I wonder how much energy taping out 20TB of data would take...
Microsoft bought them, and when I went up to Redmond, the Microsoft guys were talking about making Softimage mass-market software. But that never happened.
Maybe you were talking to the wrong "Microsoft guys" because I was working at SoftImage during this period and nobody at Microsoft espoused anything resembling what you claim above.
SoftImage's Digital Studio was embracing OLE2 (then COM, then DCOM) because it was going to be a non linear video/audio editor that could be deeply extended through a plugin architecture - Microsoft wanted to build on that work and get SoftImage 3D onto Win32 (DS' decision to use COM/DCOM is, of course, more complicated than this, but it would be a lengthy discussion) and Irix, but with the same extensibility features and a close integration with Digital Studio to create an 'uber' production pipeline.
Nobody saw a "mass market" opportunity for SoftImage.
So Microsoft sold Softimage to Avid. Avid made overpriced film and video editing systems, sold with semi-customer hardware and built into cool-looking furniture. Softimage had a good video editor in addition to the 3D line, and that's what Avid really wanted.
Yes, this, 100x this. Avid had been resting on its questionable laurels and DigitalStudio scared the living sh** out of them. They paid Micro$oft something along the lines of 10x what Micro$oft paid for SoftImage for the company - just when XSi was in Beta (it was called Sumatra back then.)
They did convert from Softimage to "Softimage XSI", which broke all existing plug-ins and didn't have a plug-in API that worked. That's when I dropped Softimage.
Actually, XSi had been in development for years (this was the project I worked on, as well as DigitalStudio's framework late in the game, and believe it or not a short lived attempt to run XSi on Direct3D - that was painful) at this point. It was in beta when Avid panic bought SoftImage from Micro$oft.
I'm not sure what problems you had with the plugin system, as I personally wrote plugins for it without any special difficulties.
The best thing you wrote was
They had no clue what to do with the 3D product.
This was so very true it boggles the mind. You would think that a company that was interested in making money (presumably) would at least make some effort to profit from having the industry leading special effects/vfx modeling package, but no - companies can be - and often are - remarkably stupid.
Of course, given how Avid had gotten themselves in the position of having to buy DS to begin with, the SoftImage purchase can really only be seen to be a rather large and expensive band-aid.
Yes, that 3.x line did seem to go on 4-ev-er but we tried to get Sumatra out as best we could... Many cold nights unburying my car in Montreal at 2AM so I could drive home to Laval - at least with no traffic!
It was all over, but the shouting. Alias transformed Wavefront into Maya in roughly this timeframe, while MS starved out "dot release" life support on SoftImage...
I worked at SoftImage when Microsoft owned it and left shortly after Sumatra (which became XSi.)
SoftImage was breaking new ground constantly during this period and reacting to Maya competitively as well (at this point the two packages were for two different types of users but were converging rapidly.) Micro$oft owned the company, and NT was most definitely a target platform in addition to Irix, but from a feature set point of view it was all driven by industry desires and those desired were especially well expressed by the excellent product managers who were absolute experts.
Non linear animation editing, tile based distributed rendering, intelligent automated render farming, a game development art pipeline SDK, caustics, awesome mental ray integration, integrated FK/IK, physics, integration points with Digital Studio (SoftImage's non-linear video editor) - tons of other great new stuff.
You really shouldn't belittle the incredible work and efforts of so many people on something so complex that came out so well as "starved out 'dot release' life support."
Comparing across schools just reflects your lack of understanding of the discussion
Actually, it clearly demonstrates the opposite. I'm sure you'd like to simply compare between disciplines at the same school, but that would defeat your argument.
I'd love to hear your explanation as to how you believe that CalTech's Comp Sci degree is less difficult than Clemson's EE program.
That school must have had a pretty weak definition of the word "engineering."
It had a pretty weak definition of education in general...
...while my statement recognizes that there are qualitative vectors to "intelligence"...
