Obama and IP

Stolen from Digg: Obama’s Gift to British PM Ruined by DVD Zone Restrictions

It sure is something, when the most powerful person in the world gets screwed over by the outdated concept of intellectual property. Regional protection doesn’t protect anyone. It’s just a really good way to make your customers angry and an impediment to the free flow of information (the free flow of information is a cause that is very important to me).

I once tried to play a video game from Japan on my Gamecube console. Of course, it had regional protection, so my north american console wouldn’t read it. So, I inserted a disc in the console that tricks the Gamecube into shutting off its regional protection (or something like that), thus allowing me to play the video game. This just goes to show that if the media producers continue to stave off “piracy” like this, their customers will just innovate, they’ll just make the regional protection useless by getting around it. This anti-piracy measure is kind of like laws that restrict gun ownership: they only affect those who are willing to conform to the system.

I think folks in India could greatly benefit from being able to expose themselves to media from America. Perhaps people in South Africa could benefit from watching content from Colombia, or Maybe Iranians could benefit from exposure to Canadian media. Bring on the international exchange of information! Bring on media without borders!

Superimposed Photographs


I added some artworks to my portfolio, including a composite of photographs of a ball rolling downhill, a tire suspended by a tree, and an amalgamation of different components of photographs of spinning Matryoshka dolls. They’re in the “Photograph” section. Check it out!

The Past 2 Months

What have I been doing in the past 2 months?
-New artworks. Coming soon
-Setting up my ebay store. Ebay is complicated. Getting through all the rules is no fun.
-Backing up some old paper documents in digital format. Some of them dating back to 2002. Many of these documents were of great personal value, and I have been converting them to digital format. Some of this stuff (in fact, almost all of it) will one day be ready for public consumption. I sure am glad I have a website. Some of this stuff may not necessarily be useful, but one thing’s for sure: this stuff has been sitting on paper doing nothing for over five years and nothing will become of it if it remains on paper.
-Arranging. I am primarily a visual artist, but I enjoy arranging and composing music. A piece I’m working on is R*O*C*K*S from a 1986 album “Love” by Hound Dog (yes, I couldn’t find any English pages for song samples from the album). I hope to publish it along with some other remixes/original compositions of mine. I may have to expand my portfolio page to make an entirely new section for music.
-Obviously I have alot of content that has yet to published. The trick is getting it ready and in a format for public consumption.

Solomons Sunrise Photo Trip

I would’ve posted these earlier but, unfortunately, the day I planned to travel to Solomons, it was raining.
Anyway, here they are. Photos of the sunrise at Solomons. None of them are photochopped.

I wanted to share this with the world on my favorite stock photography website. Unfortunately they had some technical problems, so I posted them on dA.

Solomons Island Photo Trip

I went to Solomons. The small business sector is a nice place to take a walk and look around. It’s also very conducive to photographs of the sunset. I took some photographs of the sky.




You can click on any of them to see a larger version. I plan to go by this week and take some more photographs (of the sunrise!).

I regret to say I have no updates on Project Five. I may have to put in a bit of clarification for a previous new post however. Its release date was supposed to be September, but the customer that I was doing this project for held it back. Just wanted to clarify that before it looked like I was just being lazy not releasing it yet.

I’m Still Here

You may be wondering why I haven’t posted anything in a while. I probably should have mentioned this before it happened, but I have been moving. I’m still in SoMD, and still taking on new customers, so don’t worry. I’ve been doing that, and taking care of something else, which I won’t talk about right now (perhaps in the future), and those two things have taken a bit more effort and time than I thought they would. I’ll just say that a mistake in my life has come back to bite me. I stopped watching TV, but perhaps I may have to make even more cut-backs in my life to get things done.

Project Five Update

I began work on Project Five. It’s somewhat ironic that I mentioned that a few of my other plans had to be pushed back to work on Project Five. You see, something else came up involving a customer that pushed back the commencement of Project Five.

