overworldtheme: (defeated)
Saturday, May 24th, 2014 02:35 pm
[Cross-posted from the Vision Riders Blog, with some minor additions at the end.]

Sorry for the lack of updates, but this has really been an all-around horrible week.

If you've been following me on Twitter, you probably already know that I've been having trouble with my desktop computer. Around Tuesday or so it randomly decided that it wasn't Direct3d compatible anymore. On a Windows machine, this of course spells major trouble. Not only does it render most games unplayable, it makes it virtually impossible to get any sort of work done. Even browsing the internet can be a chore because Windows is chugging along mostly on CPU-generated software graphics. OpenGL appears works just fine, and the display is going out correctly to both monitors, the computer just refuses to interface with or even recognize Direct3d.

I've tried everything. I've reseated the video card (multiple times), uninstalled and reinstalled the video card drivers (multiple times), installed older versions of the drivers, started up with all non-Microsoft services shut down, even messed around with the Windows registry and system BIOS. Nothing. The only thing I haven't tried is wiping the main hard drive and reinstalling Windows, but to give you an idea of just how long it's been since I've had a good system upgrade, the only Windows install disc I have is for XP service pack 1.

The entire reinstall process will take days in and of itself. I'll have to download install all the updates to bring XP up-to-date (well, as much as XP can be), find and reinstall all my work software, reconfigure all the settings back to how they were, troubleshoot all the new issues that inevitably pop up... I'm getting worn out just thinking about it. And, while this should fix the issue, if it's a hardware issue with the motherboard/CPU or the video card, I'll have done it all for naught.

This has been a long time coming. My computer's failure was inevitable, and I knew it. I've only had minor upgrades to my system over the past decade, mostly with hand-me-down-parts, and the last one was five or six years ago. I've had lots of issues with my computer over the past few years, becoming increasingly worse, and I knew it was only a matter of time before it finally gave out. It's part of why I put so much effort into getting Another Star finished before that happened. Sales from the game were supposed to help pay for a major overhaul of my system, but that didn't work out.

Thankfully, I still have a laptop, which despite some minor issues of its own is functional. It's not really designed for anything other than playing DVDs and surfing the internet, but it works at least. I suppose I'll have to be switching over to it for my main system. However, with the lack of storage space and processing power, I'm not sure how long it's going to hold up as a work machine, especially for a freelance artist.

Only time will tell.

I'd hoped to begin major work on my next game soon. The prototype was up and running, and I was almost ready to begin working on actual levels. It looked a lot better in screenshots, so I had hoped that it would get people interested in Another Star as a way to see the new game finished.

I'm not sure how well that's going to pan out now, though, without my desktop. Especially if I can't even accept freelance work because my laptop can't handle it. I have a lot to think about over the weekend as to what to do now and how to move forward. Maybe a future in art/design just wasn't meant to be. But if that's the case, what do I do with my life?
overworldtheme: (computers)
Friday, October 7th, 2011 10:09 am
Sorry for the title. For a split second I thought it was witty.

In the wake of Steve Jobs kicking the bucket and going up to that great big user interface in the sky, I've been seeing a lot of comments along the lines of "He just sold computers, he didn't do anything"; "All he did was steal ideas from Xerox"; "Steve Wozniak did all the work"; and "He was just a salesman, go down to any car dealership and you'll find ten more just like him." While I'm not a big fan of Steve Jobs, and I do agree that Steve Wozniak is sadly unappreciated, I do come away with two observations on all this nonsense.

