Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas! It's Christmas Eve right now, and I'm in a great mood. It's such a fun time of year. I actually got the theme up about a week ago, for anyone who's been paying attention. I like making these Christmas-y pictures. I even went so far as to render out a video in Blender of some stick figures getting ready for Christmas. It's a bit fast, I'm still not all that great at working out timings of things. I'm going to upload it here. I'm not sure how well that will work for Facebook readers, so if you want to see it, go to my blog's page at www.cyborg572.blogspot.com and watch it there, unless it works on Facebook. I learned a lesson from this though. My computer is not cut out for rendering. All the hissing and spitting sounds it makes are not encouraging. Anyway, I hope everyone has a fantastic Christmas, and a wonderful New Year. (though I should post again before than) Until next time, here's the video (yeah... there's no sound):

Yes, that's the same tree from the picture. Why model 2? Same presents too actually...


Graphics Card + 100 visitors

I just got a new graphics card today. I can't wait to install it. I'm debating whether to install it tonight, or wait until tomorrow. I can't really do anything at the moment, because I'm waiting for the window's drivers for the card to finish downloading. My old card was an ATI Radeon 9200se, which is a real pain to get to do anything useful on Linux. I'm hoping this Nvidia GeForce Xfx 5600 will work better. I got an awesome deal on it from a classmate of mine. It's not a new card really, but looking at it's specs, it's about twice as powerful as what I have now, and with much better Linux support. So I'm going to save this as a draft now, and I'll get back to it after it downloads and I have it installed.

Well, I installed the card on both windows and Linux, and was so pleased that I have to admit I completely forgot about this post. I now have fully working Compiz Fusion effects, and am just trying to work out a couple bugs involving running Blender. So all-in-all, I'm very happy.

I just noticed, as well, that my visitor counter hit the 100 visitor mark on Wednesday. This also makes me very happy. So thanks to everyone who reads this blog. Until next time... I'll be working on some Christmas graphics to put up.

I think part of the reason I'm getting visitors is because Google has started sending them my way. XD


It's About Time

Anyone who reads this blog regularly (yes, I know, there aren't any, but still...) may remember a post I made last April, called "Don't We Get a Say In All This?". The post was about wanting to take a survey. I went on and on about not getting any say in the school system that makes up a major part of our life for 14 years or so. On Friday, and I know this had nothing whatsoever to do with my post, but that's not the point, everyone at our school received a newsletter informing us about an online survey from the school board. This pretty much made my day.

I'm taking the survey right now as I write this. It's modular, just so you know. It's a nice survey. Completely anonymous, with a user name and password given by the school. It lets you skip answers you're not sure about (unless you accidentally answer it...), and leave and resume at any time. It's nice to see the school board finally taking an interest in the opinions of students. There are a lot of questions, which is a good thing. Some stuff could be worded a bit clearer though. Apparently, "School to College" programs are not things like presentations from the colleges ans universities about things like financial management... I think I may have messed up there. Oh well. So far it seems to be mainly about things like Co-Op and Apprenticeship programs and the like. Maybe as it goes on there will be some questions about "Mainland School" if you catch my drift. Now it's onto dual-credit courses... I know very little about any of these, cause I've never done one. I'm leaving lots of answers blank. And judging by the progress bar, I am now on the last module, which is: Server Error !?!? darn, that's not good.... Alright, so I hit back, and then clicked the link again and it worked, but that could be a problem... This last module is on learning about post-secondary options.

Oh, I was wrong, there is another module, "Experiences at School" This is the one I've been waiting for. Good, relevant questions about the school experience in general. I like that I can sign up for results.

Well, the survey is done. I'm sorry if most of the blog up until this point was a bit incoherent, I was just jotting down my thoughts as I took it. The survey probably could have been better, but it's a nice gesture either way. I really hope this kind of thing continues and improves as the years go on.

Server errors are not good things to have in surveys. No siree Bob.



Well, I've been sort of busy. I've suddenly started customizing most of my computer. I figured out a better logo than that red diamond thing, and I've started using it to theme most of my computer. I made my own KDE login splash screen. Actually, I made two, almost identical. The rest of this post is just some example pictures. The first is my logo, then the two splash screens. If anyone uses KSplash, and wants these themes, let me know, I'll get them to you somehow. I don't think I'm going to put them on KDE-look.org or anything, unless someone thinks that's a good idea. Well, until next time, enjoy these pics!

Yeah... I just traced my pic in inkskape for the logo



You know what my favorite kind of weather is? Fog. I really like fog. I just love it in the morning when you wake up and can't see anything out of your windows. Thick fog is the best. When everything starts getting blurry at an arm's length, and then by a couple meter's it solid gray. It's very peaceful, if you ask me. And usually the temperatures when it's foggy are nice too. Not usually too hot when it's warm, and you can usually get by with a light jacket on the cooler days. Yesterday was almost a very foggy day, but not really. I thought it might get foggy today because it was still foggy last night, but no. Oh well. I'm just waiting for spring, when all the fog comes to town, but all this thinking about it made me want to post about it. Until next time!

"In the arena of logic, I fight unarmed" - Red Mage, 8bit Theatre, www.nuklearpower.com


Ranting In MLA Format

Today I'm working on an English essay. It has me really frustrated and I started ranting a few lines in. I thought I might as well post it here. Enjoy.

