Monday, December 25, 2006


i've always wondered why so many developers leave documentation for their applications, libraries and other things online, as in on web pages that are problematic to get offline. i do realise that developing is a labourious process, and creating documentation makes it more so, but if you really want to release your program/library/toolkit for general use, make sure there's some documentation that users can get. on my former blog, i ranted about the availability of offline documentation for Blender. it seems as though the ASP.NET AJAX team want me stuck online. dude, it's expensive for me to stay online, but if i want the documentation for ASP.NET AJAX, i need to. that just means i can't use it until they let me have an offline copy of the docs. ah, well. i just hope i don't do the same thing.

Christmas is troublesome!

so here i am in school, and it being the 25th of December, too! due to the "festive" season, i haven't left school for home because of the traffic jams between school and Lagos. i heard some people spent over 14 hours on the road. dude, that majorly sucks! i haven't left for home yet, maybe that's why i'm feeling some saaki from home. okay, maybe it isn't killing, but i feel like i will get sacrified once i get home. so i hope to get home today. and am i bored stiff in school!

i can't send a text message to my sister, even though i've been trying over the last two hours. i'm not surprised, though - the empty network has its limits. i mean, with everyone and their dog trying to communicate at this time, even a stellar network (which the empty network is not) would be hard-pressed to deliver hiccup-free services.

this year, Christmas is on a monday (arrgh!). i don't beef the season, only the mindless activity that fills so many lives just about this time. it's really dumb seeing so many people fritter away time and money without thinking. Christmas itself has lost what it should mean - not that it started out meaning that anyway. anyhow, guess, we'll see later. (i can't believe i'm doing this) merry Christmas! and God bless us, everyone!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

erm, so what was i going to talk about again?

can't remember. or don't want to talk about it anymore. works the same both ways. anyhow, wish those who celebrate christmas a merry one. not quite sure i'll blog agin before next year, still…anyhow, see y'all!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

It's that season of the year again...

dude, lots of new versions of software is showing up just now - just in time for Christmas, heh, heh! among some of the new versions of software showing up are:

  • wxWidgets 2.8 has been released. finally, they release the documentation for the current version (how come i wasn't told that version 2.7 wasn't stable?)! grab your copy if you use it.
  • VideoLAN VLC player has hit version 0.8.6. An excellent player, you might want this handy for that day you feel like streaming that audio all over your network…as far as i can tell, it still doesn't support Real media files, but i guess maybe the maintainers might add that, what with all the activity going on at the Helix Community, some miracle might occur, though i'm not holding my breath because of licensing issues…
  • lately, software giant Microsoft has been really nice to some of us who can afford to shell out precious $$$ for software. Lots of software development tools are available from the Redmond company. Rather recently, the new XNA Game Studio Express is production-ready and waiting for the next great game developer. Got .NET? Want to create games using Visual C# Express Edition? Will travel (actually, travelling isn't necessary, but downloading is)? Will not create XBox 360 titles without a license? then get this one. 'Nuff said.
  • still talking about Microsoft, the new home page debuted two days ago. and i can find a link to free accounting software software there. eh??? a contest to win retail space in NY plus $100,000 (USD i guess) to get your business started? i smell a big, fat, rat. sorry, i smell the work of a bunch of guys who want to take over the world.
  • And for the company that wanted to give me a heart attack recently - Planetside Software. Yes, the long-awaited release of Terragen 2 Tech Preview is finally here. maybe it's me, but i'm sure i scanned the entire site yesterday and never found the download link. fortunately, i googled this morning and found the link to the download before i could give them a piece or two of my (much-needed) mind. all's well that ends in the well, i suppose. i now have a shiny new Terragen 2 Tech Preview download, and i'm retaining all the pieces of my mind too ;). well, here's the link to the download page. i wish Planetside many sales of this one (hopefully, i'll be able to afford it when it finally is production-quality).

well, gotta go. other things await my perusal. later!

Friday, December 15, 2006

Women are troublesome!

after mulling about it, i guess i'll just leave the header and this note. if you're a guy, i'm sure you'll have your own experiences with woman trouble. and this really has zilch to do with romance or any such thing. relating with them can be such a pain. arrgggh! if someone can tell me just how to live with them, but without their trouble, i'd listen.


ever since i was introduced to hMailServer, i've never looked back. it's really nice for it's weight. part of the requirements for it to run is a database server, either MySQL or Microsoft SQL Server ™. when setting up the server, you're allowed to choose whether or not you want to use an external MySQL database server. not using an external database server makes use of the one that comes bundled with the hMailServer package.

