I've had fun with photography for many years, and I especially enjoy macro photography. Whenever I'm on a trip, I keep my eye out for interesting subjects and textures. You should see some of the strange looks I get when I'm standing about 6 inches from a wall taking photographs of stucco, wood, or bricks. I get even stranger looks when I spend time taking photographs of the floor. Anyway, I keep a folder on my computer full of macro shots that make good desktop wallpaper. Here are four "natural" shots of leaves and flowers that I thought you might enjoy. All images have been resized to 1280 x 1024, and they're around 275KB each.
As a point of interest, the first photograph (palm leaf...oops, Ravages points out that this is most likely a Banana leaf) was taken in front of Ernest Hemingway's home in Key West, Florida. You'll notice that it's the same image I've used for the header graphic of my blog.
Let me know if you'd like me to post more of these. I have quite a few.
Over the past four years or so, I've had MCROSFT as my personal license plate. Does that illustrate how much I love working for such an awesome company? Or does it just confirm my über-geek status? Or both? Anyway, living in Slashdot territory (Holland, Michigan), I've always wondered how long it would be before I came out of a store to find a Linux sticker on my license plate. And quite frankly, over time, I had found myself becoming more and more disappointed that someone hadn't taken the initiative to put me in my place. Well, while pulling my wife's car out of the garage this afternoon, I saw the following on the back of my car:
This must have happened last night while my wife and I were watching Garden State. Unfortunately, I hadn't noticed it until today, and in the meantime, the 3x5 card with the "X" on it must have fallen off (pretty impressive for a 20-minute drive on the highway). Regardless, my diminishing faith in Linux advocacy has been completely restored. Touché to the perpetrator(s)!
I've had other interesting reactions to my license plate:
And last, what are the chances of parking right next to the person in Michigan with the LINUX license plate? Turns out that Eric Maino, who is now a Microsoft MVP, used to be a huge Linux fan, and he was attending one of our West Michigan .NET User Group meetings. Priceless.
If you haven’t already heard, we’ve released Windows Media Player 10 (for Windows XP only), and the beta of MSN Music is also available. Read more from Dan Crevier, Mike Hall, and our PressPass article. For interested developers, download the Windows Media Player 10 SDK.
A few people have e-mailed and asked if—since I claim to be a developer—I actually write any code. It's a great question, and based on most of my blog posts, you'd think I haven't written an ounce in quite some time. Fortunately for both you and especially me, that assessment would be wrong. I spend quite a bit of time writing C#, my current favorite langage. Some of it is for illustration or example as I mentor other developers, some of it is to answer specific Microsoft technology questions, some of it is to demonstrate a preferred practice, method, or algorithm, and some of it is for just plain fun.
For example, I've done a lot of 2D graphics and game development in the past, and I've worked a bit with 3D algorithms, but I've never tried to marry the two. Since Longhorn (and with our recent announcement, Windows XP) introduces a rich 3D graphical interface, I thought it'd be a good idea to increase my understanding by creating a sample project that provides a 3D animation framework for Windows Form-based applications. Managed DirectX 9.0 seemed the perfect starting point.
So, I've created a pluggable animation class hierarchy, a couple of time controllers, a few motion providers, timeline and keyframe logic, view controls, a flexible camera class, and picking and selection logic (among others). I extended the sample application with a simple command window that lets me play with various animations and camera setups, and I can move throughout the world with a few mouse movements and keyboard strokes.
This is really just an exercise in learning...I don't intend to do much with my sample application beyond that. Here are a couple of screen shots that won't do the motion any justice at all. Imagine that you can manually control a very complex animation cycle with the TrackBar control at the top, and you can smoothly "fly" the camera through the scene. It doesn't look like much, but it's fun to play with and simple to extend.