• 3D Modeling Tools

    This is simply a quick list of tools I use in my 3D modeling/animation workflow. 3D Model Viewer Open3Mod is my model viewer of choice, but there really isn’t a perfect solution as far as I know. Open3Mod is free, open source, lightweight and just works well as a quick viewer of FBX and OBJ […]

  • Hash tables: a crash course on what they are

    This is really just a placeholder for unwritten content that explains hash tables in an easy-to-understand fashion.  I will update it later with pictures and more information. What are hash tables? If you ever used an array in a programming language and thought “there has to be a better way to search through this array” […]

  • Should be titled Guidance For Not-So-Savvy Unity Users. Ju'saiyan.

    Creating E-Learning Games With Unity

    “Creating E-Learning Games With Unity” by David Horachek is a very nicely put together book for Unity3D developers who want to further understand the e-learning game market.  I like the book because of its wide variety of useful information for Unity devs.  This book was like a refresher course on how to design and develop […]

  • PlayStation Vita Store Vs Nintendo 3DS eShop

    I’ve had the original model of the 3DS for a while and recently invested in a slim model of the PSVita.  What I’ve learned is that both systems have their own quirks which could prove to be major headaches.  Below are the biggest headaches I’ve had with each system’s store applications. Nintendo eShop The Nintendo […]

  • Most popular search results to hit tapskill.com

    Since I’m in favor of openness and transparency, I feel I should give people an idea of where my site’s traffic comes from (for the most part). Below are the top five search queries which result in a tapskill.com page being on the first page of Google (in privacy mode). daikon forge unirpg (7th result, […]

  • Reset your Drupal password without email.

    I deal with Drupal sites often, and one of the most often recurring issues is a forgotten/lost password for the admin account.  Sometimes, the site isn’t yours, and you simply were told the wrong info to log into the site but you have FTP access.  Other times, you simply don’t want to go through the […]

  • gooseneck desk lamp

    Unity3D Assets I Really Love

    I bought a Unity 4.x Pro license back in December to help me break into the indie scene on Steam.  I have yet to get that far with Unity, but I have learned a lot, developed a workflow I like, and collected a lot of helpful assets and libraries.  Below are some of the best […]

  • Figuring out a focus for Patreon is hard

    I’m kind of a josh-of-many-trades.  Patreon is designed to allow you to offer just one service/product and nothing else.  I think I will be using Patreon to fund my comic, GetLives, but I have yet to start that project, and there are so many other things I also need the funds for.  I need funding […]

  • Valentines Day is pointless.

    Before anyone judges me, I’m a bachelor.  I’m fine being single, and I really do not look for a relationship or companionship.  That said, Valentines Day pisses me off.  If love is so important to you, why do you only celebrate it on one day each year?  If I love someone, I celebrate that love […]

  • hithere

    Learning Piano

    I bought a piano a while ago, and I was so thrilled to play around with it.  However, when it came down to actually learning how to play it, I was definitely not motivated.  This article is meant to help others in my situation to motivate themselves to learn how to play piano.  It will […]

  • 2014: What I’m up to…

    At the end of 2013, I bought Unity Pro.  I will be releasing commercial quality games in the very near future.  For now, I’m teaching myself how to accomplish many visual effects in Unity Pro.  I’m also making a list of games I want to make in both Unity Pro and Flash.  I may share […]

  • Unity 4.x Pro Mirror Reflection Limitations

    I have been working with Unity 4.3 Pro for the past week or so. The first Pro feature I wanted to try was render-to-texture, so I looked up examples. First thing I noticed was mirror effects suck. There are major limitations to the example scripts, and I have no idea how to get past these […]

  • Touch-based web app design problems

    I attended a course on mobile web design and it got me thinking about the compatibility of the web with touch-based devices.  Touch-based devices do not have the same design issues, but that difference creates a more complex overall design challenge.  How do we target both touch-based and mouse-based devices? Advantages of mouse-driven design Mice […]

  • Riddick is not a remake

    I watched the new Riddick movie.  After seeing the teaser a few months ago, I went into the theater expecting it to be a remake of the original Pitch Black.  It is not a remake.  It is actually a sequel to The Chronicles of Riddick. My opinion of the movie is that the story is […]

  • Funny how web traffic turns out.

