Saturday, January 24, 2009

Siebel 7.8 to Oracle BI publisher integration.

Hi all,
I am trying to integrate Siebel 7.8 application with Oracle BI publisher for reports generation. Here's the deal : Users will not log in to BI Publisher at any point. They will click a button and an outbound integration from Siebel to Oracle BI should happen and the resulting pdf should pop up in Siebel.
Has anyone out there tried this out or know how this can be done ? Oracle BI does not have a concept of IO and the only WSDL it generates is very generic.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Story of 3D gaming.....and how it inspired me.

Jan 7th, 09

 

Dunno if it’s real or just my feeling that everyone here is still in a holiday mood. Work levels have gone down and most of my colleagues battle for the few headphones in office to listen to some online music. Guess what I did in all this ? Went back to my first love, programming. Low level and graphics programming. For Christmas I had visited my friends Shibon , and he showed of his skill at a cool FPS game. That brought back memories of my own idle college days, when I too coded out of pure desire, and not for the pay at the end of the month. Between passing out (almost) and getting the first job, I had almost a year to kill, and during this time I kept myself busy in pure graphics programming using native system calls. My efforts bore fruit when I finally created a standalone 3d graphics engine out of pure C and assembly, no graphics drivers involved. You may find it here : www.geocities.com/ranjith_ravi/.

 

Well it all started way back while I was still in school, and played Wolf 3d and Doom. I was amazed by the programmers ability to code such kewl graphics renderer, and I wanted  to do so too. I read about John Carmack, the guy who single handedly changed the face of computer game industry, and gave us games like wolfenstein ,quake and doom. His story reads like a dream, a self taught programming wiz kid, who had great vision and ideas and liked to disprove others. He implemented texture mapped orthogonal surfaces and raster scanning at a time when others where creating pac man and Mario clones for the pc. He was the co-founder of id software, and the company makes games even today, turning its creators to millionares. And all this when he was just 18.But I didn’t have access to the kind of technical data and info which I could use for a similar goal. This is one of the little reasons why I chose to pursue an Engineering degree in Computers. Funny thing was one of the core subjects was computer graphics and it had all he algorithms to create a 3d graphics engine. My coleagues where more scared and less inspired. I had the skills and all the information, but no one for help.

 

 

Another great programmer of the same type was Ken Silverman In comparison to the boys at Id software, Ken literally worked totally alone. And his engine powered a lot of other 3d games like Duke Nukem. His story is greatly untold cause ,well, he didn’t socialize much. But had his own ideas too. His build engine would be used to power many more 3d computer games later. Anyway, I was hooked. I started collecting everything on the topic, and finally I got time, after leaving college and having nothing to do. I  am bad with dates, but I think I started something around December of 2005. Although the algorithms where all in one textbook, the assumptions made by the author did not allow me to directly implement it. I decided to see what a real programmer had done. Carmack had released the source code of Wolfenstein 3D to open source years ago. I downloaded a version and started learning his technic. Till that day, I had considered myself a kewl coder, but once it read Carmack’s code, I knew I was a  baby scratching the surface of coding. It took me weeks to understand how it all went together. I also had to switch to 32 bit C compiler, since lots of textures where to be loaded into memory. I chose DJGPP compiler for it. One month of coding later, I had learnt to implement 3d polygon manipulation, and plotting them on the screen. And at the end of one months, I had my own rotating cube in 3d, complete with hidden surface determination and texture mapping. It would take me another month to implement the portal rendering system to have my own 3d walkthrough. I was amazed by it all, cause Carmack had himself did all this in weeks, and even after months, my code had memory leaks and crashed often. But hey, it was pure fun, to create entire virtual worlds and be able to travel through them.

 

Nowadays game designers can create entire games without writing even one line of code, lots of RAD tools and engines available everywhere. And pure 3d grapphics remains a hot research area. I understood that I cant go any further than this, I had neither the time or money to pursue it.

 

Later I was trying to implement my 3d engine in OpenGL, and had got the primaries through; that’s when my first job came flying through. I have never had the time to continue my interests again.

 

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Friday, January 2, 2009

He Took a Polaroid Every Day, Until the Day He Died

another article i came across.

 
 

Sent to you by Ranji via Google Reader:

 
 

via mental_floss Blog by Chris Higgins on 12/31/08

Editor's Note: This was our most popular post of 2008.

Yesterday I came across a slightly mysterious website — a collection of Polaroids, one per day, from March 31, 1979 through October 25, 1997. There's no author listed, no contact info, and no other indication as to where these came from. So, naturally, I started looking through the photos. I was stunned by what I found.

