Archive | October, 2008

Development of an avatar

29 Oct

I’m not a good draftsman, but that doesn’t say I can’t make a good drawing. I just need a lot inspiration to draw anything worthwhile. I guess I’m more of an artist than an artisan in that respect.

Now see how I developed my avatar for TWIT Army Canteen. From a very simple idea into something more sophisticated.

That is all.

New avatar for TWIT Army Canteen

29 Oct

I have a presence on the TWIT Army Canteen, a Laconica implementation on the This Week In Tech network of netcasts by Leo Laporte. On TWIT Army I go by the name of “purplebox” and my avatar reflects this name.

Full-size version of my purplebox avatar on the TWIT Army Canteen.

Full-size version of my purplebox avatar on the TWIT Army Canteen.

I made the original image in a vector animation program called Moho. This application no longer exists under that name, but is called Anime Studio Pro nowadays. Both programs are written and maintained by Mike Clifton of Lost Marble. After exporting the file to 320 x 200 pixels, I cropped it to 192 x 192 pixels, did some retouch, and resampled to the required 96 x 96 pixels in The Gimp (an open source replacement for Photoshop).

That is all.

Test screencast with Squeak

29 Oct

I tried to capture the video of the desktop screen in Ubuntu while I was sending a hello-world message in Squeak. I used gtk-RecordMyDesktop for the video screen capture, VLC to convert the Ogg video to H.264, and iMovie ’08 on Mac OS X to edit the movie file (add a title). I didn’t record any sound, because this was just a test, to see if the workflow works.

The video is a bit hard to read, so you might rather want to download the file (640 x 480 resolution) from I guess YouTube isn’t really suited for this kind of video files.

This is all.

The Lightness of Being

24 Oct

Nobel Prize winner Frank Wilczek has written a book about the Standard Model of quantum physics, of which I just received a copy over the mail. Of course, I can’t really write anything about the contents yet, but, nevertheless, I’m excited to learn something about the world we live in.

You can find the book on Amazon, through this link (or through your local –online– bookstore):

After I’ve read it, I will post a book review on this blog.

That is all.

Learning a programming language

21 Oct

What is the easiest programming environment? Definitely Smalltalk. Why? Because it was developed with the idea in mind that anyone can become a programmer, even a child.

Here’s a video to wet your appetite.

Some useful links from the video.

I recommend, after you’ve downloaded the Squeak software from the website, reading the online book Squeak By Example first, because it recommends a special developer image of Squeak, available on the website The book assumes you have some programming experience, especially with classes and objects.

If you didn’t understand any of what was discussed in the video, don’t worry. It will become clear once you’ve done the Squeak By Example book.

That is all.