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School has started again, much to my dismay. The first day included being let into the common room for the first time, as it’s reserved for year 13s only.That’s the good news. The bad news is that my ITGS portfolio extension – which was writen hurridly over the holidays – now has to be rewritten, by the end of the week. Great.
The reason why? Our teacher got feedback from the IBO which contradicted the criterion in the guide book at almost every turn.

For the past week, I have had to franticly build a robot to compete in a Vex robotics competition. As in, drive to school and work for about 7 hours without stopping. In the holidays.

The robot had to lift cubes up and put them in various triangular prisms, getting bonus points for various silly things like sitting on a raised platform at the end of a match. Some of the robots were quite complex, and had interesting mechanisms for picking up the cubes. We won two of five games, which was nice.

For some reason, one team managed to score 125 points – there being a maximum of 50 points from scoring, and maximum 40 bonus points. Right.

I just uncovered this article ( http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-cop-spy7-2008dec07,0,7348229.story ) via stumble upon. Man, it’s slightly depressing when this sort of thing seems to be happening more and more, as though the officials have decided to disregard basic human rights. ‘lets go and spy on the anti-death penalty groups’, despite right to privacy etc. It appears that one of the people added to a terrorist watch list was added because he went to an animal rights conference, despite being in a different country at the time.

While it has been a while since I last posted ( but I doubt that anyone is counting ) I seem to have become a little more popular with the nasty class of internet user. Notable, aside from the ever present spam, some organisation or other seems to have unearthed my name, and insists on joining my IM buddy lists. It’s slightly unlikely that it’s just some random person because the avatar for said unknown-person is a topless model. Needless to say, I don’t know anyone who fits that description, so I’m wondering how to avoid any contact with that sort of person. Current speculation among my real friends is that it’s some form of scammer.

For some unknown reason, the physics engine I am using in my computer game has a slight problem – everything falls through everything else. Sometimes. It seems to treat solids as just dense liquids, which is evil. meh.

Given my previous success in failing to finish anything, i have started to design and program a new computer game called drone. You have a gun drone type thing, which flies around and shoots people. It may get more developed at a later date, but that won’t happen until I actually finish the basic game.

I recently discovered how easy it is to rig something to use mocca, which makes me feel kind of stupid, because I was rigging all my models the old fashioned way – anger and elbow grease. For those who aren’t familiar with MOCCA, then read on, you don’t know what you’re missing out on.

MOCCA is a system for animating something with IK, creating a set of rules for how bones move and bend. Think of it like this: Rather than rotating the thigh bone, and then the shin bone, to get the foot in the right place, you would move a grip object, and the foot would follow, bending the knee properly and everything. It makes animating something really easy.

And it’s easy, too. </fanboy>

  • Set up you bones ( they must be bones, not joints ).
  • The first bone must be a null bone, so add another bone at the top of the chain with length 0.
  • Select all the bones and fix them ( under the ‘fixation’ tag in the properties menu ).
  • Select the root bone (the one at the top, the parent bone ) and then click Character->MOCCA->setup mocca chain. It might be Character->mocca->setup chain.
  • There will not be an object called ‘bone#.goal’ under the root bone. Move it around.
  • enjoy.

I have returned – both metaphorically and physically. Metaphorically being posting again, and physically being back from holiday. Which means that I have exams. Tomorrow.

IB higher maths seemed like a good idea at the time.

I acquired a packet of mints recently, a small packet with an interesting lid. If you press down on it, it bends inwards and you can take it off the packet. You then put it back, press the sides together and it snaps back into shape, locking the container again. This can be used as a weapon, if you hold the lid close to someones ear and then press the sides. Also – a quick examination of the ingredients list reveals that the mints contain a small portion of silicon dioxide, which – for the non chemists – is the chemical formula for glass. Painful.

Well, this site is finally online, if that’s a word which could be used in this context. It was running on my recently rehabilitated toshiba sattelite 1410, which is a shoddy piece of junk and make no mistake. No left click button, and the screen has been utterly smashed by repeated use as a doormat. Seriously. It’s a miricle that the thing still works. For the nerdy types out there, it boasts the traditional 256 MB of ram, 20 GB hard drive and an unknown graphics card. Running ubuntu 8.04 happily, although firefox beta would crash from time to time until I upgraded it. I will post a picture at some point. Anyways, this site is now hosted at wordpress.com. Thanks, wordpress.

Now that my hardware has been described in detail to the rest of the world, allow me to explain the purpose of this site. Essentially, it’s about hacking, because we really need another blog filled with bad grammer and old stories about how hacking was so much better before the new kids came along, but yeah. you’ve got one more. Sue me.