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LightWave 3D-tastic

April 21, 2009 •

Type 9 Shuttle in ModelerApologies for the lack of updates. I still really have no idea what to put on this thing that wouldn’t be better off on UberGames or my Twitter. XD

So it’s been a pretty quiet few weeks. Easter blew over quite nicely. I spent the long weekend in front of my Xbox eating chocolate easter eggs, and going to the gym doubly so since then hehe.

Anywhoo, aside from my work on UberGames (which is going slow and arduosly for the time being… more on that later ; ) ), I’ve been at the reins of LightWave recently, working on a small personal project as well as gearing up for some more work on Welcome to the Cosmos.

So the first thing I’ve been working on is a small bit of modeling practice… a 3D mesh of a ship from Star Trek Voyager, the Type 9/12 speedboat shuttle. :D
It’s something I’ve been wanting to try for a while, and hopefully it’s not going to be too hard to do. At the moment, I’ve laid down the main shape of it using Subdivision Surfacing in LightWave, and am busy refining the edges and adding more detail. Once that’s done, I’ll start to freeze it off, optimize it and then start texturing it.

Type 9 Radiosity Render

But, I’ll need to put that aside for now, since a more pressing bit of CG work has come along.
I’ve been commissioned now to create a temporary shot for WTTC that can be used in any of the promotional screenings of the episode before the main edit is complete. The shot in question is one of the ones later on in the episode, and it takes place over one of the cities in Australia. Krell has just ejected from his ship and is plummeted down in front of it. At the moment, all we really have is a really rough storyboard animatic, so the final look is still probably somewhat up in the air.

Krell Freefall StoryboardEven though it’s a temporary shot, I’d like to try and put as much effort as I can into it to see how polished we can make it. :D

From this point though, it’s going to require a bit of research, and a bit of resource collection. I’ll see if I can continue to post updates to it here as I go.

Anyway… that’s all for now hehe.

Hmmm… last of all… I’m still wondering. Just putting work up here, I’m probably not using this blog as effectively as I could. I might do some scooting around and check a few other blogs too… XD

JLPT Results

March 4, 2009 •

The ResultsI’m not going to dwell on this long, but I figured I should make a note of it.
The results for the JLPT arrived in the mail today.

I failed.

The cutoff mark was 60%, and I managed to achieve 228/400 marks. This equates to about 57%… making my passing grade off by 3%.
So, of all possible ways you can fail an exam, this one is probably one of the more painful ones. It is the one where you fall short of passing by only a few short sweet steps.

If I was to fail, I’m rather wishing I had gotten 10% instead haha. That way I would have known I didn’t have a chance at this exam at all. But so close to the pass mark, it’s making me wonder if I just had sheer dumb luck, or if I had tried any harder I would have passed.

In any case, I don’t think I really want to have passed just scraping the bottom anyway haha.

So, the question remains… what to do from here…?

MySQL + phpMyAdmin Backups = fail

The System is DownSo… my father often says to me that you shouldn’t make mistakes yourself. You should watch as the people around you make mistakes and learn from them what not to do. That clearly wasn’t the case here. >_<

This is the story of what I’ve been doing in the past 3 days hehe. I’ve been trying to migrate all of the content from our old mod, RPG-X’s forum, to the new UberGames forum me and some friends have been working on. The reasoning for this is to consolidate resources as well as effort.

So, before the migration, I got phpMyAdmin to dump the UberGames forum to a big SQL source file (roughly 30MB worth of letters ) and stored it on my hard drive, and then installed the upgrade script.

My first mistake, I didn’t Read The Flippity Manual (RTFM btw), and I executed the upgrade script from the wrong entry point. This subsequently made the script confused about what system the UG forum was (It figured it was Invision in the end O_o ) and subsequently corrupted several tables in the process. This wasn’t too bad as the tables were really small, and I pasted the data back in from my backup.

Now the colossal fail. Once I’d sorted out the import script and executed it in vBulletin mode, the forum looked like it just exploded. In the process, a whole pile of data mingled as well (ie my account got overwritten by RedTechie’s…? O_o ) and I’m still wondering if that was my fault, or some residual glitches from before.

Sadly… and here’s the kicker, when I went to revert the database, not only did it remove the RPG-X stuff, but it deleted a whole pile of UberGames posts with it, as well as all of the admin accounts, which meant I was no longer logged in… and it kind of collapsed in on itself. XP

Sooo….. I realised I had no choice but to restore the entire SQL database I made, since by this point, the database was riddled with corrupted tables.
At this point, I found out I couldn’t just feed the data back into phpMyAdmin, because it was too big and caused timeouts.

