I’ve had quite a few business ‘meetings’ lately, some on the phone, some over IM, but last night I experienced probably the most surreal meeting I’ve ever had. Last night, I had a business meeting in Second Life. Now, I’d never used Second Life before - I generally have trouble keeping my first life under control, never mind having a whole extra one to manage - so I was somewhat underprepared anyway.

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Monstrously dressed

Having been prodded about this by a couple of people in the community, I’ve re-vamped the Ogre Merchandise Shop with our new ever-so-fashionably-shiny logo. CafePress also do green T-Shirts now (as shown) which was too appropriate not to use. Having seen Niko’s recent use of Spreadshirt I created an account there to see what it was like, as a possible alternative to CafePress with whom we’ve been for many years - the possible benefit being that they have UK and EU stores so people could shop in their own currency, and potentially pay less for postage (& maybe wait less).

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Although I’m more mobile than I was last week, it’s still too painful to be on my feet very much right now (and you should see the colour of my toes - ugh; doctor says it’s because my partially torn tendons have been bleeding internally leaving nice black / purple appendages), so I pottered about on the computer for a few hours instead of getting out at the weekend. Today’s result is, for anyone who might be interested, support for defining Multiple Render Targets (MRTs) in compositor scripts.

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Yes, another post on WWDC07 - but what are weekends for except catching up on tech news? I watched the presentations Steve Jobs did on the next version of OSX - 10.5 aka Leopard. Whilst a lot of it seemed to be of the ‘very nice but not stunning’ variety (although even so I have to say it looks nicer than Vista, generally), two things jumped out at me. Firstly was the ‘Core Animation’ Demo.

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I happened to catch up with the goings on at WWDC07 just yesterday (yeah, I know, I’m probably way late) and was pretty interested by what I saw. I originally headed over there just because I wanted to watch the presentation by John Carmack, just to see what he’s up to. Once again he was talking about Megatextures, which is Carmack’s word for what everyone else used to call Clipmaps, as presented by Tanner et al of SGI in 1998.

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Obviously we collect some stats on the types of browsers and operating systems that access ogre3d.org, and I thought it would be interesting to post them. It’s especially interesting because our visits clearly represent a subset of the wider Internet community, that is people who are mostly likely developers (and sometimes artists) and are open to using open source software. Note that all ‘Internet’ stats are taken from w3schools as a comparison but may not be totally representative.

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So, I actually managed to squeeze out a few rare slices of ‘me’ time this week in between other things, and put some of it into my elusive ‘Tool Project’. I’ve basically made little outward progress on this for a while for two reasons - one, a glut of business talks (some of which have turned into real project work, some of which haven’t yet) has meant time has been very, very short, and two, some knotty design issues.

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The Best Medicine

We had a very good night out last night - this week has been the very first Guernsey Festival of Comedy, and being regular watchers of shows like the Comedy Store and Live at Jongleurs we snapped up the opportunity to see a number of live acts locally for a change. As expected, given the talent on show, it was a superb evening. The major headliner for us was Mitch Benn, who is consistently hilarious with his blend of musical comedy and fast-paced, often ranting satire, and he didn’t disappoint.

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There are things I love and hate about Microsoft. Let’s start on the plus side - they’re generally pretty good at making various technical tasks easier, such as developing code and running servers. If you’re a developer or server admin on Microsoft technologies these days, chances are you don’t have to be as ‘hardcore’ as once was necessary - that doesn’t mean there aren’t hardcore developers & admins in Microsoft environments of course, but generally the bar has been lowered so there’s an increasingly wide range of skill levels in that arena.

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Over the years I’ve always been well aware of the inherent cost of a machine context switch, whether it was the old days of manual interrupt-based programming (ah, the nostalgia) or today’s swanky multithreaded systems, the issue was always the same - it just ain’t free to remember where you are, go do something else, and come back where you left off. Well, in recent days my poor noggin has been feeling the strain of that particular phenomenon.

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