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Monday, April 30, 2012

Slowly But Surely

I've been slowly getting back into my 3D work, and I'm in the process of putting together a new machine specifically for 3D work - a quad-core i5 with 16GB of RAM and a new Fermi-based NVidia PCIe card.  I have Carrara 8 Pro installed on the Asus laptop, and I'm relearning it slowly but surely (and remembering why I wanted to get something more professional).

Music composition and production is on hold for a while, until I decide where I want to go with it.  Meh.

Other than that, just a lot of studying on Jutoh and Scrivener.  They're both very powerful tools and the better I know them, the faster I can crank out the words!

Work is fun, learning lots of new things and digging deep into ARM programming and Perl scripting.

I still need to finish loading the tablet with my Kindle library, argh, and putting MP3s on it.  I'd use the phone for music, but it needs a special extra-cost adapter and battery life is already miserable, so I'll pass.  I should get email set up on the phone, though, for emergencies.

Not a lot going on at home on the programming end, since work is chewing up all my "coding" bandwidth.  But I don't have any urgent home projects, so it's not a big deal.  Maybe I'll bring a bunch of the  micros in to work to play with during lunch! Good idea!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Random updates

Well, I *finally* got around to installing my new toys.  So, I have Photoshop Elements and the Wacom Bamboo Capture on the system now, and I'm really liking the tablet!  The touch sensitivity of it is cool and I can actually surf around pretty effectively, without using my trackball.  Fun times!

I also installed Toontrack Beatstation, and played with it a bit.  This will be VERY useful in laying down grooves and beats in Reaper, and the standalone flavor is fun to play and experiment with.

I'm in the process of reinstalling Daz Studio 4.0 Pro, and will reinstall all my content as well (over time).  Since I'm in the process of building a small form factor microATX-based quad core system, I'll be putting all my content on a USB drive so it's easier to move to the new machine when all the parts are in and I put it together.

Other than that, not a lot going on.  I've been reading up on how ot use Jutoh and Scrivener, so expect some writings in the not too distant future.  I've installed Scrivener on the little Dell machine as well so if I want to go out and write, I can.  The tablet is great for note-taking, music, eBook reading, and generally simple stuff but is in no way a writing machine!  After a couple of paragraphs on it, I start to lose my patience (sigh).  It still rocks, though!

Back to installing software.

Monday, April 16, 2012

The Hardest Thing in the World

It's effectively done.  I just need to bring it into Jutoh and I can publish it on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords... all over.  But.

BUT.

Now, I can take the code I write for work and I actively enjoy code reviews, because this is what I do for a living, and feedback makes me better and more valuable.  I don't feel any kind of ego when I code, if there's a better way, I want to know!

BUT.

When it comes to my creative works, it's a different world.  This is the child of my soul, a thing made from my blood, my tears, my joy, my pain, my breath and life.  Ego permeates it, is part of it.  And to expose this extension of my existence to critique, well, that's a challenge beyond any other.

It would be like putting your kid on "Hot Or Not" and letting strangers slag him/her for being too short, too tall, too fat, too skinny, etc. etc. etc.  Not a fun time.  More than likely not constructive or educational.

Because it's easier to mindlessly attack something than, you know, actually HAVE TO THINK. God forbid the Internet has to have more than a 20 second attention span or an IQ over 50!  LOLZ J00 SUX0RZ!  Feh.

When the human race finally dies out, and the roaches win, I will smile.  Because at least the roaches have found their niche.

Sorry for the nihlistic post, but that's how I feel.  I've had a lot of positive feedback on my writings and I'm seriously considering dropping as much as I can to focus on Word And Vision.

Until next time, take care, be well, have fun!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

My First Tablet

It arrived it arrived it arrived!

Yes, here I sit with my new Android tablet (her name is Damiana), basically just fiddling around with the built-in apps as the wireless here at work is secure and I can't get her on it.  At home, she gets on the LAN fine, so tonight I'll spend some time browsing the Android App Store, getting the Kindle reader installed, and trying to find a nice note-taking app.

It's a Vizio 8in. Android tablet, a VTAB1008-B with a 1GHz CPU, 512MB RAM, 4GB onboard, Bluetooth, a GPS, front-facing chat cam, and it's running Honeycomb (updated itself from the installed 2.3 on boot).  I have a 16GB SD card I'm going to install tonight, for eBooks, music, and the like.

So far I'm pretty darn happy.  It's a refurbished unit and came with a free folio, so for the $220 I paid I get the tablet, folio, USB charger, SD card, and some stuff printed on dead trees.  It was kind of an impulse buy, I've wanted a tablet for a while but didn't want to risk $350+ on something I might decide was an overpriced toy.  Most of my concern was the "no tactile feedback" keyboard.

Well, it works just fine.  I can't type at full speed, but it's a LOT faster than the tiny keys on my phone and quite acceptable.  I couldn't use it for full-throttle writing, but for notes and flash fiction it'd work wonderfully.  In fact, I think I can leave my Dell ultralight at home and use the Vizio for what I was using the Dell for (portable notes and small writings machine).  I'm amazed at the weight, it's LESS than a Day-Timer, I don't feel encumbered at all carrying this little thing around.  The Lenovo I tried was only 7in., a bit lighter but harder to read with my aging eyes.  A 10in. is too large, it feels close to carrying my Dell around would have been clumsy at a conference table.

I can see why people fall in love with these.  I can grab the folio and go, it's easy to read, typing is quite acceptable, and it does what I need.  Battery life is supposed to be around 6-7 hours, my Dell with the DVD drive removed and the second battery installed goes about 4.5 hours.

This means I won't be keeping the Asus system once I build my microATX power machine, I'll clean it up and sell it off cheap.

I'm one happy camper and I'm a believer, now I've caught the tablet fever!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

A Quick Update

I'm not dead, just crazy busy!

I finally broke down and ordered an Android tablet, it's a refurb but I got it cheap - it's a Vizio 8 inch Android 2.3 tablet with Bluetooth and 3 speakers, should be perfect for portable note-taking and the like!

I upgraded Alchemy Player to full Alchemy, and let me tell you the Camel folks have a winner here!  I'm going to try to learn sound design soon, for my own compositions.  Hopefully some of those will arrive here soon as well.

"Love, Dark and Frozen" sit's at pre-publication.  I need to move it into Jutoh to add the cover art and final formatting, but I'm doing an amazingly good job of putting it off.  Hopefully I can push myself through the final resistance and get it into Kindle format in a week or so.

I need a new machine for music!  Not due to CPU, but RAM - the laptop I  have only takes 4GB and I've come close to filling it up several times now.  I'm going to order parts and build a small form-factor micro-ATX PC with 16GB on it and a quad-core I5 processor, that should do for a while.

Not much else - hang in there, more soon!