April 21, 2008

New GalaxyGoo skillset: Caché ObjectScript

I recently started a new job where I'm working on library software and the technology we work with is Intersystem's Caché database engine (based on MUMPS). The language used to build the software is Caché ObjectScript, and last week I took an intensive 4-day course in writing OO applications using this language. So consider Caché ObjectScript the latest addition to the list of languages we at GalayGoo are familiar with :)

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February 11, 2008

New Personal/Coding Blog

Recently, I started a new blog for my coding and personal projects. I'll be doing most of my code related posting there.

While most of my blogging on GalaxyGoo will focus on science and GalaxyGoo related subjects, I will still post about coding here from time to time, when it's relevant to GalaxyGoo projects.

Color of Spam: dots sneak peak

A sneak peak at what the color of spam may look like:

The Color of Spam, continued

I've made progress with Mathematica, and now have my code extracting ip addresses and dates from a mailbox and exporting the formatted data as an xml file. On the Flash side, I'm playing around with some display ideas. I'll post more on that later.


For an explanation of this code, please visit my new code-centric blog: underground flash.

December 14, 2007

Snowstorm in 15 minutes

At FOTB, Seb's talk on particle systems was on my short list of sessions I wanted to see, and meeting him was a real treat. I was delighted when he joined the GalaxyGoo Flash-a-thon. His snow effect is great, and the fact that he wrote it so quickly is a testament to both his skill as a coder and his familiarity with particles. ~Kristin


Author: Seb Lee-Delisle, Technical Director, Plug-in Media
Author's comments:
At FlashBrighton's Big Day Out a couple of weeks ago, I set myself the somewhat crazy challenge of programming a dynamically generated snowstorm in fifteen minutes from scratch. No pre-written classes, no graphics, nothing!

Needless to say it was a somewhat frenetic, but exciting session, and I just about made it with a few seconds to spare. And, as I felt that producing 2D particle snow would be a little too easy, I decided halfway through that it'd look better in 3D. And then I added some wind. As I always say, it'd be boring if it were too easy. :-)

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December 10, 2007

Chaos Game

We're going to start with a fantastic piece by Keith Peters. What a great way to kick off the Flash-a-thon! ~Kristin


Author: Keith Peters
Author's comments:
The Chaos Game is a simple algorithm that can produce some surprising fractal forms. This one has been done in 3D. More info here:

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October 25, 2007

Moo Cards! Flash on the Beach! and Mathematica!

The moo cards I ordered, to take to FOTB, arrived today! Yeah!


Looks like the conference is completely sold out! Wow! Really looking forward to it! I just hope my presentation stands up to all the other great sessions on the schedule. I'm having a great time preparing it! Atoms, and fractals, and algorithms...oh my!

Thanks to a temp license from Wolfram Research, I now have a copy of Mathematica installed on my laptop. Yeah! If you're going to FOTB, and you're curious, look for me at the conference.

August 09, 2007

Keep It Simple -- Building Complexity From Simple Structures

My session description for Flash on the Beach is up. I'm going to have a lot of fun with this one!

The complexity of the universe and all of life is based on simple building blocks. A metal is a metal, no matter how many times you melt or pound it. It's the sub-atomic particles of each atom that determine its character, and how it interacts with others.

Computational objects can be modeled on this simplicity, and in this session we will explore examples from nature
and computational art, including the atom and fractals.

We'll look at some basic objects (both visual and code) and ask "what are it's sub-atomic particles?" Starting with these objects, we'll build up models of increasing complexity.

Attendees will get:

  • Inspirational examples from nature and science,
  • Confidence to jump in and start playing with AS3,
  • An appreciation for well encapsulated code and simplicity in code and design,
  • An introduction/overview of AS3 code samples that will be available online.

June 13, 2007

GalaxyGoo Flash-a-thon?

GalaxyGoo has participated in the Blogathon twice now. It's been a lot of fun and we posted some great experimental Flash projects.

It's time for us to spin off on our own, with a less hectic schedule and more community participation. I'm thinking that we should spread the posts out over a few weeks and encourage the community to post links to their adaptations. Perhaps we should arrange some nice prizes.

We need a name! Current candidates are "GalaxyGoo-a-thon" and "Flash-a-thon". Obviously, we need more ideas.

February 07, 2007

How did you learn Flash?

Often, I'm asked how I "learned Flash". I don't always know how to answer, since I don't think the way I learned it would work out for others. I also started programming before I even knew Flash existed.

People learning Flash, have a big challenge in finding good material amid all the noise. Some of the material really frustrates me. In fact, I recently had an "argument" with someone who wants to teach the old "on()" event model to high school students, instead of teaching best practices. For a lot of people, ActionScript is their first programming language, and I don't think it's a good idea to teach an outmoded event model that they will have to unlearn before they can make real progress in Flash.

What resources do you point people to, when they're starting out? Do you think there is a shortage of online resources that help people start out, with a solid foundation that prepares them to continue on?

July 19, 2006

Blogathon 2006

The blogathon is almost upon us, and we're working furiously to get ready. We've got a fantastic group of Flash coders contributing files to this event. Some participated back in 2003, and some are joining us for the first time.

The projects will be in various version of Flash, including AS3.

During the event, we'll publish source files as well as finished swf. We hope that you will join in on the fun, play around with the code, and post your own variations.

The event starts at 6am (pacific), on Saturday, July 29th, and ends 24 hours later.

You can help support the educational programs at GalaxyGoo, by making a pledge of support on the website.

January 12, 2006

Need to Make Things Move?

Just saw today, that Keith Peters' fantastic book, ActionScript Animation: Making Things Move, is sold out. Wow! Congratulations Keith!

It just so happens that we were about to list a signed copy of the book in our MissionFish/Ebay auctions. So, if you've just got to have a copy, and you'd like to support our programs at the same time, the timing couldn't be better. The listing is scheduled to go live tonight at 9pm, Pacific.

Legal note: GalaxyGoo is a registered charity in the State of California. This is not a solicitation for donations outside of California.

July 28, 2005

3D Programming for Ordinary Mortals, with VPython

has jumped to the top of my list of things to learn, as soon as I have time.

I've picked up two books on Python, and I'm ready to dig in.

That is, as soon as I'm done with my writing job. Well, I have turned in all of my first drafts...and I don't have any rewrites maybe I'll forgo the self control and learn some Python :)

June 02, 2005

Don't Force Patterns

Joe Rinehart has posted a great commentary on Patterns and how to approach them. It's always refreshing to see someone cut through the dogma and hype. Thank you Joe! - joe rinehart on CF and more

May 19, 2005


If you are even remotely interested in Lindenmayer Systems or LOGO or such, you might find ContextFree a fascinating program to play around with.

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February 10, 2005

A lesson from Bioinformatics: limiting your program's memory space

This article's been in my primary bookmarks for a long time, and I figured it was about time I shared it--also created a new category for it: coding (ideas for any language). A Chromosome at a Time with Perl, Part 2 Basically, the idea is when "searching for a pattern in a very large file by keeping only a small "window" of the file in memory at any one time, in a buffer." This could apply to any large data set. One could think of it as internal data packets.