Sunday, February 24, 2008

Fun with 3d

I have been playing with 3d Imaging Recently using red blue glasses to make things called Anaglyph's ( Firstly its quite cool, Second it gives me a excuse to wear 3d glasses, and prance about with my sonic screwdriver pretending to be the Doctor.

So here's a post on how to create static 3d Images,

Step 1: Getting your photos.
Well first you need some images to make into a 3d photo, the cheapest way is to just grab your camera take a photo, shuffle a step to the left, and take another shot. This should give two images that are almost but not quite entirely alike. Its important that you hold the camera still as you move as unless you have Thatchers eyes, they both point in the same direction. If you try to aim the second shot, the effect wont be the same.

If you want to play, but don't have a camera, The mars rover site has a load of stereo images as the camera on the rover uses two cameras and some clever image processing for depth perception. The left images should have a L about 4 letters from the end of the file name. I will use some of these for the rest of the post.

Step 2: Making a 3d Image
You can use the Gimp (or any other image tool but photoshop isn't available on the other OS) to do this.

First off open both your photos, and make sure they are in RGB mode.

Select the Blue and Green channels from the Right image.

Then paste them into the Left image.

Job done.

Friday, August 31, 2007


Another year passes as i march steadily towards middle age, and again I went to the Reading (Rock ?) Festival. Aside from a couple of gripes it was another reasonable year. Lets get the good points out of the way first.

1) Drinking. Another classic year for that, My liver takes its normal battering and held up reasonably well.

2) Company. Aside from the Kids on the last night (see below) it was a good year for company, Standard issue crew went My Bruv, Harry,Kev, James, Mat, Ben and we met up with some of kids Harry found on the Internet who on the whole wernt bad.

3) Bands, When they were good they were good. Got to see a reasonable line up, with the new favourite being enter shikari.Some old school goodness with Mad Caddies, Ash and the Living End.

Now the bad points.

1) Organisation. Someone should be shot. Unfortunately due to a bit of rain some of the camping was unusable so the normal car park was moved somewhere just south of oxford (As i cant shoot god for organising the rain, it will have to be the festival organisers for the carpark). This meant a 3 hour wait to get into the place as we were taken across the Thames by "More ships than the
Royal Navy" (quote from Festival website). This meant 3 little ferry's that chugged across the 20 meters of water. One word chaps. "BRIDGE". Easy to knock up and they do it for loads of other events.

2) The Kids. too many kids and the line up was designed for kids too. What happened to the Reading ROCK festival. It may as well be called the Reading EMO - Hippidy Hop - Power Pop Festival. Then there's the fact that they are all talking about GCSE results. Instead of 'real' subjects. Secondly i have managed to last a fair few years of these without any prick trying to set fire to the tent. This year some idiot put a deodorant can on the fire and damn near blew me up. Worst still was the fact it was my can that was blown up.

3) Me getting Old. If it wasn't bad enough that most of the population of the festival appears to be 10 years younger than me now, I was really feeling it this year. Me and the Bruv went for a skank and only could manages a couple of songs, Next year i am taking a knee brace.

Anyway that's a good enough rant on that subject for now.
Overall I got to see some good bands, some bad bands, had a laugh and a drink with some old friends. Cant wait till next year

Friday, August 03, 2007

New Look. and Bloggin with Emacs

Right then. Got some time off and i have decided to put my affairs in
order. One of the first things on the list was to sort the blog out,
From now in i plan on putting real (ish) and useful posts here, as
well as update a little more often. Its all a bit like new years
resolution's really and time will tell if I get past the mid January

So here comes informative post No 1:. Bloggin with Emacs (or any
other text editor of choice even Vi).

I now use Emacs to write my Blog, Email and Wiki entry's, This means i
can spell cheque what i white, a major advantage for those of us who
are dyslexic. (see Harry's blog).

Those of you who use win Doh's probably wont be familiar with Emacs
and those into 'Nix have almost certainly experienced the Emacs / Vi
argument. But i digress and its not the editor but the web browser that's
important here.

Its really quite simple. Use the Excellent It's All Text plug-in for Firefox. this allows any
text box on a web page to be opened in a external
editor. (Again Windows users may have to download this excellent
browser) Once installed and configured your off and wont look back.

For those of you who work with Wiki's the same plugin can be used to
edit Wiki text from within Emacs. I would also recommend getting a
wiki mode, then you can take advantage of font-lock highlighting.

Monday, May 07, 2007


Enjoying tormenting myself with the more 'interesting' subjects at Uni, I am taking Computer Graphics and visualisation. Which deals with CGI. Unfortuntely its not the Maya or Max side of CGI, but the theory behind it.

