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11/25/09 12:54 pm - The last year of life.

After I graduated last year I bummed around for about three months uncertain of what to do with myself. Come October the employer of my friend Glenn needed an extra member of staff to work on their web scraping software (written by Glenn). Glenn recommended me for this position and soon I was attending a job interview, the first job interview I attended in over eighteen months. Despite that I got the job. So the next seven months were made.

The work was easy, it paid well, and people I worked with were dead on (with the exception of the HR manager). So I did all those things a responsible adult is supposed to do: I started a savings account, I started taking driving lessons, and I got myself a passport.

Six months into this job I had had enough of writing regular expressions, and started to conceive an excuse for resigning; I had even started applying for other jobs. It was as if the Boss-man had read my mind, the week I had grown discontent the boss-man had decided that he got enough usefulness out of me and let me go. The last month is always the hardest; I did almost no work.

So this put me in an awkward spot, I still hadn't passed my driving test and the recession was making IT positions a rarity. Thank you, mister Job seeker's allowance, I was able to survive on that while I decided what to do next. Dad suggested I should do a Masters, he'd pay for it; how could I refuse that? So applied and they accepted. So that give me two months with nothing to do before the semester started.

Driving Test. All those months of lesson had to prove themselves. But no one ever passes the first time, this is what I kept hearing for years. So I got into the car with little expectations. The instructor was curious about my Masters, I talked myself up of course (I'm a hard working student, don't you know?). After only 40 minutes we came back to the test centre and he issued me a pass. It was the proudest day of my life. I told him I could have hugged him!

In late October I dropped out of my masters, it wasn't the right course for me. And to celebrate I went to Amsterdam; the first time I've left this country without my parents. I wish I could say how wonderful it was, but honestly it was okay. Next time I go somewhere that prioritises drink and culture, and not (straight) sex and drugs. Oh well, it was one of those life experiences that I hear so much about.

And that takes us up to the present.

7/4/08 12:44 am

I graduated today. A Bachelors in Computer Science. Now what am I going to do without the soft buffer of education to protect me from responsibility?

I suppose I'll get a job.

1/17/08 10:42 am

Okay, this is it: My final exam!
I want to send out a big thank you to all those people who wished me good luck. You know who you are. But for the sake of completeness I'll list them:
Mum, my Sister, Frenziewolf, meowmanimpact, outlawmouseh, the_zookeeper and perhaps a few others. I know wishing someone good luck can be done as casually as you wish some a good afternoon, but for some reason I found it to help a great deal this year. I feel as though my confidence has been boosted.

So this is it, the last one. Thank the mormon Christ and his many wives. No use wishing me luck now, by the time I read it It'll be too late!

1/15/08 03:05 am - You wanna know why we keep startin' fires?

Hey Journalteers, just an update before bed.

It's 2008, so what's been going on? 2008 for me opened with a stomach bug that had been going around. January third, twelve at night- I suddenly found myself throwing up. What a miserable feeling that was, but at least it was over. Thirty minutes later again I throw up, then again another thirty minutes later- each time hoping and believe this was the last time. Whenever the vomit came out black I figured that was bile, that's got to be it. Sadly not even that stopped it. Naturally I was frightened at this point; I'm bit of a hypochondriac and whenever something like this starts happening I begin assuming the worst. That horror didn't stop with the night- what a great start to new year! A special mention goes out to both William and my man, David who both went out of their way to help me whenever I was ill.

So when I finally recover (six days later) what do I do? Go out and party? Live it large in the Belfast Massive? No. I go into study mode. Exams are right around the corner and we all know before an exam comes guilt. All joy at this point comes with a price; every smile is murder. Anyway, I've been locked inside my room pretty much since Sunday last week (with the exception of Wednesday, which was my last day of fun). But now there's only one exam left... but Birdy's nerves are beyond breaking point and have entered some new, transcendental point (Birdy believes if this state continues he'll eventually reach Fix Point again). Well, I'm exaggerating now.

In my breaks I've been enjoying doing some rendering in Lightwave. And after some kind of tinkering around I produced this 20 second long video!

Here's the YOUTUBE link. But feel free to get the high quality version and just use this direct link to my [dot]Com (You should say that and mean it; it's empowering… MY [DOT]COM, BABY!).

I'm now in the process of making a goat man, so I can have some actual animation in this animation. But you won't hear anything more about that until Thursday whenever my exams are finished, and even then I'm planning on having a hedonistic ritual of self destruction, so don't wait up.

12/18/07 02:49 pm - Project Status Update

Project Overview

With growing hardware we've seen an absolute decline in good 2D games, which is rather strange because advances in hardware and software would (in theory) make building these games a much easier tasks. But not only do the games not exist, but there are few tools available to help users build their very own 2D game. Existing free software are lacking in their customisablilty, and other better tools come with a charge often too steep for the armature developer.

This project- which I'm calling "2D Multimedia ToolKit" will be a free, open source development environment designed to manage projects: provide easy to use tools for map creation, animation and resource collection. It will provide users with complete access to High-level computer languages to give the user complete customisability of their game while still maintaining many useful methods and handlers so they need not worry about the particulars of low-level display.

Post Project Intention

This project will not only aid armature developers, but will also be a great learning experience for myself. Once development toolkit is complete I will attempt to use it to build my own game- this will be documented here in my journal too.

Project Status Update

The map design interface is clearly the most complex part of the software. Polygon display has been completed: a polygon will appear with its corners highlighted and its insides shaded. These polygons are used in collision detection. I have just completed the 'Polygon' creation functionality. Though the user can now create new polygons, the interface allow a user to manipulate/delete existing polygons. The user must be able to move it and add/remove corners.

