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New compooper

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Purchased at the end of January because the fan crapped out on my other one; then the hard drive died. Then I had to get another one. I still think that Wires Computing hastened its demise, though….


Dell I5675
Inspiron Desktop
AMD Ryzen 7 1700 processor
16GB Memory default installed RAM
AMD Radeon RX 580 default graphics card
1TB Hard Drive
Recon Blue

New compooper, here I come!

New compooper, here I come! published on No Comments on New compooper, here I come!

Just got purchased my Asus G10AC-US010S desktop today. With s/h, it was $1102.71. Specs follow:

8 GB RAM, expandable to 32 GB

1 TB hard drive

DVD R/W drive

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760 graphics card

Intel i5 quad core processor

64-bit processing

10 USB ports

32 lbs.

I also set aside some money for another 8 GB of RAM, for a total of 16, so that Daz Studio doesn’t kick my computer’s ass. I want to consult with my result IT specialist [Jannabear] before purchasing, though.

Compooper savings update

Compooper savings update published on No Comments on Compooper savings update

I decided to go back to a desktop compooper for my next, instead of a laptop. I decided this mainly because I thought that I would much too easily max out 16 GB of RAM, which appears to be the max for laptops these days. Currently considering the Asus G10AC-US0105, which comes with 8 GB of RAM, expandable to 32 GB, which should last me a while. It has pretty much the same specs as the laptop I was originally considering, except for the greater amount of RAM and no monitor included. It’s like $1200.00 though [plus~$150.00 for a monitor], so Lord knows when I’ll be able to actually get it in my hot little hands.

The computer fund right now has $560.24 in it, which may be augmented by by $59.67 in Amazon gift certificates. The computer fund should have $755.24 in it, but I had to use some of it to pay rent this month, and I don’t yet have enough to replenish the fund. Maybe I can afford a new one by my birthday…

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Aggressively saving for a new computer

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I’m currently eyeballing a Toshiba Satellite L75-B7240 laptop, which comes with 8 GB RAM, expandable to 16 GB. I currently have just 8 GB of RAM maxing out my laptop, so that base 8 GB + the 4 GB that I added to my current laptop would be a significant improvement in my ability to RAM things. After poking around, I’ve discovered that 16 GB seems to be the current max for laptop RAM, so I’ll have to content myself with that.

Other specs include a 1600 x 900 px, 17.3" diagonal screen [equal to current], a quad core Intel i5 processor [equal to current], 4 USB ports [+1 from current, thank God] and a 1 TB hard drive. That’s a lot of space, but, as Janna observes, computers tend to slow down when their drives approach 50% capacity, so 1 TB is probably good.

This computer also runs Windows 8.1 hissssssssssss, but at least I can change the UI style back to a "desktop with icons" style instead of the Windows 8.0 "space-hogging tiles" style.

I realize that I can purchase this computer through Amazon and use some Amazon gift cards I’ve been racking up! ^_^

New computer fund contents
Cash: $220.00
Amazon: $17.45

Still no closer to my ultimate computer goal of achieving a) a fully functional Commodore 64 with b) a fully functional, full-size joystick and c) an accessible place to put it so that d) Jill and I can play Jumpman together [again]. I mean, I have Jumpman, but not a, b, c or d. Waaah.

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Time for a new computer!

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Not only is my current one cheaply made and of poor quality, but I’m also regularly maxing out my RAM in my pursuit of rendering moderately complex scenes [three people, eight lights, background with as many nodes and geoshells as I can manage]. In fact, my computer has slowed noticeably in rendering speed even in the past two months. 

Dammit — and I was hoping that this laptop would hold out till Xmas, but I don’t think it will. I mean, it will, but working on digital art will be excruciatingly slow for the next two months. 🙁

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Fuck you cooling fan.

Fuck you cooling fan. published on No Comments on Fuck you cooling fan.

…the horse you rode in on and the little girl who fed the apple to the horse.

I should not have to replace you in a computer that I bought new on June 3 of last year.

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Well, THAT was counterintuitive.

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I use Windows 7 at work and Microsoft Word 2010. Sometimes it opens files in windows that are half the size of the screen, rather than the full size of the screen. Since my default display settings include a navigation pane for the document I’m working on, Word’s decision to open things in half-screen windows automatically cuts off the right half of each document, necessitating a manual adjustment on the window size, which is a pain.

I finally got fed up with this today and searched for a way to make Word automatically open documents in full-size windows. This is what I found:

Right click on the Microsoft Word shortcut, either in the start menu or on the desktop.