But anyway, I started on it, and it is almost complete. It should be done by September 1st. Here’s a little preview of the secret Project Five:

And while I’m on the matter of having things done by a certain date, I wanted to share some knowledge with you that I have always known, but a learned over again recently. I’ve spent the last few months thinking about ways to improve myself (not just in the computer art realm, but in life in general). I’ve been figuring out concepts that help me accomplish my goals.
I began work on a project a few weeks ago and did little bits of work on it. Two Sundays ago, I told myself that I wanted to have the project finished by the following Sunday. I stepped up and got a lot done. I, unfortunately, was not able to finish the project by the intended date. However, the fact that I got a lot of work done stopped me from feeling bad about it.
Whenever you do somethng, set deadlines; it gets work done faster.

Portfolio Changed

Artworks in my portfolio are now in one of five categories: commercial art, other art, web art, documents, and photo manipulation . I also added two new pieces to “commercial art”:

Down Time

I’ll be experiencing some down time today. It shouldn’t be longer than 10 minutes. This website should still be functional but if it’s not, my apologies.

Print Ads Coming Soon!

A few months back, I came across this link to a page explaining the Three Basic Steps to Get Your Desire with The Least Effort. I advise all people to read it, no matter what they do. The three steps are this:

1. Know exactly what you want
2. Always follow a straight line
3. Sharpen your saw

I’ve been working on sharpening my saw in the past 4 years in college, doing things outside of school to improve myself. I have number one down, but I decided to step up with number two recently. I’ve been trying to get in on some free resources to advertise, to spread the word about my website, online, but I realized I need to travel in a straight line. I was tired of waiting- I decided to get print ads in the local newspaper. Time to get stuff done and move forward. So, if you live in SoMD, you can expect to see this in your newspaper soon (yes, it’s in greyscale, color ads are really expensive):

Someone asked me Wednesday what I would do with one billion dollars. That gave me a lot to think about, but I realized that there were some things on my to-do list I need to put on there. I would like to be able to finish watching all the TV shows I started watching. I, unfortunately gave up on watching television a few months ago. I decided it was a sacrifice I needed to make to make more time for my work. Yes, watching the news on TV is nice, but I can get all my news on the internet (a great bonus is that internet-published news is not censored/filtered like other more expensive media may be). When I get my life together, maybe I can start watching some TV.

The To-Do List For Life

Someone recently asked me what my goals were for this summer. That is, what I intend to do before school starts up on August 25 (My last year, by the way! *insert super happy emoticon here*). I’ll admit that it isn’t very fun to think about what has yet to be done, but it sure is helpful to come up with a “to-do” list every once in a while. And I don’t mean one in my head. I mean an actual physical list on paper that I can physically look at. I have this handy dry-erase board which I bought for my door at St. Mary’s College. I ran out of room for all the items and had to make a column on the right:


But that day, I was working on my list of things to do, I had a thought: this list of things I want to get done is a short-term to-do list. I have kind of sort of been thinking about my “things to do before I die” list from time to time in the past 7 or 8 years (obviously, my number one goal is to establish myself in the computer art field). Actually, I’ve thought about it almost every day. The list I’m about to show you does not have everything; just things I can put words to now. Some time in the past year, I thought about my life-long “to-do” list and then considered an interesting fact: I will not be able to do all the things I want to do. I am going to die before I finish everything on my list (if not by old age, then by something else). Perhaps some medical technology advancements will prevent this from being true, but in the past few years I have come to accept this fact. I also have to take into account that, while I’m going through life accomplishing my goals, there, no doubt, will be new things that I want to do.

Anyway, I put some pen to paper yesterday, and here it is:

