Tutorial on getting started painting a modern army

This is the best tutorial on getting started painting a modern army.

Benjamin Bratton: Why don't the bright futures promised in TED talks come true?

I really like this talk. It is not an anti-TED talk but more of a bitch-slap, wake the fuck up kind of a talk. The most poignant comment I have read is "It says that our complacency is unsustainable in the long run." Read the comments on (UK's) The Guardian's site too.

A Common Core study group

I have two boys going into public high school next year and I am concerned. When I first heard about the Common Core educational standards I was hopeful that they would establish an appropriate bar for both educating our children and, in part, evaluating their teachers. Since then I have heard, read, and seen far more opposition to the Common Core than support for it. I think it is time for me to understand the Common Core for high school. And for this I need to read and understand it. Doing so alone and without guidance and/or interpretation is mostly likely impractical. In the past I have benefited from using a study group to understand our state's budget. I think I need the same here.

If you are interested in creating a Common Core study group please contact me either via Facebook, email at andrew@andrewgilmartin.com, or telephone 401-441-2062.

Installing Java 6 on OS X Mavericks

I need to be able to build and run Java tools under Java 6. When I got my new MacBook Pro I also got an unexpected problem and that is that there is no Java 6 for OS X 10.9. Or perhaps I should say that I did not know enough to know if I could get Java 6 for OS X 10.9. And so the machine become used as a very fast web browser.

Today I decided to make some effort to get Java 6 running. If this machine were Linux or Windows I would not have this issue. The Java packages for these operating systems use the standard Java distribution and configuration. Not so with Apple's Java. It seems like a mess to me when I compare both the standard distribution's file and directory names to Apple's and even between Apple's OS X Java 6 and Oracle's OS X Java 7. Clearly, I am not an Apple developer.

Apple's Java 6 package can be downloaded from http://support.apple.com/kb/DL1572.

I don't really need Java 6 to run, I only need Java 7 to compile and run like Java 6. And for this I only need to configure the existing Java 7 javac and java commands correctly. I am glad of this as I have no confidence that Apple's Java 6 installer will leave my existing Java 7 installation working. I will need to cheery pick what I want from Apple's Java 6 installation package ... and hope for the best. And hoping for the best is acceptable as, after all, this MacBook Pro is a development machine and so it can be a little rough and idiosyncratic.

I used the shareware tool Pacifist to extract the JavaForOSX.pkg sub-package to my ~/lib/ directory. (Pacifist is very easy to use and so I could skip understanding pkgutil.) I renamed the installed root directory from "JavaForOSX Folder" to ~/lib/jdk1.6.0 and fixed the permissions.

My builds are handled by Ant and so I need to tell the javac task to use Java 6 for source and target, and to point the bootclass to the Java 6 jars.

<path id="java6.bootclasspath">
  <fileset dir="${env.HOME}/lib/jdk1.6.0/System/Library/Java/JavaVirtualMachines/1.6.0.jdk/Contents/Classes">
    <include name="**/*.jar"/>
  ... >

The compile now works. Have not yet tried to run, however. Running is for another day.