Left click on Properties.

Go to the Shortcut tab.

Under the Run dropdown menu, select Maximized.

Hit Apply or Okay.

Swear at your Microsoft products a little bit less.

Well, that was counterintuitive. Control over the size of new Word windows has nothing to do with the program shortcut’s properties. It has to do with display options.

I’m beginning to think that Word was designed by programmers who wanted to stuff as many features as possible into the app, rather than people who wanted to create an accessible, intuitive, user-friendly program.

Sometimes I really hate Windows.

Sometimes I really hate Windows. published on No Comments on Sometimes I really hate Windows.

Whenever I open files from the Web [where I do most of my work through an online manuscript processing system] and want to save them somewhere, Windows defaults to the My Documents folder. This pisses me off, as I would much rather use my desktop a) as storage for most frequently used documents and b) as a staging area for temporary files that will soon be filed elsewhere, then deleted.

Somehow, though, yelling, "NO!!!!!!!!!!!!! SAVE IT TO THE DESKTOP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" does not change the default saving location.

Eventually, I figured out this morning how to change the default saving location to my desktop. I certainly didn't learn how to do this by right-clicking on something or using a contextual help menu or anything so easy. No, I had to type "change default save location windows 7" into Google and find the answer on a techy how-to Web site.

This is one of the reasons I hate Windows sometimes. It may be easier to get under the hood of Windows machines than, say, Macs, but you don't necessarily have any clue about what to do once you're there. There's a way to do pretty much anything you want to in Windows, but the challenge is finding this information, which is often hidden under right-clicks and submenus.

Don't even get me started on the latest redesign of Windows Media Player. In previous versions, you used to have the options of scrolling through your music up and down in lists of relatively unadorned text. I really like that method because I can see a greater amount of information in one glance.

Windows Media Player seems to have done away with that display option in favor of some sort of scrolling crapola left and right with clickable tiles of album covers. One gets only an album's worth of information on one screen, necessitating multiple scrolls to the left or right to get an idea of context. That's not how my mind works. Plus it's a huge waste of screen real estate.

Screw you, Windows Media Player. I want a media player that, you know, plays media, instead of making my entire collection into tiles that scroll from side to side. I'm finding another media player instead. YOU STINK.

P.S. Complaints about Windows are fine, but I don't want to hear about how much better your alternative operating system is. I am, however, interested in recommendations of alternative media players, as long as they play WMA files.

Jumpman on a modern compooper with joystick?!!!

Jumpman on a modern compooper with joystick?!!! published on No Comments on Jumpman on a modern compooper with joystick?!!!

It can be done!


OH GOD OH GOD OH GOD part 3!! published on 2 Comments on OH GOD OH GOD OH GOD part 3!!

We also enjoyed Where in Time is Carmen Sandiego?…except for the fact that time traveling somehow took up time, which made no sense to me. If you're in a time machine and can enter and exit any point in time that you wish, how could you spend time traveling through time? Stupid.

Anyway, I can download that for the Cow Manure 64 too!

Life is good.

EDIT: And Playful Professor Math Tutor!

EDIT 2: Bank Street Writer, anyone?

Hmmm, what was that program that we used where you could create illustrations from premade units, such as shapes, animals and people, and then add text??


OH GOD OH GOD OH GOD! published on 1 Comment on OH GOD OH GOD OH GOD!

I just bought a copy of Jumpman, my favoritest compooper game ever, on floppy disk for the Commodore 64! It was just $24.00!! I thought my desire to play this game as it was meant to [i.e., with a joystick on the original system, as opposed to with arrow keys on a modern emulator] would disappear since the time in 2009 when I first played it on an emulator, but I guess not. Apparently I'm on my way to acquiring an entire original C64 CPU/keyboard, monitor, disk drive and joystick. Fortunately they're cheap and plentiful.


Goddammit. published on 1 Comment on Goddammit.

I think I need a new compooper. After just over 3 years, my current laptop now has problems. As I discovered when trying to install Adobe PhotoShop Elements, the CD/DVD drive does not register. This would not be a very big problem, as I rarely use it, BUT THAT’S HOW I INSTALL SOFTWARE. Interestingly enough, it was working a week ago, when I tried installing Elements the first time [didn’t work — faulty copy]. I don’t know what went wrong.

Fine. Be that way, you stupid compooper. I guess I’ll be getting another one.

