April 28th, 2012

•April 28, 2012 • Comments Off on April 28th, 2012

Hi and hello to all!

Let’s see, Feb 3rd was my last posting and today is my next. I really wish I could get on the bandwagon for a daily post, but I’m more of a milestone (or hey I just noticed)nsort of poster ;) I mean there could literally be hundreds of posts here andnyouncouldnsee mymmeandering thoughts trials and tribulations and boring minutae and the occasional exciting thing, but I seem tomrun this t]ing like the TARDIS, onlybshowing up at the interesting moments. Sorry, I just don’t see that changing in the near future. I have G+ for that.

So, what’s been going on that it seems to rate a post today? Absolutely nothing other than I have a free moment and for the first time in2-3years, a door will be showing up today so that we can finally get a little fracking privacy in this room of ours. This doesn’t seem like much to anyone else maybe, but since we’ve been living in this house, all we’ve had to block off entry to our bedroom is an opaque blanket slung across a door. I mean, that’s fine if everyone in the house respects the blanket (RESPECT THE BLANKET!) but in truth, our little one and her friends don’t, and there are just some of our kitties get on our last nerve.. it’d be nice to be able to send them out into the house, shut the door and get some sleep… to say nothing of other shenanigans and goings on that get interrupted by kitty nonsense.. and as anyone with kitties can tell you, it happens alot and can be a huge mood killer.

Still, all that said, its mainly a barrier to keep the child unit from nocking on the wall and walking in atthe same time… despite being told to imagine a door there. Gonna be wick3d awesome fun to listen as she runs up knocks on the wall out of habit and crashes into the door that first few times, letme tell ya (and don’t worry, am good mom, will be keeping first aid gear on standby)¬† ;)

ART WORK CONTINUES

Still working on honing my drawing skills and writing. My biggest problem seems to be that I still try to add too much detail to my drawings and I end up getting sidetracked or annoyed with the result. So basically, as it applies to comic art, I am working harc on unlearning what I have erroneously learned and getting back to basics.

I’ve had several ideas for comic series but none of them have sh0utednout to me, ‘YES, YOU MUST DO THIS NOWOWOWOWOOWW!’… still looking for inspirational synthesis.

SECOND LIFE

Oh where to begin. I’ve looked, I’ve watched, I have inquired. Folks, I hate to break this to you… Second Life is ultimately DOOMED*.

Why do I say this? Because the circumstancial evidence is there for the digesting.

Linden Lab knows SL isn’t a product that can or will sustain their company long term and has already branched into other products for their development pipeline that are, and I quote, “not related to Second Life”. For anyone who has spent any time in tight lipped non customer-driven corporate environments, this means one of two things. Either Second Life will be put out of Linden Labs misery when they can afford to do it or Second Life is destined to become one project, one product among many and it means that any impetus they had to appease the residents (not that there has been much of that in recent years) is going to evaporate over time (assuming these other projects are successful).

Then there’s the third shadowy option.. that SL could be taken out of its current iteration, shot like old yeller, and replaced by something newer, better and more scaleable. However, in that eventuality, the days of “Your world, Your imagination” may come to “Freemium or Pay to Play¬† and screw your imagination, we’ll build all the content you can play with.” Think Sims3, where you are the avatar.

Of course, there’s Blue Mars, which promised like SL but better and more scaleable, and then failed like a flan in the cupboard because the system requirements were basically, ‘You’re frackin kidding me right?’..amongst other major issues.

Take heart though, its not going to happen overnight. But if you can’t see that there is such a slim chance of SL surviving this next 5-7 years intact, then you’re simply crazy to take those odds.

*-Unless

Linden lab gets its collective heads of knuckle out of its arse and realizes that to solve the inworld issues, they need to get their hands out of building, theming or otherwise having any involvement in their creation beyond writing basecode, optimizing hardware and software, collecting usage fees and building a better viewer.

They have got to stop interfering in their creation by making themselves a part of the population and they really need, quite frankly, to keep an average user in mind. They also need to make prim vs mesh vs sculpty limits and all their permission rules, EASY TO UNDERSTAND. ie, if you can’t put all these rules on one side of a single sheet of A4, posted at the door, then they are way too comlicated and need fixing.

