I Want My Old Flip Phone Back

My phone would never pocket dial.
When I ended a call, I was 100% sure it was over.
I could dial phone numbers without having to even look at the dialing pad.
My battery lasted 4 days, on average.
More than 70% of the chargers I encountered would fit my phone.
Service is $30 a month w/ unlimited US nationwide coverage.

I could text message just fine, assuming I was creative and didn’t have to write a novel.
I couldn’t “browse the web” with ease, though I did have access to email and maps in a limited capacity… so no emergency was too big for my phone to handle.
I couldn’t take super awesome photos… but I made sure my “real” cameras were never too far.

This phone is *not* a smartphone.

I’d even consider a text pager, if pager service was still $10 per month (how about, “less”)-

-but I digress…

In my Walmart online shopping cart right now, I see this phone is $24.85, including shipping. How much are these new iPhone devices?

Seeing/Making Spaces

Having a maker’s space within walking distance, I consider myself very fortunate as I didn’t know it was there till I moved in to my house. Though, I won’t consider myself “lucky”, as we chose this area specifically for reasons like that (it’s also next door to a meadery).

What’s a “maker’s space”? Well then you have yet another reason to watch the following talk. Thx Voigt!

Seeing Spaces from Bret Victor on Vimeo.

Vim – lighting fast text editor

It sounds like “lightning fast” is just another typical headline for viral Facebook post, which automatically makes me feel as if I’m not giving Vim enough credit.

I typically use basic text when writing on my pc, and I sometimes create light code or html. Since I originally used a Windows machine, I have used Notepad, Context, Notepad++, etc. After moving to Linux, I was usually operating in gedit. It wasn’t until recently till I started shopping for another solution. Since we’re talking about BASIC TEXT, I felt it was pretty critical to choose an open source tool. I don’t like the idea of using a closed source tool in order to help me speak.

I have spent a bit of time looking, testing and reading comment and I think I’ve got a pretty good hold on the text editor options out there. The same names pop up pretty frequently… though one editor has always stood out as being a legend in this area, though it does not have a GUI. Vi or Vim.

I’m a big fan of not having to jump onto the mouse constantly, especially after realizing the RSI that the mouse was causing me.

What is Vim? Alan Thomas does a great job of introducing Vim and looks at it through the lens of “sentences”, comparing the keystrokes to nouns, verbs, etc. He also includes some great example uses.

So now the learning begins. This experience is much like when I had to force myself to touch type. I was slower at typing for a few days, but after 3 days of practice, I was almost twice as fast of a typist as I was before I touch-typed. Initial investment is pretty low compared to the benefits!

First step was to force myself to get comfortable in using hjkl in order to navigate around the page. The first 3 levels of VIM Adventure helped with that.

Other Vim Resources

Learn Vim Progressively

Cheat Sheets
Vim common actions in catagories
Vim Quck Reference Card (PDF)
Best of Vim Tips

Like a Pro
Vim teaser quickly demonstrating some editing magic.
Ben Orenstein’s expert level vim talk (40 minutes) shows how deep you can get.

Why learn Vim?
Best way to master
Is it worth the effort?
7 reasons Vim is your text editor

More Interactive Ways To Learn
OpenVim’s tutorial
Sitting at a Linux computer and want muscle memory to assist your text editing? As Alan reminds us, just type this in a terminal window:

Technical Online Courses for Free

codecademy.com – Walks you through programming languages like jQuery, Javascript, HTML/CSS, Python, Ruby and PHP.
Online Math Learning.com
Interactive Mathematics
CosmoLearning – Subjects include math, science, economics, law, medicine, etc.
coursera.org – Learn from 595 courses, from our 108 partners.
academicearth.org – Online college courses from Carnegie Mellon, Yale, Stanford, etc.
MIT’s Open Courseware
codebymath.com – learn math while coding
code.org – Tutorials for beginner programmers and also includes links to other training games like Code Combat(Javascript), Code Avengers, Lightbot, Grok Learning, etc.
N.J. Wildberger’s Math Foundations and Algebraic Topology series, or his popular Rational Trigonometry (to avoid sine and cosine).
FAQ for computer graphics algorithms
There’s lots of stuff out there, as demonstrated w/ “20 great math sites for students and teachers” .

Animation Recommendations for Videogasm

Psychedelic Patterns and Fractals

“The Music Scene” from Anthony Francisco Schepperd on Vimeo.


abstract animation film for neuroscientific purpose. It is seen by children (age of two to ten years) on a screen in front of them while they are in a brain scanner.


3D fractals creating alien landscapes.


Showing behavior systems. Techinically… it’s tech demo, but the patterns are gorgeous.


More flocking systems


Growing crystal structures… sculptures.


Animation Shorts

Voxels take over.


Stop motion w/ practical effects.


Visitor from far away + a soccer ball = ?


One of my favorites that I still back to watch. The director rammed it with symbolism. Kinda creepy.


Live action first person chase


Stop mostion w/ laser pointers and long exposuress creates a kitty made of light.


Simple and cute… and great little tale.


Appropriate narrated story w/ slower gradually increasing visuals.


Insane chase scene.


FX driven take of a man conquering his compulsive disorder. (dark comedy)


very minimalistic tribute to Stanley Kubrick

Commercials and Title Credits

Cyberspace intro… for video game “Syndicate”

Tech Demos and Artistic Process

Slick presentation of the creation process of a growing grape effect in 3D.


Streetfighter fans will get a kick of these motion capture abstractions w/ particles.


The current technique of digital sculpting.


GMail Unavailable

This will probably be over by the time I publish this posting, but had to drop this image online as a reminder to others, and myself.

Nothing is secure.

Make a Plan B (or C) and have 2 sets of backups. One backup isn’t enough, because if the process fails, you loose both the original data and the backup. If you have 2 sets, then you’ll still have your untouched backup. My verbal007.com email account is still working and luckily I recently started using a local client so I have local backups of my emails AND so that I didn’t rely on Google for everything. My dependency was getting ridiculous.

Radiohead – House of Cards

“Geometric Informatics scanning systems produce structured light to capture 3D images at close proximity, while a Velodyne Lidar system that uses multiple lasers is used to capture large environments such as landscapes.”

The making of this video can be found here. Thanks goes to Simon and Dan for this one.

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