Weekly Digest

2D Animation of Asthma

Almost 4 years ago, I spent 4 months, spread over 2 years, studying and building/growing the human lungs in 3D. Houdini (+ amazing SideFX support) was the reason why most people took a quick breath when they see it, full screen. The doctor wished to demonstrate the fractal geometric nature of the lungs, which I think we have pulled off.  What is true in the sample, is true for the whole system.

I learned how breathing works, what’s going on when it’s having trouble, and what our current treatments are doing to our bodies.

Animation is pretty awesome in helping convey complex ideas, particularly when we cannot see these ideas/systems with the naked eye. I love this subject, but since most of the animations are not yet publicly available… well…  I have no pretty pictures to hide behind if my Latin speaking skills fall apart. Ever since my mother first told me what “alveoli” are, or saw pictures of the spiraling inner ear, I’ve been obsessed with the human body and how it functions or dis-eases. Being able to play around with anatomy, in a virtual world…. ugh.  Kid in a candy store.

Makes it hard to imagine going back to working on a Hollywood movie or AAA title video game.  Though, there’s hope that one day there would be a AAA video game about breathing.

That being said…

I did NOT make this video. The illustrator/animator nails it. Efficient and effective. I betcha it didn’t take 4 months of full-time work to make. Normal cutaway, then allergen triggers mucus production. Next, some inflammation in the bronchi walls,  tightening of the surrounding smooth muscle tissue, and even more mucus.

Nicely communicated!

#Breathe
#Mom
#RespitoryTherapist

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Weekly Digest

Weekly Digest

Weekly Digest

Weekly Digest

Blender – 1 Year Later

Last week marks the one year anniversary of when I decided to finally buckle down and dive into Blender. Looking back, can see how much I have learned and I’m quite happy with how far I have come. Comfy with all the departments. I do miss my old desk though.

blenderFaceCrop

my render / comp test

Excuses aside, I can tell you that things have not stopped progressing. I’ve developed a few new unique effects, played a LOT with rendering, and cleaned it all up in compositing. I’m blown away.  I really am.

One of the beautiful attributes of open software is that it grows with the community. Sometimes independently developed add-ons become features. Sometimes core features cause a complete overhaul. Through all this, the tool more and more represents the users.

Multiple times, I thought this software was reading my mind.

The sky is the limit and development is accelerating. We are talking about multiple feature release sets per year, that aren’t just bug fixes.

Weekly Digest

HP Printer in Ubuntu 14.04

I’ve installed HP printers on a laptop prior… though by “install”, I mean that I plugged a printer in and it just worked. Ubuntu uses the open source HPLIP drivers.

This wasn’t the case for my home computer.

I was recently gifted a HP LaserJet P1005 and although it popped up in the printer list, I was unable to print to it. Ubuntu told me the print jobs were sent, but nothing comes out. Some online searching revealed the solution(s).

First, I found this article, which has a commandline sample that ensures my hp-setup command would work.

sudo apt-get install hplip-dbg hplip-gui

Apparently, this is related to a broken printer driver, which can be fixed with the following command.

sudo hp-setup

This install didn’t initially work for me, as I was receiving the following error.

… hplip-3.15.2-plugin.run file does not match its checksum. File may have been corrupted or altered.

To fix this, I followed these instructions and went to the HPLIP website and grabbed the two corresponding files (.run and .asc). Now, when running the hp-setup wizard, it asks if I want to download drivers or use local files.  Go with the local option and browse to the path of the files you just downloaded.

That was it.  Internet saves the day yet again.

Hackathon

Hey YEG, that was a pretty cool open data Hackathon. The potentials demonstrated by the participants in that room had me shivering with excitement. So many useful and brilliantly simple ideas.  The future is bright.

Need some evidence of the potentials of open data? I recommend starting with Jennifer Pahlka’s TED talk on Code for America.

“…platform for people to help themselves and help others.”


At Saturday’s Hackaton, I had the pleasure of meeting some incredible people, super-geeks. I appreciate techs that seem to be almost immune to any technological aversion.

So, back to Saturday’s event…

While at the all-day hacking festival, something was shared with me… and it’s only just now hitting me.

We love this open data. It’s great and more and more of this public/government data is becoming open and available for everyone to plug into.

However, I was told what happens whenever one of these independent volunteers comes up with a great way to present and grant access  to these goldmines of information: The government responds by rebuilding the information tool internally, themselves. This results in the indie project being unsupported, and fading away, unfunded and unappreciated. There’s something about this that doesn’t make sense to me.

It’s not really about “fairness”. It’s about failing to recognize that the idea came from a method. Ideas like this usually grow from a fertile garden of even MORE ideas. It’s about encouraging this open data culture, speeding it’s development.

trystal

Finally, just wanted to highlight Trystal.net, which is based on the speedy node.js, this text editor is… well…  how does one glorify a text editor? Well, after playing around with it for a bit, I’m pretty excited about the direction it’s going. Document writing in a more procedural fashion. No more scrolling through pages of documents and re-organizing content is super simple with tried and tested keyboard shortcuts. Super efficient document creation / conversion. Looking forward to seeing where Terry takes this.

Don’t take my word for it.  If you are feeling adventurous, create yourself an account and Open file -> my files -> home … then play around a bit after reading some of the docs. It won’t take more than a few minutes to get comfy with this way of document creation.

Weekly Digest

Folder & File Structure Visualization

You may have realized that I’m primarily a Linux user, but this post is for anyone managing files on a Windows computer or server.

I have used SequoiaView for managing file space on Windows servers for almost a decade. This tool allows you to visualize your disk usage by creating boxes that represent files and folders.  The larger the box, the bigger the file.  Colors represent the different file types and can be customized.

If you’re wondering where all your drive space went, this is a priceless tool.

That being said, I’ve been stuck on this tool for years and it was time to see what other tools have become available.  Well, I was happy to find an open source alternative that is properly named Windows Directory Statistics (on SourceForge).

Here’s a usage example.

windirstat_hyperfile

I ran this on my laptop’s Windows partition (dual boot), and saw this massive file taking up WAAAAY too much room.  Selecting the large blue block, I saw that it’s called hyberfil.sys. A quick online search revealed this to be the file that Windows uses when it’s put into Hybernate mode…   which I never use (sparing my SSD the overuse). The online search also revealed a solution on How-To-Geek.

As an administrator, I ran the following command:

powercfg -h off

… and now I’ve got 12GB back!

windirstat_hyperfile_rem

Have fun managing those videos, MP3s and game installation folders.

Weekly Digest

Weekly Digest

Weekly Digest

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