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Tabula rasa, carte blanche, whitewall

Posted on by Benjamin Southall

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Hi everyone,

Before you panic and scream about the absence of my traditional eye burning (someone elses words not mine) purple and green theme, (which you won’t do, because as far as I know my reader base is asymptotic at present).

This is just a notice to inform you that I have working headphones now, so audio blogs are incoming, along with lots of other fun content, and lots of interactive web, also I am finally redoing my WordPress Theme from scratch.

Well almost scratch, I am actually starting with the HTML 5 version of Starkers by Nathan Staines . Hopefully after all these years of waiting the web might be ready for the actualisation for some of the designs in my head.

Other news, that should go in another blog post, but won’t due to timing constraints at present includes,

  • the fact I have graduated from my studies (Bachelor of Information Technology with Distinction and a Bachelor of Mathematics)
  • I am currently looking for work (Preferably in IT, but anything involving solving problems or providing solutions works as)
  • Sideprojects I have been recently been working on include, the bris2600 website and irc bot, web scrapers in Python with Beautiful Soup, learning Perl ( making a templation tool), and a program for automated scanlating of manga and comics (in C++ with QT

If people have requests for website features or theme features or discussion topics, just message or email me or leave a comment.

Presently it seems the only comments I get are the spam ones…

Best wishes and thanks for your time,

Benjamin Southall aka Appleman1234 😀

Why so serious ? Where there is a Will there is way …, Missed Connections

Posted on by Benjamin Southall

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Hi everyone,

Long time no updates. That said…, I will probably be eventually starting a theme redesign of this blog / website, given that some parts of HTML 5 and CSS 3 haves started to catch up to some of the implementation ideas that I have had in mind.

Feedback about the Latin would be welcome as would suggestions for theme concepts, although I will probably keep the purple and the green colour scheme, albeit with a few modifications.

And now without further ado, updates, glorious updates, to paraphrase or parody Oliver Twist depending on your sentimentality.  Things I have been doing recently include, looking for work / job searching, working on various side projects including

  • a now PyQT (formally PyTk) CBZ (comic book zip) downloader that uses Beautiful Soup as the parsing tool in the backend.
  • Learning Perl 5 / Perl 6 by starting an ambitious project involving language templates and translation. (eg Language to XML, XML to Language) using various templates based on Language grammar and functional and object orientated programming constructs
  • Further developing a software tool for Computational Manga (apparently that is what the university in Hong Kong that does research about it calls it), the idea that the tool is supposed take raw manga / comic images in, and then automate various processes regarding manga digitisation and translation through image processing
  • Mathematical model for the dynamics of precorneal tear fluid with hard contact lenses
  • Various different website design and development projects , one of which involves customising chromakode’s xkcd-cli

In other updates, I have been meeting lots of strangers recently including a cute red haired toddler with an Elmo doll that likes falling on the floor, a nice old lady waiting for a bus to return home called Jackie, a retired? architect whose father wanted him to be a doctor, an economist that learnt SAS many many years ago, and was quite happy to talk about cost and benefit analysis required for fiscally responsibly deploying Information Technology Solutions, not to mention freely give career advice.

More recently I attended a 21st birthday (costume party) dressed in my suit (purple and green like the blog color scheme, I went as the Joker, my face was covered in white face  paint, and my lips and cheeks were stained red).

It was funny that the person that came as Batman was just over a quarter of my age and probably that with regards to my height. Despite that, being the villain I was supposed to portray (or perhaps not, given that some people think you don’t play the character when you dress up ), I had a merry game of hide and go seek or chasey with me trying to avoid the Tiny and Cute Batman at almost all costs.

That day and night held copious amounts of deja vu, almost as if certain circumstances were like a scratched mental record on perpetual loop titillating my sense of the passage of time. Then I was asked the question of what made me laugh, which in all its irony came with a quite detailed and serious response.

I met a few more strangers today on my way to the Mana Bar for the first time, to catch up with a few colleagues, including someone that was in IT project management (moving datacentres). He told me to get on linked in and gave me his card.  After I had finished my conversation with him on the train, the card took on a life of its own, and promptly disappeared like a magic trick, eg now you see the business card and it is in your pocket, now it is gone …. Hopefully it reappears eventually ….

UPDATE: The card reappeared….

