Thursday, November 15, 2018

Finally!

After 2 days of farting around with it, I've finally managed to get the product templates figured out for Pixels!

 My Pixels Store

I'm not sure why it was so hard for them to figure out what I wanted, but no matter - it's solved now! Now I just need to start using those templates to create some fun items that millions of people will rush madly to the website and BUY - adding my name to the list of really wealthy dudes like Elon Musk, Bill Gates, and the guy in China that started DJI. Or I could just go buy a Powerball or Mega-Millions lottery ticket. The chances are about the same... 😆

Anyway.... I've been messing around with this social media crap for the last 3 days... Time to get back to my T.N.A. story.


Rod over and out...

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Early Access For Patrons...

Beginning today.....

My Patreon Site

My Patrons on (all 1 of them as of this post 😕) will have access to my artwork at least 3 days before it's posted on Renderosity, Fantasy Attic, Deviant Art, etc. - and the images will be full-size and 300 dpi rather than the 72 dpi on the art sites.

The only exception will be my Girls From T.N.A. pages, and related stories. Those will continue as normal.

Thank you for your support, Mike! 😀👍

About to Pull Out my Hair

...If I had any to pull out, that is.... 😝

I spent a good portion of yesterday messing around with trying to get some items ready to sell on Redbubble and Pixels.. By the time I spent several hours trying to find information on templates, size, resolution, aspect ratio, etc, etc, etc, ad infinitum, ad nauseum, I was ready to start stepping on kittens.

Of course the FAQ sections on these sites never seem to address the questions I have. Of course, there's always the "contact us" link - which usually leads you back to the useless FAQs. And once I find the deeply buried email link, I've forgotten what I was looking for.

Then, when I do remember what I wanted to find I usually get a "support" representative that can't or won't understand what I'm asking. I mean how difficult is it to understand that the aspect ratio for a coffee mug is different than for a throw pillow or t-shirt?

At least Redbubble has a list of pixel sizes and resolutions for the various products. I'm still going back and forth with Pixels... I'm about ready to tell them to take their site and stuff it. I don't need this aggravation. I just need to find a way to make a little extra cash.

At least one of my photos on Adobe Stock sold! Not bad, considering I only have 14 photos in my portfolio there. I really need to get out and start shooting some good stock photos.

Over and out for tonight.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

November Musings

Once again, it's been too long since I've done anything with this blog. Not that this thing has a wide readership.....

Anyway... Some updates..

I've been doing some work on the house. I finally got around to removing the window in the shed, and closing that area off. Who needs a window in a shed?? I'll be doing some major work inside the shed once the weather warms up again - which should be 5 or 6 months from now. Right now, winter had made her grand entrance, and it's freaking cold outside!



We had our first snow of the season, and I'm sooo glad I don't have to drive all over the place to fix broken copiers anymore. BTW, it's been just over a year since I retired. Still love it, but I do miss the paychecks. I am looking into ways to make a little extra cash.

Here's a photo I took a week or so before the snow arrived. Got some nice fall colors for once:


And a couple from the air with my DJI Mavic Pro:



I've been busy with my T.N.A. story as well. Several new characters have joined the team, and things are going to be getting wild and crazy very soon!


This is Sasha from the New York office. Don't ask where she keeps the gun in that outfit - she won't even tell ME where she stashes it!

I'm going to be working on a new story about Agent G4 and how she came to be one of the Agency's top operatives. Look for it soon.


That's it for now. Look for lots more artwork and photos soon. I'm going to try - again - to keep this blog up-to-date!

Later!
Rod



Sunday, October 28, 2018

Looks Like It's Back Up.

Hopefully all is fixed. Thanks for getting it fixed quickly, GoDaddy.

Website Down

...Again.....

Rodslair.com is currently down as of 5:56 PM CDT. I've called GoDaddy, and was told they are having a "known issue" but no ETA on when it would be resolved.

I may be looking into a different hosting provider, if I can find one that works for the way my site is set up. I'm not really enthusiastic about the "Template" based providers such as Wix and Squarespace. I like to do my own design, and not use a pre-made 'template' designed by someone else.

I'll have to do a little research, I guess.

But I'm getting pretty fed up with GoDaddy. This is happening too often.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Acacia

A new character morph I'm playing with...

Things are pretty busy - still (I thought that would stop when I retired...... 😆), but I hope to pick up on this blog again very soon! Fun stuff is coming...

Rod

Monday, June 04, 2018

Quick Update..

Just a quick one - lots of stuff going on here...

I posted a YouTube video regarding those "boutique' custom-designed and built computers offered by Velocity, Origin, Titan, just to name a few. Are they worth the extra money?