Finally, they need to kill, not just let go but, actively MURDER the Second Life Marketplace website. Linden Lab is one of the treasured few companies of truly WTF in this regard. By way of example; the marketplace directly competes with their primary product and in many ways invalidates 90% of that core product by simply taking the experience of going in world and interacting with it and the other residents (ie ‘the original business plan’) and supplants it near entirely! And now, by recent report, you don’t even need in-world land to use it… so why buy land anymore for shops to sell from or a place to keep your inventory?? (Cluephone ringing.. -click- ‘Hello?’, ‘MANY AREN’T!’ -CLICK-

So lets see, no cost to join, no land to buy, no reason to go inworld after you build your inventory to sell… what.. what was the point of Second Life again?

So, these are the things that make me think SL is ultimately DOOMED* (heheh recursive explanatory asterix). These things need fixing (and teleporting from region to region needs to go too, but thats my own personal bias on that one, perhaps I’ll explain myself in a seperate article at some future date.

CONCLUSION

That’s it really.. not much to sneeze at, but enough to let you inside some things in my life for now ;) Ciao :D

Dry Spell On Views But That’s Fine For Posterity Posting :)

•February 4, 2012 • Comments Off on Dry Spell On Views But That’s Fine For Posterity Posting :)

I have no illusions that, as of this moment, anyone at all, is reading this blog. That’s actually fine because the prime reason people came here in the past was to see what I was doing in Second Life. Seeing as how I haven’t been truly active in SL for going on two years now, it seems logical to not get any ruffled feathers by this fact of viewership.

But I keep posting.. why? Because in the future, folks may stop by or come back in droves and some of them, some of you, may be curious as to what I’ve been up to between this thing and that thing. If I was going for the consistent views, then I’d just go and put this on Google+ and in fact there may come a time when I just do that exclusively and leave a note here to look there. But the fact of the matter is, that this site isn’t broken and its a nice place to post..and unlike G+’s app on the thrive, the wordpress app doesn’t crash ;)

I gotta say, I’m loving the hell outta this thing btw (Thrive). So far I’ve integrated my McKay-blet into our home network, netflix and several other areas and its become my comms hub and most importantly, its become my new workstation for my new arts projects.. thank you autodesk sketchmobile pro ;)

I can watch any of my stored media onboard, from an sd card or over wifi via my terabyte ala es file explorer as well. I do all my research here on this thing and all my posting and if they’d get the g+ app working properly, well then, the tasks it needs to do with me would indeed be complete!

Okay, thats enough from this point in time, future reader… though when you read this you’ll be present reader and after you finish, past reader whom I hope will come again or simply keep scrolling back through the archives ;) enjoy ;)

W00t! My art has been seen by the creator!

•January 31, 2012 • Comments Off on W00t! My art has been seen by the creator!

image

Ssssso, while it may mean practically nothing to everyone else, to me, I’m ecstatic…Jonathan Ian Mathers, artist and writer of Foamy (www.illwillpress.com) added my picture of Germaine to his fan art gallery at deviantart today ! He himself is adding the fan work, so he’s seen it and deemed it, at the very least, worthy of inclusion. So yeah! Go me, today!

(Germaine (C) Jonathan Ian Mathers)

Toshiba Thrive… or My New McKay-blet ;) – Part 2

•January 26, 2012 • Comments Off on Toshiba Thrive… or My New McKay-blet ;) – Part 2

If you didn’t read the previous entry then you really should stop here, go read the previous post and then come back here.

Communications Hub – Pt. II

As I was saying (before being interrupted by a known WordPress issue with long posts…), the Toshiba Thrive has taken over as the primary method of my electronic communication.

Where this really shines for me is being able to add in apps that handle all the communications methods I use, from IRC, to AIM (on the rare occasion), to WordPress entries and comments (like this entry) to all points inbetween. One can even torrent and use TOR and the Thrive doesn’t skip a beat or skimp on any of them.

Video chat.. got it, audio chat.. got it… all through Google Talk … or Ventrillo, or Teamspeak, or ..you pick ;) There is no longer any other need for yet another device to handle any of these functions.

Now, to my knowledge, and in the interest of disclosure, I do believe that the Thrive is a wifi only tablet… and while that may be a dealbreaker for some of you up front, be advised that you can tether to your phone or use a netbook usb dongle to interact with the 4G networks, if you like… and in the future, you can simply replace that usb dongle, so in effect, it’ll keep pace with you for a while, despite not having 4G onboard*.

