Friday, September 12, 2008

Computer woes continue...

 I tried Geek Squad.  Never again. Never. Again. I'm only doing this because  the computer is under warranty, which expires first week in october. Talk about cutting close. Better it happened now than I suppose 2 days after the warranty expires.
 I had to wait a week but for my patience they installed  a new 500 gb hard drive.
They ran a diagnostic and that was the problem- boot disk failure. Same problem I told them it was a week prior.
 But  when they hooked up the new drive... Same error.

After waiting a week for their "diagnostic"  to determine what I already knew; suddenly now they figure out it's either a faulty  SATA controller or motherboard.

What the frack happened to my computer?!? Yes, Michelle. HP does suck.
Truth be told, it ran fine for the past 3 years, and I use it extensively.

 Now It would have be  sent out again ( Which i don't think they ever did in the first place. They only determined motherboard problem 10 minutes after I called them on the day they told me my computer would be ready. Hmmm.) 
I took it to the best buy near my house. They were far more receptive and helpful than the Best Buy in Levittown.

 The good news all of this is under warranty. So free motherboard, free hard drive. Hopefully by October. Can't really complain.
I removed all my other stuff, the old hard drive, various PCI card from the back etc. And  said go ahead.

 I'm without a computer for the next couple of WEEKS! Yikes!

I managed to boot up an older computer (about  8 years old I'm guessin')  and this will be a temporary fix for a while. I took more memory and other parts and beefed it up a little bit. It now has 512 mb of pc133 memory- Yah!  Any body have another 512mb pc133 memory chip I can borrow????
I just have to install some basic software and I should be okay for a bit.
But it runs better than the laptop I've been using.
Perhaps later I can add this and the HP to my render farm!

I've got to get back to work.  This is killing me.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

I've written the frying pan. Now It's time to write the fire.

"The Queen's guards were a little unsure about how to handle the glowing, sword-wielding Fairy God Mother, Fae Gaia. "

-Shards of the Glass Slipper, Chapter 22

I just took a break finishing chapter 22. Phew. What a ride!
This is the chapter. Remember all of those other posts where I said the stuff i've been writing is starting to come together???

That's Chapter 22.

Chapter 22 should be called " The Fan", because this is the chapter getting hit by all sorts of... stuff.

This is where the characters that I developed so long ago now click into place- this is the begining of the payoff. This is where that odd character story line that's been woven throughout the book, finally emerges and and brings the whole thing an added level of meaning. That one obscure paragraph several chapters back now applies and makes more sense.
It's that kind of chapter. Even characters that had such a minor role have stepped up and to my surprise, they've had something to say. Like my character General Dendroba , another character has suddenly sprung from the expansive backstory of Shards of the Glass Slipper, to emerge as a late game player.

There still alittle more to write though. But if I have a couple of more uninterupted days like the one I just had, then I can finally, finally complete my manuscript! There's a light at the end of the tunnel, I can tell it's not a train... and I'm putting mysunglasses on!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

canon 40d at the Hampton Classic

I got a chance to play with my new canon 40D at the hampton classic. Wow.

First off it has a 6.5 frame burst rate so it's like a machine gun taking pictures. This also meant it can easily take a lot of pictures and my 2 gb card that can hold almost 500 hi-res images was quickly reduced to under 200 pictures in less than 2 hours of horse jumping. Also it handles the higher ISO much better than the old Digital Rebel. Which means I can capture action and motion in freeze frame better (among other things) and have less noise/grain.

The image above is from the far side of the course. I have a 300mm zoom lens that worked really well with it. I was able to get a lot of great pictures from the 17th row in bleachers. (This was the first year I was told I couldn't stand at the wall by secuirty. For at least the last 4 years I've been going this was never a problem. Harumph! I say. I think it's because the "official" photographers want the exclusives. They claimed I was" blocking" a walkway that was so wide you could drive a golf cart through it and still not hit me. Not only that, I made sure I was standing in an area the wasn't visually blocking anyone either. Harumph!)

Click to enlarge.

update on the computer and stuff

Well the good news about my computer crash is it was still under warranty. So I have the geek squad looking into it and most likely will get a new hard drive installed. the bad news.. I won't get the computer back for a week. In the interim however I'm using a laptop and have hooked h up whatever normal stuf I can.. a real monitor, my mouse, a cd burner etc. I have a very old laptop, it's not a lot of ram and not a very hefty processor. But i can at least write and check e-mail etc. Graphics work is pretty much not an option on the laptop.

But i'm gonna build another computer. And when i get the "off the shelf" computer that betrayed me, back, it will be relgated to server-tude. Render server. Print server. A shell of what it was. I've already started to order parts for the new one. 4 gigs of RAM, and a top of the line Intel QUAD core processor. Off course my buddy Lou is helping me out. This will really blow away anything I've ever done when it comes to render power for the 3d stuff.

in the meantime I can at least write with my little laptop, So after alittle delay, I can get back to finishing Shards. I went over the first 5 chapters with my beta reader. It was not actually as bad as I thought it would. He brought some good ideas observations and when I go into revisions I will impliment. But so far I think the story is on the right track. The Beta reader now has the rest of the story so far.

I almost go through withdrawls without a computer. It's pent up creative energy. I get cranky, depressed, the shakes. ( not really) but I do a lot on the computer and not having one around is not the godsend that some one think it might be.
"well, without a computer maybe Roy will finally get out and do something outside." I think my dad is still waiting for me to do something real with my life and this whole whole computer art thing is a phase. Hey I mow the lawn!
I've been writing and drawing and doing stuff on the computer for easily twenty years. With programs like Photoshop and Bryce 3d I've always had available on my computer since 1995 So to not have these things available even for a week ( when i'm not on a planned vacation that is.) is sheer torture.
There's work to be done. Websites to be updated ( sorry Kevin) and a lot of stuff to do for I-Con that will just have to wait abit.