Saturday, December 29, 2007

dude, do i still want to get married?

i've toyed about with the idea of getting married, but after this week...dude, taking care of kids is no joke. one reason i want to get married is to have kids. i mean, why not? kids are great - except all the time. this week, i was left at home thrice with my two-year-old nephew, and on the latest with hyperactive triplets about 10 years old. i was basically just chasing after them, and the "hey! i just cleaned this place up!" and "will this ever end?" feelings - among various others, including a sudden desire to strangle someone - came up quite often. still, i made it through - and i will never again (or at least i think i never will) take parenting for granted. if you just want to live your life and enjoy yourself without sacrifice, take my advice: don't bother with any serious relationship or kids. you'll be doing yourself a favour. i think i'm going to sleep it off.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

hold the phone!

okay...that was weird. why have my older female relatives started asking if i have a girlfriend and all that related stuff? you know, greet them (or her) for me, and so on? hold the phone, all right? is there anything wrong with being a single black male? like, i'm still young (plus i have a gazillion things to do). besides, i don't think i can handle a relationship yet. Lord knows the last almost-was nearly destroyed me. i still have baggage from it (okay, so it's not that long ago - like that means anything). this isn't to imply that it's only my relatives that do this - they just happened to be the last straw, so to speak. i'd rather that nobody asked - but then it just wouldn't be human. people care about other people - even when it pisses off the other people. it's bad enough that some people can't even let me talk to a female without getting very interested. please, people! i am not interested in anyone at the moment, and i am not dating anyone - nor do i have any plans to do so soon. you need selflessness in a romantic relationship - a virtue i have found i am all-too-lacking in. honestly, i don't know how she put up with my nonsense. and no, you're not entitled to know what went on. so thanks, but don't matchmake, don't ask, just leave me the h*** alone. me and the crew have this covered, aight? don't worry - something is going down. but you gotta trust me that now's not the time. thanks. later, y'all!

The text on the TextEdit icon

Apple's MacOSX Leopard comes with a text editor, TextEdit. the icon is a picture of a ruled sheet of paper and a clutch pencil. what it says is something great, and i think everyone should see it: look here

Monday, December 24, 2007

The truth about Santa Claus: An Engineer's Perspective

sometimes you do get some good 'spam'. i subscribed for news from the developers of IBExpert, and they send me updates on the program and all what not. today, i checked my mail and get this beauty. i'm reproducing it below for everyone to enjoy.

The truth about Santa Claus: An Engineer’s Perspective

  1. No known species of reindeer can fly. But there are 300,000 species of living organisms yet to be classified, and while most of these are insects and germs, this does not COMPLETELY rule out flying reindeer which only Santa has ever seen.
  2. There are 2 billion children (persons under 18) in the world. BUT since Santa doesn't (appear) to handle the Muslim, Hindu, Jewish and Buddhist children, that reduces the workload to 15% of the total - 378 million according to Population Reference Bureau. At an average (census) rate of 3.5 children per household, that's 91.8 million homes. One presumes there's at least one good child in each.
  3. Santa has 31 hours of Christmas to work with, thanks to the different time zones and the rotation of the earth, assuming he travels east to west (which seems logical). This works out to 822.6 visits per second. This is to say that for each Christian household with good children, Santa has 1/1000th of a second to park, hop out of the sleigh, jump down the chimney, fill the stockings, distribute the remaining presents under the tree, eat whatever snacks have been left, get back up the chimney, get back into the sleigh and move on to the next house. Assuming that each of these 91.8 million stops are evenly distributed around the earth (which, of course, we know to be false but for the purposes of our calculations we will accept), we are now talking about .78 miles per household, a total trip of 75-1/2 million miles, not counting stops to do what most of us must do at least once every 31 hours, plus feeding and etc. This means that Santa's sleigh is moving at 650 miles per second, 3,000 times the speed of sound. For purposes of comparison, the fastest man- made vehicle on earth, the Ulysses space probe, moves at a poky 27.4 miles per second - a conventional reindeer can run, tops, 15 miles per hour.
  4. The payload on the sleigh adds another interesting element. Assuming that each child gets nothing more than a medium-sized lego set (2 pounds), the sleigh is carrying 321,300 tons, not counting Santa, who is invariably described as overweight. On land, conventional reindeer can pull no more than 300 pounds. Even granting that 'flying reindeer' (see point #1) could pull TEN TIMES the normal amount, we cannot do the job with eight, or even nine. We need 214,200 reindeer. This increases the payload - not even counting the weight of the sleigh - to 353,430 tons. Again, for comparison - this is four times the weight of the Queen Elizabeth.
  5. 353,000 tons traveling at 650 miles per second creates enormous air resistance - this will heat the reindeer up in the same fashion as spacecraft re-entering the earth's atmosphere. The lead pair of reindeer will absorb 14.3 QUINTILLION joules of energy. Per second. Each. In short, they will burst into flame almost instantaneously, exposing the reindeer behind them, and create deafening sonic booms in their wake. The entire reindeer team will be vaporized within 4.26 thousandths of a second. Santa, meanwhile, will be subjected to centrifugal forces 17,500 times greater than gravity. A 250-pound Santa (which seems ludicrously slim) would be pinned to the back of his sleigh by 4,315,015 pounds of force.

In conclusion: If Santa ever DID deliver presents on Christmas Eve, he's dead now.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

back home

just got back home. it's great to be home, even if christmas is overrated - as usual. still, there's something to be said for being with family. nothing like family to make you wish you didn't have any. hehehe. anyway, gotta ride, so see y'all. merry christmas (i've been taken to task for saying 'happy holidays').

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

hey everyone. how's it hanging? i was wondering - what do you do if you have a program that does almost everything you want it to do - but it fails in one or two areas? install two (or more) of them? but then that would violate Occam's Razor. for instance, i use XnView for most of my (decidedly horrible) image management. the full version is a little hefty, but i love it. it supports lots of formats (mostly view), including audio/video files (it seems to have crashed when previewing a Flash Video (.flv) file just now, though) and PDF documents (you'll need Ghostscript installed, though). and it's free for non-commercial use. i love it - but it always crashes when i use it to browse a certain folder on my computer. that folder has 667 image files (and no, i didn't make that up - it really has that many images), a few of which didn't download properly (so only part of the file displays). i'm not sure if it's because of the number of files or the corrupt files, but since it crashes regularly, i had to move the files into subfolders so XnView handled fewer files per folder. that worked, but since i use those images rather often (and have to choose a few from them everytime), i moved them all back into the same folder again and use Windows Explorer's thumbnail view instead. i was on LifeHacker and found out about FastStone image viewer, and while it doesn't have as many perks as i'm used to from XnView - it doesn't crash when browsing that folder. i may not need to use that folder so often anymore, and i'm going to format my computer soon, so it doesn't matter now - but i'm going to reinstall Windows, and will need to choose an image browser. should i install both, or have to choose between them?

it's easier to choose when the difference between the programs is relatively minor. an an example, i blogged about Linotype FontExplorer X recently. it has a lovely iTunes-style interface and it's pretty good (i've not used it much, so be wary of my opinion) - but the one thing i miss from Proxima FontExpert is the ability to temporarily activate a font until the system reboots (it works on the Mac, but it seems the feature didn't - or hasn't - made it to the PC, at least not in the beta). it does the same thing as Bitstream Font Navigator (creates a shortcut to the installed font in your Windows fonts folder). i think it was also on LifeHacker i got a link to Veign CFont Pro. while its interface leaves much to be desired (aesthetically speaking - don't knock it if it works), it does what i want it to do - activate a font temporarily until reboot. so - i should just ignore FontExplorer X and use CFont Pro, right? wrong, because CFont Pro has so far not recognized any font not in the TrueType (.ttf) format. Postscript (.afm + .ini + .pfb + .pfm) and OpenType (.otf) fonts were ignored, a major minus. checking on the features page, it's supposed to support them - so i have no idea what's happening on my machine. maybe there are some missing system components. ah well. we don't live in a perfect world.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


who invented deadlines? can i kill him? pretty please? Microsoft has recently released XNA Game Studio 2.0 (and the price tag is a hefty $0. so if you're a C# developer and would like to create homebrews for Windows or the XBOX - please, help yourself). that's not too surprising - software gets released all the time, right? not that long before that, they also released Visual Studio 2008 (i got the Express edition, and Visual C++ 9.0 Express has some cool stuff out of the box - no need to download the Windows/Platform SDK to develop native Windows applications anymore. whoopee!). what's surprising is that XNA Game Studio 2.0 - get this - integrates seamlessly with Visual Studio 2005 products (specifically for C#), but not with Visual Studio 2008 products (look here for more details). If you're an XNA Game Studio user and want the new version, don't uninstall (or go reinstall) Visual Studio 2005 (if you want, install just VC# 2005 Express), or face the consequences. while there are workarounds, you really didn't sign up for hard work. that's why you became a programmer, wasn't it?

