Evil geniuses and world domination are 2 of our goals... we also like Dr Who

Life Drawing Ettiquette

1 comment

As regular readers know, I am a fan of Life drawing. I have been doing it on and off for approximately 20 years. and I enjoy nothing more than sitting in front of a naked person drawing them and should  point out it is in no way gay/creepy

However the other nights life drawing went – a little differently – there where 2 children in the class

Yes, you heard right – children approximately 9 -10 years old with their father  and they where terrible! They kept dropping pencils and sketchbooks all over the place and trying to leave the room while a pose was on.

Maybe it’s me, but I find Life drawing a mix of meditative and analytical observation. The challenge is to capture the collection of muscles, flesh and bone into a solid drawing.  The ability to sort of shut away the worries of normal life and really concentrate on drawing some dude’s wang. It’s a mental battle between the page and what I see.  I see a life drawing room as a quiet contemplative place, like a library or religious building.

The constant sniffing, dropping books, shuffling  and trying to leave the room, was off putting for me and I’m sure the model and other people there to battle the human form.  I was glad when they left during the break (presumably, they didn’t have the attention span to sit quietly drawing for 5 minutes at a time so sitting quietly for half an hour would have been beyond them)

I have always had a set of rules I follow when life drawing and assumed that other people attending classes would have similar, if not exactly the same rules:

  1. Tthe model is making him/herself incredibly vulnerable for your edification. you will afford the model every courtesy during break periods
  2. No talking during drawing
  3. No stereos or MP3 players while drawing and phones to be turned off.  the model deserves you full attention.
  4. Don’t not engage the model in conversation during poses and refrain from mentioning any aspect of the models body afterwards. You don’t know how your compliment about the models glutes or abs might be taken .Keep conversation professional and courteous and for god’s sake DONT TRY AND HIT ON THE MODEL!
  5. Make sure you have all you need BEFORE drawing starts If you have an art case, get your supplies out and put them on your easel / somewhere accessible with no chance of the falling on the floor
  6. No talking during drawing
  7. If you sharpen pencils make sure you can store the shavings until you can safely dispose of them  during the break
  8. Make sure that your drawing location does not impede  others view. do not change this position unless it is between long poses. changing position every 5 minutes slows down the pace of the class
  9. No talking during drawing

Just out of interest do other life drawers follow these or similar rules or are these rules outdated in a 24/7, always online world?




Problem with the tin-dog…

no comment

I have been looking at the ffmpeg issue when extracting audio from DVD’s.  If you remember from this post.  I found the source code for K9Copy which throws the error in question :


bool k9MP4Enc::check() {
    if (m_mpeg2)
        return true;

    QString sCodecA,sCodecV;

    k9AudioCodecs *audioCodecs=new k9AudioCodecs(0);

    if (m_extractAudio && sCodecA !="ffmpeg") {
        k9log::add(i18n("Audio extraction can only be done with ffmpeg"),k9logLevel::ERROR);
        k9Dialogs::error(i18n("Audio extraction can only be done with ffmpeg"),i18n("Encoding error"));
        return false;

    k9VideoCodecs *videoCodecs=new k9VideoCodecs(0);
    sCodecV=videoCodecs->getEncoder (m_codec);

    if (m_extractMkv && sCodecV!="ffmpeg") {
        k9log::add(i18n("Matroska encoding can only be done with ffmpeg"),k9logLevel::ERROR);
        k9Dialogs::error(i18n("Matroska encoding can only be done with ffmpeg"),i18n("Encoding error"));
        return false;

    if (!m_extractAudio) {
        if ( ! k9Tools::checkProgram(sCodecV) ) {
            k9log::add(i18n("Unable to run %1").arg(sCodecV),k9logLevel::ERROR);
            k9Dialogs::error (i18n("Unable to run %1").arg(sCodecV) , i18n("Encoding error"));
            m_error = TRUE;
            return false;

    if ((sCodecA!=sCodecV) || m_extractAudio) {
        if ( ! k9Tools::checkProgram(sCodecA) ) {
            k9log::add(i18n("Unable to run %1").arg(sCodecV),k9logLevel::ERROR);
            k9Dialogs::error (i18n("Unable to run %1").arg(sCodecA) , i18n("Encoding error"));
            m_error = TRUE;
            return false;

    return true;

so – looking at the line which caues the error to be thrown :


if (m_extractAudio && sCodecA !=”ffmpeg”) {


-it would appear that the getEncoder is returning something other than ffmpeg.