 08-04-18.... I took the video down. After two months it had a total of 5 or 6 views, so why bother? The gist of the video was basically no, they are not - at least in my experience. I have far better luck with the Powerspec computers at my local Microcenter.

Speaking of such.... I had to send that POS Velocity laptop back to them again - at my cost: $84.00 - for more testing. They will put it back to the way it was when it left the factory, and hopefully it will actually WORK this time.

Got it back, and while it works, it still drops the USB ports about every 3rd time I boot it up. All is OK if I unplug the USB devices, then boot it up and plug them in after it's booted up completely. I'll just put up with it as is - it's not a big issue to plug in the USB devices. And I'm NOT sending it back. I'm done with Velocity.
 

In other news, our great-nephew, Josh was injured in a car accident, and is now in the ICU over at Children's Mercy. We were able to see him over the weekend, and he seems to be doing better, but the road to recovery will be a long one.

That's pretty much it. Working on some new stuff for the T.N.A. story, and doing some work on the house. We've been here 15 years, and the neighborhood seems to be slowly but surely headed in the downhill direction.

More coming soon...

Later,
Rod


Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Behind The Scenes 2018_001

Behind The Scenes is back after a 10-month hiatus!

BTS 2018_001

More coming soon.

Monday, April 23, 2018

I REALLY Need to Take a Break...

Have you ever got to a point where you're just so tired of messing with a particular thing that you just want to pick it up and throw it as far as you possibly can?

You know, all of the technology pundits out there keep telling us how marvelous all of this technology is, how it improves our lives, how it gives us more time for the fun things, and how it can be used for all those fun things… Some days I think they are as full of S##T as a Christmas turkey.

It seems like for the last two or three months, I have spent more time configuring, managing, troubleshooting, debugging, and generally messing around trying to get all of this technology to work properly than I have actually enjoying it. Don't get me wrong, I've still enjoyed creating some artwork with Poser, DAZ Studio, and Photoshop, but it just seems like there's been so many stupid little issues one after the other. It's probably just me…

The Origin laptop got home Saturday, and at first everything looked fine – and it is better than it was. But still, it has thrown up the blue screen at boot up twice since it's been home. I've contacted Origin, and they said during testing they had nothing plugged into the USB ports, and asked if I had any USB devices plugged in. I do have a Logitech USB wireless mouse, so I'll just leave it unplugged when I boot up, and only plug it in after it successfully booted. I'll try that for a few days and see how it goes.

I'll say one thing for Origin… At least they get back with me, unlike Velocity. My last contact with Velocity was last Tuesday, when I sent their engineer the files he had requested. It is now Monday, and I have yet to receive a response from them. This is typical. Right now, I'm mulling over the idea of creating a video about this whole sorry episode and posting it on YouTube for the world to see. And I may just tell the folks at Velocity that I am going to do this. Maybe that'll get them off their asses, but I doubt it.




On to other things.... I've been putting off, and putting off installing the new, upgraded modem from Comcast, but I finally got around to doing it today. I've been dreading it for over a week knowing I would probably have to go back in and reconfigure everything again and spend the whole day fighting with technology. It wasn't quite that bad, and everything is up and running now – and the Internet does seem quite a bit faster. But still, it took pretty much all afternoon to get everything all configured and running right, and my wireless Epson scanner still doesn't want to connect. I spent a good 2 1/2 hours fighting with it until I finally gave up and said screw it, I'll just plug it into the only remaining USB port I have left on that computer.

By the time I got through with configuring everything and tracking down all the inevitable bugs, I was ready to start stepping on kittens.

Anyway, the upshot of all of this is I think I'm gonna take a hiatus for a few days and just watch some movies on my Blu-ray player. Oh, that's something else… My little Sony Blu-ray player is wireless, and – up until about a month ago – I could get online with it and watch videos on YouTube. Then it stopped. I thought maybe this new modem would take care of that problem, and in a way it has. It will view any other channel except YouTube. The screwy thing is… Jolene's Blu-ray player upstairs – which is the exact same model – will play YouTube just fine. I don't know…

Okay, that's it. I'm done for now. I think I'll go out and find some kittens to step on...

Just kidding! Just kidding! 😆

I don't need a bunch of animal rights activists pounding on my front door!

Over and out…

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

I Need To Take A Break..

Well, that's what Jolene just told me. And she's probably right. She's probably tired of hearing me say:

"$^%*^&% freakin' $^%**^$% stupid #%$%^$%&*&* COMPUTERS!!!"

Right now I am sooooooooooo burned out with fighting technology!

