Friday, April 26, 2002
I thought I'd share a great new show that I saw on techTV. It's called EyeDrops a show dedicated to showcasing 3D animated shorts. For those who remember, it's much like MTVs Liquid Television. The difference is that these shorts or "cartoons" are completely computer generated.
Many of these are 3D images, but a few are 2D. Some showcase skill in story telling while others are really works of visual art. In any case these animators really deserve a big pat on the back. They produce some very facinating works and if they aren't already, they will probably be the animators who create tomorrows amazing visual arts in film and tv.
Sunday, April 21, 2002
Saturday, April 20, 2002
All through school and college before doing any sport or workout you stretchhed. It was just normal and the right thing to do. I kinda fell out of that routine when I cycled every where for 2 years, of course I was in great shape then too. Now, though I'm still nice and slim, I'm SOOOOOO way out of shape. I can barely ride a couple miles without getting pooped. It's pretty pathetic.
So as a solution I desided to get some dumbbells. No not a couple low IQ goobers, but some weights. I was hoping for 15 lbs dumbbells, but they were all sold out. The sales guy was a trainer in training, so I took his advice, as it sounded reasonable. I got two 10 lbs dumbbells. It was either those or 30 lbs. Umm...I don't think so. I thought the 10 lbs dumbbells were going to be too light, but again I took his advice and went with them. He suggested more reps is all. I'm trying to get into shape after all, not go for the Mr. Universe title.
As soon as I got home I went online and found a dumbbell workout that seemed pretty good. I got all set and started at it. I was trying hard to get the form and technique down. If I'm going to do this, I don't want to hurt myself after all.
I quickly realized that the 10 lb weights were just fine! Ok so it makes me sound wimpy, but I got my muscles burning pretty quickly. Afterwards as I paced around keeping my body from stiffing up, I realized what I forgot. I DIDN'T STRETCH!!
I was able to do my stretching afterwards and i'm not really hurting, but I'm a little worried about what tomorrow will bring. BTW, wish me luck on this. I hope I can get into shape again and maybe put some muscles on this little bod of mine.
Friday, April 19, 2002
I'm still here
Still working...it takes a long time to transfer about 13GB across the network. If I had been smart i would have done it differently, but as they say hindsight is always 20/20. Ugh! Right now that saying can kiss my butt. I should have done more planning, but...nooooooo...I just knew I could hammer it out in a couple hours no sweat. Sheesh I really wonder if I DO think i'm some kinda cyber-god.
I'm really beginning to worry that I'll have to continue this tomorrow. dammit!
Stuck at work...AGAIN!
Am I a glutton for work? A work-a-holic? Maybe a little bit. This week I’ve been doing a lot of after-hours work because that is the only time I can do it. I can't very well reboot a server, work on the main fiber optic link or rebuild a server during the day when everyone is using it.
Tonight I'm relocating our FTP server. The server it was on is going off lease and we are sending it back to IBM. Thank goodness and good riddance. It wasn't my favorite machine. I'm sure I'll have people disagree with me, but this thing was barely a server. More like a glorified desktop PC. Sure it had a RAID card, but any PC could have that. Aside from that there is nothing special about this PC. It has ISA slots for crying out loud! ISA slots when servers now days have 64 bit PCI slots. Time to get with the times IBM.
To be fair this server primarily ran FTP and that is all, so it really didn't require much power. Actually running RAID in this case has been a real pain in my ass. I can't Ghost the system! I've tried, it didn't work. It was probably how I originally configured it 2 years ago. So needless to say I haven't a clue how I did it now! The main thing is that I get the downloads partition onto the new box. I can but would rather not have to, rebuild the OS partition from scratch. I also have some web pages that HAVE to run as well. They gather data for our prospective customers. The big boss will definitely want that up and running!
I'm running a windows backup to a network folder right now so I can move it to the new machine before I wipe out the old machine. I'm confident that I can do this, but it's taking longer than I anticipated. That I don't like. I still really want to go hiking and take pictures tomorrow. I don't want to be here troubleshooting a damn server. Ugh!
The backup still has 8 minutes. Enough time to be annoying, but not enough to go get some food. If I was smart I would have considered that before I left the house this morning and I would have brought in my leftovers from last night.
I made a kick butt stir-fry. The night before I cut some small boneless pork chops into strips, added chopped green pepper, onion and carrots, along with the pork into a big bowl and then poured some Hawaiian marinade on it. I fried it up last night and it was great. I ate it on a bed of rice.
I don't know why, but I only just recently discovered the marinating! It makes such a wonderful difference to bad meat! Well nuts…only a few more minutes and I can really start to work. I better go prepare.
Well nuts…only a few more minutes and I can really start to work. I better go prepare.
Thursday, April 18, 2002
I think it was only about a week ago or so that I was driving into work and thinking, "I wonder when the trees will leaf out?" Well today I suddenly realized everything is green! Does Mother Nature have a leaf switch like a light switch? It seemed like it. POOF! Leaves. Neat!