smaller is better, or so i think

back when computer users needed training to use computers (and it really wasn't that long ago), programs generally took the approach that one program was supposed to do one thing - or a very few related things - well. so you would use a graphics program for creating graphics, a word processor to create documents, and a DTP program to lay out documents you wanted to publish. every program had its place. little wonder so many companies released application suites, such as Lotus', Microsoft's and Corel's office application suites. even a giant like Adobe wasn't left out (or why would they have Photoshop, Pagemaker, Illustrator and so on?).

all that changed as users wanted to do more with less and software vendors wanted to win the format wars (i also think that the programming joke about the universe and programmers also holds water, but for the purpose of being nice, i'll leave that out for now). as an example, a program like CorelDRAW - originally a vector illustration program - added more features like bitmap effects and DTP. so many other programs have gone the same way - Photoshop added vectors, word processors became DTP tools, and so on. despite all that, it's still good to see a program that does a few things well. my opinion is, the smaller and more specific the program's feature set is, the better. smaller programs are just easier to master. take for instance, what i use for 3D (even though i don't work in 3D often). more often than not, i do my modeling in Wings3D and then import the model into Blender. there, i do my scene setup, add materials, import textures created/edited in one or more programs and then render (more often than not, using an external renderer). it's not that Blender doesn't have modeling tools - it does - more modeling tools than Wings3D, and in fact, i started using Blender before i started using Wings3D. then why? simply because Wings3D is a much smaller program and takes much less to master than Blender (i also think modeling in Wings3D is simpler, but that's a matter of opinion).

Google Sketchup is another example. it's basically a modeling tool. the (relatively) smaller feature set is one reason it's rather popular (the $0 price tag on the free version is also another reason), but i think even the paid version is popular because it's smaller and the features can be learned in a smaller time.

so am i advocating that software vendors strip out features from their software? not particularly. i merely think that users would rather do a few things very well than a lot of things badly. for instance, while lots of documents can be laid out in a word processor, word processors are still not good enough for some things. otherwise, we would have seen the end of such programs as Pagemaker (people, let's face facts - word processors still suck at DTP) and the LaTeX variants.

in the end, productivity is the key. and i think that we're returning to the time when an application will do a few things well - or why would mashups and web services be so popular? the main obstacle to that is data interchange (the format wars aren't over, even if there are now open standards for data exchange). until the day when we can just create applications using a plugin-type architecture (load graphics, text processing, DTP and PDF output) or we use a workflow, we will be stuck with feature-rich (and therefore feature-useless) and bloated applications (if you need to put incremental search into your application, it's really big). but hey, what do i know? i'm just a college kid with horrible grades. and a horrible attitude. and i reserve the right to be wrong, since we have lost control of the apparatus.

before i leave, though, i'd best say what led me to this rant. i've taken a few cursory looks at both Scribus and Creative Docs .NET. i was looking at the second, and wondering why we needed them - then it hit me. we still want programs that do just what we want them to. failing that, we'd be happy if they'd work as advertised (no, this does not include the kind of people who want 3D programs to have the 'Create Eye-catching Animation' button. i mean people who're actually interested in doing work - if they'll get results). i think it's unfortunate though. we may just have been misinterpreted as saying we want gazillions more features. so hail the (usually) independent developer who codes that app you got so used to you can't do without.

Friday, December 14, 2007

search engine annoyances

man, i'm beginning to hate finding my blog posts in search engine results. when i had my old blog, i mentioned looking for some information about a particular subject and getting my blog post about such things as ranked first by Google. something similar happened recently. what i really want to find out is what someone other than me has to say about it. i know what i already said about it - or i can find out!

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Never give up...and various other things

here i am on this rather ordinary morning, hungry and having spent too much time (as usual) on the internet. like most of the people i know, i've dabbled into quite a number of things related to computers - web "design", 3D, programming, design and so on. it so happens that i learned about the wonderful program FontExpert from Proxima Software. i like it a lot - but you can only use it for 15 days for free. since i had the "format bug" for quite a while, i never did have problems using it, as i would use it to install/manage fonts and then format my system not too long after. but recently, i realized that i hadn't formatted my computer in a while. i hadn't designed much in a while, either - so when i needed font management, i installed FontExpert as usual. here's the catch though - i haven't formatted my computer in quite a while, over 6 months in fact. not does it seem i'm going to do so before the year runs out. unfortunately, my shareware use of FontExpert has expired, meaning that times like last night when i wanted to design a quickie for someone - i once again lamented the expiration, and merely used to the fonts installed on my machine

now don't misunderstand me - i have great fonts on my machine. but i limit the number living in my Windows fonts folder to 500 these days (47x isn't so bad) so i can maximize my computer. what i particularly love about FontExpert is its ability to temporarily activate a font - so you can use it until you restart your machine. and no, i can't easily pay for FontExpert because it's like pulling eye teeth to pay online here (the fact that a certain well-known company doesn't allow Nigerians to create accounts with it may help you understand). so i am stuck without a font manager. i'm not interested in certain font managers that create shortcuts fonts you install using them - i'm a weird one, and for any number of reasons i'd rather have a font actually living in the Windows font folder than have a shortcut to it (what if i installed it off a removable disk?).

anyway, i was looking for high-quality free fonts this morning, and once again saw that Linotype has a free font manager for Windows and Mac OS X, Font Explorer X. unfortunately, i missed the beta period for the PC version, and the program isn't available for download anymore - until it's released. seriously in need of a font manager, and without recourse to some avenues to solving my problem, i began searching for a mirrored download for Font Explorer X, especially since there were so many rave reviews. searching on Google didn't yield anything, so i looked using something else, and found a download on the second try (if i was going to tell you what i used, i would have already, so can it). now i have Font Explorer X running in memory on my machine. okay, i'll back down a bit - the download was from the Linotype site - but i didn't visit the site before i found the link.

maybe it's because i'm using the US version of Firefox, but isn't there a word like 'learnt' in English? or why is Firefox telling me i have a spelling error there? i started Breath of Fire IV, and George and Victor got interested, and started playing it too. i've since finished it once (again), but they're still playing it - even though George has more time on the clock than i do (i finished in about 52 hours), and that doesn't include all the times he got his party killed and had to restart (i think the worst that happened to me was i lost my Knight dragon trying to beat the Rider without using Celerity and had to escape that fight...oh, i also got a Game Over trying to Steal the Dragon Tear from Fou-Lu). plus, my characters are all at higher levels than his and i have more Game Points and Fishing Points than he does - even though he's using a walkthrough. what really is the moral of this (supposedly interesting but completely unnecessary) story? experience. what makes one person able to do some things better than others might just be experience. and personal experience is built from doing the thing yourself. there are few things in this life you can master without doing the dull, rote everyday, mundane thing. but experience can beat talent. which is the point of the final episodes of History's Strongest Disciple, Kenichi. and the point of this post. later then!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Exams have started i have very little time to do this. i really need to get out of here. i'll post an update later.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Why should Facebook shut down the group "Fuck Jesus Christ"?

i'm on Facebook, and ordinarily, would like to talk about how cool it is - i mean, i met someone i hadn't seen for over 10 years there...but now's not the time. i merely am asking why Facebook should shut down the above-named group, distasteful as the idea may seem. and no, i haven't lost my faith - i merely want to remove my emotions and tendency to bias the situation, and look at it objectively

my Nigerian friends may have no prior experience of such God-hating, but it's fairly common - which is probably why the group protesting the above-named group has less than 500000 members. statistics aside, i believe that action like forming a counter-group makes no sense. simply because that's what i think the devil wants you to do. join the group, then when they see how many you are they'll believe in Jesus or shut down the group? i wish you luck. you're just wasting your time. you're better off actually evangelizing, than protesting people's decision to express their feelings and thoughts. and the worst thing is that such hate groups thrive when they face pressure. it's the fuel for them. ignore - or bring them to real issues - and they lose steam, for the most part. besides, i don't think Jesus started a 'love Jesus' group when people wanted to kill Him. i think He just ignored the hate and kept loving them. He never met them on the devil's ground. and neither should we, because it's what love did - and continues to do.

as an addendum, i'd like to quote this 'conversation' i read on an edition of Higher Way magazine: -Want an orange? -No thanks, I don't eat oranges. They're not for me. -Why? -I dunno, just never ate one before. -Then how can you tell they're not for you? Why don't you try one an see for yourself? many of these folks who say they hate Jesus have never even met Him before. and since they pride themselves on logic and reason, the honest ones will admit bias when confronted with love. don't beat them over the head with Jesus. even He only did that to people who should have known better. and if we're the only Jesus some of these people will ever see before they get saved, i'd say things aren't exactly looking up (looking at my life, that is.

