HowTo: Generate a Mandelbrot with ASCII Art using TSQL

Actual Mandelbrot image generated  



Actual Mandelbrot image generated

Okay, I’m a programmer so by nature I enjoy these kinds of things but I just couldn’t resist sharing with you. 

Just for comparison purposes the image on the right is a computer generated image of a Mandelbrot that I’ve converted to grayscale for comparison. 

The Mandelbrot Set image below was generated using less than 50 lines of TSQL code using ASCII characters – I just used a really small font-size in Notepad and then after capturing it inverted the colours for better effect as an image. [via The Daily WTF]


ASCII characters used to create a Mandelbrot

ASCII characters used to create a Mandelbrot

Minority Report UI actually a reality


From TechCrunch:

The gesture-based g-speak “spatial operating interface” (SOE) software platform has been in development at MIT’s Media Laboratory since the early 1990s and its intended use isn’t as nerdy as we’d expect. It’s meant to facilitate answers to real-world issues.

Take a look at the video clip for yourself to see it in action – quite something indeed. [via CrunchGear]

LIFE photography archive available through Google

Google now hosts over 10 million historic Time-Life photos from as far back as the 1750’s to present day. A nifty trick to use Google Image search to only search for those photos is to add source:life in your search query. [via Lifehacker]


Anti-Smoking Campaigns

If you haven’t figured it out yet, smoking kills – and to bring the point across there’s a collection of anti-smoking adverts from around the world on Funtasticus. Click on the image below to follow the link to the post with more adverts. 


Vistarising XP

There have been a number of posts on Lifehacker and How-To-Geek about nifty little tips, tricks and tools to add nice Vista features to XP. Yet, of those I’ve come across few seem to work without glitches. 

I tried installing the Vista Sidebar and Gadget pack but without success. Alky installed fine, but the actual Sidebar tool kept on failing to load. [via gHacks] So much for having gadgets in XP.

Then I tried installing Shock Aero 3D to get the Vista-looking WinKey+Tab feature which seemed to work nicely and it has various options for display and background effects. [via Lifehacker] This seemed to load and works well without any problems. 

Next thing I liked and wanted to try out was Visual Task Tips which shows you previews of windows as you move your cursor over the item in the taskbar. [via How-to-Geek] Very handy feature which seemed to work well. Doesn’t like Google Chrome Application Windows though.

I’m really keen to see more from Windows 7 – if they can get rid of the need for their OS to run on Deep Blue and fix hardware compatibility issues (which also relies on vendors delivering drivers) then maybe one-day more people will move to Windows 7 than they did to Vista. But for now, I’m sticking to XP, thanks!

A view of a microscopic world


sunflower, morning glory, hollyhock, lily, primrose and caster bean. The largest one at center is nearly 100 microns wide. (Dartmouth Electron Microscope Facility/Dartmouth College

Pollen from a variety of common plants: sunflower, morning glory, hollyhock, lily, primrose and caster bean. The largest one at center is nearly 100 microns wide. (Dartmouth Electron Microscope Facility/Dartmouth College)



The Big Picture has put together another amazing collection of photographs – this time from various electronic microscope photographs of various alien looking things but when you read their descriptions you’ll be amazed to see that they’re just your everyday objects or organisms. Take a look for yourself.

Why Vote?

Those that know me personally know I don’t usually get involved in things political but I thought I’d share the following with you.

We’ve all seen what has recently happend in the US with Barack Obama as the new president elect and the higher than normal number of voters going to the polls – even more impressive is the higher than normal number of new/young voters registering to vote.

Here in South Africa, things aren’t always peachy – we’ve got a ruling party that is losing key members to an opposing new party, Congress of The People, faster than you can say “CoPe”. and we’ve got our own General elections coming up in 2009. Those reading local newspapers or watching local TV stations know about the campaign to get people to register to vote and make sure they’re registered.

Nic Haralambous, from SA Rocks, has created a new website to highlight the issue about our own elections next year. Go and take a look for yourself. Want more info about how to register to vote or check you’re registered? Look no further.

Is Apple building a Search Engine?

apple-logoIt seems these day’s everyone wants a piece of the pie with competition hotting up on the mobile market (competing touch-screen brands) and Google having recently entered the browser market. And it seems Apple is no different – with Google competing with them in the mobile market with Android it sounds like they’re possibly planning their own search engine. Seems Apple might want to take Microsoft on on more than just OS.

Bone marrow transplant 'cures HIV patient'

According to doctors, in Germany, a leukaemia patient, who was also infected by HIV, is HIV free for the last 20 months since his bone marrow transplant. Experts are saying that 1 in 1000 Americans and Europeans have a genetic mutation that prevents the HIV from attaching to cells in their bodies.

The clinic said since the transplant, tests on his bone marrow, blood and other organ tissues have all been clean.

“More than 20 months after the successful transplant, no HIV can be detected in the patient,” the clinic said in a statement.

Such a donor supplied this patient with a bone marrow transplant and has subsequently cured him from HIV for almost 2 years now. You can read more about this on BBC News.  – thanks to David for the link.


HIV Particle - Image Copyright Russell Kightley