  • Produce a Trading Card Game– I am so fascinated by the concept of a TCG and have been for quite a few years. There are so many things that can be done with it, so many possibilities.
  • Create a Comic Series– I have concepts for stories. Lots of concepts. One in particular I think would be nice if illustrated. It would be published on the Internet and I would profit using the same method U2 has used recently (it’s free, but if you like it, pay for it, and we’ll stick around to make more songs). I’ve also considered writing a children’s story in the form of an illustrated book.
  • Backup All My Paper Documents on Computer– This may be a simple task, but I haven’t had time to look at it.
  • Become an Activist– and attempt to tear down the aura of legitimacy that governments have. Apolitical activism and education.
  • Learn Japanese– I’m really into J-Pop. It would be cool to know/understand the words to some of my favorite songs. It would also be nice to read Japanese Pokemon cards and know about them before they get released in the United States. I have this lovely kana chart taped to the side of my computer.
  • Prove to the World We Can Survive Without Intellectual Property– Perhaps by releasing content using the U2 method mentioned above. Intellectual property wasn’t doing them an ounce of good. If you like my free content, pay me for it and I’ll make some more.
  • Win a Pokemon TCG Premier Event– never done it before.
  • Become Leader of the Largest Pokemon TCG League in the World– I came close once. We were the 11th largest league at one time. This is within the realm of possibility. I am sure of it.
  • Do Something Noteworthy– you know, something that makes people remember me. Accomplish something that smart people will remember after I’m dead. Something that will get me my own page on Wikipedia.
  • Write Several Scripts– I have lots of ideas for scripts in my head. I should write them down before those ideas go away. EDIT: When I said “scripts” I was referring to works of fiction, not Photoshop scripts or html-embedded scripts, though those are nice too….
  • Discover the Best Way to Play Rock, Paper, Scissors– I feel there may be a way to play Rock, Paper, Scissors algorithmically with a noticeable level of success.
  • Finish Every TV Series I Liked Watching– I don’t watch TV anymore. But if I get the oppurtunity to do so again, I would like to finish Slayers Next/Try, DragonBall Z, Kare Kano, Desparate Housewives, G Gundam, Knights of the Zodiac, Arrested Development, and Bobobobobobobo.
  • Learn the International Phonetic Alphabet- and learn how to type with it. It seems that this alphabet has a character for every sound. I like that and despise worthless characters like “Q”, “X”, or “C”.

As for my short-term to-do list, you can see there are quite a few items there. I have some stuff to keep me busy. I can’t help but be perplexed when I hear someone say “I’m bored”. I say- there’s always something to do. There’s always some way to improve your life. There are virtually limitless things one can do with one’s life.

Some of the items are more high priority than others. Some of them are going to be pushed back. Quite a few of them are moving to the back burner, in fact. You can see that most of my items were blurred out with a super-special-awesome Microsoft Paint (Unfortunately, my computer has a “fever” and I will be getting some “medicine” in the mail in just a few days to fix it. I would never use MSPaint except under strange circumstances.). One of the items I am very excited about, but will keep it a secret for now, has just been moved to the front while my other items will have to wait. One of my customers have given me a big job to do and I’m ready to tackle this thing head-on. I will henceforth refer to it as “Project Five”.

The scheduled release date for Project Five is early September. Though I said some of the other items on my list are being pushed back, do not worry! All my current customers, I will still be finishing whatever it is I am working on. In addition, I am not at all turning down new customers. I am not any position to do that. 🙂

Live Under a Rock Much?

I currently have a customer who wants help with a blog. A little graphic design and coding here and there.
I was talking to my mother about this yesterday. My mother asked me what the blog was for. It belongs to an individual. It doesn’t appear to be advertising any specific cause, good, or service. It’s purely recreation.
“Well that’s pretty egocentric!” my mother said. Not expecting her to say something like this, I did what I could to justify the idea. “Well, people have stories and they would like to share them. Interesting stories. Funny stories. Inspiring stories. Things that people often do want to hear. There are many blogs out there in the blog world, that are owned by individuals that have purpose but recreation.”
“Why would someone want to have a website about themself?”
“Some bloggers have fans. On some blogs, there are places for readers to post comments and many blogs, if the user posts regularly and puts effort into it, do have fans and lots of replies to their posts.
The internet is a great place to preserve one’s anonymity. Many blogs are anonymous. People will visit a blog, read the content, and have fun doing it, reading someone else’s interesting stories.”

She still didn’t get it. Ever had any experiences with someone who’s been “living under a rock” who hears about a new concept/technology and can’t make heads or tails of it or just thinks it’s stupid?

The fact of the matter is, that blogs have been a way for people to anonymously post things about their lives. People had diaries that they had locked up in their rooms, but now thanks to technology, they can share details about their personal lives without anybody knowing about it. Very conservative people or otherwise people who wouldn’t write diaries are doing it now and other people are entertained by the posts of bloggers. If I recall correctly, there was a well-known movie about one or two years ago that was based on the blog posts of a young man from Tokyo. People are making movies based on blogs. The fad is catching on; They won’t be goin’ away for a while.