Supernatural 2007 over!

just got back about half an hour ago from the last meeting of Supernatural 2007. it was great, and 'm tired. need sleep - will do so when my dad leaves for church. my brother came with me as well. later!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

web comics i (sometimes) read

yesterday, someone i know was walking with someone else, saw me and said, "i'd like to introduce you to this crazy guy" (the crazy guy being me). anyhow, i'm assumed crazy, and so, to keep my craziness up, i need to get into the heads of crazy people. two webcomics i like are xkcd and very recently - The Usual Dosage - a webcomic that seems to be developer based. so far, The Usual Dosage has only 6 strips, but i especially love the fifth. something has to be said for the sanity of whoever invented regular expressions. it's like an IQ test question i once read, which went something like this:

able, rot, son, king
Which word below shares a common feature with all the words above?
line, sit, take, hope, night
The answer: the words in the first list and 'take' can be prefixed with 'par' to form English words. like i said when i read that: i'm smart, but not crazy. at least, not that crazy.

one more thing: you really should read The Usual Dosage from the first strip to build it up. it makes more sense that way. and one more thing (no, really): start the '1337' series on xkcd. it's a five-part series and it's hilarious. and crazy. seriously crazy - and yes, i know that sounds kinky, like 'dry ice', 'cold sweat', 'jumbo shrimp' and 'clean porn'.

Why web designers used (and continue to use) tables for layout

Yesterday, after the morning session at the second day of Supernatural 2007, i was 'recruited' to format the programme for the night session in Word (don't miss the dripping sarcasm - it's pretty much a trademark). after trying to lay out the document using tabs, i realised why web designers started using tables for layouts - let's face it, your layout options before tables were pretty much limited to using preformatted text, or long strings of spaces. and after Word nearly had me pulling out Bill Gates' hair, i decided that i'd had enough - simply use an invisible table to lay out the programme in 3 columns, and let Word maintain the spacing and neatness of the entire thing. while i was doing that, it suddenly struck me that the first primordial designer probably had the same thoughts as i did - and started us all down the evil road of table-based layouts. i guess until the day when you can tell the software exactly what you want to do, you'll just get stuck with the idiosyncrasies of whatever software you do use.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

First night @ Supernatural 2007

Supernatural 2007 kicked off today, and i quite had a great time. met a number of people i hadn't seen in quite a while - and i got to hear a great message that was timely and to the point. now, the onus is on me to do something with what i heard. later!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Now this is crazy!

growing up, i hated my parents, loved them, was indifferent - pretty normal, you would say. however, i just read a story that horrified me silly - a 16 year-old (now 17) is facing charges for attempted murder - he hired someone to take out his parents - ostensibly because they started disciplining him. you can get more about this here, here or here.

Friday, November 09, 2007

web crawling

was crawlin' round the web, doing nothing of absolutely any value, and found this blog that i seemed to have the password to. so i'm writing in it. hope the owner doesn't find me authoring content in his blog. heh (rubbing hands together gleefully), i wonder what kind of evil i should leave here that's untraceable to me...

the cafe got a new link, and i was there stress-testing it. as far as downloading goes - it will suck, in my opinion. still, nothing like being open for business...

if i crawl the web this much, Google should employ and pay me. of course, they'd pay me what i'm worth - nothing!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

after the breakup

so this is me again, a few days later. i'm still alive - somehow. and even somehow coping with the 'loss' of my friend. of course, since i was the origin of this loss, i can't really complain. sometimes i wish i could just talk to her - maybe even call her with my phone number hidden - just to hear her voice. it doesn't help that she was really popular with my roommates, and they keep asking about her...even other people ask about her, or tell me that they saw her somewhere...

well, at least one person should be laughing about all this. friend of mine. ever since he met her with me, i don't think he's quite been the same. he was calling her more often than me, flirting with her, and all that - guess he'll be overjoyed that we aren't together anymore, so he can move in to comfort the distressed damsel...ah well. we got into an argument about this guy a few times - me telling her that he was interested in her - she going: "so what do you want me to do? i can't very well act paranoid - what if he's just being friendly?"...ah well. that's just a memory. just hope i made her happy for the time we were together. really. what the heck am i doing? i'm supposed to forget her! but i really don't want to. anyway, i've been blogging about this because i need to make sure this keeps up. the separation, that is. gon' grab me a lil' shut-eye, and i should be much better after.

Sunday, October 28, 2007


you know how they say that the things that are good for you - like vegetables - always seem unappetizing, while those that don't do you good - like cream donuts - are so hard to resist? evil rarely needs ads, but good things have to work overtime just to get your attention...

anyway, like i said before, there is this girl i'd been seeing. heck, more than seeing. everything started with one kiss, and promptly slid downhill from there on - without brakes. she's good-looking, smart, funny, fun to be with - but it was all wrong. for one thing, she was seeing someone else. for another, our relationship got very physical in a very short time - we might have been sleeping with each other given enough time - that i wonder if there was any real substance to it.

i'd been talking to my friends, and then sought help - i really liked her, but i decided to do what's right and break it off. so i started warming up to it. school closed on a Wednesday. i saw her up till Saturday when i went home, then cut off communications with her. she called me on my birthday (in fact she was the first person to call), i replied, then i called once more - and that was it. i knew she'd be mad, i missed her terribly, but i had to get used to not having her around.

the next time i saw her (last Wednesday), i acted aloof and cold when all i really wanted to do was take her into my arms and hold her close - and knowing my attitude would hurt her. finally broke it off on Friday - and she seemed to be taking it well. if i thought before hurt, it hurt even more yesterday. and then i got a text message. and another. if i wasn't talking to my homeboy, Woody, i might not have resisted replying. she wanted to see me, she wanted me to help with something important. i went out of my way to try to organize her for her but not be personally involved. meanwhile, i was turning into a zombie. i couldn't concentrate on my work, watching movies and anime lost its taste (we used to do this together), and depression was setting in. Woody advised me to go visiting - which basically fell flat because i really couldn't stomach people, and almost everyone seemed to be out last night. saw my pastor, complained to him, went back to my room. while i was out, she called - and it took everything i had to refuse to help personally. if i didn't fall sleep, i don't think i'd have made it through the night. despite what my pastor says about it getting better with each day, and God being on my side because i'm doing what's right - right now, i'm not looking forward to the rest of the year. it doesn't help that most everyone that might have helped out isn't around while i'm staring tetsubo in the face. well, here's to first seeing the month out. guess i'll just have to take it a day at a time. even now i wish i could just somehow wake up and it's all a dream, and she's back in my life. but it isn't going to happen. God, this hurts. is God Aztec? cause right now, i feel like my heart was ripped out and offered to Him.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Ahem, PHP 5 issues!

PHP 5 is such a wonder. i got a chance to use it when the host i'm using changed their PHP version to PHP 5.2.4 recently. before that, i'd been trying to write code compatible with both versions of PHP, and couldn't use exceptions and the like. coming from a background of C++, you might understand a few of the reasons i like PHP 5. anyway, since the host i was using changed their PHP version, i threw out the backward-compatibility and rewrote all my classes to use PHP 5 syntax - which reminds me of C++. of course, this came to bite me in the rear - twice already, and i may still have a few more bites before i'm done.

specifically, for one thing, i started using access modifiers. unfortunately, there was this little bit of my code that required me to access a data member from one class to another. using the old syntax, that was no problem, but when i changed to PHP 5, i automatically made all data members private - which caused an access error, since one class needed access to another's internals. anyway, that was quickly resolved and relatively minor. from my C++ heritage, the concept of destructors is quite cool - objects that 'know' how to clean themselves up when they die make life easy. when rewriting my code for PHP 5, i automatically started using destructors - i mean, let the database connection close itself when it goes out of scope - or shouldn't it? herein lies the problem: i wrapped sessions also and also provided a destructor - that cleaned up the session when the session object went out of scope! of course, i was high on PHP 5 and didn't quite realize that that would defeat the purpose of the session itself - why use sessions that would simply clean themselves up when the current script terminates? it took me quite some time to figure out why i couldn't log in - because the password was correct and when i looked at the access logs on my machine, i saw that i was redirected from the login page to the dashboard and back to the login page. besides, when i tried the wrong password, i got a different error message. d-uh!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Back in school

got back to school yesterday - moved back into my room today. no, i am not sweeping the room. it seems the last 3 or so times we leave campus, i'm about the first person back into the room, and therefore i'm the person who initiates cleaning. well, that's over. let someone else do it. we all live in the same room, don't we? met Toba's girl yesterday. he seems to be okay now that his exams are over. but law school calls - so he and the rest of the guys in final year law are basically packing up now. ah well. won't miss them.

finally! some archiver problems fixed!

for quite a while now, 7-zip has been my major archiver program. it works quite well, isn't large and clunky, and even though its icons suck, is pretty good. i usually use it together with another archiving program - either ZipGenius or IZArc, though ZipGenius has nicer icons. that's because of the ACE archive format - for some reason, there's no support for this in 7-zip. IZArc seems to handle the largest number of formats of the three, though since i don't have it installed, i can't make any definite statement on that. in case you're wondering why i don't just use ZipGenius and ignore 7-zip, it's because 7-zip has the handy feature of extracting all useful information in an archive. that means if an archive is corrupt - say about 4.5kb from the end, when you extract from that archive using 7-zip, all the useful information from that archive up to the corrupt point is kept after it hits the error. other archiving programs delete the file after encountering an error, which may be shooting you in the foot, as even the partial extract can be useful.

