Saturday, 13th August 2005

Chip
My Birthday!

Friday, 12th August 2005

Chip

Late up today, despite fending off the cat to prolong sleep a few times.

4:24 PM:
"Lunch". Kebab + Beer Makes Tim Smilie!

Thursday, 11th August 2005

Chip

Up early AGAIN! Damn Cat!

I woke to another claw slap on the nose...

4:16 PM:
My Lovely wife has bought me some goodies for my birthday (and days leading to it).

  • Absolut Vanilla Vodka (mmmmm)
  • Baileys
  • Butterscotch Schnapps
  • Kahlúa (Coffee Liqueur)
  • Midori (Melon Liqueur)
  • Malibu (Caribbean White Rum)

That means I can have Splices, QF Shots, Cowboy Shots, Illusions All sorts of Yummy drinks and shots. Plus there's left over VB stubbies in the fridge too if I get bored of them.

No, I don't plan on consuming all of these in one night/sitting!!!

Wednesday, 10th August 2005

Chip

8:00 AM:
Up ealry again. Changed the cat's toilet and now having Coffee and a Pie for breaky. Don't worry, I washed my hands!

10:00 PM:
Down to the RSL for dinner and a drink! 'Twas great. A T-Bone and quite a few OLDs. It's 10 PM now. Home, time for another beer and a DVD. Highlander! Yeah, Christopher Lambert is the king! THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE!

Tuesday, 09th August 2005

Chip

Up early thismorning... couldn't sleep in.

Waiting for SP1 to download. I'm getting the installer for it so I can install it on some people's dial-up boxes. 337MB. Yay. 

Sunday, 07th August 2005

Chip

Lots to update. Will have to do that later.

Fixing refesh boggle with editing + creating entries... Something was Borked... Fixed now I hope. More lib-common.php tweaking... Now for the more difficult task of disassembling my old digi cam and seeing why it craps out on start-up. I think the zoom may be jammed. Hopefully it's just something I can just clean out! The camera is well and truely out of warranty, so, why not!

12:01 PM:
Ze camera, she is dead... It must be some sort of other fault. I thought it was the AF/Zoom that was jammed. I removed the AF/Zoom sub-assembly from the camera and tried to manipulate the zoom manually - this seemed to work.

The easiest part was removing the two lanyards, one wrist lanyard and one holding the lens cap to the camera. Once that was done I removed the bottom cover. From there I had access to the clips holding the back and front covers on. I removed the screws on the left and right side holding the front and back covers on.

I unclipped the back cover and it slid off. I then removed the micro power connector and the press in ribbon connector for the LCD.

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Back Cover Removed

I'd say the trickiest part of the disassembly was the front cover. It is held on by clips and a single screw that is accessed once the back cover is removed. It took me nearly 2 minutes to find. This single screw is embedded 20mm into the camera body in a small diameter hole with not much clearance. You can’t see it until you are just about looking directly down the hole.

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Font Panel Screw

Once all the pretty plastic is removed it doesn't look like a camera any more! I removed the viewfinder assembly which exposed a sprocket that allowed me to manually manipulate the Zoom/AF. The viewfinder does not look down the barrel of the actual lens, so the view-finder has its own independent zoom. This is linked via gears to run in synch with the actual zoom. Shown also is a shot of the micro motor before the viewfinder sub-assembly was removed.

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Bare Camera
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Exposed Viewfinder Sprocket
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Micro Motor

Next I separated the AF/Zoom sub-assembly which I discovered later was unnecessary.

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Once separated, I removed the CCD from the back of the sub-assembly. I then removed the micro motor to make sure there was nothing in the cavity where it and the main AF/Zoom sprocket meet. It is an open cavity, not a closed gearbox type arrangement. There is however a small gearbox on the end of the micro-motor which IS sealed. I was able to manually zoom in and out.

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CCD Board
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Zoom Out
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Zoom In

This little operation involved removing three covers, two boards, three micro press in flat connectors, a micro power connector, the view finder sub-assembly, a CCD board, a micro motor and 29 screws. It's still not bloody fixed!

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Screws laid out
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Error

Looks like it's off to the phone book/internet and the registered Kodak repairers therein... Frown

Saturday, 30th July 2005

Chip
Today is the day. I am getting married!

Friday, 29th July 2005

Chip

Friday. T-Minus ONE Day, Counting! Big Grin!

Today Kel and I are seeing our Celebrant. Kel also has her hair-trial today. 

Thursday, 28th July 2005

Chip

Thursday.

A photographic expedition l33t!

We went to the harbor:

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Then off to the light house:

r1c1 r1c2 r1c3 r1c4
r2c1 r2c2 r2c3 r2c4

As you can see, I'm very light on the pictures as it's really hard to upload a set of full resolution JPEGs at 1.5-3MB ea. On dialup... So I have uploaded a few resized images. This set of 8 images are 4.5 meg. I resized them incorrectly! That's an extra meg! MAD! (edit 07/08/05 - Upped full res images and retouched/cropped.)

