Friday, April 24, 2009

Ubuntu 9.04 Announced!

I'm on the run, (Have a percussion competition tomorrow and designing a logo for someone,) but just want to post about the new version of Ubuntu that was just announced: 9.04

Just FYI for some people, Ubuntu is a linux operating system. I will talk about these and how to install/use them in later posts. I like it and sometimes use it along with Linux Mint and other linux distros. I have not tried the new '9.04' yet, but i have heard good things about it. Check it out here!
Feel free to comment!

Monday, April 20, 2009

News Bumper Animation Made In Blender

This was for a project at our school. Our school news station is called "Jag News", and we had to make a bumper to show before the news starts. I worked on this with a partner. We were under a time limit, and we had to render on school computers so this did not turn out as High-Quality and the animation was not as smooth as we wanted it to be, but here it is-

Jag News Bumper - Alec and Eric from CeVMS on Vimeo.

Maybe someday I will revisit this and fix all the little things, but we had lots of fun making this. Feel free to leave comments!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Blender: Tricks of the trade #2

A couple weeks ago I published "Blender: Tricks of the trade #1", which showed you some tricks to help you with blender. In this post, I will show you how to use hotkeys to speed up making animations in blender.

Hot Keys are Your Friend!

One major hotkey is “Shift”, you can push this key with just about everything to make your life easier. For example, when clicking on almost anything in Blender using the shift key, you can select more than one thing. You can select layers, manipulators, or selecting anything in the 3D View Window (Faces, edges, you get the idea). Selecting objects can be much easier when holding down shift. Also, the shift key works a lot like the "ctrl" key when rotating, grabbing, or scaling, although shift locks the movement to smaller increments. There are many more basic things you can do with the "shift" key in blender, such as duplicating or "copying" objects with shift+d. You can see more info ont the shift key here.

Another unique hot key in Blender is the "Alt" key. I think of this key as the second "undo" key in blender (aside from ctrl-z). For example, pushing "alt+ g" will clear the location of you object. Likewise, pushing "alt+r, alt+s, and alt+p" will clear rotation, scaling, and parents.

In general, hot keys can be very useful in blender. You can increase your time-management in blender tenfold if you get used to using them. For reference, here is a hot key map for use in blender, but I find it easiest to just experiment with pushing different keys - you might be surprised with what you find!

More tips and tricks coming soon. Feel free to comment!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Why I switched from Outlook to Thunderbird, and Why IMAP is Awesome.

First off, I would like to point out that i use Gmail for my main email client. I have been using Gmail for 3 years now. I have tried Yahoo, AOL, and a couple others, but nothing tops the features of Gmail.

Secondly, I have also been using outlook for a couple years now. I was downloading via POP3 from Gmail, and i was really starting to hate it. The main problem was, I could only use outlook on my desktop. On my laptop and school computers, I would have to use Gmail online. One day, I was waiting for an important email from a friend. I was on my laptop, and he said he'd sent it to me. What I didn't realize was my desktop was on and already got the email and downloaded it to Outlook.

I had to search through my Gmail folders for a while to find the message and reply to it. When I got home and got to my desktop, I looked in outlook and the email was marked as unread. This was a problem in my mind, because it was going to get confusing as to what emails i have replied to and witch i have not.

Then my friend pointed out an easy solution: IMAP. I was using POP3, but it was not working too well. I did not know much about how downloading emails worked, so I did some researching. First off, IMAP stands for Internet Message Access Protocol And POP3 stands for Post Office Protocol version 3. These are both part of the Internet Protocol Suite, but they seem to be the most popular for downloading emails.

Basically, POP3 downloads emails to your computer, and IMAP gives your computer access to your inbox. (In Gmail).

For POP3, Gmail gives you some options for after you download the email to your computer. It can archive it (put it in the "all mail" folder), delete it, or keep it in your inbox. This may be nice for some people with one computer, but it got confusing using it on multiple computers for me.

On the other hand, IMAP gives you the option for your inbox to be the same, and always updated no matter what computer you are on. The downside is, though, if your not connected to the Internet you will have to use your email program's "offline" mode, and if it doesn't have an offline mode you can't view your email. But that's not a problem if you have something like Thunderbird.

Now, I have Thunderbird on all my computers, and my inbox stays updated. The other problem was getting my Gmail calender updated on all my computers with Thunderbird, but this did the trick.

Here are some links you might find useful if you want to download anything or get some more information.

Download Thunderbird-
Info on Syncing Gmail with Thunderbird -
Info on POP3 and IMAP -

How-to on This Coming Soon!

Have any Questions or comments? Leave a comment and I'll be glad to respond to them!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Learning C

Just a little update about myself: I'm learning C! (The programing language, not the letter. ;) ) I already know some Python and Java, and I thought I should master a language. Why C? Well, why not! It's fairly simple, and once you know it you can easily learn other languages. Since I already know the basics of programing (In general), I'm using to learn and Microsoft Visual C++ (and the IDE that comes with it) to code. (I'm using GCC in Linux, but i find programing C in windows easier.)

If anyone has any advise they could give me, or any links to good C or C++ resources to use that would be awesome-tastic :). (Just leave a comment!)