Filed Under (LEGO) by WildFire on 28-01-2008

Happy 50th birthday... LEGO!

The Anti-Reflection

Filed Under (GFX) by WildFire on 27-01-2008

THE ANTI-REFLECTION / 1600x1200 / 803482 bytes
Adobe CS2 / Poser 7 / PaintShop Pro 5.02 / TY2 / Miscellaneous TY2 Freebies

Time-wise you can classify my artworks into two categories.

First... those that takes months (or years (and I'm not even kidding)) to finish containing 3 digit number of layers where the first digit is not 1 and is divided
into four to five 50+ MB PSD files.

Or the ones I create for three hours or less while waiting for something to finish.

The Anti-Reflection belongs to the second category.

I had fun anyway... : ]

"Sometimes when I look into the mirror, there's this stranger I see, who won't look back at me." ~qs


Filed Under (alien.invasion, work.BLOG) by WildFire on 27-01-2008

I visited a client yesterday.

One of the few 'they-just-call-us-once-a-year' type of clients.

It's either they really know the program so well that a programmer's interventions are not needed or they're not using the program.

Spent four hours on the road and bus... and just two hours in the client's site.

Yeah... one of those provincial visits where the time consumed by transportation is much more than the actual client interaction itself.

Problem on site is not even programming related.

Hardware crashed... not my scope but I helped anyway.

Besides I need to update some modules.

Main database file shows a record of 1,445 records. They must be using the system.

I had the chance to talk to some heads too.

Two of our main problems with clients for the past year are administration changes without proper turnovers and staff changes, also, without proper turnovers.

Rode the bus home before the clock hit the 12 noon mark.

The bus ride home is always one of the interesting events of this visit.

The previous time I remember I felt like my pony-tail connected to the seat as if it was a cable connecting me to some moving Matrix-The-movie-like vehicle.

I felt like I was one with that bus which is not a bus at all.

Too surreal I can't even describe it.

Yesterday... half asleep, I believe I saw three, not just one, but three buildings that seemed to have transferred from the right side of the road to the left side.

At least they were in the right side during my previous visit.

That was 11 months ago.

I'm quite sure those three huge buildings were on the left side of the road before.

As if in that span of time they have developed movable feet of some sort and uhm... crossed the road.

That and they were able to successfully mass-hypnotize the villagers in that place into thinking that nothing weird happened.

That everything's all right.

You can't fool me, you alien-beings-pretending-to-be-buildings!

I wear my psionic helmet protection all the time.


Filed Under (Visual FoxPro) by WildFire on 27-01-2008

Microsoft Visual FoxPro 9.0 'SEDNA' Add-Ons released.

TEACHING (re-post)

Filed Under (TEACHING, work.BLOG.MEM) by WildFire on 16-01-2008

Leigh, still pining for that Incubus concert, pointed me last week to a nice blog that talked about teaching.

My first reactions to this were...

'This is isn't teaching... this is baby sitting!'

Beh-bee... sitting!

(Mind... is... fighting... The. Dark. Forces... that are pushing the fingers to link to that Babysitters pron dvd link. Must. Not. Link. Must... not.)


Spoonfeeding... included.

With matching twinkidoos woochoo woochoo.

(And those endless-but-always-entertaining (to a two year old (not you (sadly))) Barney reruns.)


The way we view teaching differ.

These views differ from one person to the other... from one place to another place.

If you're a student, probably teaching for you is different when you're an actual teacher.

It must be.

Then again it depends on if you're a lazy student or the other. That is... a lazier student.

Now if you're a teacher it depends also whether you're still that renegade fresh out of college aspiring to change the world.

Or... that veteran-tired-of-changing the-world-nothing-still-happens so-let's-just-give-them-all-passing-grades so-everyone-can-be-HAPPY!

Then the view that most of us tend to overlook... the ADMIN/OWNER-of-the-school's point of view.

(Yes... in CAPS LOCK (And yes I do use that CAPS LOCK so forget those petitions to remove that key in the standard keyboard lay-out (Go strain yourselves, shit-err-shift-lovin'-humans)))

To these admins, failing grades lead to less enrollees... less enrollees lead to less income to cover the expenses.

Less income leads to fear. Fear leads to to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.

I won't even delve into the profit part.

Not all admins really.

We've worked closely enough with around 25 private and semi-public schools/universities for the past 9 years to realize that there are still those who are wiling to sacrifice income for a better quality of education.

Good luck to them.

To us database programmers working for schools and universities, we see those teachers only as records.

A row in the database file.

