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A gaming and technology blog by TWHL admins Penguinboy and Ant. A music blog by TWHL users Ant and Hugh.

Journals

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User Journals

Take a look at all the journal entries from our members.

User Journals

avatar Tetsu0 16 comments | 30th June 2014, 01:52 AM

It's not everyday that the Government can shut down a major highway... In Connecticut(CT) we have about 6,000 bridges and about 20% of those need replacing. The one in this video happens to be a bridge I cross everyday on my way to, and home from work.
CT shut down this highway's bridge over this last weekend (a major travel-lane through the state) in order to replace the aging bridge. In the months leading up to this, they built a replacement bridge next to the existing bridge.
Once it was complete, they tore down the old one, and SLID the new one into place. Just shimmied it right in there. It fit like a glove. This is one of the reasons why I chose to become an Engineer. Because shit like this. This is almost as marvelous to me as the NASA engineers landing the last Rover on Mars. I love being blown away seeing what humans can accomplish when we focus on the betterment of society instead of bickering about meaningless problems.

Check the time-lapse: http://youtu.be/vX-XjeXocNE
The stress test begins tomorrow. I'll drive over the new bridge; I have faith it'll stand up.

Also, the machines look like they're quite hungry in fast-motion. :D

avatar Archie 6 comments | 22nd June 2014, 00:33 AM

[IMAGE HEAVY]
I Was DoP on a completely bonkers shoot last week. It's one of the most ambitious indie films I've ever worked on! Amazing fun. We had a freakin' stunt horse!

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This is one of those amazing things that'll stick with me forever. Total commitment to the setting from the cast made it such a surreal experience. So much fun.

avatar zeeba-G 19 comments | 20th June 2014, 13:40 PM

Got me a Bass Raider 8 with a 50lb thrust trolling motor.

Time to hit the water.

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avatar Dimbeak 6 comments | 20th June 2014, 12:42 PM

So, I'm heading out on vacation today to the beach!

Although my mother can't come, because Obamacare ended up making the local hospital cut back on funding so they had to cancel her job there, and now she can't get a vacation yet since she only recently started her new job.

So it'll just be me, my grandparents, and my uncle who is currently mentally (and soon, physically) in the process of becoming my aunt. Yay summer!

avatar Kazemeka 1 comment | 19th June 2014, 11:53 AM

Making Life Before The Half with The Edvinazard. GO CHECK IT OUT!
http://www.moddb.com/mods/life-before-the-half

avatar ciba43 7 comments | 18th June 2014, 18:54 PM

I had some free time, so I decided that it is time for another journal. This journal is just me thinking about my life. I am happy, because I finished 9th grade. I already signed up to a middle school. I really don't know how it will be. I got very high marks this year. My exam marks were just HUGE. I got max score in English. Strangely, I didn't even learn at the end of the year. think that the hardest exam is history. BUT, it isn't just world history(which I know perfectly), but my country's history(which I don't know too well.) In the end I got about 80% in my history exam. Phew. Math wasn't hard at all. It was very easy. I got about 90% in my math exam.

Another thing I was thinking about
Or 'Why I like Goldsource more than Source'.

Source is a lot newer than Goldsource.
Source is a lot better than Goldsource.
Source has larger limitations than Goldsource.
... The list goes on.

Goldsource is used in Half-Life 1, which was mostly underground lab oriented. Source, on the other hand, is outdoor oriented. Source can be used for indoors, but in my opinion, goldsource wins source on that. I like mapping, designing rooms. I really like it. But, when it comes to outdoor areas, it freaks me. Honestly, I just don't know how to fill 'holes'. In indoor areas, I get inspiration. I can desing indoor, but I just can't make outdoor areas. I find myself placing useless objects that look bad. But when it comes to indoor areas, I can make great maps. As I said, outdoor freaks me.
Thats why I like goldsource better than source. Whatever the add in the next Source upgrade, I will still like goldsource more than source. Of course I try to learn - how to properly make those outdoor areas. I want to make outdoor, but my imagination seems to be limited to indoor only.

I got that Source SDK base working. I am using it with Source SDK 2006. I am not planning to download any newer releases of it(except SDK 2007). I am not sure if I ever learn to make those outdoor areas properly. Usually when I make them, they are quite lagging even in Source. But I am advancing. I decompile hl2 maps to learn geometry from them. I really hope that someday I will be able to make those outside areas :)

Wow, that was a long journal. I hope you liked reading it. Post comments if you want it, but remeber - this is just me thinking. :D

avatar Instant Mix 7 comments | 17th June 2014, 13:37 PM

Tough Mudder 2014 : Completed.

