Oct 262011

I recently received a FUNcube dongle SDR for filling in teaching a class. I don’t know much about HAM radio or SDR but I’ve been wanting to learn and now I have a great toy to motivate me to learn.

It took me awhile to get the thing recognized on Lubuntu. Had to add a rule in udev, also had to get qthid2.2 to update the firmware so I could use qthid3.1. Then had to compile quisk and finally started getting lots and lots of static.

Then I started reading more about HAM radio and found about about IF and OF and got far enough to get some garbled non-static from the local NPR station. Then I took a little video on my phone. Then I uploaded it to youtube, then I typed this. So here it is.

Looking forward to spending lots and lots of time learning and playing with this thing.

Maybe by next post I’ll have decoded some telemetry data from an AMSAT. That would be cool.

Oct 092011



Another great meeting everyone!
Next meeting will be January 21st, 2012 – at the Cajun Clickers HQ – 3:00pm-6:00pm


Great meeting everyone. I enjoyed sharing Blender with some new folks, and I enjoyed meeting some local BlenderHeads I didn’t know about and as one 3D veteran offered “It’s good to know you’re not in a vacuum.”

December 17th is the date for the next meeting, at the Cajun Clicker HQ. (See below for link to map.)

I’ll probably make another flyer with the new date and send them out so you can send them to anyone you’d like to share Blender with. Or print them and put them up at your school or work or something if that’s appropriate.

I’ll also be working on scheduling a beginners series, and since we had some interest on Game Engine and Texturing we’ll work on putting together some workshops on those too.

So thanks again for the great meeting and feel free to contact me!


On November 12, 2011 from 4:00pm – 6:00pm the Baton Rouge Blender User Group will meet at the Cajun Clickers Computer Club. (MAP)

If you’re a Blender user or are interested in learning to use Blender, the free, open-source, 3D content creation suite, then come to this meeting!

Meet other Blender Users in the Baton Rouge area and find out more about the exiting developments in this rapidly growing software!

At this meeting we will discuss some of the new features in 2.6 and the Google Summer of Code and other branches that include 3D audio, the new photo-realistic rendering engine Cycles, and camera tracking integration in the Tomato branch. We’ll also check out Sintel, and look at some impressive work from Project London.

Baton Rouge area Blender users are encouraged to bring their artwork and demos to show off! Feel free to send it in advance or just bring a thumb drive with some .blends and/or renders.

We will also discuss plans for another Blender introduction class series for beginners and plans for group projects.

If you use Blender and live in/near Baton Rouge then you’re already a member of the Baton Rouge Blender User Group!

The Cajun Clickers Computer Club offers a wonderful classroom facility for learning Blender and also offers a wide range of other computer related classes.

Blender User Groups members will be encouraged to join the Cajun Clickers Computer Club and enjoy all the classes and opportunities offered for a very reasonable price of $40/year for a whole family.

If you plan to attend please let me know through this contact form, or reply to this post, or email. Also if you can’t attend but would like to know about future events, please contact me.

The system requirements to run Blender are very modest. If you are looking for a PC to run Blender we can work with the CACRC to provide you a PC to be used as capable Blender workstation. The cost may vary depending on need and availability but I will try to arrange for a workable PC (no monitor) for around $180.00. The CACRC has monitors for sale from $60.00. If you are interested in a dual-monitor setup or something specific we can work on that too.

CACRC Blender PC Specs
OpenGL 2.0 Capable Graphics Card
PentiumD 2.8Ghz
2 Gb RAM
80 Gb HDD
Preloaded and tested with Ubuntu Linux and Blender

A class session at the Cajun Clickers.

If you atteneded these classes and have not heard from me please email me. I am sorry to say I’ve lost some of your email addresses since then so I’d love to hear from you and to get you back on an email list.

Thanks for reading and I hope to see you there. In the meantime and as usual- keep Blending!

Aug 282011

this one came in through a low-band electron shell quantizer. I decomposed the background loop to within the refactored Schwarzschild radius (compensating for dilation by reducing common background proton parity to 1/pi per cubic irrelevance).

After that it was a pretty straight forward phase adjustment series that brought up the d-gains inside a tracking relay I established about 2 degrees clockwise from the EM band.

Long story short- I got another message from outer space. It’s nothing new, just a poetic rephrasing of the answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe and everything.

Here it is.



Jul 302011

Found this while searching for something exactly like it.

I’m always frustrated by the lack of formal educational resources for people that are currently outside of the university system. I hope that this sort of thing will take off.

Just thought I’d share this, makes me happy. I’m still deciding if I’ll enroll right now but it’s a very good thing to know exists.


May 272011

Today I commend one Giorgio A. Tsoukalos. The first sentence of his wikipedia page says it all.

“Giorgio A. Tsoukalos (born March 14, 1978) is a Swiss born Greek writer and television presenter specializing in ancient astronaut theory.”

Not that I don’t think ancient astronaut theory is fun and interesting, even Carl Sagan suggested it deserved a serious look.  I just think this guy is like the Tommy Chong of space advocacy.

Then again maybe I’m worse- he’s just telling a fun story. I’m saying if we don’t start building spaceships like Noah on steroids then we’re all going to die. Yeah, I’m worse.

