Friday, June 26, 2009

Bye, bye, Goecities...

I've heard that Geocities is going away.

I've mentioned before about how history can just vanish on the web. At least this time, we get some warning.

If you have any links to Geocities accounts, this is a warning to start mirroring...

Monday, June 22, 2009

Out of town...

I'm going to be in Chicago for the next few days, attending the NPE trade show.

In the meantime, relax, have fun, and maybe even enjoy a movie.

Not sure what to watch? Well, the numbers (no, not the Lost numbers...) can give you lots to think about.

It will tell you about what's currently showing or new on DVD.

And check out "Movie archives" under "The movies". You can see what the top movies were in years gone by, and what movies where released in what years. That ought to help you find something to watch.

And check out the DVD release archives, too, for what might be available at your local video store.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


The wife and I just came back from a little weekend vacation in Montreal, Quebec.

Among other things, we saw
The Eureka Festival, put on by the Montreal science museum.

The opening of the Montreal fireworks festival (BOOM).

The Cirque du Soleil show Ovo.

Pretty good.

And we'll be going back in August for Anticipation, the 2009 world science fiction convention.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

End of an era...

Analog TV (in the US, at least) ends tomorrow (June 12th).

While missing "Mork and Mindy" might be a tragedy for some, I'm going to morn it because of what is being lost in the microcontroller world.

Yup. Analog TV and microcontrollers.

As these little processors have been getting more powerful and faster, they have ventured into the realm of generating TV signals.

Check out PIC-PONG and PIC-TETRIS at Rickard Gunee's website.

Or maybe you'd like an oscilloscope (ok, that's PAL, a european TV standard, not the NTSC of US TV. But it would not be hard to make a NTSC version)?

And check out Jen's page.

This was even taught at universities.

You can still do microcontroller video with a LCD screen, but that takes more hardware (and, important to a hobbyist, more money). Output to a TV was cheap, easy, and everyone had access to one...

Monday, June 8, 2009

Apple disappointment...

WWDC is today. I've been looking at the "live blogs" occasionally.

I'm not an apple fanboy. I don't own any apple hardware. The software I use daily, and the software and development tools I've used for decades will not run on apple machines (not counting emulation).

But, I am jonesing for one thing in particular.

The touch is a really nice true portable video player (the cheap "MP4" players don't actually do MP4).

But, being the sort of person I am (and looking at a couple of 8+ hour flights and other assorted "downtime" situations), I'd like to be able to bring lots of video. And a few games wouldn't hurt.

I would really love a higher resolution screen (480 x 320 is about 1/2 the resolution of a "standard" TV picture). While the small size helps make up for some of the problem (you can't see details that small), it's still going to throw away lots of detail. But not even the new iPhone (the 3GS) has that.

And more processing power means better frame rates.

Also, the touch tops out at twice the storage of the iPhone. That would mean 64GB, so I can bring more than one set of video. If it turns out I don't like something (or just want a change), I can try something else.

It will probably come. Almost certainly before my long flights. But why make me wait?

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Some amazing photographs...

Rapatronic photos are pictures taken of nuclear explosions.

With a duration on the order of 10 microseconds, taken in the first few milliseconds of an explosion, they are quite amazing and beautiful.

I just don't want to be near one when it's being done...

Check out more pictures here and here, too.