On the way home, I met an inebriated environmental science student named Luke, that was very eager to offer me chips and talk about nothing, his closing advice of enjoy yourself and his attempt to classify me given his state was interesting in itself.

Upon leaving the train I also met another student, that was doing his anthropology PhD (his name was Will) and was also able to have a nice discussion about the nature of morphisms and the perceived human condition before parting ways.

These experiences leave me pensive and reflective once more contemplating the possibilities and dynamics of  one’s interactions with strangers and the circumstantial dance in envelops.

Given that I don’t drink, the Mana Bar was an alright experience over all, whilst console games aren’t my forte. (given that stochastic time constraints and changing consoles, generally cause me to resort to a combination of jagged movement with some combo focusing interlaced with high levels of pseudo random button mashing).The environment did seem friendly and the conversation at least with strangers was amicable (discussing the realism of bear fighting in Tekken).

Other slightly older updates include, my investigations in to cloth and weave density in the quest to find a natural microfibre (eg one that doesn’t generate toxic / carcinogenic fumes when it is burnt), after various level of research I found that silk is the closest I would get.

If I really wanted it microfibre, then I need it to be spider silk. Unfortunately there is only one garment on record in the world made from pure spider silk and that is in Madagascar.

I then looked into the various genetic engineering things to increase the production of spider silk. The splicing with goats in an attempt to use the goat’s milk production system results in coarse weave that is worse than normal silkworm silk. Currently I think that the research would have to focus on spider  size and fecundity in order to enable the mass production of spider silk for human consumable items.

Had another short discussion with a protester, this one was from Amnesty International, afterwards someone raised a good point to me , that it would be easier to say no thanks and walk on, rather than tell them my justifications why I wouldn’t arbitrarily sign petition X  for cause Y.Upon stating my reasons, I am asked whether they should quit their cause or why my justifications where justified in a manner different than their often overly simplistic righteous view.

It did however get me thinking about human rights…, as humans with human rights, do we have responsibilities we much do in order to have those human rights ?

There were some other programming and embedded things I was going to mention however, I will probably save them for later.

Thanks for your time,

Best wishes to everyone,

Benjamin Southall aka Appleman1234 🙂

Clavis aurea, Cor aut Mors, Cura te ipsum

Posted on by Benjamin Southall

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Hi,

Deus ex somnia, ens causa sui , esse est percipi, hic et nunc, in absentia dementia extant vivendi. Sola omnia, Hinc illae lacrimae, Major e longinquo reverentia, Omnia mea mecum porto, Omnia sufficit, Semper cogitans.

I will remember the promises, those hidden will grow, time will pass and the future remain.

Best wishes,

Benjamin Southall aka Appleman1234 🙂


Questions admist future memories and current circumstances

Posted on by Benjamin Southall

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Hi everyone,

The question of how one is , is in itself self an interesting question. Does it or any question have an answer ? Is an answer the answer ? And what of truth ? is it the true answer ? Unicorns are unicorn despite their colour.

Time appears to be progressing, like rain that never stops dripping and dripping, until everything around it is either eroded into nothingness or becomes one with the flow of the rain ebbing, flowing and pooling admist the obstacles of circumstance.

The thing about the rain is when you stand in it you get wet. Maybe it is the same with time, when you stand in it or obstruct its flow, you just get older (possibly more stresser, more tired, more experienced).

Congruently aligned with time seems to be change, both with respect to fates, destinies , attributes and circumstance, everything is in a constant state of flux. This recursively includes the change or flux itself.

My studies are progressing slowly, as I attempt to learn as much I can without succumbing to the abundant distractions. Integrity seems to be as fickle as change and time. Beliefs are precious to most, as are choices and reasons along with values.

Values that are often just trusted or abstracted to the point of boolean certainity irrespective of surrounding spectrum as it begins to boggle , beguile and dazzle the conscious dance which is inadvertently effortlessly performed with such grace , beauty and perfection that we feel like pawns on a chessboard or toy soldiers with matchsticks.

The guide ropes seem to have been misplaced along with sand from the beach, now it is just a deep blue mystical wonderland that Nemo alone ventures to delve deeper and deeper into. Further and further till the eyes can’t see anything more than the navy hue and the heart and mind care too much but not enough as to why the we have come so far.

