Thursday, March 26, 2009

HDR Trials

Finally gave a little photo editing trick called HDR (High Dynamic Range) a shot. It's basically taking the same picture at different exposures and using software to combine them. Just take a look at a couple of the pictures here.

I took three pictures at a low, medium, and high exposure level which end up looking like this:




To this

I tried to just enhance the colors rather than make it look cartoonish or like an oil painting; which is a common complaint that many people have with this technique. A night spent wandering around downtown Houston (not the best idea) and this is what I ended up with.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

An overview of my game room

I've been looking at a bunch of the gaming setups on here and since I just finished a couple of projects I thought I would throw mine up. I just moved into a house and had an empty room to work with so I started brainstorming. Here is what I came up with.
As far as pure number of games I don't think I can compete with most people on here, however I've got a couple of unique things. Also I tried to create a room that wouldn't look like I still live in my moms basement (because I don't...and my mom doesn't have a basement) and that an actual semi-adult lives here.
Enough of the jibba jabba:
My main tv is actually a projector, Epson 6100, on a homemade screen. I was able to get a 117" screen for about the same price as a 50" LCD, awesome.

Probably the best part about my room is the coffee table. After trying to find many idea for some video game originated furniture I found someone who created a workable coffee table that plugs in to the NES. I had already created my Mario blocks and donkey kong shelves so I figured why not give it a shot. Turns out it all in consumed me and I had to make every detail right. The buttons all work and I had all of the paint color matched with the actual controller. The only parts I missed out on are the wiring because all my NES controllers got stollen along with my Wiis when my house got broken into, fucking Houston. As soon as I can round up some on ebay I'll be all over it.

In the table I have my dreamcast, PS2, and Xbox with all the controllers and what not. With the wired controllers it's a bit of a pain in the ass but I have to run an AV cable up to the receiver.

My gaming storage shelves. Made from black idea shelves with tape and red paint, nothing too exciting. However keep an eye our for some Heineken keg cans, I had to choke those things down then paint them brown for realism. Man Heineken sucks. I made some ladders with some wood strips to add a little extra touch. I keep my NES, SNES, and N64 up there because I can't leave then plugged in to the receiver due to controller cord length. Some prints from the I-AM-8-BIT are scattered about up there as well.

A decent NES collection but I don't feel like typing it all out.

Nice of the SNES, turtles in time and Chrono Trigger are the big ones
Loves me some Chrono Trigger

Goldeneye and Perfect dark are nice

Guitars, actual guitars with strings and what not.

Backwards view at the double recliner. Just mounted the projector and haven't gotten the wires under control yet.

I keep the remote/main controllers in the armrest

My Custom Built PC with a Mario Block above it and some I-am-8-bit art.

I absolutely love the Zelda piece that Scott Belcastro did.

Another shot of the custom PC. I have it built in to the projector as a media center and ROM machine for playing only the ROMs that I own.

Close up of the mario block. If you punch it really hard you can actually hear a sound, however it's more like someone screaming in pain and less like a 1 up.

Mario blocked fully opened

Finally playing some games.

I've got more detail on my projects at my own blog, but I'm not sure if I can post it here.
Looking forward to hearing what you guys think in the comments.
I'll try and get some pictures of some Mario 3 on the screen to put up here, Tanooki suit for the win

Friday, March 13, 2009


Back in the day I was big into AOL Instant Messaging. Everyone was. During high school and early in college before facebook, myspace and twitter it was the simplest and easiest way to keep up with your friends. Now, with all of the different social networking sites having their own instant messanger as well as keeping up with multiple email addresses it was time to try and consolidate.

Over the years I've tried different software that combined IM clients but none that I really liked. It had been a couple years so I started hunting around to see what was out there. After a couple of good articles pointed me to Digsby. It's a single piece of software that combines the majority of mainstream sites and programs. I'm currently using it for Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, LinkedIn, Gmail, Hotmail, and AIM. It feels a bit like cheating because it makes it very easy to see who is online as well as get email and message notification.

Bottom line is that is has made it a lot easier to find out that Kyle is pissed at the Steelers and Jennifer loves the bachlor while not reading the emails my mom sends me. Isn't that what productivity is all about.