Thursday, November 29, 2007

You mean I can get a new rate...AND syphilis?

I got a nice email the other day. Whoever this person is seems pretty helpful! Who wouldn't want a $200,000 loan for $626 per month?

Something tells me that the "gift that keeps on giving" isn't a good rate. If this person actually followed my blog they would know that I'm used to getting mail from unusual people. Something like this almost doesn't even show up on my radar!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


I just started playing Portal the other night, and I'm hooked! Portal is a game that also acts like a technology demo. If you've played any first-person-shooter computer game you instantly know how the control scheme, but the twist is the Portal device. This will let you create portals on different surfaces that allow you to solve puzzles and complete levels.

I was going to just "check it out" a little bit when I started and before I realized what was going on I was at level 15 and it was about 12:30am - an hour flew by!

If you must know more, check out the wikipedia article, but beware - it contains spoilers.

I'm not even going to attempt to create more of a mini-review than this, but I highly recommend this game! It is bundled in the Orange Box, which is a fantastic deal (if you haven't already played/own Half-Life 2) in that $37.99 (lowest price I've seen it at Circuit City) gets you Half-Life 2, Episode 1, Episode 2, Portal and Team Fortress 2 (the latest revision of the granddaddy of class-based shooters...this time with sublime art direction). That's alotta gaming bang for the buck!

As I mentioned in the previous post's comments, a 2D Flash version of Portal is here.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Stacks of games

We just got to spend over $650 in games at lunch today. It's kind of surreal to be looking at a stack like this, but I don't mind!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

New 3d benchmark work

There is an industry standard benchmark for measuring overall system performance that we (as well as everyone in the, uh, industry) use for our own benchmarking, competitive analysis, etc.

It's made up of multiple suites, and one of the suites is a 3D subsystem test, but it is 3D in name only. It loads a scene in a popular 3D application...and renders it to a file. Basically, it is a CPU stress test. Great for processor scaling...not so great for 3D graphics, as the benchmark result scales with processor frequency and cache and not with the graphics chipset.

I'm working on developing a new 3D suite, and one of the subtest will be a cityscape with airships, roads, etc. It's in its infancy, but here are some preliminary shots. No lighting, no textures, and these are only four city "tiles."

My plan is to duplicate these tiles with rotation and some tweaking, as well as add some larger buildings and skyscrapers to break up the skyline.

Here is a shot from within 3D Studio MAX. I'm using the built-in Polygon Counter and I've highlighted one of the original tiles. Each tile is 27080 polygons, with the set of four reaching 108320 polygons.

I'm not sure how close I'll get to this level of buildings, but I definitely want to make an effort on texturing so they'll hold up to observation while the scene is playing.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving from...THE VIOLATOR!

I was flipping through a Bed, Bath and Beyond circular in the mail the other day. Imagine my horror and surprise when I stumbled upon this...product.

Luckily online viewers aren't treated to such a sight.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Harmonica Hero

Someone sent this out today and I can't stop watching it!

Now I definitely need an Xbox 360!

Thanks Louis!

Monday, November 05, 2007

Don't Click It!

So I thought I was done with a quick blog note (previous Moleskine entry), but somewhere along the way I found a link to a project called Don't Click It.

It's pretty interesting, and I like it but it seems like the click is ingrained into my right hand.

I especially liked the Autopilot feature where you can view the first 20 seconds of previous visitors to the site.

Moleskine Notebook

My wife bought me a Moleskine notebook a while back, and I love it. It is the hard pocket-sized ruled notebook, and it is perfect for carrying everywhere and taking notes, ideas, drawings, etc.

I have all kinds of variants of the composition notebook, both softcover and hardback, for work, and that's great for work. When I'm on my own, though, I want something smaller. There is a pocket-sized composition notebook, and although I've seen a few friends use it I prefer the Moleskine, as did Leonardo da Vinci, Vincent Van Gogh and Ernest Hemingway!

Still want to learn more about Moleskine? Try The Moleskinerie. I'm like, whoa!

Already have a Moleskine and want two? Check out this hack (literally!).

Thanks again, honey!