Friday, September 26, 2008

How to set up wireless in Hardy Heron ubuntu

In this post I shall tell you how I got wifi to work on an Aptiva desktop with an Atheros wireless card on a brand-new installation of Hardy Heron 8.04 Ubuntu Linux. But first, I am compelled to recap all of the bad and failed advice I found on the web:
  1. Just use Network Manager, and you're all set.
    I found this to be a most annoying experience. Network manager seemed to keep forgetting my ESSID and key after I had typed it in. I'd do the network start thing, or reboot the computer, and still no wifi. Frankly, Network Manager didn't work on ubuntu version 7.04, either.
  2. Try Network Manager, and if that doesn't work, try this advice regarding the Windows driver ...
    This is horrible advice. It has folks going to try something hard (like locating the CD's with your Windows drivers) and unnecessary (Network Manager is broken, you should use other means).
  3. Go download this program ...
    Helllloooo! We're talking about a way to connect to the internet! How is someone supposed to download anything?!
  4. Edit your interfaces file by typing sudo gedit /etc/networking/interfaces
    This was obviously typed by an experienced user of ubuntu. Someone so experienced that he forgot that Hardy Heron (the kubuntu version at least) does not "come with" the gedit application. This won't work for a new install.
It seems that anyone can give advice on the internet, (uh, including me!)

So here's my advice. First of all you will want to edit the file /etc/networking/interfaces as root or as superuser. In Hardy Heron, this can be done by right-clicking on the file, as shown in this screen grab below. You can click on the image to see it full size.

Now, edit the file to look like this. Note that the double-spacing is not required (or helpful). I needed to insert double spaces in order to get the file to look properly in my browser:

auto lo

iface lo inet loopback



auto ath0

iface ath0 inet dhcp

wireless-essid [insert your wireless essid]

wireless-key [insert your wireless key]

Then, open a Konsole or command window, and type:
sudo /etc/init.d/networking restart

And now you should be all set.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

More free tracks for animators

I explored the Jamendo music site and found a whole bunch of goodies that I think would be of use to animators. As I said in the last post, I am of the opinion that the Creative Commons license of cc-by is the best one for those looking for music to make derivative works out of to consider. You're required to provide Attribution to the artist, but are free to make derivative works, and yeah, right may make "commercial use" out of the music.

Jamendo has a site of music broken down by various licenses, but I found special interest in the grouping of cc-by albums.

I made up some playlists on the Jamendo site to enable the browsing of the most liberally-licensed tracks as a function of tag.

Two such players are embedded in this post (unfortunately, they don't allow random shuffle play).

But here are some URL's you can paste into your MP3 player to get a random play:


Sunday, September 21, 2008

A source of free music for derivative works in animations

There's a lot of times when I wanted to start an animation project, and I spent most of my time looking for music for a soundtrack. RIAA-produced music is a no-no-- you or youtube will get sued. Creative Commons licenses which are -nd- "no derivatives" are a no-no-- if you're making it a soundtrack to one of your works. Creative Commons licenses which are -nc- "non-commercial" are also a no-no, because while I'm an amateur, I've got a blog with ads! The remainder for us animators is the realm which is -by- or -by-sa-. It's refreshing to find quality music that is literally being given away for free. I found BrunoXe's work on the music site Here's a player for one of his albums.
(Okay, and yes, I did Paypal the guy five bucks, you satisfied?)


Saturday, September 20, 2008

Mancandy starts to learn to dance

The only improvement in technique that this one represents is that I just figured out that the "Paste Flipped Pose" is located in the "Pose" menu when in Pose Mode. The music is BrunoXe's "Mandrake."

Friday, September 19, 2008

Sarah Palin's church

Here's a video I found on the web about Sarah Palin's church. I'm not sure exactly how I feel about the material, but I thought I'd pass it along. I confess that there are gifts of the Spirit that could be practiced today; I have not yet seen a faith community I'd want to join that was stating their expression of such. I'm not sure if the organizers of this material are scoffing at all of the gifts of the Spirit, or just the sociologically ill ones that are also opposed to a Theology of the Cross. I hold that much of that atheists gripe about in the church is stuff that isn't even required of scripture and is spiritual practices that the Church Fathers warned us about anyway.

The article does make this valid point:
If Sarah Palin may hold apocalyptic end-time beliefs or believes that she has a divine mandate to initiate an end-time conflict, American voters have the right to know about the doctrines taught in Palin's Alaska churches.

Sarah Palin's Churches and The Third Wave from Bruce Wilson on Vimeo.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Forgive me folks, these'll get better soon.

