Friday, January 14, 2011

The Great Mediocrity...

I've never been too fond of this time of year.

Gone are the lovely colourful Christmas illuminations, the sense of cheer, merryment and excitement. Gone is the snow, the sledging, the happy anticipation, and gone are the trifle, Quiches and turkey. In their place we have the cold and wet mediocrity that is the first few weeks of the new year. And worse, my birthday next month, so I have the lovely opportunity to get some socks and a reminder that I'm getting older still, and the things I should be doing as a young man, are the things I'm going to end up getting weird stares for doing in my forties.

But it's not all doom and gloom, no. Things come along, things progress. My rather fruitless search for a job that isn't working at McDonalds or at a call center isn't one of them, but on the other hand I have been referred to one of the local education authorities, with a view to enrolling on a rather interesting course that involves what I've been up to earlier, that is, tearing a computer to bits and putting it back together.

Yep, my faithful computer doesn't have a speck of dust inside it at the minute, and seems to be purring along very happily. I spent half an hour with an air blower removing dust bunnies, dust sharks, and dust dinosaurs from ridiculously constricted intake grilles, and generally sorting the airflow out. And yet...

Well, I've been "promoted" on a website I frequent. 20 posts was all it took to be awarded an award (what else) and recognition for "outstanding contribution" apparently, in the form of 3d meshes and objects, which cheered me up. Yes, it seems that my years of arsing around with 3d modelling are finally producing tangible results, both in the form of meshes that people are now using in their work and incorporating into actual content for games, and in the form of recognition as a very good 3d modeller.
So that's good, that's cheered me up. The only downside is that producing this content is time consuming, and takes effort, both from the computer and from me. So much effort in fact, that on some of my larger projects, the software is now crashing, citing "out of memory" errors.

Having asked around, it seems that my system (dual core 2.8ghz processor and 3gb of ram) while mostly adequate for my purposes, is woefully inadequate for the latest software's most powerful functions, which historically relied upon network rendering, rather than single machine rendering. Unfortunately, with my motherboard supporting an absolute maximum of 4gb of physical ram, it seems a new computer may be in order sometime before the end of this year. Especially if I'm going to be producing models as something other than a form of self amusement.

As with the system I'm now using, I made the mistake of going to overclockers, where I have once again seen lots of shiny stuff that I would like to buy. Having acknowledged that my computer is rather noisy, I am giving thought to some form of water cooling, or at the very least, buying a "quiet" case.

So yes, I've been happily rendering things, making my computer work hard, drinking loads of TEGH (a nickname that if you don't understand I'm not going to explain it to you), searching for a job, trying to get information on a course (difficult when the sods won't email me back at all never mind "within 2 working days"), and generally saying "Yes, life ground to a halt at the end of 2010 as it does every christmas season, now it's time to start it again".

Things are going okay so far, they could certainly be worse :-).

Now all I need is more pork crunch, cos I've run out! I saved the bag though, so I can refill it and use it as my perpetual pork crunch supply.

And now I'm off to tidy up and sit about and whatnot. Hope you all had a happy new year's day :-).