Photoshop AI Generative Infill tool

I played around with Adobe’s generative Infill tool now available in Photoshop Beta.

I competed in the Kitbash3D Mission to Minerva contest

I recently competed in a competition for Kitbash3D’s Mission to Minerva challenge. I’ve never actually worked professionally in photorealism or CGI before but I figured I could learn along the way during the competition. Honestly the prizes for the competition were pretty modest, the grand prize all together may have only been worth about $2,500 but regardless I was interested in using the free kit they provide and the skills I’d learn while using it. The kits are produced for several softwares, I only really had access to free softwares like blender and Unreal Engine. I started out trying to learn blender and produce a moon environment and terrain using their noise generators. However after spending about a week or two learning and trying to render a couple simple scenes I ran into an issue where Blender would bloat to fill out all 48GB of my RAM in my high-end gaming computer. Sometimes rendering in Blender would take 24 to 48 hours while my computer would be completely unresponsive. There was also the option for real-time rendering with cycles that’s supposed to rely on the GPU which I had a high-performance Nvidia RTX 3060 with 12GB of GDDR6 and it would still lag and be unresponsive. 

I eventually started looking into Unreal Engine because graphically the engine renders scenes nicely and it natively works in real-time because it’s a video game engine. Working with the terrain and the environment were obviously different but because I could see how the scene was rendering in color in real-time I could iterate in it much faster. So I kept working in Unreal Engine and I was able to find and buy several assets for the 3D environment from online retailers that helped me to put together the scene quickly. 

I had an original idea of designing out a whole planned moon colony based on proposals from NASA and ESA. I ambitiously also wanted to make a video animation because I knew less people would produce videos than 2D renderings. I thought up an engaging story about a potential moon colony rebellion against Elon Musk. I started out making the animation and in fact I got pretty involved with animating a moon rover, and having camera tracks follow this rover through a planned moon settlement but eventually I realized the scope of work I had planned to complete a whole story in 3D animation was beyond the remaining 2 weeks I had left to submit. So I ultimately had to abandon my original plan an pivot to a 2D rendering. 

I decided instead to imagine if in the future there was space tourism to the moon, what would a potential vacation look like. I started with an authentic moon environment and kept the layout I had of structures for the moon settlement. Then to make it personal I added an astronaut couple lounging in an inflatable pool with floaties. This is a sight I’ve never seen before in other renderings of the moon or space tourism which is why I thought it was unique.

At the end I submitted my rendering, it obviously could have been a lot better if I had more time put into it but it was good enough to me. I sent it out and never heard any feedback on it. It obviously didn’t win a prize. There were a lot of other good renderings that real artists produced, but even so I think many of the best ones got overlooked by Kitbash3D. At the end I at least got the skills I wanted to develop and a free kit to experiment with. I have more ideas and more time so I can also then use the same environment and assets in a new production.

My Mission to Minerva Moon Vacation entry
Helium Miner

Layer Zero Update

I installed a Layer Zero helium miner and not even a year later they have stopped sending my payments.

It’s not because the antenna hasn’t been working I’ve maintained and monitored it, but the company just has stopped distributing payments.

There’s plenty of people on social media and tiktok saying that you’ll get $1000’s of dollars for installing one of these antennas, I’ve barely gotten $400 this year.

I’m here to tell you it isn’t worth it, you either pay $1000 for an antenna and get 100% of the profits but it takes more than a year to return your investment.

Or you rent/lease an antenna where they send you the antenna for free and then send you a portion of the payment you mine like 40%.

I chose the latter to reduce my risk, I still had to get up on the top of my second story roof and install the antenna and run the cable down the side of the house.

You can read my first post here

A robot writing on a computer

AI Content Writing

I’ve tried using, it works sometimes but many of the responses lack the right context and or coherence for making good content unfortunately.

However if you want to try Jasper yourself you can get 10k words when you use my promo link:

There’s also chrome extensions like HyperWrite which is a really good idea for the technology to integrate seamlessly with people but the extension is still buggy, my first time installing it locked up my computer and almost crashed my chrome browser. It supposedly works with Reddit and Gmail but it doesn’t quite work yet with WordPress.

Similar to this is Github’s Copilot which uses AI to suggest or predict upcoming lines of code to save you time.

All of these services largely draw from OpenAI’s GPT-3 model which obviously is the third version of GPT, the second version GPT-2 was released for download but wasn’t nearly ready for professional use even with the largest 1.5 Billion parameter datasets. However now the GPT-3 version is bigger and more refined but you can only use it with their API to limit and protect the technology from potential abuse. You can actually access GPT-3 from the playground for free.

