On a recent trip to Trivandrum, India, I decided to try learning to touch-type in Dvorak (after decades of hunt-and-peck in QWERTY). Here I share some excerpts of my “Dvorak Diary”.
Tuesday, December Thirtieth, Two thousand fourteen….
I have been kinda ‘offline’ since returning. The last legs of my flights were awful, and I still haven’t recovered, though at this point it’s probably jetlag more than exhaustion that has me failing to connect to ‘my’ world and identity. I haven’t felt connected online, and am concerned about how I let Facebook information just wash over me with no real engagement on my part. It’s a hell of a lot of information to just suck through me like a stream. I surely have more than enough information rattling around in my head already. Maybe it’s time to let it settle, to digest it and let it adjust to the habitat of my mind and maybe make something of itself instead of just washing through like a tsunami. I feel less satisfied being an information node than a full human animal. Jetlag reminds me I am an animal, and no amount of information can heal my exhausted body. I recently read that staring into screens is terrible for sleep – I read that staring into a screen, ha ha – so last night I didn’t check email or read Facebook.
Is Facebook the television of today? It’s not broadcast, and it can be useful sometimes, but I become very passive with it, especially at night when I turn to it in my insomnia.
A great “machine’s-eye-view” of our quilt plotter is at the one-minute mark of this Apple promo video. In addition to creating the Mathematica user interface and co-founding Touch Press, Theo is Science Officer of our own PaleGray Labs.
I traced the famous Muybridge horse in Flash, exported as a PNG series, processed each frame with the wonderful StippleGen2, opened each resulting .svg file in illustrator, copied back into Flash, removed stray lines by hand, and exported this animated .gif. The manual corrections are cheating and break up the single line I wanted, but StippleGen’s TSP optimizer left more lines crossing the body and legs of the horse than I could stand:
Theo’s going to see if Mathematica’s TSP optimizer with some additional restrictions works any better.
Tupi’s strength is its simplicity; it’s great for kids and anyone new to animation. It doesn’t yet have the power I need to produce feature films, but its development is a good thing for all of us. Since it’s FLOSS (Free Libre Open Source), any innovations made in Tupi can be applied to other Free programs, and anyone who wants to customize it can. Oh, and it’s free – you can download and start playing with it right now.
I’m finally using this great plugin for Flash, that even works with Ye Olde Macromedia Flash 8 (considered by most animators to be the best version ever made, far superior to Adobe’s crippled messes). The Library Symbol renaming tools alone have made me a fan.
I want to learn Synfig. If I succeed, I can then teach it to others. I bought a used tablet PC for this purpose, but I have never installed Linux, and am used to a Mac. If there are any Synfig users in New York who would be willing to help set up my PC and give me a Synfig lesson, I would be extremely grateful. Please contact me via comments or here. Thank you!
Our first Minute Meme, Copying Is Not Theft, continues its steady spread online. The two versions currently most shared are QuestionCopyright.org’s “official” version, which we unfortunately named “best” instead of “official” (“best” implying a value judgement) and the arrangement by Willbe which uses my original wavery vocals (hence my unfortunate value judgement – the official/”best” version has vocals by professional Connie Champagne, which save me the embarrassment of hearing my own voice).
On the Willbe version youtube page, I found a pretty good suggestion in the comments: a Copy Bunny Progress bar. That was easy enough to make; here’s a truncated version in GIF format:
I also uploaded all the original .fla files to archive.org, so you can remix and modify to your heart’s content.
Also, did you know there’s a Copying Is Not Theft cloisonne pin? Well there is! And you can buy it.