Yet Another Graphomaniacs Compendium
Thursday, December 26, 2002

Nothing is ever simple


There's a unique place of suffering for animation programmers called softskin hell. It arises when you try to code a system that blends the influences of different bones on single vertices. With 3D Studio Max, there's an excellent way to avoid this - use the sample code. With Maya, things are not so straightforward. And it's Maya I'm using. Time to crack out the maths textbooks.

posted by John Connors at
Thursday, December 26, 2002

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Thought for the day.



Instead of wibble on about presents or some sententious drivel about the real meaning of xmas or some cheesy bible quote, I'll leave you with one excellent image.
A crucified Santa, his presents piled at the foot of the cross, covered in blood. Possibly an excellent anti-consumer statement.

posted by John Connors at
Thursday, December 26, 2002

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Saturday, December 21, 2002

Property is Murder


If property is theft, then what is intellectual property? In this case it's murder. Get angry, very angry..

posted by John Connors at
Saturday, December 21, 2002

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Wednesday, December 11, 2002

Europe sans frontiers.


It's not often that Her Majesty's Government does something in our name that makes me glad I'm British, but this one occasionally does. I'll be able to walk the streets of Prague without shame.

posted by John Connors at
Wednesday, December 11, 2002

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Saturday, December 07, 2002

Roderick at Random


Another book on the list recently has been Roderick at Random by John Sladek. I tried to read this at the tender age of 14, but was defeated by the entertainingly abtruse structure of the book, where one characters grief or joy happens in the background of another characters life and doesn't come into focus until two chapters later. Some people find this style irritating, but I think it gives us a good indication of how little we percieve of the real world and other's lives ourselves.


The book itself follows the adventures of an innocent (a robot) in the crazy world of the seventies USA. Sladek gets to parody a lot of good targets: a minor midwestern university, a Ginsberg - like poet who lives like a bum, a publisher who thinks authors are disposable wipes, and an utterly incompetent secret government organisation devoted to wiping out robots. It's highly reccomended. The cast of characters is hilarious, and there's lots of mind games going on - clever dramatisation of the prisoners dilemma occurs in at least three places. The ending is both funny and tragic and supremely ironic.
There are and were few writers like Sladek. The Pratchetts and Adamses of the world are pale imitations of this. The real thing. With anchovies.

posted by John Connors at
Saturday, December 07, 2002

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When the scribes on all the people shove and bawl alleigance to the State.


"For me, the real issues of our time are the issues of every time -- the hurt and wonder of loving; making in all its forms---children, loaves of bread, paintings, buildings; and the conservation of life of all people in all places, the jeopardizing of which no abstract doubletalk of 'peace' or 'implacable foes' can excuse. " -- Sylvia Plath

The direct appeal to the universal of this quote is irriresistable. Even now. Even then.

posted by John Connors at
Saturday, December 07, 2002

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The Games Industry Is Borked


As Runecraft finally closes its doors I've come to the conclusion that the games industry is fundamentally broken in some way. When the economics of games production means that you can be spending 10,000 a week (or even a day) on production, any kind of delay, snag or hitch spells doom. Anything code that is not reused but can be is costing the employer hundreds of thousands for it's re-cereation. Yet resistance to modern software engineering techniques is unbeliveable. I've had abuse hurled at me and my sexuality questioned for asserting the value of things like inheritance, templates, and standard containers. Things that are accepted by everybody else who codes anything useful that moves...If you work at my studio, you'd better know your OO. Or you are looking at a P45..

posted by John Connors at
Saturday, December 07, 2002

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Sunday, December 01, 2002

Barcelona Plates



Apart from coming face to face with the Infinite Library - and let me tell you, seeing Infinity in reality is the scariest thing imaginable - no wonder Cantor went mad - there was some interesting architecture. Beautifully organic forms, exactly as I imagined Heliopilia many years ago : a city that looks as if it has been grown, not built. The spiralling towers and minarets of the Angeline Court seem somehow closer than ever. After a lifetime of looking .

posted by John Connors at
Sunday, December 01, 2002

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Where am I


I spent three days of the last week in Barcelona. A fantastic city, and I fully expect them to make mincemeat out of Newcastle United when they meet in the Champions League,

Personal projects inch forward as usual. I have my personal projects, my work and a relationship. One of the three always suffers. Call it the individual version of the eternal triangle.

I'm lucky to collaborate with a fiercely talented artist who creates things the way pacman eats those dots. I'm lucky to have a wonderful partner whom I can spend some wonderful times with. I'm lucky that I have a job that pays for an extremely nice apartment next to the sea. I'm lukcy I'm not in California.

How much luck can one person have, and if there's no such thing as luck, but only karma, how long do I have to wait before the heap of disaster waiting just behind the curve jumps on me?

I'll just have to keep juggling. And getting more and more paranoid



posted by John Connors at
Sunday, December 01, 2002

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The Journal



A miscellany of topics that intersest me: deaf culture, game design, politics as soap opera, the cyborg condition and the experience of learning to hear again. Other topics presented are speculative fiction and imaginary cities. There are appearences of snippets of work in progress, public rants, pointless posts and Mish the Mouse.




The Writer

A lower middle class cyborg living an innocous life in a suburban village near Newcastle On Tyne, in the United Kingdom. Mostly autobiographical and creative notes posts and musings on the topic du jour.


Archives

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Links

Videogame Theory

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Common Ground Sign Dance

Krazy Kat Theatre

Computing for Poets

The Langauge Construction Kit

Lemonodor: mostly Lisp

Twisted Matrix

Christopher Jam

Shrydars Blog

Linux Game Development Centre

Starlines

The Rise and Fall of My First Novel

Real Writers Bounce

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