What's tough mudder?
A half marathon pretty much completely covered in mud, littered with obstacles designed to push you to your limits. Electric shocks, tight plastic tunnels, massive drops, ice baths... not fun stuff.

Our obstacles differed a bit from last year but the jist is the same
Youtube Video

It's tough and definitely thought I wouldn't be able to do it, but somehow managed to pull through. Last 3 miles were horrific, cramp started to make itself known and my legs were killing me.

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From left to right, Me, Ben, Matty Brown, Ramsay & Johnny

Definitely getting done again next year!

avatar rufee 16 comments | 15th June 2014, 20:00 PM

Update to my datacenter, so with space running out in the first basement with the help of my father i moved all of the machines to the other room further in the basement.
Here are some pics:

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Finally redid all my networking, its now all vlan based and ready for a second ISP when i get the funds for it. First time punching down a patch panel, this one has strange wiring schemes so had to use ports 1 and 3 since i couldn't figure out how the 2nd is wired (just didn't work, weird).

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The red box is a Mikrotik RouterBOARD, it has all the features of highend Cisco gear except way way cheaper, run a bunch of them at work too. In short such reliable, much recommend. Also grew fond of D-Link switches got a similar one with less ports in the apartment upstairs, this one is quite cheap, but still packs quite a lot of features, at some point i also want to try running fiber optic so with the 4 sfp ports and 1 sfp in the router i have some options.

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Yeah, i know what ur thinking - nasty. Well it works, but i really want to get an APC unit to replace this crap which keeps overcharging the battery and killing it.

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Scored the rack and patch panel from an uncle who once ran an ISP.

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So much space now :)

And now some eyecandy for those who love some older server gear :)

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Always dreamed of getting a dual/quad socket motherboard and there you go.
Custom case and cooling too :)

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Got 4 dual core Opteron cpu's and 32gigs of ECC ram. I can get quad or even six core cpu's if i wish later.

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The whole thing is destined for another purpose and will probably not be in the basement datacenter any time soon, though some other new machines will :)

avatar Striker 1 comment | 13th June 2014, 10:57 AM

I started a thread about Nootropics some time ago, but seems like nobody was interested.

Well, I took Rhodiola in the spring exam session, and it kinda helped me. I can honestly say I resisted with less sleep than usual, although the pills I took had small concentration in it. But in time I found out that Rhodiola on its own isn't really a nootropic, but has a synergistic effect with other mind-enhancing supplements.

Now I switched to something else, after reading through some sites and consulting the reddit wiki of /r/nootropics. Seems like this is the "safest"( as in no side-effects) nootropic available, and some drink it everyday(green tea). It's Theanine. The ones I bought are 30 pills/100mg for 15$, imported from USA.

The way I took them is ingest a pill, wait 20 minutes then drink a cup of moka pot coffee( lighter than espresso, more concentrated than drip coffee). At about half-an-hour after ingesting the pill I begin to feel a bit spaced-out, but soon I become more aware of the surroundings. I don't feel like on NZT, you know, just that I can concentrate better. It really helps me getting me into "the zone".

Now of course, the way you think, the way you are organized, this leaves a mark on how efficiently one can study.

In autumn I will try something else.

Do any of you guys consume brain super foods? For example, I like eating walnuts, fish, and dark chocolate in periods of hard study. Also drinking lots of water helps, and some good physical exercise.

avatar Rimrook 5 comments | 11th June 2014, 23:14 PM

I made a slot machine game!

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LOiNK

avatar Instant Mix 4 comments | 9th June 2014, 16:32 PM

I have this odd habit of finding something interesting and then delving into the deep end onto what it is. I was speaking to my girlfriend about this, almost thinking it was some sort of sign of autism, it's made me OK in some lua coding, haskell, photoshop, and a bunch of other things. I find it strange that I let myself be "slightly OK" with a lot of things rather than amazing at one thing.

So yeah, my latest fad?

grandMA.

I don't even know why, I find lighting interesting and thinking of joining the Edinburgh University Bedlam theatre tech group - was going to last year, but irresponsible drinking took that over.
Although the physical desks cost almost half a grand to hire out for less than a week, I thought it would be quite smart to learn it as the FREE program comes with a 3D visualiser for everything you do in it, so you could theoretically programme a whole show and then plug in a real desk and do the real thing.

It's bloody complicated, and i'm still trying to learn how to properly use timecode, cues and executors but meh.