In any case, I don’t want a cell phone on my wifi workstation tablet, so I’m happy with things the way they are.

(* some companies may in fact have a built in cell enabled version of the Thrive.. I leave it to you to check.)

So, The Thrive Is Great, But What Are You Actually Doing With It?

Well, for me the Thrive seemed to be the only tablet on the market to fit the bill for my uses… and that, as an artist, not only did I need a large screen, but I needed plenty of storage capability as well. I also liked to code, so the OS had to let me do that without worry and it had to be fast… no sense getting something awesomely transportable, with all these functions that turned out to be slower than molasses in winter.

The Thrive is fast, very fast, it multi tasks and it does exactly what I want it to do. Never have I had anything slot into my tech needs list so darn well and so quickly.

Thanks to wonderful apps like Sketchbook Mobile (SBM), I can draw, right on the tablet and do everything from storyboards to final line art (and with layers!) that I can then save as a .psd and ship over to photoshop for final colour and post processing. Its painless, and I suspect it’s goiing to save me alot of money on artist notebooks (digital means infinite pages after all).

Couple that with Winamp to handle my music, Gallery to handle my pictures (although Hey, GOOGLE! Three words –SORT BY NAME!-), Youtube to handle how-to and funny videos, a browser to handle my surfing… all I really need is a pair of headphones my can’t won’t chew up and I’m good for 8hr jaunts out into the world, or my living room, ready to focus on my work. And if i need a new full battery charge right now.. I can take off the back and put in a new backup battery (I don’t have one though), or I can simply plugin somewhere and keep on keepin on ;)

So that’s where we are, I have a Java compiler, a text editor, a graphics tablet, communications hub, video conferencing suite, a nice big screen for google maps, calendar, MP3 player/Audio recorder, Video Editor and Compiler…. all that AND its in one device which can expand to cover many more interests.

With luck, maybe the Toshiba Thrive will fit yours too :)

~Lourdes

Toshiba Thrive… or My New McKay-blet ;)

•January 25, 2012 • Comments Off on Toshiba Thrive… or My New McKay-blet ;)

This past week, Z delivered to me my Post Christmas present, the Toshiba Thrive McKay-blet (err… Tablet for those of you not fans of Stargate Atlantis’, Dr. Rodney McKay). It is my pleasure to say that as a creative type of person, this device is, hands down, the most useful daily use device I have ever had the pleasure of owning.

Hardware Highlights

The Thrive is an honestly amazing bit of technology. At 10.1 and 7 inch varieties, I decided to go with a little more real estate and asked for the 10.1 inch model. I did this after alot of research into the tablets currently on the market and with mini-usb, Full USB, HDMI out and an sdcard expander, it kicks the snot out of the ipad and samsung galaxy.

I can plug in a full size usb keyboard or use a bluetooth one, I can add more internal memory via an SDcard (full size or mini via an adapter [full size only on 10.1″ models]) and if I need more storage space, I can plug a full external Hd onto the device and have as much storage or access to stored media as I like, directly. Right now i’m using es file explorer to access things over wifi at home though, if I’m ever in need though.. external hd capacity is right there waiting.

Power Utilization

My god its full of stars! Literally, through all functions other than video use, the Thrive gives me a little over 8hrs of continuous multi-app use. I had resigned myself to tethering for power with other devices up to now, only taking them off charge when I had somewhere to go, but this allows me to get out from behind my desk (where my tower pc is) and move around.

I have discovered other areas of my house that I hereto for only heard reference to in legend… aka the ‘living room’.

Customization

The Thrive comes with the latest Honeycomb Android OS, though I hear Ice Cream Sandwich is coming soon. Nevermind that though, the Thrive is happy where it is and requires little customization of the OS itself to run like a powerhouse. In fact the only thing I had to do was replace the standard honeycomb keyboard with the ‘Hacker’s Keyboard’, available for free in the Google Market. As a result I have all the sanity of a regular keyboard, including function keys and arrows, and this makes life alot more friendly.

Apps

With the Google Marketplace being right there, its easy peasy to go hunting for the apps that are right for you, many have free and paid versions, so you can check out the applications before you buy, with various restrictions that are removed from the full version. I have noticed though, that many software vendors on android are really good about not getting in your face about buying, or throwing ads in your face constantly. They really seem to want you to get a good idea of what you’d get from the full version. The only time you really notice its not a paid app that you have, is when you reach for the extra features. And honestly, that’s nice.. I don’t need popups annoying the snark out of me every five minutes like some pc and mac software used to.

