Saturday, April 30, 2011

Need for Speed GT highscore


So, there I was breaking Hojo's perfect record.

I think there's a bug in course 4. I was beating the shadow, yet run out of time. How can that be?

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Reader's Digest Human Resources opini


I read the piece on Reader's Digest article on April 2011: 50 Secrets Your HR Person Won't Tell You.

And I was horrified.

Had these people worked for me, I'd have fired half of them easy. Who do they think they are? Do you think you can just act anyway you want? This reminds me of a scrape I had with a local HR manager who worked for a local big company who will remain nameless. Basically, at one point I said that his rude and unprofessional behavior will act as a turnoff for potential employees and that only losers will work for the company. There will be huge adjustment going down, unless he cleans up his act. He responded by doing ad hominem attacks on me.

Let's see how much wrong these HR can be:
1. Once you're unemployed for 6 months, you're unemployable. There goes somebody leaving the company to take care of his ailing mother! Of course, this is easily circumvented by putting down something like: "Taking a motorcycle vacation trip around the US" or something like that.

2. If you trying to get a job at a specific company, avoid HR entirely. Yep, you got that right. HR is so worthless, I just don't see how they do anything but fill the company with employees' buddies.

3. Three pages of resume is pushing it. This sounds like a great way to filter out highly experienced, highly productive candidate. Of course, if all HR do is match keywords, then 2 pages is sufficient.

4. I haven't read [a cover letter] in 11 years. If I was slacking on the job, I wouldn't advertise it to the world. Cover letters are there for a reason. Read them.

5. A lot of managers don't want to hire people with young kids, and use all sort of tricks to find that out illegally. I don't want to have to deal with anything illegal. It's bad for the company.

6. Sometimes [we lie] just to get you off our back. You know, I'd have fired these guys. Never, ever tell a lie. It discredits you and your company.

7. If there was someone we no longer wanted at the company, ... set him up to fail, and document that. You know, people aren't the fools you make them to be. They will know that is what you're doing. Then they shoot and kill you, before killing themselves. This should be obvious, but apparently not. Thus, we have people going crazy and shoot people all the time.

8. [Something said] that CEO took as an insult. See#7 for what's going to happen if you're being a jerk.

Yes, so the conclusion is that people cheat, lie, and otherwise engaged is abusive behavior. I'm not saying all HR personnel are bad. I certainly know a few good ones. But the bad ones are the ones getting the spotlight, right? And they set the tone for the company. If I was the owner, I'd make sure my HR personnels are all angels, who has good people skills and truly care about the employees.

Oh, and about that rude local HR manager? The company just had a huge adjustment going down. That's too bad, because it reflects poorly on the whole industry, but what can we do?

Well, it's not a nice thing for me to say "I told you so." but...

I told you so.

Why not use the best tool in the world?

Why not use the best tool in the world?

There was a discussion about the best game programming tool to use, and the consensus is that Unity3D is the best one around. I won't disagree. A quick read of a Unity book convinced me that it is on par with UnrealEd. However, what gets me is that some uppity new kid on the block starts to rant and rave when I say that I don't use the tool, nor do I plan to use it any time soon. Then the person starts to make some disparaging remarks, implying that anybody who does not use the best tool in the world can't be too good. This, of course, reminds the saying "A fool who does not know he's a fool is truly a fool."

The natural question that should have been asked is "How come you don't want to use the best tool in the world?" That is a good question, and had that been asked, I would not have distrusted that person. However, that question was not asked, and that continuing the conversation, I conclude that the other person may know Unity3D well, but not my stuff well. In fact, my stuff is currently unknown.

And for good reason. I'm not currently publishing it, or reporting it in anyway. But that's not the point here. The point is that this person thinks that his stuff is better than an unknown. Wait a minute. How can you tell that your stuff is better than mine if you don't know how good my stuff is? I know how good your stuff is, since I investigated it, but you didn't investigate mine how can you know your stuff is better?

The reasoning given is that his stuff is better, because it is best. How do you know it's best? Because it's number one? Why is it number one? Because it is best. Well, I'm not the smartest cookie in the world, but I know circular reasoning when I see it. I also do not care about the statement that I need to use such-and-such tools because "everybody is using it."

Let me give you a couple of examples.

3DMax, of course, is the top choice for computer game professionals. Maya is the top choice of movie makers. Both are certainly at the top of their world. I use neither. Why not? Because whenever 3DMax is mentioned, all I can think of is how the program would crash every 30 minutes. I think the longest run was about 90 minutes or so. How can I work with that? I can't. So, 3DMax is out. I'm sure the reason why it crashed is that my workflow isn't standard, thus confusing the program. I'm not going to blame 3DMax for it. But still, either I change my workflow, or I use something else. I decided to use something else: Lightwave3D. Newtek Lightwave3D is popular among TV studio. It's not the greatest, but (1) It's available (2) It fulfills my needs (3) IT DOES NOT CRASH! It is very stable. Sure, rendering could be better, and modeling could be faster. But it works! And that's all that mattered.

How about DreamWeaver? It is not only the top web editor in the world, it is the ONLY web editor worth its price. I haven't checked out Rapid Weaver, but Chris Crawford did, and he wasn't too impressed. I have never used DreamWeaver. Oh, for sure I know what it can do. Lots of people remind me of it, and they really, really want to see me use it. I always say no. Why not? I worked on the web since before DreamWeaver come into being. I have my own scripts and Text2HTML converter. With DreamWeaver, I can process 50 web pages per day. With my scripts, I can easily process 500 web pages per day. There are times when I got bored, I'd go to Project Gutenberg and download their free e-text, converted it to HTML, and make buttons for it with POV-Ray. Just for fun. I still remember I did Little Women in about 2 days, including images. Would I have done that with DreamWeaver? Not a chance!

