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Valve’s “Meet the Spy” Intentionally Leaked??

May 20, 2009 •

At least that’s what I think. ;)

I found this yesterday, during the second time I was watching it (pausing every few seconds to ‘ooh’ and ‘aah’ at the eye candy of course. ;) ).

During the opening seconds of the video, when the array of alert panels is revealed to the camera, when viewed in HD, it’s possible to clearly make out each one legibly.
Have a looky at what one of them says. (Just to be certain, I enlarged it in Photoshop and ramped up the levels) ;)

spy_leak

Now… I know that’s not really proof, but damn, that really is coincidental isn’t it? ;)
Continue reading

The Kanji Conundrum

May 17, 2009 •

漢字==かんじHere’s a little story on my ever ongoing Japanese language escapades. XD
I got in a little hot water in my weekly Kumon Kokugo lesson over the importance/neccessity of Kanji. XP

As always when advancing to the next level at Kumon, I took a diagnostic test to guage my Japanese skillz. My results were pretty good; 100% on all sections (w00t!) bar one; written Kanji… where I got 0%. ^_^;

My tutor was somewhat confused about the apparent contrasts in scores, and asked me what happened. I didn’t really think about what I said, but just blurted out “I don’t really have any drive to learn to write Kanji”, as to which the reaction I received was somewhat of mortification.
Continue reading

Star Trek XI has epic lens flares!

May 9, 2009 •

Star Trek XI Lens Flares Ahoy!

So, I came back from seeing the Star Trek movie tonight. Wow, that was a powerful emotional experience hehe.

After being pretty damn disappointed from Nemesis, I was really scared about this movie. I’m betting it was easily possible that if this movie failed, Paramount would probably just totally give up on the Trek franchise.
That being said, this movie doesn’t disappoint. :) Movies rarely ever bring tears to my eyes, and yet this movie did it 4 or 5 times over haha.

It definitely did Trek justice. It had all of the qualities of standard Trek, but it was definitely refreshed for a more modern perspective. True, it looked waaay different to the Trek we’re used to, (the Enterprise looks like a decked out Apple store), but I’m guessing if a franchise doesn’t evolve on modern trends, it’s doomed to fizzle out.

And the lens flares… holy crap haha. Continue reading

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…

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