I’ve said it before and I will say it again, the destruction of Australia’s National Broadband Network is corruption and incompetence on an unbelievable scale. One hundred Billion dollars over the next fifty years to pay for a degraded copper network twenty years overdue for retirement is a travesty. Combined with the bill for building the substandard and already obsoleteMTM network. The whole project has been a monumental failure for all but the few who were lucky enough to get fiber from a skilled contractor while the roll out continued. If the next non coalition government don’t commission an inquiry to bring the people responsible to face the consequences of their decisions I’ll be very disappointed. Not that this should in any way be confused for me having genuine hope for this outcome being met. Why, just today I was linked evidence of our government’s interminable maleficence on climate action and even the concrete expectation of charges of criminal negligence for pollies who willfully obstructed climate action over the next few decades won’t make that feel any better.
Bandwidth is going to be like the weather within a few years and Australia’s virtual weather is going to be dismal, glitchy and shit. Today I found a perfect example of exactly why I make this comparison. Also an excellent demo of why I believe AR is going to out compete if not completely absorb VR as it becomes consumer viable. Test phase demonstrations of consumer grade virtual telepresence:
Going to have to move to NZ or South Korea if you actually want to use it. The Australian network even in metropolitan areas can simply not cope. In rural areas even with the better than average speeds I’m getting it is still like going back in time.
Managed another sketch draft last night trying for more this evening.
We will finally be able to buy some hens this weekend so the pressure is on to get the bloody chook tractor done and dusted. Cut my finger with a hand saw. Being stupid because I was hungry. I’m perfectly fine and the wood got cut too. I just felt a right idiot and stopped for lunch a good hour too late. Affixing the final bits and pieces, painting a few parts with ghastly and fragrant ancient orange enamel found in the shed.
A bloody software update from Wacom lost me an hour+ of progress on the castle card which was infuriating and compounded by needing to spend the next hour finding and fixing the issue. Wacom make what are hands down the best computer drawing tablets but they are not without their issues. My previous Intuous survived an ant colony deciding it would be a lovely place to live but died when not one but two of the micro USB cable connections snapped off the internal circuit board. This kills the tablet. So far the current one has been excellent, better constructed and apparently less desirable as ant accommodation but… the software has been crap, the multitouch functionality is of very limited use. Worse still the applet has continually forgotten custom settings, randomly decided it can no longer detect the still functioning tablet and last night they shipped a driver update that caused insufferable cursor lag and BSOD’d me for the first time in ages. Not happy, particularly as the castle card is going to be included as a print draft for play testing at an upcoming event in Brisbane. I had rendered out all the forest and blocked in the rocks at the castles base. Haven’t had time to redo that work and the submission deadline is up.
More painting to do. Took what I think is one of my best macro shots so far today.
Love that the facets of the eye are visible. Curious that a significant portion of what it can see would be it’s own antennae.
Despite a brand new power supply, and two new case fans fitted today, N’s computer is still randomly restarting at odd intervals.
The fury. No logging tool or measure has been able to give us a lock in on what the problem actually is and it is so random and clearly not a function of intensity of use that solving continues to be a process of trial and error.
I also bought a network card as that was the only other suggested problem point when I had it serviced before leaving Brisbane. Noob mistake I bought a PCI network card not a PCI-E (for Express) card. I wasn’t aware they even still made plain PCI so I didn’t even think to look. At least it was only $20. I may buy another but the $10 postage burns when it is only one item. If it is not a network card then by elimination that leaves only the motherboard or the CPU, both of which were very high quality at purchase. With the brand new 240gig SSD I bought in an attempt to save my old laptop installed as the primary OS drive in N’s now, she would effectively be building a new computer as everything is out of warranty.
My 7 port USB hub also arrived yesterday, a purchase made necessary as the new laptop only has 3 ports. Already it has been so useful I should have bought one years ago. However I did encounter an odd issue I’ve had problems with before. Fortunately I know the fix. If you are ever having problems with USB devices not being recognised, particularly after waking from suspended sleep mode, go into device manager find the USB root hub, check properties and uncheck the default setting ‘Allow windows to shut down this device to save power’. Traumatic to find and fix in the first instance years ago, an easy fix now.
I’ve been really getting into film making technique videos this week, having worked my way through most of the exceptional ‘Every frame a painting‘ library. I found another source in my feed today.
Minimal progress on castle card today. I was on primary care and poor L was having a hard time with his game during F’s nap. Lots of interruptions later, not much progress to show for it. N and I are doing a film night tonight during which I’ll continue working on the castle and surrounds. Approaching inking slowly.
Trumbo is emotional, informative, quite witty and ultimately a bit sad. They have crammed a lot of story into the two hour length and it is never given opportunity to drags on.
It is remarkable to think what a profound impact the McCarthy era in American political history still has on American society today. Socialist still being a dirty word to older Americans being the most obvious example. Bryan Cranston is as usual captivating and I think I only had a hint of Mr. White once or twice so I am glad to see him redefining his face as an actor who I have enjoyed watching for many years. Helen Mirren inhabited the role of Hedda Hopper and Louis CK and showed that he can in fact act or at least play some one subtly different from himself. Surprise recognition award goes to Dean O’Gorman playing Kirk Douglas, who we have just watched two seasons of in ‘The Almighty Johnson’s‘. He is also a dwarf in a set of films I’ll give a proper bollocking to someday. Elle Fanning also deserves notice in her role as Trumbo’s daughter, I was interested to note on her IMDB that she voiced one of the little girls on the English dubbing of one of ‘My Neighbour Totoro’ as a child. The film gets a limited and I feel undeserved pass on Bechdel which is pretty disappointing from a film and cast of such calibre. The film is all about him, and they do as I note above cram a lot in, but that is no excuse for not at least having two female characters having a conversation about something other than a man.
