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August 30, 2007


Filed under: 往事如风 — Fei @ 10:10 pm





Disclaimer: The articles in this series may only be called “drafts”. They may be modified repeatedly. New materials may be remembered days, months or even years after the initial draft is finished. The drafts may only reflect my thoughts at the time of writing. It cannot be assumed that I possess the same thoughts at other times. As a matter of fact, I change my way of thinking quite frequently. The rules for this series are as follows:

1. Current events will not be recorded.
2. Issues affecting my current means of living will not be mentioned.
2. No specific names will be mentioned.
3. The drafts are totally biased. In fact, it is only my point of view.
4. The stories are solely for the purpose of recording the past. They may not be carefully crafted.
5. By no means the articles in this series may be copied or forwarded without prior permission.

August 29, 2007

Princeton University in the Independence War

Filed under: Toast Master — Tags: — Fei @ 8:04 pm

Disclaimer: This speech is solely for the fun of toast master international speech. The stories may not be historically accurate, nor is impartial. Please listen with discretion.

Thanks Mr. Toast Master…

Fellow Toast Masters, and honored guests. Today, I want to talk about Princeton University in the independence war.

When we talk about a war, what do we talk about? We talk about the start of the war, the turning point of the war, and the success of the war. And I tell you, Princeton University played a significant role in all three historical events.

The war formally started after the declaration of independence was signed, which was 1776.  A total of 56 people signed the declaration, and three of them were the alumni of the College of New Jersey, which only later changed its name to Princeton University. But a fourth person also signed the declaration. He was even more famous at that time, and among the Princetonians today. He is, John Witherspoon, sixth president of the College of New Jersey. He is the only clergyman, and college president that signed the declaration, not Harvard, not Yale, but Princeton.

After the war broke out, general George Washington really had a hard time. The continental army was defeated repeatedly. General Washington was in great need of a victory to boost the morale of the troops; to show his leadership; to prove that the independence was the right way to go. So the time came to the Christmas eve of the year 1776. In that evening, when it was supposedly a time for family reunification and peace, general Washington crossed the Delaware river, and attacked British troops the day after Christmas. We call it, the battle of Trenton, which was only 13 miles south of Princeton. On January 3rd, 1777, Washington’s army marched to a place only 3 miles south of Princeton, a place we now call it, the battlefield. As you can see from the name, it is where the battle of Princeton took place.

When we talk about the battle of Princeton, we have to talk about the story of the three canon balls. During the battle, Nassau hall, which was the only building for the College of New Jersey at that time, was exchanged hands three times by the British troops and the continental army. At one time when the British troop was in position of the Nassau hall, the continental army had to fire three rounds towards their own building. They fired three canon balls. The first canon ball, obviously, missed its target. The second canon ball.. hit the south wing of the building and bounced back, left a permanent scar on the wall, which can still be seen today… What’s interesting is the third canon ball. It went through a window of the prayer hall, which is now called the faculty room, and decapitated a portrait of King George II, the king of Britain at that time. The canon ball, however, left the frame and other parts of the portrait intact, only the King’s head was gone. The British troops must have thought it as an omen, since they promptly withdrew from the building shortly after the attack. And the continental army re-occupied their own building.

It was at Princeton and Trenton that Washington made his first major victory. After that, the British crown lost most of the cities of New Jersey; and the continental army recruits tens of thousands of new solders. It changed the course of the independence war. So… battle of Princeton was the turning point of the war.

After the battle, the continental army achieved more and more victories, fewer and fewer defeats… and the time soon became 1783. In that year, the Continental Congress met at Princeton’s Nassau hall from July to October. This, made Princeton the capital of the United States for four… whole… months… It was during that time at Princeton, the Continental Congress learned of the signing of the treaty of Paris, which basically ended the war. And welcomed the first foreign minister from Netherlands. It was during that time, general George Washington attended the commencement of the College of New Jersey, donated 50 guineas as a testimony of his respect to the College, and had a portrait taken in front of the Nassau hall. If you know about general Washington, you should know that he did not want to have portraits taken. It is said that in his lifetime, only three portraits were taken, and one of them was at Princeton. The portrait depicted his definite success at Princeton that changed history. After the painting was finished a year later, it was framed using the same frame for the portrait of King George II. Today, you can still see this portrait in the faculty room of the Nassau hall. To show the Princetonians all-encompassing culture, on one side of the window hangs the portrait of general Washington, on the other side is a portrait of King George II. When you go to Princeton, don’t forget to see those portraits.

