Older blog entries for nymia (starting at number 1915)

Supreme Court Oxford Companion


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 him 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 unprecented. All the technical jargon surrounding this case was deliberate and singular, as if to point-out its uniqueness.

Syndicated 2008-03-08 00:20:02 from Freedom Culture

Matrix Multiply


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.

Syndicated 2008-03-07 20:22:56 from Freedom Culture

The Shading of Hair


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

Syndicated 2007-12-20 09:30:31 from Freedom Culture

Random Thought Dumps

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.

Syndicated 2007-12-15 19:44:54 from Freedom Culture

Accounting: Epilogue Part I

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 the be wingman?”

I threw my eyes up and 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.

Syndicated 2007-12-14 21:41:28 from Freedom Culture

Building A Turnkey Business

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.

Syndicated 2007-11-30 23:20:53 from Freedom Culture

Utility

Finding a solution to a social problem, specifically human behavior can be trivial, yet so obscure at the same time. The solution is not derived via quantitative means alone, perhaps it has something to do with how consumers define utility.

And so I continued my search to define what is utility in terms of our product line. Is it the product itself that consumers buy, or is it satisfaction derived from the use of our products define what utility is? If it is true, then how do I connect the dots in such a way the messaging is always in tune to its utility?

3D Game

After painfully emerging from the great unknown in figuring out the latest-n-greatest GPU shaders, it seems that the next exercise would be to mimic a commercial released 3D game, simple enough to do yet not too easy to be considered nihil. New shader features implementing skin shading via subsurface scattering and cloth shading, another is hair shading where hair is affected by several forces acting on it.

Two gametypes came up right away, the first was Taekwondo (TKD), the way of fast kick and punch, made a good impression. Modeling the terrain is simple, a scene having a place where two opponents fight. The actor having several animated sequences, often derived from standard Taekwondo forms. The objective is to implement said features to an actor with proper skin shading, good enough to render realistic skin showing the oily (sweaty) part of skin. Facial expressions are tackled as well, making sure the proper vertices are shaded to show the correct expression. Cloth shading referring to the kimono (Grandmaster Uniform) should show cloth tension and gravity. The mechanics of hair will also be studied and implemented if possible, yes hair mechanics is hard.

The second gametype is to basically resurrect my favorite Apple II game that we played, known as Karateka. This is basically a fallback of the first, in the case TKD turns out to be complicated.

Syndicated 2007-11-28 09:23:17 from Freedom Culture

Marketing From The Bottom

I was reading a book yesterday how advertisers lament the current situation. In it he states that the days of forcing Joe Schmoe to watch a series of ads while lying down on a comfy sofa is now over. Joe Schmoe is not lying down watching the TV, he is now sitting on his chair in front of a computer connected to the Internet. Joe Schmoe has taken control of viewing content and now has power to turn-off messages he doesn’t like. “Oh yeah, you marketroids are done now. You’re just a click of a button away.”

I remember in the class, when agricultural economy turned to manufacturing, marketing evolved to meet new challenges of having to deal with huge quantities, surplusses to be exact. Selling in conjuction with identifying the buyer became a little bit complicated, with marketing having to satisfy not only one but several types of buyers. That’s only one aspect of it, not including geography which is another facet.

Now, in this age of information and service-based economy, a new type of behavior is rapidly growing to the unsuspecting marketing guy, like a throbbing green blob in a petri-dish. And this behavior is the one most advertisers fear of, power has shifted to the side of consumer who are now in control of data, the (over) abundance of information has changed the field. Overflowing rivers of information coursing through the network, straight into Joe Schmoe’s tiny brain is like a bolt of lightning hitting the advertisers.

Ka-Boom!

The place littered with pieces of old junk.

“What a disaster. Oh my gaawwwwd. Quick, call the dumpster man now!”

With that fact already in place, the guys at the marketing department came up with a new way of reaching consumers, known as bottom-up approach.

And then…

Well, sit back and relax, enjoy. While I go for now to finish the Accounting assignment.

Syndicated 2007-11-21 21:38:03 from Freedom Culture

20 Nov 2007 (updated 20 Nov 2007 at 05:17 UTC) »

An Appeal to (emo) Being Cooler Than Cool

So here I am writing a draft about ads, nothing really too important to analyze about, though. I simply chose the one that’s close to the geeky side, see what external forces are driving them,  messages they send to appeal to my taste, err…emotion.

Linux ads, especially the one shown above was made to address an issue, so they came out with this ad to show credibility should rise above software. Notice the corporate targeted messaging here, showing to users the legitimacy of running a ‘licensed’ Linux OS on their corporate desktops. You will not see any basement- related props with a young kid tinkering, though.

Apple, with their switcher campaign came up with an update showing a progression favoring the Mac. You will notice Apple’s targetted market here, initially the creatives followed by corporates. It could be a repeat play out of the bowling alley, where they create specific messaging to target a different alley, namely the corporates.

Here’s another one, you'v e got to see this one, it’s something different. The ad targets the tech segment, the ones who first came aboard the Linux Mothership. Notice the non- corporate messaging, definitely not the creative, though. The bullseye is the hardcore geek, carefully crafted words to arouse the hidden desires of every down-to-bare-metal- hacker. World domination, a common theme among the first tribes of linux was part of the message. True to the original sentiment, an aura of geek superiority rising above the definition of cool.

I know, how can anybody not miss this? Here is the ad targeting the first gen. You’ve got to see it again.

Syndicated 2007-11-20 05:04:25 from Freedom Culture

Book Review

Another time spent reading during the weekend with its gray-cast sky and perpetual rain were the order of the day. Though I wasn’t able to finish reading them, it turned out they were pretty much a damn good reading material.

The first book is Marketing Metrics, basically a book about units and quantities expressed in math notations. The authors assume the readers are from the typical big business, having access to an information system from which they pull all data to serve as input to a vast array of formulas serving as metrics.

A quantitive approach to measuring could be the right word in describing the book. Though I would not put myself as one of the target reader since I do not have the IT structure needed to play around. What is real value in this book as a reader and student is simply the methodology presented, the techniques for arriving at a number needed to make a solid decision, based on some quantifiable fact.

I paid for this book, quite expensive to be exact since these types of books don’t come natural to community libraries, they must be paid to be owned. (Shutup cheapskate and quit complaining.)

Browsing the pages, I was blown away by the sheer number of complexity. Chapter one alone started off with a bang, Marching Cubes? Voxels? What are you talking about! You better start talking layman’s or else.

Anyway, I still have up to the end of December to buddy-up with the book, since I’ll be attending an informal class about 3D Graphics.

Programming

Been warming-up to the Flex community recently, engaging them in chats and forums. I asked some of them to create a demo of something cool that Flex can do. I already have one demo on the works now and I showed it to some who were online.

Proving Money Grows On Trees

I had a good time with my old man about brute-forcing a reasoning in order to convince a third party (jury or judge). We had a good laugh, though frivolous in a way to spend the time trying to arrange a set of statements leading to the conclusion that indeed, Money Grows On Trees.

Syndicated 2007-11-19 06:53:01 from Freedom Culture

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