Last night I started the transfer of all my Poser runtimes and scenes from the intermittent J drive to the new Seagate hybrid drive. The failing drive was - once again - hair-pullingly s....l....o....w. It would take anywhere from 5 - 20 minutes to transfer ONE file! I just left it overnight, and surprisingly, it (once again) woke up sometime during the night, and all the files transferred.

I pulled the old drive out, put the new drive in, changed its drive letter back to 'J' so I didn't have to reconfigure Poser's Library Pref file. Everything seems to be working smoothly now (I am being guardedly optimistic here..).

I also made some modifications to All-Way Sync so everything can be synchronized quickly and easily. Then it was a matter of getting all the computers to talk with each other (without plotting against me).

I have to say I think All-Way Sync is one of the best software investments I've ever made. If I remember correctly it was only 30 or 40 bucks, and you can install it on as many computers as you want. It makes backing up and synchronizing entire drives full of stuff a breeze!

I think I'm finally done. It seems like the last couple of months, I've spent more time managing and administrating these infernal machines than I have doing anything fun and creative with them:

 What I spend most of my time doing

What I WISH I was spending my time doing

Yeah, hanging out on the rooftop looking at the stars with Julie, Kinnie, and Marissa would be such a treat right now. Sigh. If only they were real - and it was actually warm enough to sit out at night. Topless or otherwise! 😀

I haven't installed the new Comcast modem yet - that will happen in the next few days if I can catch a break and relax a little before tackling another delightful encounter with technology.

I sent the information the Velocity engineer requested yesterday - no response as yet. It may take a while to analyze the data. We'll see what happens.

Rod out..


Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Out With The Old....

... And in with the new!

Well, we got our new garage door today, and it looks great! I was beginning to wonder earlier if it was going to happen, because the installer was running late. But I guess he had a delay on a previous job. At any rate, he got here right about 1 o'clock and it took about three hours to complete the whole job.

I was a little surprised that it was only one guy, but I guess he's had plenty of experience because he did a really good job with it. The new door is in, looks great, and operates smoothly.



 Old door coming out!

 New door installed and working great.

Now, I just need to do some scraping and painting!

I wish I could say the same for everything else… Well, actually things are going fairly smoothly at the moment. Mostly.. The new modem from Comcast arrived a couple days ago, but I haven't gotten around to replacing the old one with it yet. Frankly, I'm kind of burned out on dealing with technology.😝

Over the weekend, my main Poser machine – the Titan that just came back from service a few weeks ago – threw up a message that a hard drive was failing. Great. Echoes of the old HP computer… Anyway, it turns out it was the 'J' drive, and not the main boot drive, thankfully. The 'J' drive is a data drive and has all of my Poser runtimes and scene files on it. But those are backed up in 4 other places. I did a bunch of backups of a few other items on that drive Saturday night, and it was a hair pulling experience – not that I have that much hair left to pull. It was extremely slow and error messages popped up frequently. I finally just selected a bunch of folders and dragged them to a drive on another networked computer, and just went to bed. I fully expected to find a screen full of error messages in the morning when I got up, but surprisingly everything copied fine. Apparently the drive straightened itself out during the process, and started running properly.

I'm not taking any chances with it though. Although it seems to be working fine right now, I think there is an intermittent problem with that drive. So I got another drive from MicroCenter yesterday to replace it with, and I'll probably tackle that sometime over the weekend.

While were on the subject of computers, I got an email message from the folks at Origin computer, and it looks like my Origin laptop is all well and ready to come home. They sent me a bill for $61 for shipping both ways, but there was no cost for labor and it didn't need any parts.

I'm still battling with the P.O.S. Velocity laptop. I got an email message the other day from one of their chief engineers who gave me some instructions on how to gather some information that he would need before he remotes into the system. It took quite a fight today to get that information, but I did manage it, and sent it to him. If past experiences are any indicator, it'll be two or three days before I get any kind of a response. At this point, I really don't have much faith that they'll ever get that stupid piece of junk working properly. We'll see… But I'm not going to hold my breath.

Other than that, things are rolling along pretty well here. I'm just getting tired of this endless winter. It's April for crying out loud! It's time for spring. I'm ready to get out and shoot some photos and fly some drones.

Later!

Monday, April 09, 2018

April 9, 2018

Well, I finally got around to doing our taxes today, and we're coming out looking pretty good. Getting some money back from Federal and Kansas, and we don't have to pay a whole lot to Missouri. I'm glad that's done! I don't know why I put it off till almost the last minute every year, but I do. I guess it's just because it's such a royal pain in the butt – even when I use TurboTax. But thank God I've got TurboTax, because I'd never figure it out on my own.

The people from Overhead Door called earlier, and we're scheduled to get our new garage door installed on the 17th. Apparently they'll be putting in a new frame and everything, so the garage door won't look crappy anymore LOL.