with MySQL versions up to 3.x, i worked well with hMailServer. unfortunately, from version 4 upwards, i've struggled with using hMailServer and MySQL. that's because i generally install MySQL for purposes other than running a mail server. however, the last time i installed hMailServer, i did the usual thing: create a new database for the mail server's use using my existing MySQL server installation. however, for some reason, hMailServer choked on the external database, so i was left with the option of downgrading hMailServer or MySQL. for the first time, i got mad, reinstalled hMailServer and let it use its internal MySQL server. it's nice to know that even though i now have two MySQL server services running on my computer, i can use my existing MySQL server along the one installed with hMailServer.

one thing of note, if you're going to install hMailServer, please note that the username used to authenticate to the mail server must be the full email address, not just the username portion, that is, it needs to be '', not just 'username'. this is something that i've seen trip up new users of hMailServer.

Monday, December 11, 2006

i was taught wrong proportions

Back in primary school(i guess that would be grade school for some people), i was taught that if 1 man completes a piece of work in 10 days, 10 men would complete the same piece of work in 1 day. i have since come to question the validity of that premise, because if we consider the men actually completing the work in 1 day:
  • as Prof Olicks mentioned, we're assuming that they all work at the same time, and they don't have to queue up the work - in other words, no person's work is dependent on any other person's
  • we're assuming there are no slackers among them, which is most likely not true. come on, any group of 10 people will almost certainly have one or more slackers.
  • we're assuming each of the 10 men has exactly the same rate of work as the 1 man - which is of course, not plausible.
  • we're assuming the men don't do anything to affect their work rate, either positively (like cheering each other on or smoking weed) or negatively (like...i dunno!).
  • we're assuming they even begin to cooperate.
  • we're assuming they don't get into each other's way, which will obviously slow down the rate of work.
  • we're assuming they don't go off, form a union and call a strike for some reason.
  • we're assuming having 10 men on the site isn't a violation of safety laws.
  • as Prof Biyi reminded me before i publish this, it also depends on the nature of the work. if it takes 1 man 1 minute to put on a pair of trousers, how long will it take 10 men to put on the same pair of trousers? i think that bears thinking about.
  • from Prof Biyi's postulation, we can also assume that we have not asked the employer of labour if he would be willing to pay 10 men as against 1, since the 1 has the (decided) advantage of not being able to form a union (of course, that doesn't stop him from getting a shotgun...).
  • since we learnt this before we found out about the law of diminishing returns, we can safely assume that we are assuming without the said law, which IMHO, has a bad habit of not knowing how to be ignored gracefully.
  • we're assuming that some other thing i haven't taken into consideration does (not) happen.
in my opinion, the smart answer to the question: "if 1 man takes 10 days to complete a piece of work, how long will it take 10 men to complete the same piece of work?" would be: "it depends".

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

New virus/worm/whatever!

last night (or in the early hours of this morning), someone asked me to take a look at his WinXP computer. he said it was giving some weird text on right click. sure enough, when i right clicked his C: drive, the first two items were in some gibberish, the kind you only see when you don't have Asian fonts installed. However, the first two menu items (&Open and E&xplore), have their accesskeys underlined, like normal. i first started checking the registry to see if there was any custom autorun handler. there didn't seem to be. the thought was then brought to my mind the autorun.inf trick. so i checked, and there were a number of files named autorun* (that is, files that had the name autorun-something. apparently, the worm spreads via removable drives, and executes itelf using Windows Scripting Host. i'm not sure exactly what the payload (the actual damage caused by it other than being annoying) at any rate, disabling Windows Script Host is very easy if you have the right tools, or if you don't mind running around in the registry. i can't tell you exacty what registry key to modify other than HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows Script Host\Settings\ (set both the Enabled and Remote values to 0). use Task Manager or any other process manager to kill any instances of Windows Script Host (wscript.exe) running, otherwise, cleaning the worm will be really difficult. Next, make sure that the worm doesn't start up with the system by searching for and deleting all intances of "autorun.bat" in the HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\IniFileMapping\system.ini key. Finally, at the console, run: attrib -h -s -r autorun* and delete the files that appear if you have the default setting, which is to hide system and hidden files. if this doesn't make sense, post a comment. i'm falling asleep at my computer and i don't want it to drop off my lap. later then! oh, yeah - tools you can easily use to disable Windows Scripting include the excellent Xpy and AVG Antispyware. With Xpy, simply download, unzip and run the application. you'll see it under the 'General' settings. For AVG Antispyware, go to the Tools tab and expand Other services (or something like that; i don't have it installed for a number of reasons).

