5 Years Ago...

15 October 2005 | Hisham | | Family Pics, Recent News
 
... Ain & I got married. Last night, after Irfan slept early and we left him in the care of his Cik Emma, Ain & I went to see Mr. & Mrs. Smith at GCS Midvalley (where they're replaying the summer blockbusters for half price), got something to eat in a doggie bag, went home to eat it, and then I gave her the wedding anniversary card I bought earlier.

It's been a great 5 years, with hopefully more to come.

Wait! Where's Irfan?
 

It's Ramadhan

05 October 2005 | Hisham | | Recent News
 
Starting today, I'm fasting for 30 days from dawn til dusk. A happy Ramadhan to all readers, and happy fasting to all Muslim readers. Sahur this morning, before dawn, we had rice with eggs and cabbages, while watching the Smallville season premiere, as Irfan slept.

I have an idea for another book, after looking at a random picture on deviantArt... it would be about kids spending the night camping, and the whole story would take place at night. The blues and the grays of the picture I saw was compelling. Now to come up with an actual story, suited for kids. Childhood camp-outs are awesome.

By the way, I updated some large artwork into my deviantArt page. Yeah, I have a deviantArt page. I left it untended for exactly a year and a month. I'll be uploading large-sized images there and link them from there, or elsewhere, to save on bandwidth, since I'm such a cheapskate.

 

Blog Glitch Fixed

02 October 2005 | Hisham | | Hishgraphics.com, Recent News
 
The entire week was crazy as far as this blog was concerned.

First I couldn't log onto the backend admin section with my correct password. (Even Sila couldn't do it with her user account.) And after 10 tries my own blog banned my IP. Brilliant, eh? I went to the Pivot Support Forums for help. Griswald there, told me to download the pv_cfg_settings.php file from the server, remove the 2 IP addresses in the php code and change the installed variable to "0". That done, I had to register myself as the Superadmin first, then try to sort out the rest later.

Later, it seemed that the database files of each blog entries weren't being detected by the index.php file. The center column was empty. The Recent Entries block was empty. The Last Comments block was empty. What was wrong?

Checking the admin section, I found out that the Categories had reverted back to 'default' and 'linkdump'... the others such as 'family pics', 'friends' and 'misc sci-fi' were gone. I tried recreating them, but they wouldn't appear, even after chmodding related files to 777.

I tried the solution prescribed in the Pivot forums earlier, with several variations, but it was all for naught. So I contacted the forums again for help, and again Griswald gave a simple solution to the problem. Just re-upload the backup pv_cfg_settings.php file.

I followed his suggestion, using the raw untouched file, which put me back to square one. I registered our user accounts, and then I found out I could finally recreate the blog categories. I did so, one by one, and allowed the 'Hishgraphics' blog to access all the categories.

*Click* Recreate all files

*Click* Recreate index file

*Click* Recreate frontpage

And everything was fine! It seemed like the glitches never happen. Many thanks to Griswald of the Pivot Support Forums. And if any of my 3 regular readers discover any errors in any of the pages which might have slipped under my radar, please e-mail me.

 

Future Player's Companion: Tomorrow's Hero

23 September 2005 | Hisham | | Artwork, Hishgraphics.com, Recent News, Role Playing Games
 

The Game Mechanics
Apart from Future Player's Companion: Tomorrow's Hero, the second of three books released by The Game Mechanics, being released and on sale at RPGnow.com, I've also took my old gallery at Geocities, modified it, gave it a proper banner, updated some details and relocated it here at Hishgraphics.com.

The Hishgraphics Gallery can be found at http://www.hishgraphics.com/gallery.

In the meantime, here are three four of the artwork from Future Players' Companion, Volume 2. Click on... to view them.

 

He Seems To Be Developing A Sense of Style

04 September 2005 | Hisham | | Recent News
 
Yesterday, Irfan and I took a drive to the Ulu Langat district, where it was serene, green and a winding stream shadowed the road for miles. It was just him and I in the car. He was in the back, free to roam. (If he was sitting up front, he'd be belted up and annoyed at the fact.) So there we were driving among the serene greenery, the kampung houses and colourful flowers on the bushes in their yards. I barely heard him grab something from the storage bin behind the parking brake in the centre column.