The adventure with my piece of crap Velocity laptop continues. Last night, I tried to do a relatively simple thing – watch a couple videos on YouTube. After five or six hard reboots (having to manually power down the computer then reboot it) due to the stupid thing locking up and becoming completely unresponsive, I was about ready to throw it in front of a train.

After I received it Saturday, and the first thing it did was lock up on me, I sent a rather scathing email to Velocity. Thus far, I have received no response. I'll wait a couple of days to see if they respond. If not, in the words of our esteemed leader Donald Trump (I'm being just a little facetious here), I will unleash fire and fury upon them such as the world has never seen.

They clearly did absolutely nothing other than slap a new DVD drive in it, put a new keyboard on it, and ship it back to me. They completely ignored my description of the locking problem, slowness, non-responsiveness, and a myriad of other irritating issues it has. Should it become necessary to take further action, I will most definitely leverage social media.

It's still cold here, it snowed yesterday. Today, it looks like the snow is all pretty much gone, but it's still cold. It's supposed to start warming up tomorrow, and by Wednesday and Thursday it will be in the 70s. I'm ready for it! I'm ready to get out of the house a little bit, take some photos, and fly some drones. And I have a number of projects on this house that I'll be working on this summer.

That about wraps it up for this entry. As an aside, I got an email from one of my artist friends a week or so ago, and it appears people actually do read this stuff! :-) So for those of you who do, thank you very much!

Later!

Sunday, April 08, 2018

Nooooo!


Come on!! It's April for crying out loud!! Of course, I've seen it dump 14 inches in April before.. Hopefully this won't be one of those...

We drove to Winfield Kansas Friday for the interment of Jo's uncle Howard's ashes in the Wall of Honor at the Veteran's Cemetery in Winfield. It was a moving ceremony, and thankfully short as it was cold and windy. It was a 7 hour round trip, so we were both pretty well worn out by the time we got back.

Well, my Velocity laptop got back home Saturday. I was a little surprised, because there were never any of the updates Velocity said I'd get during the repair process. I got one message from them letting me know it had arrived at their service depot, but nothing after that, until the UPS truck showed up.

Although they did replace the keyboard and DVD drive, within moments of booting it up, it locked up on me. Several times. It took me a half-dozen re-boots to get it to settle down to a point where I could start removing the apps I wouldn't be using on it any longer.

I removed Photoshop, Lightroom, and the Adobe Cloud app, as well as Poser. I have those on other machines, so they're not needed on this machine.

After the third or fourth lockup, I sent a rather - shall we say pointed - email to Velocity. I was pretty pissed at that point after paying them 318 bucks to fix the damn thing. I guess "fixing it" consisted of the replacement of the keyboard and DVD that I'd requested. I also requested the other issues (s-l-o-w or no response to mouse commands, opening folders, etc.) be addressed. Clearly they were not.

I was finally able - after several hours messing with it - to get it working fairly smoothly, and the  DVD drive does work fine - I was able to watch Rogue 1 on it last night with no issues. I don't know if the Adobe stuff was causing it issues, or what. It should have plenty of power to handle both the Adobe apps and Poser. My Powerspec laptop from Microcenter handles both Adobe and Poser with no issues. And it was half the price of this Velocity.

Anyway, it's a pretty safe bet I'll never buy another Velocity, nor will I recommend them. This whole episode has been unimpressive to put it mildly, and has left a bad taste in my mouth for anything Velocity.

I did get an update from Origin, and it looks like they found and fixed the problem. Apparently there was a loose screw that holds the M.2 drive in place, and it was not making good contact. They are doing some additional testing on it, and hopefully it will be home soon. I'm just relieved that it was the computer that had a screw loose, and not me!

Well, that's about it for this entry. I'm so ready for warmer weather to arrive. It's time to get outside, shoot some photos, fly some drones, and start on some of the projects on this house.

Later!

Sunday, April 01, 2018

April 1 - No Foolin'

Brrrr..... Cold, sleet - snow, cloudy and gloomy. A good day for staying inside, doing some artwork, listening to music, drinking coffee, and relaxing.

The two ailing laptops are now at their respective repair depots. Got them off on Monday, and they both arrived on Thursday. I got an email from Origin letting me know it was there, but nothing from Velocity as yet.

Hopefully both will be back in operating condition  - I'm sure paying for it.

I put DAZ Studio on my main computer - the one I'm using now - and I just about gave birth to a moose the first time I did a large render on it. An image that would probably have taken overnight on the laptop took less than an hour on this machine! I am now thinking seriously about adding another desktop machine dedicated to DAZ Studio. At this rate I'll be browning out the entire neighborhood..

