Vector64 Blog

Here you'll find some stuff that interests me that's generally unrelated to the Mozilla stuff. This is a low-budget blog in that it's just a plain HTML file and isn't interactive. There is a one-click blog program with this web server but I haven't had the time to look into turning it on yet. Maybe someday in the future.

August 25, 2010

It's been a long time.

Basically, things have been quite busy with two in college and me shuttling one back and forth to classes. It's been stressful up until the beginning of this summer when our son was gone for his internship and things have been quiet. I've spent a good amount of time getting my health back in order by basically losing a lot of weight. I ran in my first road race a few weeks ago since 2000. That felt pretty good though I can do much better in time if I lose more weight. I will be working pretty hard on losing weight and general training into the end of this year. Our son is in his senior year while our daughter has matriculated at a local community college. She already has a good number of credits so it shouldn't take her long to get an associates degree.

I've picked up a 27 inch iMac, an iPad, a new iPod Nano, a Unibody MacBook Pro and an iPod Touch (free student summer offer). The iPod Touch went to my daughter, the MacBook Pro to my son (his old MBP has hardware issues with the DVD player). All of these are very cool products and do make life easier. I'm still using my old Athlon X2 as my home desktop as it gets the job done.

I did find a use for those iPod Nano plastic cases which look so cool. I normally keep bandages in my workout bag scattered in the bag. I just rearranged things to put the bandages in the iPod Nano case. I also put some alcohol swabs in there for cuts and other body damage. Now what to do with the iPod Touch case?

I've also discovered the benefits of high-tech workout gear. It keeps you cooler, takes up less space, is lighter and you can hand-wash it. This means that I don't need many of them as I usually do laundry once a week. I have three of the shirts and that means that I can have two in the drawer while one is drying from being cleaned. I've been picking these up for as low as $7 as Sports Authority on the clearance rack. These shirts take up less space in my bureau - space has been a problem but I've weeded out some of the rattier stuff. Losing weight means going down in size which means that clothes don't take up so much space.

June 31, 2009

I'm still in pain but it's on the decline. My cuts are healing and it looks like the risk of infection have dropped. Chest still hurts when I cough and make certain movements and I have to be careful with my wrist but my splint does a pretty good job when I'm wearing it.


Went out to hit some tennis balls tonight with a friend. The courts were full so my friend asked a couple of high-school players if they wanted to play doubles. They said okay and we took them on. I thought that they would do well against us as I was injured and I had just upped the weight on my racquets considerably. Spec weight was 12.8. My light racquet weighed 12.9 and the heavy one weighted 13.1. I weighted both to 13.2 before overgrip. These sticks are heavy. Great for groundstrokes. You just have to get the racquet moving and it takes care of the ball. I couldn't get pace on my serve though. I can't muscle this thing - at least not yet. I'm going to have to go for longer and smoother on the serve to crank up the power. My chest pain may have slowed me down too. I think that it will take at least six weeks to adjust to the weight.


Joe Drew agreed to review my SSE changes. If we can get this change in, then we can apply it to Mac OSX, Linux, Windows x64, etc. And there's lots of other stuff that we can do too.

June 30, 2009


I had a major accident playing tennis this past weekend. I went for a ball and tripped in the mesh netting between the courts. I injured my left wrist (feels like a sprain), had cuts on my right hand, a bump next to my left eye and trauma to my left chest. I have some knowledge of first aid so I wrapped the left wrist with an ace bandage and took care of the cuts on the right hand. There is probably some infection in the right hand but it is healing so I will just check it everyday and only go to the doctor if it looks to get worse.

I picked up a splint for my left wrist at the local CVS and that's been helpful. Doing everyday things with an injured wrist can be very painful.

My chest hurts when I cough and do other things like getting up from a prone position. Good stomach muscles definitely help out.

The bump next to my eye is getting better rapidly. There was no real pain, only some swelling.

The biggest headache with these injuries is that it is very hard to workout. No barbell work (which I like to do daily), pushups, situps, twisting motions and there's limited range of motion on the left side. I did a little stretching and aerobics to find the limits. May try a little yoga tonight. Tomorrow I will try some light jogging on the treadmill to at least get my heart rate up for a while.

My KPS88 rackets were pretty unbalanced. I found out that the difference in balance was about four points and the difference in weight was about 6 grams. I definitely felt this on the court and I spent some time modifying both rackets to match in balance and weight. It will take some effort to get used to the new setups because they're now both 13.2 ounces. Before, one was 12.9 and ther other 13.1. I had to add some weight to the heavier one to get the balance that I preferred on the lighter model. I then added weight to the lighter model to get it up to the weight of the heavier model while maintaining the same balance. This means that it will be more work carrying it around on the court and in hitting the ball while providing me with more access to power, especially on the serve. We'll see if I can get into shape to handle the added weight. When the injuries subside.


