Today during lunch, some colleagues sitting in my aisle had a brainstroming section on new product ideas. It originated from a chit-chat last week that we all concluded the company has no good ideas on future product. We had limited the ideas to CMOS chips, probably with a processor core. The more ideas generate most interests are pattern recognition accelerator and some sort of babel fish device. I personally think dedicated hardware for robotic motion control may have a market. As all unbounded brainstorm session, we know we had run out of ideas when technolgies from Startrek showing up on the whiteboard. I don’t know where this excerise will lead to, probably no where. One thing I do notice is that Ph.D level research is required for any new killer hardware application.
Today the Starbuck outlet at work has opened for business. They know about good promotion on how to attract customers. Each of us got a coupon for free coffee. When I first received the coupon, I thought it is only good for one cup. It turned out that it is one free cup each day for this week, what a brillant marketing idea! Just a cup of free coffee won’t give you much incentive to spend $2 for something you can get for free in the cafeteria, even though the coffee from starbuck tastes better. However, giving you one cup per day is a different story, it slowly builds up your addiction to their coffee. I had a large cup today, and I didn’t plan to finish it. Somehow I just slip the whole cup bit by bit without knowing it. I think I should resist to this evil marketing scam tomorrow and give up my free coffee. The moral of this story is positive out of expectation works quite well in convincing people to your favour.
Today I went to the Vancouver Mensa AGM. It’s my first time going to any Mensa event after joining for almost 3 years. It is held in the basement of one of the member, he kindly provides refreshment (i.e. beer) for the meeting. As expected, the meeting is kinda boring, just went over the house keeping items one by one. Most of the members presenced are old folks, there are only me and another young member. I am a bit disappointed that the members all look pretty normal, hardly can tell they have higher than average IQ. I think I will give it one more try before stop wasting moeny on the membership fee. I will probably participate in one of the social events, see can I find more interesting people other than grandies to hang out with in Mensa.
My today is pretty much wasted, didn’t had much work done on my studies. Although I had walked Charlie in the afternoon, cooked dinner and did my laundary. The biggest problem today is I had turned on TV when I was having my dinner. Then I just glued to the couch, watched Enterprise and followed by the re-run of Minority Report. I finished an article on gay marriage using commercial time though. Maybe I should consider cut off the basic cable too. I really have to make up the work tomorrow. Kinda feel guilty now.
I went to 3 farewell events for my colleagues in one day. First it’s the farewell lunch for Renee, then afternoon I went to beer and wings for Scott, and at least I hopped to the pub for Renee’s party again. There are many people leaving the company lately. Almost all the capable people are gone and join some startups. Somehow I have a feeling my boss will be next one to go. He was recruited into PMC by Scott, and now Scott and a VP who once wanted to promote him to manager had joined that startup, if they need a verification head, who are they going to hire?
Tonight is the final session of Life in the Spirt Seminar, I was expecting something exciting to happen. Instead of miracles from the Holy Spirit, all I got is a really boring mass with a long-winded priest. In conclusion, the only benefit I got from 7 weeks LSS is having a better relationship with Pat. I don’t think I had changed much spiritually. Since the average age of the class is over 50, maybe I’m just too young for these supernatural experience.
Today after the meeting with Dr. Hardy, on my way back to Burnaby on the skytrain, I gave some advice on research to first year grad student. I’m kinda surprise she does not even know how to use IEEE Explorer, yet already has a paper published in a conference. Internet really is the most powerful research tool, all you need is type in keywords, then the papers will magically show up. Actually one of the problems is there are the search result is too long. I really have to filter out the useful ones to be efficient. Using citation identify the “hub” that everyone else is referencing to is the key. Unfortunately I just know this method not too long ago, and wasted a lot of time reading useless papers.
Tonight, in the second half of my German lesson, the whole class went to a German restaurant for dinner. We had to order our food and talked to the waitress in deutsche. It is the first experience to use German outside classroom, and I realize how poor my German is. One of the classmate brough along his German girlfriend. Some more advanced classmates can chat with her without much problem. Of course, my German is so bad that I can’t even understand half of their conversation, let alone join them in the talk.
Still, I have a great time guessing what does those sentence means and picked up a few useful vocabulary. Most important, now I feel more comfortable in an all-German environment.
Hope is one of the three virtues, and it is an indespensable element of life. If you have a dream and striving for it, you know there is always a way out regardless of the current state. I found the emptiness feeling inside me fades away as I stop wasting time and focus to get my goal accomplished. It took Titanic three and a half hour to sink after it hit the icebery, I wonder how much longer can PMC stays afloat. I need to get myself ready to jump the boat before the final moment comes.
Today when I download the google desktop search bar, I came across a photo management tool from google, picasa. So I installed and tried out both softwares. The searchbar is nothing special, just yet another search tool. But I’m quite impressed by picasa. The interface is pretty user friendly and the speed is lightening fast, much better than the another tool, acdsee, I used to view images. Picasa crawls through my harddisk and index all the the pictures, including some I had long forgotten their existience. When I’m viewing the old photos from several years ago, it brings back some good old memories and I wonder how time had really goes by quickly. Another thing I always wonder about is how come I looked so awkward with the funny hairstyle back then?
On a minor thought, today I got assigned to a new project. It is another rush-to-market kind has development cycle less than 6 months. Somehow I have a feeling that it’ll go bust somewhere down the road. I guess I’ll just keep my head down and staying cool to avoid the turmoils. Just concentrate on finishing my thesis and I can move on into a new chapter of my life.
When I am reading many journal papers this afternoon, I was wondering how many of those research paper are actually practical in reality? It seems many of them are just like my thesis, they are written for the sake of being written. I can’t convince myself what I am working on has any research value, rather it seems I’m just playing in a sand box, building my own version of overly simplifed reality. I guess that’s the difference between me and a true academic.