Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Alias news, Ubuntu Linux, and lots of Bagels and Lox

Haven't posted in a few days, there has been a bunch of stuff going on here at home and it's super fun and relaxing and I am really enjoying the break.

Here's an interesting article about ex-Alias Chief Scientist Bill Buxton. Bill Buxton worked at Alias for quite a long time but he left before I started there. I did meet him once at a Rock Climbing Gym though and that was pretty cool!! He was hired by Microsoft as a Senior Researcher which is pretty neat.

Microsoft seems to have some legends of Computer Graphics working there in research, I was reading their website (check it out here: they are working on some pretty interesting stuff like Facial Expressions and efficient Geometric Representation of objects. Cool!! Yes, Jim Blinn works there, and I almost tripped over myself when I saw him walking around at Siggraph this year... wow what a legend!!!! I am pretty psyched for my Graphics class next summer term when we'll be learning some of the things that Blinn discovered in detail. Very exciting stuff.

Let's see what else is new. I now finnnallly have a Dual-Boot machine. Yes it has taken me this long to finally install Linux on my machine, but you know us Windows-bred kids, we're a tough bunch to switch to a different Operating System!! I have been using Linux and Unix so much at work/school/friend's houses that I really wondered why I didn't have it on my own machine. I also need it for some upcoming classes so I finally got it installed. I went with Ubuntu and it was surprisingly easy to install (I'd say just about as easy to install as Windows XP) so that was pretty unexpected and awesome. I had it installed in less than an hour and did an automatic application update to refresh my software with the newest versions of everything. It even set up my Ethernet Card and Wireless Card, resolved my IP with the DHCP server and set up my Internet for me, installed Open Office, Firefox and a whole bunch of other stuff I needed. It's pretty cool as my buddy Alex showed me how to add a link to my Windows drive so I can read stuff from an NTFS file system in Linux. Good times!!!!!!! This means I can listen to music while working in Linux, so that is always good!!

Ok other than that cool Alias related news and Linux, I have been eating a LOT of Bagels and Lox, that is bagels with cream cheese and smoked salmon on them. Chanukkah is coming up soon so lots of good food coming up next week as well, ohhh man Latkes (Potato Pancakes) and Dreidel games with Chocolate Money... ohh man the food is really awesome this time of year.

I am starting to think about the other classes I might take next summer term at school and I have room for 3 electives this term which is a lot more than usual. That is exciting but most of the classes that I usually take (Fine Arts, Film Studies, etc) are not running in the summer. I am going to look into a potential possibility for a Maya independent studies course (that is Maya as in Maya, the 3D Animation software written by Alias, not the Mayan culture) in Fine Arts if that may be possible. I'd like to boost my Modeling and Shading skills and I think a course like that would be ideal, especially when I actually have time for it. So I'll post what happens with that, but hopefully that might be a possibility, I'd really like to do that and I think there would be a lot of benefits and things I could learn given a good amount of time to learn them.

I watched Charlie and the Chocolate Factory again tonight and it was awesome, Johnny Depp is hilarious and soooooooo weird in that movie. It's great.

Still have lots of movies to watch this week, I rented Valiant, the Vanguard Animation film which came out a few months ago. I am excited to see it since my friend/old roommate Salim worked on it at Vanguard Animation in London, England a couple of years ago and he is in the credits so I'm psyched to see his name there and check out the film. Also I rented Cinderella Man which will be super cool to see as I saw it being filmed in Toronto. I was walking around a couple of years ago in downtown Toronto and a whole street was blocked off and there were tons of people walking around in suits. There was a really cool Madison Square Garden sign and I watched them filming the movie for a bit so that was really exciting and it'll be cool to see the movie.

Taylor's friend Gillian deserves a shout-out, she answered my plea for Onesie Pyjamas!! She said that Target in the USA should have them so I will be sure to check them out. Apparently these ones have shooting stars on them, which works pretty well for me, haha. I can't wait. I am pretty sure that these will likely be the greatest pyjamas known to mankind and I sure hope they still sell them!!

Well I guess that's enough writing for tonight! I'll post more pics soon of all the stuff I am getting up to this holiday!!

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