Silos and the Open Web

On Blogs, RSS and Social Media:

The Open Web movement asserts a special role for public, cooperative, and standard World Wide Web communications; it opposes private, exclusive, proprietary Web solutions.

Computer scientist Tantek Çelik gives three aspects of the Open Web:

  1. publish content and applications on the web in open standards
  2. code and implement the web standards depend on
  3. access and use content / code / web-apps / implementations



An information silo, or a group of such silos, is an insular management system in which one information system or subsystem is incapable of reciprocal operation with others that are, or should be, related. Thus information is not adequately shared but rather remains sequestered within each system or subsystem, figuratively trapped within a container like grain is trapped within a silo: there may be a lot of it, and it may be stacked quite high and freely available within those limits, but it has no effect outside those limits.


Sometimes I wonder what it’d be like to go full-bore blog again, like in the old days. Twitter’s only real use is as a notification system, after all, so you’d just pump out post links to it from your blog. You know, the way people used to, when having a place for your own voice and your own thoughts was a good thing.

When I was in the swing of it, way back when, it was like the world’s most minimalist radio station. A Station Ident post to start the day, a Night Music or Closedown post at the end of the day, littered with whatever strangeness and wonder passed my screen in between.

I miss that long moment when the web seemed full of people doing the same thing, or thinking in public. It happens in the Republic Of Newsletters, now. But it was nice to have all those little radio stations broadcasting in the night.

Warren Ellis

The above tweeter, RSS pioneer, David Winer has made an RSS feed for journalists. Eliot Landrum has followed suit with an RSS feed for Open Architects.  These are in the form of OPML files that can be read in your RSS reader of choice.

High Sierra 10.13.2 move/copy files finder freeze issue

There appears to be a compatibility issue between the High Sierra 10.13.2 security update and Samba (SMB), the networking protocol. I believe this is an issue to do with Intel processors, but that is as far as my understanding goes.

As a result, moving files on an externally mounted drive on an internal network causes the finder to freeze, (with the message “preparing to copy…”) requiring a manual shutdown to get the computer going again.

We have found a work around as follows:

  1. Eject the drive/computer from the machine where the freeze is happening, using the eject icon in the finder window.
  2. Go to Finder > Go > Connect to server…
  3. Into the server address type afp://xxxx, where xxx is the internal ip address of the server where the drives are located.
  4. Follow your normal connection procedure from here.

This reconnects the drive using the AFP protocol. So far we have been able to have full control over our folders on the externally mounted drive on the internal network. At this point we’re not sure if this requires reconnecting each time you start up, but it would be advisable to turn of any auto load of the drives in the “login items” in your User Preferences.



I have been reorganising my site a bit. I decided to use the WordPress Portfolio system, which allows you to build a network of pages showcasing work. I thought it might free up some time and energy as there is so much built in functionality there.
It’s early days yet, but I have changed some of the menu above to reflect the changes. You can see the full portfolio pages here.
As well as giving each project it’s own page the system provides specific pages for tags and types so as I add more things the possibilities of how things can be viewed and juxtaposed increases, which I find very interesting.
Here’s a few different groupings below to give you an idea:






Like I said it’s early days. As I ass more things hopefully it’ll fill out more.

Also I am toying of upgrading my WordPress so I can sell stuff directly from here instead of Big Cartel and that should enable more to do some more CSS modification of the site.


El Capitan OS and After Effects network issue.

Do not upgrade yet to El Capitan OS if you use After Effects a lot. When working on networked files it slows to an unworkable speed.

I’ve been on it for a while, but have only just noticed this as I’ve only been working in Maya recently and that is fine.

It appears to be a major issue involving smb sharing and whatnot. There’s some people discussing it here.

I’m just downloading an upgrade for AE now so will keep you informed.

Format shift news for RSS subscribers 

As anyone who follows me on RSS (haha!) will have noticed I have started making more microblog style posts on this feed on a daily basis. I have decided to do this so that some things I post on social media have a home here too. Somewhere between a backup and me having control of my own content. So you can get separate RSS feeds for this site, one to include the long read posts, ones categorised “macro”, and one for short posts titled “micro”. Frequency will on the macro will therefore be, at the very most, 2 or 3 times weekly.

Here they are:

From this site:

Microblog – miniposts, daybook, scrapbook.

Macroblog – News and longer posts,

Both – of the Above


LinkFeed – Everything I bookmark

Tumblr – (Proto-Scrapbook)


“AEGP Plugin MayaImport: Error reading Maya file. ( 5027 :: 12 )”

One of the splendours of using After Effects and Maya together is being able to import cameras from one to the other.

I use this feature a lot and then the issue came with a scene I just working on. I tried many different things and eventually realised it was the scene that was triggering the problem. I wondered if it had picked up a glitch that AE didn’t like.

So my fix was, To make a new fresh scene, import the previously exported camera (the one AE refused) then to export it again from there. Then it worked.

EDIT: Ensure that the correct resolution is set in the render settings and the camera focal length also matches the original camera.

Making Mental Ray for Maya 2015 work with Macintosh OS Mavericks (10.9)

As you may be aware if you follow me on Twitter we’ve been having some terrible trouble with rendering on Mental Ray for Maya after upgrading to the Macintosh Mavericks OS.

There seemed to be a conflict with multiple thread renders and the new Macintosh architecture.

We so far seem to have cleared the issue.

We completely uninstalled all parts of Maya, on the problem computers by dragging the Maya folder in the applications to the trash and then finding the Autodesk preferences folder in Library/Preferences(Library appears when you Alt-click the Go menu), and removing that too. Probably best keep a back up of that one.

Then do a fresh install of the new Maya 2015 Sp3.

It’s easier than uninstalling Mavericks anyways.

We had this in place for 3 days now and the constant hangs seem to be over.

Fingers crossed.

Edit: Scrub that. Still having freeze problems. Thinking of now striping the Mavericks machines to take them back to OS 10.8, as we are having no problems with them. If anyone else is making progress on this please let me know.

Edit 2: I tried CGBeige‘s script in the render farm, but it didn’t seem to stop the issue. So I have reverted to enabling “Overtime Kill Ratio” on Smedge (the software we use to managed our render farm). I set this to 3, so that if the work for the chunk goes 3 times over the work unit time it kills the chunk and starts again., which is good enough to kick it into gear and means I can sleep, without looking over the render farm all night.

Oh, and I have raised an official case ID with Autodesk, in case you were wondering.

Edit 3: Just found this post on Inside Mental Ray, there is an SP4, and they claim to have fixed it.

“We are glad to announce that we were able to remove the cause for freezes and crashes on Mac OS X version 10.9”

So we’ll see.