J290 – Christmas Update 2010!!!1!!eleventy-one!!

I haven’t updated for a month! Whoo~! Because applying to grad school is exhausting! Also classes! Also I’m leaving on a trip today so I had to get lots of things done!

But enough excuses. I’ve been doing random sketching…

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dcomic a42


Well, I suppose it’s time to write another update, eh?

Let’s see… do I have any comments about this page… no, not really. The pin-board thing in panel one turned out better than I’d have thought. In general maybe this page is a little noisy… but I think all of my pages as of late are as such, simply due to the (crappy?) way that I shade at the moment.

Anyway, here’s something relatively old and non-drawing related again. This is a Lego “clock” I built in spring quarter for ART160. It took the majority of the quarter’s weekends to put the damn thing together (really doesn’t help that I can’t really move my Lego shit anywhere), and it may or may not have been worth it. I don’t think I’ve posted it before, and I don’t know why. In retrospect it would’ve been a great way to fill an update.

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dcomic a41


This post was written nearly a month ago, but it didn’t get posted because of the painting stuff.


This is kind of the pivotal point in Pieces. This is also where the art kind of bottoms out, though the difference between this and page 1 really isn’t much.

This next thing is a bit interesting. I worked on Radmind (or rather a Windows port of Radmind) this summer, and the code that I wrote has been audited and actually committed to the sourceforge repository. You can see my name in the commit history starting from about nine days ago (when the code was committed; I actually started back in June). If I’d known the commit history was going to be tacked on without any auditing, I would have tried to be tidier…

I didn’t actually make any major changes to the overall function of the Radmind toolset, but I’m pretty sure I put in a couple thousand lines of code largely for reading and writing to the registry and saving registry data using the Windows API. Mostly a bunch of string manipulation including a bunch of conversions between “wide” characters and, well, “narrow” characters. I think I got pretty good at pointer math and the like after a while; the registry data dumps are binary files written and read one character at a time.

And of course, an obligatory shoutout to the best Windows API function call evar, ConvertSecurityDescriptorToStringSecurityDescriptor. I wish I had pictures to show with this part of the post, but I don’t know of what I would have taken pictures. Maybe my desktop with notepad++ and a bunch of command line windows open…

Anyway, the skateboard. We are effectively making a steel model of what should be aluminum skateboard. It’s been kind of diluted in the grand scheme of things, but I think our board is going to be the only ride-able model in the class. Assuming either of us can actually learn how to ride the thing, that is. It’s hard to tell how much of the difficulty is due to our inability to board, and how much of the difficulty is due to the poor performance of the fairly stiff and heavy device itself.

Anyway, before the project deadline was extended, we had ample discussion concerning how we should make the model. Because we wanted to using tubing, we couldn’t really stick a pattern on the laser CAM and have it do the work for us. We couldn’t really use some of the foam-ish modeling material recommended for this type of prototyping either. We considered wood and PVC but concluded that we’d ultimately have to make the same cuts and fishmouths that we’d have to make it metal tubing.

And that was the problem with the metal tubing. We had to make 22 fishmouths at angles between 5 and 45 degrees and weld it all together all within a week (originally half a week!). The fishmouth setup wasn’t as difficult as we had been led to believe, but it was definitely time consuming and came with a high degree of hand-waving. We had to mill the aluminum blocks ourselves (though in hindsight, I think v-blocks would have done the trick just as well) and eyeball where to make each cut (if we were going to not take a day on every pass at least), which really did make for happy welds in the end.

First time the board was completely assembled. I ultimately did most of the cutting and drilling, and my partner did all of the welding, largely because she was far more proficient at using the arc welder. My oxyacetylene welding isn’t that bad, but I’d been on an arc welder like once between today and a year ago. Even then it took me an entire shop session to make the blocks, largely because I hadn’t used a mill for about a year either.

I’m ultimately not sure if painting it has made it better or worse; I think the red we used turned out more industrial than we expected.

That’s probably it for now. I’m going to do another painting before the month is out. Or at least, that’s the goal…