Sunday, December 30, 2007

Zscanner 800

The Zscanner 800 looks like a nice gift for the budding 3d developer. It's a handheld trinocular camera with laser LED projector that interpolates points in 3d, in real time.

Just the right size for scanning the faces of your whole family so you can update their secondlife avatars. Output is .stl files.

At $50k for this version getting models from the real world into the virtual world is getting cheaper all the time. The intellectual property ramifications of this technology coming within the reach of common citizens must be astounding.

This is still out of reach for me, but I would not mind renting one for a few days.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Switching to linux

Lots of people are thinking about switching to linux these days. There's a website called Groklaw dedicated to documenting legal events, and they have quite a useful page on the subject. Rather than working up my own, I'll point you there.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Video on phone update

Recently I had to replace my video-capable phone with a Blackberry, and as luck would have it I got mine only days before the Blackberry that does video and audio came out. It was a tradeoff. My thumb hurts because the BB scroll wheel is a poor substitute for a touch screen. On the other hand, mail arrives quickly and I can use it as a wireless modem for my laptop.

Since my blackberry doesn't do video any more, I chose the Centon moVox 1GB for that. It's $50 delivered, plays mp4 videos and mp3 audio, and stores a gigabyte of info. You format it and drop files into it like a pen drive, and they play just fine. It charges from USB too. I've tried the methods previously described here for converting video, and they work just fine. Now I can store four two hour movies on it and a couple albums, and reserve my phone for other stuff.

You can't tell from looking at the Newegg description, but the thing is very small. It's about 1cm thick, 3cm wide and 4.5 cm tall. The buttons are not intuitive -- you have to play with them to figure out that ff+play = enter on the menus. The manual is no help -- it's an amusing example of engrish, and lacks even an identification of the buttons.

There is no output for external video -- this thing is strictly a microscreen player. If you're interested in a little recreational video in a pinch, though, it will do the trick. If you get one, don't forget to format it FAT. You can't store any media on it until you do. It comes in more expensive versions up to 8GB. I have no idea what battery life is, but after I've used it a while I'll update this post. As always, Newegg delivered promptly and as advertised. It's a lot more fun to just fire off an online order in the middle of the night than to burn a precious day and five gallons of gas wandering from (hopefully open!) store to store searching for something that might or might not be good.

Realtime satellite photos of Australia

You can see cool weather photos of Australia from BSCH which is the Brisbane Storm Chasers homepage.