Taking a break from revision i thought i would post a link to my first coursework.
This was hand coded in Pov-Ray using a custom Keyframe interpolation script I wrote.

This version is what I submitted getting the very reasonable mark of 95%, Hopefully some time soon when I no exams or other such nonsense to think about I will add the little lamp, if i can discover a cunning way of animating the power cord, without driving myself up the wall hand coding each keyframe.

Some small technical details,

Its Keyframe animation using a custom interpolation script to move between each keyframe.

The only controll points used on the lamp are the Lower arm, Upper Arm, and Head all other positions are derived from these.

The ball is also animated using keyframes, any rotation is generated procedually

The Extra bits like the hinge mechinism drove me up the wall, It automatically updates its position depending on where the two main arms are, calculating where it should be using the unit circle.

The spring also uses this calculation and a bit of Trig to calculate its roatation and length, Extruding a sphere along the curve to give the impression of expansion and contraction.

Anyhow back to Revision.

Monday, February 05, 2007

In the future there will be robots.

Robotics Amazing, this is the sort of stuff that I would love to do.

First off we have a skateboarding robot

Then...... Image the shopping list
Robot arm, Wii controller, laptop, and sword.. Serious Awesomeness

Link to their page.

The moves are preprogrammed though. Could it be done in real-time with Gumsitx and Accelerometers ???, Looking for a project if anyone wants to sponsor it ???

Friday, February 02, 2007

Work, and bit torrent

Well, Its been some time since i posted here. Problem is that i have been snowed under with work, far too much of the stuff but its been enjoyable leaning all sorts of cool new stuff.

Anyway I feel its time for a rant.

Now i seem to spend a inordinate amount of time on the computer (just as the wife) especially now as deadlines come up. Unfortunately it never seems to be doing stuff like this, i don't have the time to write into my blog. Damm unless i start thunderbird i can go days without checking my e-mail, It just doesn't cross my mind.

So why cant i download simple html pages from time to time. One member of my household has decided to download the entire Internet via torrents. I don't want to get into a argument about p2p software, i rarely use it but what the hell, if someone wants to listen to the odd album then wheres the problem especially if they treat it as a trial and buy it if they like it. What does bother me is when i ask my flatmate what hes downloading and he replies Queen. he doesn't mean greatest hits, but the entire discography including those weird japan only singles releases.
What irks me even more is the aforementioned downloaded then has the cheek to moan that the Internet is slow. Turning the router off and breaking my connection to the python website.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Flying webservers

Research is amazing !! Researching the hardware platform used in my final year project and came across this.

Picture yourself outside drinking your coffee when suddenly the air is full of small buzzing critters. Its not killer bees but the flying gridswarm.

Image a combination of Wireless sensor networks and black hawk down. A multiltude of small autonomous flying vehicles that are able to function as a mobile grid computer.

Currently the university of Essex is researching this. Using miniature helicopters from proxflier and gumsitx as the processor. Their prototype is apparently the smallest flying webserver in the world (but come to think of it I don't know of any flying webservers large or small) Take a look at the homepage

Anyway I think this deserves a mention as its super rad. It's also in a similar field as my current research so that's even better.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Possibly the coolest invention in the world

Dableing as i do in the world of computer science i have a *Small* love affair with coffee. As i cave/ climb and spend too much time in the outdoors in general it can be irritating that i have to rely on freeze dried tastless choice when im away from home.

Not for much longer mind. This super rad invention may solve all my problems May i present (Drum Roll Please) the Aerolatte Press & Go Double Wall Stainless Steel Travel Mug

link Another Coffee

Now in combination with my hand held grinder i can have a cup of freshly ground goodness wherever and whenever hot water is available. Life has got a little better

Tuesday, August 29, 2006


Lets be honest im a lucky sod. Not many people can say their birthday party has a ~100,000 or so people attend it, Along with Pearl jam headlining.

Ok its not specifically my birthday party but it falls close enough to the reading festival to make it a good excuse. this year we had the standard shinanagans and far too much nasty larger (so many years will i ever learn).

I got to see Gogol Bordello, Reel Big Fish, Less than Jake, Flogging Molly, Placebo, Pearl Jam, Feeder, Keiser Cheifs,Bodycount.

All in all it was a damm good weekend.
Gogol Bordello were my suprise act of the weekend being a mental Gipsy rock sort of thing. They truly kicked ass. Body Count were also a pleasent surprise, to be fair i had forgot about Ice T's early 90's Rock/ Rap band but they provided the best drum solo of the weekend.

