Monday, February 25, 2008

Catalyst advanced settings. anyone?

These shiny objects don't look too good with the current settings of the ATI Mobility Radeon HD2300 card. I'm quite sure I could fix some of it, if only I could get to the Advanced settings in the ATI Catalyst control center. But, for some reason, only the basic settings are available! I have not yet found out how to get the Advanced options.. Googling for a solution, I have found many more people who seem to have the same issue, but no definitive solution yet.
posted by Sered Woollahra on Bug Island using a blogHUD : [permalink]

testing a new graphics card

I recently switched to a new laptop, an Acer, with a 17" screen and a ATI Mobility Radeon HD 2300 graphics card on board. I'm revisiting a few graphics tests at Bug Island, to see how this card holds up to the old one, an ATI Mobility Radeon X300. So far it's performing better, which shouldn't be a surprise..
posted by Sered Woollahra on Bug Island using a blogHUD : [permalink]

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

IBM Codestation freebies

at IBM Codestation, IBM is giving away some basic scripts and objects. Very useful for starting or learning coders!
posted by Sered Woollahra on IBM CODESTATION using a blogHUD : [permalink]

My notes from the IBM Rational 5 year celebration

I quickly jotted down some notes during the speech and Q&A Grady Booch (the bearded guy, right) gave at the IBM Rational 5 year celebration. Enjoy!

Read the instructions, please!
First, an observation in advance. For this event, you had to dial a toll free number in order to get the audio stream. Clear instructions on how to do this, were provided in email. And yet, even when Grady has been up on the stage speaking for minutes already, people are still IMming about why they have no sound, where's the sound, has the speaker already begun, can anyone hear something, etcetera.. Huh? Why don't these people read the (very clear) instructions that were sent out by email??

Rational History
After Grady hit the stage, he relates how Rational was founded: in the 1970s, a group of air force guys thinks about starting computer hardware company, which, in 1981, they finally do. Today IBM Rational is about software, but in those days, the early eighties, Rational was about hardware which they mainly sold to the DoD. Their first machine wasn't cheap; it sold for 1 million dollars, Grady said towards the end of the presentation. To which he added: "We're much cheaper now"!

In the early 1990's, software started to play a role at Rational. They were working on Modeling, Rational Rose was developed, and Microsoft became an important partner, as did IBM. By the mid 1990's, Rational became a publicly traded company, and they made several aquisitions of other software companies. UML was created, and Windows became an important platform for Rational. At around 2001, Rational suffered from the dot com crash, but they were strong enough to survive, with 4000 employees and a yearly turnover of 1 billion dollars. At the end of 2002, IBM made an offer to acquire Rational for a cool 2.1 billion dollars. The deal was effectuated in february 2003: five years ago.

IBM and Rational
Grady tells about the powerful combination of IBM and Rational: IBM got access to markets they hadn't really had a presence in, and Rational got access to the enteprise market. Together, they have been innovative in so many ways, with regards to high end tooling and the tooling market. Grady sees a change here, from individual tooling to team oriented tooling, where geographically dispersed teams can still cooperate on development projects.

Here, Grady mentions Jazz and starts to talk about other virtual worlds. IBM owns several islands in Second Life, but is also in Active Worlds and working with Torque. "There are clear opportunities to do some really fascinating things".

Grady finishes with talking about his friends in IBM, Rational and those who left. "It's been an amazing ride." After that it's time for a Q&A session.

The first question: what will happen to Rational in the next 5 years?
Says Grady: IBM Rational has some very smart people who are thinking about that, in terms of 3 or 5 years from now. The Eclipse based Jazz is very important. It's the next generation team platform. The Torque based Bluegrass was a test for this kind of environment, which facilitates stuff like watercooler type interactions, that you don't have in other environments. Take for instance this event, by having it in a virtual environment, it extends my reach in a way that's very cost effective and it saves time. This can also be true for teams that work together!

Another question: what can companies with virtual world presences do to draw attention to their efforts?
Grady: Many companies came in Second Life, built this big box like buildings that contained very little in terms of digital verions of RL products, and then they wondered why no one came to visit them. You can compare it with the music industry, where record companies applied old business models to a new digital world. It didn't work. So what does work? Here, Grady tells about how IBM uses Second Life for internal trainings, for meetings with teams from Brazil or China, how he's using SL for customer meetings. It's not a storefront, it's a place to meet people. What the ultimate business value is or will be is hard to say, the technology it still new and not finished. For instance, if I move my head, my avatar doesn't move along automatically. But, Second Life has come a long way, and open sourcing the software undoubtedly helps drive development.

A third question: Grady, what Second Life features do you use when presenting?
Grady explains how he uses his breakdancing moves, as he's unable to do those in real life! But other than that, it's the voice and 3D audio that's very useful; as are the virtual boards used to present slides. Bluegrass also generated some interesting things in terms of tooling, but that's not here yet. There are other advantages as well: it's free, and voice really gives you the watercooler experience. Having virtual meetings also allows for the participants to multitask if the meeting isn't really interesting..

After a couple of more questions, the meeting was wrapped up.

It was interesting to listen to Grady. Getting the history lesson from someone who was actually there when it happened was nice as well. Given the audience, a bit more focus on current developments with Bluegrass and Jazz would have been interesting, though.

Grady Booch on stage IBM codestation for the IBM Rational party.
posted by Sered Woollahra on IBM CODESTATION using a blogHUD : [permalink]

IBM Rational 5 year celebration..

..begins in 10 minutes. It is sold out, but I don't think everyone is here yet!
posted by Sered Woollahra on IBM CODESTATION using a blogHUD : [permalink]

Thursday, February 14, 2008

An uneasy walk at OpenSim Ciuso

After upgrading to OpenSim 0.5, something isn't quite right at my OpenSim island Ciuso. It seems the avatar thinks it should walk at an altitude of 20 meters, when in reality the terrain is at 21 meters. When the avatar moves, it seems to wade through the grass, and when not moving, it's looking distinctly uncomfortable.

Notice that when I move under the see, the terrain sinks to lower altitudes and the avatar seems to be content with that.

Next up.. investigation into terrain heights in OpenSim :-)

IBM Rational event sold out

The IBM Rational event in Second Life which I mentioned this morning, is sold out. IBM is no longer accepting new registrations. Impressive!

I wonder how many seats are available for an event like this? Clever Zebra offers an amphitheater with 120 seats for free!

An event with IBM Rational's Grady Booch

Five years ago, IBM acquired Rational, a software company cofounded by Grady Booch. Grady is well known in the software development world, mostly for creating the software language UML, but also for his research into software design patterns; he's also an IBM Fellow. In short, he's one of software's bright minds!

On februari 19, Grady will speak at IBM Codestation about Rational and IBM. If you ever want to hear this exceptional guy speak without having to visit a conference, this is your chance. The event starts at 13.00 ET, which translates to 19.00 CET I think - at least it does if ET is the same as EST :)

I'll be there, how about you!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Wright plane

Robert1236 in his Wright plane at Penzance Airfield
posted by Sered Woollahra on Caledon Penzance using a blogHUD : [permalink]

Nieuport 17

Nieuport 17, originally uploaded by seredwoollahra.

A high prim replica of the WW1 era Nieuport 17. This wonderfully detailed and fully functional replica is done by Cubey Terra.

It flies well, too; the only drawback so far, is that on sim crossings, half the plane vanishes for a couple of seconds!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Flying and Dogfighting on a laptop

Tonight we had another training dogfight with the Royal Caledon Air Force. For the first time I succeeded in shooting someone down, and I placed some hits on other planes as well, which was nice!
But, it's not easy on this laptop of mine. I have to fly the plane using the arrow keys, and for the shooting part I need to use the mouse, which means I have to do both with my right hand. I'm looking for a TCS manual, it would be handy if I could use another key to fire the TCS combat system instead of the mouse.
Maybe I need another plane too, the Sopwith doesn't allow to change the viewpoint in mid flight, so my visual range is quite limited as well. August Breed doesn't yet sell his Bleriot or Blackburn yet; the Cubey Tera Nieuport 17 looks nice, but it's a 253 prim plane. I wonder how that affects performance?

