Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Newbies, update your linux systems often.

I sort of had a falling-out with my local Linux User's Group. My main sin was to post a message where I stated that newbies should not ever update their system. On the face of it, this is stupid advice. Newbies, please update your systems often.

What prompted my outburst was that I was using a buggy distro and the update just plain locked up on it, leaving me no option but a hard power reboot. Upon re-powering back up, the distro was "broken" to the point where I had to re-install completely. I have ruined the installation at least three times on this box with updates. I am sure it is a combination of:
  • my lack of skill and intelligence. Either I was doing something wrong or unable to recover from a minor error.
  • a decrepit 4 year old box which locks up frequently--worse with some distros-- maybe it's got a bad fan and it is over-heating. It is in fact probably unwise to continue investing time in this one buggy box given the number of hobby hours I've wasted with problems associated with it locking up.
  • my unwise experimentation with 2nd and 3rd tier distros put out by a club of ten geeks rather than enterprise-ready, professionally polished distros ( if the products of Novell, Canonical, or Red Hat were to fit this description). In one case, a distro's team was occasionally rearranging its repositories and posting messages in English (but burying them on a German-language web page) saying "don't update this week." Guess what, I updated. There may also be distros which are meant to run well as a live CD but are not intended as a front-up option for a HDD installation. Guess what, I HDD installed and had problems.
Maybe a smarter person on a non-defective box using SLED wouldn't have had these problems. If there were any grain of truth in my outburst, however, it would be to point to the schizophrenia in the linux community of simultaneously saying:
  • "We're all been ready for enterprise for years. It's only FUD & corporate graft that keeps folks in Microsoft."
  • "Buyer beware. It's not a bug if you're the only one experiencing the problem."

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Give 'em a hand!

Some friends in the blenderartists forum gave advice on my last hand. I may have had duplicate faces, I dunno. In any case it was probably a mistake to make too complex a hand model with essentially a four-vertex shape. This time I tried six, and started out my creation of each finger as a six-vertex "tube" insetad of a "cube".

Much better. So much happier.

Give 'em a hand!

Some friends in the blenderartists forum gave advice on my last hand. I may have had duplicate faces, I dunno. In any case it was probably a mistake to make too complex a hand model with essentially a four-vertex shape. This time I tried six, and started out my creation of each finger as a six-vertex "tube" insetad of a "cube".

Much better. So much happier.

Friday, August 24, 2007

modelling with blender

I tried my own method for making the hand. I extruded a cube and then knocked down some of the quads to triangles in order to try out a method for getting a bendable "knee."

Now I get this. I've tried an Alt-N to recalculate normals outside the mesh. It still looks the same.

Any tips?

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Conservative Christians in the 19th vs. 20th centuries

In the nineteenth century, conservative Christians warned of the dangers of communism and socialism. Some, such as C.F.W. Walther of the Missouri Synod Lutherans, went so far in his principled objection to socialism even as to condemn the participation of workers in trade unions. Among the reasons they gave for opposing socialism was that the church itself offered a stronger and more effective critique of the social and economic injustices of the world.

In the twentieth century, conservative Christians warned of the dangers of the church being engaged in critique of the social and economic injustices of the world. Among the reasons they gave for opposing the critique was that communists and socialists started out upset with those injustices as well and ended up taking stronger far more violent means to address them.

Give me that ol' time religion!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Free blender models

This post is a compilation of URL's to ten different blender model and rigs which are available on the internet and appear to the best of my knowledge to be released by their copyright owners under either a Creative Commons license or the Blender Artistic License. I've started to play around with them, and here is at least one way I intend to provide "attribution". I'll leave it as a game to the view to figure which is which.

Blank Character;
Game Knight

License: Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License.


License: Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 License.
Creator's note:

In short, you are free to change and redistribute Otto as you like. I just ask you that you let the credits of the original to me (Virgilio Vasconcelos) and a link to this page.


Creative Commons Attribution/ShareAlike license
Creator's note:

The clip and the model are available under the Creative Commons Attribution/ShareAlike license, so feel free to take it and run with it.


URL: http://www.cs.unm.edu/~sketch/gallery/resource/ludwig/ludwig.html
See below
Creator's note:
Licensing and Using Ludwig in your own work Using the Ludwig Rig The Ludwig rig may be used royalty free for both commercial and noncommercial purposes. This includes all armatures and the face maquette. You do not need to credit me, but you may if you so desire. As a courtesy, I would like to be informed when you use the Ludwig rig in your own projects (this is not a legal requirement, it is simply to satisfy my own curiosity). Using the Ludwig Mesh and Character Design The Ludwig mesh or derivatives of the Ludwig mesh may only be used for noncommercial purposes. This includes all parts of the mesh (body, mouth, eyes, etc.) and all shape keys. Acceptable use of Ludwig character includes school projects, demo reels, animation practice and contests (for example, 10 Second Club and elYsiun/BlenderArtists.org animation challenges). You do not need to credit me when using the Ludwig mesh in your own projects, but you may do so if you wish. If you would like to use the Ludwig mesh in commercial works, contact me for pricing and terms at: sketchy3d@gmail.com Redistribution of Ludwig You may freely redistribute the Ludwig source file or derivatives of the Ludwig source file. However, this licensing agreement must included with any distributions of Ludwig. You may not modify this license in any way. Any derivatives of the Ludwig mesh and armature are subject to the licensing terms outlined in this document.

