Content changed 2005-02-24 14:53 GMT. .
Feed My Ego >> Scott Ventura >> About the Digital Stump
The story of the nickname Stump will appear here when somebody asks for it. I prefer to tell the story in person most of the time.
The Digital Stump is created by a C++ program as an XPM file. The XPM file is piped through two format converters (xpmtoppm and ppmtopng) to make a PNG file.
Only one aspect of the image is the same every time the Digital Stump is redrawn: the stump itself. The color of the sky and the position of the sun and moon are (wholly inaccurately) dependant on the time of day. The grass, stars, and clouds are randomly generated each time.
Since I'm not entirely pleased with the lack of reality in the way the sun and moon move, you are more than welcome to provide me with a more accurate trajectory for both. I'd also really appreciate some hex color recommendations for the sky, which is pretty sickly. I'm already set up to have hardcoded colors (as opposed to found by formula), so go right ahead and send a list if you have one. Phase of the moon would be harder to do, but it wouldn't be impossible. Please email me if you have suggestions for improving the Digital Stump.
According to several reliable sources, the safest colors to use in web graphics are those for which each component is a multiple of 51. I've reassigned the colors in the stump generator so they are less likely to dither on 256-color systems, but the colors now look worse than ever. Suggestions are very welcome.
Due to the inherent flakiness of the way I had set up the time-lapse stump generator, I'm going to redo it when I can run both the stump generator and the time-lapse generator on the same machine. At that time, I will probably also find a way to generate an animated gif of the recent stumps to provide a 24 or 48-hour loop. Time will tell.
That's a very good question. George Ferguson's xmon package (not widely available but installed on the cs.rochester.edu machines) included xru, a program to show, in an X window, icons for everyone logged on to the local network. I went through several icon designs before I decided to use a stump. The original stump was hand-painted in xpaint. The program wasn't written until a few months later, when I decided that a "day stump" and "night stump" just weren't enough. The XPM format and the 32x32 size were both to conform with xru.