Upcoming talks and events

(all times/dates are PST)

I have a few conference talks and such in the next couple weeks, so I thought I’d send out some pointers.

If you are attending the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco, I’ll be speaking on a panel discussing how to educate the next generation of computer scientists for the new paradigms of parallel processing. The Panel is called “Parallelism and Education: Navigating Through a Sea of Cores”, the session is on Monday 9/13 at 11am, right after the keynote. I’ve written about this session last month.

On Tuesday, September 14th, around noon, I’ll be appearing live on Intel Software Network TV, you can watch here.

Later that evening, I’ll be hosting a Pixel Bender Meetup at 6pm at the Mars Bar in San Francisco. All Pixel Bender developers are welcome to join me and talk Pixel Bender. More info and directions here.

The next week, I’ll be speaking at the NVidia Graphics Technology Conference in San Jose. My session is on Thursday, September 23rd at 11am and it is called “GPGPU in Commercial Software: Lessons From Three Cycles of the Adobe Creative Suite.” More information here.

If you attending IDF or GTC or you’ll be in San Francisco on the 14th, come by and say “hi!” Otherwise, I’m hoping that I’ll be able to post video or slides from my sessions soon after.

Of course, I’ll be at MAX as well and may have some surprising things there, but I can’t talk about that yet 🙂

A tale of two customer support experiences

I’ve been putting together a mac mini-based home theater PC. I was going to post on it when I got it finished, but instead I have a different story.

Putting it together, I bought a few components and two different ones failed within two weeks (two weeks of each other and two weeks of opening their boxes). One was the Elgato EyeTV Hybrid. A USB-based TV tuner to record over-the-air digital TV. The other failed component was a Logitech DiNovo Edge (Mac Edition) bluetooth keyboard. Both of these are fairly pricey components, and are each somewhat critical for an HTPC.

The EyeTV just stopped being recognized by the computer. It worked fine for a few days and then poof. Dead. It happened right around the same time I did my first over-the-wire software update from them. I can’t say that it definitely was the software update, but very little else changed between when it was working and when it wasn’t. Rolling back to the previous software helped not-at-all. The computer doesn’t even see the EyeTv when it is plugged into the computer. For a device that is basically a few days old, this is a pretty crappy user experience. I contacted Elgato and they responded pretty quickly. After asking me the “dumb user” questions, they promised to send me a replacement quickly with a return label for me to return the dead unit. That was almost a week ago and I still haven’t received the new unit. Tomorrow it will be a week. That is unacceptable, I think, but I do like that they basically send you the replacement first and ask that you return the dead one.

Continue reading “A tale of two customer support experiences”

How I know that I’m still an engineer and entrepreneur at heart

We were looking at a demo of an agile-project tool yesterday. The tool itself was pretty good, but I just kept thinking about how I could write it myself and how much fun that would be. Then, once I looked at the cost of the license, I had to restrain myself from taking a week off and writing a competing tool that I could release as open source or sell at half the price.

Oh build-vs-buy, you always throw a bucket of ice water in the face of my reveries!

The best spam comment I’ve received thus far

This is by far one of the top-grade wrote articles on this content. I was searching on the exact aforesaid field of study and your position completely took me off with the way you see this matter. I congratulate your insight but do leave me to come back to input further as I’m currently widening my research on this case further. I will be back to join in this discussion as I’ve bookmarked and tag this very page.

An idle thought on date naming in the new millenium

Let us pretend that you have a yearly festival, Awesome Fest. You’ve been doing it forever. Awesome Fest ’87 was insane, this year’s Awesome Fest ’09 will be crazy.

What do you call next year’s Awesome Fest? Awesome Fest ’10 sounds weird to me. Don’t you need to start using he whole year for a while (eg. Awesome Fest 2010)?

Maybe we’ll come up with something new?

Just a random thought…

Happy new year, here is to a better one

I realized today that I haven’t posted anything here in quite a while. Maybe it was a normal ebb in the blogging stream, but there is more to it than that.

Those that are parents are well aware of the ability of an a child to pull your head out of the echo chamber of your own thoughts. I certainly felt that effect this year.

Combine that with the rise of the microblogging, of which I am finding myself very fond. Twitter lets me make a simple declarative statement in 160 chars that I would have felt the need to write paragraphs explaining or reinforcing on this site. On twitter, I can just say “I like watching the CBC. Canadian commercials are just nicer.” If I posted that here, I’d need to explain why Canadian commercials are nicer and maybe track down some Canadian commercials on youtube to include or whatever. That is too much effort when there are diapers to change. I also like the immediacy of the microblogging, the responses and directs, the conversations spilling out across multiple people very quickly. I’ve also found that with my limited time, twitter/friendfeed/facebook have basically replaced my RSS reading for the most part. I’m getting the same information faster through twitter than I do through firing up my RSS reader. I would expect, for 2009, that you will see fewer posts here, but there will be much less “chaff” and more “wheat.” If you want the chaff, the random thoughts and weird ramblings, follow me on twitter.

I’m finding myself cautiously optomistic about this coming year, but much less optomistic than I have been for quite some time. The morass and decline in the country following eight years of George Bush’s presidency is unlikely to be cleaned up quickly, no matter what kind of wunderkind that Barack Obama turns out to be. Barack Obama’s appointments have been somewhat underwhelming so far, the “team of rivals” justification rings somewhat hollow given the political infighting that could arise. An inexperienced executive leading a team of rivals could be a recipie for disaster. I’m delighted with Obama’s victory and what that can mean for our country, but he is taking on a herculean task and he has raised expectations so high that it can all fall apart very quickly.

I want to start this year on a positive note (for a change). So, I hope that for anyone reading this that your 2009 is better than your 2008 was.