Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Customer Service Anticipation Nightmare...

I've gone from anticipating good news about a simple change to getting down right pissed off.

It's soon going to be 72 hours of Dell Customer Service for a simple address change... still not done. What the...

Heads are about to roll and supervisors contacted. I won't be fucked with much longer.

6:00pm EDIT: A manager (the direct manager to the agent) has been contacted.
6:27pm EDIT: Reply from the manager stating that he will oversee the matter personally
6:47pm EDIT: Order with the correct address has gone through.

Finally a settled matter!!!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Customer Service Anticipation...

I can't wait until this is all settled...

Stéphanie is finally getting her laptop. A Dell Inspiron 1525. Since I'm the one with the computer knowledge and the credit card (don't get any ideas, she's going to pay the laptop), I customized and ordered it for her from Dell Canada's Website.

The problems comes from two major elements: 1) we both have Dell Online accounts; and 2) Website glitch. Basically some of the information taken for the order were taken from my (updated) account (as it should) and some vital information were taken from her account. One of which is the delivery address.

Even if I was sick two nights ago and feeling tired all day yesterday because of it, I still had to spend my evening with Dell's customer service.

I'm not going to bad mouth Dell's customer service since there's nothing to bad-mouth. I'm just getting sick for waiting for a validation and confirmation call or email.

I'll keep y'all updated...

Friday, April 25, 2008

What are you Playing this Weekend?

I forgot to post this the past two weekends. I'm going to spend the weekend back home with my parents, so portable is the way to go. I'm still debating wether to bring my DS (Animal Crossing: Wild World) or my PSP (Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII).

So, what are you playing this weekend? =)

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Fibonacci Rectangle Not a Golden Rectangle?

I recently started studying φ (Phi), the Golden Ratio.

One of the thing I noticed a lot while searching for information on the Web is that people often use the Fibonacci Rectangle and Spiral to demonstrate a Golden Rectangle and vice-versa. Are they that similar? After all, the Fibonacci Sequence's ratio is a) not the same as φ, and b) not constant (see the graph below).

The difference is seen when building the two rectangles using their own respected techniques. The Golden Rectangle is basically built from the biggest square to the smallest with a length to width (l/w) ratio of φ. The extra length to the square (creating the rectangle of φ/1) is itself another Golden Rectangle that you divide the perfect square out and obtain another Golden Rectangle, and so on—going inward, creating the Golden Spiral.

For the curious, here is how you build a Golden Rectangle.

Golden Spiral

The Fibonacci Rectangle is built from the smallest Square outward, following the Fibonacci Sequence.

(0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13 ,21, 34, 55...)
When n > 1 → Fn = Fn-1 + Fn-2

So you start with a two 1unit² square, then build a 2unit² square under, then 3 units, then 5, then 8.

Fibonacci Spiral

If you build the Fibonacci Rectangle first and stop at a width of 8 units (the 8unit² square), you will get a length of 13 (the square next to it is 5 units, so 8+5=13... oh look, it's the next number in the Fibonacci Sequence). Trying to build the Golden Rectangle with an 8x8 units square will immediatly show you the problem. You end up with a length of 12.94427191 (4 + sqrt(80)) instead of 13, like the Fibonacci Rectangle.

Also, The Golden Rectangle is "Golden" because it's ratio (l/w) is the Golden Ratio. The Golden Rectangle built here is built with the Golden Ratio. The Fibonacci Rectangle has a ratio of 1.625 instead (13/8).

One important thing to note is that the bigger the Fibonacci ratio or Rectangle, the closer to the Golden Ratio you get. The median of the Fibonacci ratios is about equal to φ.

Fibonacci Graph
Graph of the ratios of the Fibonacci Sequence

No matter how close you believe the Fibonacci Sequence is related to the Golden Ratio, you cannot see both Rectangles/Spirals the same way. They are similar, but only the Golden Spiral is truly "Golden".

Friday, April 18, 2008

masteringMaya: Advanced Modeling - Arrived!

Very quick post to tell you guys that masteringMaya: Advanced Modeling arrived today. Thanks to Angela for doing all she could to fix my mistake (Postal (zip) Code).

This is going to be a good weekend for me to work on Maya Fundamentals. I'm going to be alone for most of the weekend (Steph has study group meetings throughout the weekend)... unless I get my hands on [PSP] Crisis Core: FFVII. I hope I don't get tempted to buy the game, or else Maya is going to hell for the weekend :P.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Neil Berkett, The World Disagrees With You!

"This net neutrality thing is a load of bollocks."

Those are the words of Neil Berkett, the new CEO of Virgin Media (the second largest ISP in the UK) in an interview with the Royal Television Society's Television magazine. What's even more alarming is that Virgin Media has already started discussions to companies and providers to "destroy" Net Neutrality.

Virgin Media will be controlling the bandwidth/speed of their users by litteraly limitting the bandwidth to Website that don't give money to Virgin Media.
"We promise to put any website or service that won't pay Virgin a premium to reach its customers into the 'Internet bus lane'."

