October 31, 2009

My drawing teacher, Henry Setter

Just found out that one of my art teachers from the University of West Georgia died earlier this year. He taught drawing, sculpture, and art history. Naturally, I did a search to see what his internet presence left behind. The AJC's obituary page for him is no longer available, but a LiveJournal entry copied it, as will I, there's a short obituary in a UWG newsletter, and the funeral home has it up:

Henry C. Setter, age 79, of Carrollton, Georgia, passed away in his sleep on Wednesday, January 21, 2009, from complications of diabetes. Born on August 13, 1929, in Cincinnati, Ohio, Mr. Setter attended Purcell High School in Cincinnati and the University of Dayton. He later attended the University of Georgia where he received his Masters of Fine Art graduate degree.

Since 1977, Setter was a professor in the art department at the University of West Georgia. He retired in 2000. Several of Setter's sculptures are located in Carrollton, including "The Cotton Farmer," University of West Georgia's "Lamp of Wisdom," the gravesite monument of Roy Richards, Sr. and "Pope John XXIII" at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church. His works can also be found at the University of Dayton. In his spare time, Mr. Setter was an active member of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church, enjoyed traveling and watching college football.

Setter is survived by his beloved wife of nearly 32 years, Martha Maggini Stenger Setter, and his step-children Jerry Stenger and wife Leigh of Savannah; Margaret Cash and husband Bob of Roswell; George Stenger and wife Claudia of Carrollton; John Stenger of Atlanta; Richard Stenger of Eureka, CA; and five step-grandchildren: Francisco and Maria Alejandra Stenger, Eleanor Cash, Sally Stenger and Sophia Stenger as well as several cousins and many loyal friends. He is predeceased by his parents William and Marie Setter.

Visitation will be at Almon Funeral Home on Sunday, January 25, 4 - 6 p.m. The funeral will be on Monday, January 26 at 11 a.m. at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the University of West Georgia Foundation, the UWG Art Department Foundation, Asera Care Hospice c/o 116 West Railroad St., Ste. C, Kingston, GA 30145, or the St. Vincent de Paul Society of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church.

Messages of condolences may be expressed to the family online at www.almonfuneralhome.com

Almon Funeral Home, Carrollton.

Setter was one of a few teachers I had that I still think of today and whose lessons still inform my life. Random information as specific as the physicality of the act of drawing (relax, use every part of your hand, arm, and body) to introducing me to Umberto Eco. I remember the one off conversation in a hallway in the humanities building when he recommended this new book titled The Name of the Rose. He was intrigued--as an ex priest--when I told him that James Bond would play the lead in the upcoming movie. And as an ex priest, he was one of the most "old world" educated men I'd ever met.

I don't keep in touch and so will probably be searching for other teachers, hoping for no surprises.

posted by sstrader at 11:28 AM in Art , Personal | permalink

October 25, 2009

Opera (and Eclipse)

A few weeks back, I found out that a beta of Opera Mini 5 was available for my Blackberry Storm (out ~a month prior). The move from 4 to 5 added tabbed browsing, near-desktop speed (using Opera's proxies), and just a generally more elegant layout. Their functional tabbed browsing solution on such a small form factor is reason enough for a trial.

I started using Opera I don't know how many years ago. I remember it was when they still had ads at the top, so it was probably version 5 sometime at the end of 2000. It wasn't the most elegant software to work with, but this was years before Firefox was even a dream, so non-IE choices on Windows were few and squirrely. I'm not sure how, but I've stuck with it ever since and only in the last few years has it become really brag-worthy. Stick with something long enough and every little advance makes it seem worth while.

Yesterday, I was helping my brother with some web sites he uses for real estate. They're a mish-mash of multiple installs of WordPress with shared style sheets and several branches of dead code that is undocumented. He inherited this, and we learn a little more of the madness contained each time something needs changed (update the logo? edit two images and three css files...). Opera's Dragonfly is invaluable for tracking down layout idiosyncrasies and resource file locations. The same thing can be done with Firefox's Firebug, but with Opera you have one, small download to get everything you need.

