Wednesday, January 30, 2008

expanding a VHD

In the past, when my fixed disk was too small, I'd create a new fixed disk and install a fresh copy of WinXP. I'm too busy for that now, so I checked Google to see if there were any hacks to increase the size of a fixed disk. I assumed to find nothing, but I found VHD Resizer. Cool.

VHD Resizer - handy tool for people to use that need to expand a VHD.

At this point, I thought that I'd be able to use Windows tools to expand the C: drive in the VM to use all the space. I opened diskpart and it found all the space but since my partition was the boot partition I couldn't use diskpart. I had to use BootIt NG for the resizing.

BootIt NG - simple partitioning tool.

Unfortunately, BootIt NG didn't come with a standard floppy image (that I could directly capture in VPC) and I didn't know how to create a floppy image so I had to search once more. WinImage was overwhelmingly popular and I tried it - worked great.

WinImage - tool for creating disk images - I used it to create a blank floppy disk to capture in VPC.

In the VPC, I captured the blank floppy image that I created with WinImage. I then used the makedisk app in the BootIt NG download to write the BootIt NG stuff to the floppy. I rebooted the VPC and used the menus to expand the partition to consume all available space and then released the floppy image. Finally, I booted the VPC again and had all the space available as I had hoped.

Friday, January 04, 2008

any 3D movie posters in Denver?

I've not seen full-color holograms nor have I seen a hologram the size of a movie poster. There are now some full-color holographic movie posters around.

Last week, 10 U.S. theaters rolled out full-color 3-D posters with motion and photorealistic detail to promote the movie How She Move. Made by Quebecois company RabbitHoles, the advertisements feature one of the film's characters tearing up the dance floor in an eight-second clip that can be "played" in 3-D by walking from left to right of the poster. Despite the images' slightly transparent quality, what you see is pretty close to the real thing.


To produce the imagery, RabbitHoles creates a 3-D computer model of the object that will be turned into a hologram. A virtual camera takes snapshots at different angles, and a software algorithm developed by RabbitHoles calculates how light would bounce off each angle in the scene. The result is up to 1,280 different snapshots, or frames, that not only hold color, distance and angle info, but light patterns as well.

To record the actual hologram onto a sheet of film, the data is sent to a printer that divides each frame into pixels -- a poster-size print can hold up to 700,000. The company then exposes each pixel with red, green and blue pulsed lasers.

-- from New 3-D Technique in Wired

Sounds impressive, but I'd like to see one first-hand.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Starting the kids on the XO

Yesterday was the first day we let the boys play with the XO. Today, we let them play some more and they continue to explore. Isaac and Spencer both really like the video recorder but Isaac spent a surprising amount of time calculating. Blogs and news reports say the keyboard is built for tiny hands, so here is a picture in case you haven't played with one - my hand is on the right.

Luke and I played with our XO's together yesterday and learned about sharing applications and chatting. Sharing applications is very cool, but getting chatting started seemed to be non-trivial. When the applications open, they default to private but can be changed to the neighborhood. When someone in the neighborhood is sharing an application, you can see it in the neighborhood view. For example, Luke shared the word processor app and I clicked on it to join in. We each saw our cursor and the other person's cursor and could edit concurrently.

Above is the network view showing access points and mesh networks in the area - not too exciting here since this is from home. It is an interesting view and I hope to see more systems adopting something similar.

Kinda hard to tell if Spencer is having fun or working but he's doing something and seems interested to continue doing it.