Monday, June 23, 2014

Why I DON'T Relay

Why I DON'T Relay...
I and the American Cancer Society fundraising arm do not see eye to eye.
In short, they stole software I wrote to manage the fundraising for the Relay for Life of Second Life, with which they have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars (and continue to) and did so telling me that I was being "dismissed" for being too poor (!), claiming ownership over my work since I was a volunteer for them at the time, the funny thing about "work for hire" is that you actually have to give what is called consideration (not necessarily a wage) for the work to own it. I did not receive so much as a t-shirt or keychain.
Don't get me wrong, the ACS does a lot of good work, but their methods of funding that work leave much to desire.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Networked Communication of Second Life® Objects using LSL, php, and MySQL.

In 2009, I was tasked with the creation of a new donation system for American Cancer Society's Relay For Life of Second Life. The 2010 system was very robust and fast with new features, one being the real time updates of team totals. To accomplish this, I created a Hub and Spoke network communicating to the kiosks from a centralized database using the LSL HTTP server method.

I believe my method to be very fast, stable and scalable. I have detailed how I accomplished it in the below paper.

Networked Communication of Second Life® Objects using LSL, php, and MySQL.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Ada Lovelace Day

In honor of Ada Lovelace Day, I post an essay I wrote for an Ada Exhibit that took place in Caledon in July of 2008.

-=[Ada Lovelace, Queen of Engines, Queen of my Heart]=-
-=[Poetical Science and the Art of CodePoetry]=-

It is a sad tale to be separated from your soul mate by 120 years. But that is the way I feel about Lady Ada and me. The roads we have traveled has lead us to many of the same places. Though divided by the centuries she has set the path before me and I have walked it. You can say Lady Ada drew the plans, but I have been able to build it. She was the daughter of Lord Byron the Poet. Her mother, fearing that Ada may become a poet schooled her in science and mathematics. Even so, she still inherited the soul of a poet asking her mother, “if you can't give me poetry, can't you give me "poetical science?" “ In the same way I approach writing computer programs an artistic pursuit which I call “CodePoetry”.

During Ada's lifetime, Charles Babbage designed a machine called the Analytical Engine. This machine if built would have been the worlds first general purpose computer. Capable of performing any computational task, like the computer that sits on your desk today. The leading experts of her time saw the Analytical Engine as a means of calculating numbers flawlessly taking the tedium and error out of number crunching. Ada on the other had, saw the potential of Analytical Engine writing, "the Engine might compose elaborate and scientific pieces of music of any degree of complexity or extent."

But Ada was not a flighty poet by any means she had the training and knowledge of an accomplished mathematician and a grasp of computing beyond that of many of her peers. In a translation of a paper on the Analytical Engine by Luigi Menabrea she appended notes that were longer than the original paper itself, and in one of these notes included a method for calculating Bernoulli numbers on the Analytical Engine. It is this program that is considered today to be the world's first computer program.

I carry on this tradition every time I write a new computer program that for a moment in time is the world's latest computer program. And the Spirit of Ada guides me in my pursuit. Creating CodePoetry, is not simply programming, it is programming in a certain mindset, focusing on elegance, efficiency, and ingenuity. It is programming as an artistic pursuit, not as a technical science.

Though the writing of CodePoetry is an artistic pursuit, it is by no means extravagant or sloppy. It is based on certain rules (as all programs are) so the foundation must be extreme technical skill, once mastering the rules, one can learn to bend them, but never to the point of breaking (for if you break a rule, your program won't compile!).

I see writing CodePoetry as akin to playing improvisational jazz, or the architecture of someone like Frank Lloyd Wright, with a strong foundation of technical skill, going in an unexpected direction, and arriving at beauty.

It was Ada that first envisioned arriving at beauty with a computer, I like to think my centuries-separated soul mate smiles on me and I make her proud realizing her dream she had so long ago today.

-- ZenMondo Wormser
July 19, 02008.
Caledon Steam Sky City

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

I am Number 6

I really don't want to toot my own horn about this, so I will let our Guvnah do it for me.

Zenmondo... where does one begin with Zenmondo?

Zen is the sort of fellow that one finds in movies; an unorthodox hero that might make the casual observer wonder: this jovial, offbeat, wayward fellow ~ a knight?

But just like the movies, the story reveals the truth. Our Zen has done countless quiet things for camaraderie and community: usually with his scripting talents, all too often with comic relief, and ultimately ~ with his heart.

RFL's kiosks in 2009 wouldn't have worked at all, were it not for Zen. Long hours of tireless, thankless effort on an unstoppable schedule. All of it selfless, unrecognised effort for people in need and a cause greater than himself.

He is a true Knight of Caledon.

- Desmond Shang

Monday, August 3, 2009

A very busy CodePoet

Zen goes to a long forgotten desk draw and pulls out a bound leather journal, lifting it to his face, he blows upon it sending a cloud of dust flying off of the tome and into the ear, he places it on the desk, takes out a quill and begins to write....

It has been a long time since I have kept this journal. That is not to say there has been nothing to write about, just that I have been so busy so as not to have time to write. I have expanded my horizons beyond Caledon, and have become a Jedi Knight in the New Order of the Jedi based on Ruusan. But I will not be writing of those adventures here, as it would be quite jarring to the established narrative.

One thing that has been taking up much of this CodePoet's second life is being the tech chair for the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life of Second Life.

It was January (JANUARY!) that I recieved a most interesting note, entitled "A Hero's Quest" It read as follows:

Looking for potential Knight seeking to do Good And Worthy Deeds,

Whereas the prior Relay For Life Kiosk Scripter has resigned,

And whereas the prior kiosk scripts shall be made available,

And whereas the Hulking Beast of Bureaucracy may rear its head,

The Vicereine of Caledon, Her Lyonesse Kamilah I,

And the Guvnah of Caledon, the Right Honourable Desmond Shang,

Seeks a Hero to wield the Mighty Sword of Healing (+5),

And to fill the gap in scripting knowledge and other arcane arts for the benefit of the Relay.

Interested Hero Prospects shall contact the Chair of the Relay For Life of Second Life, Fayandria Foley.

I took up this quest, and I pray I did well for it. There were some technical hiccups beyond my control, but I have taken steps that they will not be repeated for the Relay of 2010. I am already committed to creating a new Kiosk and Vendor system for 2010, this time hosted on servers provided by the American Cancer Society. This should alleviate what were our biggest technical hurdles for 2009.

The 2009 Relay season is over, and it was amazing. Record-breaking fund raising and full of meaningful ceremony. I look forward to the part I have to play in 2010.

The thing that makes me sad is that I did not have a lot of involvement with Team Caledon this year as working for all of relay kept me very busy. I will try to balance this better next year.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Caledon inspired Haiku & Limericks

The sounds follow me
Machines are chugging away
It's Steam Sky City

A maid from fair Caledon
went out without knickers on
Along came a breeze
lifted her skirt with ease
Much to the joy of the looker-ons.

A dance in steam sky city
where girls are dressed so pretty
I come in late
I can't find a date
Alas, oh my, what a pity.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Resignation from Clan Kintyre

To Her Grace Duchess Lavendar Beaumont
To His Grace Duke Regent Erasmus Margulis
To Clan Kintyre

Graces And Clan,

Clan Kintyre was founded to be treated like a family, and I feel no longer welcome. I have served dutifuly with love and dedication, but it seems the love is no longer returned.

It is for this reason I resign all position and title I have in Clan Kintyre Effective Midnight, Wednesday April 9, 2008.

Your Humble Servant,

-- ZenMondo Wormser