This weekend was one busy time. PlayMotion! was presenting our stuf at NextFest. NextFest is Wired magazine's trade show for upcoming technology. This year it was in Chicago so we packed up our office into a suburban and a u-haul trailor and drove up (well, I flew so I could stop in Boston for my Mom's retirement party). We were setup in this huge hall on Navy Pier.

Alongside us there were a bunch of other really neat technologies (and a few that seemed like they still had a ways to go). I got to see the Moller SkyCar, a flying car that I've been following the progress of since high school. There were a few other games like ours there, or ther artificial reality type games that were neat. Although they weren't supposed to be there, I saw LightSpace, the other company I almost worked for this summer. They were there with BodyMedia, a wearable bio-sensors company, because they wanted a fun system for people to play with as they demoed their sensors. The funny thing was I had been looking for some sensors to do exactly what they do and I had even thought abou them because I had a friend who had used some of their sensors before. He told me they didn't do what I wanted, but I guess that was just the ones he had, because at the show it was exactly what I wanted. GM had some hydrogen powered cars, including a Hummer. Patrick ask if it was a hydrogen guzzler, ha! So much I can't remember. I got a lot of great pictures though.

Then event went great for our company. We were always crowded.

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Keywords:PlayMotion! | Travel | Summer
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Music Midtown Wrapup

Wow, I'm exhausted. I'm forcing myself to write this tonight because it will be the best time to recall it all. Today was the 3rd and final day of Music Midtown. Since we didn't need to show PlayMotion and had packed up most of our stuff last night, most people didn't go to the concerts today. I, however, didn't have much else to do and wanted to take advantage of the free passes to such a cool event. I knew I would regret it if I did not go. I wish I went earlier but I got there around 4. People had apparently been using our tent and some of our stuff was stolen, a chair and some drinks. But today I didn't hang out, I went to concerts. I saw Coheed and Cambria, The Lemonheads, and Kid Rock. It was all great. I also saw this guy on the street drumming on buckets. He was amazing. I bought his CD. This day was the first one that was pretty nice. It was nice in the morning, rained for a bit around noon (before I went out), but was then beautiful the rest of the day. Shortly after the last concert ended and everyone left it started to rain again. I had to stay to strike the screen and the rest of our stuff. Luckily it let up and stopped by the time everyone got there to meet me.

Taking the screen down was scarier than even putting it up. We were afraid to walk it down with people in the middle. We wanted to lower it with ropes (or in our case an extension cord) but were afraid that what we tied to (some plastic zip ties) might snap and send the thing flying down. We weren't sure what effect the rain had on the wood.

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Keywords:Music | PlayMotion! | Summer
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Rain, My Mortal Enemy

Today was the second day of the Music Midtown concerts. We woke up a little later today, but it was still Patrick and I heading over to get set up. We stopped for some snacks and then unloaded me and the gear. While he went to get people I cleaned up our area and set up everything except a few things we wouldn't need until much later.

The weather in the morning was cloudy by good. It was hot out when I was running around fixing fuses in the speakers, shaking old rain out of tarps, and hanging new PlayMotion! banners from our "booth". It only lasted for a little while though. Before long it was raining again. At first it was light and plesant, particularly from our dry tent. As it went on it only got stronger. Other people, friends and friends of friends, started coming by. They were wet from the rain and they brought it in, crowded our little space, and ate our food. I wouldn't normally be so inhospitable, but it was the weather and I wasn't comfortable anymore. When I have no place to go I don't always mind getting wet, but when there's a little bit of shelter the small about of water that finds its way in or the small amount of time I have to spend out starts to really aggitate me. I went out to the Honestly concert, taking the rain head on, but my spirits were down. We came back to the tent where I was soaked, could barely get in underneath the cover, couldn't sit down, and couldn't imagine having to spend 6 more hours out in that foul weather. It was absolutely pouring.