In short, the reason why I do not use the number one tool in the world is because: "I have something better."

Actually, I hesitate to use the word "better", preferring instead to be more specific. How about "faster", "cheaper", "lighter", "more efficient", and other words that would specified how it would be a better fit to my needs.

"I don't use DreamWeaver because it is too slow for my needs." That is a true statement, and you don't know how many people would not believe that! Just about everybody who is a DreamWeaver user (and that is just about everybody, after all, DW is #1) will not believe that I have something better than their cherished software. But I do.

My system was based to templates, and basically is nothing more that a glorified Mail Merge + Text2HTML converter, so to speak. Some specific work done on blogs and message boards, but those are trivial to implement. Nobody would believe me that my system is better.

Nowadays? Just look around! Any website provider worth their salt will have their custom web page creator. What do you see? Templates! Templates! Templates! Finally, I've been vindicated at last. Do these naysayers admit their mistakes and finally tell me that I'm right after all? Not a chance! You see, they're not really interested in me. They're just interested in themselves and want me to idolize them. They do it by, you guessed it, following the crowd, get everything that is "number one" and expect the masses to worship them because they have "the best."

Excuse me, kid, that's not how it works. You don't become the best by doing what everybody else does. You become the best doing what nobody else is doing. You certainly do not become the best just because you're own the tool that everybody else have.

Every time I drool over newfangled fancy tool, I'm always reminded an old observation: "Michaelangelo sculpted David with nothing more than a hammer and a chisel. Given $100,000 3D scanner and $100,000 3D printer, can you do better?" Um, no, I can't. "What is the power of the sword, compared to the hand that wields it?" The true power lies not in the tool itself, but in what you can do with it.

As I am routinely engaged in cutting, sometimes bleeding edge of technology, I have always kept working on the next generation of tool. I have been doing this close to 30 years now, and have become very good at it.

Suddenly, I realize: I don't want to buy these tools. They represent the best that yesterday can offer. I'm not interested in those anymore. I'm always looking toward the future. Therefore, none of these tools can fit my needs. I'm a visionary, futurist, and yes, toolmaker. I will make my own tools.

Mouse over pop up ads


I hate these mouse over pop up ads. The kind that basically renders the whole web page useless because your mouse pointer passes over an ad. That's right. No clicking necessary. It won't be too long before some crazy admen decided to just collect info from cookies, and automatically place an order for you, just because they know you can't live with their marvelous product. This is insane!

Anything that pop up unbidden is wrong. Even this blogger, there was a notification that basically says 5 new dynamic views! Hogwash! I don't care about that! You should put that up as announcement, certainly, but never as pop-up.

I don't care how clever it makes you feel. You're not clever for using DHTML, okay? It's a well-known old trick. What is true is that you just rudely interrupted my session. Some of these ads even goes so far as to show video! There goes my bandwidth. How dare you take my precious bandwidth without my consent? That is illegal!

I'm going to boycott any website that shows this unbidden ad. I hope you do, too. If this goes on, who knows when we're going to get any work done on the internet? Already a lot of the sites I go to are sluggish, and getting even more so by the day. Considering that a lot of that are unbidden ads, you're encouraging these people to steal your bandwidth, time, and money away from you.

There is a reason why pop-up blockers are extremely common. Can't you at least consider that?
Sheesh. Kids these days are so spoiled.

In the meantime, I'll be changing my hosts file and point these websites to oblivion.

Remember: There is no place like localhost

Monday, April 4, 2011

IGDA Meeting, Microsoft Store

I guess I should've taken a picture. It has been a long time since I've been to these meeting, and people have changed. There are some old familiar faces, but not too many. I'm guessing that most people find it boring to network with the same old people.

The meeting was at Microsoft store in Park Meadows mall. Huh? There is a Microsoft store here? That's news to me. There is an Apple store there, too. Hmmm. I'm about to do something drastic with my hard disk. I wonder if consultation with these people is advisable?

The meeting went fine, except that there's not enough seat for everybody. Some people had to stand. I met with a young and talented artist Aldana Zanetta. I critique some of her work. She's very talented, but still lacking in scale and structure. Composition skill would be nice to have, too. I noticed she was interested in perspective drawing lesson. Rapid Viz book may be good for her.

I sent her a message on her website, giving her my old homepage URL. I don't know if the message reached her. The website looks unfinished. Still, looking at these old works, I can't help but think that it was a whole different lifestyle back then. The carefree part. Looking back, it's like I was sampling a different lifestyle every 5-10 years. Yep. Sounds just like me. Which means that I'll be living yet another lifestyle in 2 years, when I retire from my current job.

I already hitting the books lately, preparing for the eventual transfer. Also, I'm due for vacation. The last time I took a week off, it was due to lung infection!

I also saw Nintendo 3DS. I should've brought my Nintendo DSi. Especially, since there was no program on it. Apparently the e-store won't be there until May. Oh, well. I can wait until May.

I also saw eee EP121. Pretty slick. Unfortunately, battery life is only 3 hours. Hey, how about designing such a device so that it last 7-10 hours, eh? 3 hours is too short for heavy duty doodling! Otherwise, I don't mind it that much, even if it's a bit pricey.