Getting ready to travel, and finishing up everything that needs to be done for my work project. I'm rather pleased at all the systems I put in place for the project I have been working on. I have not touched the project in 5 years, but it has been pretty easy to pick it up and extend things. One item that is rather important is the release procedure. Naturally the changes I will be making go to the customer. We had started a version control system before the company dissolved, but of course it is no longer around. But I had been using my own set of scripts to do releases. We were a small company that moved from theory to practice very quickly. I was quite use to getting a call in the morning and shipping off software to the field by the afternoon. And it was important to have copies of what I released. This system has a lot of software pieces: there is software for two controllers, and an HMI that change regularly. The HMI is web-based, meaning there is also a web server, PHP, and Firefox as part of the software package. I had put together scripts to deal with all of this. The controller software archived the binary every time a new build was made. It did this by searching for the time/date code stamp in the binary using the C macros __TIME__ and __DATE__. This way, the binary file had the time stamp of the date built right in. In addition, there is a script called "archive" which can be used to make a snapshot of the source code. This is run after a build when the software is to be released to the field. The HMI setup had a "release" script, which automatically increments version numbers and determines which controller software it is compatible with. All the HMI software is backward compatible, but may or may not be forward compatible (although it usually is). So I made sure to relearn all these system for the release I was about to do. Monday is a holiday for this company, so I will travel Tuesday morning. And I feel I'm pretty ready.
Completed an other rough rendering in Kerkythea today.
This is one of the first times I was able to get Kerkythea to actually render the scene. After a lot of playing around I found the reason I kept having failures during the mesh building process was due to the number of light sources I had in the scene. Although I loved all my wall lamps, Kerkythea did not. So I removed them and added a few single point sources. This did the trick. I let this small animation render over night for a proof of concept. It runs about 30 seconds and has an MIDI version of a song written by Erica. Turns out the 30 second run time is too fast, and I need to slow down the walk through. I also want to do a recording of Erica playing the piece she has written on Cello. Now that I have the animation rendering actually working, I can get back to the updates needed to make it happen. I'm working on a new walk path, and point source light fixtures. I have to travel next week, so my hopes are to have something ready to render while I am away. Big things to Erica for her work on getting me a background track. The MIDI version doesn't do the piece justice, but I like the tune and I think it's fitting for a Victorian era house.
My good soldering iron died a long time ago, and I have been using a $5 iron since. I found I was unable to desolder large connections as it lacked the heat to melt such a large area. I miss my old iron... Pictured is Tazz and little Griffin.
Doing some contract work over winter break on a project I have not touched in 5 years. After pulling everything out of the attic I found I needed a parallel port cable, and no one carries them anymore. I found a place in downtown Beloit that works with old computer, and they had one. Finding a computer with an actual parallel port is an other issue. Turns out that USB to parallel port adapters only create an LPT port, but they do not reserve the I/O space typically setup for parallel ports (0x378). So I could not use my adapter. Since Tyson and I had upgraded Steve's computer for his birthday, he had an older tower sitting idle. In it's day it was top-of-the-line, and included a parallel port. So I have about the best setup I can ask for with this old hardware.