Thu Feb 28, 2008

How we met - with Barbies

Here's a video I made for my wedding showing how I met my wife. We re-enacted it using Barbie's only Asian friend Kira and Ken.

Posted by: jav on Feb 28, 08 | 9:07 pm | Profile

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Sun Feb 17, 2008

No one else likes the music I like

I don't watch American Idol, but I saw a news headline about an American Idol 'scandal', so I thought I would take a peek. The article was about one of the contestants having a prior record contract, and critics were complaining that that doesn't make her undiscovered talent. The CD the contestant made was a horrific flop, selling only 400 copies according to the article.

I was surprised to read that this was Carly Hennessy's album, since I own it. I own 0.25% of all the CDs she ever sold. And it's a CD that I like more than most other CDs I have.

I found Carly because of my love of New Radicals. New Radicals was a band that put out one CD, but it was a great CD, and one of my favorites. New Radicals was the mastermind of Gregg Alexander. I looked up what other work he had done, and he produced Danielle Brisebois' album, which led me to find out that both Gregg Alexander and Danielle Brisebois did production work on Carly Hennessy's Ultimate High CD.

Even though she only sold 400 copies, you can download her CD from iTunes.

As I said, I don't watch American Idol, but this may make me take a peek now and then.

Posted by: jav on Feb 17, 08 | 5:51 pm | Profile

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Mon Feb 04, 2008

Tom Dowdy

I first started seriously working on a Macintosh in 1994 when I graduated from university and started writing Mac software for a company in Toronto. At the time, one of the most famous software applications was SimpleText, a precursor to today's TextEdit on Mac OS X. Even though it came with System 7, it seemed almost every other third party developer would ship SimpleText so you could read their README. It was really silly. Back in those days, names of actual engineers appeared in Apple About boxes, and so I learned the name of Tom Dowdy.

I was working on printer drivers at the time, and I encountered a problem where SimpleText would crash when using my printer driver. I was commenting to my colleague that I should send a bug report to Tom Dowdy. Of course, after more investigation, I determined it was all my fault. I was relieved I didn't make myself look bad by trying to send a bug report to Tom.

When I came to work at Apple in 1996, I was starstruck when I first saw Tom Dowdy. He was working on QuickTime in the same building as me, R&D 2. Years later, he went to work on iTunes.

Most engineers at Apple had some interaction with Tom because he had worked at Apple for so long (more than 17 years), and also because he was the bug screener for iTunes. So, any time someone wrote a bug against iTunes, Tom would read it, and send it along to the appropriate person, or explain to you why iTunes was right and you were wrong.

I shared the stage with Tom at the annual Stump The Experts event at WWDC. This last year I was sitting beside or very close to beside Tom. An audience member was addressing the experts. His name sounded familiar, so I asked aloud to my fellow experts, "Who is that guy? His name sounds really familiar." Tom replied to me, "I know. I think he posts on the mailing lists a lot." Even though I had exchanged emails with Tom over the years, and even though we communicated through Radar bugs, that might have been the only verbal conversation we had ever had.

I was surprised and saddened to hear on Sunday that Tom suddenly passed away on Saturday. Although I never really knew him, I always had a tremendous amount of respect for him. He was a great engineer, and his passing is a great loss to Apple.

Posted by: jav on Feb 04, 08 | 12:12 pm | Profile


Indeed: Tom Dowdy

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Sun Jan 27, 2008

Another Wedding Photo

Here's one of my favorite wedding photos. It features my groomsmen Keith and Duane and Stacie's bridesmaids Lori and Tami.


Posted by: jav on Jan 27, 08 | 6:46 pm | Profile

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Fri Jan 11, 2008

How you like me now, bitch?

I'm a geek, and now that makes me real cool. When people hear that I'm an engineer at Apple, they get real interested and ask me lots of questions and shake my hand and want to be my friend.

