|9-13-03, 12:00am: Horizons MMORPG|
|Horizons... The first MMORPG where you can play a dragon. But only a selfish, gold-hoarding, prideful, Istarian-style dragon. I used to be really excited about this game, but now I don't like how they portray dragons, and how most dragon role-players on the message boards behave in order to follow their portrayal. Still, I suppose it's not as bad as some people paint us. At any rate, I got into beta, so I've been playing from time to time (though not very often). I can't give you any insider info thanks to the NDA, but if any of you reading this are also in beta and want to join a little Draconic guild, look for KaniS or Royelle on the server that begins with T, or send me an e-mail to say when you'll be around. So far, I've found 2 others. Around when the game is released (supposedly Nov, though that seems rather early), depending how it turns out, I'm going to see if my roommate wants to run a Draconic guild, so if you're interested in joining a guild of true dragons, check back here for info. If the guild works out, one of the central focuses will be on showing the game community that dragons can be benevolent, helpful, kind, etc. So, don't plan to join if you consider yourself evil or cruel.|
|9-08-03, 12:01pm: PHP installed|
|In more draconic news, I've installed PHP support on the web server and gotten it working with the database and user logon. This means we can support all those nice, pre-built PHP packages out there (at least I hope so). It also means access to a lot of built-in PHP functionality that is a pain (or just costs too much) to find support for in ASP. For example, I can now check an image's size to prevent large signatures. Yay! =) I've been fixing lots of bugs in an open source asp2php utility I found and using it to convert Find a Dragon to php, as well as start implementing new functionality and features. It's a slow process, but it's good to be doing it, and PHP is much more fun than ASP.|
|6-18-03, 12:00am: Summer vacation, OpenGL KaniS|
|College is over, though I still feel like everything is taking too long. I'm still working on cleaning out my e-mail and cleaning off my desk of old snail mail. No less than four environmental organizations guilted me into sending them money during this process, but that's alright because I think I'll be working part time this summer with one of my professors. BTW, an EarthJustice contributor is doubling any donation made to them until July 15th, so if you ever did feel like donating, now is a great time.
Once I get all this other stuff done, I plan to work on posting the discussion board rules and then on adding an environmental section (remember long ago when you voted to include that? If anyone has ideas for it, please e-mail me, or start a discussion board thread about it and e-mail me the name of the thread). After that will be the big project which is a revamp of Find a Dragon.
As a final project in my CS160 OpenGL class I wrote a standalone program with my dragon model (of myself) flying around over one of the campuses on our college. He bank turns to fly towards a target hovering over the campus and when he reaches it, a new target is randomly positioned. At any rate, everyone I've shown it to thinks it's very cool, so feel free to check it out here. It's been tested to run on any reasonably fast windows machine and requires no installation, just unzip it.
|3-26-03, 12:00am: Term paper compares 3D animation software|
|I did a term paper for my college writing class you all might be interested in. It was on the subject of what 3D software to use to animate a dragon. To be brief, based on price/performance, I picked Maya Complete. However, if you want to use the free educational version, Softimage|XSI may be even better. I didn't do a lot of research on XSI because it was out of the price range I set in the report, but I did keep reading about people who prefer it over Maya for character animation. You can read my whole report here.|
Even if you don't read the whole report, you may want to check the references. There's pointers to a few interesting web sites, especially a couple dragon animation tutorials for Maya. After I wrote the report, Maya also released a whole scene file showing how to make an animation involving a dragon. The animation is rather cute and well done; it can be found here.
We also had to do a poster presentation after the term paper, and as part of the poster I ended up posing the 3D model of myself I've been working on for years. You can see the result here. The way I set it up was quite rushed, so he wouldn't move realistically in an animation, but from this angle, in this pose, he looks fairly good.
