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The nearsighted one cometh


Posted by , 21 October 2004 - - - - - - · 215 views

After getting some feedback from a lot of people, I made some changes to my workout. Since my main goal right now is weight loss, I decided to cut back slightly on lifting, and do longer - but less frequent cardio sessions.

So 3 days a week, I'm going to do a full hour of cardio. I started today, running for an hour. I'm not sure that I've done an hour of straight cardio EVER, but it actually felt really good. I'm just glad that I've spend the past 6 weeks getting back in shape or it would've killed me. I'm also going to mix up the cardio a bit, with cycling, running, and jump roping.

For lifting, I'm currently doing a 2-day split 3 days a week - on the days I'm not doing cardio. My routine looks like this:

Torso day:
Flat bench press
Close grip pulldown (or Front pulldown, depending on the gym I'm at)
Incline bench press
Bent-over row
Shoulder press
Lateral raise
Rear lateral raise

Legs/arms day:
Squat (or leg press, depending where I am)
Seated leg curl
Leg extension
Calf raise (or calf press, depending where I am)

One rather radical change I'm making is that I'm only doing one warmup set and one full set per exercise. I'm reading a lot of material that suggests that the benefits gained from doing a 2nd and 3rd full set are pretty marginal (as long as the one set is done at full intensity), so I'm going to try it for a while and see how it goes.

I'm going to do this for six weeks, after which I'll slowly start to drift back toward more lifting and working only one or two muscle groups per day. If things continue the way they've been going, I should be down to 220 by the end of the year - maybe even lower.

Back on the wagon

Posted by , 19 October 2004 - - - - - - · 295 views

It's been a while since I've updated this, so I think that a non-development post will do well to get me back in the habit.

I've been struggling with my weight for years. When I a kid, I was always heavy for my age. This got better around 5th grade, when I shot up to 6 ft (where I stopped), and started exercising regularly. Initially, exercising consisted of pushups, situps, pullups, and some running. I soon started lifting weights regularly and did a minimal amount of cardio. I was in good shape throughout high school, where I wrestled and played football. When I graduated from high school, I weighed about 195 lbs - mostly muscle. I continued for a year after that, and got up to a 350 lbs bench press.

Then I went to Korea for 2 years as a missionary for my church. While there, I was able to keep in fairly good shape, but couldn't lift weights, so I lost a lot of strength and size. I mostly jumped rope and did some bodyweight workouts, but not consistently. When I got back I was around 185 lbs. After that, I went back to school, got married a year later, and then became busy trying to support my family, so I didn't workout consistently. My eating habits changed, and I started gaining weight. Within a couple of years, I was up to 240 lbs. In the fall of '96, I decided it was time to lose weight. I started the New Hilton Head Metabolism Diet, ran every day, and did a regular regimen of bodyweight workouts (I didn't have access to a gym). Within 5 months, I'd lost almost 40 pounds. Unfortunately, at that time, I changed jobs to something more demanding, and also decided to go back to school (I'd been off for 3 years just surviving). With the change, my regimen fell apart, and I started to gain the weight back. 2 years later, after another job change, I got a gym membership and tried again to get back in shape, but I lacked the discipline to diet. My next attempt to get back on the wagon came a year ago, when I tried the South Beach diet. It went really well - I lost 10 pounds in a little over a month - but I wasn't exercising, and I craved my favorite carbs ALL the time, so it wasn't sustained, and I gained all the weight back and then some.

This year, I peaked at 263 lbs, and finally, early last month, I committed to a sustained effort to get back in shape again. I read an article that said the middle of the afternoon was the best time to work out, and I realized that I could eat lunch at my desk and go to the company gym in the afternoon (making it harder to skip the workout). I looked at the diets I'd been on and came up with guidelines for eating (with a high protein/moderate good carbs & fats focus) that I thought would both allow me to lose weight while not leaving me craving all the time.

I've been following this for about 6 weeks now, eating pretty healthily and working out six days a week for an hour. I've lost 15 pounds and I feel great.

My goals are weight loss and building muscle. I know that those two things are conflicting in many ways, especially in the diet. So for now, I'm doing cardio and weightlifting every day, but I'm not expecting major gains from the weightlifting. Once I get to my target weight, I'll cut back the cardio to three days a week.

Right now, cardio is riding an exercise bike for 20 minutes. About every other week I'm doing a 10+ mile mountain bike trip as well - this in preparation for a 250 mile trek I'm making in the spring.

