Tuesday, September 29, 2015

A drawing package with barycentric interpolation?

I want to do a simple diagram that I could easy do with SGI IRIS Showcase (my all time favorite drawing package that as far as I know is extinct).   One feature it had was you could assign three colors to the three triangle vertices and it would interpolate a between the vertices (Gouraud interpolation, barycentric interpolation, linear interpolation, whatever you want to call it).   As far as I know, no current programs support this.  PLEASE tell me I am wrong, or go write it :)

Sunday, September 13, 2015

My new main email address

I have been using shirley@cs.utah.edu (where I worked 7 years ago!) for some time because of the good graphics history karma of the name, the department has been kind enough to leave my account there, and because the systems support at that department is outstanding.   And because my gmail idea sucks-- I can barely spell my middle name!   My computer went into the shop for a week so I've been taking care of some of those non-urgent things on my to-do list and one of them is finding a more permanent email address.  Gmail is the default pick for most people and I like it myself but almost every account name I have tried is taken.

I dug deep into my naming history, and recall that an old FORTRAN trick to keep to 8 letters (a requirement on some systems!) was to eliminate vowels.   English has almost no information in the vowels so this works pretty well.   In my name is "y" a vowel?   I say yes, because it does allow one available email.   Thus my new "permanent" email is now:


If I'm in your address book please update it!

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

A killer app for the new iPad and stylus

Unlike the ghost of Steve Jobs, I am super-excited about the new huge iPad with pencil (or "stylus" for English speakers).   There are surely plenty of art apps that will be great on this device, but for me the killer app will be white-boarding.   At NVIDIA I used shared white boards a lot and my far-seeing boss had me try a wacom cyntiq. 

It was awkward because of clunky software (not wacom's-- the shared whiteboarding software), but wacom had the hardware nailed.    It was a good enough experience I felt like I saw the future.   I have been using the new shared whiteboarding app from limnu and really like it-- I use it to take quick notes on my phone when I am without a pencil.   But my finger is big, and the phone is small.   This shows how much I can get using that:

A screen shot from the limnu app on an iPhone 6+
 It's very usable on the iPad mini (I have posted those on the blog before) and I far prefer it to a "real" drawing program when just messing with ideas.   I have been hoping the Windows 8 tablets would take off because their hardware is great (and so is Windows 8 on mobile-- I loved my windows phone!  I am still wondering why it didn't).  But the new iPad and stylus will make this app perfect for me!   The size is something like we see in real portable whiteboards like this 8.5" by 11" one.   And it looks like the Apple stylus will give finer control than most real white board markers.

It's cool that there is still hardware that can invented that I can hardly wait for!