The first is just how much we take the personal computer for granted. Most of these comments I'm seeing probably come from people even younger than me who've never lived a day in their lives without a computer somewhere in their house. The concept that no one wanted a computer forty years ago is completely foreign to them. "If they just sat down with a computer for five minutes, they'd want one." No, they'd realize in about five seconds that you'd sat them down at a glorified calculator and get tired of pushing punch cards into slots. In the seventies, computers were just settling down with microchips, finally free of the vacuum tubes and other unwieldy mechanics that had once rendered them the size of entire buildings. They were nothing more than tools for business and the playthings of hobbyists. The idea that there could not only be a pre-assembled computer made affordable for the masses, but that the masses would even want it was so exceedingly far out of the realm of conventional wisdom that it might has well been laughable. It was an uphill battle for Jobs and the handful of others like him. His strategies and those of others at Apple, such as giving computers away or selling them at very low prices to elementary schools so that kids would be exposed to them and people could see what the boxy contraptions were capable of beyond tabulating ledgers, are classic Eggs of Columbus. (The boxy contraptions being the computers, not the kids mind you.)

The second observation I had is just how much we value "originality" in today's society, especially in this age of extensive copyrights and wide-reaching patents. Yes, humankind has always been obsessed with knowing who was the first to do anything--the first to scale a mountain, to fly over an ocean, to reach a distant location--but we've become so fixated on having one clear name, someone that just had a "flash of genius" one day and boom out of nothing there was an internal combustion engine, and it was in the body of a fully-assembled 1957 Chevrolet Corvette. Real life does not work this way.

Take the light bulb for instance. Who invented the light bulb? Most people will tell you Thomas Edison. Purists will tell you Joseph Swan or Humphrey Davey. The fact of the matter is that none of these men lived in vacuums. Davey's arc lamp bears only passing resemblance to today's incandescent light bulbs and came out of contemporary experiments with building bigger and better batteries. There is then a whole line of innovations that take place and are built on before we get to Swan or Edison. Edison gets most of the credit these days for two reasons: first, he was very good at selling himself. Second, because his company didn't just come out with a light bulb. They came out with an entire lighting system: a working, feasible system of generating electricity at a source, a system of delivering that power to a home miles and miles away, and finally a light bulb that could use that power. Originality is never original.

Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal; bad poets deface what they take, and good poets make it into something better, or at least something different. -T.S. Elliot

Steve Jobs is somewhat similar to Thomas Edison in this respect. Neither he nor Wozniak invented the computer. They didn't invent the personal computer either. They also didn't invent the mouse, or the keyboard, or the graphical user interface. But it was the way they tied these systems together.

No, Jobs is not the greatest person who ever lived, and there are thousands if not millions more out there better deserving of our tears. But to say he accomplished nothing and is just another face in the crowd seems to me to demonstrate a bit of ignorance concerning why you have a shiny computer monitor sitting in front of you right now.

It also makes me wonder what's to become of Apple now. You'd think a company like that would be better off without someone like him breathing down their necks, but history has already proven that wrong once.
overworldtheme: (bunnies)
Friday, June 24th, 2011 05:44 pm
My computer crashed while rendering out video to a DVD for someone. When I restarted, Windows ran chkdsk and decided it needed to delete a bunch of "orphan file" indexes. By the time I get Windows up and running, my entire Games folder is missing on my E: drive. I'm not sure what else (if anything) is missing.

Needless to say, I am angry.
overworldtheme: (bunnies)
Wednesday, April 27th, 2011 06:18 pm
I misspelled "vaguely". Among Open Office's suggestions to correcting that annoying red squiggly line were no instances of "vaguely", but the last suggestion on the list was "vaginal". Points for trying, I guess.
overworldtheme: (bunnies)
Friday, December 17th, 2010 03:17 pm
OpenOffice, why have you randomly decided to spellcheck in Catalan? I'm not from Catalonia. -_-
overworldtheme: (computers)
Monday, October 25th, 2010 08:56 pm
News is beginning to trickle in that Apple will no longer be including Adobe Flash, and has "depreciated" Java. Way to go, Jobs! You're on a roll!
overworldtheme: (bunnies)
Friday, October 22nd, 2010 03:28 pm
Today, Open Office randomly decided that math is not a word.
overworldtheme: (defeated)
Sunday, September 19th, 2010 06:41 pm

I swear, if it's DRM-laden when it relaunches, I will cry tears so hard...
overworldtheme: (computers)
Thursday, June 24th, 2010 09:56 am
It almost borders on the hilarious how much people's perception of Apple has changed over the past few years now that they're popular. It's unreal.
overworldtheme: (internet)
Friday, April 16th, 2010 10:03 pm
Dear People of the Internet,

Please do not waste my time by trying to disable my right mouse button on your website. Not only does it make it hard for me to browse your site (as I can't right click+"Open in Background Tab"), but your poorly hacked together script gums up my browser and steals CPU cycles.