So far I've made a couple shitty little things
( These are GIFS )

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avatar Jessie 6 comments | 9th June 2014, 13:30 PM

So after having Serious Sam 3: BFE for ages, I've finally gotten around to actually playing it (and finishing it). I've played through The First and Second Encounters several times, and I still love 'em. Haven't touched SS2 any more than the demo.

This one though... I can't put my finger on how I feel about it.

Yes, it does have the more "modern" quirks, I.E. aiming, reloading, sprinting, and I thought that that might harm the game. But really, they impact it so very little. Sprinting, eh, who cares. Aiming is only with a few weapons and even then it's not like they're particularly inaccurate without doing so. Reloading is a little annoying, but again, it's only with a few weapons, and all in all doesn't make a whole lot of difference.

More than anything I was worried that it wouldn't recapture the feel of the previous games. I mean, the first two set the bar pretty damn high, so I wasn't expecting "better than", I just didn't want "way worse". But the more I play it (started on a second run through, on Serious of course =P), the more I realize that beneath the more modern perspective, it really hasn't changed much at all.

Weapons do pretty much the exact same amount of damage to enemies as in the past (5 rockets for Major Bio-Mechanoids, 4 for Adult Arachnoids, 2 bullets for rocketeers, etc). The pistol is no far reach from the .45s, perhaps slightly more useful. The shotguns are exactly the same, bar the 10-clip of the single now. The Assault Rifle is the Tommygun. It fires roughly the exact same speed, does the exact same damage, is just as useful. Minigun, Rocket Launcher, Lasergun, Sniper Rifle and Cannon are no different either. I miss the Knife, but the sledgehammer is just as practical. The Devastator seems to have replaced the Grenade Launcher, and frankly I didn't really get what it was there for (a faster-velocity rocket launcher, basically), but in use it seems different enough to justify it. The C4 is new, and I quite like it. Fills a nice niche left by the other weapons.

As for the enemies, not a whole lot changed there either. Beheadeds are the same. The Clone Soldiers are effectively just the Zorg from Scecond Encounter with different guns (distanced them from the Rocketeers, which I'm very okay with). Gnaars look quite different, but are functionally the same. Bio-Mechs, Arachnoids, Kleers, Werebulls, Witch-Harpies... They're all there. The Highlander's replacement (whatever they're called... Knumm or something?) are more of a bother than the Highlanders were. I don't like the Technopolips, but they fill a good role. The Scrapjacks are just a beefed up version of Zumb'uls. Wasn't fond of them to start with, but that's just me.

The final boss was a bother, since it took me (and my co-op partner (brother)) quite a while to figure out what we were supposed to be doing, but that in itself isn't necessarily a bad thing.

I'm not sure how I feel about the Sniper Rifle and Lasergun. They (and their ammo) are only ever found in secrets, meaning that compared to the other weapons, you really have to moderate your usage of them. Especially considering that they're not all that particularly more useful than the other weapons (sniper rifle especially, does the same damage as the rocket launcher), they seem needlessly limited.

If nothing else is worth saying about BFE, you must really appreciate how smoothly they blended modern shooter-ness into a classic-style game. With the aforementioned quirks (and shreds of PLOT), players who aren't used to the Serious Sam-style stuff are eased into the experience more (by the last few levels, you're pretty much playing Second encounter). The plot felt like it was just being shrugged off a bit by the end, which was a bit jarring.

So yeah.
tl;dr: Played Serious Sam BFE. Feelings status: Mixed

avatar Tetsu0 8 comments | 6th June 2014, 20:43 PM

Hey All.
I'm not entering anything into any community competition for a little while.
I recently came across a project that I'm devoting 90% of my spare time to, and let's just say the Unreal 4 tools are everything I've ever wanted as a developer.

Not leaving, mind you, and I might drop a map here and there... But if this project takes off, I'll keep you all informed.

avatar Urby 5 comments | 2nd June 2014, 22:43 PM

Game Idea

What with open world survival now being the trend, I came up with an idea this evening while watching a documentary. How about an open world, first person survival game, where you play as a cat.

You have to hunt small creatures such as birds, mice, rats etc for food, while avoiding other larger creatures such as dogs. Hell you could make it a post apocalyptic setting if that's your bag, or maybe set it in the chernobyl exclusion zone meaning you could enter buildings and such to find food as well, while having to avoid heavily irradiated areas.