Like waves on the shore that no longer is, everything repeats, back and forth, back and forth, back and forth, but at different intervals and with changing flux as the patterns can’t be found.

What does yesterday bring ? What does tomorrow bring ? Why is time the way it is ? Patience to what end ? Patience to what beginning ? If Boolean choices are two sides of the same coin, would it matter if the coin was worthless ?

Have fun, ask questions…

Benjamin Southall aka Appleman1234 🙂

Stung, logophilia chances to dance from circumstances that seek amelioration

Posted on by Benjamin Southall

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The partridges return in their dance

Through the eye to the tiger, time flies

Black leaf of red tree leads to minimal satisfaction

The intertextuality replaced by misfortunate circumstances

Rapture still remains with Euphoria broken and crying

She wants to go home, but nobodies home, so there she lies broken inside

Tooth for a tooth, wrestling fairies endure suffering but don’t find Buddha’s wisdom

Still hassled by the askers and the silent placing their judgement as they blink , they fail to think , relying on good taste and instinct.

Misheard words echoing through a room till the resonance takes over, the symbolism lost like a isohedric clover

Mistrust, contempt along with licquorice over powers the bitterness that rests in my fingertips and pulses through the air currents as they float by me.

Psyche and Cupid’s wasn’t told, the lovers tryst, the gods rage, the plots to thick to fell and be processed into Disney gold.

Aghast and elated the chance so fickle quickly metamorphosizes   into hope, which like the Babelfish makes it so obvious, and the smokers of logic choke on their pipes, calling for plumbers

The boxer and Galileo suffer in silent penitentiary one ensnared by ideas, the other set free.

Words not said, packets dropped, lost in overhead, echos of silence, threats of violence  , as the zombies recur throughout the echelons

Wisdom comes and then goes, as pathetic minds have buffer overflows because their thought rate can’t accelerate and their actions only serve to exacerbate their clouded judgment.

The music and bird song that is supposed to soothe and calm, instead incites the brewing storm , disregard left the window open late last week. The monsoon comes , the rains begin, even after the floods are gone,  there remains the wind.

Today I saw the sunrise, and it made me realise, just how much I was missing living in the city, though they are gone, these words still remain, reiterating and proliferating through the thought palace.

As they say we are moving ahead, but to where and for what ? Points outside of a Cartesian space, clothes spun from invisble lace, black marks on a speckled face, the dynasty’s silent embrace.

May your checks not bounce and you resolve not falter, and may you always have a crying shoulder.

Best wishes,

Benjamin Southall aka Appleman1234 🙂

Reflections and expectations, new is old, old is new, blue is shared, and shared is blue.

Posted on by Benjamin Southall

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Hi everyone,

How are you all ? I know I promised video blogs and things but currently I haven’t had lighting on my side, despite having the technology for a feasible implementation. Something about the darkness I find more comfortable then any light anyways.

My music is old, slowly growing and changing like most things, but it gives me inspiration to reflect, and support to deal with the emotions and illogic I encounter in the jumping , hopping and bouncing of everyday life or life everyday.

I have read all but one of the books great Aunt Jackie gave me for birthday / Christmas. Interesting what see classifies as regular / normal reading, given she is unaware of my reading habits.

Is it weird that tragedy seems normal ? Disasters seem to all ways make more news than happy things, and crisisses (I think it should be crisisi but dictionary disagrees with me, it must reserve the -i plural for -us suffix, so us becomes i) seem  to force people to action , instigating the choice of survival or death.

This choice of survival or death is just as easy of the choice of a cake or death, maybe that is because it a Boolean choice, with only two options (yes I am aware I am repeating myself / being superfluous, but an amazing number of people don’t seem to know what a Boolean / binary choice is) or maybe because one of the choices is death, and mortal beings as a rule generally like self preservation.

When you start adding other options into the question, it becomes more difficult for people to answer. For example Cake, Comfort, Liberty, Improvement, Death ? I recently watched a TED talk video on different the mathematics of the decision making and the speaker pointed out several interesting things.

The first being that when given a difficult Boolean decision with a default specified, because of the difficulty most people go with the default. (The example case was organ donation in different countries, the difference was largely because of the form for driver’s licenses being inclusive or exclusive)

The second was that given a Boolean / Binary decision, and then given a Ternary decision with the third option being similar but less than than one of the other two options, having the weaker option in the decision, made the stronger option more likely to be chosen then its alternative in the binary decision / choice.

