Here are some neat animated optical illusions. You may not have all the plug-ins to run all of these, but you should be able to see most of them. The snake image on about the third page is really neat.
Of course these are ripe for parody by optical realities.
I decided to go on a 4-year cycle for replacing my home computer. I bought my first desktop computer (my first computer was a Powerbook 100 in 1991) in 1996. It was replaced in 2000. So I was due for a new computer last year, but I decided it was working pretty well and I could wait (I almost replaced it when Susan gave me the iPod because I didn’t want to pay retail for a Windows upgrade that I needed). But since June last year, I’ve been pricing computers at Dell. I wanted a DVD writer, support for two monitors, 80 gigabyte hard drive, and 512 MB of memory. I also wanted to get another 17-inch monitor, preferably a flat panel, though that wasn’t mandatory.
A year or two ago I was trying to learn to write programs for the Palm. I tried this when I first got the Palm and quickly realized that the Palm was very difficult for a non-programmer to write for without spending a bunch of money on development software. But they had a free C compiler and other tools which I made almost no progress on.
Later I got a book on the Palm that had a trial version of some development software. This made things a lot easier, but the trial version didn’t let you write anything complex. Later still I downloaded another development package called CASLsoft. With one of those two programs I wrote a Vertical Curve program that I have had ever since (but I lost the source code). That’s a good program for me to write when I’m learning because it has a couple of variables and IF-THEN’s and needs input and output.
Last week I decided to make VCurve 1.0 available on Palm Gear. I already had a developer account from when I wrote MemoParser 1.0, so it was easy to do. So far 47 people have downloaded it.
Palm Gear VCurve Home
VCurve home on my web site
My trial was today (read about my arraignment in February) at 5:00 PM. At least this time I didn’t miss but a quarter day of work. I arrived at traffic court a few minutes early and found which courtroom I was supposed to be in. People were scattered but there were people in every pew. I picked one that had an older guy at the end and stepped around him. The guy in the pew in front had his tattooed arm up on the back of his pew and it was kind of in my way so I said “excuse me” and nudged his arm out of the way. He seemed to take offense and said something to me, but you have to stand your ground early here or nobody will respect you.
For the website I did for the Sidney Lanier Bridge, I created two animated .gif images, one for a construction sequence, and the other for the tower crane (at the bottom of the page). These were pretty simple but I learned some of the basics of animated .gif images when I made them. An animated .gif is a series of .gif images compiled to run one after the other. To get smooth motion you can make each frame last a certain length of time in hundreths of seconds, but it gets cumbersome making so many frames. If you want, you can make each frame last different numbers of seconds. You can also have the animation loop a set number of times or forever. It’s interesting, but I don’t have much of a reason to do animated .gifs very often.