Illustration Friday: Cold

17 October 2005 | Hisham | | Artwork
 
Another Illustration Friday entry, with the subject title "Cold". How could a person be sent out walking the plank in his shorts in space? With the closest star being just a faraway glow, our friend here should be in quite a cold spot.

It's freezing without your spacesuit on.


Click on the thumbnail above to view the complete image. Media: Digital painting.
 

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?
 

Illustration Friday: Lost

13 October 2005 | Hisham | | Artwork
 
My first Illustration Friday submission for 3 weeks and I'm late for it. It's almost time for the next topic to come up. This week's topic is "Lost"... and there's only one thing that came up in my mind when I heard of the topic: One of my favourite TV shows on the air right now.


Click on the thumbnail above to view a larger image. Media: Digital painting using Photoshop, with image references from screencaps of season 1 episode 4 "Walkabout".
 

Voyage of the Flying Couch

12 October 2005 | Hisham | | Artwork
 
Here's a single piece of artwork that I came up on a whim in about 2 hours. A girl's adventures to faraway lands on her flying couch. Imagine the possibilities. Maybe there's an actual story to be written there somewhere, and made into a book. I shall ruminate on it on my armchair.
 

Doomsday Scenarios Galore

11 October 2005 | Hisham | | Trawling The Net
 

Are you feeling too cheerful or happy? Are you feeling that you've had enough feeling on top of the world? Are you sick of everyone telling you "The sun is shining! The birds are singing! Everything is smelling of roses!"?

Then check out Exit Mundi, the website that catalogues the various ways the world and/or the entire universe may end, from scientific and religious standpoints. It'll sure to wipe that smile off your face.

How do you like to read about the accidental extinction of the human race? For example, what happens if genetically engineered crop (actually created in a lab named Epicyte in San Diego in 2002) designed to be a contraceptive, escapes into the real world and are accidentally planted in farms all over the world? We'll all be eating food that induces infertility by killing all sperm cells.

If you're interested in space-based threats, what if a black hole wanders into the solar system, misses the Earth by a distance, but throws the planet off its orbit? Or even worse, crosses path with Earth?

So, what's your poison? Gamma-ray bursts? Uncontrollable nanotech? Climate shift? Mass insanity? Read, and be depressed. (Or not, if you find the humorous writing on the site entertaining.)

 

Arabic Star Names and Science Fiction

09 October 2005 | Hisham | | Misc Sci-Fi, Trawling The Net
 

I've known for quite some time that major star names used in science are Arabic in origin, a testimony to the work of Muslim astronomers between the 9th and the 12th centuries, but I've never found an extensive list of current star names and their Arabic origin until I stumbled across the Jordanian Astronomical Society's website with its great Arabic Star Names page.

Since I read and watch a lot of science fiction, I found it interesting that some of the names have appeared in contemporary SF. Not the well-known ones like Betelgeuse or Vega or Rigel, I'm talking about the not so well known star names.

Referring the the JAS list in the link above:

#133 Rukbat is the star which Anne McCaffrey's Pern revolves around. It's known as Alpha Sagittarii, so she did her homework by referring it to be in the "Sagittarius sector" although in the wiki article it mentions that the real Rukbat is a B-spectral class blue star instead of a G-class yellow star.

#01 Acamar, #108 Mintaka and #111 Mizar have indigenous sentient lifeforms that appeared in various episodes of Star Trek the Next Generation.

Frank Herbert however seemed to have referred to his Dune series' Arrakis to star #45 which is Mu Draconis, instead of Canopus (Alpha Carinae) in the books.

 

Serenity Appreciation Entry

07 October 2005 | Hisham | | Misc Sci-Fi, TV
 

Serenity Movie PosterOnce upon a time, Joss Whedon created a science fiction TV show called Firefly that had great characters, a fantastic millieux and a witty script. It got cancelled by Fox Network. Then its DVD sold faster than hotcakes. Fans wrote to revive the show. So, he wrestled the rights of the show from Fox and transferred it to Universal.

One thing led to another, last Friday saw the release of Serenity, the motion picture continuation of the TV series Firefly, was released to critical acclaim.

I can't wait to watch this because I was also won over by Firefly when TV3 showed it last year, on Wednesday night 12.30 am... sometimes pre-empting it for several weeks for football, or pushing it even further to 1.30 am. But the bad news is there is not a trace of Serenity appearing in Malaysian theaters any time soon. Hopefully we'll get to see it early 2006.

Here are some images of Malcolm Reynolds' Firefly class cargo transport Serenity at various places in the TV series, beautifully rendered by Zoic Studios, who also did some of the visual effects of Battlestar Galactica.

 

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.

 

The Meme Tagged thingamabob...

04 October 2005 | sila | | Friends
 

Since Lilian tagged Hisham and I for the meme thing and Hisham actually did his, here's my meme. Quick story about "Meme", when I first saw it, I thought "grandmother?". My friend and colleague Jo's granddaughter calls her "Meme" (pronounced meh-may). But anyway - my contribution:

 

I Hate People T-shirts

03 October 2005 | Hisham | | Friends
 

Chris and Derek over at CCDO are selling their world-famous* "I Hate People" t-shirt on the blog. Read the entry here. Then buy it! ;)

* Okay, I exaggerate.

Awesome T-shirt
 

Passing On A Meme (or Yikes! I've Been Tagged!!)

03 October 2005 | Hisham | | ACS Memories, Friends
 

Thanks to Lilian over at iFantabulous, I've been tagged. So here's I am letting the meme pass through me, allowing the idea to propagate and converting it into the text on this page that you're reading. So here goes:

 

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.