For example, given the choice of a free trip to London, a free trip to Paris , and a free trip to Paris except you have to pay for your breakfast, the free trip to Paris would become more popular when the second option was included in the decision choices.

This leads me to think what result a survey that had the default option as death, would have in terms of its responses to the decision making process, would everyone be through in their filling out of the survey if they realised that their ignorance could cost them their lives.

Imagine for a second that every decision could that you make could cost you your life, would your choices be influenced by this addition ? Why ? Why not ? Suddenly the question of the what topping to have on your toast in the morning isn’t so trivial ? And what about the decision of whether to say Hello to someone or to not say Hello ?

We train ourselves to make decisions from an early age, but the basis and reasoning for our decisions isn’t always a rigorous as we believe or perceive it to be.

I am volunteering at the Lifeline Book Festival until next Sunday, and today I had the opportunity to work at the Helium tanks inflating the balloons, it was very interesting to contemplate and listen to the answers to the following questions

1. Would you like a balloon ?

2. If you would like a balloon, What colour would you like ?

Listening to the answers and asking the question soon lead me to the mental line of inquiry ?

1. Would you like to keep living ?

2. If you would like to keep living, What type of life would you like to lead ?

I would love to have the opportunity to ask various people these 4 questions and contemplate their answers and the motivation behind why they gave the answers they do / did.

I return to University for one more semester (hopefully)  in late February. Additionally I have various other side projects which I want to gradually chip away at.

This blog entry has already asked enough questions, and I don’t even know if my reader base still exceeds 1 (me), but you are welcome to comment / answer the questions asked if you wish.

Thanks for your time,

Best wishes,

Benjamin Southall aka Appleman1234 🙂

cluster meeting can has backward rhythm…

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Hi everyone,

Had the cluster meeting yesterday, thanks to those who showed up. We have more hardware now, and a newer gentoo install , all we need now is for piggy to find the scsi drives and the ball will be rolling. Otherwise all that is needed is a few additional spare parts and to setup the SAN box on the Dell Poweredge 2500 rather than the Poweredge 6400 (which must be vampiric or emo, or both and a twilight fandell as it likes to cut me and not find disks. Our magnificent effort was in spite of the lack of internet and the rain . (prorata makes me rage, not to mention the raining on our parade). On the mention of twilight, it is an awesome song by bo(with the accent on top of it, that this wordpress install doesn’t render , because the server is ubuntu and  not gentoo and doesn’t get locales)a (boa, the british band) and nothing more.

Got results back, got high credit for advanced data visualisation, and 43% fail for partial differential equations, because I botched the exam. I really don’t feel like taking supplementary exam for it, so I will probably just try and get an RPL elective instead. At least  I can solve PDEs analytically now in non exam conditions. Looking back at my academic history, the more subjects I do the better I seem to do at them, chances are they are just getting harder towards the end of my degrees however.

Next on the schedule includes the UCSB iCTF which will have me busy most of friday afternoon and saturday morning till lunch, then Laningrad (Lost in Time ) on the 8th, then my 21st on the 24th. Filed bug upstream for intel compositing kde crash, and there is already one filed for the printer-applet crash, but noone seems to have heard of my font issues with firefox and amsn, guess I will be using pidgin for a while longer.

There will probably be another cluster meeting in January, not sure when yet. The Smartdevices V7 has finally made it to dealextreme so I have to decide whether I deserve / desire it as birthday / christmas present or not. I feel like cooking, mostly likely desserts including cupcakes, but I probably won’t get around to it.

Still looking for part time work preferably in IT, which means more cover letters and applications to submit. Neopets guild is awfully quiet which means I probably won’t be revamping / remaking their CMS / Portal until the activity resumes. Still haven’t unpacked my books yet.

Update: piggy / dell poweredge 6400 now boots in 5.5 minutes with memory check 🙂 w00t !!!

Update 2: firefox / amsn font issues fixed my moving autohinter and subpixel rendering font confs from conf.avail to conf.d in /etc/ directory

Hope everyone is remembering to enjoy themselves in their busyness as Christmas approaches.

