Thursday, April 26, 2007

Kickstarting Model Fight

I'm trying to get my creativity going again with the Model Fight. I got to a place where I felt like stopping on the factory, but I couldn't leave it alone in my head.

My first idea was to go as fast as I can, just to get some work on paper (pixels?). I even had a cool title - 24 Robots in 24 Hours. The gist was to work quickly going in with the expectation that I wouldn't have a finished project at the end, or even 24 finished projects! I would go for an hour, stop and move on to the next one. I got the idea for faster-paced work from places like National Novel Writing Month, the Three Day Novel Contest as well as other timed creative events.

At the end, I could revisit all 24 models and pick ones to develop further. This "rushed creativity" with ridiculous deadlines isn't new, and it's not the best way to work, but the goal is usually to spark something in your head or get you in a more creative spot.

I worked on my first model for about 20 minutes yesterday, and I didn't like where it was going. But it did give me an idea that I'd like to flesh out...or do I mean steel? Puns-a-flying! Maybe it's already a success?

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Either I just accidentally dropped some acid, or we're watching a Disney movie!

We have a regular movie night on Fridays where we order pizza and eat in the living room. Thanks to Netflix we have queued up family/kid movies to always be here. I'm not Leander's biggest Disney fan, but you can't go wrong picking some classic Disney fare for the kids, right?

Uhhh, not so fast.

Dumbo was the latest offering. You can tell that it's from a long time ago (1941) by the tone of the dialogue - not that family friendly and antagonistic.

But that's not what raised my eyebrows.

Dumbo apparently has a dream sequence brought on by...something, perhaps the titular acid? Forgive me for not taking better notes - we were travelling and it was on in the van. Some of this stuff is pretty out there.

I'm pretty sure I watched Dumbo when I was younger, but I don't remember any of this.

Apparently there's an elephant that shops at Pottery Barn too!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

My plan for World Dom...I mean High Definition

I've been wanting to jump on the High Definition bandwagon for a while, more for watching movies than anything else.

As to the competing formats, HD DVD and Blu-Ray, I'd be happy with either one if I knew every movie was going to come out on both. As it turns out, at least for now, there are some titles that I want exclusive to each one of the formats. I'm going to go out on a limb here, but I think eventually Blu-Ray is going to win, but it's going to be a long time. In the meantime I need to figure out how to get both....

I think I just got approval from the CFO to get an Xbox 360 + HD Drive. I should probably get it before she reads this.... Why the 360 and not the PS3? I know more people with the 360.

That's basically it.

I know I'm going to be happy with either High Definition video format. I'm getting ahead of myself with my blog posts, but I've seen examples of both, and Daddy likes!

I don't have all the time in the world to play games. Xbox Live is very nice, and I like having the opportunity to play with my friends when I get a chance.

But what do I do about Blu-Ray movies? The answer came to me a few days ago. I'll build a computer with a Blu-Ray drive and connect it via HDMI or DVI to the TV! The 360 covers the HD DVD angle.

Bada bing! Both formats. Thank you, Cleveland. Good night.

I put a preliminary system together today, and it worked like a charm. I have to figure out the best place to put it, as the Wife Acceptance Factor is both critical and slippery to grasp. A regular desktop stuck next to the TV has a low WAF, so I need to figure out how to shoehorn the components into a small form factor chassis, or at least one that is similar to my home theater components.

Definitely more to come.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Full sized images posted...FINALLY!!!

I've complained about images I post to my blog not being clickable, that is, clicking on them did not link to the original/higher resolution images.

I've been searching Blogger help files, help forums and sending email to Blogger with no response. I checked other blogs on Blogger and their images don't seem to suffer this same fate.

I checked the HTML of my posts and I couldn't see any alternate upload paths for the high resolution's like my blog lost the functionality to upload fullsize images.

Blogger lets you work in a WYSIWYG environment or an environment that displays all the HTML code. In the WYSIWYG environment, you can drag uploaded images around to the correct spot and the layout code was smart enough to make everything how you want it.

Well, almost how you want it.

It turns out that moving an image in the WYSIWYG space gets rid of the original resolution code (image name, path, pixel count, etc) that is in the HTML. It just disappears. All that is left is the code for the thumbnail image.

I stumbled on to this while flipping back and forth between the an older post that still had clickable links to full size images and a recent post.

Why does this happen? I can find no other reason besides it being a bug.

If you go to the HTML environment you are able to cut and paste ALL the image-related HTML code to another place in your post, and everything goes with it. I've reuploaded the image to the post below and it works like a champ.

I'm relieved that I've found the solution, to say the least. Am I going to go back and fix everything? Probably not.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Not that there's anything wrong with my blog....

I just previewed my blog after posting the Snipping Tool entry, and I happen to check out the Ads by Google area.

Thanks, Google.

What's up with Vista Enterprise?

I've been on Vista Enterprise on my corporate laptop for a while, and a friend just got Vista Ultimate, so he's going through and finding some cool Vista tidbits.

One of them is the Snipping Tool, which looked to be in Vista Home Premium, Business, and Ultimate, but not Home Basic nor Enterprise, or so I thought. My initial reaction was confusion, as I thought Vista Enterprise was to Business as Ultimate was to Home Premium.

I mean, (performance wise) the bits are the same - the features are what define the edition.

I use the tried-and-true Alt-Prnt Scrn for screenshots/dialog captures, so I was slightly disappointed that my system didn't have what sounded like a cool program.

After some poking around, it turns out that Enterprise DOES support the Snipping Tool. As pointed out by Spaghetti, the Snipping Tool falls under Tablet PC Support, which defaults to disabled in Vista Enterprise.

After checking the box and a few moments of configuring...make that a few minutes of configuring...I'm golden! I'll definitely be using this.

But why wasn't it enabled by default? I would think that "Enterprise users" would want more productivity-increasers and would be savvy enough to not be overwhelmed by feature inundation, but who knows.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Gifted and Talented

We moved our kindergartner out of a private school and into public school with some trepidation. I'm a product of both private and public schools, and our assumption was that we (and our son) would get more out of a private school.

We quickly learned the opposite.

After enrolling in our subdivision's elementary school (Leander ISD) we found that the kindergarten teacher our son has is amazing. Any doubt as to the quality of the education from her quickly dissipated. But could kindergarten keep up with our son?

LISD and our school has a Gifted and Talented program, and something called QUEST. At this level, QUEST focuses on creativity, critical thinking, observation, etc. We went through the application process, filled out questionnaires, the school interviewed our son, and finally we heard that he had been accepted into QUEST! Shazam!

His first project is researching a particular insect (he chose honeybees) and working on making his insect out of craft materials for a QUEST fair later this year.


It looks like more than a month has gone by - time for blogging!

Fixed wishlist.
Fixed movielist.
Removed musiclist.