*My Name Witheld

*Teachers Name Witheld

*Course Code Witheld

4. November 2007

The novel “Cell” by Stephen King is a good book. Why? It just is. I liked it and you can take that as you will. I could tear it apart, find reasons, and quotes, and back it all up in the form of a three page essay, but then I wouldn't feel it was a good book any more. It would be tainted by the bad memories of having to shred it apart. That's why I don't do any readers responses on books I like. The whole process ruins the book for me. I'm going to have to find a different book to do my third response on, because I don't feel like ruining “The Salmon of Doubt” I thoroughly enjoy that book on so many levels, and this type of project would just ruin it. If you think of a favourite book as a favourite pet, you will see that this makes perfect sense. If you love your pet you just do. You don't try to pick your pet apart piece by piece to find what in them makes you love them. What you love is the pet as a whole. Once you pick it apart, what you have is a bloody mess, and your favourite pet is no more. That is just horrible. I know in a while I'll have to get rid off all this ranting and put an actual formal essay here about whether or not “Cell” was good. That's another challenge right there. I have to use “good book”/“bad book” as my thesis, those are the only two allowed. Those are, I'm fairly sure, opinions. We have to do it as a formal essay, which, by definition, are not opinions. It's the kind of contradiction that makes these projects that much harder to get a good mark on. Like being forced to build a house from what's left of you poor pet, only to have the person who made you do that complain that it seems like it was built from the remains of your pet (I think I might drop that metaphor now, it's a bit disturbing for my tastes). I really should erase all this and do the essay, as it is due first thing tomorrow, but I'm enjoying this much more. Picking English assignments apart is fairly enjoyable. Say you had this couch you really didn't like... well, you can see where that is going. You get a lot of Fabric and fluff, and maybe some fire wood, and no more evil couch. Also, you get some bing springs you can do stuff with. So by criticizing my English assignment, I get big springs, or something like that. Hang on, I'm going to check my English teachers rating on “RateMyTeachers.ca” just to see how he's doing there. I'm shocked at how good his ratings are. Oh well. Time to erase all this (probably save it first) and do the real essay. I guess. If I have to. Maybe I should go leave a comment on his rating, hmm....

Cellulose, My Good Friend


Happy Halloween!

Well, It's Halloween once again. This year I managed to come up with a costume that I liked, my friends recognized, and that was easy to put together. Pajamas, plus house coat, (or dressing gown, or bath robe, or whatever you feel like calling it) plus towel equals: Arthur Dent. This Halloween I went as the main character from Hitchhikers. I didn't go out trick-or-treating this year, I might be getting a bit old for that. I would have handed out candy, but my road doesn't do trick-or-treating. All the candy is given out at a community Halloween party. That party was last week this year.
So I've tried theming my blog again. Probably should have done that a couple days ago. I'll leave the theme up for a while, just so it has a chance to run. If you're reading this on Facebook, you may want to check out the actual blog just to see. Right now it's just a themed pic, but when I'm done typing this I'll see what else I can do.
I managed to fix the problem with my computer constantly overheating (Broken fan fin catching on a grate) so I can actually use Blender once again. Now I can get to work making, um, stuff and whatnot... like Jack-o-Lantern display pics. That's it from me today. Until Next Time.

You know, technically, tomorrow's the holiday. Why do we celebrate "All Hallow's Eve", but not "All Hallow's Day" or whatever it's called?


What a Trip!

I just got back from a two or three day trip, depending on how you look at it. Friday we headed to Toronto for a relative's wedding. I just figured out the actual relation at the reception. She's my Oma's Cousin's daughter. On Saturday we headed up to Peterborough. I got to spend the day with some of my friends who live in the area. It was nice to see them again. Today we drove by the place we used to live when we were there, and then headed home.

The wedding on Friday was alright, and the reception was awesome. The bride and her family have always known how to throw a great party. There was good food, Awesome deserts, lots of guests, plenty to drink, and - of course - a Live polka band. The band was very good. My parents were complaining that they only play polka music and nothing else, or so it seems. I didn't mind that very much. They had a CD player for the other music. The band was the Kielbasa Kings. They did some interesting stuff. They managed to successfully merge the Chicken dance with the Violent Femmes song, "Blister in the Sun" which made for an interesting song. They're polka remix of "Be My Yoko Ono" by the Bare Naked Ladies, another interesting combo. So all in all a great party. I mean, how couldn't it be? When you go to a party, and the first thing you do is find the small pumpkin with your name on it, you know it's going to be good. My dad took a bite out of his mini-pumpkin, just so you know.

I've been waiting for Saturday for a few weeks now. It's been about a year and a half since I've seen my friends from the Peterborough area. Although I could only hang with one of the two I went to see (and one of her friends I sort-of know) it was still fun. We didn't really do much. Just hung out like the "Good ol' Days." It was nice. Definitely worth the extra 8 hours of driving (2 up from Toronto, 6 for the trip home), and extra night in a hotel, compared to if we had just gone straight home on Saturday. I can't wait until later next semester (May, I think) when the school there does it's 1812 reenactment. My brother's part of the group that helps the school, so we'll be heading back up. That time will be for a few days, and with any luck I'll be able to see more of my friends in the area. I really miss hanging out with them.

Well that's it for me today. I've got some stuff in the works, if I can get my computer to stop overheating, so you may be hearing from me again pretty soon. Either way, you will hear from me again eventually. Until next time!

I'm going as Arthur Dent for Halloween.


English Class

Brace yourselves, this is going to be one of my "Making a point" type blog entries. I haven't written one like this since Don't We Get a Say in All This. This time I want to focus on English class. I have long held English class as my least favorite of all the subjects (with geography a close second). Last year it seemed more brutal than ever, which is what inspired the aforementioned post. This year though, it somehow got worse. This year's English class is the second of two classes that have ever made me angry. Thinking about what the homework is, and what it will be, and what we will be doing for the next few weeks, it bothers me. Basically, in a nut shell, what we are doing is finding the longest, most uneventful, boring and depressing stories we can, and going over them slowly and painfully to suck out the hidden meaning. It's enough to drive a person mad, or at least put them into a bit of a depression, if it goes on for too long. Personally, I find these stories hard to read, and even harder to re-read. Between the boringness, the sadness, and my short attention span, I keep realizing that I haven't actually read any of the words on the last three pages, and keep having to go back. So what does one do about this? Nothing. There is absolutely nothing that can be done. Either you just suck it up, do the work, and feel like garbage for the next few hours, every day, or you don't do it and you fail the project, get a low English mark, and are rejected from university. There is no real way of protesting this. Even if everyone in the class protests together, the result is just group failure. And if you do do the work? No guarantee you won't just fail anyway. All these stories can be interpreted several different ways. Everyone will find different hidden meanings and messages, depending on personal biases. Of course, you tend to only do well if you pull out the same meaning as the teacher, who "knows" the hidden meaning. The only way to really know the hidden meaning is to ask the author, not that the teacher has ever done that. Their conclusions are based of assumptions made by other people who think they have it right. You can't ask the author yourself either, as they tend to make sure the authors of all the stories died at least a decade ago. So there it is, the boring, angering, depressing, futile thing that is grade 12 academic English. Until next time.

I REALLY don't like English. :(


Now What?