I'm usually not the type to get involved in any "activism", but Net Neutrality is very important to me. I've been using a computer since 1989 and the internet since 1995, when it was out to the public in different Internet Cafés and to the technologicaly-advanced home-users. The internet is "freedom". The freedom of speech, the freedom of not being rejected, the freedom of getting the information that you want or need, the freedom of small people/companies with big ideas to get attention.

Without Net Neutrality, the internet as we know it would cease to exist. There would be not more bloggers, no more vloggers on Youtube - heck, probably no more Youtube, no more Myspace and Facebook, no more forums, no more small company websites... The internet would be the home of big companies with big wallets, and controlled information.

If you are reading this, please show your concerns to your ISP. With the internet, we all have a voice - let's use it. Contact your ISP, blog/vlog about this issue, post on forums or your personal Website/MySpace/Facebook. If you use Virgin Media, please cancel your service. Virgin already breached their end of the very contract that you, the Virgin-user, have signed.

We have to shout loud and clear to Neil Berkett that the world does not agree with you (Neil)!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Little Local Economy Rant

Some of you may know that I'm selling my computer—the beast I built in October 2004. I started advertising it to my close circle and a Facebook group.

This is a computer that I purchased for almost $3000, that every single used components currently worth totals over $2000. Outside the region or province, I could "giveaway" a far less powerful computer for ±$1700.

Why did I just say "outside the region"? I've been looking up the regional and supra-regional (outside) market for used computers and used computer parts for the past three weeks. There is something very wrong with the Chaleur Region and Acadian Peninsula. The computer-economy is rotten!

A used-computer that sells for $1400 in Halifax, would be sold/worth in the regional computer-economy for $150-$200. A similar computer would sell for $1300 in Toronto - case/components only. What the frack is up with that? Why are local sellers and computer businesses getting ripped off by this outrageous rotten economy?

Because I'm in the Acadie-Bathurst region, I'm trapped in a lose-lose situation. I'm either stuck with my computer or I have to litteraly give it away.

I already brought my price down considerably, twice already... and it's still considered a rip-off in the local area. I just don't understand why something so "static" and expensive as a computer would be worth so little just in the region. The region is already losing many battles - healthcare, linguistic, cultural, jobs, etc... Why did we have to get stuck in another losing battle?


Monday, April 14, 2008

Guitar Hero III, Flat Tire, and Getting Ill

What do these things have in common?

The answer: They're all part of my past weekend!

Me and Stef impulsively got [PS3] Guitar Hero III last Friday. Friday night and Saturday went really well. I haven't felt this excited/dedicated to a music-game since [PS2] Amplitude. It's fun, it's "involved", and it's challenging.

Sunday started ok. We had a list of things to do. When we got in the car, something felt wrong. Stef opened the door (on the passenger side, for those who need a compass getting out of bed in the morning) and saw that I had a flat tire. Every small auto service shops are closed on Sunday here, and even some of the "bigger" ones. We found a place that could check the tire and either plug it or repair the leak. In the end, we didn't have to change the tire.

Finally, I'm sick today. I caught a cold, again.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Project Calendar - Taking PHP Further

With the very basic PHP prototype done (of the starting-day offset), I could start working in implementing basic Date Functions to it. Imagine my surprise when I found out that there was a way with PHP Date Functions to get the number of days in a defined month. I quickly coded very simple lines and implemented the daysInMonth variable.

$monthName = mktime(0, 0, 0, definedMonth, 1, definedYear); //gets Month and Year Timestamp for Date()
$daysInMonth = date("t", $monthName);

Here is the resulting Prototype.

With this in place, I don't have to come up with an algorithm to find out the number of days in a certain month. If PHP can do it, I'd be stupid not to use it ;)...

I will have to drop prototyping for a while and start coming up with a pseudocode to find the starting day of a month. As far as I know, PHP doesn't have function that can do it for me. I will have to come up with my own logic for this.

After the algorithm is finished, implementing it is going to be a piece of cake. The prototypes are well done enough to allow easy implementation of an offset, I just need to find out the offset itself and the Month-View Prototype will be complete.

Project Calendar - Offset Prototype Coded

I just finished coding (in PHP) the prototype of the Month view with User-Defined Offset. The Prototype currently doesn't have any date() functionality (real months and years) but the dynamic generation with Offset works.

Unfortunately, since this is PHP (server-side script) I'm unable to show you since I don't have any Web Host with PHP functionality. If anyone knows of a good and free PHP Webhost (mySQL in option, but not required) please let me know. I will keep you posted if I do find one.

UPDATE: I have a PHP Host now. I will be able to show all the progress and prototypes in this project, and any further PHP projects to come.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Resistance 2 Teaser Trailer on SpikeTV

Don't miss the premiere of Resistance 2 Teaser Trailer on Gametrailers TV, this Friday midnight (Eastern Time) on SpikeTV; and then on

Gametrailers TV Episode Preview

Gaming Commitment Problem

'tis the age of ambiguous titles!

There's a condition that I feel I've been afflicted with: "Lack of Gaming Commitment". I'm realizing that I have a lot of games that I never even finish. For years I was so meticulous with my gaming, like I had to finish a game 100% to feel satisfied about it. Now it's different. I play by emotions. I'll choose a game to play depending on my feelings—what I feel like playing at a perticular moment.

