The lurch in journal entries of late has been almost entirely due to Siggraph 2003, jusy finished in San Diego. I spent the week there, giving about eight classes in Cg all week and helping Kurt Akeley with demos for his real-time shading course. I put in a little booth duty for NVIDIA and some demo time for Studio Relations while I was there, too so a ver busy week.
Perhaps my perspective is warped but this really seemed to be the year that real-time shading was everywhere. Every major design application either has realtime shading (usually via Cg) or is scrambling to add realtime shading. Last year I thought that the new, meaty edition of Real Time Rendering was poised to be the new industry bible, as Foley &l; van Dam had been in the previous decade (or two). This year that notion felt vindicated.
The hardware scene was otherwise sparse the show is definitely smaller than in years past, and this year no SGI on the show floor! No IBM either, as far as I could tell. Sunrise, sunset.
And speaking of sunsets, the coolest new piece of kit has to be Sunnybrook Technologies's new high-dynamic range display. With a range of around 70,000 to 1, the display can show almost as wide a range of luminanaces as your eye can see. In HDR photos of a sunset, I could see detail in the dark landscape, or in the sky but not both at the same time. As one of my colleagues opined: "it's almost like looking out a window."
The other cool hardware device was my new (temporary? hmmm) laptop, a Dell Precision M60 Mobile Workstation.
I know Courtney likes her new toy but the M60 is pretty darned sweet (and big) not only a 1920x1200 display, but an integrated NVIDIA Quadro FXGo 700 GPU not just a GeForce FX, but a Quadro FX which provides hardware pixel shaders, vertex shaders, and the full-powered oomph to run (as I do) Maya, SoftImage XSI, and 3ds Max on the laptop. In fact, as a lark I ran them all at the same time :) Sorry Chris, and sorry for having to miss Gnomedex, but Dell really does rule.