Then he was standing just behind the front seats between them with his elbows resting on either seat. I glanced at him and there he was... wearing a pair of sunglasses I've never seen before, looking all badass.

It was an awesome moment.

 

Best Wife Ever

29 August 2005 | Hisham | | Recent News
 
I woke up this morning with a headache and a painful cough. There was a sharp pain in my throat at every cough, and there's no way for me to wilfully stop coughing if my throat itched itself into coughing spasms. So there was nothing for me to do early in the morning, after subuh prayers, except curl myself into a ball under the sheets as Ain got ready for work and took Irfan to daycare. Immediately after she kissed me goodbye, I fell asleep. I don't remember her leaving the house, but I did remember that she was going to prepare something for me. When I woke up again, maybe 10 - 15 minutes after she left (I couldn't be too sure) there was a warm pot of lemon tea on the dinner table.

It was the best pot of lemon tea I've tasted.

Now the tea's finished, my throat feels much better (no pain and coughing less) and it's time to go to work on the drafting table.

Thanks, sayang.

 

Pivot-Blacklist: Now Installed

25 August 2005 | Hisham | | Recent News
 
Once in a while I've had spammers cluttering up the comments in the blog. Usually they get deleted whenever I log on and check on the site. Now I've gone and installed Pivot-Blacklist, a fantastic spamkilling extension for the Pivot CMS. For now, all comments are enabled with an anti-bot question field. The question might look idiotically simple to you (and would be changed periodically), but all automatic blog comment spamming bots wont be able to answer it.

There are other features to Blacklist which I will experiment (and have fun with) with later.

Here's to a spam free blog in the future.

 

A Fantastic Tale of Old

23 August 2005 | Hisham | | Recent News
 

I realise that since this blog went online, there hasn't been any entry that features some sort of fantastic anecdote that happens to me during the day. Like being at the zoo and a herd of rampaging rhinos escape their pen, or my needing to jump from one rooftop to an adjacent rooftop to save my life, or a meteorite that crashes and irradiates me, ultimately endowing me with super powers...

 

The Blog's New CSS Layout

22 August 2005 | Hisham | | Recent News
 
So now our blog is mostly dark blue and greens with dark red links. I thought we needed some sort of a change, and I thought I'd have a go with the css and the Pivot templates. I also put one of the nifty non-IE codes that gives a small radius to the corners of the blocks on the right and left columns. So if you're on IE, you'll only see the normal sharp corners.

I've also tried my best to format the pages so that anyone with 800x600 screen resolution would have no problem with the frontpage. But although it works with Firefox, IE seems to make the right column overlap with the center column a bit.

Also, I've reduced the number of entries on the center column to 10 and provided 20 most recent entries on the block at the right column.

And finally, each entrypage is given an "Entry Author" bit on the top right hand corner of the main column so no one would ever mistake Sila's entries for mine and vice versa.

So say we all.

 

Future Player's Companion: Tomorrow's Foundation

14 August 2005 | Hisham | | Artwork, Recent News, Role Playing Games
 

TGM


GenCon Indiana
will be on later this week at the Indiana Convention Center, Indianapolis. That's when The Game Mechanics will be launching Future Player's Companion: Tomorrow's Foundation, a game supplement for d20 Future.

Where my professional artwork in the game industry will be published. The document will be an e-book for now, and will have two other volumes following it later in the year. To see five of my ten illustrations created for the book, click to read the rest of the article.
 

More Like His Old Man By The Day

13 August 2005 | Hisham | | Recent News
 
There were thousands of humans swarming the area before the Dewan Tunku Canseler in Universiti Malaya today. I swear if I didn't know there were individual consciousness behind the motile meatbags I'd say they were subject to nothing more than Brownian Motion.

 

Haze: Returning With a Vengeance

11 August 2005 | Hisham | | Recent News
 
One of the things I hate most about living here is the periodic invasion of unhealthy particulates that floods (and I mean floods) the entire region, known in local jargon as haze. Once I thought why not call it smog cause that's what it essentially is, but know I know that such an evil, soul-sucking phenomenon should have its own unique name.

 

Arise, New Graphics Tablet!

29 July 2005 | Hisham | | Artwork, Recent News
 
New Peripheral On The BlockThe other cool stuff I bought the same day I bought the table is this Wacom Graphire 3 graphics tablet. In fact, I've been wanting it for many years now that when I finally have it in my hands, I didn't have the heart to remove it from its box and plug it in for FOUR DAYS. This morning I finally did it.

