Wednesday, February 28, 2007

A .dream come true!

I have a laptop running Vista Ultimate, and I recently found out about Windows DreamScene. It basically allows you to have mpg or wmv files as your Vista background.

Here is a static shot of mine. Just imagine the plasma wave gently undulating as I do work.
The software for this comes in three parts.
  1. An update to Windows Vista Ultimate - Windows DreamScene.
  2. Stardock Deskscapes - a free download. This extends dreamscape files (.dream) to add dynamic content, changes over time, etc.
  3. Stardock DreamMaker - another free download. This allows you to create the actual .dream file and share them.

I already have some ideas for making some .dream files - basically animate some 3d content I already have for a quick test. This could definitely be an attention-grabber for systems at stores, kiosks, tradeshows, etc. Stardock has provided six free .dream files, and they are charging a few bucks for another one.

Go to WinCustomize for more .dream files, downloading the software or picking up some user-generated content.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Six Degrees of Freedom!

Yesterday I emailed my manager to see if I could purchase the 3DConnexion SpaceNavigator, a six degrees of freedom (6DOF) controller for 3D applications. I've used 6DOF controllers for a long time, and I love them. Also, at $59, the SpaceNavigator is A SCREAMING DEAL!

An hour or so later my manager stops by my desk and hands me a box - a SpaceExplorer! Very nice!

Uh oh - I'm running Vista. Will it work? I notice that there are Vista drivers on the website. After a quick download and installation it works like a champ in SketchUp. I also was able to load SolidWorks on my system yesterday, so I'll give that a shot.

$59 is truly a bargain for a great piece of hardware. Definitely recommended if you use CAD or DCC applications, Google Earth...even a Mac!

Syd Mead

I'm a big Syd Mead fan, and I just found a new (to me) website with some of his work - The Syd Mead Project. I've always liked his retro-futuristic designs, and I love his cars.



Wow. Yesterday I added a bunch of books that I wanted to a List (Blogger Page Element) and I guess I didn't realize how many books I wanted. Now I have a huge list on the right that pushes my other Lists down into nigh obscurity.

I'll switch those over to a Froogle Wishlist, which Blogger can accomodate easily, but I believe it is only in my Profile. I started a Wishlist but never did much with it. I wanted to add these books to my blog so I could access the list from anywhere (current softcopy of the list is on my work PC).

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

The Poor Man's Guitar Hero

I tried out a new program this morning - Frets on Fire. It's basically Guitar Hero with a keyboard instead of the guitar controller.

It's pretty fun, and I got a few more people interested in it today. It comes with three songs, but it can also import Guitar Hero tracks from the game DVD. Very nice!

Messing around with this definitely makes me want to get the real Guitar Hero (and Guitar Hero 2) for the controller and extra features (encore, crowd, meters, etc), and dismantle a keyboard to make my own guitar controller.

Frets on Fire is definitely fun, and a great way to show off your hot licks at the office.

Monday, February 12, 2007

New OS version

If towns around Odessa, TX, wanted to use the new Microsoft OS, as advertised in Friday Night Lights, would they use Vista Permian?