Well... I've run out of things to do. For once I've gotten my computer to the point where everything is working. This morning I got blender all set up with my usual settings, and just plumb ran out of things that needed to be done. I'm once again looking for a project to keep myself busy with. I've got a couple things I've wanted to get started on for a while now. I was working on a 3D animation based on some really simple characters I found scribbled on some papers from when I was in grade school, And I've also got an Idea for a game I would like to work on. I'm just finding it very hard to actually get started. The animation is giving me trouble because I have this group of characters, and that's it. No story line, no personalities, no setting. The characters themselves aren't overly original, I'm pretty sure I had based them off of another character I had seen at the time, and I keep finding overused characteristics are all I can think of for personalties. As for the game, well, I started that over summer. Then I hit some road blocks. Then I tried to start up again. It's so tempting to just try and fix the code I wrote over the summer, but too much of it is buggy, and hacked together. So I'm trying to write it again from scratch, which his hard cause I can't remember what it was everything needed to do. I've tried looking off the original as a reference, but that just ends with me copying it, and is just as problematic as trying to fix it. I really need to sit down for a couple hours, completely uninterrupted and just think about it and work everything out. Of course, that's not going to happen anytime soon. during the day, when my family is all awake, I can't focus for more than ten minutes at a time. If it isn't my mom calling me to do something, then it's my brother just bugging me to tell me a joke from a Simpson's re-run that we've both seen about a dozen times. Or maybe it's the dog whining to go out. So that leaves at night, after everyone else has gone to bed. During the summer that's when I got the most work done. But during the school year, I have to get up at 6:00 in the morning. So the absolute latest I can stay up is eleven, which is when everyone goes to bed. Except on Friday and Saturday nights, when I can stay up later cause I don't have to get up. Lately, however, I'm finding I just can't do that. The seven hours of sleep or less, every night during the week is starting to catch up with me I think. I have no clue how to get in more sleep though. From six 'o' clock until three 'o' clock I'm at school, getting ready for school, or in transit between home and school. And although there is about two hours of free time over the course of the school day, it's not really constructive free time. Can't do much else other than talk to people. Not that talking to people isn't enjoyable, it just doesn't accomplish much. So that leaves from three 'o' clock until eleven 'o' clock in which I can get stuff done. That's eight hours. Seven if you take out the time spent on eating supper and doing dishes, less if my mom has me help her. So less than seven hours a day of true free time. Now, to actually get some work done on either of those projects, I need use of the computer. My dad uses the computer for work, on most nights, right up until super (six 'o' clock) so those three hours are gone. And I really should be using that time for school projects and whatnot. so after the hour for supper/dishes, I have four hours left at the end of the day, where I can sort of focus on getting stuff done. Provided my favorite shows aren't on that night. So if I were to go to bed earlier, I would get 3 hours a day to actually do what I want to get done, and it would be a distracted three hours. Also one of my favorite shows is on at ten, so I'd miss that. That's 15 hours, over the course of a school week, in which I can work on a project. Right now I get 18. Either way I'm usually distracted and multitasking. So what was the point of all this? I can't remember. I'm too tired. That was it I think. I don't get enough sleep during the week, and have no place in my schedule to fit more in. So on Friday and Saturday nights, when I try and stay up late, and take advantage of a few hours of productive, distraction free computer time, I find I'm too tired to focus on anything. I'm willing to bet that this blog entry has a few points that don't make sense, as it is after twelve on a Saturday as I write this. So I think I'm going to have to start taking advantage of the weekends to catch up sleep, which leaves me with no time to do some good, focused work. Of course, I'm sure I'm not the only one with this particular dilemma.
Doing some quick math, I come up with 21%. That's how much of the time I'm awake during a school week, that I can actually spend doing what I really want to, which is working on the projects I have going on the computer. It's kind of interesting to see that. Just figure out how much time during you school/work week you awake. I'm awake from 6am until 11pm, Monday through Friday. Unless I stay up late on Friday, but I'm just counting that as part of the "Unpredictable Weekend." So that's 85 hours each school week, of which 18 hours are actually spent on the computer, working on my projects. So that's 21%. Try it and see what you end up with. And feel free to post it in a reply here. Well, I think that's all for me. I'm going to re-read this and hope it all makes sense, and then I'm off to bed. Until next time!

Oh Well...


Back in the Flow

As I mentioned in my last post, I've been suffering from a mild case of Distro-itis, brought on by the purchase of a nice, new, shiny, 160gig sata hard drive. I went with a sata drive because my computer came with a bunch of sata cables, so my natural assumption was that the computer supported sata. Imagine my surprise when I had to go back into town the next day to get an adapter for the power connection. Anyways, Like I said, I went through 3 distros. Fedora 7, Ubuntu, and PCLinux OS. My original plans were just to install Fedora, as I really enjoyed the live CD. I then thought it might be a good idea to try Ubuntu too, as it was supposedly very good.
So I installed both of them, and was having trouble juggling the two. I decided to Install just one, and since Fedora was causing me some frustration over my IP address (It was picking one that was on my network, but which was below the range my router broadcasts on) so I went with Ubuntu. That was going well, for a bit, but I was hitting problems left and right. Not anything you would find in the course of day-to-day use, just some fancy stuff I was trying to get working (XDMCP, or something similar, and MIDI). It would insist things like Xinetd were running, and XDMCP was on, but none of the other computers on the network could see it. So I set forth looking for another Distro that might give me more luck.
I took every "Which distro is for you?" test I could find, and ended up starting a download of OpenSuse. I was feeling slightly guilty about this, what with the whole Microsoft deal, and was looking for an alternative. I found one that none of the tests recommended to me, PCLinuxOS, and I stopped the download of openSuse, and went for PCLinuxOS instead.
It turned out to be a very good distro, within a day I had all the things that I couldn't get Ubuntu or Fedora to do over the course of a week. The only thing that bothers me is that the Beryl effects don't work well. They do work, it just gets a bit choppy a times. I might look into the DRI (I think that's it) project to get it working smoothly, but no rush.

In less technical news, I went to Stratford yesterday on a school field trip, to see The Merchant of Venice. It was an enjoyable experience. The best part of the trip had to be on the way home, when we stopped at a mall for supper. I found myself in a bookstore, following some friends. I had no intention of buying anything that day. But while I was waiting I decided to see what they had by Douglas Adams. I ended up getting myself a copy of "The Salmon of Doubt." So far I am enjoying it immensely.

