Seriously cool stuff

Wow, two posts in as many days!

But I just had to talk about the San Jose Tech Museum. We went for the first time today*, because a guy at the Festive Holiday Cookie Baking Afternoon thingy told us about an electronic game retrospective exhibit there that is leaving soon. So we just had to see that, of course. They had old arcade games, console games, Space Wars (like on the PDP-1!), and a ton of others that you could play, then exhibits on a whole bunch of newer popular ones that included concept art, design documents, media articles... everything!

And then there was the regular part of the museum, which was pretty damn cool too. The most impressive thing, I thought, was not just how many of the exhibits were interactive but how many used this "TechTag" idea. When you went in, you got this luggage-tag like thing with a magnetic strip. You could use this to save a lot of your interaction experience to the museum website to look at later.

So now that Blogger is letting me post pictures again (she says, knowing that by saying this she's just caused Blogger's image server to explode), here are some pix of today thanks to the magic of the TechTag!

This is R:tAG and me through a thermal camera. I'm wearing a scarf; that's the blue (cooler) thing around my neck. I also have a hat in my hand, but I'd just finished waving it around to watch it cool off so it's hard to see 'cause it's cooled. The camera was up by the ceiling; we haven't become dwarves or anything. And yeah, we're wearing T-shirts. And no coats. In December.

They also had a 3D imaging thing, where you sat in a chair and had a camera circle your head. You then could play with the resulting 3D model, put different textures and colours on it, look at the wireframe, etc. Dark things didn't show up that well which is why the back of my head's missing, and glasses tended to mess it up too which is why we're not wearing any. But it was neat! And on the TechTag page, the whole 3D model is preserved so you can rotate it and everything (though you can't do the texture mapping stuff on the website).

We also got a robot portrait done; you got a digital picture taken, then the computer ran it through an edge-detection filter and passed the result to a plotter. That was funny 'cause we got the picture of us together, but because R:tAG's face is so much darker than mine (the winter fur and all) it skewed the average so badly that his face got drawn and my half of the picture is just a blank with a few vague scribbles. I'd scan it, but his computer is busy with very important research right now. **

Oh, and we saw Constantine a few nights ago, which was actually pretty good despite Keanu Reeves. His lack of acting talent continues to astound me. If they'd gotten anyone else for the role the movie would have been vastly improved (if one forgets completely about the source material, of course... poor Chaz). But Rachel Weisz (Angela) was good, and Tilda Swinton (Gabriel) and Peter Stormare (Satan) were fantastic. I'm sort of excited about Narnia now because Ms. Swinton is playing the White Witch.

* Well, technically for the second time, since we were there once to watch Charlie and the Chocolate Factory in the IMAX. Not a success, by the way. Movies that weren't made for IMAX aren't good to watch in IMAX. Everything gets this weird fisheye distortion, and it's way too close to focus properly (subjectively).

** Yeah, WoW.


  1. rilla said...

    The 3d rendering of your faces looks somewhat zombiefied. Pretty cool!  

  2. Terry said...

    I'm glad the 3d software accuratly identified that horn growing out of the center of Randy's forehead. I thought I was the only one who could see that...  


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