Well, I’m finally almost happy with my desktop.

I curved the top corners of my menu panel, and added a 3 pixel drop shadow to the bottom to add more contrast between the wallpaper and the panel. Here’s a zoomed in version, for those of you without magnifying glasses:

I also made my own icon for the gnome-bluetooth bluetooth:// URI:

I’m still looking for something to replace the home icon, the one from the Snow-Apple icon theme looks kinda silly.

Finally, I got a nice blue GTK+ theme that isn’t so much of an aqua-clone that you wanna puke called Glossy P from art.gnome.org. Maybe I’ll make an orange version of it for Jay, but I kinda like the blue, so I’ll keep it for now. Lastly, my window border theme is a modified version of my most favorite theme ever: Crux. Someone finally updated it so it shows the application’s icon in the title bar instead of an empty box!

Here’s a screenshot of the whole thing together (click to enlarge):

Kinda like OSX, but without that stupid dock, and I get to keep the window list at the top, and a taskbar at the bottom 🙂

Crop circles

Well, SamTown suffered yet another UFO attack, and this time they left crop circles in my farm!

Isn’t that cute?


Ok, so I found this neat little app today called 3ddesk which is an OpenGL workspace switcher for XWindows. Basically when you hit a hot-key, your desktop (well, a screenshot of your desktop) zooms out and you can see all your workspaces arranged in a carosel (it has other shapes it can arrange them in, too, but I like the carosel the best), and you can spin them around until you see the workspace you want, and then hit enter and it zooms into it. Here’s the little animated gif off their website:

It’s pretty cool. I started off with the “useless eyecandy, but it looks pretty!” mentaility, but now that I’m used to using it, I love it. It’s much easier to switch between workspaces with it than the GNOME workspace switcher because you can see a full image of the screen. It’s much easier to remember which workspace I left GIMP open on when I can actually see it there.


(01:16:25) Sohail Ali: their annoying, whats the point of a flash intro, you dont go to a webpage to look at the flash intro
(01:16:42) Sam Steele: strongbad emails = why flash is teh rock
(01:16:52) Sohail Ali: strongbad sucks donkeys
(01:16:58) Sam Steele: OMGOMGOMG FIRED
(01:17:46) Sam Steele: hello!? Teen girl squad!? Strongbad rocks.
(01:18:35) Sam Steele: ARROWED!!!

First week of classes

Ok, so I’ve just finished my first week of classes.

First off, MGMT-4something.. you know you’re in trouble when the instructor comes in and says everyone in this class should be a senior, and that the texts are written towards PhD level students.

They gave us a group project that involves reading an entire textbook and presenting it to the class. I can’t even afford to buy the main textbook for the class, let alone a second one! 95% sure I’m gonna drop this class..

Next up, my Rutgers Newark class. I’m taking Psyc 101 at Rutgers because NJIT’s social science requirement classes were all full. First, I was impressed by the diversity of Rutgers as compared to NJIT. Since NJIT is an “engineering” school, you mostly have geeky males. I actually had like.. more than 2 females in my class! It was a scary sight. Anyway, this has got to be the most boring class ever. The professor is going on and on and on about “parts of yourself analyzing other parts of yourself” and drawing stupid pictures on the blackboard, and I’m thinking “Ok, so that’s like introspection”. Several more minutes of his senseless drawing and he writes “INTROSPECTION” on the board… EVERYONE whips out their notebooks and writes it down. I can’t be the only person in the world that knows what that word means, can I? *sigh* Anyway, it’s interesting to be in a class with “real” people again, instead of the boring NJIT people.

Apparently for this course, we need 3 “R-Points”. This basically means we have to participate in experiments that the Rutgers upperclassmen are performing. Usually stupid case studys about behavior and what-not. The TA handed out a sign-up sheet for an experiment a friend of hers was doing, but I didn’t sign it.

