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Skipper’s Berth
Posted: 24 May 2012 06:55 AM   [ Ignore ]
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(Berth as in place to drop anchor!)  Glad we’re back.

In case you have not known, please be advised that my Buckingham Palace model has been uploaded to ShareCG for a week or so.

http://www.ShareCG.com/v/62075/view/5/3D-Model/Buckingham-Palace

It is in Poser format and is going great guns.  Although with care and attention it is possible to convert for D|S, it seems that some people have been having difficulty, so we are at work in order to produce a D|S-only upload too.  Sorry for the delay - RL keeps butting in.

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The perennial problem with democracies is that of choosing leaders.  It’s like picking teachers of sex education in schools - those who would be good at it don’t want to do it, while those who are keen would best be behind iron bars.

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Posted: 24 May 2012 07:09 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Yay Skippers floated into town. grin

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Chohole’s Space        Neil’Vs Freebies and stuff        Autumn Bryce Rendering Challenge        September Freebie Challenge
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Posted: 24 May 2012 07:21 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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I salute you,  Skipper!  grin

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Posted: 24 May 2012 07:37 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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grin  A 21-gun salute to the new Daz, to members old and new, and especially to Cho, our moderator.

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The perennial problem with democracies is that of choosing leaders.  It’s like picking teachers of sex education in schools - those who would be good at it don’t want to do it, while those who are keen would best be behind iron bars.

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Posted: 24 May 2012 11:47 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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It may be remembered that when the Castle Combe model was under development a year ago, considerable trouble was experienced with textures.  The cause turned out to be one that is inherent in many (or perhaps all) computers, where deep down in the operating system at Assembler Language level, they confuse words found in user data (such as texture names) with commands or part-commands that occur within their own operating system.  In the case of Castle Combe, the problem proved to be the word “stack” and whenever it cropped up, the program got its knickers in a twist and swapped textures. (Well, what do you expect?  It’s only a stupid bunch of wires.)

A similar thing occurred recently with the Buckingham Palace model, but this time around, errors did not occur nearly so frequently or so obviously, presumably because the errant word or command was not often used by the system.  Nonetheless, errors did occur from time to time but having been led to regard computers as being almost incapable of error, one wasted many hours or days in search of mistakes of one’s own - sometimes non-existent. Then it happened that one day the stonework of the BP model turned a violent blue and close inspection revealed it to be texture from the police box.  A moment later, the stone turned jet black, while the police box vanished entirely.  Oh wow.  At last one realised the depth, nature and cause of many errors - the computer itself consistently screws up. The new offending word was “port” and it happened because I had used the words “portland stone” as the name of a texture.  Portland stone is a very beautiful almost white stone that occurs only at Purbeck in Dorset; most of London is built of it, so of course one used the correct name in order to distinguish it from granite, basalt, sandstone or whatever.  Obviously, we would have the same problem if we used the words “portland cement” or “port wine”, or maybe words that simply contain the offending letters such as “transport”, “export”, “sportsman” or even “top or toe.”  The solution was obvious - one had to replace each and every occurrence of “portland stone” with the simple “stone.”  That was easily enough said, but time-consuming in the extreme to carry out.  It worked though, and having cleared an accumulating backlog of errors, at last one was able to complete the model.

The very worst kinds of errors are those that are intermittent in nature - those that happen only sometimes and yet often do not.  If a machine stops working completely or misbehaves every time that we take a particular action then it is relatively easy to uncover the cause and to correct it, but intermittent problems can be the very devil to sort out. There is also the worrying thought that when the computer swapped textures the results had been immediately obvious, but what about unobserved effects?  Could objects be moved, changed in size or distorted without my knowledge? Could my printer cache be purged or my e-mail lost?  These things are not likely, but neither was it likely that my stonework should turn blue. It might very well be that Poser, Daz Studio and many other programs all commit atrocities that we know nothing about - unseen and unsuspected - not as the result of some programmers’ malice or incompetence but simply because of a fundamental weakness at the very heart of the system. This is infuriating and erodes confidence in what one is trying to do and the medium in which we are trying to do it.  Perhaps one should abandon all current computer art and return to brush and canvas?  At least the means are completely under our control and do not go wandering off on spurious missions of their own.  I do not load a brush with titanium white and have it turn red when I apply it to the canvas, nor do I need to remember to pick up charcoal with my left hand before transferring it to the right for fear it be a Tuesday with Mars in the ascendant, for we all know that such a combination of circumstances can cause one’s chair to collapse very abruptly.

