Isqua Istari

The Wise Wizards

The Holy Bible

Posted in Articles by Ziggy Thursday August 28, 2014 at 23:13

For a while now I’ve been looking for a nice clean digital version of the Bible that I can use for text searches or simple access. A number of websites with text search capability have come and gone, but they were never quite what I was looking for. In addition, they always seem to have way too much focus on “study aids” and way too little actual Biblical text. The search functions have always been a bit stodgy as well.

In any case, I’ve finally gotten around to making my own online Bible separated by book (with HTML ID tags for hash links to chapters) as well as the full text in one HTML file. (more…)

“Intellectual Property” is Wicked Nonsense

Posted in Articles by Ziggy Tuesday August 5, 2014 at 22:26

To people everywhere, and those especially who ponder excellence:

Ideas can’t be stolen, they can only be made real.

Herein I seek to demonstrate the idea of “intellectual property” is childish, false, and wicked.
I may also delve a bit into some implications (such as that the ideas of Copyright, Patent, and other forms of mental slavery should be universally rejected on every level). But first, a little bit of my…

Personal History with Intellectual Property

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Maya .ma geometry convertor

Posted in Other by Ziggy Monday August 4, 2014 at 21:13

So, Maya is a piece of 3D design software. Like most major software packages, it have its own file format. The file is plain text, which is nice, but even so there are no converters for it ANYWHERE (that I could find). If you want to get geometry out, you have to do it through the (proprietary) Maya software interface. I don’t own Maya, and Autodesk doesn’t provide any stand-alone viewers, let alone a file convertor. So, basically, if you’re trying to use .ma files, and you don’t have access to Maya, you’re out of luck.

Except for me, because I’m a wizard or something (see the blog title). Here’s a python script I wrote to rip vertex positions out of .ma files and dump them into a .obj file (which just about any other software package should be able to import). It’s kludgy and terrible, but it worked for the file I needed it for. If it will work for you as well, great. I’d love to see someone knock this into a real Blender file importer for .ma files, but it hasn’t been done so far, so I’m not holding my breath.

The code is all original to me, and is released to the public domain, no rights reserved.

Spammers and Bots get Smarter

Posted in Articles by Ziggy Saturday August 2, 2014 at 14:38

For a while now I’ve been keeping track of my website’s error logs and banning IPs that poke around for weak points (Trying to log in to non-existent pages. Trying multiple standard address paths for the admin panel.) and until recently this has worked alright. I get about 15 queries a day from blocked IPs, so it’s manageable.

The logs often state that there was a “referer” to the page, but this can be easily faked. It’s even more obvious when the “referer” is my own site, and I know quite well that I don’t have any links to these spurious pages in my hand-crafted HTML A normal “attack” looks something like this:

[Sat Jul 19 09:29:09.634756 2014] [:error]  [client 223.240.129.48:4874] File does not exist: /home/dudecon/public_html/minecraft/login.php, referer: http://www.peripheralarbor.com/minecraft/
[Sat Jul 19 09:29:09.007436 2014] [:error]  [client 223.240.129.48:4858] File does not exist: /home/dudecon/public_html/minecraft/post.php
[Sat Jul 19 09:29:08.401537 2014] [:error]  [client 223.240.129.48:4843] File does not exist: /home/dudecon/public_html/minecraft/register.php

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Singapore: Boldly Go!

Posted in Other by Ziggy Friday August 1, 2014 at 04:32

I recently spent a week in Singapore. I think I could safely say that it was one of my least relaxing vacations so far, but that’s entirely my fault. I didn’t even have my wife and kids with me, so I can’t blame anyone but myself. It was also one of the most enlightening and encouraging experiences I’ve had the pleasure of living through. (more…)

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