anyway, i had some problems with all three. when you tried to extract a series of archives using their shell extensions, all three launched different processes for each archive handled, meaning that if you were extracting two archives using the ZipGenius shell extension, ZipGenius would run twice; for five archives, it would run five times, and so on. the versions of ZipGenius and 7-zip affected were 6.02 and 4.42 respectively (as far as i can tell, the latest version of IZArc still does this. WinRAR has had it right for about as long as i can remember). this may not have been a problem, but let's say all the archives had a file with the same name in them, and you were extracting them into the same location. you'd have to answer the overwrite dialog for each additional archive - which, in case you didn't already figure it out - is annoying (this is more common than you may think at first blush - lots of people put a file named 'readme.txt' into archives).

in addition to that, ZipGenius didn't work well on Vista - which i found out to my chagrin after installing it for a friend. the shell extension kept crashing Windows Explorer - so i uninstalled it and installed IZArc for him. after getting home, i went over to both the 7-zip and ZipGenius sites and got both the latest beta (4.55) and the latest update (6.03) for each of them, and installed it. now, 7-zip uses just one process, no matter how many archives you're extracting, and the shell extension is disabled on Vista for ZipGenius (haven't tried doing the multiple-archive extract with this update though). apart from that, 7-zip quits with an error message if it can't open a file as an archive instead of just opening the folder containing the offending file. also, the ZipGenius update has its shell extension on steroids - not only .zip archives, but .rar and even .tar.gz archives report how many files are contained - but this number can be misleading, especially if the archive is corrupt (like when i was downloading an archive and the download broke...)

Friday, October 19, 2007

what's poppin'

i grew an interest in Avatar - The Last Airbender because i learnt about it on one of an anime site. i started getting low-quality videos of it (up to season 2), and it's really quite nice. It's still ongoing, so those of you who get Nickelodeon should check out the schedule. It should still run another 6+ weeks, but i gather season 3 is what's up these days, so maybe you might want to search YouTube, though when i just searched now, i didn't find any season 1 episodes...but then i'm too busy to look for them properly...

contrary to what i learned about D.Gray-man, the anime is still ongoing. i thought it would end at 51 episodes, but it's still got a long way to go...

Kaze no Stigma, Claymore, Heroic Age and Darker than Black are all ended (at least for now, anyway). someone told me about History's Strongest Disciple Kenichi episode 51, but i can't find it anywhere - i'm starting to think the guy was (at least this once) selling snake oil. also, the last 3 episodes of Karas are out - and the fourth episode has already been fansubbed by Anime-Kraze. i was on the Dattebayo website a few days back, and they'd announced that they'd stop subbing Bleach, so i was surprised that i got Bleach episode 144 - subbed by Dattebayo, no less! on checking the site once again, i found out it was probably a joke on their part, as 'drop Bleach' was replaced by 'not drop Bleach', and the actual announcement was replaced with a Google search for 'dattebayo drop bleach'...

Monday, October 15, 2007

Moms rule!

just came across xkcd. moms rule! (umm, don't bother unless you know at least some SQL)

Psycle 1.8.5 released

having nothing in particular to rant about this early in the morning, i'd like to inform whoever might be reading this blog, has an interest in digital music production, doesn't like piracy, and is willing to work hard (that pretty much eliminates everyone reading this, but if by some miracle you scaled through...) that Psycle 1.8.5 has been released, and you can also get a bunch of VST plugins to go with it...sorry, Windows only. SourceForge hosts, so all you who use download managers beware (no, i will not tell you which mirrors work best. find out yourself).

while we're on the subject, about 4 months back, Psycle's original author passed away in an auto crash. he will be well-missed, as he contributed (wholly or in part) to several audio-related projects, including FLStudio plugins, among others. in other words, even though he didn't live that long, he left a mark - do something with your life (look who's talking...).

i happened to look up his site, and pretty much everything he worked on when he was alive there is free. you can't get too much help, so download away.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

arrgh! i hate friends!

okay, updates. school was closed down on wednesday. i only heard about it around 10pm, and i thought it was a sick joke at the time. since i don't have a camera, i didn't record the mass exit. that really sucks, dude. anyhow, i'm in lagos for a few days - have to return to school, you know.

Woody didn't show up for his part of the gig, so i had to fill his shoes. i hate friends! there i was, looking like an idiot, trying to demonstrate the use of wings 3d and blender. i just hope that someone got some idea of what was what. and Dade just had to put the pictures on Photobucket! is he high or something? i've promised his sister that his just reward will be death and dismemberment, unless of course he can pay me off - and i don't come cheap.

Woody didn't tell me he was hopping off to Ghana. and he has to gall to call me from there...(fuming - do i look convincing?) anyhow, i guess he and the girls and guys are doing great over there. they missed being kicked out of school, as school was closed down the night they left.

History's Strongest Disciple Kenichi is over, and we at the church of kenichi in school do bring you greetings from history's strongest pervert - sorry, disciple. or we'd like to think so. my evil twin was over for a few days - had fun with him. well, i guess i'd better go back to looking for free food - why else would i come home today?

Tuesday, October 09, 2007


having nothing in particular i feel like blogging about today, i think i'll just scream.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Long time, no see

it's been quite a while since i last blogged. and that's not good. unfortunately for me, my blog seems be getting quite a bit of popularity, at least as far as i can see. i attended a session of 60 Minutes with the Geeks, and people were pointed to my blog. why, i don't know, since my blog is less techie and more personal. ah well. guess that's the downside to being 'famous' - you lose your personal life. somewhat, anyway.

so what's been happening in my life? lots. but since quite a bit of it also involves other people, i can't say much here. but:

  • The anime History's Strongest Disciple Kenichi is over. i think the end was okay, but some people think it's crappy. opinions differ
  • Nigeria celebrated her independence. duh.
  • i got like, really, really, broke
..among other things, anyway. well, gotta go now. later!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Autodesk student program

strange, the things i sometimes pick up on the internet. can't remember just how i got this information, but it seems Autodesk - the company behind industry greats like 3ds max, AutoCAD and Maya - has a student program in which you can get free (but restricted) versions of some of their software, including Revit, Inventor and AliasStudio. you can access the student program via this link. better yet, it seems you don't need a school-issued email address to register for the program, but you will need someone from your school faculty to sign you up. all you need do is invite the person to the program, and that person can authorize yours and other email addresses for registration. well, guess at least someone will take advantage of this info...

oh, crap!

it's been quite a while since i last blogged. not exactly my fault. my normal internet connection is down, and i also have to deal with some issues that i'm not exactly happy to write about. i mean, too many people i know and see at least every week or so actually read my blog. not exactly a great motivation to write about myself as freely as i would have otherwise. anyways, i'm not too bad. hope my internet connection gets restored very soon. it's annoying being unable to download anything via browser.

had one of those "why did i ever get out of bed this morning?" days yesterday. it started pretty good, so i thought it was going to be another ordinary day. boy, i was young and foolish and had no idea what was coming my way...i first updated my antivirus program, AVG Free for the first time in about 12 days (i did mention my regular internet connection was down, didn't i?), and then it began detecting OpenSong, a program i'd been using on my machine for well over four months with AVG Free, as a trojan. and then i show up at church and not one person in my team makes it early. worse still, our equipment made it in almost a full hour after service had started - not exactly very comforting setting up while service is going on. the day rapidly went downhill from there on, including the fact that i need to use OpenSong for my work in church. it was not funny ignoring all those virus warnings while working...ah well. the day ended, and i'm still alive, or so i think...though i may be wrong, even if i would like to be proved right...

