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New Fractal Software… And a plug for the GIMP editor.

Posted by grelmar on February 16th, 2011
The Trident

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So, I started messing around with some new (to me) fractal software, XaoS, on my Linux box, and this is the first one I’ve rendered out and captured.

Like a lot of things in Linux land, the UI for this software leaves a lot to be desired, and there’s a bit more of a learning curve for it than there is with equivalent software on proprietary platforms.  In fact, if you read through their project pages, they indicate that the version they’ve released for Mac has a much better UI.

But hey, to use that, I’d have to buy a Mac, which should happen sometime around the heat death of the universe. Read the rest of this entry »

Is “Free” Worth the Cost?

Posted by grelmar on February 15th, 2011
Hidden Heart

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We live in an age of instant gratification.  We want it all, we want it now, and quite often, we want it for free.  In many cases, we’ve come to expect it for free.

But invariably, someone has to foot the bill for all the free things we receive.  Quite often, we ourselves pay for things we only think are free.

A classic example of this that we’re all used to is free media – broadcast television, free publications, free to use websites, etc.  The model established to cover the cost of all this free media is established and well known – advertising.  I even use it here – those little links from Google Advertising subtly placed at the top of the page and in the sidebar.  They’re non-prominent because I’m not spectacularly interested in turning a profit from this blog, I’m just happy if the advertising can subsidize the cost of the domain registration, hosting and bandwidth.  Beyond that, this is essentially a hobby and a great big thought exercise. Read the rest of this entry »

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Posted by grelmar on February 14th, 2011

What could be geekier then posting a Valentine Fractal to your wife on your blog?

Here you go “Sleeps like Starfish” – saved this one for you:

Fractal Heart
Fractal Heart – 1920 x 1200 – Click for Full Size

Happy Valentine’s!

Stop living in fear! You’re safer now than ever.

Posted by grelmar on February 13th, 2011
The Eyeball

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I know a few people who are so scared of pretty much everything, that it takes an intense act of fortitude to even leave the house. They worry about muggings, terrorism, the weather, disease (which often, weirdly and irrationally, goes hand in hand with fear of vaccinations), children getting hung up in drop rail cribs, “sudden acceleration syndrome” in their cars, meteor strikes… You name it, and they’re afraid of it.

And it’s just so pointless, not to mention out of step with what’s actually going on in the world, that I’m not sure whether to pity them, laugh at their ignorance, or rage against those who have a vested interest in perpetuating it. Read the rest of this entry »

Mama, don’t let your babies, grow up to be techies…

Posted by grelmar on February 12th, 2011
Linear Burst

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Kinda neat one…  Not often you end up rendering a fractal that ends up being all straight lines.  At least, not with the software/methods I use.

So, it’s Saturday night, and here I sit locked down in front of the keyboard…  Again.  Like so many Saturday nightsw before me, and so many after.  I’m really just taking a brief sanity break, and then will be back at it until the wee hours.

I was hard at it until about 9am this morning…  Slept a bit, spent some time with the family, then it was time to work again.  This is an unusually busy weekend for me – a whole raft of problems conspired to make me very busy with problems that, because of the SLA (Service Level Agreement)
we have with our customers, need to get solved so I can hand off 150 imaged, live on the web, servers by noon on Sunday. Read the rest of this entry »

Why “Big Hollywood” Deserves it’s Fate.

Posted by grelmar on February 12th, 2011
80s Pastel

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Nothing screams “80’s !!!” quite like Pastel Pink.  To be honest, I was wondering if I’d ever come up with a way to sneak this fractal into a post, but inspiration struck a few minutes ago, and it’s the perfect fit for this post.

It would be a bit of an understatement to say that I have a passion for movies.  Outside of my wife and daughter, my three major passions in life are: Read the rest of this entry »

How to know you’ve made it as a great work of Sci-Fi…

Posted by grelmar on February 10th, 2011
Shades of Beige

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This is a fairly neutral fractal, which actually makes for a really good wallpaper.  Something interesting, without getting in the way of the readability of your desktop icons.

So, I’m skimming through my RSS feeds, and I catch an article on Nat Geo about using asteroids for space travel. Without getting into the merits of the science behind the idea (pretty darned dubious, IMHO), the thing that caught my attention was the article’s oblique reference to a legendary bit of science fiction.  Namely, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Read the rest of this entry »

Not much to say…

Posted by grelmar on February 9th, 2011
Zen Flame

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This fractal has a nice zen minimalism to it, which somewhat fits my mood at this exact moment in time.

Today was my “day off”, and as a result I only had to spend two and a half hours in a meeting, right smack in the middle of the day.  After that, I drove home, grabbed my wife and daughter, drove out to my aunt and uncles, so that they could have a nice visit while I worked on some wiring.

Somehow, this has failed to inspire me in any kind of a positive way, so I think I’ll mostly keep my mouth shut and go play some flash games.

Milk Swirls in Coffee

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This is kind of a neat fractal.  Reminds me of stirring your coffee before you drip in the cream.  Which is appropriate, because one of the scientific uses for fractals is to simulate fluid dynamics.  This image might give you a sense of just how that works.

It also provides a good segue into my “thought for the day” – which is that technology is much more impressive when you have an understanding of what it’s actually doing. Read the rest of this entry »

Deepest darkest Africa.

Posted by grelmar on February 7th, 2011
Blue Sky

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This fractal has both a neat pattern to it, and a fairly subtle blue colour scheme.  It actually makes a really good desktop background because the blue/black contrast allows for really visible icons on icon text.  Keeps it easy to find all your stuff.

Now, as for the title of the post…

I got thinking today about recursive feedback loops thanks to a couple of lost hours trying to figure out why a NetApp Filer was misbehaving in a way that led to an “interesting” series of phone calls between our largest customer and various levels of our own management.  After the dust had settled, I started image surfing satellite imagery, because, well, I find it soothing.

I came across the following picture, and being a tad OCD about these things, I tracked down the source on the nasa.gov site.

Deepest Darkest Africa

It’s a pretty famous shot, and it got me thinking about the state of affairs in Africa. Basically, poverty begets poor government begets lack of meaningful development begets poverty.  Repeat.


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