Thoroughly testing out the ability to make dance animation in blender. I had to try it out with a standard music file converted from MP3 to WAV using Audacity. The soundtrack is BrunoXe's "Mandrake" from

A lame test of the concept of being able to do dancing in blender from pterandon on Vimeo.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Scared of crickets

I know that this is quite lame as far as character animation goes, but I'm just celebrating that I figured out how to get sound in a blender animation "automatically" with the ffmpeg settings. Improvements to follow.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Finally, sound with animation on blender

I'll post a tutorial shortly, but here's an otherwise boring animation that was created on the fly as an MPEG-I with sound by blender. The key detail was to use the Video Sequencer to attach the WAV file. The audio is from this Freesound clip.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Procedurally generated landscape

Here's a landscape I made with povray. I first defined some pigments based on the cells and bozo patterns. Then I defined a new pigment which is the average of those two. Then I made a heightfield based on this function.

I always think it's neat to make living spaces for humans by procedural means in 3D. I've got a friend who's a professor of architecture, who so far hasn't responded to my suggestion to write a paper on this.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Seinfeld's Microsoft ad

You know, at first, I thought, "Et tu, Jerry?" How could Seinfeld sell out to the devil? But then after hearing the ad, I see it really doesn't puff up the horribly deficient current product, it just makes us hope for the future from the company. All in all, it's harmless. Maybe it's Jerry's joke back on M$.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The all "blank"-edness of God

I was in a discussion with some Christian friends and we got to talking about the sovereignty, all-powerfulness, justice, honesty, all-goodness, and all-knowingness of God. In this case it was in relations to the story of the healing of Hezekiah in Chronicles and Isaiah. God tells Hezekiah that he's going to die; Hezekiah weeps and prays for health; God tells him he can live another fifteen years. The interesting thing is that some of us were coming to the card game as it were ready to play different trump cards as an answer to the problem. If you rely on "all-knowingness", played as a trump card, you're forced to say God knew Hezekiah was going to live another fifteen years and just said this to Hezekiah to teach him some kind of lesson. He seems a bit less merciful or honest here.

Similarly, take the story in Exodus of God being so angry with Israel that he wanted to wipe them out and start over a new covenant with Moses and his seed. Moses prays and then "the LORD relented and did not bring on his people the disaster he had threatened." The Lord relented in response to a prayer for mercy-- some translations have used the word repent! I had always viewed this story as a demonstration of the ultimate mercy of God, of the ulimate power of prayer, that you could change the mind of God. Now, put on your all-knowingness hat and play that trump card. God knew that he was going to relent so he just said these words to express his anger. Moses' plea didn't have any effect? Perish the thought!

I think that if you're going to evoke a superlative property of God, I think that all-knowingness is a low-number trump, maybe like a four of the trump suit. God's mercy is the ace of the trump suit. Amen.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Leftists say the surge worked??

Here's an interesting report from the website Truthdig, an interview with Iraqi journalist Huda Ahmed entitled Iraq from the Inside.

On one hand, there is a suggestion that the surge worked from a source you wouldn't have expected, this podcast:
"The surge couldn't have succeeded if they didn't realize that they should have worked together with those awakening groups, the Sunni tribes... If there was no cooperation from both sides, it never would have succeeded. ... In 2008, there is a big improvement in security."

But of course, there is also this:
"But under what cost? If things were not misconducted, after the war, none of this would have happened. None of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis would have died, including women, children, young men, old men, you wouldn't see these refugees displaced inside and outside Iraq.
We didn't see [respect] when the coalition forces came to Iraq in 2003. We thought they would have a huge respect for Iraqis. And we found that they did not in the way they treated the Iraqi detainees, especially Abu Ghraib. All the Iraqis were shocked. They could have expected anything except that. And also the American contractors. You have thousands of them in Iraq, doing whatever they like, killing, raping, stealing, and they are not prosecuted by any law, the Iraqi law or the American law. They have immunity. ... I don't know what you saved in Iraq. You didn't save the lives of the Iraqis, you didn't save Iraqi history. you didn't save the Iraqi heritage, you didn't save the Iraqi rights. I don't know what model of democracy and liberation did you bring to the Iraqi minds. All we learned from you is violence. That's all we learned from you. We learned the arrogance you came and received the Iraqis with. Dehumanizing them. If you were coming to bring democracy, why would you dehumanize the people? You dehumanize the enemy in war, but not the people you expect to be your friends. ... "

Pope John Paul II's World Day of Peace 1987 stated:
All States have responsibility for world peace and this peace cannot be ensured until a security based on arms is gradually replaced with a security based on the solidarity of the human family.

It is clear that the moral philosophies guiding the manner in which Iraq has been occupied are not based on the solidarity of the human family.

