Celebrating the Season

barbarian group SF holiday photo

We at the San Francisco Barbarian Group office had an incredible holiday party on Friday. After a full afternoon of shooting assorted handguns, we reassembled at the office. A great spread of holiday snacks and beverages was laid out before us, ready to help us recover our strength spent on the range.

For the party at the office, I had set up a photobooth of sorts. Motion in front of the camera caused it to begin capturing frames which were then turned into animated gifs. You really should check out the photos from the party.

Continue reading Celebrating the Season

Minimalist websites and their pseuodopractical application

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While on the plane to Boston, I got a little frustrated that I can’t program my iPhone directly. No simple, scriptable terminal or anything. Since I’m not of the skill or inclination to quickly write a python interpreter or processing development environment as an app for the phone, I went a different route. I decided to use the icons on the home screen as a low-resolution display matrix.

When adding a page to your homescreen, the iPhone creates an icon for the page by rendering the whole thing down to a square format. I took advantage of this to create half-filled dots on the screen.

Naturally, I had to write something with the pixels I was making. It being party time and all, I decided to encourage celebratory behavior with my downsampled display. Keeping with the spirit of lo-res, here is a video of the display in action, converted into an animated gif.
lofi iphone display animation

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In the end, I rather like the simple visual weight of the 50/50 webpages: 01v 01h 10v and 10h. They are flexible minimalist works; they scale to fit any size real-estate. Use them to create your own iPhone cum lite-brite or just enjoy your monitor’s ability to crank out pretty, high-contrast black and white pixels.

Time in Oxford

oxford sunset

I spent the last week at my parents’ house back in Oxford, Ohio. While it’s normally your typical small, college town, there was quite a bit of awesomeness afoot this time around.

You’re probably aware that Processing 1.0 was released this past week. I’m not totally clear on the details of why, but the final development was happening in Oxford, thanks to funding from Miami University. I was really fortunate to be able to spend some time with all of the people working on the 1.0 release over the weekend.

Obviously, I spent a lot of time with friends. This entailed the requisite time in bars and apartments dedicated to making sure we’re all on the successful side of things. Fortunately, they’re mostly up to some cool stuff. Mike and I recorded harmonies for one of his tracks and I got to mess around on his les paul for a bit. Christian and Hillary had their BFA exhibitions up, and you can see some photos from them on flickr. Steve went to jail because of a clerical error by the state, and his cop-car relay from Oxford to Cleveland makes the best Thanksgiving story I heard.

Goodbye, MediaTemple. I wish you would have worked.

There was a perfect storm this weekend between Media Temple’s gridservice repeatedly failing and Dreamhost offering a special deal for their 11th birthday. I am switching hosting providers. If Dreamhost proves no more reliable than Media Temple, I will at least be paying half as much for it. It’s too bad that Media Temple fumbled the repeated outages. Apparently, they’ve been going on for some time.

Continue reading Goodbye, MediaTemple. I wish you would have worked.

Random-Walking Cubes

Walking Cubes

I finally returned to a 3-d random walk sketch I set up in Flash a few months ago. Happily, Papervision3D now reliably initializes the graphics context and actually renders the cubes inside the flash player (I downloaded the latest Great White and patched my code over tonight).

The cubes bounce along on a random trajectory and fluctuate to the music. Michael Lengel, aka mlerin , provided the sweet audio tracks.

Interact with the walking cubes.