MAKEman Torrone Trumbo

Had a great time at the SL Future Salon meeting tonight (by far the best meeting afaic, but then I’m biased by the subject matter). Tonight’s guest, once again supplied by Acceleration Studies Foundation rep Jerry Paffendorf, was the associate editor of MAKE, Phillip Torrone.

Thankfully, our guest speaker didn’t use the glitchy, piped-in audio that up til now has proven to be hit-or-miss in spite of the heroic efforts of some ingenious SL residents. So while the chat was probably a bit messy (due in large part, admittedly, to me), it felt more natural. Until a voice system is implemented and the sim lag is better managed, it’s simply better to go with what we know.

Much of the presentation was actually a series of videos. And the built-in support for Quicktime made that painless. A shame though that every individual in attendence starts the video stream independently; would have been nice if Phillip could have stopped the video in places in order for everyone to be on the same spot and ask questions about what they were seeing (I believe there is some inworld code for this; need to look into that). Videos included a tour of SQUID Labs, some excerpts from a television show (sorry, I forget the name) and maybe something else.

The discussion afterward was a bit shorter than some others it seemed. Maybe it wasn’t but just seemed shorter since things went smoothly. I did manage to ask a question about rapid-prototyping metal parts that turned out to be the subject of one of their current projects, so I look forward to hearing about that in the near future (unfortunately, Phillip wasn’t sure which vendor they were using). I also suggested that someone needed to pull some Second Life Artificial Intelligence code (see this earlier post on that subject) and implant it into MAKE’s “Mousey the Junkbot” (thus creating… Mousey the Lawnmower Bot?). And finally, because I spent some time working on getting the Quake 3 rocket launcher barrel back into SL and making the parts fully “solid” in the process (see earlier post – Link), I asked if he wanted the files. So, I intend to clean up the inside of the barrel (so someone might interface it with the rest of a unit if they build more), scale it to something reasonable and email it off. Although I’m feeling like I should contact Quake 3 developer and owner of the rocket launcher IP, id software, at this point. I don’t think they’ll have a problem with this, but to not do so would be rude.

Oh, and one last thing. Lasers. I’ve not really thought much about lasers in a long, long time (since I was like 10 or 11). But after watching some lasers (purchased ones) on the MAKE videos, I’m considering designing and building one. Could be fun. We’ll see. Too much on my plate already.