    I get about 59 spam comments per day, and about 80% of the comments are made on my Design Patterns Primer article and my GW2 April Fools post.  Traffic-wise, however, about 90% of my traffic comes from getlives.com, which is a locked down game reviews site that I get a lot of bot traffic at […]

  • Output clean JSON data from Twitter API v1.1 using PHP

    I was making a mobile app with Tersus (WYSIWYG RAD) as a school project, and I noticed Twitter no longer has an open XML feed.  I looked around and most of the Twitter apps I saw were outdated or simply used the Twitter widget (JS only).  For that reason, I took a few hours out […]

  • 5084OT_cov

    Unity Shaders and Effects Cookbook

    I had a chance to read Unity Shaders and Effects Cookbook by Kenneth Lammers.  It is a really nice book and could very well be my shaders bible.  Check out my review. In related news, I started a Books category on this blog.  I will use this category for talking about books I recently read […]

  • Unity makes me feel dumb sometimes.

    Ever had one of those moments when you realized all the workarounds you attempted to solve a problem with were all for nothing and you could have just changed a setting somewhere?  I had one of those moments today. A little back story first.  I was giving up on ever getting my Flash RPG to […]

  • Warm Bodies and Awesome Video Games

    I watched Warm Bodies yesterday as I tried to get some rest.  I expected the movie to be very crappy,  but it was actually kind of  funny.  It had decent acting, too, but then, it was kind of bad in terms of writing. Eh, who cares!  It was funny!  It is a funny mixture of […]

  • Programming Language Name Origins

    C++ was made originally to be a preprocessor for the C language.  It was coined CPP, PP standing for preprocessor, and used that as one of the acceptable source file name extensions.  Later, when CPP was beginning to look like its own language, it was re-coined C++, changing the P’s to plus signs to signify […]

  • Mount Windows Shared Folder as VirtualBox Linux VirtualHost

    If you want to use a Linux virtual machine (VM) for use as a testing environment for your web projects yet also want to edit the files from the comfort of your Windows computer, there are many caveats that could slow you down.  First, VirtualBox does not allow you to do a reverse shared folder.  […]

  • The Internship Movie Plus Epic

    Saturday night, I went to see The Internship.  The theater was packed, but for some reason, very few people were in there to see this movie.  I am glad I chose to see it.  It lived up to my expectations of being Wedding Crashers for nerds.  It was a hilarious movie, and the plot was […]

  • Resize LVM PV Partition in Debian/Ubuntu

    I may expand on this later if I ever have a reason to, but I wanted to share a few woes I recently had to deal with when trying to fix a LVM or Logical Volume Manager partition on one of my VirtualBox-powered server projects.  By the way, let it be known that I am […]

  • EM325 Super Savannah Safari

    My EM325 “Multimedia Development for the Web” course was all about Adobe Flash CS6’s interface.  I was already familiar with Flash, because I have been using it as a hobby since Macromedia Flash 5.  Yes, that was back when programming in Flash was almost non-existent.  It was a great animation tool, though, and that was […]

  • Digital Pirates Battling Digital Piracy

    I saw Green Heart Games’ post about the new game, Game Dev Tycoon, and I found it hilarious.  It is a must read for anyone who has a sore attitude toward piracy.  Here’s the summary of what happened.  The dev made a torrent of his own game and altered it so the game teaches the […]

  • The WordPress vs. Drupal CMS Debate

    I have used Drupal since Drupal 6 was first considered stable, and before that, I was using WordPress for a Flash arcade site.  I recently started this blog using WordPress.  However, I am still very fond of Drupal, and I have to admit that I wish I make my blog using Drupal just because I […]

  • XQuery First Impressions and Code Snippet

    I am enrolled in the EM228 “Scripting for the Web” course at Colorado Tech University.  I went into the course with previous JavaScript experience, but many students are probably still scratching their heads about the assignment which tells us to use XQuery to read from XML files and display the data on a web page.  […]

  • Design Patterns Primer

    Primers are simply overviews of a subject, a summary, an introduction.  This primer is an introduction to computer programming design patterns.  Design patterns are the methods of which we put the pieces of code together.  Patterns include the factory method, singletons, and many other design principles.  This primer will cover the most basic design patterns […]

  • Memrise: Social Memorization Program

    Ever wanted to learn Japanese (or some other language) but gave up on it because you couldn’t find a good teacher (or some other method of learning)? I was the same way… until I found Memrise, a web-based learning program.  Now, I’m learning a little Japanese and practicing old words each day, during lunch.  It […]

  • Dunning Kruger Effect

    I found out what it’s called when an inferior worker thinks they have above average skills.  Thanks by the way, Wikipedia.  I learned something today because of you.  And of course, thank you, too, Google. The Dunning-Kruger effect is a “cognitive bias” (or what I would call just ‘bias’) over your own work that makes […]

  • Guild Wars 2 April Fools: Super Adventure Box

    I went on Guild Wars 2 (GW2) yesterday to see if there was an April Fools joke there, and I got something more:  Super Adventure Box! Super Adventure Box is hilariously difficult and, well, hilarious.  It is an expansion of the jumping puzzle idea.  They took Fractals of the Mists and combines it with a […]