Well, that about does it for me today. Until next time!

It's really the only way I can think of to end these things.


Quick Update Through the Chaos

I did in fact get that hard drive, eventually. I've gone through about 3 distributions in a week or so, trying to find one that fits my needs. Haven't found time to post through all the chaos. Once everything settles down I'll be back with a full post with lots of details.

This post is really just so you don't think I dropped off the face of the earth ;)


A New Hard Drive

If all goes well tomorrow, I'll be going shopping. For what? A new hard drive! I'm hoping I can find a decent one in my (low) price range. My dad's already agreed to let me install it in our computer. I can't wait. If all goes well, by the end of the weekend I'll have a full Linux installation on a decent computer. Until now I've been getting by with the version on the laptop (Damn Small Linux on a laptop with a 233mhz processor and 32mb of ram) and live CD's on the good computer. I'm planning on installing Fedora 7, as that's the distribution I'm currently obsessed with. I'm happy 'cause my computer actually supports all the Compiz desktop effects. Who knows, maybe the next time I post it will be from a full Fedora 7 installation!

Actually my GP2X is definitely a better Linux machine than the laptop. It has twice the RAM and about twice the processing power.



Enough of the people I know have bugged me about it, that I've decided to join Facebook. One of the things that helped convince me was it's ability to import blogs. So there's a good chance that most of the people reading this are probably seeing it in Facebook. I'm wondering if the comments posted here will be grabbed by Facebook too... Probably not. And I'm almost positive the comments won't go the other way either. Oh well. If you are reading this on Facebook, may I recommend looking at the real thing at least once, cause it looks a lot nicer. Well, I've got school tomorrow, so it's off to bed with me.

@Facebook Readers: Normally the text down here is small and italicized.


I Got It!

You may have noticed that I haven't posted in a few days, and there's a somewhat good reason for that. Wednesday night, I got a package from Fed-Ex. And what was in that package? Why my new GP2X of course. So the last 6 days I've been spending all my computer time getting it all set up. I've found all the programs that I want on it, and converted all my music to the .ogg format. I've gotten my computer all set up to network with it even. I'm loving this little device.

In other news, I think I might cut back on how often I post. It seems after a day of school I just don't feel much like blogging, at least not about anything that isn't complaining. I'll still update it when I'm feeling up to it. Might try for at least weekly updates. We'll see.

Look at me! I'm Online! Hi Mom!


The First Day

Well, as most of you know, and probably experienced, today was the first day of the new school year. It wasn't to bad today. Usually at the start of any semester, you have to fill out all sorts of personal information, and what your expectations are for the course, and whatnot, just so that the teacher can get to know you better. Fortunately, none of my teachers really did that this year, which is a nice change. My classes seem OK, and I actually have some very small ones (about 15 people). Our communications class just got all new computers, so that should be fun... once they get all the software on them. It should be a fairly decent semester. Of course, only time will tell.

English, Music, Animation, Math. What do you have?


The End is Near... Goodbye Summer.

Today's it. The last day of summer vacation. I don't think it's really sunk in yet though. Halfway through next week I'll suddenly wish it were summer again. But for now, it seems I can hardly wait for the first day of school (or the third, which is the sixth, which is when my package arrives). I've got all my supplies ready, although it dawns on me now that I should probably get my backpack packed up for tomorrow. I'll probably do that when I'm done here. I wonder if I'll have a hard time falling asleep tonight, considering I'll be going to bed 4 hours earlier than I have been all summer. We'll I'm out of things to talk about. So for everyone going back to school tomorrow, Good luck.

Considering how late it is, I doubt anyone will read this until tomorrow, so I guess I should of said "For everyone who went back to school today, were you lucky?" or something.

Ungh... Technical Dificulties

This morning I was talking to one of my friends, and we thought it might be fun to try our internet connections with a game of Animal Crossing: Wild World. Imagine my disappointment when my DS couldn't find the internet connection. I was puzzled cause I was sure I had typed in all the settings right. Just to be sure I booted up the Wii and ran it's connection tests, with the same results. Now, I'm absolutely positive that the settings on the Wii were right, cause I was using it online yesterday. I thought the problem might be a setting in the router, cause my dad and I were messing around in there trying to get some VoIP software working (but that's another story). I tried undoing every change we made, to no effect. I even tried restoring the factory default settings and setting the entire network up again from scratch. Still wouldn't work. The router has a problem once before where it stopped recognizing that the network cards could support 100mbps. I had to unplug it and let it cool of to get it working again. I though this might be a similar problem, so I unplugged it and let it cool off a few times while working on it. That didn't help. I started getting desperate, I even tried turning off the computer to see if somehow its new firewall was getting in the way. Nope. The only thing I can think of is that it did overheat, and cause permanent damage to the wireless. I hope there's something obvious I'm missing.

What? Where you expecting a nice little solution at the end?

P.S. If you have any suggestions, I'd be glad to hear them.


Water Skiing!

I went water skiing today. I haven't been water skiing since my dad's boat floated away a couple years ago. Kind of sucked, the boat floating away. We had been out water skiing all day, and we brought the boat up on the beach when we were done. It was an aluminum boat, I don't know the size. It had nice 24 hp off board motor, which was on it when it drifted off. Normally we put the anchor on the beach, just in case, but that night we forgot. If there had been a storm, we would have checked on it, but there wasn't. The water level just came up, and the boat drifted away. Last summer my dad thought he actually saw it on the back of a truck, of course he was about 6 hours away from here.

So the water skiing today was fun. I spent most of the time as a spotter though. But I still had fun hanging onto the jetski and trying not to fall off. I might be able to go again tomorrow, don't know if I have the energy or not though.

I also went tubing, but I don't wanna talk about that.


They're Finnaly Here!

That's right, it's the post you've all been waiting for. (and if it isn't then oh well, it's the post I've been waiting for) I finally have completed images of the new robot.

First up is my new pic. This is it. The new robot. He has a TV screen for a head. I have a few pics I can put in place of the one he has now, as you'll see later. The background is something I made for a game that I was trying to make, but hit major roadblocks on. I think that will probably be My next project. That red diamond is my logo, I guess. If anyone has seen that anywhere before, please let me know so I can come up with something different.

Next we have a side shot of the robot in that same pose: The cord in his torso actually flops around when he moves.

