Monday, September 25, 2006

Mountain BW

Mountain BW
Originally uploaded by Falcdragon.

Well I've stuck a few photos from Kaikoura up online here. Not entirely sure what to do with the ones featuring people though. I'm considering Sticking some of them up onto Speclum or prehaps my Picasa web Album. Preferences any body? The Picasa option is probably somewhat more secure and stores higher quality images, but is more annoying to use from my point of view as it requires using windows.

Any way this photo was an HDR composite from 3 images which then had the saturation of Blue and Cyan reduced to convert the majority of the image to Black and White. There is a small number of landscape like images from Trip uploaded to flickr and I'll be adding some Panoramas soon.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Theological thoughts in Fiction.

Recently one fantasy series I've been rereading has highlighted some interesting ideas about the nature of freewill and how it affects our dealings with any superior being or beings who who are unwilling or unable to override that freewill no matter what the consequences are for the being with free will. Any way here are a couple of quotes from the books that I particularly like dealing with freewill and other stuff.

Whatever sins the stranger had committed, he had surely paid. Mercy, High Ones. Not justice, please, not justice. We would all be fools to pray for justice.

“If the gods saw people’s souls but not their bodies, in mirror to the way people saw bodies but not souls, it might explain why the gods were so careless of such things as appearance, or other bodily functions. Such as pain? Was pain an illusion, from the gods’ point of view? Perhaps heaven was not a place, but merely an angle of view, a vantage, a perspective.”

Through the eyes of a God:
“He opened outward, and outward, and outward still, till all the world lay below him as if seen from a high mountain. But not the realm of matter. This was a landscape of soul-stuff; colors he could not name, of a shattering brilliance, bore him up upon a glorious turbulence. He could hear all the minds of the world whispering, a sighing like wind in a forest—if one could but distinguish, simultaneously and separately, the song of each leaf. And all the world’s cries of pain and woe. And shame and joy. And hope and despair and aspiration... A thousand thousand moments from a thousand thousand lives poured through his distending spirit.
From the surface below him, little bubbles of soul-color were boiling up one by one and floating into a turning dance, hundreds, thousands, like great raindrops falling upward... It is the dying, pouring in through the rents of the worlds into this place. Souls gestated by matter in the world, dying into this strange new birth."

Umegat pulled on his queue. “Do you think your steps were fated from that far back? Disturbing. But the gods are parsimonious, and take their chances where they can find them.”
“If the gods are making this path for me, then where is my free will? No, it cannot be!”
“Ah.” Umegat brightened at this thorny theological point. “I have had another thought on such fates, that denies neither gods nor men. Perhaps, instead of controlling every step, the gods have started a hundred or a thousand Cazarils and Umegats down this road. And only those arrive who choose to.”

Annihilation and Mercy:
“I understand the poor ghosts much better now than when they first terrified me,” said Cazaril diffidently. “I thought their exile and erosion was a rejection by the gods, at first, a damnation, but now I know it for a mercy. When the souls are taken up, they remember themselves . . . the minds possess their lives all whole, all at once, as the gods do, with nearly the terrible clarity that matter remembers itself. For some . . . for some that heaven would be as unbearable as any hell, and so the gods release them to forgetfulness.”
“Forgetfulness. That smudged oblivion seems a very heaven to me now. I pray to be such a ghost, I think.”


Do you ever get the feeling or think that some how your brain and thoughts are wired differently to every one else?

That some how when other peoples thoughts and apparent actions seem to follow a nice "logical" path, yours seem to head off at a 90 degree or greater angle?

That thoughts and actions you think "logical" make no sense to any one else?

Do you some times or often do what feels or seems "right" or "more fun" or "just random" rather than that which you know will work or is logically more likely to produce the better outcome?

10 Programing languages you should learn?

10 Programming Languages You Should Learn Right Now

For you acctually programers out there what do you think of this list?

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Mono or C#?

Does any one know of any decent resources/introductions for mono/c# preferably utilising monodevelop as the IDE?

