Thought Repository

My Atlantan Adventure

I'm writing this on May 21, but I've been in Atlanta for a week and a half by now. I only now have my website up again so this is my first chance to update my journal again. Since so much has happened, I'm going to break it up into several sections.

The Drive

It all started with the drive. In total it took about 12 hours. I wanted to get there at a reasonable time so that I could get set up, so I woke up early and left at 4:30am. I like driving at night when the roads are empty and you can just set the cruise control and go. But the short sleep and early start backfired. Doing the drive alone was tough and several times I felt like I would fall asleep. Other than that, the drive was good.


When I first got here I was a bit upset about my living situation. I had arranged to stay in the GA Tech AEPi house over the summer, because it would be cheap. When I moved in, I started to have second thoughts. I knew that fraternaties are messy, I lived in one for 3 years. I thought I'd be find with that but I found out that I'd gotten pretty used to not having to deal with it over the past 2 years. And someone else's mess is always more disturbing than your own.

I was going to stay here just until I found a new place which I began looking for right away. I actually had 2 options that I looked into. One option was a friend who graduated from the ETC's place. I would have had it all to myself and it was very nice, but it was expensive and not in a very nice neighborhood.

In the end, I spend enough time here, at AEPi, while looking for something else that I just got used to it. It may not be great but with a little work it is definately livable for the summer, and cheap is a big plus for me. I didn't want to leave because I liked the location, being near a college campus and an active part of the city (also near my coworkers). And I discovered that living in the house had the same advantage it did back in Pittsburgh, hanging out with the other guys. After I was able to convince GA Tech to let me buy a real parking pass, I made up my mind and finally unpacked and settled in.


After a week in Atlanta I have some complaints about the roads and driving here. Three to be specific. 1) Every road in Atlanta is named the same. Wherever I went there were tons of similar street names. 2) Streets that aren't straight and continuous. There are several time when a street has taken a right turn at an intersection with another street, or streets that exist in 2 places that don't connect. 3) Lastly, when I get off the highway and my directions say to take a certain street but instead of street names my choice is straight or right. Just arrows, no names. How am I supposed to get around like this? I've gotten lost many time, well, I've gone the wrong way and eventually found my way around, but it has been confusing. I guess this is a good time to mention how great Google Maps is. It makes it very easy to scroll around and zoom in and out to study the map and learn the area. Local search lets me find all the nearest grocery stores or Dunkin Donuts right on the map. Rather than print directions I just brought my laptop with me, and when I got lost I discovered the best features of all. Even disconnected from the web I could scroll around and do some zooming to figure out where I was, even after I'd driven off of the directions and off of the map. The scrolling is all done in the browser so as long as those areas were recently visited and cached it works. Thank you Google, you saved me.

The Job

If you don't already know, I'm down here in Atlanta this summer for an internship with PlayMotion! It is a small company that developes fun experiences where people can use their shadow to interact in front of a projection. I didn't realize when I applied, just how small the company was, in total it is only about 10 people, but it give me a real chance to make a contribution. On the first day, after seeing the demos of the system, we had to go set up for a demo at the Atlanta Spirit of Innovation awards. I was able to help set up the demos and was even able to explain the system to others.

On day 2 and after I was able to sit in meetings about new ideas and start debugging and extending the system. We began working on a bunch of new applications to show off at NextFest at the end of June. Not a long time to get things done, but isn't that how I'm used to working?

I'm really happy with the job. Not only do I feel like I'm getting things done and enjoy what I'm working on, but I really like the people I work with and the environment. Most of the engineers are GA Tech students or alumni. We get along very well.


I've tried to keep busy while here. It is my summer and I intend to enjoy it. There's been a bunch of things I've done already. Tuesday was my arrival. Wednesday I was at the Spirit of Innovation awards and hanging out with my ETC friend, looking at his apartment.

Friday night was the big night. Honestly is one of my favorite bands, well at least my favorite unsigned band. I discovered them last year because Carly had their first CD in her car. They are a local band from Atlanta. I missed seeing them in Pittsburgh last year (because I wasn't there and I didn't know about them yet) but since I was going to be down in Atlanta I didn't want to pass up the opportunity. They had a big concert for the release of their second CD. So I found myself a date and went to the concert. It was a great concert. The opening acts that we heard were good and Honestly was great live. It was a long concert with a lot of music. Honestly played pretty much every song from both of their CDs. After the concert we went and got some tea.

Sunday I saw Dan Cartoon who was home in Atlanta before heading off to Hawaii for the summer. We went and saw The Hitcherhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. On Tuesday I went to a games night of some friends of someone I know from work. I brought Set and Carcassone along with me. After that Dan gave me my first taste of Waffle House. I don't know what everyone thinks is so great. I mean it is fine, but no better than other diner food. Thursday night I went to see Star Wars Episode III.

I think that about wraps it up for now.