague)
Arlanda Express (Arlanda S) (Stockholm-Arlanda)
Karlův most | Charles Bridge (Prague)
Kronobergsparken (Stockholm)
Wurren
Mercer Hotel Barcelona (Barcelona)
Spotify (Gothenburg)

Favorite kinds of restaurants:
Bakery
Café
Burger Joint
Sandwich Place
Food Truck
Coffee Shop
Scandinavian Restaurant
Indian Restaurant
Italian Restaurant
Thai Restaurant
Restaurant
Fast Food Restaurant
Gastropub
American Restaurant
Pizza Place
Mexican Restaurant
Steakhouse
Breakfast Spot
Asian Restaurant
Diner
Ice Cream Shop

Favorite restaurants:
Fabrique
Panini Internazionale
Bollywood
Thai Wok Stugan
Phil’s Burger
Starbucks
Wurren
Mandarin City
Caffé Nero
Petite France
Tradition
Gnarly Burger – The Restaurant
Primo Ciao Ciao
Ramen Ki-Mama
Stockholm Kebab
Brunkebergs bageri
Buco Nero
Thelins
Rullande Greken
Man In The Moon
Sue Ellen

Twitter

Most favorited tweets:
If you can’t trust the people you hire, you are bad at hiring people. – favorites: 14
the video from my #dahoam15 talk “Apportioning Monoliths” has been posted: https://t.co/YTV0IuLWF7 thanks @CodeTailors! – favorites: 13
Unexpected benefit of living in Scandinavia: getting to watch the sunrise while eating breakfast at work at 8:47am – favorites: 8
A response to the IEEE article: Yahoo’s Engineers Move to Coding Without a Net https://t.co/uBQ3e3kL3M – favorites: 7
The Spotify Tribe http://t.co/IPlhzivGQq My talk from #sparkLDN last week. Thanks again for having me @SparkConf – favorites: 7

Most retweeted tweets:
RT @TheRealNimoy: A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP – retweets: 276868
RT @rolldiggity: It’s sad how Wile E. Coyote is remembered for his violence, and not for his brilliantly realistic paintings of tunnels. – retweets: 22351
RT @Zaitoonmalik: This is the most well-rounded analysis I’ve come across re #ParisAttacks https://t.co/f9yZBRcDoT – retweets: 21421
RT @Spotify: The greatest band. The entire catalogue. Tonight at midnight. #BeatlesOnSpotify https://t.co/zVD4T5I6eJ – retweets: 9876
RT @fortes: Debugging is like being the detective in a crime movie where you are also the murderer. – retweets: 9170

Upcoming talks, Fall 2014

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I’ve got some talks lined up for this fall, including my first talk in Asia!

ProductTank STHLM – Stockholm, Sweden – August 27, 2014
Nice to talk again in my home city, and super excited to be speaking to a group primarily made up of product professionals. I’m going to give a talk about how engineering and product teams can work together effectively and how we work at Spotify.

Empowering your engineering talent – London, UK – September 22, 2014
Coming back to London for a breakfast symposium on hiring and empowering engineering talent. 

QCon Shanghai – Shanghai, China – October 16-18, 2014
I’ll be one of the keynotes at the Shanghai edition of this international software development conference.

Hope to see you at one of these!

Why the flurry of new content

A couple years ago, I decided that I would keep my blog for “long form” posts and then use the other services that I had accounts on for other stuff (short posts on twitter, links and pictures on tumblr, etc). That was fine. Of course, I don’t write long form posts very often; which meant the blog was left fallow for long periods of time. It also meant that I had to do lots of extra work to have that content appear in a consolidated form in other places, like my home page or my lifestream.

Recently, I had to fix up my wife’s blog after it was hacked, and I realized just how much of her content was hosted on other sites. Also, with twitter’s old-API retirement killing some of my tools and the various consolidation (and shutting down) of services that are going on, it started making more sense to me to go back to primarily hosting my content on my own server. This gives me more control on the things I create. So for the moment, I’m going to try hosting all my content here and then echoing it out to those other sites. Essentially, the content will live here, but I’m going to try using those other sites just for promoting it. I did consider hosting my own videos here, but that is still hard to justify since I can’t link to it from youtube or vimeo, so I’ll keep posting content there and just including it here. If necessary, I can move that content here in the future.

This does continue the now (9 year!) tradition of this blog being a grab bag of random thoughts, images, video and audio from me. That is a primary violation of the blogging rule that you keep your blog to be narrowly focused if you want people reading you on a regular basis. I have no big dream of being a “blogger” though. When I have tried to split off single-topic blogs (like digital-motion.net), I’ve had a hard time keeping them filled with new content. That violates the even bigger rule about keeping your blog up-to-date. I have a set of things I care a lot about: software engineering, imaging, music, food, politics, and motion design. My interest in each of things (or at least writing about any of them) ebbs and flows. Rather than have six blogs, it makes more sense to just have the one. Again, all of this is subject to change, which is the way I like it.

How I read Swedish documents

So far I’ve been getting along pretty well in Sweden. Learning my way around Stockholm, figuring out how to do things, picking up some Swedish words and phrases… The one thing I can’t come close to doing yet is reading large blocks of text. Most of the time, this isn’t really a problem. Context gives you a lot and some Swedish words are somewhat similar to words in other languages that I actually do know (especially if you sound them out).

What kills me is official documents that I actually need to understand, not just get the gist of. Like the documents that came with my phone or from my bank. Some of these I can hand to someone at work to translate for me (if I am very nice about it). That doesn’t work with sensitive documents or when I’m not there.

