THE 256 LETHARGICDOG GEEK CHALLENGE #006/256


Challenge #006: Drawing Super Meat Boy in Vector Graphics with InkScape (or Adobe Illustrator)

GOAL:
The goal of this challenge #006 is to use the vector graphics app Inkscape (or Illustrator) in order to draw the main character of the Indie Game Super Meat Boy, from the Team Meat Studio.
I guess the two members of this Indie Studio wouldn’t mind us to do so, as you can see them enjoying Fan Art Youtube videos and pics of Meat Boy.

Super Meat Boy

DESCRIPTION:
For those of you who don’t know much about vector graphics, it’s just another way to do drawings for the web and apps, but at the opposite of other apps, such as Gimp or Photoshop, your drawing is made of items that scale well while you zoom in (without showing “pixels”), and is in my humble opinions much easier to use than their Pixel based counterpart, at least when your purpose is about to get nice graphics without needing to be a proper artist yourself.

Inkscape screen

Inkscape is a free open source application for Windows, Mas OS X and Linux (available at https://inkscape.org/en/) whereas you will have to pay around USD 500$ for the Adobe counterpart which is Adobe Illustrator. Both of them being professional tools, il will be your decision to choose among them. Main thing you have to know is that Inkscape is generally preferred for Web and In-App art, and Illustrator for professional printing.

Regarding the work to be done here, I decided to challenge you with Meat Boy, as this might be doable after a dozen hours of learning Vector Graphics, and because I am a huge fan of Team Meat and Super Meat Boy since I watched the movie “Indie Game – The movie”.

IGTM Anniversary

ACHIEVEMENT EXPECTED:
In order to succeed, you will have to use either the Inkscape app or Illustrator app as discussed above, and practice until you get used to the path, object and layer tools that are mandatory to reach your goal. Once you get there, you will have to find a proper model to get inspired, but if you dont find any, consider the picture below to be the target to reach.

super-meat-boy

Should you need any help about vector graphics, you will find plenty of video tutorials on youtube, and some other learning sources that I recommend on my Google+ 2D Art Collection (http://plus.google.com/+LethargicDogDotCom/Collections)

Once you have finished your artwork, you will have to save it, then export it as a bitmap format (bmp, jpg, png…), and finally publish it anywhere on the web, then you can consider it a success and choose another LethargicDog 256 Geek Challenge.
Have fun, and good luck !

Pascal

THE 256 LETHARGICDOG GEEK CHALLENGE #005/256


Challenge #005: Code With Anna and Elsa at code.org

GOAL:
The goal of this challenge #005 is to use the “LEARN” menu at website code.org for programming Character Animation based on Pixar Animation Studio Motion Picture named Frozen.
This challenge is intended to be done prior to the challenge #001 for those who feel it was too difficult to achieve for now.

CodeOrgLogo

DESCRIPTION:
Code.org is an online programming platform aimed to teach how to code to absolute beginners. This site is highly recommended for people (Adults, Children Aged 8+) who want to take their first step into computer programming, or for those who have failed to deal with more advanced programs such as Scratch (available online at scratch.mit.edu) or Stencyl (download it at stencyl.com) or Even Visual Studio, Unity3D, Unreal Engine and so on.
Code.org has another advantage compared to the other ones above, that is you can run it on any modern browser, or even on your tablet. No excuses..
Many famous people are partners of this organisation, such as Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, or even Will.I.Am.

code.org-course-image

At Code.org, many activities based on game coding (for the most part) will take you through the first stages of computer programming. All you will learn in there will be useful if you want to do some serious coding in the future. But for now, the challenge will be to succeed in the Frozen’s Anna and Elsa puzzle games.

ACHIEVEMENT EXPECTED:
In order to succeed, you will have to use the code.org website. Once you get there, you will find the Frozen Movie Characters at the “LEARN”/”Hour Of Code” menu, then click the “GO” button for getting started.
An introduction video will play, introducing the goal, the main parts of the screen and showing a first sample as well. Once the video has ended, you will be offered to solve the 20 puzzles.
Should you need any help, there is a tutorial video on the bottom left part of the screen, and I will also provide some additional hints in a future post here at lethargicdog.com

Once all the 20 puzzles are solved, you will be offered to enter your email address and your name, in order to receive your first “Hour Of Code” programming certificate. And once you have published this document online, you can consider it a success and choose another LethargicDog 256 Geek Challenge.
Have fun, and good luck !

