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Monday, December 31, 2012

Trip to Disneyand, Anaheim


We did a 5 day trip to Disneyland, Anaheim and Universal Studios over the winter break.

Disneyland during X'mas and New Year's eve is a wonderful, lively place to be at. Having spent 3.5 days at Disneyland and California Adventure park around the 25th, we felt we got our money's worth (and more) from the 4-day park hopper tickets. The festive atmosphere in spite of the manageable crowd was as good as going on a road trip to a National Park.

New Year's even is probably more crowded than X'mas. We did not stay to find out.

One our way back we decided to spend one evening and the next day till noon at Universal Studios, LA. Universal in LA does not have as many real rides as the one in Orlando. What they have here are mostly 3-D, virtual rides. Some of them are pretty good but we still missed the old fashioned, gravity induced roller coaster rides.

Some things that we should've done/Note to self:

  • If you are driving down from Bay Area to LA and Pacheco pass/CA-152 is blocked/crowded, just continue down CA-101 and go to I-5 via Coalinga/CA-198. It's a little longer but was desolate when we drove
  • Book via AAA and save on parking fees at Disney (offers might keep changing)
  • Book via CityPass and save on our combo Disney-Universal entry fees (check if there are black-out dates)
  • Book cheaper hotel outside Anaheim since we had a car to drive around. We cancelled and booked at Fullerton after spending a night at an expensive but dingy hotel opposite Disneyland
    • All these parks charge a parking fee
    • The hotels also charge a parking fee (!) even if you book a room
    • Hotels in Fullerton are cheaper (like the Fullerton Marriott and much nicer)
  • Hotels a little further away from Universal Studios are also cheaper
  • Use a good phone app to book hotels like Kayak or HotelTonight or the latest new app
  • Wear good shoes as there always is a lot of walking and standing in lines

Some photos:

(CA-198)


















(Disneyland and California Adventure Park)






















(Over the Tejon pass)


















(Pyramid Lake)


















Have a wonderful new year ahead!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Starving CPUs, slow multi-dim arrays in Java, cool infrastructure & more

A short list of articles/papers that I thought were worth sharing:

CPU and Assembly:

Polyglot analytics/programming - how startups are going full speed with Redis & MongoDB for simple analytics. Of course this leaves the heavy duty, complex analytics to Hadoop and columnar data warehouses.
Really educational, large scale, infrastructure talks:
Some misc notes:
Happy holidays and a happy new year!