Besides, if I want your images I know how to get them.

Your truly,
overworldtheme: (internet)
Thursday, March 25th, 2010 01:06 pm
Yeah, this new Opera interface is going to take me a minute to get used to. My initial impression of it, though, is actually pretty positive.
overworldtheme: (video games)
Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010 05:08 pm
I'm curious as to how Steam is going to work on the Mac. What will be available? Is the Source Engine getting ported as well?
overworldtheme: (computers)
Tuesday, January 26th, 2010 08:01 am
Some guy's website I doomed to stand witness to appears to be infatuated with everything open source. In addition to claiming how OpenOffice.org is so superior in every possible way to MSOffice, the guy claims that Paint.NET is "better" than Photoshop.

Figuratively speaking, of course, I almost wet my pants laughing.
overworldtheme: (animation)
Thursday, November 19th, 2009 09:12 am
Ooo! Amazon has a free Kindle app for the PC now. I shall have to try this out. Yoink!
overworldtheme: (internet)
Friday, November 13th, 2009 07:59 am
Everyone else is posting their desktops, so I feel obligated to do the same. I'm not posting the meme with it, because it's stupid and irrelevant.

Here is my desktop.

If you don't know where these characters are from then, one, you are living in a paper bag under a rock at the bottom of the deepest cave in the most remote part of the Amazon jungles where all the natives point and laugh at you as they pass by before going back to their cell phone (where they are likely taking a very important call from their stock broker) and, two, you're an illiterate moron because the logo is right there. I generally don't put my own work on my desktop, because I hate my own work enough as it is without having it in my face every day to realize why else it sucks. I also don't leave my desktop blank very often, as I used to, because then it just feels empty and impersonal. *shrugs* Meh.

In any case, my desktop is overdue for a cleaning. Many of these icons I didn't want there when they first showed up. But since they're usually hidden under a browser window or Windows Explorer (at least on the main screen), I also put it off.
overworldtheme: (tales of veigue)
Wednesday, November 4th, 2009 09:27 pm
Open Office, you piece of crap. Why do you persist in randomly disabling your spell check dictionary in such a way that "turning it back on" does not do anything? Do you realize how much you suck in comparison to Microsoft Office? Think about that a minute. Over three versions in and umpteen years later and you are still inferior to a Microsoft product.

Overrated sack of tripe! I ought to wipe you off my hard drive like the insignificant gnat you are.
overworldtheme: (tales of veigue)
Thursday, October 29th, 2009 02:51 pm
Thanks for nothing, Trend Micro. Your retarded internet "security" software is still blocking Steam as an OMG! DANGEROUS SITE! CLOSE YOUR BROWSER NOW AND WALK AWAY!!!1!11!!!one, so I missed out on the new hat because you wouldn't let me log in before supplies were gone.

This is not the first time you've failed me. You're about two inches from being uninstalled, followed by having all copies of your disc snapped in two.
overworldtheme: (Default)
Thursday, June 11th, 2009 09:11 am
XNA 3.1 just got released. Booya! Time to update.

EDIT: "lol" as they say. Somebody jumped the gun at Microsoft and updated before it was time. Still looks like it's coming out today, though.
overworldtheme: (computers)
Tuesday, April 7th, 2009 08:04 am
TextWindow.WriteLine("Hello World!")

Shortest. Hello World. Ever.

Well okay, not really, it just seems that way after working in C for all these years. Still, this thing seems pretty powerful for how simple it is. (Not that you'd do commercial game development with it or anything.)