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Keywords:Weather | PlayMotion! | Music
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Music Midtown Day 2

Wow, was it a long day today. Patrick and I left at 8:30am and went to Home Depot to buy a ton of stuff to build the screen. He dropped me off and I started working. I spent all morning in jeans and black t-shirt out in the hot, hot Atlanta sun building wall panels. The screen is HUGE. 20'x16'. We bolted all the panels together and scarily stood it up against the only 10' tall fence. We used a bunch of rope and heavy duty zip ties to secure the screen up. That was about 4pm. Then we set up all our electronics. That takes us to aboult 6:15. Finally we got power. We had to set up software, and then while we were waiting for the dark, I went home quickly to shower and change. When we got back it was already time to get started.

It went great. People really liked it. It was fun to demo it and see people playing it. I love the small company atmosphere where I make a difference. We had out there a couch, table, and cooler with water and other drinks. This was great for our periodic breaks throughout the day (we needed to to keep from passing out in that sun). We definately got wireless internet so it was great being able to to look up the schedule or the weather or just chat with my friends while listening to the Counting Crows. I didn't really leave the booth but I was able to demo PlayMotion and still see some of the concerts that went on right near us.

Although the weather... During the day it was too hot, I didn't realize but I got fairly sunburned (including a very odd white band on my arm where I had my worker wrist band all day).

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Keywords:PlayMotion! | Summer
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Music Midtown Setup

This weekend is Music Midtown. It is a huge three day long music festival in downtown Atlanta. There are six different stages for concerts and a bunch of other stuff going on all over a giant area. One of the things that is going on is that PlayMotion! is setting up and showing our stuff. We rented a big ass 10,000 lumen Christy projector and a truss stand for it, we are building a 20 foot by 15 foot screen, and we bought a PA system for sound. We're setting it all up on a big tennis court. It's a pretty sweet setup. We've got a tent to cover our stuff and bike rack style crowd barriers to surround it. This means that besides the free all area access passes to this concert (where most people paid $45-$75 for less) we also have our own chill little space to call home base for the weekend. We are going to bring in couches and a cooler with drinks. We even found that we can steal wireless internet from some routers in the houses across the street.

Today we were there starting to get set up. We were testing out the rented projector for the first time, we got our new speakers up and running, and we were building our screen. I love doing this kind of stuff because it is something I think I know more than a lot of people about. I'm not that great or anything, but most computer scientist might not have done this, so in addition to being a coder like the other guys at the office I have a background in construction thanks to drama and booth and in sound and lighting thanks to drama and ABTech.

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Keywords:PlayMotion! | Summer | ABTech
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More Odds and Ends

Two more weeks have gone by and much has happened. Eek, why can't I update this more. It makes it so much more daunting a task when I do. Then again, if something gets left out or under-discussed, who would care?

Yes, I have been keeping quite busy. Most of that has been time spent at work. I won't bore anyone with the details of my battles with DirectX, HLSL, and OpenGL, but I do want to make a more general point. It is amazing how mysterious, difficult, and impressive things that other people can do seem before you spend even five minutes learning them. Some things which seem like magic that I could never hope to understand can become simple and routine once a small amount of time and mental space is given to them. Oh yeah, and we now have a drink fridge including Yoohoo. :-D

A week and a half ago I went to a Braves game where they won. I also went to another game night where I won my very first game of Settlers of Catan. Despite the way I feel about the CS lounge with which I usually associate the game, it was actually pretty fun. Tigris and Euphrates, on the other hand, was ridiculously complicated.

Last weekend I flew home for Jackie's graduation from Brown. Coincidently I bumped into my friend Gil from CMU and his girlfriend Diana there. I was suprised to see them, but his brother also was graduating. Brown's graduation was a bit strange. They had student speeches instead of the usual commencement speaker, but what was strange was that the speeches took place at a church off campus that only fit the students.

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Keywords:Summer | Jobs
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Thought Repository » June 2005