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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

No rest for the wicked

I finally managed to download all my high-end 3D art assets - over 28GB (!!) of content.  If I can't somehow turn that into a revenue stream, I deserve to be institutionalized.

I've installed Daz Studio 3 Advanced and all my extension plugins for advanced lighting, rendering, animation, and surface shading.  I've also installed Carrara Pro 8, and have re-installed all the Digital Carvers Guild plugins, so I have the best mid-range packages for character posing/rendering and Web graphics you could hope for.

Obviously, I'd love to have Photoshop but I don't have $900 lying around, so I'll be using Gimp for now.  Gimps Photoshop brush support is.. barely adequate.. but I might spend some time fixing that if I can get the source to build for Windows.

Still cramming on Java and speech recognition, as well as PHP and Javascript.  And TCP/IP.  And Linux kernel hacking.  Ugh.  If I had a job, I'd work LESS!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Write or wrong

Ok, in the desperate search for an income stream, I've decided to give comedy writing a shot.  There's a Website called Cracked.com that will pay real money if they use your stuff, so I'm going to give it a shot.  Worst-case,  I get laughed at and not in a good way.  Best case, I become Internet famous and can afford more Top Ramen.

In the meantime, still installing all my art assets and working on my Web design and development site, and sending out resumes, and interviewing, and learning new things, and working on Project JV.  Oh, sleeping, eating, and exercise happens in there somewhere.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

A Little Open Source Work, 3D Update

Well, in order to keep myself sharp and learning new skills, I'm going to dive into expanding and working on a couple of open source projects.

There's a tool called Source Navigator which is a really nice source code static analyzer - it produces call trees and other useful information about a set of source files.  It's nice, but the UI needs some serious help and the built-in editor isn't quite up to modern standards.  I'm going to attempt to take the core functionality and wrap it in a modern UI, either something based on Qt, or Scintilla, or some other UI/Editor package.  Or, possibly take the core functionality and turn the tool into a Netbeans or Eclipse plugin, which would also be useful.

I'm also going to dive into working on Gimp, seeing if I can beef up its Photoshop brush functionality.  I'd like to see brush sets, and a system of caching that didn't involve loading snapshots of every single brush into memory! I routinely crash Gimp with the hundreds of brushes I have, and that's one thing that's preventing me from keeping away from Photoshop.

On the Ruby on Rails front, I'm learning Redcar for use as my Ruby editor since Netbeans Ruby support is lacking.  I'm not sure how well it works with Rails yet, but so far I'm liking it - and it's written in Ruby!  Can't beat that

I've updated all my Carrara 8 plugins now, so I'm good to go on cranking out logos, Web graphics, and the like.  There are a couple of plugins I don't have, since the developer basically told me "you lost the serials? Too bad, buy them again" so I won't be purchasing from HIS company any more.  If you want good Carrara plugins with the BEST support, go to Digital Carvers Guild!

Now, back to reinstalling well over 10GB of 3D art assets.  Urgh.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Ruby, Ruby

Well, we had some flooding last night from the thunderstorms here in Austin, so I ended up burning a few hours helping clean up the couple of inches of water and mud that had made its way into the common room where I live.  Could be worse, some folks living near the river up the road got flooded out!

This weeks fun is coming up to speed on Ruby, and Ruby on Rails.  I have a great eBook on the topic, and the RailsInstaller Website has a nice intro video that goes over the basics of Ruby on Rails.  It'll take me a while to learn it all, but cranking out Ruby code will be fun!  Plus, Facebook supports Ruby on Rails development so I can expand into that market as well.

I'm also in the process of reinstalling my 3D applications.  This is so I can provide a value-add to my Web design and development work, being able to crank out logos, animations, and fancy graphics gives me a leg up on the competition! Nothing like a one-stop shop to make customers happy.

In the meantime, my writing is on hold - I need to get a stable revenue stream going before I worry about scribbling more. I haven't deleted or lost anything, it's still backed up on my laptop AND online.

Been sending out resumes like crazy.  Fridays interview looks to be good, it's doing chip validation for a local silicon manufacturer - I've done that at Philips back in the day, and it was actually kind of interesting. No guarantee I'll get the job, but it's six months contract to hire and if it hits, I'd be in decent shape for a while. 

Regardless, any solid work that arrives that produces more than just food and interview money will feed into my savings.  I want to bank enough to weather a six month job search if necessary! If I can do that, and get my Web design/development company going, I should be economically resilient (what a phrase).

Back to the lesson books!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Data (de)Based

Ah, the joys of inexpensive Web hosting!

I had decided to learn to create and customize Wordpress blogs and Drupal CMSes, but much to my surprise my hosting service wants to charge me extra for every MySQL database I have PAST ONE.  Ouch!  So much for having a variety of Wordpress blogs and Drupal configurations to show off!  There's no way I can afford to pay for multiple databases right now, so that's the end of that idea for now.

It does help me focus, though, on Web design and development.  I'll spend the time I was going to use on Wordpress and Drupal to create better and more complex HTML/CSS portfolio pieces, spend more time on Javascript and PHP, and start diving into Ruby on Rails.

Well, it's bedtime!  Need to rest up, I have a lot of work tomorrow and I need to prep for interviews Thursday (with a placement agency) and Friday (with a local semiconductor manufacturer).

More as it happens!