Thursday, July 10, 2014

Bikes in the Cloud

Lots of happenings recently at my place of employment, Wolfram Research Inc.  A new version of Mathematica is now out, and we have released the Wolfram Programming Cloud (WPC).  Why the WPC, you ask?

I'm glad you asked.  Well, it's a very nice way to share fun Mathematica projects with friends, like you guys, like this one:

If the link is broken, I'm doing a bad job as QA.  The page should be something like this, but interactive.

Fun, right?  There are real numbers and equations behind the pretty picture.  Some things that may happen in the future include telling you the values that you selected, or other relevant measurements (saddle height, set back, reach, drop, etc.).  Eventually, I'll set up an API function which will allow users to specify bike size and body dimensions.  Then, I will be rich and famous and powerful.

That's basically what I spend most of my days doing:  writing fun stuff to make sure that our products work just fine.  It's not a bad job.

Update:  Joel reminded me that I can directly embed here.  Voila!  Update:  Move around all of the sliders to get have the whole bike and person rendered correctly.  I'll try to fix this soon.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Happy 4th!

Clara and Janny are learning to share.  As expected, there are some regular conflicts (whose turn it is to choose the tv show, or to wear the sparkly shoes, or to drink from the fizzy-whizzy-cup).  The fizzy-whizzy-cup solution is somewhat reasonable.  When one has finished drinking at a meal, the other gets to drink from it.  The sharing that gets to me a bit is the toothbrush.  I had hoped that once we got rid of the red toothbrush, they would be happy to have their own again.  Not so.  Apparently, Scoobydoo is better than sponge bob, even though brushes are both blue.
 We have one less giant tree in our neighborhood.  Two quick days or working in rain or shine got rid of it.
 I got a couple of sweet ties for Father's day this year.
 Clara finally let us cut her bangs this weekend.  What finally convinced her was that she could spread her hair in the garden to keep the bunnies away.  Janny needed more hair cut as well after learning this fact.
Knutson estate farming continues to ramp up, by which I mean that within about 10 years, we'll really have something in our yard!  Because this summer has been plenty wet and rather mild (thanks, El Nino!), we can only blame ourselves for a small harvest.  Lessons learned so far:
1.  Our cherry tree did not care for last winter.  Not a single cherry to be had (same story with our neighbor's pair of trees).  The trees blossomed, but no fruit.
2.  Raspberry season has just ended.  I think more fertilizer is needed for the black ones.  Our cane diameter pales in comparison to the idea garden and to Eric and Amy's.  Red ones were pretty successful.
3.  Garden bed in general needs more soil enrichment.  Salad greens and herbs grow very slowly.  We're still thinking about how to do this.

Finally, I think softball season is nearing the end.  We had rainouts for the last two weeks, so it feels a bit removed.  We've won all of our games, though most have been quite close.  Runs continue to be a challenge to come by this year.  Our defense is stellar, and all other teams either have pretty good defense as well, or our hitting was terrible against them.  With the playoffs around the corner, I must believe that we'll get it going.