Shadow Devil, a hero with a knot in his gut

ShadowDevil

April 1st, 2011 at 8:51 am

Computers And Software

in: Misc

The computer seems to be fighting back recently. Or at least being a little recalcitrant. I’ve been into emulation quite a lot. I already have Amiga Forever on my laptop, which emulates the Amiga, and still use it quite a bit. I also have MS Virtual PC on the computer for older operating systems and trying out software I’m unsure of before installing it (or not) on the laptop.

Recently I bought some software from eBay and it turned out to be for the Mac and not PC (no response from the seller yet) so I installed a Mac emulator and used the software. That was very weird as I had a Mac emulator running inside an emulated PC. Emulation within emulation.

It’s been yonks since I used Macs; way back in the eighties when they looked much like the average PC – big monitor, box, keyboard – if not behaved like them.

I have some spare copies of old operating systems (PC ones) lying around so I thought I’d create some virtual machines while I was using Virtual PC. I got a shock when the cd for Windows NT 4 exploded in the drive. It broke into three pieces, spitting out one and dislodging the lip of the DVD drive. Luckily it didn’t harm the drive, which still reads CDs and DVDs, and the broken lip was easily clipped back into place. There must have been a crack in the CD or something, but it wasn’t noticeable before I put it in the drive: damn noticeable afterward.

I purchased Project:Messiah (bought three licenses actually) when they ran their Dare to Share promotion. It was a no brainer. A thousand dollar software program for $40 (about thirty odd quid after currency conversion). Duh.

It has tight integration with Lightwave and there are lots of video tutorials helping new users into the program. It is fantastic and I wish I could use it all day every day but my use is limited to a few hours here and there. It is the full animation package, lacking only a detailed modeller. It does setup, animation and rendering, which are very easy to do within the program, although rendering requires a lot of work to get things right. It started off as a plug-in for Lightwave but has since grown into a full package in its own right which is just as broad and varied as Lightwave.

I’ve been able to do a fair few things with Messiah. Although a lot of these same things can be done in Lightwave it seems easier and more pleasurable in Messiah. Morphs are a problem though. It’s tricky to get the facial expressions just right in Lightwave; it’s a lot easier in another program I have, Quidam, and I have considered purchasing an upgrade to Quidam as it does morphs in a new feature in the newest version but their web store is currently unavailable and I’m not able to upgrade at the moment.

I’m getting a bit fed up with Google Reader. Although it saves a lot of time and a lot of surfing it is annoying in that I can’t get rid of some blogs. A few of the blogs I follow either stopped or changed location – and feeds – so I make changes in Google Reader don’t I? The thing is Reader doesn’t want to accept those changes. The blogs I deleted turn up again. Then I move them to another folder and they turn up in the main list again. I’ve tried to get rid of them a few times now and in the end I just gave up. I ignore them whenever I log into Google.

I’m reading and enjoying the two R E Howard books that arrived recently; lots of good stories. I’m also reading a lot of non-fiction (another three for two at Waterstones’ which are building up points on the Waterstones’ card). I also bought Eye In The Sky by P K Dick. I’ve got buckets of his books but never got this one for some reason. Going through the list of books inside Eye in The Sky it seems there are still a few of his novels I still haven’t got or read. Also just got another Neal Asher book, a second hand copy of Cowl. I’ve just finished The Technician by Neal Asher and that was a great book; looking forward to Cowl. Also arrived fresh from the states – finally – is Up The bright River by Philip Jose Farmer.

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