December 29, 2006

Merry Belated Christmas

We spent Christmas with the Indians this year. We went to Chukchansi Gold Indian Casino on Christmas day with Timber's parents and nephew so that we could partake in the Christmas dinner buffet style. The food was pretty good and we didn't have to do any dishes. After eating Timber's dad went to gamble for a little while. My gambling consisted of sitting at a video poker machine with Timber and putting in $20 and watching my money slowly and steadily leave me. It was a lot like putting money in a parking meter with roughly the same odds of getting a payout. No, I'm not bitter. It was a day trip, so we drove 150 miles each way and the drive took roughly 2.5 hours each way. But did I mention that I didn't have to do dishes? :-)

Posted by troutm8 at 12:31 AM

December 23, 2006

Star Wars Holiday Special

This is the one thing I wanted from Youtube or any other video sharing web site and wouldn't you know it, they actually have lots of clips from the November 17th, 1978 showing of the Star Wars Hoilday Special. So enjoy these clips and go to Youtube and find more. Happy Holidays!

Posted by troutm8 at 01:31 PM

December 22, 2006


I'm at work right now and it is really quiet here. I mean REALLY quiet. I don't think I've talked to anyone else all day. It kind of reminds me of getting detention in school where all of your classmates get to go home or go have lunch or just leave and you are stuck in the classroom doing homework. It feels that way because nearly all of my coworkers are on vacation now and I'm at work because I used all my vacation earlier in the year. The good part is that I can work on things without interruptions. Speaking of which I'll get back to work. :-)

Posted by troutm8 at 01:03 PM

December 21, 2006

Happy Winter Solstice

Happy Winter Solstice everyone! You may not even know that today is winter solstice. If that is the case you probably live somewhere fairly warm and get plenty of sunlight. But here is a look at a few places in the northern hemisphere and the amount of daylight they get on winter solstice (today).
Barrow, Alaska -> 0 (that's right, absolutely no daylight)
Fairbanks, Alaska -> 1 hr 53 minutes (don't blink because if you do the sun will rise and set before you know it)
Anchorage, Alaska -> 2 hrs 56 minutes (not much better than Fairbanks but certainly warmer)
Juneau, Alaska -> 6 hrs 20 minutes (getting better)
Seattle, Washington -> 8 hrs 25 minutes (still depressing)
San Jose, California -> 9 hrs 40 minutes
We've now hit bottom and are on our way back up. Make your summer plans!

Posted by troutm8 at 03:39 PM

December 17, 2006

Another OYE Article

Here's another article about OYE (Omnifind Yahoo! Edition). Thanks for the link Maxime.

Posted by troutm8 at 01:14 PM

December 16, 2006

Sweet Machine

It was time to get a new computer so I went ahead and ordered one from the Apple Online Store last weekend. It took roughly 110 hours for it to show up, and both Timber and I have been happy with it thus far. It is so much faster than my old 12 inch powerbook. I ended up getting a black MacBook with a 2 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 2 Gb or RAM, and a 200 Gb hard drive. It also has a built in iSight camera in the screen and it comes with a remote control. When we pulled it out of the box and turned it on it asked if we wanted to migrate data from another Mac. We said yes and then connected a firewire cable between my 12 inch powerbook and the black MacBook. Then we started the transfer. It took roughly an hour to transfer everything over and when we were done it was like working on my old computer but much much faster. All my files and settings, including networking, bookmarks, cookies, etc... were over on my new MacBook. The best word to describe this process was seamless. I also got updated versions of GarageBand, iPhoto, and the other iLife stuff. So far I'm very impressed with the new machine and I know it will serve us well.

Posted by troutm8 at 04:19 PM

Do Not Try This At Home

While it was raining a lot in San Jose last week Timber and I decided to go to Target to get a rain coat for Wookie. What a silly mistake. First, Wookie's legs are too long for the rain coat which made him walk like Frankenstein's monster. After we took his back legs out of the rain cost and walked him, the rain coat didn't really work too well. So in our case the particular rain coat we got for Wookie didn't work. Now its time to take it back. :-)

Posted by troutm8 at 03:34 PM

December 14, 2006

My Blog Posting Went Live

Nothing like linking to my blog posting on another site right? I posted information on how to use a widget to do your searches against Y! Edition on our official product blog. What I didn't say there is that I'm working on a widget from scratch and I'm going to get Holm (the guy that did the graphics for Y! Edition) to do the graphics for the widget. It's going to be wicked cool!

Posted by troutm8 at 11:17 AM

December 13, 2006

Yahoo! Edition Coverage

There are several news stories and blog postings out there about Yahoo! Edition. Here are a few:
*Link from the Yahoo! Search Blog
*Inforworld article on Yahoo! Edition
*Chicago Tribune article
* article
*AP article
*Reuters article
* article
*eWeek article
*PC Magazine article
*IT Week article

That's enough for now.

