There isn’t any question about the power of linux/unix on the server and desktop level, but a little acknowledgement never hurts.
I recently posted about the release of Ubuntu 10.10. While this isn’t as fresh, it is equally as interesting. Dustin Kirkland, a core developer of Ubuntu Server at Canonical posted in January about how Weta uses Ubuntu at their studio.
In his post Dustin mentioned how he had a chance to sit down and talk to Paul Gunn, the Systems Administrator at Weta Digital.
It was a great talk, about the type of data center needed to render special effects in today’s blockbuster movies. They have a 2 Petabyte disk array, 10gbps networking, and 35,000 cores (4,000+ HP blades) in their data center, and still it takes 48 hours to render some of their graphic sequences.
That is a pretty respectable data center! And Unbuntu is at the heart of it. The OS is currently running on all of the rendering nodes as well as 90% of the studios desktops. That means that all of those breath taking scenes you enjoyed in films like Avatar made their way through the sudio’s Ubuntu render farm.
I first saw this on Christer Edwards blog, Ubuntu Tutorials. He noted a couple of other films that Weta Digital has work on, these include such blockbusters as:
The Day the Earth Stood Still
Lord of the Rings
Where they also rendered on Ubuntu? That isn’t confirmed but with the size of their render farm you can be sure it didn’t spring up over night.
Recently I posted about the new handheld system from Nintendo, the Nintendo 3DS. Which is gearing up to be the hottest handheld of all time.
Well, for gamers old enough to remember the 3DO, Panasonic once again wants to compete in the gaming market. Here is a quick excerpt about the Panasonic Jungle.
In a move that will instantly conjure up memories of the infamous 3DO failure, Panasonic has once again decided to throw its hat into the gaming ring, unveiling an online-focused handheld called the Jungle. It features a high-resolution display, a D-pad, a touch pad, and a full mini-keyboard in addition to standard gaming shoulder buttons. Wireless support is a given, as Panasonic is talking heavily about the console’s online features, but whether that’s Wi-Fi or 3G remains unclear. M2 Research analyst Billy Pidgeon said, ‘The Jungle is a highly specialized dedicated portable for a non-existent market. This is an unprecedented hardware strategy, and probably for good reason. If MMO players want to go more portable than a laptop, I guess this would be the way to go. Frankly, this looks like a non-starter.
Keeping with the space theme I thought that I would take a moment and ask you what you thought of Gliese 581g. What do you think of the new exoplanet? If you haven’t heard about the planet yet, here is a quick excerpt about the recent discovery:
The news last week that exoplanet Gliese 581g may be in the “goldilocks zone” and could therefore hold liquid water and alien life got everyone all excited, with good reason. A potentially habitable planet–and only 20 light years away! But to put things in perspective, here are a couple of estimates on what it would take to travel to Gliese 581g. One scientist puts the travel time at 180,000 years based on current space flight technology, while another explains that it could be quite quick if we build a matter-antimatter drive, and can figure out how to bring along 530 times as much mass in fuel as is contained in the ship and cargo itself.
Is the planet home to alien life? If it is I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting to find out, I don’t think that we’ll find out anytime soon. Until then it looks like we’ll just have to explore the “alien” lifeforms on our own planet.