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

English is the pits!

i'm taking a couple of tests on Brainbench (free of course! :D), among which is the Personality test. i was looking at the text at the top of the screen and started wondering of "today" referred to "this present day", or "an amount of time around and including the present day". there are too many words with multiple languages in English! since the world generally agrees that i'm not a native English speaker, i'll have to say we chose a really weird language for the most popular one (quoting Ryuk from Death Note episode #1)

Wings 3D 0.98.36 is out!

i once again decided to creep around the Subdivision Modeling forums, ostensibly to revive my almost-dead modeling career. there, i was greeted with the wonderful news that Wings3D 0.98.36 is out! okay, so i haven't tested it, but if my experience with the previous versions is anything to go by, it's going to be l33t! oooooh, i can hardly wait to get my hands on a shiny new copy! erm, forgive my behaviour - everyone is allowed 5 minutes of insanity daily. i was just getting warmed up :D. later then!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006


i've been playing The Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones, the last of the excellent 3-part series. i really like the game, and Speed Kills really make it, but man, there are some hard hard parts in that game! specifically, i'm talking about the chapters titled "The King's Road" and "The Well of Ancestors" (i don't have my computer here so i can't say if the latter is correct). i had played the "The King's Road" chapter before, and since i just wanted to get the story, i used a trainer when it got too hard. the second time round (i still haven't finished the game yet, FYI) i decided to play it, like a friend said, about 200 times or so (i don't even want to think of playing it on Hard - i usually just play Normal) before i get it (why didn't Ubisoft think of putting a save point immediately after the chariot race? IMHO, that chapter is so difficult, anyone would want to quit the game right after it! at any rate, i started the game again, loaded a save and just noticed that the game was slow - slow enough that i passed through the King's Road without a single Recall! it wasn't until i was done that i noticed that my computer's power cord had been disconnected from the wall socket (living in a hostel has its advantages...). when i ran through the Well of Ancestors for maybe the sixth time, i'd had enough of the Dark Prince saying "tick, tock, Prince...", and disconnected my computer from its supply myself. yeah, i know, it was cheap. but i'd really had it. i generally play games for the story, because i like stories. anyhow, i guess after my second run with my slowed-down game, i got through to the cutscene where he obtains the King's Sword (i had to go through it twice because i didn't see the ledge above the wall blade close to the end of the run). ah well. why am i posting this? i guess i found out i've developed a bad habit of looking for the easiest route to things - the path of least resistance, you might say. but the problem with this is in life, there are no real shortcuts. every "shortcut" has its own downfalls. this is the law of equivalent trade i learned watching Fullmetal Alchemist. like Al says in the intro, there's always something you exchange for something else. cheating is unfortunately a habit which won't stay in just one area of your life - you'll end up cutting corners somewhere else - and most likely, live to regret it. that said, i'm still not going to play any of those chapters again. no, really!

Monday, November 27, 2006

stuff n stuff

i'd noticed it before, but i guess i'm just really realizing that Microsoft has upgraded Hotmail free user storage to 1GB. Go Google and Yahoo!, especially Google! i remember a time i never checked my Hotmail because of the measly 2MB storage which was never enough because i got the most junk mail there, of all my free email accounts. i only kept the account because of MSN instant messaging. even my Operamail account was far more useful than the Hotmail, even though they had about the same capacity (Hotmail 2MB, Operamail 3MB). i can't remember how many times i had to reactivate the account. i guess that's why they say competition is a good thing. i do hope people will keep Microsoft on their toes. it'll make things more interesting, and it pays the end users too :D.

Friday, November 24, 2006

some interesting Python finds

as part of the plan to get my life back on track, i've been (re-)learning Python using How to Think Like a Computer Scientist. i've found some interesting things along the way, such as:
  • that you can use the modulo operator (%) with floating-point numbers, at least in Python. it works as you'd expect, including the floating-point inaccuracies. it's interesting that it still works with both arguments as floating-point numbers. just don't use the results in a place human life may depend on :D
  • that you can use the regular math syntax with Python. x <= y <= z is a boolean expression that returns true if x is less than or equal to y and y is less than or equal to z.
  • the int(), str() and similar functions actually return types when treated as a variable. so this: isinstance(myVar, int) and import types isinstance(myVar, types.IntType) are functionally equivalent. the reason i say it's interesting is because other functions return a function variable, not a type. i'm not quite sure that last statement makes sense, but pythonistas should get the idea. i'm using Python 2.4.4, so if these thingies don't work for a different, don't blame me :D