Not much eles going on at the moment - not that it matters.... No one reads this stuff anyway.. I don't know why I bother with it sometimes. Oh, well...

Happy Easter to anyone that stops by!

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Latest Stuff..

Okay, this will be a fairly short entry, with just a few of the latest updates. 😉

First, the ailing laptops will be going out Monday to Velocity and Origin for repairs. I'm not sure how much it's going to cost me to get the Origin fixed, but I know I'm in it for at least 318 for the Velocity. I'm pretty sure that they will both be wiped clean and Windows reinstalled fresh, and that's fine. I may keep the Velocity upstairs, since it will have (hopefully) a working DVD drive in it, and just use it for light duty and watching movies and stuff. I won't be putting Photoshop or Poser back on it.

On the Origin, I'm not quite sure what I'll put back on it. I might put Poser Pro 11 on it just to see how it works. I've had Poser 11 since it came out, but I really haven't used it much as it wouldn't work at all on the old HP, and I don't want to take a chance on messing up my Poser installations on the other computers.

I was using the Origin for DAZ Studio, but I now have DAZ installed on this machine, and thus far I have been extremely pleased with the way it runs. This computer has a GTX 1070 card in it, and earlier today it crunched through a large render (about 3000 x 4000 pixels), in about 15 minutes. Granted, there was only one figure in the image, with no environmental props, but still... on the Origin laptop it would have taken at least an hour.

I'm kind of mulling over in (what's left of) my mind the prospect of getting a dedicated computer for DAZ Studio, but we'll see how that goes. It'll depend on expenses with these laptops, and any other things that might crop up. We shall see…

At least my DJI Mavic Pro and Inspire 1 are both up and working properly again. 😁

I've done a little bit of redecorating on this blog, and you'll notice my calendar girls over on the sidebar to the right. I'll be adding more soon. This will be kind of a fun little preview, and the calendar girls will be posted here in this smaller format even before they are posted at Renderosity or Deviant Art.

Well I said this was going to be short, so I'll stop rambling for now. 😎

Later!

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

And So We Wait...



Those four words pretty much sum up the current situation with my two malfunctioning laptops. I called Velocity yesterday to get things set up to send their laptop in for servicing. As instructed, I called, gave them my credit card number, and now I am waiting for the payment ($318) to be processed so they can send me a UPS label. The representative I talked to yesterday said the payment should be processed by this morning. I’m writing this at 9:19 in the evening, and have seen nothing from Velocity.

Yesterday, after yet another email to Origin, I was instructed to call their tech support line to get the Origin laptop set up for service. I called them today, and spoke with one of their representatives. Again, I had to give my credit card number in order to process payment. I will be paying for shipping both ways – a total of $68, plus whatever parts are needed to get their piece of crap up and running. At least I don’t have to pay labor on this one.

I did send an email to the person I’ve been working with at Origin to let them know that the system would be coming in for service. I also asked them why I should ever consider buying another computer from their company. This laptop cost a little over $2300. It lasted a little over a year and a half, and of course their warranty is only for one year. No response as yet.

As I stated in one of my earlier blog posts, this has all left are really, really bad taste in my mouth for these so-called “boutique” custom computer companies. They rant and rave on their websites about how great their systems are and how great their service is, but when it comes right down to it they're just like everybody else. Once they have your money, you can go screw yourself. Nobody gives a damn.

It remains to be seen what kind of a job either of these companies do in repairing their pieces of junk. I will reserve final judgment until that time, but as it stands right now you can rest assured that once this is all said and done I will be doing my level best to spread the word. If you need a good computer, you might as well build it yourself or just go down the street to Micro Center or wherever and get a decent machine locally. For half the price.


Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Tech Support and Other Fun Things...

It has been a "fun" 😝 and interesting last few days.... I've spent most of it dealing with various tech support organizations. First, I got on a chat line with DJI's support people because I thought I was having an issue upgrading the firmware on my Inspire 1. Apparently, the firmware update came through fine and everything was normal, but the text file that is created when you do a firmware update had something in it about a failure. Anyway the DJI technician had me send a log file which they checked out, and said that the firmware update had gone through just fine. And apparently it did.

Previously (after the previous firmware update) the drone was locked into a mode where it would only go 98 feet either vertically or horizontally. But I took it out into the backyard today for a quick test flight, and it did well. It was cold and rather windy so I wasn't out there long, but I did take it up to about 110 feet. Here is what the view looked like looking to the West towards downtown Kansas City.


I heard from the folks at Velocity Computer, and it looks like it's gonna cost me about $318 for a keyboard replacement and replacement DVD drive. They said to call their tech support line to get everything set up, which I did earlier today. After waiting on hold for around 20 minutes, the phone tech came on, and surprise of surprises, it wasn't some guy in India. Named Peggy. Anyway, I got that all set up and they will be sending me a UPS label to ship it and have it serviced. Hopefully it will be back up to full capacity when that's done.