 

Worlds of the Enteague Sector

26 September 2005 | Hisham | | Role Playing Games, Star Wars
 
Worlds of the Enteague Sector SWRPG D6 Supplement
In 1989, my father bought me two books that started me into Star Wars role playing game: West End Games' Star Wars The Roleplaying Game rulebook and the Star Wars Sourcebook. My first campaign (and the longest I gamemastered) was my "Strikeforce Enteague" campaign. The players were characters of a Rebel Alliance strike team that consisted of mostly fringer types, and it took place in a sector of the galaxy I created I ultimately named the Enteague Sector (thought sometimes their adventures took them as far as Coruscant which at that time was only referred to as Imperial City.)

Here I am 16 years later, and I've finally finished a project I started almost 2 years ago: a pdf mini-sourcebook formatted for the SWRPG called Worlds of the Enteague Sector. It's not extensive as WEG's The Planets Collection or WOTC's Geonosis and the Outer Rim Worlds. There is a front cover, a back cover, a credits page, 22 pages of actual content and all these pages are in full colour. It's all fitted snugly in a 1.87mb zip file, free for all to download.

Apart from me writing and drawing, I also had plenty of help from my friends. Many thanks to Ryan "Cassed" Lee for designing the Ironfist emblem for the book, Phil "Grimace" Hatfield for editing it and Chris "Chris Curtis" Curtis for proofreading it.

Edit (Apr 20 2006): I've just corrected some layout errors, reworded some sentences that I didn't like and uploaded the new file. Enjoy Worlds of the Enteague Sector Ver 1.1.

You can download the book here.Worlds of the Enteague Sector, 1.82mb zipped, 1.91mb unzipped
 

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.

 

Irfan Cuts His Cake and Eats It Too

22 September 2005 | Hisham | | Family Pics
 

"I want to eat the Happy Birthday Cake!" Irfan begged for hours after seeing the number three-shaped vanilla cake with the Tigger-esque toon on it. He wasn't getting it until everyone arrived of course. There were, yet to arrive, his Mak Long and Ayah Long, and his Cik Eda and her roommates. So all day long, he staked out the cake box on the dinner table.

 

HAPPY 3RD BIRTHDAY IRFAN!

21 September 2005 | Hisham | | Family Pics
 

Irfan with two new grandmothers
The two new grandmothers, September 2002.

Three years ago, Irfan Shafiq was born at Kuala Lumpur General Hospital. Within that three years, he's given not just his mother and I a lot of joy, but a lot of other people in our extended family as well. We'll be cutting cake in the next few hours, so we'll have pictures of that soon.

In the meantime, enjoy the announcement of Irfan's birth in the Star Wars Artists' Guild forums from 3 years ago.

 

Yaaar! Ye Scurvy Swabs!

20 September 2005 | Hisham | | Humour
 
Since Sep 19th was Talk Like A Pirate Day, something annually celebrated by Star Wars Artists' Guild as long as we have been online, I'd thought I'd celebrate by retranslating this entire paragraph in pirate speak, cause you know, you can never have too much of pirate speak... especially during boardroom meetings, being rude at traffic jams and at the supermarket checkout.

Translation:
Arrr, since Sep 19th was Talk Like A Pirate Day, somethin' annually celebrated by the sea dogs at Star Wars Artists' Guild as long as we've been sailin' the seven seas, I'd thought I'd celebrate by retranslatin' this entire paragraph in pirate speak, cause you know, you can ne'er have too much o' pirate speak... especially durin' boardroom raids, wavin' yon cutlass at traffic jams and at the scurvy supermarket checkout. Ye'll ne'er get me buried booty!

- Mad Sam Bonney
(Illustrator, SWAG)

P.S. Yaaaarrrggh!!!

 

Navcomputer.com is ROTS Complete

17 September 2005 | Hisham | | Star Wars
 
As far as positions of movie planets are concerned, the incredibly detailed galaxy map of the Star Wars universe is complete. Webmaster Eric Przybylski has also done a great job placing the planets of the EU in the massive map he made, with inserts of the Corellian Sector and the Si'klaata Cluster, among others. Also included are several smaller maps of sectors such as Kuat, Kathol, Brak and Elrood.

Check out Navcomputer.com if you want to know how far it is from Hoth to Bespin (the Millennium Falcon's flight in The Empire Strikes Back), and where Polis Massa (where Luke and Leia were born) is located in relation to the volcanic world of Mustafar (where Vader was immolated); or if you're hardcore what route did Quinlan Vos take to relocate his clone army from Saleucami to Boz Pity (as mentioned in passing in Revenge of the Sith); or if you're ultra-hardcore how far Ganath is from Nal Hutta (where the Falcon hid after being attacked by Boba Fett upon Han and Leia's retrieval of the fallen Jedi Vima-Da-Boda in Dark Empire)...

...or maybe you just need to see where the Gree enclave is in relation to the Core Worlds...
Star Wars Galaxy Map

Click here to visit Navcomputer.com.

 

Illustration Friday: Escape

16 September 2005 | Hisham | | Artwork
 

Escape is the topic of this week's Illustration Friday. Two convicts sneak out stealthily of a watery tunnel near a prison from which they've just broken out. All they have to do is make it undetected into the woods. But how will they avoid from being beamed by a searchlight?

Click on the thumbnail to view a larger image.

Breakout in the Dark

 

Irfan Goes To The Zoo

15 September 2005 | Hisham | | Family Pics
 

Last Sunday, Irfan (along with a bunch of family members) went to the zoo! Here's a series of photos that came out of our little zoo trip.