People ask me all the time about the status of KType. I had a demo running in February and since then I've spent hundreds of hours coding with nothing to show so people wonder what is it that I'm really doing. I'm doing SCIENCE! And that's the problem. While I can code up a whole new menu system in a day, doing actual research takes a lot of time. But I do have something interesting to share.
KType suggestions are coming along great. When a user types "wy so srs", KType can now suggest "why so serious". KType will run on the iPad and cannot rely on an internet connection to make suggestions. So I have to come up with these suggestions in real-time as the user is typing, based on the data already stored within the KType iPad app. My goal is to make 5 good suggestions within 0.5 seconds of the user pressing a letter. With a dictionary of over 600,000 words and phrases saved on the relatively slow iPad storage, it is no easy task to pick the best 5 choices in under a second. Just reading the 600,000 phrases takes over 8 seconds! So I have to be as clever as I can be and only search within words that I can predict might match.
To put in more bluntly, I have been spending months just to save milliseconds. Because in the end, the user's experience matters more than anything.
Yesterday I took new pictures of all of our animals and also made a short video around the yard and house with them. Check it out.
Figure out how to be happyThu, 9th Jun '11, 11:50 pm::
The end goal of every single human pursuit is happiness. We work hard so we can earn money so we can buy things so we can have fun so we can experience a slice of happiness. We fight wars so we can bring peace so we can live freely so we can experience a slice of happiness. We take revenge so we can bring justice so we can feel righted so we can experience a slice of happiness. We tell lies so we can deflect blame so we can save our face so we can live proudly so we can experience a slice of happiness. If you repeatedly ask "why" someone does anything, good or bad, the answer will invariably lead to their idea of happiness. Everyone just wants to be happy. And that's why it's one of my favorite things to think about.
Publicly, most everyone will say "I'm happy" but privately they might tell their confidantes "my life is miserable." And that's perfectly alright. Happiness is not a destination but rather a fleeting moment of "huh, everything is working out" while we go about our lives. I love the notion of happiness because like birth, age, and death it affects everyone. Everyone is born, grows old, and dies and throughout the entire ride we're all chasing happiness. Certainly the romantics among us claim to quest for love instead but what is love if not a path to happiness (and plenty of sorrow)?
If you can figure out how to be happy, you don't have to be healthy, wealthy, or wise. Those qualities can certainly help but they can also blind us from finding out what truly makes us happy. I make a concerted effort to identify things that make me happy and I partake in them as often as I safely can. But I've realized that there is more to happiness than doing things that make you happy. Regrets, guilt, jealousy, and rage can pierce through five layers of entertainment sandwiched between six layers of accomplishments. Life just gets you down sometimes, no matter how much of a fight you put up.
And that's when I find solace in being ephemeral and inconsequential. I am not invincible and I am not infallible. I am not eternal and I am not immemorial. I don't have to succeed and I don't have to win. Every decision I make is based on the wisdom and experience I have accumulated up to that particular moment in time. I cannot predict the future and I cannot control the outcome. All I can do is do my best, do the right thing, and continue my pursuit of happiness. Just like everyone else.
Nice thingsThu, 2nd Jun '11, 10:45 am::
Happy B'day Mom! Today is also the first anniversary of our Indian Wedding! I can't believe it's already a year since we went to India. I can't wait to go back. I'm pretty sure this time we'll go in the winter season so we can travel around the country comfortably.
Last night I got back from a short vacation to see our relatives in Houston, TX. Juliet and I drove a thousand miles to Texas last Thursday and stopped by New Orleans en route for some delicious beignets. Juliet flew back home on Monday and I drove back yesterday, rocking out to 90's music for 15 straight hours. In Houston, we met my dad's maternal cousins and their ever-so-boisterous kids. It was a great experience hanging out with them, especially since none of them had met Juliet before. In the mornings and afternoons, we chilled in the pool and in the evenings, we sat around the kitchen table snacking on Indian junk food and recollecting stories and experiences.
One of my favorite things in life is to hear people say nice things about others. I don't do drama and don't much care for negativity. It is very easy to spew petty complaints but it takes a big heart to genuinely appreciate and admit how wonderful others are. Like Thumper said in Bambi, "If you can't say something nice, don't say nothing at all." So I get teary-eyed whenever I hear people praise others. It was such a wonderful feeling to hear my relatives say things like how nice my mom is, how creative my sister is, or how lucky I am to have found a wife as sweet as Juliet. I live for days like this.
Now it's back to regular life. Juliet has been working as a surgical PA for a few weeks and is getting accustomed to her busy schedule. I have been making slow but steady progress with my research project over the past few months and now that Juliet is busy all day, I can kick things into overdrive and get some serious work done. I can't wait!