Another crowd egress video

August 27, 2009

Note: This post was migrated from my old blog software. It hasn't been cleaned up yet (and might not ever be). Don't be surprised if the formatting, links, images, etc... are messed up.

This is the second video I've ever uploaded. Much like the first one, it's a crowd leaving an event. This time, it's folks leaving Lollapalooza 2009 after Tool closed out the second night.

This Way To The Egress II from Stimulating Pixels on Vimeo.

Pay attention to the movement in the back by the glowing sphere to help get an idea of how many people are moving. I think the overall ticket sales were ~80,000. I'm sure they weren't all there, but a lot of them were.

Note: if you do not like crowds, these type of music festivals are probably not for you. At least not the headliners for each night. During the early parts of the day, it's not bad at all. For the last shows of each day, everyone gathers around one of two stages and then all leave at the same time when the set is over. I find the resulting mass of people in various stats of inebriation fun to watch.

This was shot on my recently acquired F200 point and shoot. Once again, I'm blown away with the quality little consumer cameras can capture these days.


Kuler - Adobe site for color themes

August 27, 2009

Note: This post was migrated from my old blog software. It hasn't been cleaned up yet (and might not ever be). Don't be surprised if the formatting, links, images, etc... are messed up.

kuler_logo.gifJust stumbled across Kuler. A little web site/tool from adobe setup for community creation and sharing of color themes. If you are stuck looking for a pallet, give it a shot.


A refined thought on "Great Artists Steal"

August 27, 2009

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A gentleman named Jeff Veen giving a talk at an Ignite show about the idea of "Good artists copy. Great artists steal." He focuses a little on the iPhone with points I think are valid, but that's just an example for the underlying idea and its refinement. I love the way he describes it.

To me, the the way he talks about stealing is more about learning from someone/something and then using what you learn to create something new for the world. What a great take on things.


Space Shuttle Launch Web Resources

August 25, 2009

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shuttle-patch-150x166.png Just a few quick links that I've found useful when trying to figure out details about attending a Space Shuttle launch. (Of course, if you can't attend, there is always NASA TV streaming on the web.

These are the frequencies I've seen listed for tuning into the shuttle communications prior to launch via HAM repeaters. These are all pulled from the links above, but they are spread out. Just listing them here to make them easier to find.

  • 146.880 MHz (FM) - KA9SZX retransmission
  • 146.940 MHz (FM) - K4GCC retransmission
  • 145.170 MHz (FM) - WA4VME retransmission
  • 296.800 MHz (AM) - Air-to-ground & Orbiter to EVA-Suit
  • 279.000 MHz (AM) - EVA-Suit-to-EVA-Suit & Orbiter to EVA-Suit
  • 243.000 MHz (AM) - Standard UHF Mil emergency Freq.
  • 442.6 MHz (UHF) - NASA audio
  • AM 1240 and AM 1350 - Local station WMMB. These weren't broadcasting the launch when I was there, but they are still listed by NASA.

There aren't that many Shuttle missions left after this one. Here's the list as it stands right now.

  • STS-129 - November 12, 2009 - 4:11PM
  • STS-130 - February 4, 2010 - Time TBD
  • STS-131 - March 18, 2010 - Time TBD
  • STS-132 - May 14, 2010
    • Time TBD
  • STS-133 - July 29, 2010
    • Time TBD
  • STS-134 - September 16, 2010 - Time TBD

The last one, STS-134 isn't certain yet. It has to get budget approval. As it stands right now, either that one or 133, is going to be the last launch of the Space Shuttle program.


Fast moving robots are awesome (and a little scary)

August 24, 2009

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This is awesome. The fact that it can catch things blows me away.

This thing would totally be able to pull off the Bishop knife trick from Aliens. Do not taunt Fast Moving Robot Hand

See the original article for more details.


SEC Schedule App for iPhone

August 21, 2009

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sp-20090821-misc-112136.png If you are a fan of the SEC and own an iPhone or an iPod Touch, you'll want the free "SEC Football Pocket Schedule" from SilverTree Technology. (They also have a Big 12 one if you're into that.)

Interestingly, once I move off that page on their site, I can't see any other links back to it. Whatever the case, the App itself works as a great add for the company. I never would have seen their site if I hadn't started with the app. The app itself is pretty simple, but it's really well designed, loads fast and is intuitive. So, not only is it a free ad for them, it lets potential clients know that they do good work.


The ATF's Phone Number

August 21, 2009

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Around the 4th of July, I was kicking around Phantom Firework's site (fireworks.com) and came across their page on Homemade and Illegal fireworks. At the bottom, is the phone number for the ATF Hot Line for reporting illegal explosives. Serious business, but the number strikes me as funny: 1-888-ATF-BOMB


Switching to Git and I'm now officially an Open Source Developer

August 21, 2009

Note: This post was migrated from my old blog software. It hasn't been cleaned up yet (and might not ever be). Don't be surprised if the formatting, links, images, etc... are messed up.

git-logo.gif In the software development world, where I spend a decent amount of my time, there exists a very helpful type of tool designed for what's called Revision or Version Control. Among other things, this type of software provides ways for multiple people to work safely on the same set of files without overwriting each other's work and they provide a way to "roll back" to previous versions of files if you find a bug. When you are dealing with tens or hundreds of thousand (or more) of lines of code, it's very reassuring to know that if you break something you can easily jump back to one of the earlier revisions where everything was working while you hunt down whatever went wrong. For the past few years, the Version Control System I've been using is one called Subversion. While it's much better than it's predecessor (CVS), Subversion is still a bit clunky and some of the day-in/day-out tasks require enough thinking that it easy to loose the flow of what you are working on when you have to deal with it. The safety of having the system behind you makes it worthwhile but it's enough of a headache that I started looking for an alternative and after some testing have decided to switch to a different system called Git.


As part of the process, I need to remove literally hundreds of directories from my projects that were created by Subversion as part of the way it manages files. While possible to go though everything and delete them individually, it's much easier and safer to write a little program to do it automatically. In fact, I've written this same basic thing at least three or four times before when I needed to do some clean up of older Subversion repositories. In the Perl programming language it only takes 5-10 minutes to create and test a basic one-off script to do this. Instead of doing that again, I'm using this as an opportunity to create my first Open Source project.

There are two reasons for this:

  1. Other people who are going though the same thing might not want to have to build the script themselves. So, this might be of some use to someone else out there if they happen to find it.
  2. I can use it as a chance to try a site/service called GitHub.

GitHub is one of those really excellent parts of the internet. Their primary service is to host Git repositories (which are what Version Control Systems use to do their magic). If you have something that you want to develop just for yourself they have various price points for private storage depending on what you need. What makes them really shine, though, is that if you are developing a piece of Free Open Source Software, they let you use their system at no cost.

Not only does GitHub encourage developers to produce code and software the rest of the world can use for free, but it also let's people like me who are in the very early parts of the learning curve have a safe environment to get their feet wet with Git. Once I've gained enough confidence with their system to be sure I won't completely break things, I'll have the confidence to move my mission critical work into my own Git system.


If you are interested to see what the site looks like, the GitHub home page for the script is here. If you would like to see what the Perl code itself looks like, you can see that here.


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