From the 8th to the 14th, I travelled to Beijing to meet with 5 vendors who've been working on one of my projects for the last year. Yanchun (Tracy) Guo, who is a test lead for Microsoft in Beijing, helped me out by taking me out to lunch, and in general being my babysitter for a couple days at work. It was great to get face to face time with them, see their offices in Beijing, and meet with the vendor companies at their offices. And experiencing Chinese culture first hand was a great experience. I am looking forward to a visit again in a few months.

One of the projects I've been working on, code named Acrylic, went to Beta on the very first day that I met with them in Beijing. There's been quite a buzz about Acrylic since the release, which to me is quite surprising. The Expression site with the version 3.3 bits has been up for over a year now. Was seeing a new beta really surprising? The beta has a new coat of paint for the interface, has the ability to have pixel layers in addition to the vector layers, has live effects, photo stitching, and I'm sure there's a couple other features that I'm forgetting.

Anyway, I got to see the sites while I was in Beijing over my weekend there, and I used Acrylic to stitch my photos together for some great panoramic photos. The top photo is 180+ degree view of one of the many courtyards between gates at the forbidden city. The bottom 3 are from Tiananmen Square, the mausoleam where Chairman Mao in entombed, the Chinese National History Museum, the Monument to the People's Heroes, and the other building is the Great Hall of the People, where the congress and standing committee meet. Beijing is busy getting ready to host the 2008 summer olympics.

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