While I’m at it, I should also get Norton AntiVirus and a [cough] legitimate copy of Manga Studio EX 4, which, I see from Amazon, is down to ~$80.00-90.00…finally affordable! I think I’ll leave Daz Studio on this compooper, though. I haven’t touched it in months. I will be able to transfer all my documents, movies and music over easily, as I have been backing them up on a separate hard drive with some regularity.

EDIT: Also need a lap stand that cools the compooper, as I use it on my legs all the time.

EDIT 2: A possibility. …Oooh, look — it’s in stock locally! Instant gratification!

EDIT 3: Here’s where I’m doing some comparison shopping.

How to convert old word processing files

How to convert old word processing files published on 1 Comment on How to convert old word processing files

So I found a company that manufactures software so that files from obsolete word-processing programs, spreadsheet programs, presentation programs, etc., may be converted to readable version. The company, Advanced Computer Innovations, offers a simple program, WordPort, and a more complex and flexible one, FileMerlin. This page offers a comparison of the two types. Basically FileMerlin is more expensive and powerful, suitable for huge batch conversions and complex documents.

Just so you can see how powerful the software for both programs is, ACI offers free unlimited trial versions of both. The only catch is that the trial versions introduce spelling and numeric errors into the software. I can attest, though, that, even with the introducted errors, ACI’s software clearly translates files and their formatting quickly and with 98.9% accuracy. [They messed up the indents on my initial paragraphs.] If you have small files to convert, consider downloading the trial version and then spell-checking the translated docs.

But, if you’re like me, you have some files that will take a while to fix if run through the trial version, but not a large enough number of files to warrant coughing up $95.00 [still a steal, though!] for WordPort. How can you get at the precious data inadvertantly time-capsuled in formats for First Choice, Microsoft Works 4.x and other early word-processing programs?

Fear not, for Advanced Computer Innovations offers an online file conversion service for a nominal fee per file. With the help of a simple drag-and-drop interface, the files to convert are uploaded to ACI’s server, translated and downloaded, usually within minutes. Billing is made to a credit card, and this service is available any time. Again — 98.9% accuracy and quick access to your old files! No painstaking retyping or reconstruction!

This is the awesomest thing in retro software ever since I discovered DOSBox so I could play Jumpman!!

HOORAY! I figured out Manga Studio 4 EX!

HOORAY! I figured out Manga Studio 4 EX! published on 1 Comment on HOORAY! I figured out Manga Studio 4 EX!

After much toil and trial, I can successfully construct a story, add panels, lay out dialog balloons, drop in pictures, resize them, add tails to balloons, etc. I was having trouble previously because of the particularly obtuse instructions. But now I’m writing down my own instructions as I go, and I’ve discovered actually how to do things!

Goodbye, Comic Life…I’m leaving you for a much more powerful program!

“Easy Does It”

“Easy Does It” published on 2 Comments on “Easy Does It”

I downloaded DOSBox, an emulator allowing a user to play old games on a new computer, and installed it. Then I downloaded Jumpman 1.0 from The Jumpman Project, and then I played my favoritest computer game ever. Basically Jumpman involves jumping a little dude around a jungle gym, collecting pellets in order to win the level. Obstacles include flying white bombs, vampire bats, evil robots, etc. We got this game for our Commodore 64 shortly after its release in 1984 and we spent many joyous hours attempting to master it. In order to fully enjoy this game, I need a joystick…Hmmm…

Hero’s Quest 1: So You Want To Be A Hero

Hero’s Quest 1: So You Want To Be A Hero published on No Comments on Hero’s Quest 1: So You Want To Be A Hero

Goddamn, we loved that game. I remember playing it with my siblings and creating “the unerasable horse quest” just to find out if the horse on the castle grounds did anything else besides eat grass. [Answer: Not that we could tell.] I remember hitting the up arrow to kill monsters, calling the scene where all the goblins hung out Goblin City, dying because of drinking Troll’s Sweat, picking your nose [“Congratulations! Your left nostril is now open!”] and finally winning the game through collaborative efforts and a bunch of cheats. The character who won was festeringsnotballlives! Now that I found this walk-through, I want to find a copy of that game.

Life expectancy quiz

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 Oh rapture, joy and ecstasy unabated…I found the BASIC life expectancy quiz I used to mess with on my Commodore 64. It’s in an out-of-print book of BASIC programs that have been all scanned and made available online. Isn’t that great? I really have to find a BASIC emulator so that I can do simple programs. Then I can make silly questionnaires and revel in the nostalgia.

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