May 04, 2006


Posted by Scott at 09:18 PM

Cabinet - I was unaware until today but last month Michelle ordered a corner curio cabinet to match the dining room set. It arrived this afternoon. Click on the pictures below to see a larger version. Michelle seems to be enjoying this "antique white" look. I don't think you'll ever see car manufacturers do that. "Look, the car finish already looks 15 years old!" I found out after I took the pictures that the inside lights up. Cool!

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Wood - As President George W. Bush asked Senator Kerry during one of the debates, "Need some wood?" Today we took delivery of 4 tons of wood pellets for next winter. 8000 pounds in 200 forty pound bags! Michelle wanted to take advantage of the price drop that occurs once spring hits and the reduced delivery charges of getting it all in one drop. ($90 vs $260) On the plus side, it motivated her to go through stuff in the garage to make room. We still had several boxes untouched from when we first moved in.

Work - There were several big announcements that came out of ATI this week that are relative to my division, the handheld graphics division. First, ATI bought a small graphics company in Finland called Bitboys. We had five of their senior staff in our Marlboro office this week. We both have similar sized graphics cores aimed at the smaller embedded market space. Between the two companies (now one), it looks like we have most of the mobile market. Second, a formal partnership was signed with Nokia, the cell phone manufacturer. So while the PC magazine rags and websites do yet another comparison of our high end graphics cards against nVidia's cards (neither of which most people can afford…), my division is concentrating on the other end of the spectrum — small LCD displays all around you that could benefit from 3D graphics acceleration.

Meanwhile, related to our west coast graphics design offices, at the big E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo) conference this week, Nintendo is supposed to finally show of what was code named the Revolution and is now formally called the Wii. I'm looking forward to seeing a few reviews come in. Nintendo took a different tact than Microsoft and Sony have done. They didn't focus on how bleeding edge the performance could be. For instance, the Xbox 360 needs about a 350 watt power supply, monster heat sinks, and is roughly the size of a TiVo. The Nintendo is using something more like a laptop graphics accelerator with significantly lower power requirements. Thus, its enclosure is about the size of a few CD jewel cases stacked together. Nintendo claims that they are focusing on more than just how many polygons they can render per second. I'll be interested in seeing how it all turns out. Either way, ATI provides the graphics engine for both Xbox 360 and the Nintendo consoles.

Michelangelo - This past week Claire and I watched a classic movie with the somewhat sensational title, "The Agony and the Ecstasy". Almost sounds X rated, doesn't it? It stars Charlton Heston as Michelangelo and Rex Harrison as Pope Julius II. At a superficial level it's about the Pope contracting Michelangelo to paint the Sistine chapel, but it goes deeper than that. At first I wasn't so sure I liked the movie because the Pope's character was intentionally not likable and Michelangelo seemed a bit spoiled. The movie really does a turn for the better in the last 30 minutes. I can see why it was nominated for 5 awards back in 1966.

MI III - Speaking of movies, tomorrow the ATI Marlborough site is taking out staff for the premiere showing of Mission Impossible III. We get to see it open at a special 8am showing. I have mixed feelings about it. I liked the first movie, wasn't too thrilled about the sequel, and I'm really getting tired of Tom Cruise. He's just getting a bit too wacko for me. It's as if he's competing with Michael Jackson! But the trailers look decent, and it's some time to get together with some of my coworkers. And it beats sipping your morning coffee and reviewing email.