tech

What is Time Machine backing up now?

Ever curious to see what files Time Machine is backing up right now?

Open up the terminal, and type this command (you’ll need your password):

    sudo opensnoop -n backupd | grep -v 'Time Machine Backups'

Opensnoop watches the files that Time Machine accesses and tattles on it. I’m always surprised to see the files I’ve recently changed. Often times, I’ll be editing photos and generating gigs of new backups just by changing header information and it’s nice to know what’s going on there.

Hat tip to Bill Lipa.

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film, tech, virtual reality

Trials on Tatooine

This week ILMxLAB did the first public play test of Trials on Tatooine at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco. Trails on Tatooine is a first-person story-based virtual reality experiment where you don a headset and get to walk around Tatooine, stand beneath the Millennium Falcon as in comes in for a landing nearly on your head, hear from Han Solo in the cockpit and eventually even defend yourself with a virtual lightsaber.

Working on this experience with the team at Lucasfilm has been a true highlight of my first two years at the organization and an amazing opportunity. Seeing everyone react so enthusiastically this week has been super rewarding. Here are a few of my favorite write-ups from the week:

Time.com

“…you can practically smell the ozone wafting from its lethal light field.”

Fortune

“Star Wars Trials on Tatooine blends storytelling with video game mechanics, including lightsaber wielding, for a brand new way to experience Disney’s Star Wars universe.”

io9

“It was awesome–-and then I got to swing a lightsaber.”

StarWars.com

“Lucasfilm’s next big foray into the future is here.”

I also got to meet Norman Chan from Tested.com, and we had a detailed discussion about the making of this experience and ILMxLAB’s other efforts in the space.

If this kind of work sounds like fun to you, we’re hiring!

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tech

High performance WordPress in 512MB

I’ve been experimenting with migrating from a 2 gig VPS server to a much smaller 512MB server for hosting this blog and a dozen or so other small sites. I have had great experiences with Linode over the years, but wanted to try Digital Ocean as they have the small inexpensive servers which seem perfect for hosting personal sites like this (those links are referral codes; if you use them I get a small credit on my hosting, thanks).

Initially, just setting up an Ubuntu server with standard LAMP configuration on Digital Ocean runs as expected and WordPress is simple to install. The only trick is, when you’re done with the default configuration, you have a server that will run out of memory when faced with anything but a few simultaneous users. And it’s slow. So let’s see if we can fix this.

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film, tech

Things I learned as CTO at Sony Pictures

For the past few years I’ve been the CTO of a division of Sony Pictures heading up Imageworks, Animation, and more recently Colorworks and Post Production. Before this time, I’d had opportunities to lead large teams on movies, but had never served in an executive position. These notes are mostly for myself, but hopefully someone else will benefit as well.

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