A New Order

April 7, 2008

It’s been a week since he left us to set up his new startup. The air in the room has never been the same. The long laughter filling the air is now silent, it’s now echoing in a new place.

I know he will browse this page, his techie instinct will take him here and perhaps read this line. Only to find this journal that speaks of the good times we had while developing the concept into a neat commercially graded standard product.

It won’t be the same without this tech-business-savvy guy manning the post, because it takes both skills to have this wonderful combination of personality. The ability to see the future and play around with crazy ideas.

Never before I’ve never never met this bunch of people who worked like family. A startup company that would have lasted forever. I mean the team that worked tirelessly around a concept, treating each other as equals to achieve a common goal.

I shall remain here to keep the good times going, but it will never be the same.

Perhaps we shall meet again, on a crossroad path, only to find out we are going to work on a different concept.

Heaven.


Supreme Court Oxford Companion

March 8, 2008

It was a dark cold night. No stars were piercing through the clouds as I gazed up the sky for a few seconds and sighed as the cold spell continues on in the cold February air. People around were wearing thick, some wearing thin, as I walked past them going to the bookstore.

The store was about 15 minutes before closing. So I had to rush the ritual before they cut me off. So I raced through the aisles and went straight to the shelf where I was hoping to find the right book. Grabbed it and then headed off to another section.

 Then, it was time to go. The voice coming from the speaker warned about the impending doom, err I mean the few minutes left before they start kicking people out. The ritual was on its last few steps when another lady greeted with a smile. I smiled back at her in some form of cheerful counter-attack.

Lining up at the counter, my eye wandered afar, zooming in on some books that piled-up for collection. Then the book came into view. I knew that book from sometime back. Picked it up and held it face distance, saw the price: $9.95. “Hmmm, that’s a pretty good deal.”

That was several weeks ago. The book is now placed near the computer table for easy reach and quick reading. The book kept me entertained, though. I learned a lot about this country and how the supreme court and its justices agreed, concurred and dissented on various cases.

One thing I’d like to comment was how the book presented the padilla v. rumsfeld case. It sounded like this case was unprecedented. All the technical jargon surrounding this case was deliberate and singular, as if to point-out its uniqueness.


Matrix Multiply

March 7, 2008

I’ve been doing a lot of 3D programming in my spare time. Though parts of it were spent doing mostly in research and study.  Take for example the time I spent going through bits and pieces of information figuring out the details of Matrix Transformations, you probably know and can probably count the number of nights spent on it.

Anyway, with the help of a friend who badly needed a Matrix Transform lib written entirely in C, he’s trying not to borrow code from the Web so as not to get a lower grade, we finally sat down and wrote probably the shortest quick-n-dirty version of the Matrix Transform ever coded.

With most of the basic Transform functions squared-away, I finally got it added on top the OpenGL engine wrapper.  The first test was basically loading a 3DS mesh file into the world before rotating, scaling and translating it to a location. That test went very well, the Matrix Transform worked right away with no hiccups. I thought the model will come out mangled in knots, but somehow, the model got rotated, scaled and translated as planned.

The next test will start soon, though the elements needed to get the test going aren’t there yet. The B3D loader is still 50% complete and the slerp() function is yet to to coded. For some unknown reason, I somehow got hooked into B3D format mainly because of its completeness and simplicity.

 The B3D loader is LGLP’d and is available on SF.net.


The Shading of Hair

December 20, 2007

Been reading tons of stuff about hair, mainly papers from Kajiya and the much later presentation from Thorsten Scheuermann (ATI Research).

From goofing around with the equations to finally buckling-down to implement the attempt using simple tools like Blender to create the geometry and then export the vertices to a render tool like RenderMonkey, I thought I had all the materials ready. Unfortunately, the geometry I generated did not have the tangent data which was required in the fragment shader. To state it simply, I was royally screwed.

What I basically had was the position, normal and some texcoord data. Plus two textures for skinning and masking. With that on the table, the only option was to re-think the phenomena and re-state the formula according to what was available.

The first try failed, it came out just like an ordinary texture splatted on a polygon.

The second was even worse, the specular made it like plastic.

I’ll try again this weekend.

