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After a bout of blogging lethargy I’ve been prompted by my friend and colleague Jo Cook to write something sensible, and perhaps even topical, after she was kind enough to link here in her blog. She’s actually done an excellent job of summarizing specific papers – which leaves me free to ruminate at arbitrary length on a few other things.

CAA UK 2007

The main things I picked up were

  • There’s quite a feeling of optimism in the air at the moment, although it’s hard to say exactly why. It’s not so much that there are major new developments in archaeological IT as what might be called a growing spirit of collaboration, along with the realisation that the increasing prevalence of web 2.0-style services and Open Source tools may begin to mean that a bit of javascript/python/perl hackery may get us a lot further than it used to.
  • Presenting our new X-Bones/Crossbones method (a schematic 3D skeleton writer I coded recently) was a real pleasure for two reasons. All right, it was nice that people found it interesting for a start, but I didn’t think I’d get such a kick out of saying ‘and it’s also Open Source so anyone can start using it as of next week’. Of course, the thing might sink without a trace once people actually do, but suddenly all sorts of projects came to light that may make use of it, so its future looks bright for the time being which is the thing that us humble programmers crave most 🙂 The 2nd cool thing was demoing it at ArchCamp 2, because, once again in the spirit of collaboration, we got it rigged up to a 3D passive stereo screen – y’know, the ones with the funky glasses. Suddenly you actually start climbing around in data that used to be a flat 2D CAD plan. And that’s a good feeling.
  • ArchCamp 2 worked out even better than I hoped btw. 3.5 straight hours of playing with cool tools, tips and websites. Then burgers and beer. Isn’t that how life is supposed to be?
  • Kate Devlin gave some interesting insights into the nature of 3D. I’ve been engaged in a bit of debate recently as to where its going, but I get the impression that we may start moving away from ‘superrealism’ which (counterintuitively) actually starts to look less real, towards things which trick our eye in other ways. A great example is the Textured Polynomial Maps done by CHI. They’re just a simple image, about twice the size (in bytes) of a jpeg but you can move a virtual lightsource around them in a spookily realistic fashion. Definitely worth checking out. There’s still room for gorgeous reconstructions though.  Check out Tom Goskar‘s lost landscape.

Life in Jaywick

This has got to be my favourite blog at the moment. Kind of a cross between Meursault and Adrian Mole, only real (I think). Jacky, you’re a legend.

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One Comment

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    While the bananas are caramelizing, desperate the bwatch, spwatch with the butter, and
    spatter with the bark and nutmeg.


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