Tuesday, May 29, 2007


While researching for a program on other Google products I discovered a 3D modeling software called SketchUp. Now at first it seemed rather intimidating but I think I finally have it figured out. Here's a model of my dream kitchen for my house. Working in a facility with kids and teens we are always looking to new ways to stimulate kids and give them new opportunities to stimulate development. I am pleased with this progress. Since I am using the free version there are limits to what I can do with it. I can post it to 3D warehouse and Google Earth both of which I plan to do since it's part of the experience. The nicest part of this is that it's a free software so the library can definitely afford to offer it. The main limitation is having someone to support it, thus my trying to learn it.

So what do I work on next? Well, there are still some rather high end software out there, enter Blender, a 3D Modeling and Animation software. Now if I felt intimidated by SketchUp I was really a wimp. Blender is COMPLICATED, there are a ton of buttons and controls and many are toggle buttons. Learning the interface is a major step according to the tutorials I found. But surprisingly the whole software is only about 20 MB and again it's free. I do hear that once you get going it makes much more sense so I do have hopes, especially since I managed to build a sphere with little trouble, that was very hard in SketchUp. Getting the sphere transparent and overlapping another might not be so easy but we'll see.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Visitors are up

Well, I'm playing around with having a Frappr Map vs Clustrmap. Personally, I like the Clustr as it has a cleaner look on the page but Frappr has some fun features like visitors can add their picture and a comment along with a pin to the map. However, the best info I get from Stat Counter. I put this on last fall and I'm getting some really interesting data from it. First of all I've had a significant increase in visits from the Blogger Navbar. Also from Technorati and Del.icio.us. I also am getting lots of attention from the PBWiki for Learning 2.1 but perhaps that's because only 2 other people have added their blog there.

I am disappointed that few people are coming from the Ning network, ExplorediscoverPlay, that Jamie set up for Learning 2.1. After all that has gotten several members and since it started and people are using the chatterwalls and generally having fun there. Then again they may be having so much fun in the Network they aren't going to the blogs. The PBWiki has been pretty quiet so anyone going there is going to follow what ever leads they can get.

ToonDoo Comic Strip Maker

It's Sunday and we walked the gauntlet of people anxious to get into the building trying to get into work. I have to give one of my coworkers, Russ Reed, credit for finding this.

There are some other Comic Strip Generators though:
Comic Strip Generator
Read Write Think - geared to kids
Make Beliefs Comix - another specially for kids

Check them out!

Thank you Zamzar!

I had discovered this from another source and I love it! It solved an issue I had with getting submissions to an animation this summer. Just have the kids post to YouTube and I can convert them to avi's for including in the final video for the Plazma in the lobby and in the August Film Festival! I just tested and the animations from 3D Choreographer loaded great but the CoreFx still presents a problem. We may need to set aside some floppies for those captures.

If they don't have internet access Staff will still need to assist with posting. The idea here is to minimize the need for staff intervention.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Temporary Page Element

Okay it's just temporary but I am very excited that my daughter will be returning from Norway in a week. So for the next week, I have a countdown counter in the upper right corner of the blog. So I can see exactly how long before she arrives!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Apple news

Apple has gotten a lot of news this year with the announcement of the forthcoming iPhone. But they have a lot more going on despite the delays to Leopard.

There is a new Mac Pro (well about a month ago) with 2 quad core processors! This week they upgraded to MacBook but it's not a drastic change, now I have the bottom line laptop instead of an upgrade. They are also getting ready to release a new version of Final Cut Studio. I actually had guessed that was coming but when the Quad Core was announced I figured I had missed. But the new Final Cut comes out May 31! My prediction meter is going up, I personally give credit for that to all the pods I listen to on the bus with the mp3 player from Learning 2.0 last fall.