Oddly, whereas I appreciate Opera much for its single packaging of every tool, I use Eclipse for development which is more akin to Firefox with its plugin approach to features. Although I run pretty lean at home, at work we use the ClearCase and ClearQuest plugins--two large installs that would be completely unnecessary for 90% of the people using Eclipse and so sensibly pluginable. And I guess that's the difference between my choice of an all-in-one browser cf. a piecemeal IDE (barring the very real possibility that I chose them because they both happen to be FREE): browsers' features can be lightweight; IDE features will more likely be much heavier. E.g. I don't need a Fortran IDE when all I'm writing is Java and sometimes C++.

posted by sstrader at 10:34 AM in Internet , Programming | permalink

October 23, 2009

Stravinsky's mug shot

Rate My Band has a mugshot photo of Stravinsky, apparently taken after he was arrested for rearranging God Bless America. Stolen copy below:

posted by sstrader at 8:58 PM in Music | permalink


I had this idea a while back to create a tweet reader that speaks your tweets as they arrive (Tweaker...? meh). It would be like having a news radio feed playing in the background. The content would actually be more appropriate as a background feed than something you read periodically. You could "tune in" when you hear something interesting, and then rewind to the tweet of note or go to the web feed or whatever. Could be annoying, but maybe not.

A few days ago I got my Google Voice number. I have no plans on using it--my cell has been my primary number forever--but it may become useful. Everyone seems to love the transcribed voice mail messages. Here's Lisa's first message to me, and I assure you it resembles the actual message only in that both are in English:

Hey it's Jenny, I'm giving you a message on your new girl google voice mail. I guess I should say tinker, and everyone's search for can't find it.

So, I guess it works better for some. This transcription could eventually be used to piece together a voice corpus to have the tweet reader read in the sender's voice. Minor audio stitching and compression would make sure it doesn't sound like an audio ransom note. I suspect Google already has such a back-and-forth/text-to-voice planned for Gmail and chat and such once they get a repository built up.

posted by sstrader at 2:57 PM in Internet , Personal | permalink

October 21, 2009

October movies

Three very different horror(-ish) flicks. First, Zombieland! Believe the hype and don't read the spoiler reviews. Entertaining buddy-film (aren't all zombie films like that to some degree?) with a more winking, American humor than the slapstick but very funny Shaun of the Dead. The early comparisons were unavoidable but unnecessary. The gore was similar to the humor in a Tarantino movie, but I can't put my finger on how. Either way, it was incidental to the characters. Next, the much-touted Paranormal Activity. A small movie that felt more like Open Water than Blair Witch, but again the comparisons are unavoidable. Here's hoping that the people behind PA go further that those behind OW and BW did. No offense intended. Finally, I Sell the Dead at the Plaza. A silly romp in Merry Ole England where our heroes rob graves (natch) and find out that the supernatural dead bring a higher price. What would be a very entertaining comic book was just an OK movie. Still, it had it's moments. Worth a rent.

We had every intention of going to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (the original) at the Plaza, but it looks like we missed it. I've never seen, so it should eventually be a shocker. Nothing else scary that's worth watching this month.

posted by sstrader at 12:20 PM in Cinema | permalink

October 7, 2009

Researching false positives reported by ClamWin

Several months back, I had to wrestle with a virus on my work computer (obtained via network shares, though I was never really sure how; best guess was an autorun weakness someone had heard about). Around a year ago my home laptop was infected. McAffee was useless, so I used a combination of Malwarebytes and ClamWin to do the clean up. I've had ClamWin running nightly ever since but unfortunately have had a few false positives. One on 17 July and another on 26 July. The hpHosts blog was a top hit in both instances.

Got another warning this morning: clamwin user32.dll.infected: Trojan.Onlinegames-1755. Searching on that brought up a thread on the ClamWin forums, which then pointed me to their article "How can I report a virus that ClamWin doesn't recognise? Or a false positive?". From this, they pointed to the VirusTotal site, which allows you to upload a file for it to examine and report the results from various virus scans. Very useful. Their scan of my suspect file showed it was clean.

[ updated 16 Dec 2009 ]

Report false positives directly to ClamAV here.

posted by sstrader at 11:48 AM in Home Network & Gadgets , Science & Technology | permalink