Saturday, August 13, 2005

GIMP Animated GIF

I was just wondering if there was a good animated GIF generation tool for Linux, particularly Gnome, and thought that there was a possibility that GIMP may provide a means to animate GIF images. Sure enough, GIMP does allow you to create animated GIF images through its multi layer capabilities.

As long as you adhere to open file standards I have found that, over the past 3 years, I've had less trouble with all our home PCs running Linux that I had during the decade previous to that when they were running MS Windows. If you want an application you just search the gentoo repository and download it for free, then periodically you run a one line command to upgrade all the applications on your PC in one, system wide, upgrade. It's so easy. I can't imagine ever running any closed source applications, on our home PCs at least, ever again. The only applications which are problematic are Firefox plugins for Java and Macromedia Flash since they're not Free Open Source Software but still essential for interaction with a few web sites.

I can't understand why anyone uses Flash since it would be entirely possible to accomplish the same effects using Javascript and animated GIF images and the content download would be only slightly larger, even less so if the web server compressed the content on the fly. Perhaps I'm just becomming too spoiled by broadband.

Why do firms marry themselves to closed standards?

Spiky Flip Flops

My wife bought me some of those spiky flip flops which are supposed to massage the soles of your feet. They are fantastic. The coolest thing is that after you've been wearing and walking around in them for a while, if you take them off then the carpet feels like you're walking on air.

I wonder if you could use the same technique for other things. Perhaps if you have a headache you could wear an incredibly uncomfortable hat for ten minutes so that when you take it off you find that the pain of the headache has been completely removed.

What do you think, should I start making a prototype?

Friday, August 12, 2005

Started Studying Ruby

I've started learning Ruby today, my copy of "Agile Web Development With Rails" arrived yesterday and it really is amazing. I don't think I'll ever write another line of PHP. I only hope that the mod_ruby Apache module continues to develop so that Ruby web applications may be able to execute using the minimum of web server resources. I'm still working 9-5 in C++ but I should be able to learn RoR at home.

Very exciting!

I even had a couple of people ask me how they could go about learning Ruby and subsequently Ruby on Rails. My answer is here at Ben's Questions and Answers.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

XBox still broken

well, the xBox is still broken. I got it second hand for $50 and it worked fine for about 6 months and then died. I thought that it may have been the power supply so ordered a new, refurbished, one but it didn't solve the problem. I was getting 3.3V on the power switch pins so I decided to order a new motherboard. I was planning on upgrading the xBox RAM to 128MB anyway so it seemed to all be working out for the best.

The only problem is, and note that I said "seemed" above, that it's been a coupl of weeks and no motherboard has arrived. They are out of stock but they haven't bothered to respond to my emails asking for a status. I'm a bit annoyed, but unfortunately they are the only option that I have found other than buying another xBox off ebay and modding it myself. You have to solder the RAM chips onto the board though so I'm not sure if that's going to be within my soldering skills. I guess I'll just wait... once the xbox 360 comes out the old xbox, classic perhaps, will probably go down to a price of $99 so time is on my side if I don't get too impatient.

Have you ever done any surface mount chip soldering?

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

So Tired...

I just finished some work which I had to complete before tomorrow morning and I'm totally exhausted. I only got 6 hours of sleep last night and I'm going to have to do some catching up over then coming days.

Evelyn now knows what you mean when you say "Where's your..." and she understands where her tummy is, her tongue, her ears, her mouth, her feet, her toes, her knees, her nose, and her eyes. I can't understand any of her babbling yet, however, Ellen is convinced that she said "More Cracker" at dinner time and "One More" at story time. It's amazing how she's progressing. It all seems to have happened suddenly, one week she's a baby and the next she's a little person.

When did your child start talking?

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Bad Day...

Have you ever had a bad day?

Have you ever woken up to the smell of dog crap to find that your Great Dane had had violent diarrhea? Fortunately he sleeps in a dog crate, so the mess was contained, however, that also meant that the dog was covered in dog crap as he couldn't get away from it.

Once I'd cleaned the dog, his crate, and washed all his bedding I was just hanging all the bedding to try and a bird sitting above crapped on my head.


I just hope that the day doesn't get any worse.