Take it online and you have the potential of teaming up with or facing off against other cats in order to defend your territory / to have the ability to hunt in the area undisturbed.

avatar Rimrook 11 comments | 1st June 2014, 01:53 AM

I came home and found that my neighbor left a notecard on my door. The note said lightning hit the tree. Sure enough, the tree 6 feet from my door is all fucked up. I'm glad we weren't home at the time because we probably would have been outside watching the storm, sitting on metal chairs near a metal railing that runs closely by the tree. Though it doesn't appear that any lightning jumped to the railing, still I wouldn't take the chance.

It's dark out and I will try and get pictures tomorrow morning.

EDIT: IT'S MORNING!

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This is the tree.

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From the corner of the stairs. Not far now is it? Only a few inches from the roof.

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A wide shot, I live on the corner. Lyssa is there reading a book so that's how close we would've been.

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Pieces of the lightning enchanted wood that my neighbor has. I wonder what he's going to do with it? Lucky bastard.

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Looking through the flecks on the ground, I started finding tree amber. This small piece is actually quite shiny. Picture doesn't do justice. It's really orange around the edges.

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Blown out chunks of sap. There are parts that are marbleized from the heat, and other parts are burned. Smells really good for some reason.

avatar Archie 17 comments | 30th May 2014, 22:07 PM

My cat died this morning :[

Got a big pit in the bottom of my stomach, it's horrible. You don't appreciate things that have been with you your entire life until they're gone. She lived to the grand old age of 21, which for cats is pretty damn old. But yeah, I'm only 22. She's just always been there. nnnngggrgh.

FEELS AND INABILITY TO EXPRESS THEM BECAUSE I AM MANLY AND NOT CRYING LIKE A LITTLE BITCH.

/cries like little bitch.

avatar JeffMOD 9 comments | 28th May 2014, 19:27 PM

I decided to give learning Source Filmmaker another shot.

I uh, I made a thing.

avatar TJB 18 comments | 22nd May 2014, 19:36 PM

wat

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I'm going to assume that this is because of lighting related tutorials and forum threads that I may have posted in.

avatar MarsCheerleader 29 comments | 21st May 2014, 16:24 PM

Claiming dubs while I still can.

avatar satchmo 10 comments | 20th May 2014, 15:22 PM

Das Keyboard 4 unboxing.

My son inherited my Model S Das. Fast typing starts young.

avatar Penguinboy 9 comments | 14th May 2014, 13:07 PM

I posted a link to my (very basic) JavaScript RMF loader/renderer in the Shoutbox yesterday and a few people said they were interested in learning more about JavaScript and 3D stuff, so here's my official guide to learning JavaScript and/or 3D stuff! Hopefully someone finds it useful or interesting :)

Even if you're not interested in learning programming, I would recommend clicking on the links to the D3 and three.js websites - the examples for those libraries are really damn cool!

JavaScript:

What you need to get started:
- A computer
- ...(with a browser)
- .......(that's not IE, use Firefox/Chrome/ChrOpera)

Learn the core language: Eloquent JavaScript is a slightly old, but still relevant introduction to JavaScript, and programming in general. No previous programming knowledge required!

Learn some basic HTML and CSS: This video series from Google is said to be a good introduction to HTML and CSS, as well as some more stuff about JavaScript.

Learn more about HTML, CSS, and JavaScript APIs: MozDev is one of the best resources for doing front-end web programming. It covers every API and element that Firefox supports (or might be supporting in the near future) - which is basically everything you'll ever need to know.

Look at cool JS libraries!

- jQuery - easy HTML/CSS manipulation, AJAX, HTML events

- Backbone - write a single-page application like all the other cool people! I'm writing one at work at the moment. SoundCloud is an example of a single-page website made using Backbone.

- D3 - a super-cool library for graphing and displaying data in a visual way. Supports topography/maps, graphs, animations, interactivity, and other cool stuff. The examples are great!

- three.js - Really easy OpenGL (see below) for the web! I used this for my RMF demo. There's tons of examples, so it's really easy to get started.

3D stuff (I only know OpenGL, sorry DirectX fans!):

What you need to get started:
- A computer
- A graphics card that supports OpenGL 3+
- Programming knowledge. You can't just jump into 3D programming, you need to know the basics first. JavaScript works, but so does C, C++, C#, VB, Java, Python, and many other languages with OpenGL bindings. JavaScript is one of the easier options due to the three.js library (see above).

Learn how to use (modern-style) OpenGL: Learning Modern 3D Graphics Programming is one of the best modern GL references out there. You may have heard of, or stumble upon, the NeHe tutorials website - be careful! These tutorials (especially the intro ones) are mostly for OpenGL 1.0, which is extremely slow and no longer part of core OpenGL! Learn the new pipeline that is in OpenGL 2+, you will save a lot of time.