On my origin laptop, which has been having issues booting into Windows (throwing up a blue screen when it tries to boot into Windows), they told me to run a "memtest" which you have to put on a USB stick and then boot to the USB stick. I tried for the better part of an hour to convince the stupid computer to boot to the USB stick without any success. I emailed them again with a rather frustrated email, and a little while ago got a response from them. They said to call into their tech support line and get it set up to be sent back to their repair facility. 😧 I'll probably call them tomorrow, because right now I'm too frustrated to mess with it. And I really don't want to go off on the poor phone tech… I've sat in that chair before, and it's not fun.

The Titan computer is still working well; haven't had any problems with it since it came back. I wanted to add two more hard drives internally rather than trying to leave the USB external drives plugged in all the time. I was a little disappointed to see there wasn't much space to add any more hard drives – there are plenty of SATA connectors – but I did see two spots where I could add laptop size hard drives, which I did. I copied all of the stuff that was on the external drives to to the two new internal drives, and reconfigured all of my Poser materials and so on. Now I just use the external drives as backups for all the new stuff that I download or create.

So that's pretty much it for right now. Hopefully he will be moving into some warm weather for long, and we can get out and take some photos and fly some drones!

Later!

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Girls From T.N.A. Ch 6, Pg 14 Now Posted!

Latest page now up:
The Girls From T.N.A.

Also at my Renderosity Gallery:
Ch 6, Page 14 at Renderosity

I have to wonder how long my Patreon page will sit at 0 Patrons. Is my stuff really that crappy?

Later...

Saturday, March 10, 2018

YES!!

Just got the "Your Art" Winner of the Week at Fantasy Attic! Miss Ranpha comes through again!

Your Art Weekly Winner

😀

Friday, March 09, 2018

Update on the Computers..

I just installed a couple Western Digital 1TB drives in the titan computer, and copied everything from the external drives to them. Now all my master runtimes for Poser, as well as all my downloaded assets are stored on the internal drives so I don't have to repeatedly unplug the externals when I shut it down, then plug them back in after the machine boots up. I'll just use the externals as backups and plug them in once a week or so to back everything up. So far, everything is working smoothly - on this machine, at least...

I'm still waiting for a resolution from Velocity. The last I heard from them was on the 7th when I asked for an update. The guy I'm working with got back to me shortly after I sent the message, and said he'd follow up with a price. I've heard nothing since. I emailed the president of the company with my concerns, so we'll see if that does any good.

I emailed another message to Origin Computers regarding my 2300 dollar, less than 2-year-old piece of crap 'custom' laptop. Here's their response:

"Hello Rod Shelley,
Please call into the support line so a technician can assist you with this issue."



Thanks so much, buttmuncher!

I got more useful information from another DAZ user on one of the DAZ Facebook forums. It's kind of a sad statement when you get more useful help from a Facebook forum than you do from the high-end, custom computer vendors. They endlessly hype about thier fantastic, custom-built, heavily tested, absolutely awesome systems, and their "world-class, award-winning" tech support. But then they fall flat on their asses when their overpriced systems shit themselves.

Yeah, I'm through with these overpriced 'boutique' computer companies. Next time I need a system, I'll either build it myself, or run out to Overland Park and get one from Microcenter. At least there I can get a 2-year replacement plan for a few extra bucks.

Tuesday, March 06, 2018

A Few Musings About "Custom" Computer Vendors..


Over the last several years, I have gone from custom building my own computer systems from bare-bones kits to getting the custom-built systems available from many vendors.

I have two systems from Velocity Computers – one desktop and one laptop. The desktop is a pretty heavy duty unit with two processors and 64 GB of RAM. Most of the time it runs acceptably well. It is used mainly for Photoshop, and occasionally for Poser Pro 2014. I had Poser on the laptop as well as Photoshop, but as of this writing the laptop is not working.

I also have a laptop from Origin Computers, which I use mainly for DAZ Studio. I have a desktop unit from Titan computers, which I use pretty much exclusively for Poser Pro 2014.

Right now, as I mentioned above, the Velocity laptop is pretty much a doorstop. I have a support ticket going with Velocity right now, and I am waiting for a response from them with our last email exchange.

Just last week, the Titan computer arrived back home after being sent to their service department for issues I was experiencing with it. One of the main problems I had with it was the fact that if I left my external USB drives plugged in when I booted it up, it would try to reinstall Windows. I did not have this issue at all with the old HP computer that I previously had in this spot. It would boot up just fine with all three USB drives connected.