Saturday, August 25, 2007

The "Breakup"

long time, no post. that's what happens when you keep your mind off the important stuff, and get saddled with something as inconsequential as surviving. anyhow, been up to no good since my last post. have returned to school with the best of intentions but have performed the worst of actions.

so i got to the park and was leaving when i saw her again. one thing led to another, and we've got into an argument, all lovey-dovey, and a "breakup". this time, i mean it to be for real. she's just outside now, it's about 3am, and i wish she were here...

to put things in perspective, i promised Woody that i'd not contact her until i returned to school. i broke that. i kept carrying on with her, even though i knew there was no future in it. i guess the worst thing is that i like her. i really do. and i will never again feel superior to my friend who swore he'd kiss a pair of lips before he graduated (he did, they hooked up, and drove each other up the wall - though not necessarily in that order). anyway, i decided that i'd been ambivalent enough, and that i'd "break up" for real this time. i did - about an hour ago. the only good thing is i still feel somewhat numb and pretty sick. spoken like a true jerk. i was warned that there'd be no nice-guy way out of this, and i let it progress too far. guess i really have earned my "Certified Jerk" status.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Rocks and pillows

made it through the night without one phone call. yay. didn't get much sleep though. guess i'll have to swear off anime for a while - it's eating up valuable time and resources (most noticeably harddisk space).

weird. i'm thinking a little different since last night. maybe i was tired last night. women can be noisy, nosy and plain exasperating. plus, they have this ability to make absolutely no sense at all. it really is a talent, and i'm surprised we don't have more female comedy sketches. and Hollywood has it wrong - who says the women are smarter, and usually have it all together? anyway, before i get crucified remotely, women have their redeeming qualities. you've heard how form follows function, right? well, hugging a woman (sometimes irrespective of her actual form) can be like hugging a pillow. guys, no offence, but hugging any of y'all is like, well, hugging a rock. ewwww. who'd get warmth from that?

the truth is, a woman would. remember i said "form follows function"? well, look at it this way: otoko wa senshi. they are created to protect, to provide, and deal with nasties. they're meant to have strength. so they need hardness and rough edges. they're rocks. women on the other hand, are nurturers, feeders (this isn't to say they're supporters relegated to a back role, though they do kind of play a supporting role). they're meant to care and be soft and comfy (i hear the angry mobs coming), a place where a man can shed his strength (at least temporarily) and renew it (now you now why little boys instinctively flex their non-existent muscles around a pretty girl. big boys still do it too, even if they do have muscles. and you can replace muscles with looks, charm, pumped up ride, big bucks, or whatever. it's basically a way of saying, "i'm strong, a rock you can depend and anchor on"). so guys are basically the hero-warrior who rescue to damsel in distress, and the ladies are the damsel for whom the hero-warrior is strong for, the ones who get rescued. or at least that's how it was supposed to be. something happened a long time ago, and got men and women broken inside. now, we just have males and females who don't know what they're supposed to be or do. mendokusai o ne!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Life without limbs

about Nick Vujicic: you can find out more about this remarkable man at his website, Life Without Limbs. Lord knows some of us (looking in mirror) have just about no idea what they take for granted and waste

I really need a tune-up

yo! mina-san, hisashibiri! been almost two weeks since i updated this blog. it feels like an eternity since my last post...

so, let's start with the updates. exams are over and i'm at home! yay! i get to talk with my dad and sister without using a phone - every day! or at least while i'm still home, which is for about a week. and talk about atrophy! i've been trying to design a website for some folks, and since the last one i designed was about 2 years back, and dude - i really suck now! here's a sample of what i did. i'll post the work in progress as i improve on it...good thing it's not due for another couple of weeks...

after i got back to school, i got myself involved with this chick that i've known for about a year or so...we ended up spending quite a bit of time together. this is going to sound arrogant and chauvinistic, but i think she likes me. and i like her too, but...

it's been the story of my life. i've never had a romantic relationship with anyone. and not for lack of trying on my part. Biyi tells me that women tend to like me, and it seems that way to me too, but my experience gives the lie to that. at least one girl has left my life twice without me working up the courage to ask her out. and i was kind of getting to it too... i've had one outright rejection (i've also only asked outright once), i've lost interest a couple times (more often than not, i just run out of steam), i've had to "give up" a girl for a friend (yes, my sickening brand of "honour" does the most amazing things to me) at least once, just about every woman who says she loves me is married, engaged or in a steady relationship...and now, this - but it won't work out. not like this. maybe later, under different circumstances. but it doesn't stop me from aching to call her, talk with her, be with her. call me desperate or a basket case - but i would really like to have someone hold on to my arm like i was her knight in shining armor. and i'm sick of waiting for a stone wall to suddenly cave in.

seems to me i really need to work out my issues - but that doesn't stop me from wondering why i seem to be saddled with unavailable women. ah well. it's just as well i'm not in a relationship right now anyway. i still have a long way to go, and i'm no good as i am right now. i need to get stronger, until i can protect my important people (i really have watched too much anime!)

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Cleanliness is next to godliness...

no, that little sweetheart is not in the bible. for a really long time, i thought it was, especially since i thought i saw something like it in a bible. and no, you haven't exceeded your clean limit yet - just for all the closet slobs out there - and don't worry, i happen to be one, even though my membership is rather shaky. no, i'm not explaining myself either.

exams are almost over, so i'd best get back into the troposphere and hang on an antenna, since i'm not done just yet. and why do my friends know my blog? i can't say all the stuff i want to say on this one (and i'm too lazy to create another), ah well. you can't have everything your way, i suppose.

i actually check my mail sometimes, as opposed to merely looking it over and deleting things in it. that's how i found out about Nick Vujicic, an inspiring young man who reaches out to very many people every day. Nick was born in Australia, of Christian parents, and is a about year older than i am. rather ordinary, except he was born without limbs. and he's going for his dreams and making lots of impact. he's truly learned to "count it all joy". reading it this morning was rather sobering for me, as i was depressed and was about giving up on making any significant impact in life. my life has been a long story of uncompleted projects and abandoned dreams. it got to me yesterday, and i really wanted to give up on everything. i might have been voted "Most Likely to Succeed" at my elementary and secondary education levels, but i've not achieved anything of value so far - and i'm talking about almost 10 years ago at the most recent. i wish i could share the mail, but that would mean sharing my dad's email address (GMail does a great job of filtering out spam, but why tempt spammers?). still, i might just reconstruct the mail so you can share in this young man's amazing tale. get - and stay - inspired. life is meant to be lived with passion.

and finally, using Safari as an everyday browser might not have been such a good idea after all, as it crashes faithfully and consistently. Apple still has a long way to go in making this beast tame. till then, i wish them luck.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

now, i've really started exams

first major paper tomorrow. i'm not all that grounded, but i'm confident that i actually know what i know - or am i just being arrogant and presumptuous? that has gotten me into trouble countless times. i just doing just as i feel like won't help anything. ah well.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

i wish i had another blog

yo! long time, no blogging. maybe because exams are upon me. exams should be classified as a disease. you should say "i have exams" in about the same way you'd say "i have a bad cold". effects are the same too. loss of sense of humour for one.

recently, Woody asked me how many people know my blog. i wish nobody knew it. then i could write pretty much whatever i please in it, and not be concerned about reactions. but it is kinda hard to write wholeheartedly about someone when they most likely will end up reading it, especially if it puts you in a less-than-excellent light and they're important to you. daga, i still own this blog. creating another one will be a hassle.

a completely unrelated development is i may be in danger of becoming a pervert soon, since i have taken to watching fansubbed episodes of History's Strongest Disciple Kenichi, or as we call it in my room, our friendly neighbourhood perverted cartoon. dude, that series is very funny. it's rapidly outshining Bleach and Naruto as our most loved anime series. anyway, haven't had much sleep, so i doff my hat and down my pen (or keyboard) right here. sayonara!

Friday, July 06, 2007

Choosing an editor

i'm working on a project that requires a CMS, and i'm still unsure if i should code my own engine, or use a preexisting one. and if i code a custom CMS, i'll be needing a rich, JavaScript-based editor so that it's easier to generate standards-compliant pages (why should anyone know XHTML, simply because they want to add a news item?) when new content is added.

so far, i've taken a look at two: TinyMCE and FCKEditor. i also know about Kupu, but haven't looked at it. of the two i've tried, i'm seriously tempted to use FCKEditor. it's really like using Microsoft Word (pre-2007), and you can control the complexity of the editor (how many features are usable). the advantage i think it has over TinyMCE is that you can use it to upload images directly to the server, unlike TinyMCE requiring you to know the full path to the image you want to include. in its favour, TinyMCE seems smaller and less likely to overwhelm users - even with a full feature set. for both, however, i think the documentation is definitely lacking. in my experience, while most people have no problem with wiki-based documentation, i'm more offline than not - meaning that wikified documentation is at best, difficult for me to use. ah well.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

going back to school

yeah, ASUU has called off their strike. meaning i get to go back to school real soon. ah well. nothing lasts forever. later

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Who's going to teach us?

Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time is a really good series of books. i was fortunate to have begun from the first book, which is rather unusual around here. anyhow, i started reading them again recently, and in the first book, The Eye of the World, at the end of Chapter 27, Egwene tells Perrin that Ila was giving her advice on being a woman. Perrin replies, "Advice! Nobody tells us how to be men. We just are.". Egwene counters this with: "That is probably why you make such a bad job of it."

i never thought i'd find such a gem in that kind of book. but that precisely is the problem. today's men, by and large, have no idea what they're supposed to do - and more importantly, be - as men. and this is made more serious by the fact that modern men are generally out of touch with other people. men generally find it more difficult to actually relate with people than women (that's why she has more real friends than you do - and i'm not talking about buddies. i'm talking about real friends, who know your heart). dude, maybe someone should start a school or something for men. and don't look at me - i got my own row to plough!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

a cursory look at Safari

&;p> after using Safari a bit, here are some things i've noticed:
  • it supports SVG (haven't tested it myself), but while it supports web page and image drag-n-drop, it doesn't seem to do so for SVG files. a minus, as far as i'm concerned. Firefox doesn't much care what file type you drop on its window - if it can't open it, it'll offer to download it. considering i was only trying to test SVG support, and i hate double-clicking on any file (call me paranoid) to open it, this is a big minus. i mean, the other browers i used as a reference actually displayed the text of a Wavefront OBJ file. Safari just displayed the "no way, Jose" cursor.
    to be said for it though, its SVG support isn't that bad - though i think it could do with some work. Firefox and Opera beat it hands down in rendering some SVG effects. still, it's a ways better than IE's rendering the actual code of the SVG.
  • no, i was not just sounding off, i actually cannot change the proxy settings in the preferences. that's great for when i'm at home and have no proxy. it's however going to be a problem when i get back to school - if i choose to use Safari
  • i finally found the Safari equivalent of Firefox's "Clear private data". it's the Edit -> Reset Safari... menuitem.
  • it seems Safari supports text DnD. i like it, because if i use a sensible editor like SciTE, i can author my blog posts offline and DnD them into the post editor, instead of copy-and-paste.
  • i haven't got Safari to crash yet. i must be doing normal stuff - that means i'm doing something wrong.
  • i'm sure it's not just me. i hover over the username field on the Blogger home page, and the cursor is a hand. seriously. it seems okay over other text fields, however.
  • i don't know that the use of the OSX LnF inside a Windows application is a really good idea.
  • what keyboard shortcut do you use to cycle tabs?
  • some text i was entering in here magically didn't get submitted with the form...
  • the way Safari pops up messages is wicked cool. the scrolling is awesome!
  • what? no fancy highlighting or tooltips for elements with a title attribute? i can't see my acronym meanings!
well, so far, if i find anything nice or nasty, maybe i'll remember to update this...

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Apple Safari for Windows users, and Yang takes the Yahoo! reins

you might already know that Apple has released Safari Beta 3 for both Mac and PC users. i downloaded it last night, and so far, i'm not impressed. first all, it looks like i'm using iTunes to browse - which isn't all bad. more importantly, the font rendering sucks in my opinion. From this article, and this article, i agree with Jeff Atwood - Safari's rendering sucks majorly, even with ClearType on. i've not had much chance to use Safari just yet - but i think Steve Jobs' dream of Safari having a quarter market share is a pipe dream unless they work out the kinks in their font rendering system. i wasn't able to change the browser settings as far as using proxies is concerned - and i'm not quite sure that using the OSX look and feel for just Safari is such a good idea. still, if you're adventuresome, you can get Safari and take it for a spin. personally, Firefox is still my major browser, and i just use any others to test web designs, even though i haven't designed anything since Adam was a lad now...anyway, Safari already has been shown to have some bugs and vunerabilities, so make sure when you install it, you also install Apple Update to be safe.

i first read it on Hack in the Box, then saw it on CNN last night, that Jerry Yang - cofounder of Yahoo!, has taken the reins of Yahoo! as CEO. the question is: is he the right person Yahoo! needs? my opinion: maybe. since he created Yahoo!, he'd ben in the best position to say what Yahoo! really ought to be doing. according to the report on CNN last night, Yahoo! can't compete with Google head-on, despite many pally-ups (Yahoo! has roughly $3.5bn US, Google almost $12bn US - meaning Google can outbuy Yahoo!). but Yang hasn't really handled this kind of resposibility before, and this might just be what could send Yahoo! into a tailspin under his leadership. still, for Yang to have been brought on board, it does mean that he's got the backing (if not the trust) of the board (or at least a part of it). i just hope he can do for Yahoo! what Jobs' done in Apple (whether or not i like to admit it - Macs are sexy!)

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The state of the nation

It seems the saying, "Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown" is true these days in Nigeria. The new president must be wondering who he sinned against to cause himself so much trouble. first off, the outgone president (Chief Olusegun Obasanjo) gave Nigerians a "parting gift" - increments in both VAT and the pump price of petroleum products. for some reason i don't know, the tanker drivers went on a strike, suspended it, resumed it, and have apparently ended it. the aptly named PHCN (the aptness is for the interpretation, Please Hold Candle Nearby) is pretty much the standby source of electricity these days, and alternative sources require fuel. apart from that, long queues have appeared at filling stations all over the country, with people spending as much as three days to get scarce fuel. now, the NLC is going to begin a strike by 12.00am Wednesday (less than 2 hours from now) if there's no change in the price of fuel. it also seems that a number of new governors have inherited empty state treasuries. i sure am glad i'm not the president now. that said, i don't think there's a better time to be in this country. thank God i'm Nigerian!

Accident at home

i really shouldn't have done it. i should have never laughed. but it was so funny. really. i'm the (not always) proud uncle of an energetic, hyperactive 2-year old. and he's really a creation (literally translated from the Yoruba). right now he's asking me, "what is this?", and if i answer him, i'm going to get questioned to near tears. and no, i can't allow him watch TV anymore tonight. oh, yes - where was i?

as i was saying, i have a 2-year old nephew who is rather strong-willed (aren't they all) and he left his mom and went to pick up the iron she was using. of course, he got burnt. the funny thing was he never dropped the iron - just kept holding onto it with his right hand and screaming. that's one funny thing - and i thank God for it - what if he had dropped it and burnt himself even more? it was also funny because he didn't listen to his mom all day - and got himself into trouble for it. funny thing is, it was his mom he went to for comfort. of course, i pitched in, even though Bolu and i have an understanding: we're friends for just as long as he needs me (playmate, et cetera - i'm the only person who plays ball with him, for example). ah well. he's been bullying me for a while now, and i hope it stops soon...

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Yay! Got my Internet connection back!

so i can blog again, and not a second too late. it's kinda cool blogging on Father's Day - even though i've not celebrated it yet. and it is kinda late to celebrate it - it's about 11.00pm. anyway, i've been challenged to get off my butt and get working and become excellent at what i do. thank God for everything. well, gotta go. see y'all!

Monday, June 04, 2007

Jawing @ home

man, it's been a long time! how have i coped with no internet for this long? anyhow, i've uploaded a new deviation at DeviantArt, so pls visit. it's really been great at home - i can now read multiple lines of text. isn't that great? and my friend is getting engaged this weekend. last weekend, i was at Music and Miracles, and it was the bomb! ok, that's about all i have time for on this post (actually, on the internet!). later!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

looking to hit something

okay...i've been playing around with an idea in my head for a few days now...i was going to model a barrel in Blender (which i did), create a crate in Google Sketchup (changed it to a signpost), create some scenery in a Blender/Sketchup/Wings combo and setup and render scene in Blender. so i'm done with Sketchup for the moment, having exported to Google Earth...and try to import the file into Blender...but can't find the importer (Blender 2.44)! who stole the importer? why? do i get to hit them (or at least their monitor)? die, die, die! rethinking it - don't. i can't fix it yet, and you won't be able to if you're dead...ah well

last week i got to attend some sessions of the "Open Door" meeting at Canaanland. The guest ministers were Kenneth and Gloria Copeland, and Creflo Dollar. They kinda sounded the same (but at least i got to stay in the same room with them - it was a rather large room with lotsa other people in there, though ;) as when i get their messages and watch them on TV. no matter. it was a great and rather grueling experience (or at least going to and from Canaanland was, anyway) all in all.

i guess you'd have heard about C.S Lewis by now, and if you haven't, he authored the children's fantasy series The Chronicles of Narnia. what you might not know is that he wrote other books, such as The Great Divorce, The Problem of Pain and The Screwtape Letters.

now, i am in no way a C.S Lewis expert, but i'd never heard of the last title i mentioned above until yesterday. The Screwtape Letters is - if you will - a fictional account of the correspondence between a demon, Wormwood, and his uncle, Screwtape, as well as Wormwood's field notes. it basically outlines strategies for snatching human souls from "the Enemy" (God), and is very thought-provoking. while i celebrated Lewis' work in the past, i don't think you'll remain quite the same if you can get a copy of this work and read it. read it, and above all, think about what it says. 'nuff said.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Blender 2.44

a scant day after i read of the possibility of Blender 2.44 being released after @ndy won the splash screen contest, it's out! and since i finally got a fix for my ATI video card's problem with Blender, i'm going to be trying it out. maybe my gallery will finally get a new entry.