Next step : Prepare a KDE Development Environment and see what is being returned

Fingerprinting the Doctor

no comment

I’m sure it’s a question we’ve all asked from time to time – “how exactly would I fingerprint the audio track of a Doctor Who DVD.?” And I’m sure that a small minority out there would be asking “Why would I want to fingerprint an Audio Track?”

The Doctor Who companion App is something I am currently working on and as part of this we would need fingerprints of all the audio for all the episodes.

First part of this challenge : Ripping the Audio.

Read more..

Fear does not exist in this dojo….

no comment

4763995570_91aca8d0feA very wise man once said

“Fear does not exist in this Dojo”

That man was John Kreese. I think there’s a lesson for us all there somewhere… that fear does …ahh screw it.. I think we’re all aware about John’s approach to a number of aspects of life, including fair play and not being a d*ck.

This is a guy who appears to spend the first half of his lessons shouting statements at his paying students, and then questioning himself..

John : Fear does not exist in this dojo… does it?

Sudents : No Sensei

John : Pain does not exist in this dojo… does it?

Sudents : No Sensei

Mike : Easy John.. It’s time for your medication…

John : Defeat? – how about defeat?… Does that exist in this dojo?

Students look uncomfortable.

Mike : Ok John…  let’s have a nice sit down

John : This used to be orange groves,  as far as the eye could see

Mike : Right John…

Mike gently helps the ailing Sensei to a chair, and gently wipes the corner of his mouth with a tissue. <scene>

Anyway Thursday evening I attended a wooweb meeting and I found myself in a dojo of my own..

A Coding dojo for helping keep mine – and my dojo-mates’ code-fu sharp.   Well – really it seemed to be like 7 programmers in a room bumbling through an exercise in learning node.js.

For those none techies out there – there’s a couple of things I probably need to elaborate on.

  • Node.JS is a framework based on Chrome’s Java engine, allowing you to create applications that execute within that engine.
  • A Coding Dojo is an exercise in collaborative learning where an ad hoc team of developers of differing abilities get together to solve programming problems using a new tool or technology.

So Thursday night I found myself at my first ever coding dojo event. Our exercise was to create a HTML console for an IRC Chanel, allowing you to write comments onto the wooweb IRC Chanel using the web front end, and to allow comments posted to the channel to appear on the web site.  To start with, a js file was created that allowed node.js to connect to the IRC Chanel – this was made much easier by the use of an IRC Client library for Node.

Next we looked at creating a server that could respond to web requests, and return a page.  That is exceptionally easy to do, as there is a built in HTTP class.

Finally we looked a hooking the browser front end to the back end IRC proxy using the socket.IO library.  What was interesting was that each developer took turns in being an audience member, asking questions, or offering suggestions – a Co driver and a main developer, who was responsible for actually typing the code.

We managed to knock up a basic system in just under an hour and a half – and it was great fun.


New swag from Jon Pinto!!!!

no comment

Those of you that know me, know that one of my favourite illustrators is Jon Pinto. I have been following his work for a number of years and his style has rubbed off on me a little bit for a recent poster I did for the local AmDram group.

Look Whos talking poster


Anyway, just Before Gallifrey this year I decided to get a phone case for my trusty Samsung Galaxy S3 and found an unauthorised UN Jon Pinto design. I mailed him and told him about it. He asked me if I wanted a print  – Of course I said yes! and sent him my address thinking nothing more of it.

Well, guess what turned up inthe mail yesterday? not one but 3 signed prints !  I cant wait to get these bad boys framed and on the wall (probably in the new Titanium Bunker wing)

Jon Pinto Print 1 Jon Pinto Print 2 Jon Pinto Print 3


If you’re reading this Jon, Thanks so very much . We here at the bunker deeply appreciate this. and if you haven’t already stopped  by the site (and why haven’t you?) then click this link right away. your eyes will love you for it!

Jon Pinto




Sugar angry’s up the twitter stream

no comment

I took the plunge and decided to unfollow @Lord_Sugar on twitter. I just got to the stage when I felt that my twitter stream had become an avenue for Alan to mouth off if people didn’t see things his way, and adverts for his target advertising which were surprisingly un-targetted. You know what – my stream has become significantly less angry.

The Empire’s “May the Fourth Be With You” attack ad

no comment

Compiled audioscout

no comment

Managed to get audioscout to build.  Now to get it into Android….

Tweet forwarded by @computa_mike

no comment