Isqua Istari

The Wise Wizards

Christmas Times

Posted in Other by Ziggy Thursday December 25, 2014 at 18:34

As I am aware that a few of my non-facebook friends read this blog, be it known that there are a bunch of Christmas photos up on my website. Specifically, in this gallery:

Grendel Lives On

Posted in Other by Ziggy Thursday November 20, 2014 at 21:27

My six year old computer failed to POST when I pulled it out of mothballs after several years of disuse. I figured the graphics card might have been the problem (based on previous issues), so I bought a new one and installed it.
Still failed to POST.
Disconnected the harddrives, the graphics card, still nothing. Finally, in desperation, I pulled the memory out, which made the computer quite unhappy. On replacing the sticks one at a time, it appeared that one was bad, but reversing the sticks (swapping the slots they were installed in) seemed to fix the problem… and now everything is fine?

I’m posting this from the computer itself, so it seems like it worked. Except now HTTPS won’t verify… maybe it has to do with me still running XP.

Toad(icus)’ List of Awesome KSP Mods

Posted in Other by Toad Thursday October 16, 2014 at 18:02

I play KSP.  I also write mods for KSP.  I further think that my opinions are generally super good ones.  So, I present to you my list of awesome KSP mods, along with justification for why I think they’re worth downloading.  Why am I putting it on this blog?  So that I can keep track of it, and revise it when my thoughts change, and so that you, if you wish it, may benefit.


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.

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…)

Personal Programming History of the Toad Kind

Posted in Other by Toad Wednesday June 25, 2014 at 10:55

After publishing his own personal programming history, Ziggy asked if I might like to write my own.  Since I don’t do a lot of writing, was referred to in the article, and mostly since he asked me to do so, I decided to go ahead and see what I could remember.

The first action similar to “computer programming” that I can remember is assisting my dad (a career computer programmer and information systems developer) in programming runs of EPROM integrated controllers for trackballs that he was developing as a side business.  It wasn’t actually programming at all: my job was to plug in a chip, press the “up” arrow twice in a terminal emulator and run the command from history to erase it, press the “up” arrow twice more and run the command to write the firmware to the chip, unplug the chip, drop it in a chip tube, and repeat.  I feel like I probably did hundreds of them (in fact, it was probably only dozens), and I loved every minute of the monotony, just because it got me closer to “working” on a computer.


Today is an Excellent Day

Posted in Other by Ziggy Wednesday April 16, 2014 at 01:58

Woke up this morning, soft morning light filled the room.

Ate a quick filling breakfast, pet a tiny cute animal while looking out the window as the sun came out from behind the clouds.

Watching different sized rain droplets out of the garage as they fell at distinct angles in the wind.

Got on my motorcycle, drove in the sun as the rain fell.

Rainbow and freeway and wind and powerful engine.

Got to work where I’m learning about how to command giant industrial robots.

Sold my motorcycle to a good owner for a good price.

Cleaned my desk, inside and out.

Talked to a guy about Japan for a while, where I soon will go.

Had dinner with my second cousin.

Came home and talked to my wife over the internet.

Cascading Failure: Lumber Edition

Posted in Other,Short Stories by Ziggy Wednesday December 4, 2013 at 13:27

Sometimes things just seem to “go wrong”. My suspicion is that this is a result of putting off solving problems until they build up and overflow into non-related areas. Here’s an example from today.

I need to shoot in a part with the laser tracker in building B. Sadly, the genius laser tracker guy is out of the country (doing laser tracker stuff), and the backup genius is also overseas. There’s a few standby marginally competent laser tracker guys on the project, but they can’t figure out my part.

So we went to get help from another project. (more…)

Thinking for Fun and Profit

Posted in Delusions of Grandeur,Other by Ziggy Tuesday October 8, 2013 at 22:12

Some like to sweat. Some run for fun. They like to run in the hot hot sun.

I do not like to work this way. If I must run, I’ll run away.

Instead I like to learn and think. I like to think and think and think.

And when I think, my thoughts, they stink! But when they don’t, I use some ink. (more…)

New Baby!

Posted in Children,Other by Ziggy Saturday June 29, 2013 at 11:15

Name: Theodore Valorous Spooner

Weight: 3.56kg (7lb 13oz)

Length: 51cm (20in)

DOB: 2013-06-28T15:05Z

IMG_4071 IMG_4063

Trivia: We had trouble coming up with a good name. I was fascinated with Väinämöinen for a bit, but Anna talked me out of it. Were thinking about Alfred for a while too. The colorful hat and blanket (and booties, but no photos) were made by my very talented mother.

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