In 1979 the photos start casually, with pictures of friends, picnics, dinners, and so on. Here's an example from April 23, 1979 (I believe the photographer of the series is the man in the left foreground in this picture):

April 23, 1979

By 1980, we start to figure out that the photographer is a filmmaker. He gets a letter from the American Film Festival and takes a photo on January 30, 1980:

January 30, 1980

Some days he doesn't photograph anything interesting, so instead takes a photo of the date. Update: this was an incorrect guess; see the bottom of this post for more info on these date-only pictures.

August 23, 1982

Throughout the 1980s we see more family/fun photos, but also some glimpses of the photographer's filmmaking and music. Here's someone recording audio in a film editing studio from February 5, 1983:

February 5, 1983

The photographer is a big Mets fan. Here's a shot of him and a friend with Mets tickets on April 29, 1986:

April 29, 1986

In the late 1980s we start seeing more evidence that the photographer is also a musician. He plays the accordion, and has friends who play various stringed instruments. What kind of music are they playing? Here's a photo from July 2, 1989 of the photographer with his instrument:

July 2, 1989

In 1991, we see visual evidence of the photographs so far. The photographer has been collecting them in Polaroid boxes inside suitcases, as seen in this photo from March 30, 1991:

March 30, 1991

On December 6, 1993, he marks Frank Zappa's death with this photo:

December 6, 1993

The 1990s seem to be a good time for the photographer. We see him spending more time with friends, and less time photographing street subjects (of which there are many — I just didn't include them above). Perhaps one of his films made it to IFC, the Independent Film Channel, as seen in this photo from December 18, 1996:

December 18, 1996

Throughout early 1997, we start to see the photographer himself more and more often. Sometimes his face is obscured behind objects. Other times he's passed out on the couch. When he's shown with people, he isn't smiling. On May 2 1997, something bad has happened:

May 2, 1997

By May 4, 1997, it's clear that he has cancer:

May 4, 1997

His health rapidly declining, the photographer takes a mirror-self-portrait on June 2, 1997:

June 2, 1997

By the end of that month, he's completely bald:

June 30, 1997

His health continues to decline through July, August, and September 1997, with several trips to the hospital and apparent chemotherapy. On the bright side, on September 11, 1997, the photographer's hair starts to grow back:

September 11, 1997

On October 5, 1997, it's pretty clear what this picture means:

October 5, 1997

Two days later we see the wedding:

October 7, 1997

And just a few weeks later he's back in the hospital. On October 24, 1997, we see a friend playing music in the hospital room:

October 24, 1997

The next day the photographer dies.

What started for me as an amusing collection of photos — who takes photos every day for eighteen years? — ended with a shock. Who was this man? How did his photos end up on the web? I went on a two-day hunt, examined the source code of the website, and tried various Google tricks.

Finally my investigation turned up the photographer as Jamie Livingston, and he did indeed take a photo every day for eighteen years, until the day he died, using a Polaroid SX-70 camera. He called the project "Photo of the Day" and presumably planned to collect them at some point — had he lived. He died on October 25, 1997 — his 41st birthday.

After Livingston's death, his friends Hugh Crawford and Betsy Reid put together a public exhibit and website using the photos and called it PHOTO OF THE DAY: 1979-1997, 6,697 Polaroids, dated in sequence. The physical exhibit opened in 2007 at the Bertelsmann Campus Center at Bard College (where Livingston started the series, as a student, way back when). The exhibit included rephotographs of every Polaroid and took up a 7 x 120 foot space.

You can read more about the project at this blog (apparently written by Crawford?). Or just look at the website. It's a stunning account of a man's life and death. All photos above are from the website.

Update: I've made contact with Hugh Crawford and his wife Louise. Apparently the pictures that are just dates aren't Polaroids — they're placeholders for days when there was no photo, or the photo was lost.

Update 2: After hitting the Digg homepage, the original site has been taken down by the host. Hopefully it'll be back up overnight; in the meantime if anyone has a mirror of the original site, please leave a link in the comments (you have to leave off the http part).

Update 3: The original website is back up! Hugh has managed to restore service, and it looks like the site is now cached across multiple servers. It's still a little slow due to the huge amount of traffic, but at least it works. Go check it out.

Update 4: Jamie Livingston has been added to Wikipedia.

Update 5: Many people have asked about the Polaroid SX-70 camera. Check out this Eames film explaining the camera.

If you'd like to leave a comment, click here. To hear a CBC Radio One interview with Chris Higgins about the article, click here.


 
 

Things you can do from here:

 
 

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