Mornington Crescent !!!!! (Yay!)

As with custom and usage within society, so one learns a mass of unwritten rules only very slowly.  Clearly, “stack” and “port” are words to be avoided at any cost, but what others are there?  How many of them and in what context? Can you be sure about that?  Without an intimate knowledge of the operating system, we can only guess and be alert to the possibility.  As a good prophylactic measure, from now on it should be one’s habit to avoid plain text wherever possible and in any of the known human languages. Certainly, I intend to exclude vowels from texture names in the future and will probably add a number or symbol.  Thus, “yellow brick” might become “yllwbrck2” or “ylw_brk7”.  One cannot see a computer confusing that with anything else in its environment, but you never know.  Aye, there’s the rub; computers are developing language and rules of their own.  They’re not going to tell us about it - oh no - we have to learn them for ourselves through a long and painful process of trial and error.

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The perennial problem with democracies is that of choosing leaders.  It’s like picking teachers of sex education in schools - those who would be good at it don’t want to do it, while those who are keen would best be behind iron bars.

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Posted: 24 May 2012 12:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Don’t know if I said thanks yet for the latest gift, but THANKS! smile

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Coordinator & updater for KCTC Freebies *Remembering France*

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Posted: 24 May 2012 01:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Hi and thanks for the updated Buckingham Palace

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The person who makes no mistakes usually doesn’t make anything—-Edward J. Phelps

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Posted: 24 May 2012 06:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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YAY!...Skipper’s boat just docked! Welcome back friend.

grin

In rebuttle to your comment above, maybe that is why many textures are named with just numbers and unless the number 666 does not send your computer to hell, though confusing for tracking down certain textures, it seems to work real good. MEPS!

Also, don’t forget long names for texture files! Some progies can’t handle that even…hehehe.

tongue wink

 

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I am not this way because I am a musician, I am a musician because I am this way.

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Freebie Challenge Rules! - http://www.daz3d.com/forums/viewthread/286/

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Posted: 25 May 2012 09:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Thank you so much for making a daz specific model.  I truly appreciate that!

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Former Post count 2152.  Somehow adding this makes it hurt a bit less. 

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Posted: 26 May 2012 12:18 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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What operating system managed to translate plain English words into machine language?  Machine language is hexidecimal numbers, and eventually it gets down to binary.  Only very “high level” programming languages use English words.  Assembly language and machine language are all digits.  It has to be that way for the speed that is required at that level in the computer.  With all the operations that a computer is expected to perform per second, it would fail miserably if it had to translate English words into the machine language first!  I suspect that the operating system is not the culprit, but rather it is indeed the 3D application that is not coded correctly.  The word Portland should be able to pass from one module to another within the application without being sent to the operating system.  It sounds like the proper method for passing a string was not used somewhere.  I don’t know about Poser, but it seems to me that DS is written in C# or C++, because that’s what you need to use the SDK.  I know that in C++, you have to be very carefull how you pass some parameters to functions…done the wrong way and you can really mess with memory in other areas of the application, and if you really do something wrong you can crash the operating system.  Anyway, this seems very odd, very odd indeed.

Dana

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Posted: 26 May 2012 12:47 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Maybe I have the terms wrong, but I remember that 50 years ago one could write in English, for example instructing the CPU to transfer the contents of <address1> to the register, add contents of <address2> and save the results in <address3>.  I always thought of this as assembler language, automatically translated into binary and acted upon, but it may have been called machine code.  Whatever it is called, it seems to me that this is the level at which things are going wrong.

And it DOES, believe me.  I have not invented the examples that I have given.  Poser, Daz and countless other programs have inherited this 50 yo system and only lately has one seen signs of a new generation of programmers doing something about it. 

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The perennial problem with democracies is that of choosing leaders.  It’s like picking teachers of sex education in schools - those who would be good at it don’t want to do it, while those who are keen would best be behind iron bars.

