The Quiet Kid

I'm not sure if it come across, but I've never exactly been the loud kid. If you've met me IRL, you know I tend to not have much to say, even if I'm pretty comfortable with you. The same goes for this blog!

The time in between the last post and this has been a whirlwind, though. I suppose an update is in order.

Another year in the bag

I took an entire year of purely compsci classes, and I seem to have done pretty well by all metrics! These classes were all of great interest to me, but even then I had to sell my soul to the devil for the grades I earned.

The classes that were particularly memorable were Operating Systems, Formal Languages and Automata Theory, and Introduction to Parallel Programming. The professors for these classes truly are GOATs, and the content were really engaging.

This was the first year that I TA'ed for, too. I would like to think I was a competent TA, if not a little too un-serious at times.

Summer of Everything

This summer is certainly a hectic one for me. Let's start from the top - I'm currently in the Google Summer of Code program, writing accelerated decoding filters for FFmpeg! You can read about exactly what I'm doing here! It's really exciting stuff, at the intersection of multimedia and low-level computing. x86_64 Assembly may be a daunting task, and throwing SIMD on top of that makes it super inaccessible, but it's really not that bad once you have a good infrastructure for macros, and FFmpeg certainly has that in spades!

The other main shenangian I've been up to is that I'm now Studio Engineer at Radio K! I'm in charge of the audio side of Off the Record! It's really an honor that I get to record the amazing musicians in this part of the world and witness it first-hand! You can hear my mixes as well as the amazing performances here!

One last thing is that ACM UMN is, after many long years, finally getting the upgraded 10-gigabit network! My tenure as systems administrator may be over, but it's all-hands-on-deck for this network upgrade, and I'm giving all the guidance I can to our new sysadmin in this transition!

Future of the Blog

My best friend recently talked to me about the lack of simple explainations for digital multimedia - she's had to rely on me to explain lots of stuff in digital audio and video. Essentially, there really isn't an accessible resource for this stuff.

I'm planning to write a short series of blogposts on this site explaining the stuff that goes into your codecs, from audio to video, and generally just nerd out about digital audio and video in an accessible manner! Sort of a more approachable version of xiphmont's amazing "Digital Media Primer". Stay tuned for those!

I'm also planning to write an article or two about x86_64 assembly, SIMD, and efficient memory access. I'm going to be a TA for Machine Architecture and Organization next semester, so not only will this be a resource for future students, but also gives me a chance to practice elegantly explaining this stuff!

Till next time, Shaun