March 6th, 2008


Revolutionary 3D Graphics Engine: MicroSoft Excel!

It can be said that the Excel-native Cell Graphics surpasses its time and contains a lot of unique and unmatched features which are not accessible in other 3D engines: resizeable pixels, arbitrarily variable aspect ratio, 16.7 megapixel resolution, switchable sub-pixel size grid lines.

In the figure, the engine can be seen in action (with rendered gridlines). You can start the demo by grabbing our example Excel engine files (enable the macros when Excel asks), pressing the ALT+F8 keys and running the ECG_Demo.

Details of the iPhone SDK.

The software simulator in action

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it's going to integrate with Exchange (buh-bye Windows Mobile, watch out BlackBerry!), has a remote debugger for testing your code on a real iPhone, and evidently there will even be some games. Also an app store - Apple will host and distribute your apps, with a 70% dev/30% appl revenue split.

Looks very good!
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_I Am Legend_ alt ending - spoilers.

As I watched I Am Legend, it became pretty obvious to me that the zompires were smarter than Will Smith's character was giving them credit for. They copied his traps, kept dogs for pets just like he did, and were able to understand his motivations well enough to move his mannequin "friends" around. I believe my summary of the second half of the movie was: "he kidnapped the king's daughter."

The alt ending shows Will Smith realizing that the zompires are intelligent, returning the female he kidnapped, and finally driving away from NYC with the cure in hand, accompanied by the woman and child he met. I'm not sure how I feel about this ending. On the one hand, it does seem more interesting to me because it shows that Will Smith's character can grow and change. He has the ability to get over the traumatic emotional damage he experienced when the outbreak occurred and his wife and kid were killed. On the other hand, that ending does seem a bit trite and Hollywood; ye old "love conquers all" cliche. In some ways, the "suicidal maniac" ending is truer to what Will Smith's character really is.

A hybrid of the two endings might have been most interesting of all. Smith's character can realize that the zompires are intelligent, and return the one he kidnapped, but then either the realization drives him insane and he pulls the pin on the grenade, or the zompires destroy him, or both. The woman and child get away with the cure, but maybe with some reservations about using it on a wide scale.