Archive for 2006

Yearly Archive

Almost eleven years after Mark Weiser’s classic paper, we’re beginning to see some real implementations of some of his suggestions.

Animator vs. Animation and its sequel, are both wonderfully imaginative pieces of Flash animation.

’Cause… breaking up is so… very hard to do. Due to the imminent destruction of the good ol’ Computer Science (…and Informatics) building, the SRG have upped and left to new environs this week. (Moving photos here: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.) Gone are our homely offices in favour of a new cubicled open-plan office space, the towering partitions between desks a few inches shy of the walls that encircle the Vatican.

An eagle-eye view of proceedings
Did anybody else come in today? Who knows!

Granted, at least they’re not pumping white noise in through the ceiling, and I can still look out the window and discern what time of day it is, which makes this a sight better than my time in IBM.

Crazy skies all wild above me now
Winter howling at my face
And everything I held so dear
Disappeared without a trace

Coming in 2003… Windows Longhorn. What’s strange about this tech demo is that it looks really, really impressive; far beyond what Vista is shaping up to become.

Richard Dawkins writes convincingly about the improbability of, well everything.

So it was around this day last year that I joined up with the rest of the SRG to start on the merry road to this thing we call a PhD. It’s been a great year; in many ways, it was the fifth year of college that I so desired when my four years were up last September. I’ve bashed out two papers, done some travelling, worked with Intel briefly, and become ensconced with a terrific band of smart, interesting people. And a few goons.

It took a lot of prodding and empty promises, but our two new arrivals this year mark the culmination of Marko’s plan to get all the old gang together into postgraduate studies.

My research area is pretty well defined, and can be summed up as “The visualisation of autonomic systems.” As part of our year one requirements we all had to write up our hypotheses and plan for the future, which I feel is pretty solid, though doubtless will change drastically. Autonomics as a field is fairly young, the term having only been coined by IBM in 1990s and still being ill-defined. So there’s plenty of stuff that could be done.

My biggest weakness at the moment is that I have struggled somewhat into getting into the mode of paper reading. As I was trying to explain to Aaron earlier this week, it has taken me a long time to attune to the paper-reading process. So used am I to getting the latest techniques daily through weblogs in four paragraph bursts, that facing into a ten page — possibly very boring — academic paper has been a challenge, and the main thing I aim to fix in the next few months.

You better learn it fast; you better learn it young,
'Cause, "someday" never comes.

Writing is harder than hacking. They’re both hard to do well, but writing has an additonal element of panic that isn’t there in hacking.
With hacking, you never have to worry how something is going to come out.

Working on my thesis proposal this week; my thoughts exactly.

Weird Al’s video for “White & Nerdy” is brilliant, and an accurate lampooning of almost everyone I know. :)

The best t-shirt I never bought. Sold out! Bah.

Electric sheep has become a very popular screensaver in the SRG office since it replaced my previous favourite, Fireflies some months ago. A special presentation of the high-definition version (“Dreams in High Fidelity”) is being displayed at Siggraph 2006, which starts today. We’ve seen some of the best sheep float through the office.