Pascal

Laptop Renewal for Laptop Entrepreneurs.


Hi,

I have been working for ages with my 07′ HP Compaq NC2400, which is a pretty good machine after all. During all these years, it’s been doing OK for web browsing, updating articles, checking emails, few spreadsheets and Slideshows, but it failed when it came to 3D Design, Games and Apps Programming, and most advanced tasks I am supposed to deal with nowadays, as a teacher and a Laptop Entrepreneur as well.

Business-Entrepreneur

So then its time to say goodbye to this pretty reliable but now super slow NC2400, and to consider a step forward entering the circle of the privileged Ultrabook Workstations users. Let’s say I will have a two ground budget for this, and willing to buy as soon as Windows 10 is available (Some of the apps I use do not even run on Linux or Apple or Google Operating systems anyways. The future machine will have to deal with heavy usage of Unity3D, Blender, Inkscape, as well as Visual Studio, Android Studio, Lego Digital Designer, Stencyl, Evernote and many others).

Several Specs that I will be looking for:

  • 12 to 16 GB of RAM.
  • 256 GB SSD Storage (Minimum, has to be SSD)
  • Around 15.5′ Display, with a minimum of 1920×1080 Screen Resolution.
  • 7 hours Battery Life
  • A proper GPU Dedicated to 3D Animation
  • Renown Brand with Proved Reliability and Business Specs Products Range.
  • Around 2.5 Kg, (I need to be able to commute on daily basis, including frequent Flights)
  • i7 processor, 4th or 5th Generation with 2.6 Ghz Dual Core Minimum)
  • Extended ports will necessarily include 2 USB3 Ports, and External Display Capabilities
  • Docking Station Available (Optional)
  • Price Around 2.000 $
  • 3 years Warranty

HP Zbook 15

So far, I have been looking at the Lenovo Thinkpad W550s (or W541) and the The HP Zbook 15 (15u G2). I have considered many other options before that, such as a 13′ or 14′ Ultrabook (Dell XPS13, Lenovo X1 Carbon, Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro), but the screen seems too tiny for Design, and both were lacking of NumPad, which is mandatory for most of the apps I use. I also had a look at many 17′ Workstations (Same HP and Lenovo as above but with 17′), and Mobile Gaming Machines (Lenovo Y Range, RazerBlade 2015, MSI GS60, HP Omen, Acer Aspire V Nitro), but there was always something wrong with most of them (Missing Mandatory Specs (as defined above), Too Heavy Weight, Too Expansive, Weak Battery Life, Not Business Oriented Brands, Noise, Cooling..). There must me some other pretty cool machines from Acer, Asus, Dell, or Fujitu or Toshiba, but do not consider these manufacturers to be at their best when it comes to Ultrabook WorkStations, I might be wrong though.

That’s why I have reverted to the Classic HP and Lenovo Workstations, machines brands that I have used for up to 15 hours a day, for many years, without an issue.(That might sound old fashion to the younger readers, but I would generally be faithful to a brand that has never let me down before).

lenovo-laptop-thinkpad-w550s-main
All that said, and as I need a reason to choose between the Zbook and the W550s, I will probably go for the latter, thanks to it outstanding battery life, that can reach 17 hours, which is an impressive figure, especially for a WorkStation.
These few words were not intended to be a proper review or products comparison, but rather a tribute to these 2 products, and especially the W550s, and a suggestion for Professional Nomads who consider to renew their hardware in the coming weeks.

Take Care.
Pascal

THE 256 LETHARGICDOG GEEK CHALLENGE #004/256


Challenge #004: Solving Original 3×3 Rubik’s Cube in less than 60 seconds (1 minute)

GOAL:
The goal of this challenge #004 is to solve the Rubik’s Cube (www.rubiks.com) in less than 60 Seconds.

rubiks-cube

DESCRIPTION:
The Rubik’s Cube is one of the most famous puzzles since its creation in 1974. It was invented by Hungarian Sculptor Ernő Rubik. It is a cube made of 26 smaller cubes, 9 on each face, the central one is replaced by a patented rotating mechanism. The world record is set to less than 6 seconds,(Under 4 seconds by the CS3 robot), but according to most specialists, it can be solved in under a minute, after learning a basic routine and some practice. Another reason why I have set this challenge time to under a minute, is because the American actor Will Smith has managed to solve it in 55 seconds at a french TV show few years ago.