My current lifting split looks something like this:

Leg press
Seated leg curls
Seated leg extensions
Side leg raises (bodyweight)
Standing calf raises (bodyweight)

Seated row
Bench press
Lat pulldown
Incline or decline bench press

Shoulder press
Upright row
Dumbell flies
Dumbell curls
Overhead tricep extensions
Forearm curls/extensions

Lower back

I'm doing most exercises for 3 sets of 6-8 reps, with < 45 sec breaks between sets (which I usually spend stretching) and no rest between excercises. I also vary the excercises pretty regularly.

Anyway, the reason I'm posting this here is mainly as another incentive to stay on the wagon, but I'd also welcome feedback on my workout if people think it could be more effective.

Back... sort of

Posted by , 06 August 2004 - - - - - - · 220 views

What a crazy couple of weeks. We finished the OpenGL ES book on time. It's now undergoing editing, which should be complete. After that, we get a final review of the text, and then it's off to the printer. I think it ended up being a really solid book.

I'm still plugging away at the resource CD for BOGLGP. It was supposed to be done last week, but Kevin's been slammed at work, and as luck would have it, I got picked for jury duty. It's mostly done now. We have slideshows for each of the chapters, a sample syllabus for the instructor, and I'm about 80% of the way through with a list of sample questions for tests and quizzes (we have to come up with around 250 questions in total, which is a real PITA). I think that a class based around our book would be a lot of fun to take, though, so I hope some schools pick it up.

Tomorrow night, I leave for SIGGRAPH, so I'll be out of the loop for another week. While I'm gone, there will be two major things launched on GameDev.net, so hopefully those will go well in my absense. I'm making a mad rush to get my parts of those things done before leaving, as well as getting the CD finished, and as always, trying to get a few more articles up.

I wish I could say that things would slow down a little after SIGGRAPH, but a week after I get back, I'm headed back to Utah for a weekend with friends and family. When I get back to San Diego, the kids start school, and then I'll leave for Europe for GDC Europe and ECTS. A week after returning from that I'm going to the Austin Game Conference, and it looks like I'll be going to the Tokyo Game Show toward the end of September. And somehow, I'm supposed to find time to work on Advanced OpenGL Game Programming...

Crunch time

Posted by , 19 July 2004 - - - - - - · 215 views

I've got one week left to finish the OpenGL ES book. Fortunately, it's almost there. I'll finish up writing my part of the text tonight, but I've still got some editing to do. We had several other people contribute chapters to the book (e.g. we had a commercial game developer write a chapter about porting a PC-based game to BREW and OpenGL ES), and although they provided some excellent information, it's taking some work to edit into a state that's ready for publication.

Besides that, Kevin and I are still working on the instructor resource CD for BOGLGP. That's due at the end of the month.

Unfortunately, these two things are going to occupy most of my free time for the next couple of weeks, so I'm not going to have much time for GameDev.net. I'll try to at least post a few new articles to keep the site from getting completely stale.

Laying low for a while

Posted by , 08 July 2004 - - - - - - · 130 views

Because of my role here at GameDev.net, over the years I've interacted with a huge number of people, so it's no surprise that despite my best efforts, I've made an enemy or two. I've also seen many strange emails. But I've never seen anything like this:
From: TheOneAndOnly Goldberg
Subject: Goldberg

I'm THE ONE AND ONLY GOLDBERG and a friend of mine told me that your were giving him trouble so I'm gonna kick your ass. Yes, I truely am the one and only Goldberg from WCW. I'm a 7'2" mother fucker who's gonna mop the floor with you. Why I'm so strong that I'll turn you into a computer, yes, there will be a monitor over your head!!! Ha ha ha! THE ONE AND ONLY GOLDBERG ALSO KNOWS YOUR RACIST. What's all this talk about hating George Bush and not wanting to help Israel? Ahh? The one and only Goldberg will see you tonight, bitch! I bet you're a scrawny little mother fucker you computer nerd. Man, I'll damage your specs so just remember, the one and only Goldberg is watching you, you bitch ass, bug-eyed, can't get pussy, know it all geek. Your ass is mine!!! Ha ha ha... I like the sound of that!!!

Besides the obvious concern about his unusual interest in my ass, there's the fact that I'm really too busy to entertain a guest tonight.

A time for change

Posted by , 07 July 2004 - - - - - - · 188 views

When I started at Qualcomm in February of 2003, it was with the understanding that I'd be working on their implementation of OpenGL ES, as well as writing 3D demos to go along with it. For the past year and a half, almost all of my time has been dedicated to working on OpenGL ES. It's been very rewarding - I've gained a much better understanding of the way OpenGL works under the hood, a much deeper knowledge of 3D graphics in general, and a lot of exposure to the low level operation of graphics hardware (the implementation I've been working on is software-based, but we're now transitioning to hardware).