Reel Big fish and less than jake were sweaty, skanky goodness with the less than jake circle pits providing as much painfull mayhem as usuall. Unfortunatly a new barrier halfway into the main stage sort of stopped the massive circle pit of death that LTJ had last year from forming :( Though i suppose its a good thing as im getting a little old for that sort of crazyness. There were a load of young fans in the audience for both these bands which goes to show Ska Punk isnt dead. Unfotunatly some of the kids there acted a little shocked when they discoved i had been Gigging to the fish since they were in primary school.

On a surprising sub note. It appears that my lifestyle of Beer and Smokes cant be too bad for me. I am now the proud owner of a reasting heart rate around 50 BPM. Which is getting to top athlete level.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

The Kemp Project: Wireless Fun

The Kemp Project: Wireless Fun

Kemp astounds me once again with a tale of scary wireless power. The Talk of frying pigeons reminded me of something I once heard involving routing and birds. After a quick Google I found RFC1149 a proposal for TCP (Transmission by Carrier Pigeon) protocol. A Couple more searches and I discovered that some crazy LUG has actually implemented this protocol. Managing to ping each other.

A Website with photos etc can be found at here make sure you check the ping log. It even makes my hall of residences "Super Fast" internet connection seem good.
I don't quite know the range of a pigeon off the top of my head but I bet its slightly further than 5k. Though the onset of shooting season this weekend may cause unacceptable packet loss. Also if you live anywhere near trafalgar square its possible you may suffer from DOS attacks

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Babel Fish

A mate of mine has just started his blog, which is possibly the best thing on earth as he suffers from a nastier form of dyslexia than me, so the english is almost google babelfish quality.

The Legend That is Conroy bumpas

That reminds me of a post i found a few months ago, the Intrigue level of which was astronomical.

In the adult the arrival sound which is not audible

Which may not work but google for

From what i can make out its a mobile phone that repels young people. As I'm getting on for middle age now i feel its a outstanding idea. Here's a rough transcript of the train of thought whist reading the article

With age increase the treble hears and when publishing concerning device Mosquito which repels just the young person with unpleasant noise making use of the fact that it becomes unable to come off, “in just the young person the radio which is audible Don't Trust Over Thirty just starts shouting if, and so on you wrote anyhow,”, but in England it seems that strike of young person side starts right away.

Evidently they have created a mobile phone mosquito that repels young people with a high pitched noise. Old people aren't affected as you loose the ability to hear high frequency sounds.

At first Glance this appears to be the opposite of the crazy frog. A ringtone developed by the most nefarious scientists to only be bearable by people under 6 or with a sub 50 IQ.

Bit lost with the bit about the radio. But again i assume it means that young people like to listen to music louder than old people who have to shout or start striking the young pearson to be heard above the racket (See post about flatmates for more on that...) Perhaps the striking is not mandatory but helps you feel better, like killing wasps when they sting you.

According to the article of, when the students have utilized the sound of Mosquito which is recorded as “the arrival sound which is not audible in the adult,” is. In the word of junior high school teacher who is quoted, “inquiring) it started in class the pupils (what about laughing, but you did not understand whether by your something occurs” “being taught by the pupil afterwards, you understood, but, the [re] which very appraisal does tact there is no air which gets angry excessively”.

It looks like students have been using the mosquito noise as a ringtone, which old people cannot hear. This has been quoted in that most authoritative source the Metro, this makes sense as according to immutable law of life no 32054 train journeys are plagued by people discussing their personal life's over the phone.

The bit about the classroom confuses me though i think it means that peoples phones were going off in class and the teacher not hearing them. I suffer with ringtones going off in the university labs . And i can tell you that there is definitely air which get angry excessively when the place sounds like a farmyard with various "comedy" ringtones going off.

Actually hearing, like one the mp3 file which is in the article of BBC go ahead with (laughter and the cancan! With as for the sound which is said background sound.

Well i visited to the BBC site and although it enlightened my on what the device actually is i didn't hear any laughter or the cancan.

In fact i didn't hear anything but that may be because i am old. I turned the volume all the way to 11 and still I heard no sound. Unfortunately my young flat mates did. I was accused of all sorts of devilment and breaking the Geneva convention becouse of the Sonic wave i was inadvertantly blasing through the house..

Anyhow I think this young person repeller is a great idea, Cant wait to get me one. I will place it in the corner of the whitefriars and drive the vermin that order larger from the place.