Princeton University is the only university that played such an important role in the independence war. It participated the start of the war; it was the turning point of the war; and it signaled the success of the war. Without Princeton, we may still be ruled under the British Queen today. In every year’s July 4th, the independence day, we should not only think about the founding fathers: Washington, Jefferson; we should think about, Princeton.

Mr. Toast Master

Time: 6 minutes 45 seconds
Date: 08/29/2007

August 28, 2007

Princeton Research

Filed under: 往事如风 — Fei @ 12:11 am

At a second thought… I have to say something fair for me… I did write a lot of things in the past years… How could a Ph.D. graduate without a paper? And actually I really like my papers… out of the four papers I wrote… I like three of them… and the other paper is really junk… I wouldn’t publish it except that my boss pushed me really hard… considering double counting… I have eight papers in total for my five years at Princeton… not really exciting.. but not bad either… and my last paper’s going to be published this Nov… then I will be finally done with my boss…

And…. did I mention I didn’t do much research… just enjoyed my life at Princeton all those five years? that’s actually the most exciting thing…. but my boss will be really mad at me if he hears it… still… I published several high-quality papers… at least I’m happy with them myself…

The first paper was a ground breaking one… thanks to my boss to select such a good topic… I was the one of the first few working on custom instruction synthesis for embedded processors… and it is a really very hot topic now… the good news is… all the papers later on have to cite my paper…. haha… now it has been cited a lot of times already… I just reviewed a paper for ASPDAC… cited my papers (happy)… but the their paper was poorly written… have to be sorry la… will review two more papers from VLSI design… haven’t read the papers though… but they both cited my paper… feel happy again already…

However, only my first paper was cited "reasonable" times… the rest of my papers were poorly cited… I just feel that my research was soooo advanced that no other group is working in the same area…. maybe I still need to wait for a few years before I can see some group working on similar things… I’m quite optimistic on that… my latter research was based on my first project… since all other groups are now still focusing on my first project… which I did six years ago… when they exhaust all the little things on custom instruction synthesis alone… they will sure move to custom instruction and coprocessor and MPSoC synthesis… that’s the direction… isn’t it?

Well… I have to praise my boss… he was soo good at technology direction… and did research far before other groups… and especially the way he modified my papers.. //grin… he made comments on my hard-copy drafts only on my first paper… at that time, his red comments almost filled all the blank spaces of the paper… and I had to incorporate all the changes to the latex files myself….:( then he would give me another round of comments… well… that was the only time I needed to do that… since my second paper… my boss just asked for my latex files and modified directly…. and that made my life really easy… but it made me wonder whether he thought my writing was really Bu4 Ke3 Jiu4 Yao4 le…

The same thing is true for my dissertation!!! haha… I didn’t even take a serious look after my boss’s modifications… still… frankly… I spent a lot of time and effort to make my dissertation perfect… it was really MY work… it was MY research at Princeton… and I had to be responsible for my self… I wrote three pages of acknowledgment alone… coz I have soooo many people to thank for…. but even now… when I open my dissertation… I can still find something imperfect…. which make me pretty regret sometimes…

However, it did not always make me happy… I felt quite disappointed about my bosses for the book chapter I wrote based on my research… I finished it on Nov. 2005… just a month after my defense… and my bosses did not even look at it till the Feb. 2007… more than ONE year later!!! At that time… the editors were really mad at us…. damn… At that time my account at Princeton was deleted, and they could not find my original drafts… damn again… after finally the OIT people restored my files… my bosses did not even pay any serious edits and finished it in two days! What made me really disappoint is that they did not even send me a copy after the book was published… it’s $129… will cost me a fortune to get my book…. 🙁

