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Jet Set
by Jon on Friday, May 30, 2008 file under: Off Topic

Kortney and I are taking off this morning for a whirlwind trip to America's Finest City. Its business for her, and I'm just tagging along for the ride (and free hotel room). It will be a nice break from the normal 9 to 5.

Now that school's out, I've been trying to spend more time writing for my Mac development blog, with some success. Writing a topic specific blog allows me to focus and target a very specific audience. At the same time, I feel pressured to bring in enough readers for it to be worth while.

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Watch for Falling Expirations
by Jon on Saturday, April 19, 2008 file under: Off Topic

Kortney and I were doing our grocery shopping at Walmart today, when we came across not one, but two grossly expired food items.

The second was a large container of McCormick Chili Powder. We seem to use chili powder in a lot of our recipes, so we decided to get the big container. I'm sure spices have a shelf life much longer than other foods, but to me that means its life on my shelf not the stores shelf. Not one, but all of the large chili powder containers expired in August of 2007.

Prior to the chili powder we were looking to buy a delicious jar of pickles and found some bread and butter pickles that fit the bill (along with another jar of whole Kosher dills). Kortney checked the expiration date, and was so shocked, she asked me to confirm. Best if used by: February of 2006!

Finding one seems like a fluke, but finding 2 different products seems absurd. In both cases, the containers seemed new. They weren't dusty or beat up. Perhaps they were part of some inventory that had recently been discovered.

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Cameron on Stereoscopy
by Jon on Saturday, April 12, 2008 file under: Off Topic

John August has linked to a great interview with Jim Cameron discussing 3D. Here's a choice quote from August's blog, "James Cameron is the Steve Jobs of filmmakers". I couldn't agree more. Historically, Steve Jobs has had a longer career of making sure he gets what he wants, but Cameron has never seemed shy about getting in people's faces to make sure things are right*. And in both cases, the results are visionary, compelling, and exist in a class that few others in their domain can match.

The idea of stereoscopic filmmaking has come up time and again in conversations with my friends and there seems to be a mix of trepidation and excitement. Cameron describes the 3-D movies that I would be interested in: 3-D to enhance the story, not for the sake of 3-D.

Unfortunately, I see two downsides to this approach: elegant 3-D movies won't be first to market, meaning gimmicky, poke-you-in-the-eye movies will set audience expectations (50 years later, studios still don't understand) - and - many audiences won't understand the benefits of 3-D if it isn't explicitly in their face.

Cameron describes 3-D in ideas that are reminiscent of the last several years of interface design:

It needs to be firing on all eight cylinders whether it is conceived as a 2-D or a 3-D film. As a result, a 3-D film when screened in 2-D, on a screen of any size, should still deliver. The 3-D should always be thought of as a turbocharger, an enhancer, to a work whose raison d'etre is vested in its story, its characters, its style, etc.

This is how the truly great programs behave as well, just replace story and characters, with functionality and workflow. For example, Flip3D in Windows Vista is analogous to poke-you-in-the-eye 3-D; it serve no purpose other than eye candy. Contrast that to Expose which provides potentially less visual stimulation, but serves a purpose and function that only direct clones have been able to match.

I'm going to say right now: this is what 3-D will be like in movies. When you go see a 3-D classic, you'll walk out and say: "That movie incredible! What an amazing story!" You wont say: "Did you see all that crap flying at your face!" When our children see movies, they'll say, "What do you mean everything was flat?". They won't ask, "What do you mean you never had to duck out of the way of something coming out of the screen."

Don't get me wrong: attempting to get the audience to duck is in itself not bad in the context of a well written story. For example, during the shootout scene at Cyberdyne in Terminator 2, Dyson's breathing slows and the weight of his own creation becomes to much for him to handle. One last breath, the weight drops, click, and BOOM! Cyberdyne's facade explodes showering the police force on the ground in glass and metal. I was on the edge of my seat and now I should be planted firmly at the back of it. 3-D will only intensify such a scene.

But that's the obvious use of 3-D. The masters will take tight shots, and make you feel like you're a third part to a two person conversation. They'll put you in the crowd at a rally of protestors. They'll give you claustrophobia. The revolutionary 3-D won't remind you that its even there. It will slip into your brain and make your experience all the more real and immediate.

I don't think we've seen even a taste of what stereoscopic movies will be able to achieve. I'm look forward to Avatar and hope that 3-D is embraced as a method of story enhancement, not shallow entertainment.

* There's a great scene in an Aliens documentary where Cameron can't get the face hugger operator to get the creature to move as he'd like. Cameron kicks the guy out of his position, and operates the face hugger himself, until he's satisfied with the result.

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Semester Done: Time for Christmas Parties!
by Jon on Tuesday, December 18, 2007 file under: Off Topic

Another semester is over and Christmas seems like its right around the corner. What better time to post an update than the chilly break between semesters?

I took two great classes this semester and completed several projects that I'm very happy with, for several reasons. Oddly enough, the finish products aren't of much use, but there are concepts and snippets that should prove to be invaluable. I wrote a post at Macsploitation about adding and using delegates in Objective C, and plan on sending some code I ported from MFC to Cocoa to another site, when I get a chance. I'm excited that next semester will be my last semester of formal coursework, which will leave me with a thesis to write in the fall. If anyone has interesting topics concerning computer graphics/visualization or distributed multimedia, I'm all ears.