CS3 Cube Solving

ACHIEVEMENT EXPECTED:
In order to succeed, you will have to purchase a 3×3 rubik’s Cube that can be found at your local toys reseller, or online at http://www.rubiks.com for 15£ or so. You can also find plenty second hand for cheaper, borrow it from a friend, or even start practicing with online apps. You will probably need to learn one of the many methods/algorithms available, and practice for a few weeks before you get there.

cube_timer

Theoretically, you would have to use a proper Speedsolving timer, in order to get accurate time. But if you don’t consider to break a world record, a simple timer will be fine. Once you are ready for the record, get the help from a friend or two for the timer and video recording (A smartphone would be fine for this). Once you have published that video online, you can consider it a success and choose another LethargicDog 256 Geek Challenge.


Have fun, and good luck !
Pascal

THE 256 LETHARGICDOG GEEK CHALLENGE #003/256


Challenge #003: Your Hometown Skate Park with Sketchup

GOAL:
The goal of this challenge #003 is to use Trimble Sketchup (Used to be Google Sketchup) at www.sketchup.com for designing a Skate Park.

skate_graffiti

DESCRIPTION:
There’s not much to be said about the skate park itself. Everybody knows what it is. But it has to be made of at least three modules, two at both ends and one in the middle. I expect some street art on each face, based on photos or anything else.
Regarding Sketchup itself, make sure you download the free version (Make), unless you have other projects that require advanced features.

4761__sketchup_pro_2_10_6_15

ACHIEVEMENT EXPECTED:
In order to succeed, you have to use the Sketchup App, available at http://www.sketchup.com.
After the Skate Park is finished, you will have to export it into a 2D picture (PNG format), so then you can publish it on any of your favorite social networks.
Should you need any help for getting started, you will find many templates and members achievements on the Sketchup site (check the “Learn” Menu). Hundreds of YouTube tutorials are also available.

SkateParkJeremie

If you can get close enough to the picture on my sample above or even better, or if you prefer to user your favorite 3D design app instead, you can consider it a success and choose another LethargicDog 256 Geek Challenge.
Have fun, and good luck !
Pascal

Sketchup

I Want It All


(in french)
Salut,

C’est quoi la vie ? Juste bosser plus ou moins 50 semaines par an, en lorgnant sur une retraite que l’on vivra misérablement pour la plupart d’entre nous ? Soit par manque d’argent, de santé ou de temps pour soi, il sera de toute façon trop tard pour se retourner sur les 40 dernières années de sa vie, et se noyer dans les regrets et les actes manqués.

Alors, comme dans la chanson de Queen je veux tout, et maintenant. Et j’en ai assez de m’entendre dire qu’à mon âge, déjà bien trop avancé à mon goût, il faut grandir, devenir sage et raisonnable, et surtout arrêter de rêver. Alors c’est ça ? C’est tout l’espoir que l’on doit donner à nos enfants, en les éduquant de telle sorte qu’ils deviennent de bons citoyens et travailleurs modèles ? Et pas de vagues surtout !

Et bien sans moi, désolé. Mon crédo, celui que j’inculque à mes gosses, mes élèves, et accessoirement tous les jeunes avec qui j’ai l’occasion de parler, c’est la culture de la tolérance, du respect, mais aussi et surtout de la liberté, la curiosité, la créativité et l’audace ! Et puis, charité bien ordonnée commençant par soi-même, je travaille très dur à l’entretien et la culture (au sens “cultivation”) de cette philosophie.

That’s all for now!
(Please Subscribe, Share, Comment, Like)
Take Care.
Pascal

 

Vieillissement et addictions.


Salut.