Naturally, the technicians at Titan could not duplicate this problem. They updated some drivers, and put the system in a brand-new case as FedEx had apparently damaged the old case on the trip to their service facility.

Regarding the USB drives, I have two Hitachi drives, and had a Seagate drive on which I kept my master runtimes for Poser. The two Hitachi drives are rock solid, but the Seagate drive would continuously drop out, then pop back in, then drop out again, then pop back in again. With it dropping out every few seconds, it was completely useless. However, if I plugged another drive in, it worked fine. Similarly, if I plugged the Seagate drive into my oldest system (which was the last system that I built myself from a bare-bones kit), the drive works fine. So I now have two Seagate drives attached to my old computer, along with two Hitachi drives, and all four drives work fine. So I am basically using this system as a backup server. Why do the Seagate drives act so flaky on the Titan system? I have no idea...

Anyway, after taking a week to reconfigure everything, move my Poser files around, move my master runtimes to one of the Hitachi drives, I finally got everything working relatively smoothly.

No sooner did I get everything squared away with the Titan computer, then the Origin laptop began throwing boot up errors. It would throw up a message "your computer encountered a problem and has to restart" when it was booted up. The first time this happened, it took about five reboots to finally get it to boot into Windows properly. It will kick this message up about every fourth or fifth time I boot it up.

I just opened a ticket with Origin, and just got a response from them. In a nutshell, they said in order to rule out the problem being software-based, I would need to insert the recovery USB stick they included, and basically wipe the drive and reinstall everything factory fresh. Of course, this means that I would have to reinstall DAZ Studio, and a few other apps that I have running on the system. It's kind of a pain in the ass, but then again if it was a hardware problem I'd have to do the same thing after they replaced the drive.

So… At the moment I have tickets open with both Origin and Velocity. I don't even want to think about the total price I've paid over the years for all of these 'custom' systems, but let me just say that none of them were under $2300.

When the Velocity laptop decided to lay down on me, I went to Micro Center, and paid a little over $1200 for a Powerspec laptop with a 17 inch screen to use for Poser Pro 2014 and Photoshop. I haven't had it very long, so time will tell how well it continues to work. But at the moment it runs poser smoothly, as well as Photoshop and a couple other apps I have installed.

The upshot of all of this rambling is just this: why in the hell should I continue to spend inflated prices for these custom-built systems, when I can go to Micro Center and for half the price get a system that works just as well if not better? Next time I need a powerful system for 3-D rendering, I will be giving very deep consideration on whether to get a custom-built system or just simply go to Micro Center and bring one home the same day for half the price.




Wednesday, February 28, 2018

New Posts on Patreon

Here are a few images I've recently posted on Patreon. The ones on Patreon are much, much larger than these, are 300 DPI, and do not have the large watermarks on them. I've also blocked out the "vital  parts" of the nude pinups as I'll link this post to Facebook and Twitter, and don't want to violate their Terms of Service.




So, what is Patreon? Basically, it is a site where you can become a Patron for your favorite creators. Through the ages, artists and creators have had Patrons who have supported them and their artwork, enabling them to grow as artists. This benefits not only the Artist, but society as well. Art adds enjoyment, and enriches our lives. Be it pinup art, beautiful landscapes, portraits, or even abstract, it  adds enjoyment to our daily routines. Imagine life without art.... Not a pretty picture.

For as little as $1.00 a month you can become a Patron, and enable (and encourage) me to create more art - and other content as well. I have two Patron Tiers at the moment: $1.00 and $5.00 per month. As a way to thank you for your patronage, there are large, high-resolution versions of the images you see here available for you to download. The $5.00 Tier will have access to the nude figure studies and pinups as well as the images in the $1.00 Tier. And there will be much, much more in the coming months.

I will have stories and comics exclusively for my Patrons, and tutorials as well. There will also be plenty of full-resolution photos which you can use for backgrounds, computer wallpapers, or prints for your own personal use (i.e. decor for your home). They may not be used for commercial purposes. You will need to contact me regarding commercial use, or visit my Adobe Stock or Shutterstock  galleries.

There will be much more content coming in the months and years ahead. I hope you will join me on this adventure!

Monday, February 26, 2018

Update: 02-26-18

Just a quick update tonight…

My ailing Titan computer should be home Thursday! They ran it through some extra tests, and even did some rendering tests with it. From what the person that emailed me said, everything worked really well on it. I'm anxious for it to get home, so I can start working on the next page in the TNA story.

I do have Poser on the PowerSpec laptop that I got from Micro Center, and also on my big Velocity machine. But the Titan is my main poser machine – I'll use it for renders, and while it's rendering I can work on Photoshop on the Velocity, or another scene on the PowerSpec.