Fun With Logarithmic Graphs!

In the past few weeks, I’ve been posting résumés online. I have been working on indexing this website.

A few months ago, I made a graph involving probabilities in the Pokémon Trading Card Game. Probability is my favorite branch of mathematics.

I have another such graph planned only this one will not involve literal percentages; it most likely be logarithmic. I will post it here when I’m done!

Soon I will work on getting all my artworks on this site, including the stuff I’ve done for Pokémon, but first I may have to get my portfolio into different categories. Especially a section for “before and after” images for photo manipulation; I definitely want to work on getting that up.

Going Down the Right Path?

Have you ever had the feeling you should be doing something else with your life?
I heard something that really touched my heart yesterday.
I was watching The Big Idea on MSNBC last night. There was a segment about success in life. The anchor interviewed a person who was going down a path that did not bring happiness in his life. He decided to pursue a conventional job in an open field with easy, steady income, just as he thought he was “supposed” to do. Along the way, he discovered that he was unhappy and started having thoughts about his favorite thing to do.
He said something like, “I realized that this was my passion. This is what I’ve always wanted to do.” He knew it would be risky to change careers, but, “I’m going to start doing it and the money will have to follow.”
His decision paid off.

He went to law school to get a safe job with easy money then became a corporate lawyer. But he enjoyed building artworks with legos. He knew very well it would be unusual to start his own business and profit from building with lego bricks, but he didn’t let that get in the way. He started enjoying his job and is very happy with where he is in life now.

I’m happy that I chose to do things I like and not let the lure of a career in a secure field get in the way. I went to college to do art and I feel it was definitely a better choice than other fields. I am happy with that choice.

Always consider whether you’re going down the right path. I can think of times in my life when I considered whether I was making the best choices. Think about whether you’re happy or not. Whenever I do it, even if I realize I made a mistake, I felt better after, knowing that I had a higher level of understanding and could learn from the mistakes of the past.

Hurray for the entrepreneurial spirit!
A thank you to Derek Anderson, my 12th grade Advanced Acting teacher who persuaded me to not take theatre in college. Looking back, that would not have brought me happiness.

On to this website: I am currently working on publicity of this website. And of course, I’m always working on creating new artworks.

Nkirkpatrick.com Now Online!

Welcome! This is the first public version of my website. Nkirkpatrick.com is finally online. I’m really happy that it’s up. I’ve been wanting to get this thing ready and online for a while but it always seemed there was something in the way.

I tell my friends that this website is like a big rock. I am trying to push this rock up a hill. When I get it to the top of the hill, it’s going to feel so good and I can finally move on with my life. This website (the fact that I did not have it online yet) has caused a lot of trouble for me. But now it’s finally up and I am ready to make use of it!

Expect me to update this site with new artworks and new features from time to time.

At the home page, you can see an example of my latest work. You can double-click on it if you’ like to see the full version. Let me know if there are any broken links or if you notice anything wrong with the site.

Looking for Work

What is this website all about? I’m a computer artist from Southern Maryland. I am looking for work. It helps to have online examples of my work I can point to. Who am I? Below is a bio from a previous version of my website:

“My interest in computer art was activated in 1996, when I saw a program on my computer that came with Windows 98, known as Microsoft Paint. In my ignorance, I thought it was a game, as it resembled a video game I played as a child, Mario Paint. Only a few years later, I discovered its practical uses. I remember using it for practical jokes; I tricked my 9th grade Spanish teacher into believing that I once traveled to Panama.

In high school, I stepped into the realm of non-recreational use of computer art (I also evolved past using Microsoft Paint). I was able to make graphics to help me in many assignments. I could reach levels of efficiency I had never experienced without computers.

After high school, I acquired 59 credits at the College of Southern Maryland. I was accepted to St. Mary’s College of Maryland in 2006, and have been allowed to seek a student-designed major in Computer Art.”


Anyway, I’m looking for work. You can see examples of my art on the portfolio page. You can take a look at my rĂ©sumĂ© too. I’m always interested in finding new things to do. If you are interested in hiring me, my email address is nicholaskirkpatrick@hotmail.com