Saturday, 13 December 2014


The family headed out to the red heart of Australia to take in the sights of Uluru, Kata Tjuta and that expansive night sky. When we first arrived at the resort it was a hot one, 46 degrees and it felt it. We should feel hot out there though, so this was the right welcome.

Staying at the Sails in the Desert we did a few organised activities that included:

  • the sounds of silence dinner out in the desert.
  • a sunset tour or Kata Tjuta which started during the day but then turned into great spectacle as the thunder storm weaved around us.
  • a sunrise tour around Uluru and several of its sacred sights.
  • plus a little look at some of the wonders of the night sky through binoculars and a telescope (which brought back fond memories)
Here are a few more pics that show off these iconic locations.

Monday, 8 December 2014

Graphics Laptop Time

Whether it be for gaming, 3D visualisation, Simulation, 3D Modelling or a raft of other graphics intensive computing use - mobile hardware continues to evolve for us. I love that UNSW Built Environment has been an early adopter of things like realtime visualisation/simulation of architectural analysis and design. A range of game engines have been part of this use, with UE4 proving to be popular with students at the end of this year.

There are some Mac users around the faculty, but as almost all the specialist software in the industry is Windows-based, this platform dominates our labs and staff machines. I am sure that as we start to deliver some of these specialist apps directly from the server as Virtualised Applications or via Virtualised Desktops the students will like the macbook options.

We get a very good deal on HP workstations here at the uni and through that we provide zbook14 laptops as the standard machine for staff and our research students. With a nice spec this little machine does a good job of delivering some nice grunt in a thin and light package.

Our computer labs are driven by suped-up HP z230 Workstations with a sprinkling of the larger units in research areas. But we have tried to stay highly mobile for people where we could and this often meant giant graphics laptops that could be taken to lectures, to studio, to presentations, to home and anywhere else where large amounts of grunt are needed to work on or show off the graphical environments. We have had 17" HP Workstations and Alienware beasts on the 3D side as well as various things like  the WACOM Companion and Surface Pro for stylus input.

The latest piece of kit to enter the fray for us is MSI's Ghost Pro GS60 4K laptop. This 15" machine is overflowing with speed and yet delivers that in a thin and light formfactor that we have never had with this level of firepower. Our first suite of staff will get their machines next week and it will be great to see how they perform vs the older chunky hardware! With the GTX 970M, raid SSDs, 4K display, 16GB RAM and more packed into this machine at a good price it should be superb.

Oh there are other machines in this market which is healthy like the HP Omen and the Razer Blade - but the MSI looks like the sweetest package right now.

Sunday, 7 December 2014

Lightning and the Conductor

As our FATE Core supers game gears up for our Volume 1 finale atop Pyramid Tower with the devastation of the Great Convergence and the return of the exploding Captain Atomic. Our heroes find themselves at the centre of this cataclysm as our universe looks ready to ... impregnate another.

Anyhow, The Conductor is preparing by practicing with Echo and augmenting his suit with metallic coils around his arms wired up to the metal conduit balls. All of this to help him focus his electro-magnetic powers - hopefully as a team we will win the day. These are doodles done on my Galaxy Note 3 btw.

Oh and here is a completely awesome slow motion video of a lightning strike - should be good inspiration for the Conductor's powers...

Oh and here are a few sketches for Terror Incognita - who I think is on our side ... I think ...