Monday, September 08, 2008

LOL cats

more animals

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Wordle speech counts: Obama vs. McCain

As an exercise for fun, I won't tell you which is which right away.

Obama says promise, followed by keep, work, time, new, make, can, change. He appears to mention his opponent's name a frequent number of times.

McCain says country far above anything else. Naturally, Americans is up there, too. Fight, government, world and work, going and children are up there. Obama makes an appearance if you look hard enough.

I don't think I can edify this interesting comparison by saying anything more.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Incisive statistical comment of the day

1/3 of Americans can correctly cite Jesus as the person who gave the Sermon on the Mount.
-- source: "Grace Matters" podcast

"Only 29 percent said he had picked her to run in the November 4 elections because he believed she was qualified to be vice president."
-- source: Emily's list poll quoted in dailkos.

I pray that these are not the same 1/3 of Americans in each case.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Browser & OS choice reveals intelligence?

A recent post at drew my attention to a table composed by the IQ League. It showed the average IQ score in its online test as a function of age, gender, and browser/ OS combination.

Highlights are below:

1. AppleMAC-Safari on UNIX 105.26
3. Firefox on UNIX 102.12
14. Firefox on MacPPC 101.15
17. IE on MacPPC 100.02
22. Firefox on WinXP 99.49
36. IE on WinXP 94.86
41. IE on Win98 93.50

Consistently, users of UNIX 'puters rate higher than Apple, and Apple higher than WinXP. Firefox users rated higher than IE. (And some bloke figured out how to get an Apple browser on a UNIX box-- she or he must be the smartest in the world!) I would like to see how Vista scores would enter into the mix.

Mark Fruenfelder wrote in the boingboing post: "No, I don't take this seriously." One comment-writer on the boingboing thread said you'd have to be a moron to believe the association.

I do. I've met a couple of folks who were maddeningly struggling with Vista. I was thinking, what sources of information did they evaluate before going to upgrade? Did they ever visit one of the web sites that talked about the assessment of Vista as the Longest Suicide Note in History? Did the folks further down these lists take time to learn about the benefits of the systems higher up the list? Or did they go to the local computer store and trust that the salesman was looking out for their best interests? Or worse, did they hear rumblings of of the complaints, and implicitly distrust "activists", "intelligentsia", "whiners", "paternalism"?

Am I just being cruel? No, I think that the way you relate to informed communities says a lot about your intelligence. You don't have to-- you shouldn't-- trust these communities blindly: I'm criticizing an implicitly distrust, an assumption that they must be wrong. For at least one of my Vista-upgrading friends, his OS choice is a reason I wouldn't trust the way he evaluates various sources of information to make decisions in other realms of life, such as political affiliation.

DISCLAIMER: This was written on a WinXP box with Firefox.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

What detail is missing from this narrative?

"A handsome captain came up and introduced himself.
It was love at first sight."

(Answer: a married, handsome captain.)

Pray for rain

Anyone seen any rain on the news lately?

The political action group of Focus on the Family, Citizen Link put out this video with a man standing in front of Invesco field shortly before Obama's speech, and asked for rain just before his speech?
"Would it be wrong to ask people to pray for rain, okay, not just rain but a bunch of rain? ...
[I'm asking because] I'm still pro-life, and still in favor of marriage between one man and one woman. ...
would it be wrong to pray for rain ...
If we see rain of biblical proportions, we will see it and say it is good".

Focus on the Family has become a narrow, overtly partisan organization, reducing the witness of Christians in the political square to hatred. No, I'm not calling a resistance to gay marriage hate (I have stood on record opposing changes to the ELCA Lutheran's policy against non-celibate gay pastors.) I'm saying they reduce our witness, the calling of all sorts of sinners to repentance, to hate. Are you supposed to wish for the worst things for your enemies, even if Obama were an enemy of the church?

What if God answered the prayer of all these haters, and brought a hurricane to the doorstep of the RNC?

Indeed, if you look at the political landscape today, the number of things that this season of Republicans represent goes against as many of the moral positions held by John Paul II as does the Democrats. Indeed, pro-life voices are getting more air time in the Democratic party even as the conservative pundits are attacking pro-life, anti-Iraq war Dems (Murtha) and praising pro-choice, pro-Iraq war ex-Dems (Lieberman). The election is not "about" abortion as much as it is about torture and tax cuts for the rich.