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Free IDE's Borlands Turbo family

Looks like Borlands released free express editions of there IDE's again. Worth a look if your interested in programing.

What is the best form of Government?

A question for you all.

What do you think is the best form of government please answer twice:
  1. First looking at it from the point of view of getting stuff done and having a functioning productive Society.
  2. Secondly from the POV of individual freedom, equality, and having a friendly people focused Society.
Possible Answers:
  1. Absolute Monarchy (King or Queen's word is law, inherited, Court is the executive)
  2. Early Constitutional Monarchy (Monarch executive with supporting Parliament and bill of rights ie England 1600ish, Saudi Arabia?)
  3. Modern Constitutional Monarchy (Monarch head of State, Parliament executive ie UK, NZ, AU)
  4. Dictatorship (Dictator is the executive there word is law, position due to own power Italy, Germany 1930-40's)
  5. Benevolent Dictatorship (Dictator elected or chosen after passing certain requirements)
  6. Republic (Elected head of State + Parliament/Senate/House of Congress ie USA)
  7. Theocracy (Church is the executive body)
  8. Anarchy (No government)
  9. Communism
  10. Federation (Each city, clan or region provides a member for the governing committee, each region has full autonomy within it's boarders).
I personally think I favor a "Early" Constitutional Monarchy or Benevolent dictatorship as an optimal form of government for getting stuff done. For a society that I think I'd enjoy living in (assuming it was my native culture) I'd prefer the "Early" Constitutional Monarchy I think. Especially if the monarchy is not from eldest to eldest but instead passed onto the most capable child.

So what do you think, can you think of any others that I've not listed that your'd prefer?

Attempts at HDR Photography

It's rather useful that the Ilam Gardens are part way between my place and Uni. As it gives me an excuse to stop by there now and then to play with my camera. This time I'm experimenting with HDR (High Dynamic Range) photos, which are normally generated from combining 3 or more images at different exposures together. In these images I've tonemapped them to make the details sand out.
As usual more images at Flickr.

Originally uploaded by Falcdragon.

Originally uploaded by Falcdragon.

Originally uploaded by Falcdragon.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Flash Photography Techniques. - photographer education

Linux Desktop

Hmm I'd forgotten how nice the linux desktop (Well Gnome 2.16 any way) was compared to Windows XP. Any way after recompiling the kernel, and installing the various apps that I need to linux I think I'll be making it my primary desktop leaving Windows XP for Gaming.

Had a decent bit of configuration to do first though:

  • Install NTFS write support - NTFS-3g
  • Configure Wireless network using the OSS driver
  • Configure URPMI via easy urpmi
  • Install mplayer and codecs
  • Recompile Kernel to get rid of the junk
  • Install Beagle Search
  • Add Windows fronts
  • Install Mozilla versions of Firefox and Thunderbird and link them to the windows version profiles so that both the windows versions and linux versions of the programs are kept in sync
  • Install Liferea which is by far one of the best RSS readers around, much nicer than the windows ones I'd been using
  • Check Gthumb is insatlled for Camera support
  • Update Gaim to latest version
  • Install Azureus and Java JRE for Bittorrent support
Any way the result is a nice functioning linux desktop currently with 10 applications open, (Azureus, Firefox, Thunderbird, Banshee, Liferea, Gnome-terminal, Gaim, beagle search and other minor ones) the result of which I'm using 700KB of swap memory, while in Windows XP that would be about 500MB of swap memory.

Apart from that I'm also running AIGLX accelerated desktop so I've all the fancy 3d effects and such which windows is clearly lacking.

About the only thing I've not got working yet is suspend to RAM, which isn't exactly critical for me thankfully.

My Desktop with the FFX and Mplayer made Transparent

Expose like feature.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Fancy Linux :)

Well I've finally managed to get opengl accerleration up and running on my laptop. As a result I now have a VERY cool and pretty desktop.

Here are a few screen shots and a movie clip of the sorts of things I can now play with.

Screen shots to come