I'm also working on a little side story, which delves into G4's background, and tells the story of how she came to be part of TNA. I'll also be doing stories on Arawen, Melanie, and some of the other Girls.

I'm also working on some new renders to put up on Patreon and Pixels, and some of my other online stores. I'm trying to get my name out there in as many places as possible, so maybe I can make a buck or two with this art thing.

That's pretty much it for tonight. See you later!

Sunday, February 25, 2018

New Addition to My Pixels Shop

 Buy my stuff. Make me smile. 😀

Wanna Play? Print at Pixels

Also on my Patreon Page

Trying hard to get my name out there... Hey, if Y'all make me rich, maybe I'll build a big rocket and launch a car into space...

Or not...

 Later! 

Friday, February 23, 2018

Update: 02/23/18

Okay, folks… Just a quick update today.

I just did little bit of updating on the website – I made the splash graphic a little bit smaller. That's the framed image that changes each time you come to the website. I made it 800x600, so it's just a little bit smaller and doesn't take up quite as much real estate.

I've also added banners for Patreon and Pixels. I am trying to expand, and get my work in front of as many people as possible. I would dearly love to have some of my artwork and photography start making a little bit of money for me.

Anyway, I'm going to be posting more to Facebook, Twitter, and of course all the art sites like Renderosity, Deviant Art, Fantasy Attic, and more.

I have just launched a Patreon page. For those of you that don't know about Patreon, it is a website that allows you to help support artists and other creators. For a small monthly amount – less than you'd spend on a soda or cup of coffee per day – you can become a patron. More details are available about it on my Patreon page, which you can see by following the link below

My Patreon Page

In other news, I haven't heard anything since Monday regarding my computer that I sent for service. Last I heard they were going to pack it up and ship it, and send me a tracking number once it shipped. If I don't hear anything by this afternoon I'll send them an email and try to find out what's going on.

For now, I'm going to sign off and relax with a little artwork, and a nice hot cup of coffee. Have a great weekend everybody!

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Update: 02-20-2018

Well hello… to the one or two people that actually read this thing once in a while. It's been a little while since I've done an update, but really not a whole lot has happened.

Probably the biggest thing is my Titan computer – which is my main Poser computer – was having some problems a couple weeks ago. It started running real slow, and for a while it took it around 20 minutes to boot into Windows. I sent an email to Titan, and they sent me a shipping label to ship it back to their facility so they can look at it. I just got an email today from them, and apparently FedEx damaged the case during shipping. They don't usually cover damage to the case but they went ahead and put the components into a new case for me. They checked everything else out and updated some drivers and the BIOS. They were not able to replicate the USB problem I've been having… Trying to install Windows every time I booted up with the USB drives attached, so there may be a boot image on one of the USB drives. Anyway, that's not that big of a problem. I can simply plug in the drives after the machine is booted up and everything's fine.

Anyway I'm looking forward to getting it back soon.





Today is kind of an ugly cold, rainy, sleet-y, icy day – just perfect for staying inside, drinking coffee, listening to music, and doing some artwork. So that's what I'm gonna do!

Thanks for stopping by, and again I'm trying to update this more often. See you soon!

Sunday, February 04, 2018

Girls From T.N.A. Latest Upload

GFTNA Website:
The Girls From T.N.A.

Also posted at Renderosity:
Chapter 6 Page 13 at Renderosity!

I'll be adding updates here for the story, as well as some of my other artwork. I need to get my name out there! 😛

Saturday, February 03, 2018

New Month, New Entry...

 Just a quick entry tonight… I know once again it's been a while since I put anything on this blog, the truth is I've been pretty busy cramming my head full of new ideas and new knowledge. It seems like every time I open up Poser or Photoshop or DAZ Studio, I learn something new, or find new ways to use the features all these amazing applications have.

With some of the new features that they've added to Photoshop CC, I'm hoping to get started doing a little bit of 2-D work in addition to the 3-D stuff that I'm continuing to improve my abilities with.

If the link above worked, I have just uploaded a new image to Pixels for sale as a poster or numerous other products. I also have galleries at Adobe Stock, and it Shutter Stock. I am hoping that I can start making a little bit of money with my artwork and photography. What a concept… Getting paid to do something you love! Hopefully, one of these days I'll actually sell something. If and when it happens I'll probably fall out of my chair and break my neck!

I'm gonna keep it short tonight, as I want to put together the next page in my TNA story, and get that posted to Renderosity and my website.

I've also invested in the newest version of Dragon NaturallySpeaking, and am attempting to get it trained to understand the words that I use commonly. So for now I'll sign out, and I'll promise to be back soon.

Art Prints