With Spring comes some pretty wild storms. The last couple of days we were supposed to get storms, but we lucked out. However there were still some amazing cloud formations. I need to keep my camera in my car! Ok, I must admit that I was at work until 7pm the last couple of nights so the sun was near setting and that makes the cloud formations even more amazing and majestic.
This weekend I'm going to go hiking and take pictures. Hopefully the weather will cooperate. You can rest assured that if the weather is good and I get some good pictures, they'll be posted here!
Spyware in Freeware Applications
Frankly this is exactly why I've stepped away from file sharing applications. Yes spyware is now in a lot of other freeware apps, but lets face it, with millions of downloads, the P2P apps are the primary apps we are talking about here.
Unfortunatly due to those apps already having dubious legallity surrounding thier usage users have little voice. That's like complaining to the Better Business Bureau about a company that manufactures lock picks. Sure there are legitimate reasons for lock picks, however they are still dubiously viewed.
For this to get real legal notice apps with totally legal and legitimate usage need to be targeted by these spyware programs. Then maybe we'll start to see some changes in ELUAs.
Wednesday, April 17, 2002
How to record MP3s from the Radio--
This can be done in a few easy steps. In my example I'm going to use MusicMatch, as that is what I have used. Other "rippers" may be able to do this as well.
Step 1. Connect your radio reciever output to the line-in port of your PC sound card. (Composite to 1/8" mini jack)
Step 2. Open your sound control panel, check to recording properties, and make certain line-in is selected. I suggest adjusting the input bar to about 60-70%
Step 3. Open MusicMatch Jukebox. Click the Options menu. Go to Recorder, then Setting. At the bottom of the screen is a drop down list. By default your CD drive will be selected. Drop it down and select Line-In. (note this only works with V7.1 PLUS, not standard. I believe it was availible with older versions.
Step 4. Record a test song. Adjust your levels in the sound control panel. You may want to adjust the volume of your stereo reciever first.
Step 5. Wait for your song and record it.
Step 6. Clean the song up using a sound editor. Many editors will edit MP3s. I use the sound editor that comes with the NERO CD burning software.
This requires a little bit of setup and adjustment (to get the levels right). Make sure you use good cables to prevent hiss or buzzing. Over all it's an easy and fun project. You can also use this method to record your LPs as well.
Tuesday, April 16, 2002
Some thoughts about the MP3 vs. RIAA debate
Back when the RIAA was actually useful (before MP3s, the Internet and home recording) a new artist that the labels wanted to support would get MUCH more publicity than smaller local artists. As today those artists aren't necessarily the best out there, but the point is, they signed their contracts to be made a star by these labels.
Flash forward to today where the Internet allows fans to share music and rave about various artists. Self promotion and fan promotion now is MORE valuable than the big radio ads and posters at Tower. That is if you want to push MUSIC and not some stupid IMAGE. The good artists out there have strong fan bases and they grow with ever new listener.
Sharing music allows listeners to hear those more "arty" tracks and B-sides that the labels and radio stations aren't as interested in sharing. Maybe it’s too big of a genre jump. Maybe there are some politically incorrect messages. Maybe there is a little bit of a language issue.
Look at the Rap and Gangsta' Rap genres in the early 90s. They were not played except in some larger cities, on the radio. Flash forward a few years and the RIAA and MTV find out that this is a big deal and they jump on the bandwagon. They didn't start the movement. They simply turned it into watered down crap. I'm not a big rap fan, but I liked it a lot better when it was original and had some meaning. Now, like all other genres played on the radio, it’s hollow and empty. It's a shame.
The artists will not die because of file sharing, but the RIAA and other such distributors and promoters will die if they do not evolve and start to service the customer again.
Tuesday, April 09, 2002
I'm stuck at work. *grumble*
We had a server with a bad cooling fan in it. We'll I had to take the whole thing down and remove the hard drive back plain (basically a daughter board) to replace a simple fan. I wasn't too thrilled about that. The bad one was REALLY wiped out though. I don't think I've ever seen a cooling fan that bad. It still spins, but barely.
You say, "Well that shouldn't take long!" You are absolutely correct! Unfortunatly in the middle of this one of the hard drives desided to fail! Luckly we run RAID 5, so the other two drives picked up the slack and we didn't loose any data. Also lucky is that we had a spare drive to replace the bad one with. The third lucky thing is that this happened after hours so no one is here whining about not being able to get thier data. Which honestly I couldn't blame them for whining if it would have happened durring the day. I'm simply rebuilding the RAID stripe, so the new drive will now carry the redundancy weight the other drive did. I could do that any time, but having only 2 drives up is asking for trouble. If I were to have lost a second drive, all of the data would have been lost!
Unfortunatly rebuilding a RAID stripe is a SLOW process. So I'm just sitting here twiddling my thumbs.