So, RedTechie suggested I go and find a script that handles staggered MySQL queries, and use that. Thankfully, I found an awesome one called BigDump (http://www.ozerov.de/bigdump.php).

And now… icing on the cake, BigDump refused to load my file because it was encoded wrong. Turns out it can’t handle INSERT queries that try to insert all of the data at once… something called extended inserts.

So… long story short, I’ve spent up until now, writing a utlity in C# .NET that could take my SQL file, resequence it into 1 on 1 insertion queries and then debugged it until it worked.

What was meant to be an easy 4 hour task has dragged onto 3 days. Ugh…
I guess I should be happy I learnt a tonne of new stuff in the meanwhile… but I’m not so sure.

So the moral of this story is:
1) ALWAYS (!!!) RTFM!!!!!!!! No matter how simple something looks, there’s always a way to screw it up.
2) When exporting SQL from phpMyAdmin, make sure to uncheck the ‘extended inserts’ checkbox.
3) Test backup restoration before assuming it’ll just work.
4) Save the alcohol-based celebrations until after it works. XD

So yeah…. the forum’s all back online, and I’ve taken proper backups now… so I’m ready to try again haha.

In the meantime, I might also release my ‘SQL Splitter’ program as well, in case anyone else runs into the same problem I had…

iPhone 3G Global Roaming == Expensive

February 20, 2009 •

The global roaming bill

Okay so here we go. Aside from the regular personal stuff I do like go to LAN parties and eating Japanese food way too much, I’m going to start writing some more useful stuff in here too.

For starters, I figured I should cover how my mobile phone coverage while I was in Japan went. :)
I have an iPhone 3G on the Optus Yes $39 plan… something which I adore very much hehe. So before going to Japan, I did some research on how to set up my phone to work while I was over in Japan. Another blog I read really helped me on this… and if I remember it, I’ll post the address here. XP

Anyway, getting an Optus phone globally enabled isn’t hard. You simply call up customer service and request to have it enabled. At this point, if there are any hardware concerns that may arise (technology compatibilities etc), the operator will probably tell you about this. They’ll also probably put the spill on you to get your phone travel insured. I’m still not sure if this was a good idea or not, but I’ve signed up. XP
Continue reading

Back Home Again!

January 22, 2009 •

Well… I’m baaaack! XD
Taiko!!I’m a bit slow, I actually arrived back in Australia on Tuesday morning, but it’s been pretty hectic since then with unpacking and stuff.
Anyway, Japan was awesome! I got to ski a lot, eat and drink tonnes of awesome stuff, meet up with old friends, go out and sing karaoke, as well as just going out and buying tonnes of nerdy crap for prices way lower than Australia.

So we basically arrived in Yuzawa on the Monday of the first week, and from there on, we spent until Saturday skiing at the NASPA ski resort. My dad and sister hadn’t skiied in 10 years so they spent a good amount of time rolling down hills, which resulted in epic lulz most of the time. XD
Yuzawa hasn’t changed one iota since I worked there in 2007 and the whole ordeal made me a bit nostalgic haha. maybe next year I’ll try and go back. :)

After Yuzawa, we went to Tokyo and stayed at a guest house in Asakusa. While there, we sightsee’d some various places, went and had dinner with some old friends and did tonnes of shopping. I spent a hefty bit of time in Akihabara of course pouring over the insanely geeky merchandise. However, since I recently managed to obtain a modchipped Wii, the main thing I did there was buy second hand games for it.

After Tokyo, I caught a Shinkansen down to Osaka, where one of my buddies from English school very very graciously let me crash at his house for a few days. While there, I visited the old English school I worked at, hung out with some good Osaka buddies, did some shopping in Den Den Town, as well as got drunk and had some nights out the town。

Either way, being back in Perth is a bit of a bittersweet feeling now. I really hope I can go back there for more than a year at some point hehe.

In any case, my idea for writing a new blog post every day was epic fail haha. There wasn’t enough time each night, so I’m hoping the fact I took around 600 pictures will help a little bit. XD

Hehe, ah well, as far as holidays go, that was awesome. :)

At the moment, I’m busy uploading photos to Facebook and mixi. If you’re on my list, please check them out!

And I’m outta here!

January 4, 2009 •

Well, I’m pretty much packed now. Off to Japan!

I hear the whether is pretty cool over there right now. So much so that a little snow is even falling in Osaka.
Anyway, I have a great many things to do over there, including catching up with friends, lots of skiing, as well as lots of buying heheheh. XD

My plan is to try and update the blog as I go, half so people can see the crazy crap I’m up to, half so I can have a diary to remember this trip by.

I’ll also see about adding lots of pictures as well, both to here and my Facebook and mixi.

Until then, see you later!

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