Communications Hub

Equipped with Google Talk and gmail, straight out of the gate, the Thrive has already taken over (from my OG Motorola Droid) my primary communications functions.

There’s more space to read and to type at a respectable full keyboard speed, even if i do end up hitting ‘n’ instead of the spacebar due to honeycomb not allowing you to extend down the full screen (it keeps a status bar on the bottom which means you either hit the bezel and nothing happens, hit the spacebar, or for a righty like me, you hit the ‘n’). Alas, this is not toshiba’s fault. This is android, and while noted -its not a big deal, and if you watch your keys, your good to go.. Just something to watch.

More next entry ;)

~Lourdes

December Happenings 2011

•December 3, 2011 • Comments Off on December Happenings 2011

Greetings all :)

I haven’t added a post here since April of this year and while some of you may be thinking that ‘that’s it, she’s outta SL for good’ , nothing could be further from the truth. I told all my readers that the Eyes of Laysan were watching –and they have been :)

So I see finally that Linden Labs has got their shit together as far as connecting up their billing and verification systems and they’ve added wonderful little controls for indicating whether or not the avatar you are using is a simulacrum powered by virtual intelligence or a real being. and I see that the viewer has gotten a few more features (though I can’t say the redesigns I’ve seen since April, knock my socks off) and then there’s the advent of Mesh onto the grid which I have very personal feelings about (can we say bad idea from a philosphic, lets keep the barriers to entry low for everyone, view?).

Moreover it seems like the public opinion on Superhero groups doing actual in-world policing has switched to the emphatically negative and that, ironically (considering that community was part friendship enhance, bread and butter as well as, in some cases, the bane of my virtual existence) my place was largely founded in that community, I have come to agree with that conclusion.

As a maker of items of superheroic pervue, it may, on the surface, seem anathema to have that view now, but superheroics in SL now, serve no purpose other than RPG fun and, it seems largely, to become the very thing you fought against.

As RPG devices and supplies, I’m happy with what I’ve made. From a superheroic standpoint of a woman with her finger on the Central Power Battery, security to assure that these devices aren’t misused has always been keen on my mind. And most clients know that, and I think that extra time and effort put in has resulted in the fact that I have only once, many years ago, been forced to instruct the CPB to depower someone permanently.

When I return to business in SL, this will not change.

 

Am I ready to come back to SL just yet?

The answer at the moment so far is no. While SL has made significant strides in mediating the downward spiral at the lab, I’m still wary of a few things. So I’ll be keeping an eye on them and if those are resolved (as were billing and verification issues I had with Linden Lab [see above]) then you’ll be the first to know. For now, I’ll be popping in, trying out various upgrades (like Raycasting), and gauging the world’s readiness. Me and the Magrathean’s are alike in that regard, for differing purpose.

 

Stroker Serpentine

One thing that I am concerned about, and have been since I found out, is in the news of Stroker Serpentine’s departure from SL and the circumstances surrounding it. Once at the top of the world, with significant profit as well, Stroker, to all reports is penniless and, if reports are to be believed, using drugs to get through his day.

Say what you want, and I only had great contacts with Stroker and more specifically his online family and staff, but I’m pretty sure that this is a story that should’ve ended in the Anshe Chung way, not been an example of how to lose everything and destroy a human being and his family. That’s the one thing I really can’t stomach within SL, the perceived two facedness in which some users act and the outright maliciousness of those who just can’t listen to their better natures and feel the need to go after someone to the point of this, alleged, result.

There need to be boundaries. A point past which you wouldn’t want someone to go and therefore shouldn’t go yourselves. That’s all I’m saying. And so to Stroker, I hope he has cleaned up or cleans up soon and gets back to rebuilding his life, learning from the mistakes he made without the jeers of others egging him to lower depths.

 

Finally

As I said before the Eyes of Laysan are watching…

..and the labs, they are a researching and experimenting :)

~Lourdes

Progress at Linden Lab

•April 28, 2011 • Comments Off on Progress at Linden Lab

Its nice to see progress, of a kind, taking place at the lab. Not enough so far for a return, but genuinely it seems things are moving slowly in a direction marked ‘good’ ;)

The eyes of Laysan are watching.