So I hereby rescind the ‘Kook of the Month’ award. That was quick.

May 242011

To get a photo of Blender running in space. Or if one exists, to make lots more.

• Lots! Why not? It’d be really cool!
• To raise the profile of Blender as a tool for education.
• To cultivate awareness, interest, and support for space science and technology.
• To create more opportunities for those of us who are gravitationally challenged to participate and contribute to space science and technology.
• To effectively synergize backwards overflow.

Recruit Suzanne’s Space Monkey Corps! A small army of artists, game designers, developers, coders, kooks, quacks, and nerds, ready and willing to work on small blender projects that an astro/cosmonaut might use in space. Then work on said projects for said ‘nauts. Then ask them to take a picture of themselves using it in space for us.

• Artistic renderings/animations for space education and advocacy.
• Visualizations of data gathered from various research.
• Reaction time, concentration, coordination, or memory testing ‘games’ for cognitive experiments.
• Data logging ‘games’ to allow versatile input of data from inflight experiments. For example an experiment where a mission specialist must observe several insect behaviors in a short span of time. A ‘game’ might be setup with multiple timers and key inputs to report certain behavior ‘events’, results are logged for later analysis and/or visualization.
• Real time visualization of data from external devices connected by tcpip/usb/bluetooth.
• Earth training simulations for experiments to be performed in 0G.
• <insert cool idea I haven’t thought of here>

• Make a post with lots of bullet points.
• Get comments from all the brilliant blender people out there to see if this is just crazy or not.
• Volunteers sign up and specify their areas of interest and abilities. (for now just reply to this post and say you’re in and what you’re awesome at)
• Maybe some kind of demo reel / 30 second spot to get the idea out. (beyond the Blenderverse)
• Contact every possible space agency, business, and advocacy group and see what kinds of projects might be useful for currently planned or possible future missions.
• When potential projects arise, open requests will be made to volunteers. Organize work on these projects.
• Stare at the cool pics of Blender running in space and bask in the awesomeness.

I’m just a Blender guy obsessed with space. Here is some of the stuff I’ve done with Blender. Nothing revolutionary, but I like to think I contribute.
I’m very passionate about open source in general. Somewhere between passion, vanity, and delusion I decided that this would be a good idea and that I am somehow qualified to crank up the mission.
For now my plan is to make this post, let it percolate, and meanwhile compile information we need to know to make this happen. Stuff like finding out about existing ISS crew data services. For instance, could a crew member easily download a .blend file aboard the ISS from the internet? Does the ISS use standard wifi/bluetooth protocols or something else. What hardware OS/specs are normally flown? Does the crew fly with personal laptops? What kind of security restrictions, if any, might we need to consider, what can we do to satisfy the security requirements?
Once ‘The Corps’ materializes a little I’ll start writing to the organizations that can help to get the ball rolling, offer our capabilities and announce the mission. Basically try to get the attention of people who fund, fly or live in space and see what they say.
Once projects arise, I’d be happy to organize any projects that are my league, but I’m not sure what league I’m in, so I’d be just as happy to hand off to any of the masters and gurus who are in leagues that make my league look silly.

I realize this is a pretty lofty goal and might look a little naive. Maybe it is. Even so, space travel captures the imagination, and I think the world is in desperate need of imagination. Students from elementary through graduate school have designed experiments that have actually been flown in space. This could be an opportunity to open a whole other avenue for student/amateur participation in space programs, especially since there’s no delta-V required to put a .blend file in orbit. Though it could and probably will take a long time to get this going, there is actually a small chance it could take off very quickly. Technologically the first ‘Blender in Space’ pic could happen overnight. I’m not pinning any hopes on that, just deserves saying.

Just to clarify, I’m NOT suggesting that Blender be a part of any critical functions. Nothing remotely related to flight controls, power, navigation, life-support, or anything like that. We’re talking about little stuff here, experiments and tests and such that could involve a consumer grade laptop or netbook.
Also – this is NOT a request for doctored photos pasting a Blender screencap on an astronauts computer screen. If this works each image would be very precious and have a long story behind it including a lot of peoples hard work and dreams. I’d hate to dilute this with questions of authenticity. Hope that didn’t come across wrong, just had to say it.

How would people feel about volunteering for commercial space companies (Virgin Galactic, Blue Origin, Armadillo, SpaceX, Bigelow, etc). As of yet none of these companies could actually take a photo of Blender in space, and since they are commercial they don’t fit into my perfect star-trek vision of enlightened exploration of the universe. However they do fit in a Heinlein universe, and Orson Scott Cards, sort of. Anyway- they are making spaceships, and I love spaceships.
Are there any intellectual property concerns?
Is this just way too far out a limb? Nah, it could work.

Every mission needs a patch. I propose Suzanne with a helmet somewhere in it. Any artists want to take a swing at it?
Also- I request to be the CAPCOM for this mission. Any objection? No? Great! I accept!

So whaddya think?

May 222011

I used to get lots of spam comments until I put a captcha thing on. Most of it was crap but there was a gem…

“We are Dyslexia of Borg. Fusistance is retile. Your ass will be laminated.”

Now that’s good spam.