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Posted: 26 May 2012 02:01 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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skipper25 - 26 May 2012 12:47 AM

Maybe I have the terms wrong, but I remember that 50 years ago one could write in English, for example instructing the CPU to transfer the contents of <address1> to the register, add contents of <address2> and save the results in <address3>.  I always thought of this as assembler language, automatically translated into binary and acted upon, but it may have been called machine code.  Whatever it is called, it seems to me that this is the level at which things are going wrong.

And it DOES, believe me.  I have not invented the examples that I have given.  Poser, Daz and countless other programs have inherited this 50 yo system and only lately has one seen signs of a new generation of programmers doing something about it. 

yep thats what we did rolleyes

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Posted: 26 May 2012 01:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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skipper25 - 26 May 2012 12:47 AM

Maybe I have the terms wrong, but I remember that 50 years ago one could write in English, for example instructing the CPU to transfer the contents of <address1> to the register, add contents of <address2> and save the results in <address3>.  I always thought of this as assembler language, automatically translated into binary and acted upon, but it may have been called machine code.  Whatever it is called, it seems to me that this is the level at which things are going wrong.

 

I have no doubt that these errors are happening.  But for the computer to act upon machine language or assembly language from English words, there would need to be a translator in between.  My suspicion is that something that is being done within the software is being translated because of improper programming practices, or perhaps the bad practice of using “undocumented features” which are undocumented because you can’t depend on them being there the next time there’s an update to the OS.  Those kind of things often lead to very odd happenings.  They are popular for some because they give an “easy” way to get something done.  But easy isn’t always the best practice.

I don’t really know of these situations, because I’ve never run into them.  I don’t know what operating system(s) in which the errors are happening, either.  Some older OSs are no longer supported and some of the changes in newer versions may be used by modern programming languages and are breaking in older OSs.  Even Windows XP Pro is just barely supported…it’s minimal.  They were going to drop support, but they got a lot of complaints.  It’s a possibility.  *shrug*

 

Dana

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Posted: 27 May 2012 02:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Thanks for the input, folks. 
.
Anyone who has formatted their hard drive and rebuilt the entire system layer by layer from the bottom up begins to see it all like an inverted pyramid.  We are all busy, busy, busy, tinkering with the topmost facade, but each frothy layer depends entirely upon the correct functioning of a smaller layer underneath, down and down, until at bottom everything depends on a few binary operations, like a handful of bricks supporting a vast structure.
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I often wonder why it is that the team-heavy associations like Microsoft, Daz, Smith Micro and all the rest do not set a bunch of their guys to ensuring the complete integrity of these bottom layers,  or why - having seen or experienced the problems outlined for themselves - they fail to see that it is not in their own best interests to allow this precarious state of affairs to continue.  Wouldn’t that be better than pursuing the latest sexy gizmo?  Why fuss about the topmost fancy pinnacle when a brick in the basement may crumble at any moment and bring the whole thing down?
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But there - we may philosophise, shrug and tut-tut as much as we wish, but in the end we have to cope with what we have.  As I have said, one of the best ways is to avoid English words in texture names.
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I wish that at the >> VERY LEAST << a list of these dodgy words could be published. 

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The perennial problem with democracies is that of choosing leaders.  It’s like picking teachers of sex education in schools - those who would be good at it don’t want to do it, while those who are keen would best be behind iron bars.

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Posted: 27 May 2012 09:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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skipper25 - 27 May 2012 02:14 AM

Wouldn’t that be better than pursuing the latest sexy gizmo? 


Unfortunately, sexy sells, whereas building blocks that are not seen by most are considered boring.  Why else would people run to buy cars that fall apart, blow up, tip over, but look so damned cool?  This can be seen in every facet of society.  Sexy sells.  rolleyes


Dana

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Posted: 27 May 2012 10:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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LOL.  You’re right, of course.  Heigh ho.
.
On the same topic, I had hoped to get the DS-only version of the palace uploaded yesterday (or today at the very latest) but - lo and behold!!! - displacement mappings are appearing all over the place and entirely wrongly.  Could it be - damn! - that the same deep-laid error is screwing me again?  Like regular textures, displacement mappings are also .jpg and loaded under the scene/surfaces tab.  I’m getting fed up of this.  I’ll eat, have a beer, calm down and review it all.

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The perennial problem with democracies is that of choosing leaders.  It’s like picking teachers of sex education in schools - those who would be good at it don’t want to do it, while those who are keen would best be behind iron bars.

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