Attended a sad and sunburnt little local market. Consumed overpriced and likely carcinogenic snow cones.
Computer is set up, software is loaded, drivers installed, huge collections of images and documents are transferred, the file system has been organised to my tastes.
I am ready to make art again.
Progress has been made on the castle card I still have hours and hours to go though.
A class I took earlier in the week was practicing for the parade performance they did this morning.
Enjoy the mind worm. L & F love it.
New computer setup still ongoing, A 300 gig copy is almost finished after which there is another 150 gig from a separate drive including all my art to follow. Critical software should all be installed by the time that is all on board after which the first order of business is exporting and uploading print quality copies of all the cards made so far.
Our journey will begin mid May flying north to a changeover in Tokyo Haneda then over the pole to Heathrow and from there on to Glasgow. We will be returning late September via Singapore. Thanks to a very able attendant at Flight Centre we were able to lock in the bargain flight we found using this with slight alterations so we have no airport changes and no unpleasantly long layovers. Feeling rather excited to finally be locking things into place. We tried very hard to find a way to spend a few days in Japan but in the end it wasn’t achievable. We will get less than three hours to stretch our legs before the long haul over the pole.
The new laptop arrived and it is a beauty. It has so little bloatware I don’t even need to do a clean windows install to begin with which is nice. I’ve barely begun transferring things over or installing software and I need to get cracking making this lavish purchase work for me. Much as I would to see how well it can hack Witcher 3 at max settings there is no time like the present.
Disappointing results from Super Tuesday in the US making a Trump vs. Clinton election ever more likely and frightening because I don’t believe she can beat him. I cannot adequately articulate the unspeakable horror of a Trump presidency…
Even Tony Abbott’s performance as PM would pale into insignificance by comparison. I believe Sanders could beat him and he is not out of the race yet but the handicap is now very, very large.
A couple of big purchases today. Having searched far and wide over the past week, comparing many, many systems I have chosen this computer with the memory bumped up to 24gig. While I was at it I found a decent looking multiport usb charging and connection hub. For sanity and self preservation I must now avoid looking at computer advertisements or sales for a period not less than six months, preferably a year. I have absolutely gotten the best I could afford, in the end it came down to a choice between the MSI and a custom build from this company. Both were of very similar specs, ultimately I opted for the established brand over the custom architecture.
Now begins the tense anticipatory wait for delivery.
I also bit the bullet and purchased this legal contract for the formalisation of my agreement with Half Monster Games. The agreement is likely to be useful for multiple projects so it is an investment in future income.
And to cap off the ludicrous spending spree I ebay’d some swimming goggles after swimming 550m breaststroke today. In addition to my standard 75 kettlebell swing workout.
Small progress on the castle card today. I’m feeling a bit anxious to finish some projects, chicken tractor, paving and a few partial cards are all weighing me down being so close yet so far from done.
This evening I have delved into the legalise, enough to know I won’t finish that tonight. I’m now trying to get some more painting done. To help give you a picture of what I am working towards Jack has been doing some play testing in tabletop simulator and has produced an example layout of the terrain cards using the limited number I have so far completed. The terrain deck will, with shuffling create a new playing surface each game. The evolution or ability deck will add spice to the gameplay.
In the process of researching something for an adult client I stumbled upon this article today. It deals with the creation of Sci-Hub which is just about the most exciting thing in science today, bigger and I would argue of far more global significance than gravitational waves.
Alexandra Elbakyan has solved the problem the extraordinary Aaron Swartz was charged as a criminal for tackling. She has freed the research, her site Sci-Hub, is aiming to create a complete collection of all human scientific research free an open to all and they are well on their way to doing so. Elsevier is of course doing their damnedest to stop Sci-Hub, but the rabbit is out of the hat and it will never go back. The game is up for Elsevier’s business model, of charging researchers to hand over copyright on their -often publicly funded- research so that they can then charge library’s and readers exorbitant fees to access the papers, while also doing their damnedest to stomp on any competing publications.
In other news, progress on the castle card. L’s first day at Pre-School went well.
Three cool artists to share:
The simply incredible doll’s of michael zajkov. Occasionally NSFW depending on attitudes.
Finally got around to watching ‘The Abominable Bride’ with N last night. After anticipating the next Sherlock episode for what, years? it languished unwatched for over a month on a drive. This episode is more than a trifle self indulgent. Although clever, the crazy transitions and the series ongoing bloody over dependence on Moriarty are all a bit passe. Fun but forgettable unfortunately. I did recognised Tim McInnerny from his long past performances in Blackadder and for all I bag on the series sad dependence on the Moriarty character Andrew Scott is still nailing it.
I’ve ordered a new HDD and using a different cord I’ve managed to establish a stable connection to the old one on N’s comp. I plan to clone the old one to the forthcoming new solid state drive and try reviving my existing laptop. If that doesn’t work there are possible avenues for a replacement open, I would just rather not need to use them now. N’s computer gave the first revealing error code in a long time today, pointing to a possible power supply issue. Debating purchasing a replacement immediately just to see if we can be rid of the annoying restart issue once and for all.
First session with a new client today, and landed another for next week. I now have at least one per week day.
Another automated email from NSW Ed prompted a phone call this afternoon. Established that yes they did indeed already have the document they were asking for and this operator was baffled by the previous contacts insistence on scanned certified documents as I quote “We no longer ask for certified docs”. Colour me annoyed.
Sketchup, Manga Studio and tablet drivers all up and running on N’s computer. I spent most of the day cleaning in preparation for my first in house client but I did manage to finish the 3D reference model and begin principal line work for the castle card. The 3D model was constructed from an assortment of models in the Sketchup public library.