Saturday, January 01, 2005  


Update: I have now included a demo video, click here to see it (450 kb .avi)

For most of the end of November and the beginning of December, I was working on my project for my computer animation class. I am happy enough with the results that I decided to whip up a few pages to display my work.

I used an artificial intelligence method called fuzzy logic to control the behaviour of a defenseman character. It's a bit rough around the edges, but it turned out pretty good in my estimation.

You can take a look here. If you're just interested in playing around with the demo, just go right to the downloads page and pay attention to the system requirements! Read the README file for instructions.


posted by Erwin | 10:06 PM

Friday, December 31, 2004  


I was on the bus today when these two attractive young women got on. They sat in the seats behind me. This is partly what they had to say:

"I am soooooooo lusting after that pair of underwear!"

"Which ones?"

"You know, the turquoise coloured ones... they have the butterflies on them with the thin clear straps on the side..."

"Oh those, you know you'd look good in the beige ones as well..."

"I just decided I can't wear what I was going to wear to this party I'm going to tomorrow."


"I just remembered there's going to be children there and I can't wear that skirt of mine!"

"What are you going to wear instead?"

"Um, I'm not sure now..."


posted by Erwin | 3:40 AM

Thursday, December 30, 2004  


A walk around UBC today revealed that many people are still away on their holidays. Both pedestrian and vehicle traffic was quite light all over campus. I got an almost ghost town feel. I'm guessing that everyone will be coming back sometime this weekend. It's hard to believe that in less than a week, this whole place will be bustling with activity again with the start of the new term.

I guess, however, I am not the only one that noticed that everyone is away. Sometime on Wednesday morning, there was a break-in at my beloved former residence, St. John's College. Apparently, someone broke into the main office and stole access cards and a master key. The audacity and nature of the crime surprised me. It seems the thief knew exactly what to get and this was not a crime of opportunity. With the access cards and the master key, every door is accessible to the thief. That means every resident's room is essentially vulnerable. You can just imagine how some residents felt reading all of this on the e-mail list while they're thousands of miles away.

SJC was in lockdown mode when I visited this afternoon to retrieve Picky, my fish. When I got there, some doors had been made exit only. Signs were posted everywhere, warning residents of the intrusion. I was later told that every room lock would be replaced eventually. I am unsure what they'll do about the access cards. Because they're computerized, I wonder if they can just change an internal code or something. I also heard that two security guards will now be assigned to SJC on a round the clock basis. If they want to be cautious, I'd restrict access to a single set of external doors and have the guards ID anyone that goes through.

Dangerous times over at good old SJC!


posted by Erwin | 2:05 AM

Tuesday, December 28, 2004  


I might come off sounding like an idiot in this post, but oh well, here goes. I just checked the graduation requirements for my degree. As for coursework, it looks like I'm good there. I just need to straighten out one tiny detail (at least I think it's tiny) and everything should be fine. Well, I also need to pass two more courses next term, but I'm assuming that's going to happen. There's also the matter of not having received my grades my last term yet. Yeesh, this is perhaps a little more tenuous than I thought.

Anyways, the biggest problem I have discovered is that I kinda forgot to form a little thing called an "supervisory committee". This committee is supposed to be headed my academic supervisor (which I have) and one other faculty member. After one semester of coursework, I was supposed to give a presentation to them about the courses I had taken and will take. This presentation would outline the reasons why I thought I should be taking these courses and how this would fit into my graduate education. The committee is then free to make suggestions on course choices and we come to an agreement on what to take.

So, yeah, I kinda forgot to do this. And I'm about to enter my last semester of coursework. Don't ask me how this happened. I have a little bit of worry, but I am not in a panic. Why? Well, because as I mentioned before, I still have one more semester to correct anything that needs fixing. Is it a lot of room to maneuver? No, but at least I caught this before the point of no return. My supervisor is also a really, really nice person who would like nothing more than to see me graduate and get the hell out of here. Also, I think it's my choice who the second faculty memeber is on my committee and obviously I'd pick someone who is sympathetic to my cause. I already have the person in mind and I just hope he agrees to it.

Is there still a possibility for disaster? Sure, this is bureaucracy we're talking about and even under the best circumstances when you follow regulations down to the letter, things can still go wrong. Clearly, in my case I'm forming my committee extremely late and I might run into a whole bunch of roadblocks. The one possible sliver of hope I have is that these types of rules, I believe, can be easily be bent if the people in charge like you enough. That's a big if, because I'm not sure if I even matter a damn to my department beyond my supervisor. If you ask me though, the MECH department owes me after the whole TA fiasco.

The bottom line is, there is nothing I see that will absolutely prevent me from graduating in May. To get there though, I'm gonna need to fix a few things between now and then.


posted by Erwin | 8:55 PM


It's been a fun couple of days at home with my family. It was good seeing my sister again. She was quite generous to me with Christmas gifts. I will be sure to make it up to her next year when I'll be hopefully employed. What else have I been doing? Well, I've been hitting Bittorrent pretty hard. With UBC Resnet restrictions on Bittorrent traffic, it's hard to get stuff at my apartment, but here in Telus-land, it's been smooth sailing. I've done a few movies and some Mythbusters episodes. It's been good stuff all around.

I have also done a lot of shopping, but I've been trying to keep to the essentials. I bought a router on-line from Future Shop. This is for setting up a home network at my parents' place. A network will now be necessary since my sister is temporarily moving home to start a new job. I also went to Costco to buy things like a giant bottle of water, a giant bottle of juice, and one giant Coke bottle candy. After that, I hit Ikea to get a $5 frying pan and some other stuff. Tomorrow, I'm going to Wal-Mart (I know, please don't send me e-mails about Wal-Mart) to get some cheap shampoo, toothpaste, jock-itch powder and toothbrushes. When I look at it, I don't think any of it was too extravagant.

I am tenatively scheduled to return to my own apartment tomorrow afternoon. I need to take care of a few things back on-campus, one of which is to get my crap together to prepare an application for graduation. I guarantee you that I will encounter the most horrendous UBC bureaucracy you'll ever hear about. This will mean some interesting posts on this blog. Being back will also mean I'll be on my own computer which is good since my parents' computer is having some serious issues.

I will probably return to my parents' place on the weekend to help my sister setup the network (if the router gets here in time) and to also re-partition this computer's hard drive. For now though, look for the next few posts to come from the home office.


posted by Erwin | 1:12 AM

Sunday, December 26, 2004  


I woke up this morning with what my sister and I refer to as a "cut" in my hair. A "cut" is when some of the hair separates away from the head, forming a pseud-wing, and exposing a line of exposed scalp. I woke up late of course and my parents had a dim sum reservation to make. As my mother chided me for not even having my clothes changed, I decided I had no time to get rid of my "cut". I went outside with the "cut" intact.

I was out in public all day with. I'm about to go to Future Shop. That is all for now.


posted by Erwin | 6:52 PM
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