Finally, something which has nothing to do with dragons, but which is one of the funniest things I've ever seen can be found here.
|2-22-03, 12:00am: Dragon Wars movie|
|I just happened to notice a new movie is being made called Dragon Wars. Yeah, the title makes it sound like yet another Reign of Fire, but the trailer makes it look a little different. There are dinos and other weird creatures with humans riding them, some of them shooting lasers (!?)... The dragons seem to be working with them (no riders on the dragons, yay!) as part of a huge army attacking a village. Then it switches to a huge city with dragons flying through, helicopters, and a giant serpentish creature coiling his way up a skyscraper and then growling at a tiny helicopter. Unfortunately the web site is in Korean (I think), so I can't read any of the text to figure out what it's about. If anyone finds out, feel free to e-mail me.|
|2-11-03, 12:00am: College takes too much time|
|No news is good news, right? Actually, I'm still extremely busy with college, but I did get some stuff done last winter break. Mostly behind the scenes stuff. Some advice... Don't try to get all As in college if you want any free time. Unfortunately, now that I've been doing it for 3 quarters, it's hard to stop... It would just look so good on a resume... *sigh*|
Anyway, check out this for a laugh. Not everyone's type of humor, but I like it.
|1-16-03, 12:00am: Automated signature size limits|
|A new signature system for Forums has been released. I'm sure some of you won't like it because you can't make the sigs as customized as before, but others will like it because you can create various types of sigs easily without knowing HTML.|
Either way, the simplicity was necessary such that it can programatically limit signature size. There is no more signature reporting, which was leading to bad feelings and misunderstandings.
This change also required me to convert message.asp to message.php (the page used to read forum posts). Please e-mail me (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you see any new bugs on that page, or on the preferences page. To learn more, or if you have comments, please visit this thread.
One important thing: Please do not continue to paste little bits of text, such as your name, to the end of each post you make. This is essentially adding at least two extra lines to your signature (some text and a blank space before your real signature), and defeats the ability to limit signature sizes. Most especially, do not paste your entire signature to avoid the limitations of the signature system.
Also, if you really want to see someone else's name added to the vote on the right for new forum moderator, please post the nomination here. But do it quick.
|12-13-02, 12:00am: IBM hard drives suck even more|
|Remember that refurbished IBM hard drive? Well, it died after about 3 weeks of use. This time they sent me a new hard drive.
How kind of them. At any rate, being back in college is eating up just about all my free time. It's funny, because I remember having a lot of free time when I was at UCSD. Maybe my lack of time now is due to the fact I'm trying to get As instead of feeling miserable and scraping by with Cs in a fair number of cases. Bottom line is that I don't forsee getting much of anything done on Draconic whenever I'm in school, which is sad. However, since I do have some time now that I'm on Christmas break, I'll do my best to get something done, even if I can't finish it and make it public. Other than that, have a merry Christmas.|
|9-28-02, 12:00am: Draconic moving|
|Draconic will be moving this Friday morning to a new IP, 22.214.171.124.
As such, it may be temporarily unavailable while servers are moved
and while the new DNS entry propogates around.|
Speaking of which, I've moved closer to where I'm going back to
college, a process which took weeks of searching and moving stuff,
and I'm now living with a new special person in my life, who I've
also been spending a great deal of time with. These two things,
along with having to replace and rebuild the IRC chat server and
that discouraging hard drive crash (BTW, IBM had the nerve
to send me back a refurbished hard drive instead of a new one,
and it wasn't even _my_ hard drive, so all my data wasn't on it, and
it makes strange noises that disturb me), all serve to explain why
I didn't get Find a Dragon done this summer. *sigh* Sorry about that.
Hopefully I'll have time to work on it during school whenever things
finally settle down.
|8-05-02, 12:00am: IBM hard drives suck|
|I'm very unhappy with IBM. IBM makes hard drives. IBM made my hard drive which died before the 1 yr warranty was up, losing all my data up to a 2 month old backup (I need to be as responsible with my main system backups as I am with Draconic). IBM received my drive early July 29th. IBM did not acknowledge receiving my drive until late on the 30th. IBM still has not shipped out a replacement drive as of today, and asks that I wait up to 14 business days (Ie. 20 real days) for them to get around to it. When Synge had this happen to his Maxtor drive, the drive was examined the day of delivery and a replacement was sent out the next day.|
If I were you, I wouldn't buy IBM products.
Ha. I knew as soon as I posted this they would send the drive. 9 day turnaround. How... efficient.
Thanks to IBM, I lost a few days of work on a server side component to be used for Find a Dragon, and I was discouraged and working on getting my laptop set up to use as my main system for the next few days. Not a happy dragon.
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