Fractal flames for visual delight

I was having a look at some beautiful fractal flames on the Techrepulic gallery. The gallery mentioned an open source fractal flame editor – Apophysis – which I checked out. The software seems to be quite interesting and allows you to generate random fractal flames or create/edit some of your own. It also includes a scripting engine similar to Pascal which allows you to create/edit/animate the fractals among other features. It can make for quite some interesting viewings. The animations of the fractals is something similar to the visualizations available with various audio players (iTunes, Winamp etc). There is also screen saver called electric sheep which lets you generate & view fractal flames.

Tags, ratings, dynamic playlists and the iPod

It turns out that tagging and ratings are useful not only for blogs and other web content, but also for music on your iPod (the 30 GB video version), especially when you have over 4000 songs in it. Audio files were probably one of the first to support tagging which was really useful for the user. iPod/iTunes (and many other players) can also use these tags to create dynamic playlists based on given criteria. This makes the tags all the more useful.

I listen to a variety of music, and unless the music is properly tagged, it would be nearly impossible (or atleast too tedious) to locate and listen to the song(s) I want to at a given time. The basic tags like title, artist, album and genre are pretty much a necessity, and identifying songs in their absence would be impossible without actually listening to them. Ratings also serve as a useful filtering criterion.

I have also found the dynamic or smart playlists feature of iTunes/iPod to be particularly useful when it comes to listening to music of a certain variety. I create a set of smart playlists based on different moods, ratings, genres etc and when the music tags are updated, songs automatically get into the appropriate playlist(s). This saves a considerable amount of effort and also keeps my playlists up to date.

IE7 & FF2 flaws being blown out of proportion

The blog post ยป Can we STOP with the sensational browser flaw reporting? Please!
gives a pretty good indicator of the way the relatively minor flaws in
the latest Internet Explorer 7 & Firefox 2.0 browsers are being
blown out of proportion. In fact, as per the links given by the author,
the older versions of the browsers have had several critical flaws
being reported, and these have pretty much gone by unnoticed.

Neodymium in my headphones

Ever wondered what’s so special about speakers and headphones which proudly exhbit the fact that they have Neodymium? Well, I certainly have. First of all, what is Neodymium? It is a rare earth metal which is used for a variety of purposes like making magnets. That explains its presence in speakers & headphones. It turns out that Neodymium is used to make some of the strongest magnets. Also, looks like we have our share of Neodymium in computers too – its used in the hard drive head motors.

Encyclopaedia of cartoons and comics

Ever wondered when and how many of the popular cartoons and comic strips originated? The following site – Toonopedia – contains a lot of information about many a popular cartoon/comic strip along with some information on the persons behind them. Mel Blanc is one of them (in case you’re wondering who he is, he has voiced a majority of the Hanna-Barbera and Looney Tunes/Merry Melodies characters like Tweetie, Sylvester, Road Runner etc).