December 23, 2006

3D Google

Posted in Commentary, OSX Software at 9:49 pm by Michael Sweeney Media

Google has some neat 3D software called “Google Sketchup” which ties in with Google Earth. SketchUp is software that used to be a commercial application but now there is a free version and for charge version called SketchUp Pro. One of the coolest items is that you can take a screen from Google Earth and then click a button in SketchUp to import the map into SketchUp. Now you can build your 3D model on the google map including applying a JPEG image as “texture” to the sides so you can see the entire building in 3D. And of course, it all works in OSX.

There is a series of podcasts that covers this application and many more. It is called “Macbreak” and the show about Sketchup is number 32. If you are not watching Macbreak, you should be. They always have cool stuff on it and numbers 29 and 30 are how they shoot and edit the show. You can pick up some excellent tips and techniques watching this. I have picked up tips for several cool applications by watching this show. You can find it on iTunes and subscribe to it.

Christmas was fun as always and Santa brought me two gigs of memory for my Intel Mini which was suffering running only a single gig. Boy how times have changed. I remember when 256 K was considered ALOT of RAM and that was only DRAM. Of course, my C64 had a whopping 64K of RAM which blew most of the boxes in that time into the weeds. The “ancient” crap at work had core memory and only 32K which was made of 16K banks and a paper tape reader 🙂 Some call those the golden years but overall, I disagree. The quality of software and hardware we have today is lightyears ahead of what we had back then. I will admit that it was alot of fun and a small and more intimate group of people back then. We have certainly lost the sense of community that I remember and it was certainly not MySpace. It was alot of fun then in many ways. But I look at my Macs today and even my Linux and Windows boxen and I have to say things have gotten easier in many regards. Not to say that things could not stand some improvement, they always can but I am saying not to forget our collective roots and remember that it used to take hours to load a small program and hours to download the smallest utility assuming you could find it and did not have to write it yourself.

For some good reading, find a copy of iWoz and give it a go.

iWoz: Computer Geek to Cult Icon

I got mine from Audible.com as a audible book and it was very enjoyable. Woz comes across in some respects, very arrogant but truth be told, he was and is as smart as he thinks he is. I suspect many of geeks can relate to the issues of being smarter than most around you and yet, none listening to you because you were too young, too different or just not able to dumb down your knowledge enough for the unwashed masses to get a clue. Woz had many interesting experiences that I went, “yeah, I remember that ”or “I remember feeling that way” or in some cases “damn, if only I were born just a year or two sooner”. I was on the tail end of alot of what he talked about around the mid 70s and I regret not being able to be in the thick of some of it. But, I did manage to be in alot fo the pre-dotcom, the dotcom and watch it all implode quite spectacularly. So I have to say, I missed some things but not all of it. It was very interesting to get an insiders view of things I only had a window seat to like the start up of Apple and how the Apple II came about. Or how things shifted with Steve and Woz over the years. I have to say that it sounds like Woz did alot of growing up over the years in spite of himself and that I think in the end, he has turned out to be a pretty decent human even with his wealth and talents. Not everyone can keep their sense of self in the face of extreme wealth and the idea that you are smarter than most. Just look at the ship of fools at Enron. Smart people every one of them and yet they all fell hard in the end. Anyways, give it a read, it is not too long or boring and I found it to be enjoyable.

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