I am attending SIGGRAPH again this year (which may or may not have something to do with the fact that it’s being held a block away from Disneyland). And I’ll be at the RenderMan Users Group meeting presenting a Stupid RAT Trick, like my last one on Minesweeper.
This year, I’m showing a calculator implemented in the RenderMan shading language. It’s actually quite silly because all it does it embed the given expression into the shader code. The only tricky thing is that it takes this numerical value and displays it using the standard 7-segment calculator display.
But then, I realized that I could modify the interface to create 2d and 3d graphs. In fact, it turns out to be even easier to create graphs than it is to display numbers.
If you happen to have a copy of RenderMan and Slim, you can check out the source code. The comments at the top show how to load it. Enjoy!
It’s been about 6 weeks since I dyed my hair blue and it was really starting to fade. I was going to re-dye it earlier, but a friend of mine was throwing an epic Monster’s University themed birthday party (involving drinking games and a midnight expedition to a dance club) so I wanted to keep it for that.
Well, I managed to make it home from her party around 2am this morning and next week is my cousin’s wedding so I figured this was a good time to go for a more subtle hairstyle. Fortunately, dyeing hair that’s already been bleached is a pretty simple process. This was the result.
Apparently, I have 51 subscribers to my RSS feed (it’s that link at the very bottom on my blog) through Google Reader.
If you don’t already know, an RSS feed is a way to monitor a website without having to visit it directly. This is handy if you have a bunch of things like blogs or webcomics that update sporadically that you want to keep track of. Just add all their RSS feeds to your RSS aggregator and then each day, you can just check that one place to see what’s new.
Sadly, one of the most popular RSS aggregators, Google Reader, is going away. I chatted with a friend at Google about it and she speculated that it was because it didn’t have over a million subscribers and with an upcoming overhaul of some of the infrastructure it relied on, it wasn’t deemed worth the effort to update it. She also felt that it might be a good way for other RSS aggregator services to thrive in the market.
So if you’re one of the 51 people who checks out my blog through Google Reader, I hope you stick around through one of the other aggregators. One of my friends recommended Feedly and it seems pretty good so far.
I went rock climbing with some friends at Castle Rock State Park the other day. It was a lot of fun and I was telling Dyson about it. The next week, he said, “I want to go rock climbing gym with Papa!”
So off we went.
Neither of us did a lot of climbing that day, but it was a start. He’s getting to the age where we can actually do things together. It got me thinking about all the fun stuff that we’ll get to do and maybe someday, we’ll even work on projects together.
Man, I really have to start teaching him how to code.
This post is has minor spoilers, although if you’ve seen the original Monsters Inc, you kinda already know.
Monsters University is a bit of an anomaly for a Pixar movie. It’s the first prequel but it’s also a bit unusual in what it tries to say. Most Pixar movies are about how you can be anything you want to be if you just try hard enough. And that’s a great message.
But sometimes, life doesn’t turn out as expected. Consider the story of Stephanie Brown Trafton. She originally dreamt of being an Olympic gymnast. Unfortunately, she grew too big for that to be possible but she found another path and eventually went on to win the Olympic gold in the Women’s Discus Final.
So Monsters University is a lot of fun and you get to see old and new characters in a wonderful setting. But it’s also a movie about the importance of working towards something, even if that something turns out to be different from what you expected.
A totally random roll that I happened to get just now.
I recently got an email from Apple informing me of a new “App Transfer” feature. Basically, you can transfer the rights to any of your apps to another developer. It got me thinking about principles (and money).
I thought about what this might mean for my apps like Mach Dice and Selector. If I transfered those apps to an unscrupulous developer, they could do totally shady things like install cheat codes to get high rolls or favored picks. Can you imagine how terrible (and potentially profitable) that would be?
Fortunately, for the tens of thousands of loyal and trusting customers of my apps, I have integrity. And integrity like that can’t be bought for any amount of money (under $1,000,000).
Every once in a while, I get a request to license the source code to Mach Dice. It’s not something that I actively encourage because it’s an app that I just hacked together haphazardly over the course of several years. But who am I to stop people from giving me money?
This week, one of those requests came to fruition in the form of an app on the iTunes Store. It’s called Bangkok and as far as I can tell, it’s an interactive choose your own adventure type book about an American cop turned bodyguard in Bangkok. I’m not entirely sure because it’s originally in Spanish and the English translation is … creative.
Anyways, it’s free and it’s got my dice in there so check it out!
As Dyson gets older, he exhibits more independence. I find that it’s a balancing act between letting him grow into his own person and watching out for him.
If he’s being mean or behaving badly, I’m not really sure what to do. Ignore him if it’s towards me? Lecture him on the importance of being nice? Either way, it seems like something that warrants a response.
But for the most part, I try to let him do his own thing. He’s a pretty good kid and he’s a lot more cautious than I was (or still am, probably). So when he wanted to go down the big slide by himself, I let him. Well, that’s not quite true: he just leapt out in front of me before I got on. But the point is, I felt that the potential harm was outweighed by the potential benefits.
Bodies heal and character grows. That’s the hope, anyways.
I used to dye my hair occasionally but I hadn’t done it in … over a decade? It’s not exactly easy to do that sort of stuff with a kid underfoot.
But I had an occasion that called for “creative formal wear” and since my hair was pretty short anyways, I decided to go for it. Here are the results!
Also, the suit I’m wearing in the picture belonged to my uncle in Japan. When he passed on, I was the only one of the relatives that was close to his size. Come to think of it, most of the clothes that fit me best come from Japan. Maybe it’s genetic.