Till next time

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Awesome Forces

Well this weekend I had the privilege of seeing The Aquabats. A band that I now class as possibly the best band in the world narrowly beating LTJ and the Fish because of their Super Rad =p live performance

The Aquabats are your average ordinary superhuman. Punishers of evil, rock and roll band. designated to save this crazy world. Fronted by MC Bat Commander, they fight enemy's such as Powdered Milk Man and the The Floating Eye of Death armed with nothing but Their superhero uniform of rashguards, anti negativity helmets, and eye masks and some fantastic tunes

musically its a kind of ska/punk/electronica/rock madness. Lyrically its genius, some of the tracks have a amazing poetry to them my partiular favorite example being captain Hampton and the midget pirates. The stage show has to be seen to be believed. With a video backdrop showing videos to the songs as they are played. The gig is split with interludes where this display shows mock commercials and "messages from the sponsors" which is a great touch.

The style of the gigs and band itself can be seen on their website
its Flash but I feel it works well and is one of the better band sites I've been to, I especially recommend the mini ep section of the media page. It lets you download damm near a whole album of b-sides which rocks.

As a sub note the lead singer MC Bat Commander was the voice of one of Cavin (the boy that was the bears friend) in the early gummi bears tv series. which can bring back memories for those of us old enough to remember it

if you ever get a chance to see this band Go they get a five star recommendation from me. I for one know that I shall be joining the Aquacadets and cant wait for the next UK gig. Serious Awesomeness

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Coding. Impress your Friends

Whilst browsing for code examples today I found this gem of a site.

A Full repository of Hello world Programs in almost every language you could think of. Now you too can make your friends marvel at your mastery of whitespace :p
There I go trying to name my first post something clever and avoid the standard "First Post" and now its come back to bite me. Still its given me the challenge of finding some obsure language that they havent got to make the contribution.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Needs ??

Well after reading this I had to give it a Go
The Kemp Project: Interesting...
Anyway Using Danno Meant I had to Scroll down about 20 pages to give me anything So here's how far I got before I got bored

  • Danno needs to go to jail: I Think not. Im Not a Number im a Free man

  • Danno needs reminding that execution is the key: Now that's more like it.

  • Danno needs help: Yeah, definitely

That was upto 5 pages into google. And most of the posts didn't include the two words concurrently. I was told I was a good German Sheppard though.

So Lets try again using my "Other" Name Dan. Now that was better Got plenty more useful results

  • Dan wants/needs a big beasty car like mine

  • Dan needs medical help

  • Dan needs the love too

  • Dan needs tech support

  • Dan needs an Antenna

  • Dan needs your help in editing his news report

  • Dan needs to make money because how would he pay for all those trips in Ukraine

  • Dan needs a snooze!

  • Dan needs cheese

  • Dan Needs More Red Bull

Well a new car would be nice. But "Big and Beastly" makes me think of the mobile battering rams used on the school run, cant afford a drink let alone the petrol on one of them things.
Medical Help and Love. As long as the two aren't interconnected and I end up with cock rot its ok with me.
As for tech support. I work with computers and know all the tricks to fix them.. Making sure its plugged in, turning it off and back on again, Typing format C: on windows based systems
An Antenna would be cool. Though is it radio or insect like ones out of my head. The possiblilitys are endless but I would have to cut holes in any hats.
I always need help typing reports, Not looking forward to my final year project report, but I cant have help with that.
Trips to Russia though. Possibly something to do with the dial a bride.
A snooze and Cheese, surely a bad combination. Not sure the nightmares would be enjoyable.
Red bull that would help thin the blood in my caffeine system. Therefore averting the need for a snooze and saving me from any nightmares that may ocour.

Friday, July 07, 2006

The Banking system

Why is it that banks are only open during business hours ? Surely all the people you want coming into banks (Like those earning money) are actually working during this time and therefore cannot go to see their "Friendly" manager. So they can pay in or withdraw some of that money they have worked so hard to earn.

Opening between 9 and 5 means that the only people you are likely to get with time on their hands are those that surely would be "Bad" customers for banks ie. Students, Layabouts, wastrels, vagrants, Vagabonds, malingering sods, and the workshy. If I owned a financial establishment I would have guards armed with 50000 MegaHurtz Tazers to keep such people away. Surely the only thing they can do is remove money from you. Giving you nothing to invest to make the shareholders happy.

perhaps it is something to do with the banks not actually wanting you to be in credit. Preferring instead to loan the aforementioned people vast amounts of money that they can ill afford. Quite where this money comes from in the first place is anyone's guess. But we know they rub their hands when they get to take your house in repayment for that "any purpose loan" that's interest repayments are more than your annual salary. I suppose that its easy money and that's why they keep the finantially savvy out by restricting their access.

