This post accompanies a pair of talks given at CMU in November 2018. Coming soon: my notes from the talk, and possibly a screencast. Links Wikipedia article about differential structures, with a table of counts of exotic spheres. The Wild World of Four-manifolds by Alexandru Scorpan (2005), a simply wonderful resource about smooth structures in all dimensions, as a matter of fact. A post that helped me with a proof about the ring of smooth functions determining a manifold.

Lossless Lord of the Rings Blu-ray rip on iPad 3

I have seen what 1080p from a Blu-ray looks like on iPad 3, and it is something to behold. The detail and the colors are just beautiful. Over the last few days I’ve worked through the technical issues of ripping one of my Blu-ray discs and converting it losslessly to a format the iPad can play. This doesn’t work for every Blu-ray because they are not all encoded on the disc in H.

Lord of the Rings project to become a web site

As I have written previously, I created an annotated list of excerpts from The Lord of the Rings to encapsulate the differences in the plot (and theme) from the Peter Jackson films. I was unhappy with the tabular format of a Google spreadsheet though, and so I cast around for other ways to present this information. My requirements were 1. Each excerpt should have its own page so I could write expanded versions of my thoughts.

Mathematics with MathJax

This is a post to test the functionality of MathJax. Just put a simple script tag in your header, pointing to a global copy of mathjax.js distributed via Amazon’s CloudFront content distribution network. After that, you can enter LaTeX or MathML directly in your posts and MathJax will render it into beautiful equations. Here is a favorite (from my dissertation): [ \Pi \wedge^{2}{+}TX\otimes\wedge^{2}{+}T^{}X \hookrightarrow \Pi\wedge^{2}_{+}TX\otimes T^{}X\otimes T^{*}X ]

Digital conservation

If I’m fixing a typo where I typed “loose” instead of “lose”, then is it less wasteful if I click inside and delete one of the “o”s, versus double-clicking the whole word and typing four brand new letters? If I do it the first way, it seems like I am reusing the existing four correct letters, so it seems less wasteful.

The Ur-Quan Masters

[caption id=“attachment_203” align=“alignleft” width=“720” caption=“The Ur-Quan Masters”][/caption] I learned something new this weekend. First, I learned that one of my favorite childhood games, Archon, has some spiritual successors. The game designer Paul Reiche III, who designed Archon, went on to design other games from his studio Toys for Bob. I just learned all of this when I was listening to a podcast where some old timers like me were discussing the game Star Control 2, which Reiche designed and which was released for PC in 1992, and then on 3DO.

Star Wars for Toddlers is a go

I finished editing Star Wars, and my 3-year-old loves it, and I feel guilt-free about showing it to her. There were some wrinkles during the process, so the current version is actually the third one I made (I’m REAL familiar with the movie now, at least around the problematic scenes). I ended up having success with the Mac-based tool SimpleMovieX, and in fact it’s the first piece of software I’ve paid for in a long time (and it’s not cheap, $40).

Star Wars for toddlers

My daughter is 3, and her best friend is also 3. He has been shown the entire Star Wars trilogy already, and is in love with Darth Vader. So my daughter hears about it a lot, and is excited to see it too. Recently I showed her a couple moments from Episode 4, and she loved it. So I’m going to try to make a version of the movie that is appropriate for her.

Let's hurry along the iPad gaming revolution

I am so excited at the possibilities the iPad holds for gaming, especially strategy gaming. Others have voiced enthusiasm, but I think there’s another level or two of excitement that folks are missing. So let’s hasten the story along because I want to play these games. Let me convince you I’m right, and then you can go make some games for me. I’ll pay $50 for the games I have in mind.

Tolkien project complete

I finished my project to annotate the differences between the book and movie version of LOTR. So I updated my earlier post to point to the finished product.