Tile Painting and trigger creation have yet to be completed.

The map interface currently looks like [this]

12/3/07 01:42 am

I've been dealing with a throat infection for a few days now. So today I took some Tramadol. The pain-killer kicked in pretty quickly and my mood significantly improved. Super duper! How about a cup of tea, says he! Certainly, says I! At the kitchen we wait for the kettle to boil and I help myself to a piece of turkey. Om nom nom nom... Ooof... Feeling a bit dizzy all of a sudden. It'll pass. A bit dizzy becomes a lot dizzy. I'll sit down. Ouch... my head is spinning, I'm starting to feel a bit sick. I feel very nauseous. I cry out for help. Vision turning dark, what's going on? Panicking now. Am I going to vomit? I don't know! I bury my face in my hands. My brow is covered in cold sweat. My breathing is shallow. I start audibly chanting 'Oh God'. Someone call an ambulance, thinks I. Am I about to pass out? All are shocked by skin colour which has become pale yellow. Have a drink of Soda water says she. I drink a mouthful. What's this? I feel 33% percent better. Have another drink, better still. And another! Soon I'm moved to bed. But already I feel well.

What the hell was that?

11/23/07 07:46 am - Stress

I'm stressed. And I don't mean "Phew, I have quite a bit of work to do" stressed. No, I mean my every waking thought and even some unwaking thoughts are consumed by work. I can't shake it. When I try to enjoy myself feelings of guilt seep in, when I'm trying to relax I'm thinking about how to solve some of my assignments. I can't run away from it. The voice telling me "You should be working" is ever present and now it feels like I'm approaching breakdown level. I'm having serious trouble sleeping: I don't feel very refreshed in the morning, and although it's hard to tell I am certain I've been rolling around all night in my sleep.

Try as they might, I can get little comfort from friends, my problems are deeply buried under the surface where they can't reach them. Everyone around me is in a similar state; they are either overworked, tired or just plain blue. Likewise I can't respond to their situations with understanding and empathy, the only reaction I have left is helplessness and futility; empathy is an emotion afforded to those with time.

My feelings are entirely rational; a rational response to a high pressure situation that requires a great deal out of me. I don't believe my feelings are the root of the problem, the problem stems from the work itself and unless I can get this work done, these feelings will persist. I believe these feelings are supposed to serve as an incentive to work. But where they were designed to help man overcome simple tasks in man's early history, they aren't dispelled quickly enough by today's modern world and now there is concern about a serious overflow.

Possible solutions:
Take it easy and try to relax. Come up with a realistic time-table for work and play.
Get the work done, it's the source of the problem so blitz it now and nip the problem in the bud.
Chemical solution: A doctor has cabinet filled with stress-relieving drugs.
Realise that all things are one and that none of this really matters.

After considering my possible solutions, the first option seems the most sensible. "What do you think, Linda?"

10/25/07 03:18 pm - Words of Encouragement From Jammanperiod to Jammaperiod

This is a message directed towards myself, and to anyone else who has experienced the same thing.

I worry too much these days about time wasted. Am I making the best of my time, or am I just sitting in front of my PC masturbating the day away?

The twenty-somethings are a terrible age to be in some ways. It’s the age when you’re finally old enough to understand that you’re young and virile, but every day reminds you of a missed opportunity, one more day of youth wasted. It all feels so fleeting.

But I like to think of this neurosis as a positive thing, it’s my mind’s way of telling me that every day must be important. Either you spend it with a loved one, with friends, with family improving relationships that may last a life time or you use it to achieve something new either producing something that will make you proud for years or improve yourself in an ever-lasting way (or both if possible).

The worst thing to happen to a person is an idea not acted on. Our minds are easily influenced and we must come up with a thousand ideas every day as reaction to something we’ve seen, heard, tasted, touched or smelt. Once in a while we’ll realise that some of these ideas are good. But what an awful habit I think too many of us are guilty of is simply storing the idea in our heads and never acting on it. The worst part is that a lot of us invent reasons why we shouldn’t attempt the idea. Classic reasons are ‘not enough time’ or ‘not enough resources’, which can fairly valid. But the worst reason of them all is this one ‘I’m not good enough to pull it off’. Frustration at one’s own ability is one of the brattiest reasons not to do something! It’s idiotic to expect that everything will go exactly to plan the first time you attempt something. But that’s exactly what people expect whenever they use ‘I’m not good enough’ as an excuse. Our entire understanding is shaped by trial and error: attempting something and measuring the results. But at some point our programming must have been seriously screwed up whenever we stop testing altogether.

When a person attempts an idea, even if the results are bad, they are now a little more experienced at executing that idea. When they attempt the idea again, they may notice the mistakes from last time and improve just a little bit more. Basically what I’m explaining here is learning. So whenever you have an idea, execute it. Even if it’s bad, you’ve learnt something. And stop using your failures as an excuse to never try again; failures are enviable, they’re part of the learning experience!

10/15/07 12:23 pm

I was thinking the same thing...

Click here for VIDEO


10/13/07 03:28 pm

The orange box has been released and all sensible people have bought themselves a copy of it.

A little later than everyone else, I have finished Episode 2 and Portal.

There truly is no doubting Valve's abilities. They have created the second follow up to the best game ever made and have not left us disappointed. This new instalment of what's becoming the half life epic delivers the same high quality. You would be a fool to miss it!

On that topic, I now have a free copy of Half Life 2 and Half Life 2: episode 1 to give away if anyone should happen to want it. But if you don't already have a copy of Half life 2 then that means you don't have the orange box, and if you don't have the orange box you're missing out! STOP MISSING OUT, YOU COMPLETE BASTARDS!
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