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Mandatory good wishes post

As the sun sets down on a steamy hot day in Sydney (it was 38 C today), it's time to get some fresh food, some nice rocket salad with goat cheese, nasi pears and a great bottle (or two) of wine to just enjoy a nice evening. I am wishing that everyone has a great evening as well and, as I do every year, wish we could get our act together as a wide group of human beings, stop killing each other, polluting the earth and hope that we can live together and do something good in exchange (solidarity, love, equality are the words that come to mind).


December 24, 2005 in Friends | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Online Communities

I haven't posted about this before, I don't really know why ... but with a friend of ours, Kath Berry, we've released a website entirely devoted to Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine for Australiasia. Initially it was just a website but the idea had always been to actually support this field by providing tools to support teachers, practitioners, students and people looking for information about Acupuncture.

We've been quite happy with the response we've got from many people participating in the Forums and from friends and family. And to be honest, we've seen blatant rip-offs of our design and idea by other groups ... which proves again that we are on the right track :-) So, go and have a look and if you are interested in Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine, just make yourself a member of the forums. It's all at http://forums.acupuncture.net.au/ and http://www.acupuncture.net.au/.

December 19, 2005 in Australia | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

WebTeam 2001

WebTeam 2001
Originally uploaded by Brianfit.
A picture from a beautiful time! What a team!

These are some of the most amazing people I've worked with. We are missing Danielle from this picture (Danielle and I are getting married soon but back then, she worked with us and we were not yet together ;-) ).

December 13, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Learn and solve problems

One of the most amazing things that I find about working in VFX is the fact that I am always learning. It never stops to amaze me how much there is still to learn. (Of course, I don't think anyone can claim that "they know everything about their field of knowledge". :) )

From HPC to rendering, it's a whole new field of expertise that I am slowly getting used to. There are indeed many common concepts and ideas but when you start really getting serious (like we are at Rising Sun Pictures) you need to be the best you can be (and more).

Recently we've been looking in depth at our network traffic patterns and the impact that it has on our file serving infrastructure, in order to grow without blindly "throwing more money at the problem" to try to solve "performance issues". You discover very interesting things when using "tcpdump" and "ethereal". And then, after you've spent some time analysing network traffic patterns, you turn your eyes to what's happening in the different servers you have and you start using other tools, like "strace", "acct", etc. You also look at I/O scheduling algorithms employed by Linux kernels and more. Probably more in depth than many SysAdmins ever looked into. Those are things you need to look into when you have many many TB (terabytes) of data to serve to hundreds of machines at the same time.

The whole point of this post is that VFX is a very very demanding field, where if you have unlimited resources you probably can get away without analysing the problems in depth but one of the things I love about RSP is that we really like to come out with clever solutions. Most of the time, using your brain actually is better than having millions of dollars to solve performance problems. Even in the long term :)

December 11, 2005 in Work | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack