Friday, December 24, 2010


Not much up. Recently, been trying to get back into 3D. As usual, fell into the temptation of “too much, too little”. Installed too many apps (have to get Softimage Mod Tool and Crosswalk off my box). Looked for too many tutorials, got interested in too many things (yep, struggling right now not to install LMMS), but did too little actual work.

Still it’s not like I’ve done nothing. Here’s a screenshot of the model I’m currently working on: Wings3D - fan

Here are some models awaiting texturing and rendering:Greenshot_2010-12-24_13-48-40


And the last render I did (yes, I succumbed to the pressure of the season):ornaments

While authoring this post, I managed to complete and render a Rubik’s cube.rubiks-cube

Now I have to go. A troublesome person has shown up and interrupted my enjoyment of Blender 2.49 (no, I haven’t moved to 2.5 yet, but it’s on the list of things to do. I’m not going to throw out 2.49 until BMesh is completed, since the last time I tried to create a Rubik’s cube in 2.5, the render showed there were lots of faces with inward-pointing normals). Laterz


Back home now. Playing with Blender and Yafaray. Set up a scene for the Rubik’s cube with no materials in Yafaray, and this is my render:rubiks-cube

Almost 8 minutes for a 800x600 render. And I haven’t even started with LuxRender yet. The good thing is: I have a copy of SmallLuxGPU, and I’ve seen the difference in rendering power (I need a GPU farm now!) of a GPU as compared to a CPU.

Anyhow, here’s a render with materials set (Yafaray):rubiks-cube2

If you don’t look at it too hard, you might not notice the major flaws I did: noise visible in the primary shadow (eliminating that requires me to increase the number of samples, and with that the render time — sigh), and the black material just looks weird away from the top of the cube (my guess is it’s too glossy, but I’m going to leave it that way anyway Open-mouthed smile)

The Rubik’s cube .blend is here in case you want to play with it. Going to play, eat, take a shower, sleep.

Thursday, December 23, 2010


Guess I’m back to dating my posts. Today’s post starts on a sad note. Yesterday I read about the passing on of Mr Sam Mbende, a former employee of Ecobank Transanational Inc, in The Punch newspaper. I met him in a meeting, and he came across a a very reasonable person. My boss has few good words for Nigerians in business as a generality; he contrasted Mr Mbende with the run-of-the-mill Nigerian in the corporate world. We still quote something he mentioned till today in the office: “the dynamics of the enterprise”.

I’m made to understand that his death might have been avoided if he got access to medical assistance on time. Which brings me to ask one question among others: with Lagos (in particular) as crowded and as traffic-jam-prone as it is, how can ambulances get to — or from — accident scenes in time to save victims? Every time I’m in major traffic, I wonder, “what if there’s an ambulance trying to save someone stuck in this?”. Unfortunately, Nigerians have largely decided to ignore sirens, mostly because of abuse by uniformed personnel (the police and military in particular), and ambulance drivers generally have no weapons to threaten anyone. Add the fact that I doubt that any emergency service has any choppers or VTOL aircraft, and you might see my point here. Maybe we should reintroduce the old law allowing only vehicles with license plates to move on the roads on particular days, but I’m sure people will find a way to circumvent that. At any rate, it’s food for thought (someone who can pass this on to the Lagos State Governor, please do. I will assume he’s a person shopping for ways to make life better for the people).

On a lighter note, here’s a conversation I had just this morning (reproduced as accurately as I can remember it):

She: Where’s my Christmas present?

Me: What Christmas present?

She: It’s Christmas. where’s my Christmas present?

Me: You should ask someone who believes in Christmas.

She: So you’re an Eckist or a Jehovah’s Witness?

Me: Any one.

She: Blood of Jesus! No wonder we never connected!

Me: At least today you’re honest.

And there you have it. She apparently forgot that I’d lent her a book by the late Kenneth E. Hagin, Exceedingly Growing Faith, which I would most likely not have done if I were in fact either an Eckist or a Jehovah’s Witness.

I’d like to ask: who passed the memo that I was to be hounded by degrees into a romantic relationship? If the comments I’m hearing these days are anything to go by, there are quite a number of people praying for me…maybe they should stop, as it doesn’t seem to have done much good. And no, trying to hook me up with women isn’t the answer, especially asking me how I like random women passing by.


Tuesday, December 14, 2010


Warning: this post contains technical information and is unsuitable for technologically-challenged people (the kind that can't find their bold and underline) :D

no, the title isn't referring to me. it's what happened yesterday/today. we're trying to roll out a product at the office, and it involves some cryptography using 3DES. We ran up against a problem where we had a 128-bit key, but the default cryptography provider supplied with Java would not accept 128-bit keys for 3DES operations. We ended up having to write a separate application in .NET to handle the operations, since .NET accepts such keys and does the needful, and moved on with development. Over the weekend, another company we intend to work with sent over a key — you guessed right — it was a 128-bit key. To be honest, the entire thing spoilt my entire day (for reasons I do not care at this point to divulge). I was a complete grouch by the end of the day, especially since I felt that none of the advice we were able to source could solve the problem. Outsourcing the concern to a .NET application again would work, but the cryptographic operation we needed to do was in the core of the application, not on the fringe, as the previous case. I was dead set (though I didn't tell anyone) against migrating that functionality to another program again.

the day finally came to an end and I moved on to a program at church. We've been having a 21-day fasting-and-prayer program, and I'd felt much like a spectator most of all the other days. Last night though, Pastor Nuel announced God wanted to solve problems, real issues. I decided my problem was real enough, and just followed the instructions he gave, including giving sacrificially in the offering, which was taken for the poor. I didn't have much on me, and I decided to give everything I had on me into that offering. I chose to believe that God would take my problem as his own, and I'd not have to bother about it. I ended up walking home from church last night (sorry, Mr A., Mr B.!), and this morning, to the bus stop where I'd catch the bus to the island.

I posted the problem on StackOverflow this morning, but nothing that really helped worked. All the information I'd obtained was useless. I decided I wasn't doing to despair like yesterday, even though the temptation was really, really strong. I've no idea when exactly, but I just decided to use the Bouncy Castle JCE provider instead of the default Sun provider, and it worked! I'm really, really, happy I decided to believe what Pastor Nuel said yesterday!

And now, back to work!