Next is a front view: I've changed the pose and also his face. He's showing off the ability to stretch his limbs out to about twice their size.

And finally, because I was bored I turned on the transparencies and reflections and turned off the outlines for a more realistic pic: So there you have it. The new Robo 2. Was it worth the wait? You can decide that for yourself.

WooHoo! I'm DONE! I never thought I'd see the day. Now onto my next major project! Or maybe not...


Gotta Be Quick

Not much in the way of news tonight. Every summer the little community I'm in has games of Baseball every Thursday. They're just little pickup games, and other than the people running it, I'm one of the oldest who still goes. Tonight was the last game of the summer. So we all had hot dogs. It really drives it home that the summer is at an end. I was at my neighbor/cousin's house all night, so I'm just getting on long enough to type this. I have to go to bed because I have an early day tomorrow.

As you probably can figure from reading that, I didn't get a chance to render any robo pics. But be patient. I will get them done as soon as physically possible.

!pleh ,neecrs rouy ni kcuts m'I


It's Done!

I finally finished the new robot today. What? You want pictures? I was planning on rendering a new shot for my Pic, and maybe some other ones for the heck of it. Unfortunately, my dad has been using the computer since 6 this morning, and he does 3D work too. So by the time I got on the computer was overheated and worn out. It kept crashing while I was trying to pose the Robot for the pic. As soon as I can get on the computer while it's stable, I'll render up a nice gallery of pics.

I got an e-mail last night from the website I ordered the GP2X from, and they gave me the FedEx tracking number. I checked on the website, and It's expected to arrive on the 6th. I can't wait. I was hoping to get it before school started, but at least I'll be getting it soon.

Which reminds me, school is just around the corner, 5 days of summer vacation left, and then it's back to the old grind. This year it's grade 12, "Kings of the School" as I've heard some people say. Quite possibly the last year of high school. This year is also a first for me in that it will be the first time since I've started high school that I've been to the same school for two years in a row. It will be nice to actually get the classes I want, other than just getting whatever I could be put into at the last minute.

I'm starting to ramble now because my connection has cut out meaning that I cannot save or publish this blog, or chat with anyone. I'm using the live CD right now, so there's not much else I can do. Hopefully the connection will come back and I can end this post.

...Nope, still no connection. So.... anyone seen any good tv lately? I haven't been watching it much myself. Just Doctor who. Monday's episode was pretty good. I quoted a line from it at the end of the post before last. Although I wrote that from memory, so it's probably a bit off. And I still don't have a connection... wow, I don't think it's ever gone out for this long before. It's a good thing I couldn't get the robot pictures today, I wouldn't be able to upload them anyway. I still don't have a connection, but I'm calling it quits.

I'll just wait in silence, in order to maintain some quality here.

Little Bite-Sized News Bits

I finally did it. The robot now has a head. Tomorrow I'll just have to add the neck, and it will be done.

I did manage to get that Darwinia game working. And it's pretty fun. It can be slow and challenging at times, but you usually feel like you're actually accomplishing something.

Not much else is going on. The GP2X is en-route. I just got another e-mail confirming that it has been shipped. I'm waiting for the tracking number to start working.

Yes, this post has small paragraphs. you have a problem with that? I know my English teacher would...


Display Driver Update!?!

As a nice gesture today, my brother bought me a belated birthday Gift. Its a game called Darwinia. It's supposed to be a very unique game, and has had hight ratings, but I can't get it to work. I'm in the middle of waiting for new display drivers to download. The site's instructions said to uninstall the old ones first, so my computer is running a bit slow at the moment. But hopefully it will all be worth it. That means no robot updates today, but I think I have an Idea for what the head might look like....

"This is my Timey-Wimey Device. It goes "Bing" when there's stuff. It also boils eggs at 30 paces... whether you want it to or not, actually. I'm avoiding hens, it's not pretty when they pop" - Doctor who


I'm Getting One!

I've manged to hit my goal, so I ordered it today. That's right, the GP2X is in the mail! (or will be at some point tomorrow) I can't wait for it to show up. I just hope it gets here before school starts. It would be nice to have a few days to figure it out. I wonder if the school would let me classify it as a PDA, or something like that. And if so, I wonder what they're policy on those are...

My attempts at working on the robot last night were foiled. Blender didn't work so well on the live CD, and by the time I decided I wouldn't be able to get it working and moved to Windows, My brother came down and booted me off the Comp. I might work on it a bit tonight, but I don't know.

Other than that there's not too much going on. Just the same-old same-old.

the head... definitely the hardest part of the robot


Burnt by the Weather

There was a big storm last night, big enough to make the power flicker a few times, and the TV had tornado warnings going. I don't think any tornadoes ever formed though. The flicker of the power did have some interesting effects... We were at my grandma's at this time, but my dad was home. He said that the power went out for about an hour. When it came back on, here could hear electricity crackling in the laundry room. There was also a smell of burning plastic. It turns out all that noise and smell was the water furnace doing something it definitely shouldn't. So we've been without air conditioning today, and will be tomorrow (Sunday, I notice as I type this it's 2 minutes after midnight...) It's not all too hot, but it's a bit muggy.

I'm still using the LiveCD for all my computing needs. Right now I'm trying to see if I can't find a way to get blender working. In which case I'll work on the robot's head. There's not much else going on, but I did see something very interesting today. I had no idea Windows XP could run on a computer with 64 mb of ram, considering the minimum requirements are... oh wow... I just looked it up as I'm typing this and the minimum is 64... wow... that's a bit embarrassing. I'm just going to shut up now...

the minimum is 64mb? Since when?

Burnt by the Firewall

I'm blogging once again from the Fedora Live CD. My dad installed a new firewall on Windows, and it's driving me up the wall, constantly telling me it denied something, occasionally giving me the option to accept it, but mostly making executive decisions, and just telling me. So I'm having fun messing around with settings in GNOME. I've added a pair of eyes and a fish to the top menu on my screen. I really like how customizable everything is. It's a real shame it will all be lost when I reboot. I think once I'm done saving up for the GP2X (almost there, can probably order it by next week) I'll have to save up for my own external hard drive, unless I can get a job, in which case I'll save up for a laptop. But that's dreaming a little bit.

I can't get to the robot files from here, so no progress on that...


New Linux Live CD!