After getting the tablet up and running with my computer, I proceeded to install the bundled Painter Classic software. When I finally ran the program, my blood went cold. All the colours were screwed up! It took me about 30 minutes before I decided to increase my monitor's setting from 16-bit to 32-bit colour.

Only then did I let out a sigh of relief. I grabbed the stylus, played around with the controls a bit; then tried playing with different brushes and tool on different layers; finally wiped the slate clean and proceeded to paint this:

An Oasis

My first Painter-made art ever. My technique is still way out there. It's gonna take some more practice to get myself up to speed with the new tablet and software. Ultimately, I believe that my work will go much smoother and faster on the computer.

Addendum: I just remembered that I had Open Canvas prepared for action in my computer. So, a mathematical equation came to mind. Graphire3 + Open Canvas + Hisham's Tired Imagination = ...

Bernhardt Baker
That's one of my favourite DC superhero from the late 80s and early 90s, Animal Man.

Addendum 2: This is so much fun I can't stop myself.

Some Random Volcano
 

Tales of the Prototype and the Table

28 July 2005 | Hisham | | Artwork, Recent News
 
Look at the pretty colours!Last week, we printed out some of the prototype pages for the first ever Hishgraphics e-book. To be honest, prior to this I do have a fair amount of doubts about the project. In my mind, I estimated that perhaps this would have a 20-30% success when it's eventually released into the wild.

 

OMG! The Site's Been Sashed?!?

22 July 2005 | Hisham | | Recent News
 
Wha-? How? Sashed? What do you mean? How did it happen?! Should we tell someone?!?!

See the little diagonal banner with the link at the top, right hand corner of the page? That's a sash. I came across it while trawling the net and thought I'd try it on for size. Don't get used to it, it's just there for experimental purposes and won't be there indefinitely.

To savour the tale of how I discovered the code, how to reproduce it, how many Bothans died to bring us this code, and to see a screencap of the front page (in case the little diagonal banner with the link of top is banished from the land by the time you read this) check out my entry at Chris Curtis Dot Org.

 

The Game Mechanics Update

12 June 2005 | Hisham | | Recent News
 

It was official last week, Stan! of The Games Mechanics has thrust upon me another 1.5 pages of illustrations to be done for the d20 Future Player's Companion. I'm very excited about this, and like the previous batch of work I'll do my best to give them their money's worth. To clarify: TGM will be publishing short three e-books in a series in the middle of this year. Later this year, Green Ronin will be publishing a hard copy book consisting of the three e-books. Imagine that. My science fiction artwork on actual printed pages that people will have to buy to see.

I can't wait to add these illustrations to my gallery. Hopefully I'll get consistent work from other publishers as well. Another thing I have to look out for is an efficient way to transfer funds from the publisher to me, that wouldn't be difficult to manage for both parties.

 

Sila Blogging?

07 June 2005 | sila | | Recent News
 

Hisham has officially invited me to be a co-blogger on this site! Thanks Yope!!!

 

My First Freelance Job With An RPG Company

06 June 2005 | Hisham | | Recent News, Role Playing Games
 

TGM

Ever since I got this computer right here four years ago, the one I'm using to type in this entry, I have been developing a portfolio and sending them to companies for freelance work. An industry I have always wanted to work on is the role-playing game industry. There is a list of companies that I send my portfolio to every year, in a cycle. Most ignore my e-mails. Some like Chaosium wrote back with polite rejection letters. Very rarely, I get an e-mail asking for a quotation like the one from Final Sword Productions. But so far, I've not gotting any hits from any of the gaming companies.

Last week, it all changed.

 

A New Location for the Blog!

05 June 2005 | Hisham | | Hishgraphics.com, Recent News
 

So, here we are at the new server. To be precise, at http://www.hishgraphics.com/blog/index.php. Okay, now why did you just hit the link? You know you'll end up right back on the blog's index page.

Now I have this webspace all to myself, what (you might ask) am I going to do with it? Watch this space for the news in the near future.

 

Sila's Wedding: A Photojournal

25 May 2005 | Hisham | | Family Pics, Recent News
 

Herein lies a selection of pictures of Sila & Vin's wedding.