Now, my Princeton research has concluded… and my new research is about to begin… after two years of adjusting.. and wondering… it is time for me to do something interesting… and innovating… I’m planning to write a paper on my project at Tensilica… and exploring what to do for the next major release… thank god… I finally can think about something interesting… I’m really tired of the slow pace of the company… and the tedious repeated work without any result… btw… did I tell you my current job is closely related to my research at Princeton! that’s a plus!

fingers crossed… for the future…

August 27, 2007


Filed under: Freestyle — Fei @ 11:09 pm





Anyway。。。没想到他现在还没找到心仪的mm。。。我也不想现在唐突地发封信问候一下。。。就在这儿 bless him ba….

August 25, 2007

Fortune cookie of the day…

Filed under: Freestyle — Fei @ 8:22 pm

After having dinner in a restaurant today… I picked up a fortune cookie…  "Instead of worrying and agonizing, move ahead constructively"… that’s what I should do…

en… that’s what I should do now…

August 14, 2007


Filed under: 往事如风 — Fei @ 11:11 pm


其实之前我也算看到过一次流星。那是三年前的夏天在death valley露营的时候。只是那时候温度极高,达到110度。周围的山峰呈现暗红色,显得有些恐怖。大家都没心思看星星。我偶尔抬头看看天,就看见一道一道的光从天空中闪过。不过也只有我看到流星,别人还嘲笑我。。。现在想来,那些流星可能也是仙女座的。。。因为那时也是八月初。。。








August 8, 2007


Filed under: 往事如风 — Fei @ 11:54 pm

说到音乐,我又由不得的想起以前一次唱歌。前一段时间整理以前普林斯顿的文件,发现那次唱歌的伴奏音乐和试唱时录的歌,本身就已经很感慨了。这次又听了Vienna Teng的歌,不得不说几句。








August 7, 2007

Vienna Teng

Filed under: Freestyle — Fei @ 11:25 pm

I did not expect to listen to Vienna Teng’s concert again today… but it just came true… Thanks for the Palo Alto county… The songs were sooo beautiful… just the same as the album I have, “waking hour”. I had a copy in my car and I listen to it once a while… it’s quite a feeling… and I keep the original copy somewhere in my album collection… It may be my only album that has the singer and song writer’s signature…

I first heard about Vienna Teng’s song at Princeton… in person… A friend invited Vienna to give a concert at Cafe Vivian as a CSA event… I liked her song immediately… I didn’t really care about the voice… because the mixer, amplifier could turn anyone’s voice into a golden voice… but the note, the pitch, the music, and the story were all perfect… an hour’s concert was just too short… It’s hard to follow up the lyrics though… I just came to the states not long before… so it was not quite surprising… but Paula, the director of international center, also told me the same thing… I also really admired my friend… a freshman… could organize such an event… alone… what a person… I could not or dared not to do that when I was a freshman… maybe I can do it now… but it’s still a question mark…

Vienna is an interesting person… she graduated from Stanford in computer science… followed her father’s advice… but later she found out what she really liked was writing songs and singing songs… so she finally gave up all her knowledge on computer science and started her new career… a brave girl…

Back to now… I bought Vienna’s second and third album after the concert, and managed to get her signature again…. but I felt a bit disappointed… the songs, except a few, were not nearly as good as the first album… maybe I could sense something in the concert… most of her songs she sang today were from the first album… obviously, she changed her style… maybe because she no longer has the feeling she had five years ago… maybe because I cannot apprehend her feeling now… it’s indeed hard to write songs… requiring a lot of intuition… she’s no longer a little girl… must have experienced a lot… as I could see from her tattoo around the neck… she could sing the old songs the same as before… but no more new exciting songs… I just feel like her five years ago more…

Anyway… bless Vienna Teng.. a Chinese folk singer that loves music…

by the way… it is freaking cold today… I realized it immediately I arrived at the park.. everyone’s wearing jacket or blanket… I only wore a T-shirt… so I was trembling all through the concert… 🙁 can’t believe the weather is like this… last year I experienced the hottest summer in history… and immediately.. this year is the coldest year in history… damn…

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