Last night Kortney and I went to the Go Daddy holiday party, and it was out of control. The party was held at Chase Field. The reveal when entering the stadium was amazing: the entire field was covered with people, bars, video games, motorcycles, an indy car, and stage set up in center field. The sheer volume of people was overwhelming to me. Because I could, I ran into the outfield boards, pretending I was catching a long fly ball: the phantom batter was SO out! The Gin Blossoms headlined, and Busta Loadtest couldn't have been more thrilled.

Lately I've been trying to move into some esoteric new mode of development. I don't know how to describe it, but I feel as if there is a difference between the every-programmer and the guru and that I'm currently somewhere in between. To this end, I've been learning Smalltalk and running through problems on Project Euler. As always, I think my lack of focus is getting in the way.

Kortney and I will be spending Christmas at the Gray's again this year. I only have Christmas day off, but I'm guessing the work week will be pretty relaxed. I always enjoy spending holidays with family.

I hope everyone is having a great Christmas season. Hopefully your shopping is done, you're curled up next to a warm fire, and you have a hot cup of cocoa in your hands!

The views expressed on this site are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of Go Daddy Software, Inc. Heck, they might not reflect the views of anyone but me!

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Asleep at the Switch?
by Jon on Friday, October 26, 2007 file under: Off Topic

hohle.net has been quiet lately... too quiet...

I can attribute that to three things:

First: School is in session and their is no end to work. I'm taking a graphics class (always time consuming and programming/math/processor intensive) at ASU and an Operating Systems class online through ASU.

Second: Between school and work, I've been trying to juggle even more programming projects. From Cocoa to PHP to Ruby and back again, I've been keeping myself steeped in code and having fun with all of it.

Finally: I've been moonlighting on a new blog... That's right. I've been writing for a different audience. Based on comments that people (including my wife!) had no idea what I was talking about, I have decided to primarily move technical posts over to Macsploitation.

Subscribe to the feed if you're interested in reading Mac and Mac Development related entries, but I'll warn you: it's going to get nerdy!

In other news, I've joined twitter (Kortney is rolling her eyes), so if you're have an account, drop me a tweet.

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The Weekend
by Jon on Monday, September 10, 2007 file under: Off Topic
Apple

Kortney and I had a school packed weekend: she had to go to class on Saturday and I worked on a project and ingested a few episodes of Distributed Operating Systems with Partha Dasgupta. We've had Akeelah and the Bee sitting in its Netflix envelope for several days, but decided to pass it up for a few more episodes of Alias (we're on season two).

Saturday afternoon I started an experiment in cooking which concluded in pretty good — but not great — boneless ribs. They had a nice flavor, but it was too subtle, and required some spicing up on the plate.

We ran several errands, including some before church on Sunday. We've started attending a new church, which we're both excited about. Then something profound happened. As we were walking into church, Kortney drew a pointed finger across my chest. I followed the imaginary line from the tip of her extended index finger to an icon which I would normally point out to her: an Apple sticker.

This single, subtle action touched me in ways I can only try to enumerate. It showed me Kortney takes a genuine interest in my interests, even when they are beyond trite and trivial. It showed me how she'll go out of her way to put a smile on my face. It showed me that she'll lend an ear to my dissertations about the qualities of this or that, and despite her lack of interest, will listen attentively, and build me up in ways I don't deserve (I'm hardly qualified to wax intellectual about most of the topics I choose to step on a soap box about).

Not only did that simple gesture express all of those things, it also revealed something else: she's drank the Kool-Aid. :P

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80's Movie Quiz
by Jon on Thursday, September 6, 2007 file under: Off Topic
80%The Movie Quiz

It's been too long since I've seen Predator.

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Birthweek
by Jon on Tuesday, June 19, 2007 file under: Off Topic

While I'm waiting for PHP to compile, I'll write a little somethin' somethin' about my birthday. Kortney surprised me yesterday with not one, but two treats: oatmeal chocolate chip cookies (undeniably the best cookie to ever touch the lips of man; the closest thing to ambrosia the world will ever experience), and Deutcher Kartoffelsalat (that's German potato sala for the non-krauts in the audience). The only thing that stopped me from eating that delicous, vinegar-laden treat was that I consumed every last drop I brought to work, and the oatmeal chocolate chip cookies kept me bunkered down at my desk.

I'm honestly amazed that I made it out of the house last night without sampling those delicious morsels, but I digress.

Kortney let me open some, but not all of my presents before we went out to dinner last night. We're working to turn my birthday into my birthweek. We'll celebrate with her family this Saturday, when we can all get together, and she wanted to give me a present then.

Last night she gave me two excellent gifts: a LEGO Ice Brick tray, and an iGo Stowaway Bluetooth Keyboard to use with our Nokia N800. The ice cubes are really fun, and retain their LEGO-brick shape for much longer then I expected. The keyboard is wonderful as well: its about the size of a standard laptop keyboard and really is the only way to use an xterm on the N800 effectively.

I've already recieved a lot of cards, emails and gifts from family and friends, and it looks like there's even more fun to come!

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Tuesday Post
by Jon on Tuesday, February 20, 2007 file under: Off Topic

Just a post to say Hi on Tuesday!

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Pictures from the Northeast
by Jon on Friday, December 15, 2006 file under: Off Topic

Now that classes are over and I have a little free time before next week's holiday rush, I thought I'd post the pictures I alluded to in my previous post. These are just a few of the pictures we took, but they cover a lot of ground. Enjoy!

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