Learn GLSL: The above tutorial will get you started with GLSL shaders, but you can use websites like http://glsl.heroku.com/ and https://www.shadertoy.com/ to work with GLSL without needing all the extra wiring up that OGL requires.

Skip all of that and learn three.js instead: Skipping the OpenGL stuff will certainly put you at a disadvantage, but three.js allows you to get started with 3D programming without having to deal with the lower-level stuff. If you want a quick 3D fix without having to learn loads of really difficult stuff, you could do this, and learn the complicated stuff later!

OpenGL bindings that I know of:
- .NET: OpenTK
- C/C++: GLEW
- Java: JOGL
- Python: PyOpenGL and PyGame
- Others: Just google "opengl <your_programming_language_here>"!

Bonus: Put all your work on GitHub (it's free!) so other people can learn from your work!

I put all my code on GitHub, you can check some of it out here:
Sledge: https://github.com/LogicAndTrick/sledge
The JS RMF loader from above: https://github.com/LogicAndTrick/sledge-js

Double bonus: Help me out by contributing new features to Sledge >____>

avatar Instant Mix 27 comments | 9th May 2014, 18:12 PM

Sat my Mathematics for Physics exam yesterday.

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I spent a good hour or so on B1. It was completely wrong.
I didn't even attempt B2.
B3 I attempted the very first part, and failed.
B4 was incredibly easy for 10 marks so I think I've screwed it up.

I don't think I've passed.

Isn't there someone here doing engineering?

avatar Archie 12 comments | 7th May 2014, 17:13 PM

Look what just arrived signed by the Author :)

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avatar Tetsu0 4 comments | 7th May 2014, 02:00 AM

Semester Over!
My final project was a moderate success.. almost...
Automatic Bottle Opener:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JRhLXIHeIT8

That ate a lot of my time :(
So did the book though :P
Bleah.
2 more semesters to go and I'll have my engineering degree.
Cant wait.

avatar Striker 13 comments | 4th May 2014, 20:13 PM

What is a good file hosting site these days?

I used to upload files for the map vault on filefront(now gamefront), but they delete them after a while.
Also, linking from my dropbox account or something like that doesn't feel very secure either.
... so?

Also, when is TWHL going to increase the 2mb limit and allow for more than one screenshot? :\

avatar ninja defuse 4 comments | 3rd May 2014, 21:41 PM

“Books are the plane, and the train, and the road. They are the destination, and the journey. They are home.”

Anna Quindlen, How Reading Changed My Life

avatar zeeba-G 17 comments | 30th April 2014, 15:33 PM

In order to listen to music at work I decided to make this. It helps prevent the speaker from projecting into the break room which I'm working from currently and sharing with another co worker.

I'd use headphones but am not allowed.

I used my laser cutter to quickly cut it out. It works really well.

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avatar Dimbeak 5 comments | 23rd April 2014, 15:20 PM

So, today I took my Software App II final. In fact, I just now turned it in and I'm passing the time in class.

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Our final was to take a rubber band ball and add a background to any theme.

avatar Archie 22 comments | 22nd April 2014, 11:55 AM

Freelancing is a terrifying prospect. I can make more in a day on the right job than I would in a month of permanent employment, yet there is absolutely no guarantee of work.
After an embarrassingly bountiful end to 2013, the work dried up during Jan and Feb (Very few shows get shot in the winter months due to lack of daylight hours, so there's almost no post-production work until spring) and I took an unavoidable break.

However, I got hit with a massive tax bill of £900 because I earned more than I expected in December last year so I've had to go back to a permanent job for the moment because I can no longer wait for the freelance work to pick up. What's the job? Post-production Coordinator. Minimum contract of 3 months. Been here 2 weeks and already bouncing off the walls out of lack of creative output. I'm managing 8 edit suites and a dub suite. Managing. Not using. Nnggg.

What's particularly annoying is that literally two days after starting this position, I got offered one of the most lucrative freelance gigs of my entire career (VFX on Irn Bru's official Commonwealth Games ad - anyone familiar with Scotland will understand why that's a huge deal) and I've had to turn it down.

tl;dr:
When I'm freelance, the security of permanent seems so appealing. When I'm permanent, I get super exciting freelance opportunities.

avatar Dimbeak 10 comments | 19th April 2014, 02:48 AM

For the love of God.

I made another green explosion instead of a yellow explosion.

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The moral of the story is to not be colorblind.