Best wishes,

Benjamin Southall aka Appleman1234 🙂

omegle, moving ahead,current bugs and things…

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Hi everyone,
Discovered some really nice strangers on omegle.com, it was definitely worth trawling through the trolls and people searching for cybersex …

Since when did conversation or talk mean sex ? Honey , we need to talk ? …, Oh well don’t get me started ranting on oversexualisation of society.

It would be interesting to see what changing the underlying anthropological social structure would be however, but I doubt it would happen outside of communes.

Managed to move to a place with a pool and that is able to get internet, which is nice. Firefox is currently been replaced with Konqueror, as firefox seems to have flash, tab / nspr and uim crashs …… I haven’t gotten around to chrome yet. ivanhoe is fixed and the GIR cluster is relocated.

UPDATE: Firefox and AMSN and various applications (xconfig anyone) seem to have missing text syndrome, I have enabled subpixel hinting (something I hadn’t had to touch since KDE 3) and that brings some of the text back on Firefox but not all. If anyone knows what the fix is , I would appreciate it, as far as I can see freetype, xft, fontconfig are fine, as is mesa and libdrm with KMS on Intel, …..

A side note, the transparency of icons in GTK apps also doesn’t seem to be working. Weird ….

It is quite hot here and I find myself wishing that I was in Canada, Japan or Cyrogenics lab. Interesting things I came across include kysoh’s tux android, buglab’s bug embedded platform and smartdevicesq v7.

I started on backporting the dvb modules to 2.6.11.12 but had nothing but issues, so I may need to progress with plan b of porting all the official thecus interface inside the gentoo chroot and bumping up the kernel to something reasonable.

KMS and fbencoder are having fun (not working), strangely enough they worked with the previous kernel, maybe it is because the theme I am using doesn’t have a 1024×600 config, although I am telling it to use 800×600 one.

Not happy with VTK regarding the audio visualisation project I was working on, but at least I learnt Marsyas and QT, I may continue with Marsyas in attempts to write voice authentication for kdm / gdm.

Saw The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus with people from uni, was quite disappointed in it, it reeked of Faustian cliche and the imaginarium wasn’t surreal/ phantasmorgical enough for my liking, you can show people aesthetics and beauty but unless you mind boggle and captivate them you are doing the entire bringing a person’s imagination to life wrong …

The deja vu of the series of the day’s events and the disparity and lack of cohesion between the conversation and other social dynamics didn’t ameliorate the circumstances, however a trip to candy store may have …

Currently job seeking and resuming project work that was suspended or delayed during the university semester.

Hope everyone is having fun,

Benjamin Southall aka Appleman1234 🙂

H!~!@#—/…/fasd

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Hi everyone,

I am currently surviving. Zombies haven’t eaten me yet. I need to focus on the project I am working on for advanced data visualisation.  Words not said are currently interesting me at the moment. Golden drops of silence, as I attempt to diagnose which SSH no longer seems to work on my NAS (thecus n1200 , ivanhoe).

I currently blame the new firmware. I am hoping to either get it working again or end up installing Gentoo directly on the nas. But I need to focus on partial differential equations study.  I managed to scour various pdf texts on areas of interest, so that I can start reading again.

Raon Digital (The makers of the everun note), seem to have gone out of business, which reaffirms my decision to get an EEEPC instead of a the everun note, in spite of missing out on the dual core 64 bit 7 inch touchscreen goodness.

I have code to write now, but I hope to have recorded an audio or video blog later, so you can look forward to that.

Best wishes

Benjamin Southall aka Appleman1234 🙂

Charlesworth Bay Polka and Regressions to Questions

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Hi everyone,

Perhaps now I will recall what exactly I wanted to type about. I have been working quite hard on my advanced data visualisation project and have come to the abrupt realisation that spectographs/ spectograms are not effective visualisation methods for audio analysis, as they look cluttered and are visually difficult to measure or discretise. This means that I am going to be investigating various transformations / discretisations I can use on spectograph visualised audio data or alternate methods of visualising audio data.

Currently the software I have been looking into includes Sonic Visualiser, Wavesurfer (which I will probably eventually get working with TCL / TK 8.5 after lots of sed magic to remove the GUI effects that have been made invalid / redudant due to the graphic tile updates), sndPeek (which I haven’t found a use for , other than it being a realtime audio visualiser, still working out whether it takes files as input or only audio devices)