Friday, 11 July 2008
Anyhow I got onto this topic because I found myself at the New Scientist Youtube Channel. Because I was looking at these two videos showing off some robotics research. This field brings together design, clever thinking, engineering, AI and development into a potent package.
One interesting snippet was that their media image (large one) for the mac that they deploy is a whopping 112GB. Here in FBE our lab image is about 75GB growing and that scares people. I have been wondering when we might hit 100 but these guys are already waaay over that.
One of the guys here in the lobby is sitting here with his brand new iPhone - very coooool. He is on the $49 Optus plan and is (like many of us) going to be relying on WiFi to get much of the usage at home and work...
In my workshop the guy next to me had his brand new iPhone all functioning away. He found a store without a huge queue almost by accident - so he popped in and grabbed one on Optus pre-paid.
After the conference I popped down to the Apple Store to check it out - alas I couldnt get in at all unless I was prepared to wait in the huuuuge line. Since the whole store is glass I could see pretty well though. Actually, what I could really see was just another queue inside the store :-)
I will have to go back and check it all out when things arent quite so crazy.
Thursday, 10 July 2008
First up Nader Nafissi (Apple) walked us through the current Leopard Podcast Producer which we had a play with as well. He then showed off some of the upcoming features of Podcast Producer 2 coming in Snow Leopard like the workflow editor.
The second half of the day was Andrew Wellington (ANU) showing us in a hands-on demo a set of iPhone web dev. We were using DashCode 2 and the iPhone Simulator to expand upon the built-in web-app templates. He also showed us some of the HTML5 features in the new Safari including CSS animations and transformations.
Not heaps of info on CSS5 animation yet - but check webkit to get started.
This pic isnt actually the Apple Sim, but a web version at testiPhone showing this very blog:
[screengrab of a portion of the testiphone.com site showing this blog]
Wednesday, 9 July 2008
The main discussions around the room were about the iPhone and the confusion around plans, options, pricing and more. Apparently NZ is really suffering with the plans being presented. It is fascinating how much uncertainty there is, but that said how much enthusiasm. Plenty of us have been holding off on dealing with our current phones in anticipation of the new baby coming.
It s still interesting to me the utter male dominance of events like this and the profession at large obviously.
The first day was primarily 3 presentations which explored various ways that technology (mac-centric) was being used at Universities and technology coming our way. These are the brief details from the program:
Nader Nafissi - Apple Inc, USA
10 Things You Didn't Hear at the WWDC Keynote
(From Address Book Server to ZFS)
While the iPhone 3G was the big launch at WWDC there were many other announcements made that were just as important. This feature presentation will fill you in on all the other stuff from WWDC...
Alexandre Bonucci - Université Lumiere Lyon 2, France
University Lumière Lyon 2, a "built-in" podcast University
The presentation will cover the political and technical problems encountered with the integration of podcasting in University Lyon 2's Digital Working Environment, including:
- the likely reactions, level of participation and fears of teachers, staff and students;
- the consideration of user-friendly workflow in the deployment of podcast producer technology;
- the appropriate place for podcasts in the sets of digital services that a university can offer.
James Harper - Auckland University, New Zealand
Triple Booting & Using P2P To Make It Happen
James Harper is the Chair of the IT Technical Forum at the University of Auckland and has been integral in developing a triple booting solution for large Mac labs. They recently deployed 240 Macs replacing PCs in student computer labs (by July they will have replaced a further 150) and migrated their lab image to Windows Vista (including triple-booting the Macs between Vista, MacOS and Linux), and developed a novel system of deploying OS images to both PCs and Macs using peer-to-peer network tools.
One of the things I was intrigued about (the modelling should be fun and neat) was the rendering. Traditionally Solidworks wasnt strong in this area, but it seems that PhotoWorks can dish out some pretty nice stuff for some styles of rendering. We have been used to seeing VRay work around FBE for a while now, but this is pretty good without plugging in Maxwell or something...
[examples of PhotoWorks rendering from Solidworks from the Solidworks site]
Tuesday, 8 July 2008
[image matrix of the robotic models from WowWee]
Lets see some vids of these things in action in a variety of ways:
First up their brand spanking new Rovio, here being shown off at CES2008 for Engadget:
The Roboquad is very clever and can have fun with pet dogs or as in this clip be made to act as per voice commands via a skype session:
Here is the Femisapien also on show at the CES2008 - classy stuff for the price and size:
Lastly check out MrPersonality :-)
[images from the Geekology site]
Monday, 7 July 2008
[images of the BMW GINA concept car from the WorldCarFans site]
Pay close attention to nice details like the headlights opening and closing, the operation of doors, seats and the bonnet. It is great to see BMW not just having the idea, but going far enough to have it looking live. [More info: Geekology, WorldCarFans, Drive]
The Shammies are still great fun, SM was a blast and seeing all those totems is neato.
Off to learn how to do Dragonscale Leatherworking then...