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Life, life

konnichiwa! been quite a while since i last posted anything here. i guess it's more of laziness than anything else since blogging is my lazy way of writing down what i think. of course, since it's accessible to pretty much anyone, i have to keep all the nasty stuff to myself...heh, heh. things are a bit quiet here at school. i do have to deal with some personal issues, one of which is the fact that i am taking a second extra session in school. guess i'm not as smart as i'd like to think, at least in the eyes of my lecturers... truth be told, i hate being in school now. i hate the fact that i feel as though my life is in a cage, and that i'm shackled somewhere. i hate feeling constrained, and that's exactly how i feel right now. and it sucks. seriously. i'm not free to decide whether or not to take a second extra year, but i am free to decide exactly how it will affect me. honestly, i feel like rolling over and letting life just pass. a friend said that about me about 3-4 years ago. that i basically think, "what's the use?" and don't do anything about things. i really can't say i've done things to the best of my ability. i really could have been more serious in school, but it wasn't fun. and maybe that's the problem. here i am moaning about how bored i am, and here my life is trickleing away without my notice. i guess what i say is true: life is what happens to you while you're waiting for your life to get started. the point is: my life and focus are far too small. someone said it right when he said: a man wrapped up in himself makes a pretty small package. but it's really hard to snap out of it, to find some grand design into which my life fits...i guess there's not so much to say around here. maybe i'll let you know what secrets i find on my journey...maybe not. either way, it's probably better than nothing. maybe it will work, maybe it won't. as you can see, i haven't formed by resolve. it just might explain why my blade does not cut. ah well. guess i've yakked enough now. later.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

This ain't upbeat by a long shot....

i feel like getting stoned. really, really, STONED. it's been that kind of week. or day, or whatever. i dunno. i don't care, really. i'm just really depressed right now and it feels like my life got stuck in a rut and there's nothing i can do about it except roll over and die. i'm angry. and sad. i've hurt people, people've hurt me, and i'm trying to make sense of this mess. i don't think i have anyone to talk to right now, so before i freak out or do myself or someone some damage, i'm retreating and sounding off. since the internet is a big, anonymous place, i feel safe in my anonymity here. you don't know and probably don't care, and since i'm not writing for anyone in particular, i can forget about being socially correct and just say how i feel. i don't expect you to understand. you have your own problems, don't you? doesn't everyone? but maybe you do understand. maybe if i tell you five minutes ago i wondered why i was still living and what i could do to change that, you just might find some hope to give it one more shot. and then maybe my rant won't be just a rant after all.

Inkscape driving me up the wall

so far, so good. i've been using Inkscape for some time now, and it's been impressive. my main beef with it, however, is the fact that the latest Windows release (0.44) doesn't support OpenType or Postscript (Type1) fonts. in my experience, Type1 fonts look much better than the equivalent TrueType fonts. this means that as for now, any OpenType or Type1 font i get is basically wasted as far as vector graphics is concerned...hmmm...i remember something about a faulty pango (i guess this is a library used for text or something) DLL. maybe if i copy the one for the Gimp to the Inkscape install folder something good will happen,,,for more information about the bug, please click here. UPDATE: renaming the DLL worked, because i already had the GTK 2.8 runtime installed for the Gimp, and it uses a higher version of Pango than the version that came with Inkscape.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

try out the Gimp and Inkscape!

in the last few days, i've had to use some open source software for some work, and i must say i quite like the results i've been getting. for example, someone came to me to remove tha background for a picture he needed for his project. i had a copy of the Gimp for Windows on hand, so i installed it with the help (if you're using the latest Windows version, installing help is a bit of a pain), and got the job done in a few minutes. i also gave it to him on a flash disk after teaching him how to get it done, and he came back the next day saying his supervisor was happy with him. i've also used Inkscape for a number of small jobs and quite like it. i've had some issues with Type 1 fonts (i don't think the Windows version works with Type 1 fonts), but it's a great program all in all, and has a nice feture set for such a small program. i heartily recommend both programs.

Saturday, October 07, 2006 Premium

someone seems to be taking very seriously indeed. i came across a SourceForge project to add some spice to the vanilla installation by adding various samples, clipart and fonts to it. the project cam be found here.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Blogger issues

i really haven't got the hang of using the Blogger interface, so please forgive me if i seem a little disjointed. later, then

Wisdom from the Hedonism Handbook Now here's something you don't see everyday: Words of Wisdom from the Hedonism Handbook. happy reading!

if you're a Windows user, there's a lot of open-source software available to you. i'm basically a Windows user even though i have friends influencing me to switch over to *nix. i don't think i'm ready for that now. well, for those inclined to use open-source software on Windows, you can check out the TTCS OSSWIN CD, and the OSSWin site.

also, you might want to check out Ohloh. came across it while snooping around BlenderNation.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

i guess this is the part where i'm supposed to say hello and tell you all what this blog might be about. maybe even share a few opinions or something. i'm not exactly sure how to do that right now and all, so i'll just say hello and thanks for coming over here, even if it was by mistake. hopefully, in coming posts, you might find it worth your while to either come here often, or add this to your feeds list. well, that said, have a great day!