About Me

Short Version

I’ve been in the “business” of making websites and administering and working on online projects for 8 years now. I have gone by the aliases *Ingwe*, Alixor, Kaylan Dunai, Mishraile Rashima and now I go exclusively by the alias Adalla. I’ve created and run sites for general discussion, sites for role-playing, gaming clan websites and most recently gaming, television and movie related news and fan sites. I’m also working on a huge project, an entertainment organization that I am coding and developping single-handedly.

Besides web development and administration, my newest found passion is 3D CG and Visual Effects work, and I am developping my skills in this field and my aim is to become a part-time professional freelance CG and VFX artist.

My primary passion has always been and will always remain aerospace and aviation. I studied Aerospace Engineering (aka Rocket Science) for 6 years and I’m currently looking for an engineering job. I am also a pilot with some 130 hours of flight time, and I also intend to make flying a big part of my life, besides CG, film making, web development and of course, engineering.

So you can expect the most common topics in my Blog to cover television shows, movies, gaming, CG and Visual Effects, aviation and aerospace, and engineering. Of course I’ll have some other stuff in there too, like my occasional philosophical rambling, and generally my thoughts on the latest news that attracts me.

Long Version

I have been in the “business” of online communities and projects since 2000. The very first “forum” that I have ever joined was called the Imladris.net, and it was a Tolkien fan site that discussed the Lord of the Rings books and movies. I went by the alias *Ingwe* who was the High King of the Elves, and it wasnt long before I discovered one of the forums was a bit special. The people in that forum, which they lovingly called the “Prancing Pony”, was home to all sorts of spectacular discussions that I had never really experienced till that time in my life. Some of their threads were some 50,000 posts long, and it was one on such thread that I had created, which I made my first “internet” friends, of which about 8 of them I eventually met in real life on day in Leicester Square, London. That, was the begining of an 8 year long journey (and still continuing) of meeting new friends, sharing my passions, interests, thoughts and feelings with them, having fun together, learning new things and working on projects together.

It was not long before I started seeking certain things and type of people that I could not find in all the websites I came across. So started my journey as a webmaster and community leader. It started on “ezboard” which still exists today. It is a website where you could create your own forum for free. My first community I had called “Alixor” and over the year many websites and projects were born, had their ups and downs, and eventually died. Meanwhile, I gained experience in all areas of building and managing a website. I started off with websites that did things for me. Then I learned how to edit certain things to custumize them, and eventually got my own domains, installed my own forums, and built my own websites. Over the past few years I self-taught myself to create dynamic websites in PHP, learned to use CSS for better looking websites, mySQL for managing databases, and I have become an expert in vBulletin, SMF, and phpbb forum software packages. Over the years I created “all-in-one, everything goes” discussion sites, I created role-playing sites where we wrote fan fiction for Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series, and eventually transitioned into the gaming world by setting up clan websites. I have become so proficient with creating communities and websites, that at one point I had about 10 websites/communities going on at the same time. Of course, I learned soon that I couldnt take care of so many websites, and eventually the things that I have the most passion for survived, and they became successful due to all my experience. I had finally figured out what to do and what not to do as a site admin. 

Today, I still develop and manage several websites. My most successful endeavor to date is BSG Pilots. BSG Pilots started off as a neutral website where gamers playing the Battlestar Galactica mod for the Freespace 2 mod “Beyond the Red Line” could meet up and pre-arrange games. However, upon the beginning of the fourth and final season of Battlestar Galactica, it evolved into something much more. Today, BSG Pilots gets on average 1 to 2 new registrations per day and we are at 220 members and counting. This is by far the most members any of my sites has ever had. I also run XvT World, which is a sister-site to BSG Pilots, and is dedicated to the Star Wars space sim gaming universe. Since Star Wars space sim games are a dying breed, it is no real surprise that XvT World is not doing as well as BSG Pilots, but nonetheless, it is the only website of it’d kind. The one website to bring all the Star Wars X-wing series gaming clans under one roof. And, we get a few new registrations a month and are at about 110 members or so, so it’d not doing horrible. These two websites, along with my BSG gaming clan “The 9th Battlestar Group” are the 3 surviving websites out of the 20 or so that came and went over the past 8 years. A website that I threw up in like 3 minutes to showcase my 3D CG work also exists, called Kobol Studios, but that’s about it. 

I will probably write a detailed history of my projects for those who are interested. Who knows, perhaps some of the visitors that find this Blog might have been a member of one of my former websites 🙂

I dont know what it is about making websites, but it lets me unleash my creativity and gives me great satisfaction to see others (myself include) enjoy what I create. Plus, it really has given me innumerable skills that I would not posses unless I had gotten into this “hobby”. 

The “peak” in my webmaster activity has been these past 2 years. I have graduated from school and been takign some time-off and enjoying life, as well as seeking a job. So I had plenty of time to devote to this stuff. Now however, I am hoping that soon I will have well trained staff and admins that can run these sites for me the way I intended them to be run, with great passion, dedication and sharing my vision for them.