Son is doing fairly well at his internship in Maine from the communications that I get from him. I think that he's learning a lot being away from home for an extended amount of time. He has a lot to manage with his work and in living on his own. I'm amazed at how much less we buy in groceries with him away. We do videochats from time to time and it's nice to have that technology available.

I found out today that we hired three engineers in the last two weeks. That's always good news to me when we're hiring. Demand for engineers in the local area seems to be pretty good.

He has an odd problem with his MacBook Pro - the CD drive pops open randomly. I've read that others have this problem too. Hopefully it's a software issue that gets fixed soon. The machine is fine otherwise. I might have to get him a temporary machine while his is repaired if it comes to that.


Ryan sent me information on the image modules changing hands. I'll try for a review from the new guy for my JPEG SSE2 patch. I've been waiting for a review on it since last fall.


I tried installing Vista SP2 on my Dell XPS M1330 a few weeks ago but it failed and suggested I download this huge (100 MB) tools to tell me why. It couldn't tell me why so I'm going to remove all of the anti-malware software that I have installed (Ad-Aware, MalWare Bytes, Spybot Search and Destroy, Avast) and then try again. I think that Microsoft should be able to tell me what's blocking the installation since they will run into this with a lot of other people. But we'll see what we can do. I really would like to use this laptop if I can get some better performance out of it. Light is important to me now because of injuries.

June 19, 2009

The kids did great in college this past semester exceeding my expectations.

We brought our son up to Maine for his internship three weeks ago and he's busy working on his project. It sounds fairly challenging in that he has to get scientific programs working on a parallel machine and get a web server setup to serve out graphical content. A lot of the challenges are in logistics, communications and getting stuff to work. That sort of thing can be hard in private industry or in a university research environment where you are new.

One of his current tasks is to set up a web site on a Linux server with Apache. I tried this on my MacBook Pro. It took about three mouseclicks to do so. His comment is that things that are complex on other operating systems seem to be so easy with Mac OSX. This sort of thing amazes me too.

He's also studying for his fall courses and is getting a feel for living without all of the resources of a family to support him.

His part-time contract work has him doing other math-related programs. It has been pretty slow but work experience is work experience.

I've been spending a lot of time working out and I'm feeling better and better. I could really stand to losing 45 pounds but one thing at a time.

I've done nothing with Mozilla for a while. Family stuff and getting myself back into shape have kept me busy. Administrative stuff has too but most of that is taken care of. I'm annoyed that my latest JPEG SSE2 fix is still just sitting in limbo.

Work is not as busy as I'd like but I've been working on getting a performance server set up for others to do performance analysis with. I'm amazed at how hard it can be to get a machine set up with Linux. The operating system can be so finicky with hardware.

June 6, 2009

I had to take care of a lot of errands late in May including replacing the timing belt, water pump and miscellaneous seals on my car at 176,000 miles. Yesterday morning I noticed an oil leak (first time for the car) and brought it back and they took care of it. It was a cam seal failure which they replaced under warranty. It's not a huge deal but small nuisances add up to some stress.

I also received a letter from our health insurer on a claim for a checkup a month ago - they need our son's university information and whether or not he's covered under any other medical plan. A lot of employee health insurers cover the kids of employees if they are full-time students so they either ask for university information every year or confirm it when there is a claim.

We also went up to Maine to drop our son off at his internship. The ride is about 4.5 hours and isn't very stressful. We stayed in Bangor for a bit and it's a pretty snoozy place. We did take a daytrip to Bar Harbor and that was very nice. A quaint Maine town by the ocean just before the vacation season. The shops were open but things weren't crowded.

We're keeping in touch with our son via video chat. The MacBook Pros work very well with this application. It has been quiet at home without our son and I've been taking care of things that I've put off for a while. Our son's tuition and fees will be going up by 11% next year though that may be reduced by stimulus money - that depends on the legislature. It's not a big deal though. Our son is earning more money this year compared to last year working various jobs and it's good to see him with some experience under his belt. He's working on supercomputer programming this summer - stuff that I wouldn't mind playing around with myself. It looks like the world is going parallel.

I'm trying to get back to my workout regimen of weights, tennis, stretching and running. The weights are easy because I have them at home. Same with stretching. Running is a bit harder but I will work that out.

On Tuesday I'll be attending a "Trader's Summit" in Boston and that should be fun. I've never been to one but they have a few stars there and it may be nice to spend the day there. Or not.

May 2009
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Updated August 30, 2009. For comments and questions, send email to Contents of this blog are Copyright 2009. Fair use portions may be copied with a link back to this