Je suis assez fier d’une chose en ce moment, c’est d’avoir réussi à arrêter de fumer. Après 15 ans et plus d’un paquet par jour, ça n’est pas rien. Bref.

download (4)

Maintenant, et grâce à ce premier succès, j’ai pris goût au fait de reprendre le contrôle de mes addictions, et de pouvoir par la même occasion vivre en meilleure santé, et peut-être plus longtemps aussi. C’est pourquoi j’ai décidé de ne pas en rester là, et d’éradiquer de ma vie les vices qui me tuent à petit feu. Dans le désordre les excitants (café, thé, energy drinks), l’alcool, les gâteaux, sucreries, sodas, etc… Je considère aussi augmenter mon activité sportive à 1h/jour en moyenne.

images (4)

Ensuite, j’envisage de passer à la vitesse supérieure et devenir Végétarien (Et non pas Végétalien/Vegan, à cause des éventuelles carences). Ce sera l’étape la plus difficile, et je pense conserver le poisson et les fruits de mer dans un premier temps, en plus des oeufs, du lait et du miel qui restent autorisés. Et puis c’est une bonne action pour la cause animale. En effet, pour avoir travaillé dans un abattoir de palmipèdes, je peux vous garantir que si vous saviez comment on traite les animaux que vous mangez, vous y réfléchiriez à deux fois. (Suivez @peta sur twitter pour plus d’informations)

images (3)

Enfin, si, comme moi, nombre de vos proches avaient failli mourir à cause d’excès alimentaires, vous vous sentiriez davantage concernés. Et je ne parle même pas des économies que l’on peut faire en mettant davantage de fruits et légumes dans son caddie.. Donc, pour toutes ces raisons, je me laisse jusqu’au 31 décembre de cette année pour rayer tout cela de ma liste, et je vous donne rendez-vous pour le nouvel an et vous dire si j’ai relevé le défi.

Take care.

Pascal

zahia-dehar2

Activités (Ré-) Créatives


Salut, En tant qu’enseignant en collège/lycée, je suis souvent déconcerté par le manque d’intérêt de certains élèves pour quelque matière ou sujet que ce soit. En effet, et bien qu’étant professeur de Technologie (Et d’Anglais et d’Informatique accessoirement), je ne manque pas d’aborder tout un tas de sujets et de matières, sans toujours recueillir l’attention de tout mon auditoire.

images

Je m’efforce donc de tirer les enfants vers le haut, en attisant leur curiosité, et en les invitant à se découvrir une passion pour un hobby, un loisir, (en particulier une activité créative ou sportive) et qui les tiendraient éloignés pour un temps de la télévision, de Facebook et de leur console de jeu (Et loin de moi l’idée de dénigrer ces activités qui sont le lot quotidien de tout ado qui se respecte…)

images3

Las de me répéter, j’ai décidé une bonne fois pour toute de faire la liste de toutes les activités accessibles au plus grand nombre(et ça vaut aussi pour les adultes), même les moins fortunés (à condition toutefois de posséder un ordinateur, objet que l’on peut facilement trouver entre 50 et 100€ sur E-Bay, pour peu que l’on ne soit pas obnubilé par le dernier gadget à la mode, du genre de ceux revêtant une pomme en guise de blason..).

images2

Voici donc ci-après cette liste. Ceci étant une première ébauche, je vous invite à ajouter des items par le biais des commentaires.Ceci étant affaire de goût et de choix personnel, il n’y a pas d’ordre ni classement particulier dans cette liste.

  • Bricolage (DIY, Engineering)
  • Cuisine
  • Dessin(2D/3D)
  • Peinture
  • Collage/Mosaïques/Scrapbooking
  • Sport(s): Cette catégorie pourrait faire l’objet d’une liste à part entière…
  • Chant/Musique (Interprétation, composition, écriture)
  • Vidéo/Cinéma (Stop-Motion, Animation 3D, prises de vues, scénarios, scripts, story-boards)
  • Poésie
  • Roman/nouvelles/fiction
  • Blogging/Micro-Blogging
  • Photo
  • Graph/Tag(Attention à la législation en vigueur!)
  • Art abstrait
  • Couture/Broderie/Tricot/Mode/Coiffure/Manucure/Bijoux
  • Décoration
  • Danse
  • Sculpture/poterie
  • Game Design (Conception/Réalisation de jeux vidéo)
  • Développement d’applications mobiles.
  • Assemblage/fabrication (maquettes/modélisme/jeux de construction)
  • Jardinage/botanique
  • Origami/Avions en papier