On a recent edition of the political talk show The McLaughlin Group, a liberal offered hopes that pastor Rick Warren represented the future of evangelicalism. That is because Warren has gone, in my words, "soft on hate". He's been talking about global warming, poverty reduction, and AIDS as moral crises for the church to be involved with. A conservative on the program rebutted with, "How is this going to help the Democrats?" and I don't believe he got an answer from the liberals present. My answer is, I don't care if it's good for the Democrats-- fie on a party which is 100% anti-Warren. Warren is good for the planet, good for humanity, good for the church, good for the spread of the evangel.
Secular liberals mock us when we are filled with hate.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

More wordle clouds comparing various sermons

What makes a good sermon? What do the sermons sound like in a church that you'd never darken the doorway of? Are they indistinguishable from the sermons you hear every week? Does anyone advocate drowning of kittens? Are they all essentially relating the gospel, just with different personal testimony or perhaps political slants, or are some offering a secular message? Is there anything fundamentally different about the sermons of say,
i) San Francisco Bay Area Evangelical Lutheran Church in America congregations who have signed on to a homosexual-welcoming agreement called "Reconciled in Christ" ?
ii) Martin Luther,
iii) conservative Lutheran Church- Missouri Synod preachers, and
iv) Jerry Falwell in his last two years.

I made wordle clouds of about ten sermons from each of the above and from the winning entries in the sermon-writing contest for ELCA seminarians that I myself had run, The Truth 'versus' Love Project. If you want to know my feelings about these various groups, my view is that Christianity needs some balanced mix of modern-day bleeding heart and eternal unchanging truths of the scriptures. I think that these groups go from bleeding heart at the expense of eternal truth, to a good balance, to eternal truth at the neglect of a bleeding heart, to eternal truth posited as in opposition to a bleeding heart.

And here they are:
1) Sermons of Five Bay- Area ELCA RIC Congregations. We see God, Life, Jesus. Cross, grace. Foriveness and saints are there. I don't see sin or law. Good and think are there. I'm guessing that the approach of these congregations is more about equipping saints for ministry, rather than calling to repentance of specific sins. I'd like to see what a "gay-friendly" and "law and gospel" sermon would look like.

2) In the Truth versus Love sermons, God, Jesus, and Christ are prominent. Law, poor, and people are next. Sheep, mercy, good, sin, Pharisees, and need are there. Righteousness, heaven, gospel, eternal, and resurrection also make an appearance. Million is there perhaps part of some statistic. I blogged earlier that this entire list gave me a warm feeling when I saw it. I do want to make a poster out of it.

3) In the sermons of Martin Luther, the words Christ, God, and must pop out. Must, from the best expositor of free grace the church has seen?! Good, works, gospel, faith, scriptures and Paul are there next. It being Luther, Jews and the pope have to make an appearance. Perhaps this is the only part I could do without. It's interesting that Jesus doesn't make an appearance, perhaps a part of personal preference in how to address the Lord.

4) In the sermons of LC-MS Pastors, we again see Jesus, Christ, life, and God prominently. Love, disciples, and church are next. Father is there unlike the other sermons, likely a reference to the Trinity in a closing blessing. Gospel, cross, confession; believe, grace, resurrection, and righteousness are there. Sometimes I wonder, "Forgiveness from what?"

5) Finally we come to ten randomly chosen sermons of Jerry Falwell. God is on top. Next come Jesus, Christ, Israel, heart, and ye, shall, know. Children jumps out here in a way not seen in any other group. Heaven, forgive, believe, works, and truth round out the list. I see Einstein, and am tempted to speculate this is part of a self-deprecating joke about his own intelligence.

I guess there's a danger in all of this, judging our brothers and sisters in the words they've prepared to explicate the Gospel. But in some sense every Sunday we do judge one church as being worthy of driving to over all the others. Do we know why we do this? Are we blindly choosing the religious tradition of our parents, as so many non-theists have accused? Of all the things that make congregations different from each other-- are these differences a part of our core convictions in the faith, or just what we ended up with? Is any one wrong? I started this exercise asking myself these questions, and am, so far in my study, only convinced that the different churches are in fact different. And only some of the differences were predictable.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Another look at Mandelbrot space exploration

This one involves the "Magnet 1" setting in povray. Perhaps I should set some of these to music.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Wordle views of my blogs

Please find enclosed four word clouds from wordle. This service gives you an artistic view of the words used on a particular web site, with the most frequent words printed largest.

This is a view of three months' words from this blog. I guess I talked a lot about blender.

This is a view of the most recent RSS feed from this blog-- maybe ten posts. I was actually a bit ashamed here, because it looked like I was talking more about Hillary than anything else.

Here is a view of the words used in a sermon writing contest I put on, The Truth "versus" Love Project". I would have to say these are my favorite words. I was honored that the way the words were arranged by the algorithm showed Christ holding up the whole assembly.

Here's the same sermon site as above, with the words set a bit more artistically. This one might make a cool poster.