Inordinate laziness.

i heard that Larry Wall, the creator of Perl, created it because he was inordinately lazy. i also recently read that the person who developed the first programming language did so because of a similar reason. unfortunately, i can't remember his name - all i remember is that he's dead and got the Turing award.

anyhow, i'm developing this application and it's taken forever so far, and i'm not done. just when i had an end in sight, i had to go and break the code, and so i'm starting over. anyhow, i'm using wxWidgets as the application framework as well as the STL, and IBPP. i was not paying attention in church on sunday, choosing instead to work on my code, when Biola and i had a discussion about it. he wanted me to use Ultimate++ (U++), and proved his point by creating an application in less than 5 minutes using U++'s TheIDE. he also recommended using Qt over wxWidgets - because he's lazy and wants everything done quickly. i have the Qt 4 opensource edition, and some documentation for it - but i haven't just got round to using it just yet. i really would have loved to use U++, but the fact that i don't have offline documentation for it is kind of a pain. maybe i'm not just lazy enough.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Things need to change

so here i am in a cybercafe, since the internet connection i use at home sucks, and i'm trying to get a large volume of materials (about 50MB, give or take). i get told that the police is coming over, and in less than 5 minutes the cafe is nearly empty and the doors are locked. i guess i got warned specifically because i'm using my laptop and they go for guys with laptops. that's hard. i can't even move around freely anymore because some people are trying to get rich quick by ripping off other people online. really hard. anyway, my time will soon be up, and i'll leave the cafe. things really do need to change, and more importantly, i need to change.

What do they teach kids these days?

i seen it, but it's really hard to believe it. as you might already know, my school was closed down just before exams started. after loafing and goofing off at home, i decided today to take a look see at some materials in preparation for my exams. so here i am, looking through the complete course list of MIT's OpenCourseWare, and i see a course titled Magic, Witchcraft and the Spirit World under Anthropology. dude, like, what is that? what, they ran out of regular stuff to teach kids these days? time was, when you went to MIT, you went to learn something about technology, and you became an actual witch to learn about witchcraft - or you joined a seminary and heard about it. now, you can grab the details of witchcraft online - for free too, since the entire OpenCourseWare is licensed under the Creative Commons 2.5 license. that's just weird, for lack of a better word.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Opensource 3D on Slashdot

since Woody introduced me to Slashdot, i've always seen it mostly as a comedy site. for crying out loud, you'd expect nerds to have more sense. i rarely take anything other than a announcement seriously if it's from Slashdot. it seems like Slashdot lives up to its reputation: i got this article from BlenderNation (the original Slashdot article is linked therein). God help opensource developers!

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Guys only: what does running water do to you?

i subscribed to the theory that when some other guy is taking a leak, you'll be motivated to take one too. however, i never did believe that running water makes you want to take a leak - until rather recently when i noticed it. i thought it was just coincidence until i took a leak, stepped into the shower right after, and wanted to take another leak while in the shower. that said, nobody bother threatening me with tales about water!

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Updating AVG Free antivirus

i've been using AVG Free antivirus for quite a while now, and i quite like it. i have a habit of updating it online instead of downloading the updates and applying them manually, so when anyone asked me if i had updates i always answered that i didn't.
recently, however, i needed to do something in my registry, and saw something related to AVG updates there. i didn't pay it too much attention until i wanted to update a fresh install of AVG Free on two computers (my brother's, which rarely goes online, and mine).
i was going to update mine online then manually download the updates, when i realized: the updates had to go somewhere before they were applied, so i started searching. i found the update files at C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Grisoft\Avg7Data\upd7bin. Best of all, the update files weren't deleted when they were applied (note: some people will see this as an annoyance), so i could use them for my brother's computer!
Guess we learn something new everyday.

Saturday, April 28, 2007


i found that i didn't list all the changes i made to the IBPP source file _ibpp.cpp in my last post. plus, i'd only been using it for release build of my projects in Visual C++ 2005 Express edition - until today when i started a project in debug mode - and found i got some compile errors. so, here's the comprehensive list of changes i made to the original source file to compile with a Unicode character set, without further ado. i really should upload the file, but since i have no place to put it...

  • Line 44: from #define REG_KEY_ROOT_INSTANCES "SOFTWARE\\Firebird Project\\Firebird Server\\Instances" to #define REG_KEY_ROOT_INSTANCES TEXT("SOFTWARE\\Firebird Project\\Firebird Server\\Instances")
  • Line 45: from #define FB_DEFAULT_INSTANCE "DefaultInstance" to #define FB_DEFAULT_INSTANCE TEXT("DefaultInstance")
  • Line 87: from ::OutputDebugString(("IBPP: " + p->str() + "\n").c_str()); to ::OutputDebugString((const TCHAR *) ("IBPP: " + p->str() + "\n").c_str());
all other changes remain the same as in my previous post - did you really think i'd want to duplicate effort? Note: as in my previous post, you may want to use a safer way of getting things done than a cast on line 87.

a word of note here: i finally looked through the sources for Flamerobin 0.7.6 sources and there were no changes to the IBPP source. i have no idea how they managed to get it to build under Windows/Unicode. i haven't tried building it myself, nor am i likely to (according to Larry Wall, the creator of Perl, programmers are inordinately lazy. and i intend becoming an excellent programmer).


there's a classic saying: "A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step". it's old, but good wisdom, especially for young people today. we usually think of it as meaning that you need to at least begin something to have a final accomplishment, but we (or at least i) don't usually think of it in the negative, as in: if you don't want to swim with the sharks, don't even go near the beach. so if you start a journey on the road to Rome ("all roads lead to Rome"), you'll eventually get there, so don't start if you don't want the natural result.

far too often, we toy with decisions and actions, ignoring their natural outcomes, maybe subconsciously thinking we can get away with it. think again - you can't sidestep the natural outcomes of your actions forever. sooner or later, the results will come home to roost. and postponing decisions belongs here too - you cannot sit on the fence forever - eventually, the fence itself will probably give up under the influence of your weight. in our ultra-relativistic generation, maybe facing the fact that absolutes do exist may just be our salvation.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

stuff n nonsense

broke my wxWidgets install yesterday when i reconfigured the build. it seems wxWidgets becomes a radically different and undocumented animal when you build it with some settings (such as STL and using std::string) turned on. anyhow, i tried rebuilding it to no avail - it was still broke. so right now i'm uncompressing the wxWidgets 2.8 distribution to rebuild it. kinda sucky, isn't it?

in other news, i found i am unable to build Boost from source with Visualc C++ 2005 Express. the build script (build.bat) is not designed to work with any toolset other than VC++ 7, and it's really annoying that i have to go online and download a prebuilt Jam binary. of course, code that depends on Boost and its build process (like the ASL) also doesn't build. sheesh!

finally, to use IBPP under both ANSI/Unicode in Windows, you're going to have to patch the file _ibpp.cpp. i tried a number of hacks that failed, but i finally got someting working, so here it is for version 2.5:

  • Line 111: change char fbdll[MAX_PATH]; to TCHAR fbdll[MAX_PATH];
  • Line 142: change mHandle = LoadLibrary(path.c_str()); to mHandle = LoadLibrary((const TCHAR *) path.c_str());.
    Note: There has got to be a cleaner way of doing this than just casting. Check MSDN or the Platform SDK for documentation on MultiByteToWideChar() under User Interface, International Text Display, Unicode and Character Sets.
  • Line 167: change char* p = fbdll + len; to TCHAR* p = fbdll + len;
  • Line 170: change lstrcat(fbdll, "\\fbembed.dll"); to lstrcat(fbdll, TEXT("\\fbembed.dll"));
  • Line 175: change lstrcat(fbdll, "\\fbembed.dll"); to lstrcat(fbdll, TEXT("\\fbembed.dll"));
  • Line 194: change lstrcat(fbdll, "bin\\fbembed.dll"); to lstrcat(fbdll, TEXT("bin\\fbembed.dll"));
  • Line 204: change mHandle = LoadLibrary("fbclient.dll"); to mHandle = LoadLibrary(TEXT("fbclient.dll"));
  • Line 209: change mHandle = LoadLibrary("gds32.dll"); to mHandle = LoadLibrary(TEXT("gds32.dll"));
i guess that pretty much covers it. you should go from 12 errors to 0 compiling _ibpp.cpp in Unicode mode with this in Windows. personally, though i don't think this is how the Flamerobin team built the Unicode Windows binary, but i - lacking patience at the time to wade through the code for the Unicode version - just decided to fix my problems myself.

i was finally able to make some headway with learning how to use Crypto++. i'm just a simple guy who wants to hash a password, and i don't want to learn all about cryptography to do that! many thanks to the developers of Hashish for their source code, and to Denis Bider for his Crypto++ User's Guide.

besides my problems with trying to program (and ultimately succeeding), i've been delving into music a bit (at least i know what a chord is now, and can try to play scales other than C major). maybe i'll actually get into digital music someday. oh, yeah, i've also been trying to study so i can be ready for exams when school opens (only God knows when). later!

Friday, April 20, 2007

digital audio stuff

since i got home, i've dabbled into quite a few things, including making my own music and pixel-based graphics. not having the cash to fork out for a program like FL Studio, even the demo download, i've had to set my sights quite a bit lower. i looked in the archives and came up with Psycle and Milkytracker, among others. Psycle is - among other things - a VST host, so you can load up VST instruments and effects into it - some with more success than others, anyway. at any rate, what i really want to say here is that i got an excellent drum machine that never seemed to work for me (JM-1) the way i wanted it to. using soundfonts was also nice, but it was kind of disconcerting to learn the keymap for producing the correct sound. anyway, i was labouring with JM-1 because it had pretty much the same problem as the drum soundfont i had: each key was assigned to a different instrument, except in my case, it was worse because i could not use the snare. and the quality produced by this machine was excellent, relatively realistic. i was almost pulling out my hair when i found out by sending a command to the machine, i could control which instrument's sound it would produce. trying it yielded some results, but i had to turn off the setting i set immediately after, or else the machine wouldn't emit any sound on the next setting. sorry i have no screenshots, but i guess i just wanted you to know what i was up to. hopefully, i won't strike anyone deaf with my twisted idea of what music is...later!