But it wasn't always that way. Back in high school and junior high, I was a geek, and didn't have many friends. People wanted to talk to me, but were too afraid of becoming a geek like me. For example, I just got this email from this guy who was a friend of my older sister:

I still remember coming over to visit yer sister, and you would be playing around with your Comodore 64 and a phone modem, doing things no one else even cared about back in 1985. I was so interested in what you were doing, as I was playing around with my VIC 20 at home... don't tell anyone. I guess I didn't want to look like a geek, so I never talked to you about it. You were one step ahead of all of us all... we just didn't know it.

(For the more sensitive readers, "How You Like Me Now" is a new expression used by the young kids today, and "How you like me now, bitch" has popped up in music lyrics and even episodes of Scrubs.)

Posted by: jav on Jan 11, 08 | 11:25 pm | Profile

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Wed Jan 09, 2008

Copy and Paste Extreme

I just finished an update to my new software Copy and Paste Extreme.

This software lets you copy something to your clipboard on one Macintosh, and paste it on another Macintosh. This is great if you run more than one Mac, which I do at work. I can copy something to my clipboard on one Mac where I just run my development tools, and then paste it into an email message on another Mac which is the only Mac running my Mail program.

Since I started using it, I can't imagine not having it.

Posted by: jav on Jan 09, 08 | 6:40 pm | Profile

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Wed Dec 19, 2007

I was on the radio

I listen to The Geoff Show on Virgin UK Radio over the Internet while I'm at work. One day, they were inviting listeners to email them if you thought you had the best job. So, I emailed them and told them I invent iPods and iPhones, and they got all excited:

It's a true story about how I met some guy at the mall, and he was very excited to meet an actual iPod engineer. And he wasn't just some guy - he was an actual rocket scientist at NASA Ames in Mountain View.

Posted by: jav on Dec 19, 07 | 6:20 pm | Profile

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Tue Dec 18, 2007

Fara on iTunes

Way back in the early 90's, I went to Quebec City. There I came across a street musician named Fara. I've written about him before in this blog. My mom and I bought some of his CDs, and I kept in contact with him for a while, buying more CDs as he made them. Over the years he moved, and I was unable to get in touch with him.

Earlier this year, I went back to Quebec City to propose to my girlfriend. While there, I found him again, performing in the very same spot. I got some more CDs, and offered to set up a web site for him, and sell his CDs online.

Now I have a website set up for him, and you can buy his CD Envol Heroique from iTunes. This is the first CD of his that I bought and one of my favorites. It's music he wrote himself. It's a mixture of electronic and solo piano. Very soothing yet powerful.

Posted by: jav on Dec 18, 07 | 9:17 pm | Profile

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Sat Dec 01, 2007

I met Kathy Griffin

Last night I had front row tickets to the Kathy Griffin show at the Flint Center in Cupertino. The tickets were pretty easy to get - I just showed up at the box office just before they opened on the morning tickets went on sale, and grabbed 7 tickets for me and my friends.

The show started off with Kathy running on stage, and her iPhone flying out of her pocket and onto the floor of the stage. So, she went on about some things she didn't like about the iPhone.

I knew someone who knows Kathy personally, so he was able to arrange for us to meet her backstage after the show. It was pretty cool. We told her right away that we were a bunch of Apple engineers, and some of us actually worked on the iPhone, so she took advantage of the situation and got us to show her how to do some stuff on her iPhone. We spent about 20 minutes with her, and she posed for pictures between iPhone lessons.


Before we left, we invited her to our weekly dinner club, and then she said, "Oh, you're those people!" Maybe we'll see her again.

Posted by: jav on Dec 01, 07 | 11:24 pm | Profile

[2] comments (15724 views) |  link

Tue Nov 06, 2007

My dog went to New York and got robbed

My dog Kitai was on the Today Show last week to show off the costume his mom made him. He didn't win. All my friends tell me he was robbed.

Look at his appearance and judge for yourself.

Posted by: jav on Nov 06, 07 | 1:48 pm | Profile

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