Putting a pig in a silk dress doesn't make it a princess.
A second undergraduate degree of mine is in Classics. Having taking a graduate course in FGPA based signal analysis, I can tell you that declining Greek based upon dialect is much more difficult. Wavelet compression in hardware versus Homeric/Attic Greek intervocalics? I will take signal analysis every time.
We had two people drop CS at our school because it was hard and get into a nearby school's engineering program.
While theoreticians can be said to possess a certain level of explorative intellegence and a voracious memory not possessed by engineers, engineers possess an intelligence that helps one deal with having neither of the luxuries of glossing over fine details nor a flexible objective.
The stupidity of this incredibly overreaching generalization cannot be understated.
Someone might as well say "While engineers can be said to have enough intelligence to make things after they've been taught enough theory, cleary only theoreticians are truly intelligent - otherwise the engineers wouldn't need them..."
(Yes, that's an equally stupid and overreaching generalization.)
That's a great argument
you'd be wrong
Pretty much universally
Well, if it is pretty much universally, we can compare the Comp Sci regimens of CMU, Berkeley, RPI, MIT, CalTech, Stanford, and compare those to the EE programs of Clemson, Texas A&M, San Diego State, and the OP's Arizona State.
Something tells me they don't match up, and certainly don't favor the engineering schools.
Quite obviously the converse can be true, but then - I'm not the one claiming that the opposite is "universally" the case...
That's because there are two types of Computer Science departments in universities.
Ones that teach Computer Science, like many liberal arts schools, and those that teach "Computer Science" like a trade skill.
A school that teaches actual Computer Science will be heavily math based as computer science is fundamentally a mathematical discipline.
You could just as easily argue that people drop out of real Computer Science to go EE (I personally know two individuals who did this because they were surprised that Computer Science wasn't "Computer Programming". One of them quite during the MIPS assembler course, the other during compiler design.)
Seriously? LOL. An applied science doesn't require smarter people than pure science. The intrinsic limitation of being 'applied' would suggest that pure science would actually require smarter people.
In any case, the reality is that neither requires smarter people.
Don't get me wrong, I don't blame Obama - although he's not doing enough to reverse this trend and is, in fact, establishing some new ones (targeted killings of American citizens without charging them with a crime.)
The start of all this I blame on neo-conservatism which has a fundamental tenet of using fear to get what you want. That doesn't make the Bush administration entirely responsible because we stood by and let it happen.
We're not a demoncracy anyhow, we're an oligarchy now (and have been in the 19th century as well) thanks to the idiocy of Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission.
Assmasher I really think we are in near agreement. I guess we just disagree about the definition of the phrase "as policy".
- I agree.
Our primary difference is that I believe that the pervasiveness and solidification into "policy" of the erosion of our basic rights in the name of "security" is significantly different post 9/11 than pre 9/11.
The "Patriot Act" (another horrifically inappropriately titled bill) is a perfect example.
There has always been a war on terror.
- Here I have disagree. My problem with the "war on Terror" is that it can never be won or finished, and that's why they chose it. This is why it was never termed the "war on Al Qaeda" because the administration that established it doesn't want there to be a quantifiable measurement that could signify the end of the "war on..." It's a crude attempt to legitimize what is basically a 'martial law' style approach to suspending and re-interpreting hugely important aspects of the Constitution.
This is the only part that confuses me. You seriously think that we upheld the values of our constitution up to 9/11 and then just threw them out the window? You really think the US Government didn't violate due process and habeas corpus before 9/11?
You keep missing the part where I specifically use the term "as policy." I believe there have been incidents of everything imaginable under the sun involving the U.S. government; however, pre-9/11 these were not standard government policy in a time of peace. This is entirely the reason behind the bullsh** title "War on Terror" - it can never ever end, so justification of behaviors that could be potentially stomached as short term aberrations can continue ad nauseum.
The U.S. is not at war with anyone other than itself right now.