Finally, my IT “Computer Graphics” course. Basically, we’re gonna learn OpenGL, which I already know. This instructor introduced himself as a “chemistry teacher” and computer programming is his hobby. Man, I hope this guy doesn’t actively teach chemistry.. he has to be the most absent-minded person. He constantly forgot what he was saying (he spent more time saying “uhhmmmmmmmm” (for several seconds at a time, not like a quick “um”), clicking on the wrong things on the computer, typing the wrong things, and telling us the wrong things. Now, with computers this is fine.. click the wrong thing, just hit cancel. But chem? Geez, please don’t let this guy near a lab or any dangerous chemicals.

He sounds like a nice guy though, and he’s really interested in the OpenGL stuff, and he said “I want to teach you OpenGL. I don’t want to teach you Microsoft.” Finally someone who gets that theory is more important than learning a specific product (typing courses teaching Microsoft Word now? Ugh..). There was a Mac user sitting behind me happilly following along with the lecture, it was nice.

Anyway, this class takes place in a “lab” of about 16 computers.. really old IBMs with no 3D accelleration. That’s right, we’re learning OpenGL on machines that are unable to even render anything at more than 1 frame per second. An interesting quirk about these machines is that if you run your OpenGL app full-screen, it refuses to display the red channel, only green and blue. However, if you run it in a window, the colors display properly. Very interesting machines.

This is definatly a course I’ll enjoy, hopefully I’ll learn some new techniques and effects to add to DCBlap.

On Monday I’ll have my last “new” class (the lab part of my psyc course), and I’m sure that will be boring and stupid too. And I picked “Quixotic” for my mood, because I have no idea what it means, but it sounds cool. I suppose I’ll look it up later.


Ok, since I can’t code from the living room anymore, I’ve moved the Dreamcast into my room and hooked it up to the capture card. This way I can debug stuff without having run all around the apartment. Anyway, I found a spindle of old cds, so I figured I’d take some screenshots of my old Dreamcast work. So as not to fill up everyone’s friends pages, click below to read the rest of this post (I’m learning how to use LJ! yay!)


Ok, so since saving is almost complete, I figured I should make an icon for the Dreamcast’s file manager. They’re 32×32, 16 colors (of a 16-bit palette), and can animate if you put in more thanone frame. Anyway, I came up with this cute little guy:

I’ll probably do something a bit more inspired later, but this will do for now. None of my previous Dreamcast games even have an icon, they just use the generic icon the filemanager provides, so at least this is a step up!

Here’s what it looks like in the Dreamcast’s file manager:

Isn’t it cute? I knew my capture card would come in handy eventually.


Ok, so GNOME comes with this kick-ass Unicode Character Map:

It shows what those crazy non-arabic symbols mean in the status bar. Anyway, here’s a funny conversation I had with James (you probably wont be able to see the japanese characters, but you wouldn’t understand them anyway):

(12:09:16) Sam Steele: 下丌
(12:09:23) Sam Steele: I made something that makes sense!
(12:09:23) Sam Steele: hehe
(12:09:37) James F: lol but its in katakana!
(12:09:46) Sam Steele: lol
(12:10:22) Sam Steele: 丈 = unit of length equal 3.3 meters; gentleman, man, husband

how are those even related? rofl
(12:10:37) James F: lol they aren’t but i can explain’
(12:11:03) ***Sam Steele waits for explanation
(12:11:28) James F: ok japanese isn’t just japanese
(12:11:42) James F: the kanji are all borrowed from chinese
(12:12:10) Sam Steele: ah, so one country’s unit of measure is another country’s husband.. I get it.
(12:12:18) James F: and sometimes when things change meanings from china, such as the origin kanji meaning of height
(12:12:52) James F: they are borrowed into the language… just like how a pound means like 5 different things in the us…
(12:12:57) James F: to hit
(12:12:59) James F: to weigh
(12:13:05) James F: to spend english money.
(12:13:07) James F: uhh…
(12:13:20) Sam Steele: that’s 3
(12:13:20) Sam Steele: lol
(12:13:20) James F: many other adopted slang references… …
(12:13:28) Sam Steele: … .. sure.
(12:13:29) Sam Steele: hehe
(12:13:35) James F: lol yeah.
(12:13:39) James F: totally unrelated.