That's fine for passing time, but sometimes I will no longer feel any satisfaction when playing a game. This is when I realized the problem I was having.

Just like keeping up with an exercice-regime or a diet, it's about putting your mind to it and commiting yourself to the activity (boy, do I need to do this with Maya too)...

That's why I decided to pull a game up from time to time and really go through it, wether a game I finished before or a new game. I need to put myself in a situation where I can start something and finish it. This is not only as a gamer, but as a human being too. I've been having this problem in other parts of my life too. This will help me get used to commiting myself to different things, hobbies, projects, etc.

I recently dusted off a game that will be perfect for my first Commitment Game: [Wii] Metroid Prime 3: Corruption. I finished it months ago, but there's a restart-mode where you can restart the game while keeping your credits/vouchers and unlockables. I will play other games every once in a while just to pass the time, but when I feel like gaming, I will be playing Metroid Prime 3 and I will finish it!

Friday, April 4, 2008

Project Calendar - currentDay With Offset

Two Project Calendar updates in one day. I'm on a roll!

While eating dinner, I was just messing around in my composition book, playing with the First-Day of Month Offset. When the first day of the month is on a Sunday, the offset is 0, when the first day of the month is on a Monday, the offset is 1, and so on.

I played around with just Offset 1 with a calendar I drew in my book.

Note: I'm not currently trying to figure out how to get the offset with knowing the month and year. I know there are different ways to logically come up with an offset number, but that will come much later.

If I take the 18th, it's on the fifth column on the third row (indexed 2). With very simple logic added to my original equation, I get this:

currentDay ← (columnIndex - offset) + (rowIndex * 7)

For the 18th, that's (5 - 1) + (2 * 7). That works. Let's validate it...

It seems to work well for an offset of 1, how about another offset? Let's say the week starts on Friday? Friday would be an offset of 5. Let's use the equation on three dates to validate the statement:

5 ← (3 - 5) + (1 * 7)      //(-2 + 7)
18 ← (2 - 5) + (3 * 7)    //(-3 + 21)
21 ← (5 - 5) + (3 * 7)    //(0 + 21)

I thought it was going to take me a lot longer to figure out, or validate, an equation that works with any offset. I probably won't update the Pseudocode before next week. I feel that if I see any more logic, code, or HTML that my head is going to explode. I'm going to take it easy for the rest of the weekend.

What are you Playing this Weekend?

PSP Love Weekend

Me and Stephanie are spending the weekend with our Parents. Since we're going to be away, it's going to be a very "portable" weekend.

Because of the "tidiousness" and near addiction of [NDS] Animal Crossing: Wild World, I decided to put minimal time on my DS. I want to give some love to my PSP this weekend.

I'm going to be playing a lot of [PSP] Monster Hunter Freedom 2, [PSP] Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords, and if I feel like it, some [PSP] Disgaea: Afternoon of Darkness. I fell in the mood for Monster Hunter again this week, so this weekend is going to be perfect. If anyone has any tips to make grinding Khezu-carves easier (Need Electro Sac), please tell me in the comment section. I hate Khezu with a passion, and as far as I know Khezu/Red Khezu is the only one that gives Electro Sac.

Even with so much PSP-Love, I will bring my DS Lite with Animal Crossing just to keep up with my daily tasks and to get K.K.'s song tomorrow night.

So, what are YOU playing this weekend?

Project Calendar - Starting the Pseudocode

With a very simple obstacle taken down earlier this week, I have written the very first part of what is going to be a very complex Pseudocode.

This is, so far, a very simple Pseudocode and the following algorithms (offset, calculation, dynamic generation, etc.) are all going to be built around this Pseudocode unless I'm working out a logic problem/challenge.

The Pseudocode only handles the logic for generating a predefined month that starts on a Sunday. There are no offsets or not calculations. I did add, however, an IF statement to check wether the current Cell-day is past 31, if so there can be a different handling, like changing the background color of empty cells.

A calendar-table generator. Currently with fixed month/year and no calculations.


rowIndex : INTEGER : Row FOR Loop index
colIndex : INTEGER : Column FOR Loop index

currentDay : INTEGER : Variable representing the current Day/Cell.

LOOP FOR rowIndex FROM 0 to 6
LOOP FOR colIndex FROM 1 TO 7
currentDay ← colIndex + (rowIndex * 7)

IF currentDay <= 31 THEN
WRITE currentDay //inside cell
WRITE "empty cell"


Wednesday, April 2, 2008

masteringMaya: Advanced Modeling - Ordered!

Today I ordered 3DBuzz's masteringMaya: Advanced Modeling. I know I'm not even halfway through The Fundamentals, but I did anyway. The main reason is that I don't want to be stuck because of the unstable, or unpredictable, situation I'm in right now. When I finish MM:TF and that I'm in no position to spend any money or caught moving stuff, or moving away, then ordering would have to be put on hold. Right now is the perfect time to get my hands on it... and I had $60 off for being a Member Sponsor (MS Point system).

It's ordered and the order has been processed. I'm just waiting for it to be shipped, then received. As you can see, I updated the little 3DBuzz Progress box.