Suzanne (rigged)

URLs: http://www.creationanimation.com/sites/thoenes/freestuff/suzanne-rigged-ver1.blend http://forums.cgsociety.org/archive/index.php/t-277859.html
License: Blender Artistic License
Creator's note:
I have made a free Character Rig for Blender - Enjoy You will need the latest testing build (at least 082005 or later.) from the testing builds forum at blender.org. (http://www.elysiun.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=478085#478085) I have been using the windows builds - not sure how this will behave in other Operating Systems. Release Under Blender Artistic License Blend file 1.7 MB
More details are at Elysiun Forums

Man in Suit (Armatured);
Man 2 as Doctor (Armatured);
Woman in Casual Clothing (Armatured)

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Creator's note:
This 3D model is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License and is Copyright © 2003-2007 Andrew Kator & Jennifer Legaz.

Blender Summer of Documentation Walk Cycle

URL: http://wiki.blender.org/index.php/Image:WalkcycleTest.blend
License: I'm not sure


My own very ugly rig. I'm not sure if I've released it or not.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Kator Legaz' "Man in Suit (armatured)"

Just trying out some test renders with the creative-commons-licensed blender model from Kator Legaz.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

How I Destroyed a Yellow Jacket Hive.

I returned home from a week's vacation to find a very active bees' nest in the ground in my front yard. I eventually destroyed it after a few day's experimentation. While I used some pesticides, that alone didn't do the trick, and I believe my coup de grace was in how I overcame the drainage system the bees had engineered.

DISCLAIMER: When dealing with any potentially lethal animals, as bees are, first assess your own ability to cope with the problems should you be stung, and the likelihood of such an occurrence. I got very brave with thie bee hive by first dangling a Ty Bear on a long string around the entrance. When they didn't bother it, I felt I had a measure of safety. I think the animals in question were probably yellow jackets and not honey bees.

The method of disposing of the bees eventually involves water. I first tried pouring about ten gallons of water down the hole of the hive in a gentle and constant stream from an uncapped garden hose. It had no apparent effect. The water was going somewhere, and it wasn't filling up to the top of the hole. I jokingly surmised they must have had a main shaft which went to the center of the earth, with a living quarters off to the side as pictured below.

What eventually got the hive was intentionally trying to create mud off of the sides of the hole. After just a few tens of seconds, the hole filled over with water. I surmised that the mud I created overwhelmed and destroyed any drainage system that the bees had apparently set up to handle the otherwise steady and gentle runoff from a long rainstorm.

No more bees.

Images below attempt to describe what I'm talking about.

Monday, August 06, 2007

One more animated table test, this time with div's.

And now, trying a table:

But then I had to put a bunch more text down here to keep blogger from making the posts overlap. It was really weird.

Thanks to who showed me how to edit the template.

Hotel Sofitel Minneapolis-- now travellers CAN shower standing up!

This post is a review of the Hotel Sofitel Minneapolis, where I recently spent a night while on vacation. It was a nice luxurious stay in a place a close drive to both the MSP airport and to the Mall of the Americas. I found it particularly delightful for two reasons:
  • Through priceline.com, we booked the stay for only $80 a few weeks in advance. That we were able to stay in such a nice place for $80 only increases my disgust at the hotel on a highway in Delaware who once asked $75 of us. The $75 price was for fools who just showed up wanting a room: in line right in front of me a trucker with a pre-arranged business connection was paying a mere $25. Perhaps this just shows how the poor stay poor and the rich get richer.
    Here are views of the lobby.
    IMG_2064.JPG IMG_2058.JPG
  • One can shower standing up. Rarely is there a hotel built where a tall person can take a shower standing fully erect. Here we have a view of the showers in the room where we stayed. There is an additional shower head which must have been 6'7" off the ground.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Chesterton on slavery

From St. Francis of Assisi, Image Books,1957, p.34
A very honest atheist with whom I once debated made use of the expression, 'Men have only been kept in slavery by the fear of hell.' As I pointed out to him, if he had said that men had only been freed from slavery by the fear of hell, he would at least have been referring to an unquestionable historical fact.