I don't think I've ever posted about this before or not, but I'm a big GNU/Linux fan. Back when I had Dial-up I was stuck trying little live CD versions, like Damn Small Linux, or Slax. These were nice cause they fit on my thumb drive, but were laking in a lot of features because they were so small. Last night I downloaded the Fedora 7 Live CD. It's a bit big for my thumb drive (well, I could put it on there if I really wanted, but not much else). I'm finding It really enjoyable, actually I'm using it right now to type this. I really like the look of this Live CD, after I convinced it I had a screen that could do better than 800x600, I started testing everything. Compiz worked just fine, and I Really like it, my windows are all stretchy and wobbly, and I can spin the whole thing on a 3D cube. If something crashes, the window goes all gray-scale so you know that particular window is done for. I'm am having a hard time with getting music going, because of the lack of MP3 support, and My CD drive is full. All in all though, I really, really like this. If it weren't a live CD, I'd always use it. Maybe I can talk my dad into letting me install another hard drive...

I set my resolution without having to use the Shell! Hoora!


Birthday, Binder and Robot News

Soo.... my birthday went well. My parents have told me to think about what I want from them. I going to wait until the end of the week to decide. There's something I'm saving up for (a GP2X) There's a chance I might have a job for the next two days, at $10.00 and hour, which would make it so I can afford it. If I don't then I'll ask for some help in buying it. If I can afford it on my own, then I'll think of something else at that point. There's a really good chance I won't have the job, because it's tomorrow morning and I didn't hear back from the guy who's hiring people, which means I'm on the list of people to call if someone doesn't show up tomorrow. Maybe I'll get lucky.

I went back to school shopping yesterday. It was nice for once to go without my brother. I didn't need much this year, as almost everything from last year survived. I just replaced my old mechanical-pencil/pen/other-pen-or-stylus-your-choice all-in-one multipurpose writing utensil with a nice, simple, quality mechanical pencil. It was really the only part of my last "device" that I really ever used. I got the usual refills of stuff: paper, lead, and erasers. I got a new lunch bag and a new binder-type-thing. It's not really a binder.

With the exception of grade 9 French (where a binder was a requirement) I haven't used a binder since starting high school. In grade school I tried using binders, but they just didn't work for me. When I tried to write in them, the pages would tear out, so I had to take the paper out to write on. I've always been a bit lazy when it comes to organizing that kind of thing, so instead of putting pages back, they would end up it the front inside pocket of the binder. That's right, all the papers for all of my classes were kept in the same pocket of one binder. Not the best way to stay organized. When it came to grade nine, I had an Idea: Just forget the rings, and get a folder with a pocket for each class. I managed to find something very close to what I was looking for. It was plastic, had no rings, folded open with a notepad inside, and had three tabbed pockets to put papers in. Lucky Three pockets was enough, cause the school I go to is semestered, and I had one class each semester that didn't need a folder (gym and French). I ran into problems though, with the way it held the notepad in place. Actually, that was the problem, It expected a notepad, which I bound at the top, whereas for schoolwork, I needed a notebook, bound on the left side. It just meant that the book wasn't firmly attached to the folder, also, at the end of the year, when it was getting full, it started cracking. When I started grade 10, I got a new folder. It was bigger, and had 5 folders, one for each subject, and an extra folder for stuff like newsletters and a pack of grid paper. It had smoother plastic then the first one, meaning I could use it as a lap desk, but it still expected a top-bound notepad, instead of a side-bound notebook. It lasted me through both grade 10 and 11, but it has some pretty bad cracks in it. So this year I've gotten a new one. It has 7 folders, six of which are labeled, and also a pocket that could count as an eighth folder. It's made mostly made out of fabric, with plastic for the folder dividers, and some cardboard reinforcement. Best of all, it is designed for a side-bound notebook! The fabric should be more durable then the plastic, and it's lighter and more flexible. I like this new folder.

In robot news, I just finished the hand a few minutes ago, which means all I have left to do is attach the hands and feet to the rest of the robot, and make a head. That will be the hard part. I have no clue what to do for the face, I'm thinking of trying to make it look like a mechanical version of my own...

If you missed the Themed image yesterday, and still want to see it, It's in a photo album called "Themed Pics". Any themed images I use on this blog will end up there, so feel free to check them out, just follow the link on the left to my photo albums. Well, that about wraps it up for this post

for some reason, I really enjoy back-to-school shopping. And cheesecake, that's what I had for my birthday.


Happy Birthday to Me!

Okay, technically, it's Tuesday. I guess that means I missed a post. Oh well, not much I can do about that now. So tomorrow, or today or whatever (Tues. Aug. 21) Is my birthday, so I can't wait. Not too too much else going on. I made a foot for the robot, so I've just got the hands and head left, if I don't decide to scrap the feet too.

I've decided to start theming this page for special occasions. Today, I'm just going so far as to give my good 'ol robot a party hat.

I look like a monkey, and I smell like one too... cha-cha-cha


In the Aftermath of the Party

The party yesterday went off without a hitch. Guests started arriving at 3:00pm yesterday afternoon, and everyone was gone by 1:30pm. So we were an hour and a half short of having it go the full 24 hours. We played baseball, volleyball and soccer. Most of the adults just socialized, and it was the younger of us playing the sports. When it got dark there was capture the flag, and about six different types of tag and hide-and-go-seek. When nothing else was going on, the Wii got a real workout. The food was good, but some of it ran out pretty fast. There was 111 guests in total, so the 40 hot dogs went pretty fast, along with the small pot of meatballs. But there's still plenty of pork and cake left over. Some people spent the night, but most went home late on Saturday. Tonight's garbage night, so we don't have to worry about storing the trash for a week. No one seemed to mind when it started raining.

That's about it for me today. Looking forward to next week, well Tuesday to be exact. Why? Nothing to exciting. If you really must know then check back on Tuesday. Until Nex - oops, um.... See ya!

I must find a good way to end my posts.



Tomorrow we're having a big pig roast at my house. We used to do it annually, but then we stopped. This year was my grandpa's 70th birthday, and he really misses them, so he's funding a great big one this year. We have no clue how many people are coming. I've invited a few people, my brothers invited his friends, all of our family is invited, my parents are inviting friends, my aunts inviting friends, and my grandparents are inviting friends, and none of the invitations say to RSVP. This should be interesting. How do you prepare for X number of guests, when you have no clue to what X would be? We're just assuming 70-100 and hoping for the best. It's going to be allot of fun with all sorts of games like baseball and tennis and volleyball. Some people are planning on spending the night too. According to the invitation, it all starts at 3 and ends at "..." So don't be surprised if I don't update at all tomorrow.