Posted by troutm8 at 01:15 PM

IBM Omnifind Yahoo! Edition Launched

Today we released IBM Omnifind Yahoo! Edition to the public. You can find and download it here. This is the first product I've worked on since I've been at IBM that has been released to the public, so I can actually say something publically about it. By the way, my opinions and views do not necessarily reflect those of IBM and blah blah blah. Still with me? My roles on this project were to test the admin console, move us to a new test case repository, verify bug fixes, run long running tests looking for memory leaks, test some of the API calls, argue with developers about features/bugs, test the public page, and ensure the right files are there when the public was able to start downloading and using it. Other things popped up along the way and there were fires to put out (as always), so that goes without any official documentation. :-) So you may be wondering if it is worth your time to download, install, and starting using Yahoo! Edition. I'll try to answer that. The short answer is "it depends". If you have a windows or linux box where you can let Yahoo! Edition run and it won't conflict with other applications you are running on that box then yes I'd say go for it. The index is limited to 500,000 documents (web pages and/or word docs, pdf files, etc...), so if you think you will be crawling more web pages or files than that this might not be the solution you need. Our target audience is people running company intranet web sites. Most companies nowadays have internal web sites that have wikis, HR information, holiday party information, etc... With Yahoo! Edition you can crawl all those pages and make them easily searchable from any page, all you have to do is point your search box at Yahoo! Edition or include a link to the Yahoo! Edition search page. Additionally Yahoo! Edition is integrated with Yahoo! search right out of the box which means that after you find out your company HR information you can search Yahoo! from the same browser page. And even better is that it is FREE. Other potential uses include using it as the search engine for your own personal blog (which I intend to do), using it to build your own recipe search engine (only crawl the recipe sites that you like), or using it to only crawl files on your hard drive and make them searchable. There is a lot of fun to be had here, so I recommend downloading it and giving it a try. And if you have any questions or comments post them to the forum, my collegues and I will be reading through them and answering questions. Enjoy!

Posted by troutm8 at 12:34 PM

December 12, 2006

Don't Sell Crack, You'll Only Make $3.50 An Hour

I watched this talk given the author of Freakanomics and I have to admit that being an economist working on interesting projects can be very cool. If you want to scare your kid away from beging drug user or dealer you should have them watch this video. Prisons should also show it to inmates to deter them from a life a crime.

Posted by troutm8 at 10:56 AM

Happy Birthday Bob

Today is my brother's birthday. Happy Birthday Bob! You just keep getting older and older as well as wiser.

Posted by troutm8 at 12:21 AM

Quilts Of Gee's Bend

Timber heard about the Quilt's of Gee's Bend being on display at the De Young Museum in San Francisco and decided that we were going to go check it out at some point this month. The "at some point" ended up being Sunday. Luckily we watched a PBS documentary on Gee's Bend on Saturday and did a little online research and were armed with enough information to actually process the information and the actual quilts that were hanging on the wall. By the way the Quilts of Gee's Bend are on display only until the end of December. So if you want to see them your time is running out. When we got to the display at the De Young Museum we caught a group that was being led through the display by a docent. We quietly attached ourselves to the back of the group and slowly worked our way through, looking at the quilts and taking in the excellent information our docent was handing out like candy. The quilts really are beautifully made and coupled with the history of the people at Gee's Bend it definitely qualifies as art of the highest order. I would highly recommend checking it out. Here is a good web site to check out if you want to find out more about the quilts of Gee's Bend. After we finished with the quilts we grabbed a snack in the cafe and then continued to work our way through the museum. We got the audio tour, so we were busy punching in numbers and learning about the different pieces we came across. I don't feel like we spent enough time there and I could easily go back and spend a full day there again. On our way out we checked out the tower which had a great view of Golden Gate Park and the city. Overall I would have to rate the De Young Museum as my favorite art museum (nothing beats the Air and Space Museum in DC). I like the architecture of the building, I think it was well made and maintained, and the pieces of art on display are excellent. That coupled with extremely welcoming staff and volunteers makes this a museum you should not miss.

Posted by troutm8 at 12:11 AM

December 11, 2006

Gilroy Shopping

On Saturday Timber and I went down to Gilroy to do some outlet shopping in the pouring rain. Luckily for us not that many other people were willing to do the same. Every time I go into the stores (there and elsewhere), whether I am looking at clothes for myself or for Timber I can't help but think how ugly the most of the clothes are. Bad collars on shirts, poofy cuffs on jackets, pants that are either too long or too short. I mean really, it is getting to the point that I would almost rather make my own clothes than have to buy the crap they put in most of the stores. And the music, they must have copyright problems or something because most of the music is horrible. They would be better off putting on a radio station but they don't do that. It is no wonder I don't like shopping in stores. But at least we finished off the day with some BBQ from Famous Dave's. We even tried the bread pudding which is one of the things people rave about. It was pretty good. What the hell is bread pudding anyway? Does it have any relation to stuffing? By the way, I'm really looking forward to going to Texas next year to have some real down home lip smackin' add 10 points to your cholestrol bbq. I can't say when or where in Texas I'm going but I can say I'm in on the conspiracy. :-)

Posted by troutm8 at 11:33 PM

December 07, 2006

3 Months At SVL

Well I've now been in my new job at SVL (IBM's Silicon Valley Lab) for 3 months. The time has really flown by, most likely because I have taken a lot of vacation during that time (Alaska, Mexico, Brother's visit). I didn't mean to take all my vacation for the year during that three month span, but it just sort of worked out that way. But vacation aside it has been an interesting ride thus far. For one, I got an office instead of the cube I used to have. It is nice to be able to close my door if people in the hallway get too loud. But I don't listen to as much music as I used to since I don't have any decent speakers and I want to be able to hear if someone knocks on my door. I also got rid of the crappy CRT displays for my desktop machine and replaced them with sweet 20 inch wide screen displays. The resolution is good as is the refresh rate. I'm much happier and more productive now because of it. Here's an article that claims getting dual displays can make you 20 - 30 percent more productive. Most importantly I got put on a team where the work is interesting and challenging. I always enjoy learning new things and being challenged with difficult tasks. Obviously I can't say too much about the actual content of my work. Another cool thing is that the SVL site is only 4 miles away from my house. That translates into an 8 minute commute each way and there is never any traffic. So overall no complaints and the work life is good. :-)

Posted by troutm8 at 08:40 PM

December 04, 2006

Is This For Real?

I don't know if the embedded video is real or not, but it sure is entertaining. Check it out (I love the part with the numchucks)!

Posted by troutm8 at 04:12 PM