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Cannery Rezzable, Wireframed

The original picture is here.

Like Jonah.. the belly of the whale.
posted by Sered Woollahra on Rezzable Liberty using a blogHUD : [permalink]


These instinctively made me think twice before getting too close. Quite impressive!
posted by Sered Woollahra on Rezzable Liberty using a blogHUD : [permalink]

MSN Flickr?

As some of you may be aware, I post most of my visual Second Life or OpenSim stuff on Flickr, here. I had to get a Yahoo! account for that, which I didn't really want, but hey.. part of the deal. Take it or leave it! Yahoo! owns Flickr, and I knew that before subscribing to the service.

But now, a couple of days ago, Microsoft stated their intention to buy Yahoo!.

I may have to resort to another way to store and publish pictures, if this deal goes through. If Microsoft buy Yahoo!, it will only be a matter of time before Flickr is rebranded into MSN Flickr, Live Flickr or something like that. You will probably have to sign in with your Live account, an MSN account or something similar. That definitely turns me off! I just want a decent picture service, I didn't buy into Flickr to become part of the MSN or Microsoft Live empire.

Microsoft is, in my humble opinion, big enough as it is. Do they really need to control each and every thing out there? Can't they just leave something alone, for once?

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

OpenSim and Windlight together again

For several releases, the Second Life Windlight viewers could not be used with OpenSim based worlds, because of a new login system was being tested with these viewers. That has now changed! Todays' Windlight release,, contains the old login auth system again, as explained in this blogpost. It occurred to me that this could mean that Windlight can once again be used on an OpenSim based world. And indeed, Windlight does work with an OpenSim 0.5 based world.

To be honest, this Windlight release doesn't improve my Windlight experience. It's much more harsh, there's more glow, as in "where are my sunglasses". But, that may be a problem with my graphic card. Pastrami Lindens' advice is to intall the latest ATI drivers if you have an ATI card, but unfortunately these drivers are not yet available for Lenovo ThinkPad T43 laptops with ATI Mobility Radeon X300 graphics cards. So, these issues may have to do with my old drivers; your mileage may vary!

Btw, this version of Windlight is the first one to be based on the 1.19 release, which contains some changes to the UI as well.

Windlight and OpenSim, originally uploaded by seredwoollahra.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

A rude man

A while ago, I was flying the Terra-Kojima Starling over Caledon, repeatedly crashing into houses, trees, hillsides, the sea and unsuspecting bystanders. After each crash, it's back to Penzance Airfield for another try! One time, upon taking off at Penzance, a man jumped in front of the plane. I typed 'stop' to bring the plane to a halt, but he typed 'no, start!' Then he jumped on board and wanted me to take off. Huh??

After I told him I wasn't really amused by what he was doing, he introduced himself and explained that he was a parachutist, looking for a ride. I didn't want to be rude so I put him in the passenger seat and took off.

During the whole flight he kept asking me for a copy of my no copy, no transfer plane, for copies of other planes, offering me freebies in return. He kept demanding I go higher, faster, and by the way, could he perhaps get a copy of this plane? When we were nearly at 1000 meters altitude, I blew my engine and he jumped off. But not before demanding that I return to Penzane Airfield as quickly as possible!

Back at Penzance, he kept up his obnoxious behaviour, until I went AFK for ten minutes or so. When I returned, he wasn't there anymore.. I removed his calling card and friendship offer from my inventory, and never saw him again.

What a rude man!

The video is a bit long, but you can see him yakking to me all the time..