A robot at a computer

Chrome Manifest Version 3 with Websocket Server

I have been working on a chrome extension for a year. If you don’t know anything about chrome extensions or google platforms they are incredibly locked down, and have much fewer open features than are naturally available running code on your own computer. To be able to do certain advanced things from a chrome extension it is easier to send requests to a server that can do what you want. Google however has been pushing for security enhancements that make coding useful features in Chrome extensions even more difficult. When I began programming my chrome extension Manifest Version 2 was still useable, however since then all the old examples have been made obsolete, and the documentation is outdated for the new Manifest Version 3 framework. I spent a couple months asking in forums and searching for examples for making a chrome extension websocket client that could work with a websocket server and I couldn’t find an example anywhere. I eventually found some little bits of code on places like that I was eventually able to get working. I put this together as a working example of both a client and server with instructions on my

If you want to check out my other programming projects check here

Helium Miner

I mine cryptocurrency with a Helium Miner

Helium cryptocurrency miner

Starting in January of 2022 I installed a Helium Miner on my roof. If you’ve never heard of Helium before, no I don’t mean the inert gas Helium. I’m talking about Helium the cryptocurrency. Everyone is familiar with Radio by now. Many people use WIFI, however like WIFI you can join the Helium LoRa radio network for internet or internet of things (IoT). In January when the market was high it made tons of sense. I planned to have the antenna up for at least a year to see how it would actually perform. I told my friend Jimmy about Helium and he got really excited. Some people think the Helium LoRa network might be a revolution, other think it’s another useless cryptocurrency altcoin. The difference is, to me at least, is that this a cryptocurrency with REAL infrastructure. It also can essentially incentivize the logistics of a redundant internet that would boost reliability in the event of power outages, storms, emergencies, etc. The antenna I have is installed about 4 meters high on the roof. I had to install it myself which was difficult and dangerous. From the online viewer I can see where it has communicated with and I can estimate how many HNT or Helium Network Tokens I’ve earned. Sometimes on the map I’ve seen network connections reach all the way to downtown Jacksonville from my house which is about 15 miles! That’s seriously incredible and I love the technology.

In all honesty, here are the downsides with installing a Helium mining antenna. Luckily you don’t need to worry about dealing with a HOA that doesn’t like how the antenna looks. The FCC has a ruling the protects the installation of antennas and satellite dishes. The amount of energy it uses is incredibly little, some compare it to a lightbulb. Small amounts of internet data are used for connectivity however there is some risk that having it on your network could open you up to hacking. When the cryptocurrency market was high I was making close to $60 a month with this antenna, now that the market has dropped I’m making half that value, though I still make the same amount of HNT. So I don’t plan on selling the HNT I just plan on collecting it even while the market is low. I don’t know if it will ever pay off, or whether the technology will ever become more mainstream but it is cool and cutting edge if nothing else.

Helium Miner

I wrote a script that fixes all your Nginx sites to php8 on Ubuntu 21.10

I had a working webserver running LEMP (Linux, Nginx, Mysql, PHP) and I saw my Linode Linux VPS had a release upgrade. So I ran the Ubuntu “do-release-upgrade” command and after 15 minutes of updating it was updated, hooray!

Except after rebooting, all my websites were dead with a 502 Nginx error.

Upgrading from Ubuntu 20 to Ubuntu 21.10 the Ubuntu gods forced the upgrade from PHP7.4 to PHP8.0.

I tried getting a phpinfo page to test if the php was processing, but instead nginx was just serving the php page like a download. So I knew it was a problem with the php being processed, Nginx has individual sites running through the sites-available and sites-enabled folder. I updated the sites-available files with the new php8.0 socket, assuming since they were already linked in sites-enabled then they should all work after the nginx service was restarted. However they still didn’t work, and after opening the linked files in the sites-enabled folder I realized those were just copied by the “sudo ln -s” command. So now for all my websites I need to change php7.4 socket to php8.0, delete all the sites-enabled links, then relink all the sites-available files. Doing this more than 2 times if pretty tedious. So naturally I wrote a script does all this, and for each of the sites in the sites-available folder it updates all of them and relinks them.

I’m working on cleaning up this script and releasing it to help others, might try releasing it on my github

Did you know only 1% of the internet is on php8?