Wednesday, 27th July 2005

Chip

Wednesday.
Left for the coast.

We checked out the wedding spot this afternoon. Looks nice. There was some sea spray or smoke or something hovering around and I got some great shots of the sun coming through it.

These are some un-touched Low-Res RAW conversions. (edit 07/08/05 - re-touched the images. Uploaded replacing low res un touched images.)

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Tuesday, 26th July 2005

Chip

Tuesday!

Well Illwillpress' Neurotically Yours is encoded now. All cut and synched up now. I just need to draw up some menus and crank up Encore DVD and do all the linking and stuff. It's funny how 7,883,885 bytes (7.51MB) of flash has turned into 1,948,051,377 bytes (1.81GB) of M2Vs, Wavs and AVIs! That's going to give me about 20 eps a disc. So that means I am going to need 4 discs and a lot of time!

5:10 PM:
Episodes 1 to 10 are done now, complete with menus and linking etc.

Discovery launches tonight about 0030 tonight!

9:59 PM:
2 hours 38 min til launch! I am going to stay up and watch it!

Monday, 25th July 2005

Chip

Monday. My first holiday day!

More DVD work to be done. I have installed a cat feeder. No more 5:30 AM wake-ups from the mow-mow...

10:55 AM:
I have ironed out all of the bugs that I can see in the software's preview function of the DVD. The menu works properly now. I can now build this DVD in 20 minutes from start to finish. I have had plenty of bloody practice. The DVD software is so damn buggy that I have had to start again a few times. Grrrrrr...

My test DVD is just a few videos that I had downloaded recently to see what I could do.

  1. Red vs Blue Episode 54.
  2. Red vs Blue Episode 55.
  3. Red vs Blue Episode 56.
  4. Red vs Blue Episode 57.
  5. I'm still seeing Breen - An awesome Machinima video to Breaking Benjamin's 'So Cold'. It's just another demonstration of the power of Valve's Half-Life 2 Engine.
  6. 'Climb Dance' - An old favorite video. Ari Vatannen's 1988 run on Pike's Peak when he set the record time.

Lots to do!

2:00 PM:
New project! I decided to make a DVD of some episodes of Neurotically Yours by Illwill Press. It seems I have bitten off more than I can chew, well maybe not. Perhaps more than I can chew in one sitting. After doing my research I found that there's a lot more involved than I thought.

  • Convert the Flash to an AVI video.
  • Separate the audio out into a WAV file.
  • Trim the audio ends off (intro and end frames).
  • Re-Encode the AVI file as PAL, 625 Line, 720x576. Removing intro frames and end frames, apply a noise-reduction filter.
  • Start a new Premier project
  • Import the WAV (audio) file and MV2 (video) files.
  • Synch up the audio and video.
  • Export to a finished MV2 + WAV pair.
  • Add MV2 + WAV pair into Encore DVD as Asset.
  • Create a new TimeLine.
  • Add into the TimeLine the video and audio.
  • Create a button for the menu.
  • Create a menu, add the button, link it to the TimeLine!
Oh, Is that all... Big Grin!

5:12 PM:
2 More eps to re-encode! 

Sunday, 24th July 2005

Chip

Sunday!

Cat noises and a scratched nose. Up early. I started doing some more DVD stuff in Encore DVD - damn that software is a POS. Burnt a disc and it's good finally! It only took 4 discs.

Discs:

  1. Only one clip worked, no image or audio on the others!
  2. Suicide: Burnt a DVD+R to see if it would read in the dvd player... ...it doesn't...
  3. Reincoded some of the clips to the right format, tweaked the menu a bit. The menu is still stuffed btw. All the clips working, no sound! Frakk!
  4. Finally! All clips and audio working. Menu "sort of" working...

Nice bacon and grilled tomato breakfast! Follow that up at lunch time (after grocery shopping) with a beer, a curry and a cheese naan bread. Mmmmmm Holidays are good. Let's go for +20kg in 3 weeks! Tongue2

During the day I played HL2 a bit and remebered that I had seen a mod that allowed you to spawn anything in the game and muck around with it. Tie it to stuff, weld it to stuff, move it where ever you want it etc. I've seen screenshots of this sort of stuff already, cheesy G-Man in odd/rude positions with other NPCs etc. I decided I would make a BIG gun. Not just a big gun, actually a MASSIVELY BIG gun!

In the mod you can set dynamite charges. I used LOTS!

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As you can see in the last two images I did a 'dry run' to see if everything would hold together.

