waving android

I am currently a software engineer at Google, where as a member of the Android platform team I build frameworks and user interfaces.

The blog here at is mostly historical; you can find more recent posts on .

Archive for September, 2005

Serenity—now?

September 29th, 2005

So the AMC Studio 30 is showing Serenity at 12:01 am. It would be totally ridiculous to go (especially since I would be going, ahem, alone), but ooh, SHINY.

Blue Powerade tastes like kiwis and feet

September 28th, 2005

…and other things I learned during my first college lecture

I lectured our intro computing class for the first time this morning. I picked up a few tips along the way.

  1. Bring your own whiteboard markers. This one’s a gimme.
  2. Bring your own energy. Even after almost a week off (thanks to the hurricane) most of the class was quiet; hey, at least they weren’t totally asleep. Hence the Powerade: a steady supply of simple sugars helped me keep my own energy up. By the end I had students murmuring answers and asking occasional questions, which I consider a victory against first-class-of-the-day somnolence.
  3. Energy is fine, but don’t be an ass. I accidentally gave a student a Family Feud buzzer when I really meant to give it to myself, which was rude and unhelpful. I had said, “Is this [code on the board] enough?" and, expecting no one to respond, I started to shout "AANGH!" ... but not before a student said, "Yes, it's enough." Now it seemed like I was buzzing him. Bad move.
  4. Printed notes are fine, but make sure you can read them. I eschewed PowerPoint slides (which I run through too fast and which are almost impossible for an audience to absorb meaningfully) in favor of whiteboarding the whole lecture, and printed some lecture notes for myself. I wrote out a lot of details I didn't need to refer to; scripting the lecture was helpful for me while practicing, but all I really needed during the lecture was a list of topics (and listings of correct code for the board). What I did, however, was print out my entire notes, 2-up front and back; whenever I lost my place or wanted to make sure I had covered everything before moving on, I had to squint at 7pt type on a folded-up piece of paper. I'm sure I looked stupid (and blind) doing this.
  5. No class runs under time. About 2/3 of the way through the material, I was about halfway through class, so I was really worried about running under. (I seem to be fundamentally unable to fill the time alotted when presenting material, so this was a legitimate concern.) Suddenly it was 45 after, and I still wanted to do a little exam review before the students all got up and left. We finished about a minute over; several students had already stood up and were walking out the door by that point. Hell, this class is usually at least 5 minutes or more over time; I managed to finish up pretty close to on-time. Where's the gratitude?

Eat any good books lately?

September 27th, 2005
Recently, in dinosaur linguistics comics: the sapir-whorf hypothesis (that conscious thought is shaped and even constrained by available language constructs). Whee!

Can openers: scarce in Austin this weekend

September 26th, 2005

can_opener-02.jpg
Originally uploaded by jason.parks.

Canned food’s no good if you can’t open the can.

The boys are back in town.

September 26th, 2005

(The girls, too.)

There’s still a lot to relate, but it turns out the rest of the world didn’t stop turning while Houston ran and hid, so I’ve got a lot to catch up on first. Exhibit A:

Palm Inc. is teaming up with Microsoft Corp. to launch a Windows-based version of the Treo smart phone, marking the first time the handheld computer pioneer will sell a device based on its former rival’s software. [...]

“In terms of the level of importance, this would be — in this space — the same thing as Apple announcing they were going to be using Intel processors,” Enderle said.

Correction: This would be the same thing as Apple announcing they would start shipping Macs running Windows instead of the Mac OS. (Hey, PalmSource: what’s that on the wall?)

Morning.

September 24th, 2005
We were only barely grazed out here, southwest of town. Still breezy; no more rain. Hoping to adventure up into town today.

Windy.

September 24th, 2005
Heavy gusts every minute or so, scraping trees against house. Still no real rain.
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