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Comment: A quick cleaning tip (Score 1) 361

by The boojum (#45711559) Attached to: How long do your computer mice last?

Precision medical tweezers (the extra sharp pointy kind)!

Many years ago I swiped a spare pair from my dad's laboratory just because they were so useful for cleaning mechanical mice. I don't really have any mechanical mice to use them on anymore, but they've been a handy part of my toolkit in other ways ever since.

Comment: Re:Handwriting as a mnemonic device (Score 1) 241

by The boojum (#37575430) Attached to: How often do you put pen to paper?

I've noticed this as well. When I'm learning a new subsystem of a code base I learn it much faster when I copy out notes and draw sketches by hand vs. doing it on the computer. I've also found that I can make new ideas gel much better as well when I write them directly to paper.

As a graphics programmer, I'm definitely a visually/spatially-oriented person so I wonder if that isn't part of the explanation for it? Typing at a keyboard seems like a far more symbolic/verbal thing. Firing up a drawing program gets the visual thing back but then it's too cumbersome to be able to keep up with the thoughts as they come.

Comment: Re:awful, awful awful awful (Score 2, Informative) 293

by The boojum (#35386876) Attached to: Google Cars Drive Themselves, In Traffic

TFA even mentions one of these avoiding a deer: "You could see the cars avoiding things like a deer that dashed in front of one or another making it carefully around a small hillside road, as a large truck came toward it."

There was also a story here a year ago about Stanford's efforts in this area with a computer-controlled car doing a 180 spin into a tight parking space. "That means Junior could have an entire language of extreme driving maneuvers it could unleash when called upon ... itâ(TM)s also a sign that the cars of the future will be able to respond to any adverse condition with remarkable driving talent."

Put them together and we're well on our way to computerized control that's safer than the average driver.

Comment: Re:lacking important path transformation algorithm (Score 1) 91

by The boojum (#35341226) Attached to: Book Review: Inkscape 0.48 Essentials for Web Designers

To add to your list.

* Blend tool

It's one of my favorites for creating complex highlights and shadows. Inkscape's solution to that seems to be blurs, but those are rasterization effects and bloat the size of any PDFs I export. I prefer all-vector solutions when using a vector graphics package. Admittedly, there's a bundled plugin to blend paths, but it's always been very crash-prone for me. Worse, I can't easily just tweak the result just by modifying the key paths like I can in Illustrator.

* Layer window

No, the XML tree outline is not the same thing.

Comment: Re:Typing speed is very important, however... (Score 1) 545

by The boojum (#34674880) Attached to: Does Typing Speed Really Matter For Programmers?

Aside from changing indentation, I've used it for things like turning single column tables into multiple column tables, removing common prefixes from a list, removing commas from aligned numbers, moving table columns in LaTeX source, and moving pieces of ascii diagrams around (for block comments designed to be renderable in ditaa.) Those are just some uses that I can think of off the top of my head.

I find it one of those things that doesn't seem very useful until you have an editor that can actually do it. Then you suddenly start finding uses for it.

Comment: Re:Blender Foundation helps our community. (Score 1) 455

by The boojum (#33774662) Attached to: Creative Commons Video Challenges Hollywood's Best

Others, off the top of my head:

Sony Imageworks has started to open source a series of components recently. Admittedly, some of them like Pystring are fairly minor, but others like OSL are serious pieces of code.

Disney's Ptex library is also open source.

Then there's the old Cinepaint project from R&H.

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