Welcome to Dean Cheesman's Blog

So it turns out that I'm one of those people who only posts once or twice a month, but I do read a ton of blogs every day and I "share" the posts I like. So be sure to check out my "shared items" on the right side of the blog. Also, be sure to check out what music i'm listening to on my last.fm page and feel free to click the chat link to talk to me. 

Saturday, December 26, 2009

2009 Wrap-up: My List of RSS Feeds

So I went a bit overboard with my RSS feeds this year and have somehow collected 238 feeds. I'm planning a cut back for the new year, but here's the full list in alphabetical order.

Friday, December 25, 2009

2009 Wrap-up: Top Albums I listened to in '09

The following list comes from my Last.fm profile. I use GimmeSomeTune to link my iTunes and iPhone to it.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

2009 Wrap-up: Top Movies I watched in '09

This is the first installation in a series of year end wrap-ups for 2009.

Here are some of the greatest movies and shows that I have seen all year:

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Chill Music Mix

A little collection of songs that I like to listen to when trying to relax. It might be tough to make it through this without falling asleep. Good songs though... just good chill songs.

Download the mix here

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Diamond Illusion Backgrounds

Saw this video today on google reader. It inspired me to make these backgrounds. Each grey diamond is exactly the same. Works best in full-screen mode.

320x480 (iPhone)



Tuesday, October 20, 2009

October Music Playlist

I have made another playlist of music I like. That is all.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Kaleidoscope Animation

Here is the animated Kaleidoscope. Really happy with how it turned out. I added the fade-in/fade-out along with the audio in iMovie. Be sure that you watch this on in HD.

Music is "Empty Us" by Boots to the Moon

Kaleidescope Generator

I wanted to try making a program that grabbed random images from a folder and used them in an image. I had a bunch of black and white clip art from this book so I used them. These images were all made procedurally with random colors and radius distances from the middle. I have made some video animations from this too which are promising, but they are small. I hope to create some large HD videos before I share that with the world. I'm considering creating some really large images with this to make prints of and put up on the wall at my house.

Click on each image for the full sized goodness.

Friday, September 11, 2009

My try at some retro-modern art

I'm not sure if retro-modern is what you'd call it, but it's inspired by this dude. I created the design procedurally in Processing and did some post-production in Preview.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

4 Steps to discovering new music using Firefox, iTunes, and Last.FM

I can't stand the thought of trolling through hundreds of myspace pages or iTunes directories to sample music from everyone possible to discover something new. I want to have music brought to me that has already been tailored to my taste. None of this live streaming from the internet crap, I want something that can look at what I actually listen to and give me actual music files to download.

Over the past couple years I have developed a simple method to do this which combines online services, browser plugins, and iTunes.

Step 1.
Find music blogs that cater to your taste and add them to an online feed reader.

Use services like hype machine or google blog search to find blogs that have covered your favorite bands. I would suggest searching with bands you like who you feel are lesser known. This helps avoid blogs that cover wide ranges of music types. Another important note is to find blogs that post .mp3 files directly on their blog posts.

Add these blog feeds to a browser-based feed reader. I have been using Google Reader for quite a while and love it. (If you don't know what a feed reader is check out this tour or Google Reader)

Step 2.
Sign up for a Last.fm account and download GimmeSomeTune or similar app.

An app like GimmeSomeTune will upload your listening data from your iTunes library to Last.fm's database.

Not only does last.fm store your listening data, but it will also suggest music for you to listen to. I don't particularly enjoy listening to music through my browser so I don't use much of this. Instead there is also a section that has recommended songs that are free to download. Instead of going to check this all the time I add the RSS feed for this page to my Google Reader as well.

Step 3.
Use the Downloadthemall plugin for Firefox to get all songs from the blogs/feeds.

Since the Last.FM free .mp3 feed and most music bloggers' articles will link directly to .mp3 files I can use the DownloadThemAll plugin in Firefox to download every music file linked on a page. This works great when using google reader. I open up my music section and scroll through a couple weeks of time to load all the info into the browser and then run DownLoadThem all to grab all the music from the page.

Step 4.
Import files to Itunes and use Smart Playlists to filter out the best downloads

After importing all of the music into iTunes I refine the music using Genius playlist. For more on how I do this read my previous article on making a Genius Discovery Playlist.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

End of Summer 09 Playlist

I wore a hoodie yesterday. That signals the end of summer for me. It inspired me to create a playlist of music that reflects this change in season. Please download and enjoy.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Fire Fly with Beat Detection

I figured out how to render the sound visualizations so that they sync with the audio. I threw it on to this fire fly program I did previously and here's the result.

Song is "We are your friends" from Justice.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Geometry Vizualization

I went to the Tool concert last night and was thoroughly impressed by the video and light show that accompanied it. I noticed that a lot of the video used was built on complex geometric shapes. I saw this and took it as a challenge. After I got home I dabbled around with it a bit and came up with this:

Then today I thought of a couple other tweaks to make and it turned into this.