But we've reached the point where most of the new development is done. OpenGL ES will evolve just as OpenGL has, and new features will be added, but these new features will probably only exist in hardware. So the work I've been doing is rapidly becoming less interesting.

Fortunately, about 6 months ago, another team here at Qualcomm was started with the purpose of both supporting game developers and producing content for use by marketing and product management. Because of my background, I've been on loan to this team part time, but because the team was small, the focus was on the support (going to conferences, doing presentations, etc.), and not on content development. But now, the team has grown larger, and they have a need for someone to work on creating games and demos full time, and as of today, that someone is going to be me.

I'm pretty excited about it. Other than the demos I wrote for BOGLGP, I really haven't had time to work on any games or demos for almost two years, and now I'll be doing it full time. I also have almost complete freedom over what I develop, so it should be a lot of fun.

Reviewers wanted

Posted by , 28 June 2004 - - - - - - · 194 views

So I was browsing through the books database today, and I noticed something. We have around 400 books listed here, and about half of them don't have any reviews at all. We'd really like the books section to be a comprehensive resource where our visitors can look to see what their peers think of the books they're considering for purchase.

The thing is, I know that in most cases, hundreds if not thousands of our visitors have read these books. So take a minute to look around our books section and see if you can add a review or two, especially for the sad, lonely, reviewless books.

To change gears completely, last night, my wife and I were watching Big Fish (finally), when we heard our cat (Anya) banging around her food dish in the garage - except that she's never that noisy, so my wife went to check on her. She flips on the light, and sees something duck behind our cabinets by the door to the backyard. She looks behind them and sees a black tail sticking out. Assuming it's the black neighbor cat that's been poking around our house lately (Anya's in heat), she rattles around an old ironing board that we have tucked behind there to scare the cat away. Except that the ironing board falls and lands on what turns out to be an extremely pissed off skunk. We know this not because we saw it, but because of the stench that suddenly filled our garage.

If your only experience with smelling skunks is from driving past where one has been killed on the highway, let me just say that you have NO clue how bad it really is.

So now the skunk is hiding underneath our freezer, not moving, and our eyes are watering from the smell. Finally, we were able to get it to leave by opening all the doors and jabbing a stick under the freezer. But then we've got the problem of the smell to deal with. We lit every candle we own, boiled cinnamon, and finally just burned cardboard to try to get rid of the smell. The result? Our entire house now smells like burned skunk. Hopefully after leaving the doors and windows open all day today, the smell will be somewhat bearable.

So much to do, so little time

Posted by , 19 June 2004 - - - - - - · 163 views

Bug fixes and feature enhancements on the new forum and other software have sucked up almost all of my free time over the past several days, which isn't good. Good for the site, I guess, but not so good for my other projects.

Right now, I'm actually working on 3 books - sort of. Although Beginning OpenGL Game Programming shipped in March, Kevin and I are still obliged to put together a resource CD. BOGLGP was written so that it could be used as a text book, so the resource CD will contain slideshows, additional exercises, etc, for instructors. Needless to say, it's not the most exciting thing in the world to work on, which is why we're now 3 weeks late in delivering it.

The next book I'm due to finish (end of July) is OpenGL ES Game Development. I'm doing this with one of my coworkers. OpenGL ES is a subset of OpenGL developed for mobile devices, primarily cell phones. I've spent the past year working on a commecial software implementation of it (which will ship on hundreds of millions of devices), so I know a thing or two about it. Besides OpenGL ES, the book provides a lot of information for anyone doing mobile games, including information on the leading 3D mobile game engines, fixed point math, mobile audio, the business model, a case study of porting a PC game to mobile, and more. We were able to get quite a few leaders in the mobile gaming community to contribute to the book, so it should be quite good.

The third book is Advanced OpenGL Game Programming, which Kevin may or not be involved with. It'll pick up where BOGLGP left off, covering topics such as shaders (both OGLSL and asm shaders), VBOs, PBOs, special effects, occlusion queries, scene management, etc. The book's set to print around GDC next year.

But because of site related issues, I'm not getting a lot done on these books. Fortunately, we've got a number of people helping out (Oluseyi, Michalson, superpig, Sicrane, to name a few), so I should be able to stop spreading myself so thin, and actually get a few things done.

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