Creative

Portfolio 2010 Finished.

One of the universities I applied to required a portfolio and so I took some time off to collect some of my works and put it together. Most, if not all of the works included are all created using open-source software (Blender, GIMP, Scribus, QCAD, Lilypond and LAMP setups). Those who track my WIPUP profile might’ve seen it already but because it’s not your regular quick update it deserves a post here.

It’s 27 pages long, inclusive of title page. Comments and kudos are welcome. Go check it out now.

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The very best of thinkMoult

Well, a year has passed and it’s a great time to look back over the year and follow the tradition of mentioning the first letter of names who contributed to that awesome year – in alphabetical order of course. Not that these are the only people, but they did definitely add some flavour.

A. B. C. C. C. D. E. G. H. J. J. K. L. R. T. Z.

We notice the entrance of 3 more than last year, with some remaining and some leaving the list, and a new highscore of 13/26 letters. Notably we have a new A, C, G, J, K, and a loss of an F (his fault for not replying) and an M (my fault for somehow magically forgetting he existed).

Now to start looking back at the best posts on thinkMoult ever. Or something like that. In reverse order we have…

Word processing? Real Men use LaTeX!

This little entry marks my discovery of LaTeX – basically a markup language for documents. I still use LaTeX to this day and don’t see myself stopping anytime soon. It’s also an eye-opener for those who think that Microsoft Office is the be-all and end-all. It’s a fun hidden subject to most people on the street and for that it deserves the 8th article of the year.

Sibelius, Finale, Cakewalk? Real men use Lilypond.

Similar to the previous post we continue the theme of "Real Men". This time introducing the markup of music it also represented the creation of Evan, my first music composition in a long time. It’s also opens up the idea of me releasing more compositions in the future as I continue to recalibrate some priorities.

The problem with Gentoo

This charming little post shows my second public displeasure at Linux – in this case a few personal downfalls with the Gentoo Linux distribution. Despite this hiccup I still very much like Gentoo and continue to use it today. In fact, I _just_ got my wireless working :P It also provoked a few comments from the Gentoo crowd (a hocking 16 to be exact) and made me see Gentoo in a different light. Gentoo fills a very interesting set of niches in the Linux market and I’m glad to be in one of them.

Perspective Failure

This was was also a turning point in some ways more than others – it was just after my third Perspective magazine had been released and I insulted my very own handiwork. Or rather it’s printing. I also jabbed at the entire development process for the magazine, complaining about time restraints, inefficiency, and the purpose behind the entire thing. This consequently led to a very interesting "debate" over issues, me refusing to do the next Perspective issue, and a comeback with my final Perspective creation with a completely refreshed design, a revamped workflow and most importantly, my very own article on the front page hoping to instil a little bit of initiative in my fellow students. This initial spark was supported by a whopping 23 responses – and a lot of private emails, too. It continues to influence certain events even today.

Beware of Google

Originally written back in May this definitely overdue post predicted the imminent takeover of Google. Speaking 7 months later with proof that this has started to escalate prooves intuition to be right after all. And no, the web takeover did not begin long before Google – simply because Java isn’t Google. Nor was anybody else that tried to do it. I remain a steadfast opposer to Google services and boycott it as necessary (with the exception of Google Docs, required for working with the KDE promo team). At the same time, it’s a fun thing to watch. This provoked a decent 12 comments.

The Open-Source Market – Limitless and Forever expanding?

This prequel to the 2nd article of the year earns its 3rd article of the year award. It takes a step back at the open-source market and uses Linux as an analogy to observe several of its common problems and mishaps. It takes a few daring jabs at a system to solve it but which will never be realised through raw social inertia. Definitely a wall of text, some brainfart here and there, but a post I like to rereading myself.

Kaizen and Kakushin’s Practicality in Open-Source Business Models

This memorable post was applauded silently through select IRC channels and takes a very simple and small idea about efficiency and extrapolates it throughout many different aspects of open-source business models. A gem of a post, with some lovely diagrams splattered throughout. It also ends with a few open-ended questions and was definitely something I enjoyed writing and reading again. Simple to understand and a good introduction. Yep, that’s the 2nd article of the year.

How to use CodeIgniter’s OpenID library to integrate OpenID in your existing user system.

The Article Of The Year ™ has one hell of a mouthful of a title. It’s one of the few technical posts I have written, in the form of a guide of a problem I tackled myself. It turns out that this is a pretty popular problem and one that hasn’t been answered due to the complexity of answering it. I feel I did a decent job in providing a solution understandable to most people and reports in the comments show that it has worked – boosting my geek cred considerably!

It also wins due to brute force of having 45 comments (and counting!)

’till next year!

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Happy 2010!

Before anything happens let me start by saying how I bet my Christmas was better than yours. It’s probably the best Christmas I’ve ever had in my life.

We arrived in Hong Kong a few days before Christmas and then transferred for the 14 hour flight to the Toronto Pearson Airport with a chair that wouldn’t recline and 50 bad movies to choose from. After the ordeal (don’t ever watch "Watchmen") we ambled out to meet our relative(s). Say, did you know that 0.3% of road accidents in Canada involve moose? Someone needs to tell me why they let moose behind the wheel.

The next few days were spent (after loitering in our Grandma’s house) in the little aging town of Belleville to help move our other Grandma’s house. You know that feeling when you know somebody and think it’s normal until you suddenly realise it isn’t? Or rather if you’ve seen the film "A Beautiful Mind" when they walk into Nash’s office and see what he’s been doing all that time:

Yeah, it’s something like that but a good 10 times more shocking.

To abruptly change the subject to a considerably less vague one we then hopped onto a train to Quebec. If anybody tells you that you need to speak French in Quebec, they lie – everybody there can speak English fine and just conceal it to poke fun at tourists. If anybody tells you that all Christmasses in Quebec are white, they’re not lying – it snows like it doesn’t care you exist. -15 degrees on the street and the most fattening fast foods in the world (Poutine – a French-Canadian concoction comprised of french fries, gravy, and cheese curds) is definitely something to reckon with.

The Christmas day itself was spent in Quebec. Then it was back to Toronto.

I was introduced to a lovely tradition on Boxing day known as lemon gift giving. This is where you wrap up all the terrible "gifts" that nobody wants and you give them to people. You’re then allowed to trade (well "trade" with only one party’s consent) a maximum 3 times until you get stuck with the lesser evil. I ended up with a large size union jack. Oh, aren’t we so Canadian.

The rest of the plot of this mother of all summaries of a holiday recount was something to do with maple syrup, those heavenly Decadent cookies again and something to do with a snowstorm in Philadelphia.

The moral of the story is that when you grow up, you should definitely buy a fooseball table.