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Who stole my vote???

i realise it's bad to use 3 question marks to end a question, but i think it's important to show my discontent. what happened to my vote? this rubbish about voting at the same point that you registered is the limit. i registered in school, now that school's closed and i'm in another state, does that mean that i registered for nothing? i can't believe i waited almost 4 hours to hear a 'sorry, but you can't vote here because you never registered here - you might have if the electronic voting system was up...' - especially since all those who registered in school asked and were assured we would be able to vote in the governorship and presidential polls. arrgh!

Friday, March 30, 2007

at home and dulling

power's been bad over here, and now the generator's gone, and its replacement hasn't come yet. in the meantime, i'm yet to finish a really simple project. well, my brother and dad's birthdays are around this time, so i'll just slack off tonight and for another 3 or so days (i wish). nothing really special happening, and since i didn't prepare to get online, i can only post this crud. later, anyway. man, sometimes being home sucks. majorly.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

at home

made it back home last Friday. i'm using a sucky internet link that varied anywhere between 0.6 and 4.7 kpbs in the last 35 minutes, and since there's no power (i live in lagos, and there are some power problems there), i'm running both the modem and my laptop off the laptop battery, meaning i have to pack this in soon (if the heat doesn't get me first).

i recently installed Apache on my laptop, and everytime it runs, the CPU usage goes up to almost 100%, meaning that my laptop battery doesn't charge when i'm running Apache. it also means that my computer instantly becomes much slower. i'm not sure if it's the antivirus program i use, Comodo antivirus, since i've used it without that antivirus installed, and it doesn't do the same thing...but disabling the antivirus and running the server didn't help...

if you're close to a student of my school, you probably know that after students were vacated (rather) forcibly from school, a part of the Sports Market burnt down. so quick resumption seems to be a dream of the things they pump oil through. ah well

got to pack this in, so later!

Thursday, March 01, 2007

The OAU Standoff: Day 4

you might have heard that my school has been closed indefinitely. but since i haven't blogged in a little over a week, you never heard of it (at least from me). anyhow, from what i've pieced together, here's the story.

school traditionally has a week free of lectures and similar academic activities right before exams begin. as far as i can tell, this isn't a part of the school's constitution, merely a concession on the part of the school's senate (highest academic authority in school). however, this "privilege" (i'm assuming my information is correct) has been often abused in the sense that the SUG has turned into a right to be demanded for whenever it seems threatened. unfortunately, while the former VC, Prof. R. Makanjuola was the kind of person to allow such and still leave the week open, the current VC, Prof. M. Faborode, is not.

my story does not actually start here, but i'll pick a certain point in past history as its starting point. last session, the SUG elections held as usual, and allegedly rigged so that a certain candidate, Akinola Saburi was declared President. his legitmacy was initially questioned, but later things were laid to rest. soon after, though, the school authority declared Saburi's election was invalid, because he was on suspension by a previous administration. Saburi was later expelled by the current administration. this obviously led to a strained relationship between the authority and the SUG, to the point that i heard that concerning the current deadlock, no meetings actually held between the school and the SUG because the SUG allegedly held the stand that if Saburi was not recognised by the authorities, the other members were not going to meet with the school.

exams were to start on Monday the 26th, this was brought to an end rapidly by the SUG when they invaded exam halls and stopped exams from taking place. i'm not quite sure when the authorities hired MOPOLs exactly, but i think it was the same day. history lets us know that students and armed law enforcement are a volatile and explosive mix, one that should not be allowed occur. i have no idea what the authorities were thinking, since the MOPOLs are not examiners/invigilators. that said, the SUG had already set up blockades so that vehicles were not allowed to move freely in and out of campus; it was mostly irrelevant since the largest volume of campus traffic is public transportation. it also seems the banks on campus were "visited" by students and even the ATMs weren't working, if i remember correctly. by Tuesday, incidents involving students, stones, MOPOLs and tear gas took place. in an ironic twist, some students reading in academic areas on Tuesday night were assaulted by other students, who maintained that reading was to be restricted to halls of residence.

yesterday started with Saburi going around informing students to stay in their rooms if they were cowards, and that "traitors" would be treated like Judas Iscariot of the Bible. the MOPOLs, unlike the previous days, did not patrol campus, just stayed at the gate. i heard the SUG gave the school the ultimatum that if exams were not delayed by a week, the school should be closed. and it was. students were told to vacate the halls of residence by 6pm yesterday for their own good. what makes this situation particularly aggravating is that new graduates are in school to receive call-up letters for youth service, so this situation affects them too. so now i'm in school and thinking of what to eat, and how to start reading so i can be ready for exams whenever school opens. later, anyway!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Someone help! Google Sketchup driving me up the wall!

Google Sketchup seems to be the new darling of many 3D peeps out there. and as i've found, it is a really cool program. my only problem with it is using it - because, as you may know, i am not online 24/7, and i'd much prefer to be able to download the manual. unfortunately, the manual download link is not resumable, making sure the peeps like me that have psychotic internet connections are basically messed up, since all we can do is try to download the manual. mirroring the HTML using HTTrack didn't work. and having the manual would save me sooo much trouble using Sketchup. someone tell Google to allow resumes for the manual at least. later!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

hey up!

so i went home over the weekend to attend a friend's wedding, and to give my dad his birthday present in advance. or so i said. when i got to Lagos, i dropped off a package for a friend at Computer Village, Ikeja, and purchased a few DVDs. i was going to my dad's office when i got picked up (or should i say picked on) by a policeman in plains. to cut the story, i was picked up for carrying around a laptop, and the man was just looking for prey, because even after i provided a receipt for it, he went as far as making me call the number on the receipt and asking them to fax something having to do with where and how they get laptops. for crying out loud, what's that got to do with me? at the last, i called my dad, who called my uncle - who in turn got there with an uncle of mine who is himself a policeman. so i got out without paying a dime to anyone, and i'm really grateful for that, since i barely made it back to school, even with a raise from my brother!

that said, there's a variant of the RavMonE.exe worm that isn't picked up by AVG Free Antivirus/Antispyware. quite odd, i must say, since generally Grisoft's security products are actually quite good. the file is not much under 4MB, same executable name, and is also coded in Python.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

something i've begun wishing for

i've recently begun to make some use of Inkscape, and more and more, i wish that i could (more like someone could) write a script/plugin to create a palette of colours used and then allow you to change the palette on the fly, modifying the document. in essence, a bit like CSS for Inkscape. this way, i could create "colour themes" for graphics so that i could quickly see the new colour theme's effect. this would definitely be far more handy than trying to hand-edit that complex gradient. i wanted it for myself, then a client says, "change the colours", and i know i'm in trouble. i don't even want to think about how troublesome that would be...

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

a rose by any other name...

William Shakespeare, genius that he was, penned the immortal lines. quite unfortunately, the converse also holds: a nettle by any other name is still going to sting just as well. this is the weird beginning to todays post on the many wonders of developing on Windows, specifically DLL hell - or at least a problem much like it.

for the uninformed, DLL hell comes about from the process of installing and uninstalling programs, usually resulting in an important shared library (DLL) being replaced with a version that causes other programs to fail. see this Wikipedia article for more information.

my problem isn't quite DLL hell, but it is related somehow. now, for unmanaged C++ (that is, C++ native code, or code not managed by the .NET Framework, hence the name), you'll most likely require some sort of runtime, as defined by your compiler vendor/settings. with Visual C++ 6.0, you needed msvcrt60.dll and msvcp60.dll for the runtime of non-debug C and C++ runtimes respectively, and for Visual C++ 8.0 (including VC++ 2005 Express, which i use), you have msvcrt80.dll and msvcp80.dll - or something like that. where DLL hell comes in is that if you have the required DLLs for a program to run installed, some program may replace/remove such when you install/uninstall it, breaking other programs needing it. in my case, i've been writing code that had a dependency on msvcp80.dll, and didn't have a problem until i uninstalled something. suddenly previously perfectly working programs i wrote stopped doing so. now Microsoft has these redistributable packages that allow you run programs with that particular runtime dependency. so i got a copy of the Visual C++ 2005 Redistributable package (download page here) and installed it. twice (two different copies, that is). no dice. i finally had to rebuild the application framework library (wxWidgets) so i could statically link in the C/C++ runtime for each application. ah well. i did at least know enough to get round my problem without reinstalling my compiler and its service pack. sayonara!