Once I come up with a satisfying final product I'll run it in HD and upload it.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Provo Acoustic Session with Drew Danburry

Just in case you guys didn't know. We did another acoustic session. This time with Drew Danburry. He was lots of fun and has some great new songs.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Firefly Screen Shots

Here are some more detailed screen shots of the Firefly swarm program that I wrote. Click to see the full sized image.

Swarm of Fireflies

I was trying to figure out how to use buffers to create more optimized animation and this was what the end result of my tests were.

The red dot randomly moves around the screen as the swarm follows.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Michael Shermer on Being Skeptical

If we all lived by these rules then the world would be a much better place. Please take the time to watch this video. If you don't agree with what is said I would love to discuss it with you.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Particle/Smoke Effect in processing

This is from my latest test on processing. Best to watch the high quality version. My first swing at creating video from the animation.

Friday, May 15, 2009

New Processing Projects

I've been learning how to do some fun Processing stuff lately. Here's a sample of something I threw together tonight. It's inspired by this guy's stuff

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Why Utah isn't so bad right now

When our current unemployment rate in Utah is as bad as the best unemployment rate of the national average it makes me feel a little better about this silly place.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

What I Do: Satellite Dealer Software - Agemni CMS

I've had a couple people ask what I do for my day job so I'd like to clarify. I work for a great software company called Agemni. We make crm software for satellite dealers, home security retailers, home theater installers, call centers, and pretty much anybody who needs to track their customers through a sale to install process. The software was previously called Dishstar, but when we started integrating more business models outside the satellite industry we changed the name.

I started at the company as one of the software engineers working mostly on migrating customers existing data from other software into our system. After working a couple years for the company and leaving for a couple years to finish school and things I came back to do sales for Agemni. It's definitely one of the best sales jobs I've heard of. Practically all of my leads come from referrals from current clients or from people signing up for one of our 15 day free trials. I spend my day showing potential clients the different ways that the software could save them money. It really sells itself.

Feel free to check out our site at www.agemni.com. You can see my first and only real attempt at non-procedural Flash animation.

Sunday, April 5, 2009


This is a perfect followup to my previous article on Evolution and a great supplement to a discussion I had with some friends and family this last week. It explains my stance on belief completely. Thanks Stephe for the share.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Iraqi Jumping Jacks

I was asked a little while ago what the funniest viral video online was... I think that this is my selection. Kills me.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Coca-Cola : Encounter

This was too good not to share.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Music So Far

Here's a graph of the music that I have been listening to so far this year. This is made using last.fm and LastGraph. To see my favorites from last year click here. (click on the graph for more detail)
From Dean and You

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

In defense of something that shouldn't need it

I have been somewhat inspired lately to write this article. The following items are a couple things that I didn't really understand until recent years. If any of you reading this don't share my view on this subject I ask you to read with an open mind, but also not to take my word for it. Go find out about it on your own as well.

First of all... a couple points about science:

1. When someone talks a bout a scientific theory they are not talking about a theory in the same way that Sherlock Holmes does when he has a hunch about something. In order for something to be considered a theory in the scientific community it is tested in multiple ways and have multiple laws describing it. It must be able to make accurate predictions concerning scientific experiments or observations. more info here.

2. Science doesn't claim absolute truth. When someone makes a claim in science it is based on the evidence at hand. As technology improves and more evidence is found scientific ideas are changed, updated, and sometimes completely disproved. This doesn't mean that science is worthless though. Even disproved theories hold some truths and some worth. Isaac Newton found ways to explain the universe that weren't completely correct, but still used until Einstein came along and disproved some of Newton's ideas.

3. "Scientists" are not some giant collective of back patters who conspire together to debate one side of an issue. Scientists are everywhere in the world doing their work in many different fields. Scientists, in general, are not motivated to keep the status quo. They don't set out to rediscover what's already been discovered. A scientist's dream is to overturn a previously accepted theory. There's no great advantage for science as a whole to stay the same.

Now to what I wish everyone would understand:

When someone talks about Evolution as a scientific theory they aren't saying that it's something that people have a hunch or guess that it's right. It means that this is something that people have rigorously tested and people have used to predict and invent great new things. If you discredit Evolution because it's just a theory you are also discrediting Germ Theory, Gravity, and any other established scientific belief.

Evolution occurs everywhere. From the way societies react, to how humans came from single celled organisms, to how the universe developed. I don't claim that all principles of the Theory of Evolution are perfect, but the evidence points towards it being correct.

If you are someone who doesn't believe in evolution I ask that you take the time to read about it. It is a beautiful concept that is so simple yet so universal. Also, if any of you would like to discuss this I would love to do that as well.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Provo Acoustic and Life Update

Hi everyone.

Its been a while. 

I don't have much new to say.

I've been trying out a lot of different ideas lately.

If I get any of those things done I'll post them here. 

So for now you should watch the newest podcast for the Provo Acoustic Sessions. 

This is number 12 of the podcasts. That's more than the Provo Pulse podcast that I did back in 2005 and 2006. 

It's been lots of fun. 

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Provo Acoustic Sessions Podcast

The podcast has been approved on iTunes. If you haven't already you should subscribe.