Thinking of Debt. The UK is apparently in $7,107,000,000,000 worth of Debt (Source: The CIA) If ocean Finance paid off our Debt we would owe a $902,589,000,000 a year in interest Giving us just 7 years before we were back to Square 1 (And that's not compound interest). Be interesting to see them try and reposes the UK though. In fact the same website says that the World Debt is a Staggering $38,540,000,000,000 That is a incredible amount of money. Firstly where the hell has the money come from ? Secondly to whom is it owed ? Having not (to the best of my knowledgeable though it is the CIA website ;-) made contact with extra terrestial loan sharks it means somewhere something which I cannot understand.

You see I can lend you a fiver (if I have one, which I would if I could pay in my cheque so don't even ask) Which makes you in 5 pounds in debt to me. There is still balance in the force as my money hasn't magically disappeared it has just been relocated temorarilay. If I don't have the money to lend you then I could possibly borrow some (though I'm more likely to tell you to go forth) meaning I become a link in this relocation chain. The money still exists and is still the same amount. No body should be able to lend more than they actually have. The debt should just work its way up the chain till there is no more.

So where has this extra debt come from ????? Its either someone has been very creative with the accounting, Aliens or the Banks.

Answers on a postcard to the ususall address

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

The Devilment that is Recusion

Recursion: (re·cur·sion)
see: Recursion

Scarily enough the Cambridge online dictionary or many spell check dosn't have it. Anyway I digress back to the story.

I was having a bad coding day, Trying to implement a binary search which I decided to make recusive. Spent the best part of a hour trying to work out where things went wrong before giving up and scratch writing it with iteration.

Now recursion does have its uses but what exactly is it the best thing for ?
I do like the clean minimalistic code it produces (student printing budget), but the statement that its easier to understand can be argued with. Simple functions can become difficult to trace when you have a big stack of parameters to keep track off as it burrows through the stack then snaps back at you.
Recurive functions offer no increase in performancece, actually reducing speed and increasing overhead as calls have to be made to the stack each time navigatete a level in the recursion.

But beforI i get death by flame. And due to the fact I'm a man of science :p lets look at the facts
Recursion Vs iterationon
  • Neither is more computationally powerfull.
  • They are completely interchangeable. Anything done Recusively can be done iteratively
  • recursiveve algorithms do tend to look better with cleaner simpler code
  • iterativeve functions have less overhead as the calculations are done "inplace"

So Who wins ?? Neither to be fair. It all depends on your approach. If you really dig recursion then you can use it for everything. (Though iterating over a list would be overkill) The same applies to iteration. I suppose its just a matter of preference.

That said recursive code is neater and smaller than ititerativeve counterpart. Meaning it (should) be easier to understand and maintain. The trade off is speed and for some complicated functions algorithm complexity it can really make your brain hurt sometimes trying to work out that algorithm. That's what prompted this little rant in the first place.

Well back to the world of WSN's Till next time

Monday, July 03, 2006

System.out.println("Hello World");

Right then starting my proper blog. The one held by micro$oft is being reserved for the irrelevant side of life, There policy of "following" the correct web standards has also helped with that decision as it is impossible to access via Firefox or on a Linux system, as they "apparently" don't support the html in it ??? Where as I see this as a good way of self promotion. With information on my current projects and important ;-) observations on life.

Firstly got my exam results back. Slacked a little in my second year with the average grades dropping slightly. But all but one is still on the correct side of 70%, the one below is at 69% Damm. But I'm still on line for a 1st so who cares.

I'm now back in the world of "work" having kindly been given a undergrad research bursery from the nuffield foundation. The cogent research group has me working with wireless sensor networks. Implementing some routing algorithms in SenSor their WSN simulation software. Its now week 3 and the real work has started implementing the Rumor routing algorithm. The first couple of weeks I spent learning the software, and managed to get my own protocol up and running. Loosely based on RIP there's too much overhead for WSN but it helped me learn the ropes on both SenSor and Python.

My python "infinite Monkey Simulator" is getting off the ground, hopefully some time soon I will get the net code nailed and turn it into a true distributed app. Then we can see what those monkeys can write. Currently the keyboard presses are at random, which may not be right, If you happen to know any monkey psychologists who can help let me know.

Other projects in various places on the back burner are :-
Clio Cup mod for R-Factor. The physics and external modeling is done. I just got a new "trial" of 3DS Max. So I can get back on with the modeling. Once I finish the cockpit its will be ready for beta testing.

Modeling projects. As well as the car there are various modeling projects in states of disarray. The Tardis is build but needs proper texturing, The time tunnel works but needs tweaking to look anything like the BBC's

3d Engine. Yeah decided to write one of these too. Got DX SDK, Got .NET, haven't got the time. Eventually I will start on it Creating a model viewer for the aforementioned models. Should be good fun.

Till next time, This is Dan, last survivor of the Nostromo, signing off.