  • I’m Analytical

    Heh, I said anal.  I was toying around with DeviantArt’s bizarre, new feature, a dating service, and it asked me how I would describe myself.  It gave me many options, and as I ran through them, I though they all described me in some way, but then I came across “Analytical” and something clicked… followed […]

  • Standards Not Kept: Root Access, SSH and Databases

    Standards Not Kept is a new segment on my blog where I will explain features you should be getting from services, like web hosts and cloud gaming, but are not normally given.  In this issue, I want to discuss features I think every web host should provide no matter what but are actually not providing […]

  • Fun and Creative Dot-Coms Available A to Z

    I do a lot of domain browsing thinking I may just find a domain I like.  Sometimes, I just search random names for the heck of it.  Other times, I get these domains as suggestions by my domain registrar when I’m searching for something else.  Below are a few domains I thought were cool. ArtIFap.com […]

  • My Online Safety Protocol

    Staying safe on the web is like staying safe on the moon.  There’s no atmosphere and therefore no air, so you need a special suit just to breathe.  Even if you are as careful as possible, accidents can happen, and nothing will protect you enough if you get hit by a meteor.  Okay, bad analogy, […]

  • Resizing Images in Adobe InDesign

    This is a quick tip that I think everyone could use if they work in print media. The default behavior of the resize tool for pasted/placed images is to resize the frame, which crops the image area. To change this, choose the subselect tool, which should appear as a white arrow. Then use that tool […]

  • Steam Greenlight Games I am Excited About

    Let’s start with some games I voted on that should be on Steam shortly: MaK/Project Make In MaK, you ‘make’ stuff.  In the end, it is just another building blocks game, I guess, but it looks very inventive.  You have a very unique gameplay experience because it lets you be creative with solving problems.  Want […]

  • Second Life School Project

    I attended a virtual worlds course that seemed to be rather lame at first because it chose to utilize Second Life for the entire course.  However, I found that Second Life can be kind of fun to build stuff in.  For this school project, I had to create a scene or object that makes use […]

  • TLDR: Too Long; Didn’t Read.

    Often used with a semicolon, TLDR is short form for “Too long; didn’t read.”  This term annoys me greatly, because it seems to have been made for lazy forum trolls.  In some cases, I have seen people respond to story threads on writing forums with “TL;DR”, which means even the book-reading community seems to be […]

  • Patterns Game is New Minecraft

    I see a ton of Minecraft style games coming out, and now we have a very interesting one in the works called Patterns.  I found out about this game through Second Life’s homepage.  Yes, the Second Life creators are making this game.  It looks like a more creative game focusing on, well, patterns.  From what […]

  • Tools for the Artist

    To start us off, I want to list a few tools I think every artist should aspire to obtain.  These tools are usually very expensive but also extremely useful. Samsung Ativ Smart PC Pro – $749 This tablet PC was released only a short while ago.  I know it has a Wacom Penabled digitizer (same […]

  • Hello world.

    Hi.  My name is Josh.  TapSkill is my online handle that I use almost everywhere.  Most people call me Tap.  The meaning of the name is that I am a beneficial teammate for any project, from programming to art.  Unfortunately, the name is very generic and not as identifiable as I would like, but we […]

  • What is FOSS? Why should anyone support it?

    FOSS is short form of Free Open Source Software.  At this point, you may be thinking, “Wait, isn’t open source always free?”  The answer is simply no.  Free is a relative term and can have multiple meanings depending on what context it is used in.  In the case of open source projects, you are always […]

About Me

Please read my introduction.

Name: Josh Maines (Alias: Tap)

Favorite websites: Reddit, OpenGameArt, Steam Community, and of course my own blog. 😉

Skills: Programming, 3D architecture modeling, Blender3D rigging, model texturing, video production.

Favorite programming languages: ActionScript 3.0, C, C#, Java.

Languages I don’t like (avoid when possible): C++, Fortran, GraalScript, JavaScript.

Web tools of choice: Drupal, WordPress, and my own creations.

Preferred art tools: Adobe Photoshop CS6, Blender3D v2.66, Gimp, Paint Tool Sai.

Public Chit-Chat Info

Slashdot: Mindmelder
Twitter: Joshaholism
Google+: JoshMainesArt
Facebook: tapskill

Gaming Contact Info

Steam name: Syrsly (formerly TapSkill)
Xbox Live gamertag: Syrsly (click for pop-up profile window)
Guild Wars 2 characters: Syrsil (mesmer), Fyril (elementalist), Lon Lon Ranch (ranger).

Work Contact Info

I have a LinkedIn.

If you would like to contact me about a job, please use my contact form.  Thanks.