 

ref: Martin Koster, J¨org Haber, Hans-Peter Seidel


Random Thought Dumps

December 15, 2007

Like any accounting clerk would do to a ledger during closing, I would foot the column with a total amount. Then moving the total from the subsidiary ledger up to the control account.  Just like clockwork, I would do the same and here it goes now.

I’ve been using Irrlicht for so many things, mainly to educate myself of the inner workings of a simple elegant implementation. Though Ogre3D would have been nicer if not for that thing I couldn’t install. Anyway, the choice was already made and I stuck my aim and bet some of the bling to Irrlicht. Rolled the dice and found myself in good company, among the nice fellas who congregate the forums. Day and night I would visit the place like a devotee holding a candle in the still of the night, praying endlessly to the almighty 3D gods. And yes, one night they threw their sights on me and gave me enlightenement. The 3D Buddha has been found, he lives! Arise O Peppi, you have arisen for you are not dead.

 Adding SpiderMonkey binding to Irr was probably the best damn thing I ever did, simply because the guy who wrote the Lua binding has moved-on to other things. Perhaps he figured there was no glory in coding a binding, scripting engines do not make a rock star programmer, but only those who make the shiny things attract the bling-bling. That’s basically how consumers react to shiny things, though. Bling-bling gets attracted to shiny things resulting to newfound utility.


Accounting: Epilogue Part I

December 14, 2007

Tim entered the classroom for the last time, about fifteen minutes late, to be exact and he wasn’t apologetic either. He walked to his usual spot, in front of the class, and said “the traffic was horrible!”

He brought several items with him, and we were wondering what was inside the glossy paper bag, could it be the grand prize, the prize the winner of the contest will bring home? That could only be it, there is no other reason why Tim would do it any other way.

Tim raised the bag and said “This is it, the big prize, only to the group who answers the toughest question.”

While Tim went on to discuss the mechanics of the contest, my mind wandered again, taking me several weeks back. Flashbacks of the cool and happy moments started rolling-in, the moments he would ask tricky questions to any student, and he would throw a piece of candy from his usual spot, launching it from his arm to the lucky student sitting somewhere in the room. Another unforgettable moment was when students would question him about his explanation and try to pin him down to the exacting  grammatical rules of spoken language. Sometimes, even professors make linguistic mistakes, too, you know. And he would easily escape from it like a slippery toad from a clenched hand.

I was pulled-back to reality, the vignette is now gone, this is reality now. Tim is now looking at his laptop screen calling out names, he is organizing the sitting arrangement. He called my name, “you go to group One, in front.” So I waved to my seatmate and off I went to sit in front. Sitting next to Mr.Salinsky who happened to also aced several tests, “now I know you Mr.Salinsky, I’ve never seen you this close before Mr.Salinsky. You’re the one who managed to ace those quizzes? This time Mr.Salinsky, we’re going to be teammates. Now who’s going to be the wingman?”

I threw my eyes up a couple vectors away, from there my view of group one was flawless. I see several geeky classmates sitting in group one as well. “So, what Tim is up to this time?” But then group two has their geeks too, as well as three and four! “Hmmm, Tim has evenly distributed the geeks, eh. Now it gets even more challenging.”

I gave out a huge shout inside my head….

Mua-Ha-HA-HA!

When Tim gave his final number and all students were finally re-seated, Tim clasped his hands and motioned the start of the contest.


Building A Turnkey Business

November 30, 2007

In the businessworld from which all things trade, I knew it would eventually come into learning what it takes to design and build a turnkey business, including all the bells-and-whistles necessary.

The requirements were pretty much laid out loud and clear, though.

 All I need now is buckle-down and concentrate on a typical business that can be turned into a franchise. It doesn’t have to be enterprise the size of manufacturing, nor the size of a small service business. So I’m left struggling to find a suitable activity falling in the range of a merchandising business. Well, the accounting system will definitely be included too.

Off the top of my head, a sample business activity will be selected. I’m more inclined on choosing a 3D model merchandising business as most of the business transactions will happen online. Everything including ordering, purchasing, marketing, selling, invoicing will be done online. All rolled-up into the Business Plan.

In the next few weeks, things will definitely get exciting as this turnkey system will develop into something of good utility.