Here is a nice sequence firing a bundle of 'I' beams - 5 tonne in game. I put some other I beams on top of the rocks so the bundle would sit at the right angle when fired.

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I then made a MKII version of the canon using a desk, the same pipe and some grave stones.

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Now for the "Big Guns". The 20 foot shipping container! The car and vending machine firing monster!

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As you can see, they ended up about 300m away in the water! It was such great fun. There is nothing better than a mod that adds play time and value to the purchase of your game. Just like it did with quake and HL1 - so many mods make it live longer!

Saturday, 23rd July 2005

Chip
Saturday! Time to play with my new DVD Burner.

Friday, 22nd July 2005

Chip
Friday at last! My last day before holidays - where I am getting married.

Thursday, 21st July 2005

Chip

Work.

Today I am here by myself. How incredibly motivated I feel.

Let's talk about patience. EFTPOS is down, what do you do? You approve the card manually by calling the customer's bank's approval line! Poor customer. Such a large chunk from their day, the entire 10 minutes, unforgivable. Manual approval. Tut, tut, tut...

The whole presentation of ID... What a hassle! You know, that massive reach downward into the pocket, the difficult "prying open" of the wallet and then the worst; dragging the card from it's home in the depths of your wallet. These types of people are the FIRST to complain when they see un-authorised transaction on their precious credit card statement. No, they couldn't link the whole presentation of ID and the preventing of un-authorised transactions... nooooo...

Moving on, we ask the customer for ID. A drivers licence. Once we pick up the phone, we are not manually approving the card are we; no, we, of course, are aparently under the impression he's fraudulent. Far be it for him to question first, no, just open up. "You know there's a number for fraudulent cards and a reward". Did he just say what I thought they said? I'm just doing my job, get the ID, call the number, get the code BAM. Done. The incessant ranting continues... "Do you need my passport number?", "We'll put it up on the wall so that everyone can see it".

We start to dial the number and the spouting of random shit continues from the customer's mouth.

At this point it was beyond a joke and the tolerance threshold had well and truly been breached. Hang up the phone. We give the customer some options.

  1. We can continue with the approval over the phone and give you your nice shiny new phone.
  2. You can leave.

Opting for the first option, the customer quietens down a little. Then, recalling what I had done the customer fires up with another "nugget" of intelligence. "DID YOU JUST HANG UP?!?!?" he fired. "Are you trying to prolong this further?"

Well that tolerance threshold we talked about is now lying on the floor in pieces that have been stomped into the carpet by a massive booted giant. We retort with some of his own medicine. "Yeah mate, absolutely". Silence. Perhaps the sarcasm was lost on such a simple specimen.

We continue with the approval and the ranting, though decidedly quieter. A few buttons, card numbers, merchant numbers etc... Approved at last! The customer leaves with their nice new phone still bitching on the way out.

Go jump off something really high you impatient, arrogant bastard! Wink

Wednesday, 20th July 2005

Chip

Well, That's great! I just need to tweak some CSS bits and pieces in the layout and colouring of my new GUI text editor. Once it's all good, I will roll it out onto the text boxes for leaving comments etc. Some of the icons also need some adjusting with the dark background and stray white/light pixils on their edges. A screenshot is coming!

Tuesday, 19th July 2005

Chip

LOL!OMFG Teh Win! Thumbs Up!

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A Flower

I also added code and buttons to put in smilies!

Smilie!Roll Your EyesLOL!UpsetCool!l33t!TongueTongue2PirateTiredWinkShock!Big Grin!Confused ???SickRed FacedEeeek!Paranoid!WiredFrownMAD!Wierdo!

Monday, 18th July 2005

Chip

Work.

I have finally cracked it!!! Using my new pretty GUI text editor and my "Insert Gallery Image" extension I can now insert an Image with a few clicks of a button! =)

Here is an image I have inserted using this new code:

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IMG_0373

w00t!

Now to create some nice icons instead of having a link on my editor page saying "[Insert Gallery Image]". 

Another Image in IE to check my Code Works...

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A Peach Face

I guess that's a "Yes!"

Sunday, 17th July 2005

Chip

Up early >=(.

I slept in to oh, say 7 AM when some considerate people decided they would lug their belongings out of their unit using a step climbing box trolley. So that's what, 3 flights of stairs, two short and one full-story. Two sets of ~8 steps and a ~16 set. 32 steps. So with a stair climbing trolley, thats 32 individual bangs not counting the 4 more steps exiting the building and the other 10 if they go down to the car park. 32 bangs per trip, no sleep for me.

I had some left over prawns and eggs. I made terryaki and garlic prawns and scrambled eggs with toast and coffee.

Now that I am up early and have finished my breakfast, they have finished their moving. Typical! 

Today I will be trying to finish off the dialogue page that will allow me to insert images from my gallery using just the mouse.