I got my new ATM card tonight along with a raft of rather important instructions that were all in Swedish. I tried downloading some iOS apps that claimed to OCR and translate. Those were useless.

I ended up with the following process instead:

  1. Connect iPhone to my computer over USB
  2. Take shots of the text as straight-on as possible, with flash
  3. import to the desktop using image capture
  4. import to Photoshop
    1. auto-tone
    2. auto-contrast
    3. rotate (if necessary)
    4. convert to black-and-white
    5. change to 144 DPI *
    6. Save
  5. import images to Acrobat as a single document
    1. OCR document with Swedish hinting
  6. copy/paste into google translate
  7. read (finally)

This is an insanely painful process and not worth it for less than the most critical things. It will get easier when I get my scanner (currently on a boat), which will cut out steps 1-5, but that is still sucky.

If someone could get this working with 70% accuracy in a single iOS app, I would gladly pay $75 for it. I would work on this in my copious free time, but it would probably be more productive for me to learn to read Swedish.

Making a big change

Keep Calm and Revel On
I didn’t make this poster, but I love it.

Coming to Adobe was a dream come true for me. Someone first showed me Photoshop on a Mac SE after hours at the Center for Art and Technology at Carnegie Mellon back in 1989 or 1990. It was captivating to a computer science student with a deep interest in imaging and graphics. I knew that someday I would work there. It wasn’t a direct path, but I did get there eventually.

In my nine years at the company, I have been able to work on some intensely cool projects: Adobe Image Foundation, Pixel Bender, and Revel. Each have been technically challenging, but each have also had an impact for Adobe customers. Solving cool technical problems is fun, but doing it in a way that millions of users can benefit from is massively rewarding. I am grateful that being at Adobe has allowed me to work on such personally and professionally gratifying projects. I am also grateful that I have been able to work with some absolutely stellar teams.

Adobe is the best company that I have ever worked for, but it is time for me to make a change. This will be my last week there.

To all of Adobe’s customers: I hope that my work has helped make the tools you use a little bit better, faster, and more stable. It has been a joy to build stuff for you. Thank you.

Now, I’m looking forward to my next adventure. I will be joining Spotify in Stockholm as Director of Engineering in a few weeks.

This is my new dream, and I am incredibly excited about it. The people that I have met at Spotify are intelligent, creative and passionate. They are working to change the world; making available all the music in the world to anyone, while making sure that the people who create the music that we love can do it as a profession. This has been my mission multiple times in the past, in the days before I came to Adobe. I’m excited to pick up that banner once again and do my best to help it become a reality.

Things are gonna get interesting, stay tuned.

From the VHS archive

been digging through some old video tapes while VCRs still exist. Found a few things so far that I’m not completely embarrassed to share with a wider audience…

7:1 from Kevin Goldsmith on Vimeo.

A seven-mile, 60-second journey through early the early 1990s industrial wasteland areas of Pittsburgh with an original soundtrack blatantly ripped off from Shadowy Men From a Shadowy Planet. A student film for a class at Carnegie-Mellon University. Digitized from a 2nd generation VHS copy. Pardon (or embrace) the Lo-fi.

Intonarumori Performing Constant Bit Select of a Vector Net Live – 1991 from Kevin Goldsmith on Vimeo.

This was the performance of the track "Constant Bit Select of a Vector Net" whose recording was later released on the Intonarumori album Sound Collages 1991-1994 (Unit Circle Rekkids). This was recorded as part of the Carnegie Mellon University Electronic and Computer Music Concert Series. Regrettably, the video recording starts mid-way through the piece. For more information on the album see: http://unitcircle.com/rekkids/releases/tUC018/ for more information on Intonarumori see: http://www.intonarumori.com/

Comments

Cross-posted from my old Adobe blog.

I just approved and then changed my mind and un-approved a comment. The comment was a fair, if somewhat harsh, criticism of the Pixel Bender Toolkit. I originally decided to approve it because it was one person’s opinion and a response to something I wrote, and I don’t mind answering criticisms (even when they are worded less-than-delicately). However, I changed my mind because the writer decided not to include a valid name or e-mail to respond to.

So, that will be a rule I’m going to hold on to moving forward. If you want to post your honest opinion to something I write, I will always try to honor you and will post it; and respond. As long as your comments are:

  • honest
  • not advertising
  • not overt flame-bait
  • do not swear
  • are signed with your real name (or handle) AND e-mail address (which is not published, but lets me know that you are willing to put your name to something)

Hopefully, this should not strike anyone as draconian.

JJ, if you want to re-post with your real name and e-mail address, I will gladly approve your comment.

Speaking at the AMD Fusion Developer Summit – June

If you are planning on attending the AMD Fusion Developer Summit in Bellevue, WA in June, come see me talk about Pixel Bender (probably for the last time!) with Bob Archer. Here is the description of the session:

Pixel Bender is a domain-specific image processing language created by the Adobe Image Foundation, and includes a runtime designed to work well across heterogeneous hardware, scaling efficiently for multiple cores. This runtime currently ships in a number of Adobe’s flagship products. Bob Archer, Technical Lead, and Kevin Goldsmith, Engineering Manager, will talk about the design of the language, compilers, and runtime. They will also discuss how the Adobe system can incorporate complimentary technologies like OpenCL and can scale to accommodate new hardware paradigms like the AMD Fusion processors.

Hope to see you there!