Category: Projects

OspreyForth Update, January 12

OspreyForth is now on Sourceforge! I wanted to have OspreyForth be more complete before uploading it, but I decided to go ahead an upload it. An error with Git on my end caused me to set up a Mercurial repo, which is where the code is currently held (perhaps I can do some kind of repo-sharing in the future).

I still have to set up the wiki pages for the project, but first I’d like to work on some example projects to show off the usability of the code.

The limits of a decentralized social network

I like the idea of a decentralized social network. Everything is a node and all the nodes interact, allowing users to control of their content and information and so forth.

That said, I think a serious drawback is general discovery. With a messageboard, web forum or the like, one just has to peruse the posts and threads and jump in.

With Friendica, it seems a bit more complicated. I have to hope the friend suggestions function updates with an interesting person to follow, or I have to find a server that is open to the public to see what interesting conversations are going on. It’s the same way with the other social networks (GNUSocial, Mastodon, etc).

Of course, what I could do is sign up with another server, but that seems to bypass the purpose of a decentralized network to begin with. An account on another server means my information is on machines under someone else’s control. It’s the Facebook issue again on a smaller scale.

I’m not sure what the solution is, or even if there is one. It just seems like the whole decentralized social media concept is nearly there, but not quite.

Read the original post on our social network!

OspreyForth Update, September 3

This post is a quick update and summary of my project thus far. Things have been progressing reasonably well, but there are always hurdles, so one can only hope for the best. View full article »

I wish I could pull Friendica posts into my WordPress site

A thought on the difficulties of managing a social networking site and a personal website…

A couple of things have caused me not to post to my site as often. One is that I’m busy. Aside from work I have quite a few projects I’m working on. The other is that I seem to spend more time on Friendica than this website.

I don’t converse with very many people on Friendica, mind you. Almost no one ever responds to my posts. I do pull in some very interesting feeds, though. It would be nice to repost those feeds into my timeline and have it somehow show up on the blog.

I can’t spend equal time among both. One inevitably is going to be the primary.

OspreyForth Update, March 9

I feel like I’ve fiddled with pForth long enough. There are basically three Forth interpreters I’ve tried so far. The first is FICl, which I was successful in using many years ago. GForth showed promise as well, but I don’t like how the interpreter incorporated extensions. I also didn’t like that GForth didn’t support callbacks, something I knew I’d need down the road. pForth certainly looked promising, but the fact that I was having such a hard time incorporating C strings kind of deflated me. Since I am looking for Objective-C integration, I need reliable C string integration as well.

This leads me to think that I should go back to FICL. It was meant to be embedded in C-like software, so the C string issue isn’t a problem. Plus, I got OspreyForth working before using FICL. My great concern is that the FICL software has not seen much work since 2004. That may be because it’s already in its optimal state, but I’m still concerned I’m going to be attaching myself to an obsolete system. GForth and pForth are at least receiving regular updates.

I think I’m going to have to bite the bullet on this one and hope for the best…

OspreyForth Update, November 13

It’s been some time since I delivered an update on OspreyForth, so here it is. View full article »

Progress on OspreyForth, Aug. 30

A project update on OspreyForth. View full article »

New (old) project: Osprey Forth, an OpenStep Forth

Announcing a revival of an old Forth project: OspreyForth! View full article »

A Darth Vader Illustration

Darth Vader Illustration for a contest

Darth Vader Illustration for a contest

A few weeks back I decided to enter a contest to create the best image featuring the new Disney Infinity 3.0 game figures. For those that don’t know, the figures interact with the game, storing and sharing information. Had I won, the prize would have been a starter pack valued at around $80 dollars or so. Unfortunately, I misread the rules and submitted my work too late to qualify. Rather than just throw it out, I figured it would be worthwhile to discuss how I went about making it. A video accompanies this post, which you can see at the bottom of the page.

The Sketch

The rules of the contest were that the image had to have a Disney Infinity figure in it. There weren’t too many rules beyond that. I happened to get a hold of a Darth Vader figure for the game and I thought it would be cool to have Darth Vader hold Darth Vader. The initial art was done with a 4h lead pencil and finished with a 4b lead pencil. I was going to use acrylic paint to create an underpainting, but I felt like things were taking too long so instead I scanned the final drawing into Photoshop and went to work there.

The Background

I covered the illustration in a brown background before overlaying red and black clouds. The initial idea was to have lightening erupt from the clouds in the background, but at the last minute I felt this would be too busy. The cloud layer is slightly transparent so as to mix with the background layer. In retrospect, I should have blurred the background layer as the brush strokes were with hard edges.

Painting Darth Vader

Darth Vader is largely enveloped in a neutral black. at least, it seems that way to me. The material can be highly reflective depending on the part of the outfit one is looking at. For example, the helmet is highly reflective, and the arms and gloves are generally pretty reflective. The cloak and flowing parts of the outfit seem closer to a matte finish, though.

I began by filling out Darth Vader’s outfit with a dark grey that was mostly neutral but a bit on the cool side. After this, I began erasing various areas to reveal a white layer underneath. I did this because painting white on top of the grey didn’t really feel like the result I was going for. The highly reflective areas such as the helmet, breastplate and arms had large white areas to acknowledge the intense light source I was going to add in.

Final Effects

With Darth Vader done, I added in an image of the Darth Vader Disney Infinity figure. After placing the figure I added a glow with lightening as if Darth Vader were creating a version of himself. This would be the primary light source for the image. After that I played with levels for a bit until I was happy and sent the image off.

Final Thoughts

I wish I had done the work in acrylic before scanning it in. I still have the line drawing on my table, so someday I may do just that. I think perhaps I would make Darth Vader a bit darker and add some other effects, but I would have to think about it.

What do you think? Let me know in the comments below!