Until they start bitchin' and whining and doing that I know it all attitude.

That and their endless delays in submissions of records with erroneous IDs/Names that fvcks up the spag-recursive powered checking of our systems.

Back to that blog.

After reading that one... I searched Parcel (my primary PC) for a file I made eight years ago.


I scribbled that fresh out of college.

Fresh from the sufferings and tortures endured during my own comsci student life.

It's blood I smell... and 'Revenge' chants were still vibrating in my brain. (With matching rubbing of palms and evil grin)

Probably those growling 'Seek-For-Revenge' howls were the ones that subliminally triggered me to accept that junior database programmer job for TheUniversity's computer center (later renamed to MIS).

I can teach part time in the same workplace... in between coding.

I'll get my chance at ThatRevenge.

Payback time, baby.

Payback time.

Before I drag you more into this revenge mindset let me post the un-altered contents (except for the hyperlinks and minimal comments) of that file.

Please note that these were my views/principles/way of life 10 years ago.

I was in my 20s then... still aiming to change the world one starfish at a time.

That of course and the quest for TheRevenge.

Probably if things permit, I might be accepting a teaching gig again.

And I might still be following these things.

TEACHINGPrinciples.txt circa 1998

Never lecture what can be read in the book... clarify some parts but re-lecturing what is already there is pure bullshit. (Yes I cursed a lot in text files back then.)

Some questions must not be answered by the teacher unless the student has spent one week without sleeping trying to solve the said problem.

Considerate teachers produce lousy students. Period.

Only wimps check attendances and uniforms.

Two words: TOUGH LOVE. Sometimes you have to punish them for them to learn... you can't bring a soldier to war by baby-sitting him/her in his/her training... college ground is a training ground and believe me... it's a war out there.

Give more than enough time for a given project but don't remind... it makes no difference... they'll still be doing it at the last minute.

Give extensions and stretched deadlines as much as they can possibly be given... hehe i'm quite soft on this one... but i was asking for much extensions when i was a student... it's about time i give something kind for that kindness shown to me before.

Challenge them... even to the point of de-humanizing their souls.

People first before subject matter... college doesn't really mean you're teaching the subject matter alone.

Always believe in that 'Smooth seas do not produce skillful sailors' notion... as well as John Patrick Mason's (Sean Connery) 'Losers always whine about their best winners go home and f-ck the prom queen' line. (From The Rock)

Others including you have done it before... there's no way an impossible problem can't be solved.

... and always make them smile even if you're doing the things mentioned above.

Tough love... it is.


Filed Under (alien.invasion) by WildFire on 16-01-2008

Previous scribbles in this part were erased by format-lovin' obsessive compulsive three-eyed aliens.

WIRED: How the iPhone Blew Up the Wireless Industry

Filed Under (science/TECH) by WildFire on 12-01-2008

Fred Vogelstein / WIRED : The Untold Story: How the iPhone Blew Up the Wireless Industry. (via GeekPress)


Filed Under (Visual FoxPro, work.BLOG) by WildFire on 10-01-2008

You know vacation is really over when a client call wakes you up at around 7:30AM after just having slept at 5:30AM finishing three rushed modules for another client.

(I still was able to squeeze in some time to watch that classic Muhammad Ali versus George Foreman / Rumble in the Jungle match in between codin'.)

This is one thing I like about Visual FoxPro.

You can solve and debug internal programming stuff online through client chats or calls.

You can even do those things half asleep and partly drooling.

I've tried some other PLs before... it makes you want to plug your hand inside the phone and warp it to the other end to touch the client's keyboard/PC.

That... or you have to create a patch and/or visit the site as well in between cursing.

But then again I've been with VFP for quite some time and I haven't tried using other PLs for actual client works.

(I've heard new languages allow you to create complex programs by just thinking of the program and structural flow while placing the palm of your hand on page 33 of their manuals. (If you can figure a way to place your right foot on page 40 it would even auto-generate a user guide complete with screenshots and all (Yeah that good.)))

Read and tested some new ones... yes... but haven't had the 'right' reasons yet to actually use them in our freelance client works.

I'm with Craig Bailey's assessment that 2007 was one of the busiest years for some of us.

I do hope I could do some graphics-related stuff this 2008.

I have spent some time during that Christmas vacation downloading 'morally gray graphics-related resources' and inspirational GFX-materials from various 'morally gray' sites.

Then there's also that GDIPlusX release from CodePlex.VFPX (via Andrew MacNeill).

Also... I am itching to get my hands on SilverLight.