Voilà pour les premières pistes. Et pour ceux qui n’y ont pas trouvé leur bonheur, je vous invite à taper “DIY”, ou “Loisirs créatifs”, ou “création”, ou encore “art”, ou une combinaison de ces mots clés sur votre moteur de recherche pour d’autres idées. Et comme disait PPD : “Voilà, maintenant vous pouvez éteindre la télévision et reprendre une activité normale” Take Care. Pascal

Pong on Scratch.Mit.Edu (Challenge #001/256 Howto)


Hi,

About a month ago, I wrote about the very first of my 256 Geek Challenges, (see Challenge #001/256).
If u struggle to finish it, you will find below the result I expected, and you will be able to see the details as well.

Notes and Credits:
All the work included is from me, apart from original sound ‘pop” featured as standard.
The game is a tribute to Original Atari Game “Pong”, 1972.
The purpose of this development is to be a sample for my students, kids, friends kids, my nephews and nieces also.
I consider programming and computer skills to be as important as foreign languages, maths, physics, history and sports. Everybody should be able to program a computer according to Steve Jobs.
Instructions:
Click the Green Flag to Start the game.
2 people can play.
Left player uses A and Q keys for Up and Down.
Right player uses P and L keys for Up and Down.
First player to score 11 wins.

Theoretically, you should be able to play my scratch game from there, hope this works fine. Click on image below to play the game:
Pong Scratch

If you want to see code and details, click the link:
Original Pong Game 1972 with Scratch. (Code, Images, Details)

Take Care.
Pascal

The Bucket List


Hi Folks,

Have you watched the film “The Bucket List”? Not yet ? Well, I highly recommend you to do so ASAP actually! Of course the critic reviews are not so good, but a movie starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman cannot be that bad, and anyways, this is not the film by itself that I want to tell you about, but the story of the birth, the death, and a couple of things we all may consider to do before to kick the bucket…
image

Sooner or later, depending on our age and our personal situation, we all wake up some day thinking “What have I done so far in my life?” or “how long am I likely to survive the nuclear threat, the global warming, the recession while eating Genetically Modified Organisms 3 times a day?”

Well, I don’t know about you, but for my part, I made the decision to have a plan, just in case things go wrong. And guess what? I called it my bucket list!
image

10 categories, 100 Items, one rule, just tick the box when done.
Here is mine, mostly hidden, we are not so close yet:-). You have a look, you let me know about yours, all good ? (some of my choices may sound cheesy, but I don’t give a damn, build your own, this is the thing about this thread…)

My Bucket List

A/ Random Stuff 1/2

1 …Insert your own stuff here…

B/ Random Stuff 2/2

11 … Insert your own stuff here…

C/ Charity

21 Become rich enough to join Gates/Buffet Charity Programme
22 …

D/ Relatives
image

31 Teach my kids about fun and entertainment, that comes with hard work and commitment (work hard, play hard)
31 Keep in touch with close family and friends, always show love and affection, whatever is the distance.
32 …

E/ Self Esteem

41 Read and Learn about Human Kind as much as I can.
42 Write an e-book
43 …

F/ Motorsports

(I’m sure you’ll easily replace this one with your own stuff)
51 Drive a Formula One, even for 3 laps
52 Visit GoodWood Festival of Speed
53 …
image

G/ My secret Dream

61 It’s a secret actually 🙂
62 …
63 …

H/ Shows

71 (attend your favourite band best live show ever)
72 (see a major event – can be Olympics, Football World Wup, New York Fashion Week)
73 …

I/ Parties

81 Glastonbury Festival
82 Oktober Fest
83 Montreux Festival
84 Rio de Janeiro Carnival
85 …
image

J/ Travel

90 Visit New York, St Petersburg, Dubai, Seoul, Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Los Angeles, Beijing, Sao Paulo, Singapour
91 …

Take Care. (Maybe today I mean it even more that usually !)
Pascal

Founder of Ldog.Club and The LethargicDog Geek Challenge

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