Happy new year! 2012 was a pretty crazy year for me. The biggest thing was probably moving into my great new apartment with Lana, but I also worked on a bunch of great projects, including:
I also made (and almost completed) a little app for displaying trending data
. It’s probably not in good enough shape for someone to easily clone it and use it out of the gate, which is really why I’m making this post. I have a lot of ideas for 2013 that I think have great potential, and I don’t want them to get stuck in limbo like that last project (which I will definitely finish, I promise).
My plans for 2013 start with this blog. I just found a nice and simple bootstrap
-based tumblr theme on github
it to my liking. It’s not perfect yet, but that’s part of the plan. I’m also building a website testing framework
that will help me tweak the remaining details.
The framework is an API for A/B and various bandit algorithm tests, where a web app can request a version of the page to display, and then report the results of the test back, thus influencing the version shown to the next user. The idea for this was inspired by John Myles White’s excellent book on the subject (watch his talk about it here).
It’s been fun to have a big project to work on again. Let’s hope 2013 turns out as well as 2012.
My first job out of college was to help build this clock. The funding was from a Navy contract that had about 6 months left, and most of the hardware and optics had been designed, but none of the control software was done yet. My boss handed me 2/3 of the microprocessor’s manual and a few c files that compiled but were “mostly broken.” We were able to pull it together and deliver a VERY FRAGILE prototype just in time, and get funding to continue working on the project.
A product like this was designed to sacrifice some performance in exchange for serious reductions in power consumption. We were able to nearly reach the theoretical performance limit while dropping the power consumption to a mere 2-3% of other commercially available clocks. And patent some stuff along the way.
I found out this past weekend that the company is finally going under after 33 years. I worked there for 7 of those years and had great mentors who had previously worked at places like Bell Labs, Harvard Smithsonian Astrophysics Laboratory, HP, Mathworks, and Arecibo Observatory (you remember it from the movie Contact).
A small handful of us left the company within a few months of each other in 2008, and I’m not sure if they ever replaced us. I learned a lot there, and it’s weird to think that all of the work I did there is just going to collect dust and fade away.