Robot? what do you... Ohhhh THAT robot? Do I have to talk about it every post? It's coming.


One Step Forward, And That Same Step Back

Not much going on of late, again. I've been working on the robot as much as possible. Last night I designed a Torso for it, which I'm going to trash cause I don't really like it. This is why it's taking me so long. I want something that looks like I didn't throw it together. The torso had that look, most likely because I just threw it together. I'm also finding it hard to fit computer time in. My dad uses the computer for work - and I'm going to end this line of though right now, before I slip back into my old complaining ways. So the robot is coming, and since I haven't yet figured out a good way to end a post, I'll just stop.

No, seriously, I'm done.

"Hello, I'm Cyborg_572, and I'm a complainer. It's been 6 posts since I've last complained, but earlier today, I was really tempted..."

Why do they call it anonymous if you start by saying your name?


My 3D Work, A Comparison

All this talk of the new Robot has got me all curious. I went back into the copy I keep of the old laptops hardrive, and found some of my old work from November/December 2003. It was on an older version of Rhino then the robot was made on, so it didn't have the benefit of the Flamingo renderer.

All of these images were made pretty close together. The Pot was finished on November 29, 2003, the Alien was done a couple hours later, and the Joystick was finished the next day. There's nothing too special about them, mostly just 3D primitives that have been scaled wierd and Booleaned. The Robot was made in August of 2004, but was rendered with Flamingo. That was made using primitives and a technique from the tutorials part of the Manual.

These Next pictures were made recently, in Blender. There a bit of an improvement from the older works.
That one on the left is some kind of massager, I guess. I modeled it first, and decided what it was later. Not usually the best way to do things. I'm hopping to really up the quality of the robot, but be warned, I'm heading away from photo-realism with it. I want to try for something that looks like a cartoon. I've always liked 3D images that try to look like 2D images. I just love the Irony of it. You put in so much extra time and effort to make a complex 3D model that looks like someone drew it in a matter of minutes. The real fun comes when you animate it though, that's were you save allot of effort, cause you don't have to draw it from a bunch of different angles. Of course, it takes 5 minutes to render one second of video... I guess there's pros and cons flying all over the place, I'll just stick with the 3D though, cause that's what I know.

I must go now to do work on the new robot. Until next time... man, that's getting old, I've ended four of the last five blogs that way. hmmm...

As you can tell, I like to make inanimate objects, which gets in the way of my goal of making an animation...


Just Another Post, Mostly Robot News

Oops, looks like I missed a day there. Oh well, only by a few minutes. I just finished a test render of an arm for my robot, it took forever because I rendered an 8 second animation of it. I think it's coming along nicely, if I can figure out anything other than the arms and legs. I still have no clue what to make the feet, hands, body, or head look like, but I'll figure it out as I go. I have a strong urge to post a picture of the new arm, but I want to keep it a surprise.

I almost regret setting up the web counter, as it shows me that I was quite right in calling this "my quiet little corner of the web" Oh well, not much I can do about that, other than try to create interesting posts that attract the attention of people who will read this.

There's not much else to go on about right now, hopefully in the coming days I'll get more done with the robot. Eventually I'd like to animate it completely in a video, but that's if I can muster up something to resemble a plot. I've never been much for creativity.

Until the next time, Have fun!

hmmm.. quantity, or quality... I need content.


A Blog Update About The Updates to My Blog

Welcome once again to my quiet little corner of the web. There's not much going on to talk about, so most of my news actually involves some of the changes I've made to this blog.

A couple posts ago I mentioned that some family was visiting the area and one of them has a Deviant Art page. Well, they're heading home tomorrow. I did ask about a link to the deviant art page and am happy to say that she was more than happy to let me link to it. So please, check out Sombraro-o-doom's Deviant Art page, there's some really nice artwork there. I've added a link to the side bar, under "Other Sites to Check Out:"

I've made a few other changes too, though nothing drastic. The "Powered by Blogger" Icon has been moved up a few notches to be directly under the "Blog Archive", and I've added a web counter, it will count all the visits from today onwards, along with some other useful information. Thanks to StatCounter.com for there wonderful free services. Something really hard to notice is that I've changed the fonts on all the titles from Arial to Verdana.

My redesign for the robot is coming along nicely, I've been experimenting with some neat effects I'd like to use, and it seems that most of them will work. I hope to get the new version in place pretty soon.

Not much real news today, just pointing out the potentially obvious. ;)


Web Browsing On My Wii

What? Two posts in two days? I haven't done that in a long time. Tonight I'm trying something new; this post is being wriitten from the comfort of my couch, using the Wii's internet channel. XD Although the internet connection is fast enough to use with the Wii, it's a bit unstable, which offers some interesting challenges. If the connection is lost, theres a chance the page might refresh, which would reset everything. If I'm typing the keyboard, any edits I've made disapear. So I'm only typing a few words at a time and saving often. I also can't use bloggers WYSIWYG editor, so I'm trying to remember as many HTML tags as I can.

The Internet channel does work pretty nice though, I've been playing Flash games and movies full screen on my tv all night. It's a fun way to pass the time.

You may notice some changes in the page layout of this blog, or maybe not, they were small changes. I've decided that along with my display pic, I should update the look of my whole blog. Expect alot of subtle changes in the future, I'm going to be messing with colour and whatnot alot until I find a look I like.

Until next time, Have a good day, or week, or however long it is before I post again.

This small text takes allot more HTML than i thought it would.


Summer Update

Well, I've once again gone an insanely long time between posts, over a month if I'm not mistaken. I guess my plans for posting more during the summer are... oh well. It's been such a good week this week. I've managed to do several things I've been wanting to do for a long time. I have no clue where to begin, I'll just go at it chronologically.

