Category Archives: Technical Comments

Comments related to the setup of the site and tools used.

A Blendery Weekend

I’m finally getting around to learning some blender. Not really functional yet, but headed in the right direction.


I watched a bunch of tutorial videos and read through my ‘intro to blender’ book (my more detailed blender book is 2.7 based and thus doesn’t really talk to the current UI). I also pulled the git source onto jabberwock in the basement and successfully ran a build. I’m not sure I’ll ever get involved with blender development, but it seemed like something nice to have around and was very straightforward to do.

I took a cursory look at what is involved in building blender extensions. Looks as if they’re all written in python. This surprised me a bit as I wouldn’t have expected python to have the necessary performance but it certainly would seem to make the development process easier. I’ll probably look at this stuff in more detail once I have the basics of running the tool well in hand.

Sunday evening I sat down to try to build something with the things I’d learned and realized how many gaps I had left. I think I need to print out a blender hot-key cheat sheet for 2.8 and then dive back into some of the early tutorial pieces and get some basic shapes built.

I am particularly interested in walking through the steps from blender creation to import into unity and material manipulation on that side. For game pieces I very much want to be able to adjust the color/textures on parts of a given item programmatically while using the nicer models that can be generated in blender. I expect this can be done, I’ll just have to work through the details.


I’ve started looking at text in VR space options. Mostly watching some presentations on text and in-game UI alternatives so far. I’ll probably try out a few things over this coming week in the evenings as time permits.

I also took a quick look at in-game VR keyboards…doesn’t look as is there’s anything in unity itself. There are a few choices on the unity store that are available for purchase. I think I may just look at quickly rolling my own when I need one.

I’m thinking that once I get to looking at online, multi-player options there will be a need to text input. The VR keyboard in google earth seemed reasonably usable so I’m optimistic that I may be able to build one that works decently.

I once again saw references to the Godot game engine. As a fully open-source option it looks interesting, but at the moment I’ve got enough investment in unity that I’m not inclined to go looking at other choices too closely. I may take a quick look and pull the code just out of curiosity.

Lighter Transfer Gear for Vacation Trips

Trying to slim down my vacation gear. Not going to go too far because the SLR and lenses aren’t optional, but I’m hoping to leave my core-i7 laptop behind while still maintaining the ability to transfer pictures to storage hard drives at the end of each day.

I always have my Pixel-C tablet along for a variety of uses and mostly wind up on that device for routine email or web checks. I’m hoping to use it as my display device using RDP and a wireless travel router.

My Pixel-C tablet.

I just bought a small travel router that also has a reserve battery function and micro SD reader that should allow the tablet and the computer to see each other (and to see the internet as well I’m expecting).

So far the new router has been charging (and getting a bit warmer than I like, but it is the first charge) so I haven’t had a chance to try it out. It uses an app on phones and tablets. I’m expecting that it will also connect to a windows PC if everything is set up correctly.

Intel NUC 6i5

I’ll be using the Intel NUC that normally acts as my ‘test target’ for software sandbox work at home. Its small, decently fast and has four USB ports and a full sized HDMI with wireless and bluetooth built in. As long as it can connect to the travel router I expect everything should work out reasonably.

The final pieces in the puzzle are a rather nice bluetooth keyboard and mouse. These should give me options…I can use the NUC with the room television and associate the keyboard and mouse directly with the NUC or I can use the tablet over RDP and connect the input devices to the tablet.







Our trip to Boscon next weekend will likely act as a dry run (assuming I can get everything set up to my satisfaction before then). Should be interesting and allow a slightly smaller footprint along the way. An additional bonus here is that I like this new bluetooth keyboard much better than the older one I’ve used for travel blogging in the past. It has a nice heft to it and the keys are pleasant to type on. Should make the occasional blog post along the way much nicer to put together.


Considering adding a separate pictures blog at ninecrows

I’ve been busy with other things lately have not been taking or post-processing many pictures. I’m looking at getting some of that going again and getting a small gallery of my shots up on the site here.

I’ve considered adding a separate picture gallery wordpress instance in the past. To date I’ve kept things here on the discussion blog. I think that if I’m going to post more than the occasional picture or set of pictures that a free-standing blog instance would do the job better.

More to  come as this gells…

Landing page is now in place…

CrowsIconbut is not all that pretty. The URL now redirects to landingpage which is a static page based wordpress instance.

The instance at landing page is very spartan at the moment. Just two links and a bit of text. I’ll need to get some artwork built up to make it more welcoming and accessible soon. Expect some experimentation as I figure out how to best support the landing page function.

I wound up using a redirect rather than mod_rewrite. I’m not sure why, but the rewrite rule that worked on my local linux mirror of the site did not work at all on my hosted site. I’ll have to look into that at some future date. For now, what is there should do the job nicely.

Local Mirror is now Working…

Over the weekend I thought I had my local site mirror up and running on my Ubuntu Linux machine (leviathan). Yesterday evening it became clear to me that while the site looked ok at the landing page, it knew that it was at and not leviathan and it was pulling database information from the main hosting and not the local MariaDB instance (update a page on the main site and see the changes on leviathan tells the whole story). Continue reading Local Mirror is now Working…