I was also very involved with gaming these past 2 years, but now I tend to see gaming as a bit of a waste of time. Dont get me wrong, it’s great fun, but it’s easy to get lost in it and lose sight of what is important in life. So I have reduced my gaming to almost nothing, and lately I’ve discovered a new but incredibly strong passion for 3D Computer Graphics work. This in turn has awakened my fascination for film making. I do have possibly the biggest project I have ever undertaken in the works. It is an entertainment website that I still dont talk openly about. It is sort of on “pause” right now, and it is a monumental project for one person alone, but I’ve worked so much on it already, that I will keep working on it and get it done one day. This will be my greatest accomplishment as far as my web development to date, as I’m basically creating my own content management system and giving the user many features. For someone who didnt know anyting about PHP just a year or so ago, I cant believe I’m even contemplating making such a website.

So basically I’m transitioning from web development and management (and gaming), to CG work, Visual Effects work and film/documentary making.

I went to study Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering in school, also known as Rocket Science, and got 2 degrees  in it, but for 4 years now I’ve been having mid-schooling and post-schooling career-choice crisis. The most serious careers I have considered were Corporate Jet pilot (that was around the junior and senior year of my university) which was about 3/4 years ago. I then got over that, since I figured I dont like a computer doing all the work for me, I wouldnt like flying at Flight Level 420 for 90% of my time (That’s 42,000 ft fyi) and I certainly dont want to buy peanuts for some spoiled rich guy and be on stand-by at 4am for him. Similarly, I would end up hating flying if I had to go into Airlines, doing teh same routes over and over, always traveling. I figured I love flying, but I’d hate being a commerical pilot. Of course, the other options were Helicopter flying, Bush Pilot flying and other small-craft careers, but the problem is, these make you starve as they dont pay you enough. And as much as I value doing what you love for a living above all else, I’m a realist, and understand money is important, especially when i will have a family, and it wont be “all about me”.

So I let that “dream” go. Continued  studying engineering, got a Masters in it, and before I knew it I was done and was looking for a job. I wont go into the details, but suffice it it say they dont like to hire foreigners in the United States or Canada into the aerospace industry, and so I wasnt able to find a job for 2 years. I wasnt too worried, because I knew I was sort of on “vacation” from my 6 years of Rocket Science hell. But for the first time in my life I had time to think about life and what I truly wanted. Up until that point, I just though about the next day’s homework or the next semester’s class. I never questioned what I was studying, cause I loved it. But once I was out of school, I found myself not solving differential equations for fun everyday or building rockets in my garage. Instead i found myself involved in more artistic endeavors that allowed me to express my creativity, such as web and community development and administration, graphic design (doing the art work/image editing for the websites).

2008 is the year of CG for me. It is the year I discovered my huge passion for CG and VFX work, and this was mostly inspired from my favorite show/movie of all time, Battlestar Galactica. I started loving it so much I considered a full career change, and going to study in one of the 1 year 3D Animation and VFX schools and then going into CG full time. And after some SERIOUS confusion and consideration, I gave up that idea as well, for much the same reasons as why I abandoned professional flying, but also for more than that. Basically, I found out you dont need a degree to get into a CG career. I’m a member of several CG communities, and you have 14 and 15 year olds who do spectacular work on their pirated copies of full version pro software. So by the time they are out of high school, they’d have a few years experience on their own. Not to mention, by the time they are my age (26 in a few weeks) they will have like a dozen years on me, and all that, without even a drop of sweat or dollar spent in college. But that wasnt all of the reason. I can handle competition if it’s what I truly want to do. But I found out, that the type of work I love is only a minority of the industry. I love the type of CG we see in SciFi shows and movies, space shots, space ships etc. And I knew that if I went into this career full time I would not have the luxury of picking and choosing what I worked on. So this would basically mean I would end up working on some stupid milk commerical, and only doing one type of CG work. I also was put off by the instability of a CG career. Apparently for the type of work I’d like to do (Feature film and television) most of the jobs are on a per-contract basis. So basically you work 2, 6 or 12 months and then you are out of a job. I didnt like the idea of having to look for a new job every 6 months and having to pay my family’s bills with no money coming in. Added to the fact that when you do have a job you can work 80 hour weeks and 24 hours straight sometimes to finish a project, I said…this is not for me.

SO, I finally decided to stick with engineering as my 9 to 5 and to work on CG and fly as a hobby or part time professionally. Hopefully the idea is that the engineering job will utilize my 6 years of specialized education, do something I love doing (hopefully), and make enough money to fly when, where and how I want, and do the CG that I want workign on the projects I choose. I also found out CG is a type of job which is commonly done freelance from home. So I can even be paid for some of the CG work I do.

So all in all that’s the plan. Use my engineering degrees and hopefully get a job that I will love. My specialation in school was jet and rocket propulsion, and these jobs are hard to find and few. But I will not give up hope. I intend to find an engineering job I love, and do CG and fly in my spare time.

I didnt expect to write a book about myself, but it all just poured out so I let it. Perhaps you are or know someone in the Aerospace industry, or CG industry and so I thought I’d put it all out there in case you’d like to hire a propulsion engineer, or mentor me in CG 😛 lol

Anyways. That’s the “about” me. I congratulate you if you read this far. I spared you all my “philosophical crap” so consider yourself lucky :P. I’m a very deep person that likes to talk lots about philosophy and deep thoughts. But I’ll leave that stuff for actual blog posts.

I’ll leave you with my favorite quote:

“Ad Astra Per Aspera” latin for “To the Stars Through Difficulty”

I hope you enjoy my blog posts, and I hope to hear your comments on the various things I present and discuss 🙂

~Adalla

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