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.


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!


Sunday, April 08, 2018


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.


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!