  1. Met some family who lives 3000 kilometers away, who I haven't seen in at least 7 years
  2. Got to be a DJ for a night
  3. Played Cricket
  4. Saw the Simpson's Movie (I recommend it to anyone who likes the Simpsons. It was awesome!)
  5. Got high-speed internet
  6. Used my Wii online
There was the odd thing or two that was less enjoyable, but I don't want to dampen the mood. Points 1, 3, and 5 have to be my favorites, especially since I had doubts of any of them ever actually happening. I don't want to talk to much about my family online... but one of my family members from afar has a deviant art page. If I can get her permission, I'll post a link. Until then, all shall remain anonymous.
I was really surprised at how fun cricket is. I was at an historical reenactment, and one of the reenactment personnel got a pick-up game going. It took him all of five minutes to explain the rules and we started. It's awesome. No fouls, no bases, no tagging. Anytime the person hitting feels safe taking a run, they can. If they hit it and don't feel safe, they don't have to run. The ball can be hit in any direction. And all you have to do to get some on out is catch the ball after they hit it, but before it touches the ground, or just whip the ball at the wicket before they cross the safe line. I did find myself having to struggle to take the game seriously though, having read "Life, The Universe and Everything" (one of the books in the hitchhikers trilogy).

In other news... Can you see that blue robot, the one on the "About me" panel? Well, here's a pic in case I've removed it by the time you're reading this: Well, that pic has been around forever. I think I made it the first time I was on MSN, so it's definitely very old, well for a DP anyway. I made the model for it long before that using my dad's copy of Rhinoceros. It was a grey robot then, and it was doing a handstand. Like this:
I've decided that I'm tired of this old robot, which I made back in 2004. I've decided that I'm going to create a new robot, loosely based on this one, but using Blender instead of Rhino, and adding My 3 more years of 3D experience to make it much better.

I sincerely hope to update this blog allot more often. Now that I have high-speed, that might be a possibility. This whole process has become allot more painless, and once I get the Wii web browser, I could do this from the couch. Until next time, Enjoy what's left of the summer, I know I will.

Edit: added the Title... stupid! stupid! stupid! :P

By the way, the closest thing to a name that robot has is "Robo2" which is its Rhino file's file name.



It's finally summer! 8 weeks with no school. Doesn't seem like much when you consider that everyone's been anticipating it for about 10. Oh well, summer may be short, but all the good stuff is in the last week anyway, at least for me. It's a busy summer, a job and a volunteer position. Saving up for a GP2X, and getting experience in the IT department.
This weekend was the annual community yard sale. For $11 I got a copy of Super Smash Bros. and a network router. That should keep me busy for a while, not to mention several other little projects I'm working on.
Kinda sucks not seeing everyone everyday, but there's always MSN. What would I do without the internet? Speaking of which, the local county council is trying to get a county wide fiber optic network installed. Now that would be awesome.
Just felt the need to update this thing with some news. Maybe now I'll be able to try and post more often, and about meaningful stuff to. Till next time, enjoy the summer!

Hey! Would you look at that! An entire post, no complaints, and only one cynical remark. Getting good at this :)


Don't We Get a Say In All This?

I would love to do a survey right now. I think all students should be able to do a survey right now. 14 years, on average. Everyone spends about 14 years in school. There's no way out of it. You are sent into it when you are 4 years old, and stay in until you are 17 (at least that's how the school board around here does it: Junior Kindergarten - Gr.12) and not once during this entire experience, at least not to my knowledge, does anyone running the school boards ask of students, "What do you think of the way schools are run?", "How do you feel about the selection of books that are in the curriculum?", "How many hours of homework do you think are appropriate?" They just assume that students like reading books written circa 1950, and that you can't have too much homework, the problem must be with your time management, and that the schools are all running fine. I'm not saying that student's should have total control over the way the schools are run, but (in some places) even criminals can vote for the government, which gives them some say over how the prisons work, student's don't even get to help decide who the minister of education is. We're all stuck with whatever the people in charge say were stuck with. I guess they wouldn't have to even take the surveys as binding in any way, but at least read the results. We all spend about six hours a day at a school, it would be nice to feel we have some sort of say in how it all runs.

Am I complaining again? Or am I trying to make a point?


Whoa... Long Time, No Blog...

It's been a while since I've posted anything here. I guess if I want to attract any readers, I should probably give them something to read. I have been working on a new post, where I was going to tie up a bunch of loose ends. I was going to go slowly and painfully through every post, list them here by date, and them tie up any loose ends. I've decided that would be a complete waste of both my time and yours. I'll just go over the ones I can think of here:

  • Still don't have high-speed
  • Halloween costume was so-so
  • My girlfriend and I broke up
Enough Old news, what can I give you in the way of new news? Not much actually. Life's Life and ya just gotta roll with it. I'm going to try and remember to type here more often. Talk to whoever reads this again soon.

"so remember when your feeling very small and insecure
how amazingly unlikely is your birth
and pray that there's intelligent life, somewhere up in space
cause there's bugger all down here on earth."
~taken from: " The Galaxy song", Monty Python ans the Meaning of Life~


Exam Time

Yeah, it's that time of the semester. Exams. That means no after school activities, or sports, or anything run by the school that doesn't take place in a classroom, during normal school hours. Not that that bothers me too much, I don't participate in any of those. It's more the "why" that has me writing this. All those things are canceled to give students time to study. I guess the school feels students should study 24/7. Every class gives you all period, every period, for studying, and then you're supposed to go home and study so much that you have to cancel your once-a-week, one-and-a-half-hour trip to the weight room (not that I do that, but my workout habits are not the point here). I'm no expert, but there has to be some downside to studying that much. If you ask me that much studying is a good way to get stressed and tired, and no matter how much you study, if your stressed or tired (let alone both) your not going to do well. But like I said, I'm no expert, to each their own.

Relax, all this test means is whether you have to do the year over again or not. No pressure.


No Complaints... At Least Not From Me.

I promised I would not complain on my next post. Of course, this isn't my next post... this is my current post. So here come the complaints. No... I wouldn't do that. Don't want to scare off the few people who actually read this thing. One quick note, due to a comment on the last post, I am now moderating the comments. Anyway... I had an idea. You, the readers of this blog, are probably getting sick and tired of me complaining, either that or your enjoying it. Either way I think it's time you got your turn. Anyone who wants to vent, feel free to complain in the comments section of this post, or any other post. And don't feel the need to only complain about what is posted here. Anything is fair game. Just keep in mind that anything inappropriate/illegible will not be posted. Well, thats it for me this time. See ya.

uh-oh, what have I gotten myself into?