Actually I updated my webcam page. I still need to do the others, but right now I just want to go HOME!
Monday, April 08, 2002
Well what do you think of the new look?? I'm very pleased with it. I'm working to expand this design to the rest of the site, but right now I only have the Art Gallery done, aside from the home page of course.
I'm going to start first with all the main pages (the four links to the left). I still need to MAKE the tutorial page. That means I need to do some writing. I guess I know what I'll be doing this week!
Well needless to say I changed my mind about how quickly I was going to update my site. I got some ideas this morning. It's about 90% what I saw in my head. I had a few technical issues and I had to play with my CSS (Cascading Style Sheets).
I need to make a new page for the links that were on my previous site...or find a spot to smash them in on this page. Actually...humm...I have an idea.
Sunday, April 07, 2002
You'd think I'd learn...
I went to a party last night for a friends birthday. She turns the big three-oh Tuesday. It was a pretty slow and quiet party, which suits me perfectly. I don't like big parties. We mostly just hung out, had drinks and talked. That was fun. We played truth or dare Jenga. They were QUICK games. Of course by that point most of us had drank a little bit. ;)
About a quarter till 1 A.M. I started to feel really ill. I layed down on the floor for a minute, pretending to be playing with the cat, but the room started spinning. Ugh! I hauled my butt up off the floor and went to the bathroom. I sat there on the cool floor and kinda sorta thought about being sick. Luckly the feeling went away. I didn't wanna be a party downer, so I let San, the hostess, know I was going to go upstairs and lay down. She has two guest bedrooms and I knew she wouldn't mind.
After a bit everyone else had left. I was kinda dozing in and out of sleep, but not really getting there. San and Jen, the birthday girl, were making a lot of noise cleaning up. I went on downstairs, pretty groggy, but otherwise feeling ok, at this point. However San took one look at me and told me I was not driving home. That was probably the right thing, staying there I mean. I was pretty tired and I had a six pack to drink through out the evening.
Surprised how little? Yea, well I'm a light-wieght and I kinda forgot to eat. I always seem to do that at parties. Especially when I'm being social. It's kinda hard to talk and eat at the same time without being rude. Sounds like a good excuse anyway. More than likely I just simply forgot. Those who know me around lunch time might find it hard to believe I would forget to eat, but it does happen every once in awhile.
So anyway, I went back up stairs and just crashed leaving the girls to do thier thing. I was OUT in just a few minutes.
Normally I'm the one who is the responsible one. I think in part I let loose a little because I knew I didn't HAVE to drive. If we would have planned to go out on the town, I would have only had 2 or 3 beers early in the evening, then just drink Coke, as most likely I would have been the designated driver. However that wasn't the plan last night so there was nothing stopping me.
Humm....thinking about that for a moment, that sounds kinda sad. If I don't have to worry about driving or something else like that, I don't have much stopping me from getting sloshed in a social drinking situation. I'm glad I don't often drink by myself! A beer now and again is about it and that is far and few between. After work I'd just as soon have a Coke than a beer.
Anyway, I'm not a bad drinker, I just got in a weird spot last night. I didn't FEEL drunk, I just got that nasty pukie feeling. Hell six beers in almost as many hours is hardly heavy drinking.
I just made a major major change to my Terragen art gallery page. I used layering to achieve a look that would not be possible with frames or CSS (i don't think). I played a little bit with CSS today, but I didn't really get the hang of it, yet. Once I do, look out!
My redo of the Terragen, as cool as it looks now, I suspect is only the beginning. I'm not certain that is the final design, so I'm probably not going to distribute the design through the rest of the site. I like the color scheme still, but it needs a little something else. It's a tad bland. I'm supposed to be an artist and designer right? I think learning CSS will assist in color consitancy. Currently there are only about 5 or 6 primary colors, including white and black, so it's not too difficult to remember those. But if I start working with various shades of a color, like blue. I'll need something to remind me what shade goes here and there. CSS will allow me to configure it once and then apply it evenly through out the site.
The drag of course is that I'd have to rebuild all the pages. I can run ASP on my site, but there isn't enough active content to warrent it. Perhaps if my site was being hit often for my art I might do something along those lines, but for now the thumbnail views will be fine.
Saturday, April 06, 2002
Here is another test. I hope this works:
Here is a linked thumbnail to the full sized image. If this works, then it'll
be a great way for me to showcase my new pieces of art! This particular image
was done with
Terragen v0.8. Looking at the thumbnail alone you'd think it was a photo, but
indeed it was done with a 3D application. I really got to send off my $80 to
these guys one of these
days since Terragen is a fantastic application and it isn't even at version
1 yet. They aren't really quick about adding/upgrading, but it's currently very
stable with a fair number of features.
Anyway, I'm rambling now. Of course that is the whole thing behind blogging
huh? You just ramble and people read it and think, "Oh he sure is rambling."
Hey I can't complain, it's free. ;)