David Brin Fan Fiction
Art and 3D Graphics
Chmeee's 3D Objects
BMRT & VC++
Million Dollar Band
You might as well meet the creator of this web site...
Huntsville is a moderately large town in Northern Alabama, full of scientific and technological research, and it is the home of the Marshall Space Flight Center. Marshall isn't as well known as Kennedy and Johnson, but it handles work on the new space station, and it was featured in the movie "Space Camp" (emphasis on the word "camp" ;-)) many years ago. Huntsville's most visible feature is the standing Saturn V mockup. The thing towers over the city, and you can see it from several miles out on the highway. It even has flashing warning lights to keep airplanes from flying into it! 8-O
The vertical rocket is just a mockup, but we also have one of only three real Saturn V rockets still in existence. Ours is the only one that was used in actual testing. It now has its own building.
My main interests include science fiction, space, and computer graphics, especially Hash Animation: Master. I've also done a lot of work in POV-Ray, which is a full-function renderer, and, best of all, it's free!!
I've also fiddled around a little with BMRT, which was a shareware renderer based on Pixar's Photo-Realistic Renderman, the package they used to create "Toy Story." Unfortunately, Pixar recently decided to sue the company for infringement on their Renderman patents, and now BMRT is no longer distributed, and the company was taken over by NVIDIA. I am definitely not a lawyer, but I thought Renderman was an open standard, meaning others could write their own implementations. In fact, Pixar even used BMRT as a "ray server" to do some of its raytracing work for movies! I hope that doesn't mean that Pixar has been taken over by miserly lawyers and bean counters, ready to do anything for a few more pennies of profit, because I've been a fan of their work since long before "Toy Story".
I got a bachelor's degree in Computer Science here at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. I also took a few graduate classes. I may or may not continue in graduate school -- depends on how lazy I am, I guess... ;-) I've also taken a drawing class there recently.
I am a programmer, web developer, and 3D modeler. I have over five years of professional programming experience, and I have done several more years of programming for various class and hobby projects.
The programming languages I've used most recently include C/C++ and Python. In my previous job, I did graphical user interface (GUI) programming for Windows using Visual C/C++, as well as real-time 3D programming in OpenGL. I have worked on additional OpenGL projects on my own time, which you can find on my software page. I am also skilled at using UNIX/Linux, and I am currently learning to program in those operating systems.
Explore this site for examples of my web design abilities. My site is hand-coded in HTML, with help from Perl scripts I wrote myself. I designed and wrote my memberpix.cgi script from scratch, using Perl CGI. The navigation/title bars surrounding most of my pages were generated by a Perl script that shared several library functions with the memberpix script. This helped the various pages in my web site maintain a consistent look and feel. I developed my philosophy of web design over many years, from looking at other websites, from reading web tutorials and books, and from slowly modifying and improving my own site. I prefer simple, easy-to-navigate web design over heavy frame usage, complex interactive menus, and distracting, blinking, processor-intensive gimmicks.
To get a feel for my 3D modeling ability, you can look at my SloanSteady gallery page, and Chmeee's 3D Objects page. (The models in the Chmeee pages are mine, unless otherwise noted.) As for my professional work, go to my Professional Portfolio page to see a project that I completed in less than 24 hours. As you can see, I am capable of rapid turnaround if the client needs it.
My first job was as a rodman on a surveying crew, for the company where my Dad worked as a civil engineer.
My next job was at the UAH Global Hydrology and Climate Center, where I swapped out backup tapes for all the UNIX systems, and helped with system software maintenance. I designed the original Globe in Alabama web site -- it looks like they've updated it quite a bit since then! I also got to play with the Silicon Graphics machines, machines with more RAM than I had hard drive on my home computer at the time (!).
After I graduated, I worked at the Marshall Space Flight Center itself, where I helped write and maintain a web-based system that helped the engineers keep track of their files (with a library-like setup) and when their work assignments were due. I worked there for about six months, until I lost my job due to budget cutbacks.
In November 1998, I started work at Unigraphics Solutions, in their Solid Edge division. They create CAD software -- and quite impressive software, too! I worked primarily on the display part of the software, and also on the user interface. They were formerly owned by EDS, who bought them back again in 2001 -- another event in their on-again, off-again corporate romance. Then, 9/11 and the high-tech downturn happened, and the EDS PLM division, formerly known as Unigraphics Solutions, merely held its own in tough economic times. That wasn't good enough for EDS, so they decided to downsize us in two waves. I survived the first wave, then got laid off in the second wave in July 2002.
In July 2004, I found a new job, with Gleason Research Associates. I'm a contractor working on historic Redstone Arsenal here in Huntsville. I work on missile simulation software in C++. The work is interesting, and I like the people, so I'm pretty happy.
I was bored one afternoon, so I put together my geek code. You can interpret it by reading The Code of the Geeks v3.12 by Robert A. Hayden, or, better yet, just paste it into the Geek Code Decoder Page.
-----BEGIN GEEK CODE BLOCK----- Version: 3.12 GCS d+(-) s++:++ a- C++ UL+ P+++ L+>++ E- W++ N+(+++) o? K- w+ O? M- V- PS+ PE Y-- PGP-- t+ 5++(+++) X+ R tv++ b+++ DI++ D G e++ h+ !r !y+ ------END GEEK CODE BLOCK------
I probably made a mistake in there somewhere, because I didn't
double-check my work. So, if my code suggests I'm a cross-dressing
yak farmer or something, please take the information with a grain
of salt. ;-)