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Archive for February, 2007

20 Feb 2007

by Noel

Those Who Can Program…

The Shapes Project aims to make enough 2-D shapes that every one of the estimated 9.1 billion people alive in 2050 will be able to have one of their own. Not only that, but each shape will be unique. The uniqueness is guaranteed by a system any computer scientist would understand: define a grammar of shapes and then construct unique samples from the grammar. Here’s how the artist’s web page puts it:

Contrary to some errors made in certain press articles, McCollum’s Shapes are not “generated” in a computer with an invented or scripted “program.” Every shape is laboriously created by the artist using Adobe Illustrator — a common, everyday graphics program — by drawing little parts, cutting and pasting the parts into bigger parts, then cutting and pasting those parts into even bigger parts, and so on, and keeping track according to a written protocol, to insure against repetitions. The first exhibition of the project, in 2006, took around two years to complete.

I find his insistence that each shape is constructed by hand very amusing. Those who can program do, and those who can’t spend 2 years monkeying around in Illustrator.

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6 Feb 2007

by Noel

iWant one of those!

For your amusement: The Worst of Tech: 10 From the Cult of iPod. I kinda like the belt, but the headphones and the remote… Wow.

Posted in Design | Comments Off on iWant one of those!

2 Feb 2007

by Noel

Functional Graphics = Fun!

Ezra blogs on something I’ve often thought. Wouldn’t it be cool ifProcessing had a better programming model. For better you should read: functional reactive. Imagine how easy it would be to code great animations. As he notes, it would make a good Master’s project, but it probably wouldn’t work as a PhD as I don’t think there is enough originality.

He closes with:

If I were just starting now on my PhD, I’d find a way to include this in my work, or I’d put off the PhD until I could get this done! Tinkering with graphics demos and slapping them up on the web is the kind of hacking I’d really like to be doing. As it is, I’ll have to leave it to some young whippersnapper, alas.

You mean a PhD isn’t about pursuing your own side projects? Why didn’t some one tell me! ‘sides Ezra, your PhD is really cool already. I don’t think it would be fair if you got all the toys.

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2 Feb 2007

by Noel

Simplicity at Work

Founders At Work is a collection of interviews with the founders of successful high-tech companies. They have two interviews online, one with Woz and one with Joel Spolsky.

Some good quotes:

All the best things that I did at Apple came from (a) not having money and (b) not having done it before, ever. Every single thing that we came out with that was really great, I’d never once done that thing in my life.

I think what makes a good hack is the observation that you can do without something that everybody else thinks you need. To me, the most elegant hack is when somebody says, “These 2,000 lines of code end up doing the same thing as those 2 lines of code would do. I know it seems complicated, but arithmetically it’s really the same.” When someone cuts through a lot of crap and says, “You know, it doesn’t really matter.”

There is a remarkable similarity to the two interviews. Both emphasize simplicity and working under constraints.

Posted in Business | Comments Off on Simplicity at Work