Sunday, June 24, 2012

Haven't been interested in anything Metallica does or says for 20 years, but playing Ride the Lightning in its entirety would be a pretty cool show.

New comp - installed hours worth of software. and then .. a dead pixel. Exchanged comp & starting over again. Fun!

New computer-installed anti Malware, Avast, VLc, CS5, Win updates, configured win like I like, installed FireFox and my fav plug-ins (FTP, Stumble, Firebug, etc), etc. We're talking hours... and then, I spot a dead pixel on the screen. Crap. Back to Fry's to get a new one and start all over again.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Looking for MP3 download of Iron Maiden's Brave New World. Not free. I want to buy. No Amazon, no iTunes, etc. ??

I acquired an MP3 back in 2001 of the song "The Wickerman". It was recent Maiden song at the time and it was really good. It could have been off of Powerslave, Peace of Mind, etc. It was classic Dickerson era Maiden. I never got around the looking into the album it came off of. I would just listen to the one song now and then. So today I click on the file and play it, but it's only 45 seconds long? WTF. I know I had the whole thing, but something happened to the file. So I thought, I'll just go buy the file, and maybe the whole album. Well, I can't seem to find it. I can only buy the CD. Well, I can buy an MP3 of that one song, but not whole album. It's funny though, you can buy it in the U.K. for some reason. ???

I did buy The Wickerman and I am happily jamming, but really want the whole album.

Recreating a complex logo from a blurry camera phone pic of a business card. Ahh, takes me back.

Of course the real challenge, outside of the obvious one, is that it needs to be done NOW. I am creating a flyer for a pizza restaurant. I don't have any assets besides a blurry pic of their business card. The logo has multiple fonts and a posterized image of the empire state building. The fonts are edited/skewed, etc., so Illustrator comes first.

The main font in the logo looks to be Copper, so that's a start. I type it out, kern, stroke, warp, and then convert to outlines.

The first letter is the only one that is really edited, but it's really odd, so it takes a while to get it close. Lots of node editing.

Next is finding the NY Yankee font, as they used the N Y from that logo. Again, time is my enemy here, so I end up finding a hi-res images of the N Y and trace it in AI. Not my best work, but it'll do.

Next is the Empire State Building graphic. Time was really the issue here, as I could search for hours looking for the exact same angle of the building, then another hour editing and posterizing. My version got the same effect, but was not the same as their logo. Of course I'm thinking that if they want it done right, they would have got me proper assets and/or give me a reasonable turn around time. But I'm not complaining. I am gettin' er done.

The flyer took me about an hour. I have not heard back, so I may be far from finished, but it was fun walking down memory lane with this excursion. It's not that I don't use a lot of these techniques for design, but designing from a business card does not usually come up doing agency work.

Back in my Verizon days it was every other site that was build off of a business card and maybe a brochure, if I was lucky.

Example. Joe's Plumbing needs a website. Here's his business card. The site must be launched today!

I am not exaggerating. My old SuperPages work mates know what I'm talking about.


If I were the #heat I would trade LeBron and Wade to build for the future. @mcuban @SportsSturm

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Just realized my new Asics running shoes are "Trail" shoes. I ran in them and they felt good, but should I return them? Not going to be running on trails.

Fry's salesman "Our computers don't have PCI slots, but your PCI card will fit in a PCIe slot." Wrong on both

This is my ignorance as well as the Fry's salesperson, but I'm asking the questions and he's pretending to know the answers.

I have the Delta 44 audio interface which has a PCI card and breakout box. PCI cards are old now, but my computer that I use for recording is failing. I've reformatted, maxed out the RAM, and done all the XP performance tricks I could find, but it's still slow, and when editing video it stalls and locks up. It used to not do that. I've had to replace the power supply a while back when it was acting up, but now I'm done upgrading. I want a newer system.

The Delta audio interface was about $150. It comes with the PCI card and a breakout box. I don't want to upgrade that if I can help it. It works great.

So our other computer went out completely. We need two, as there are many times Lisa is working on the computer with work and school stuff and I am also working on audio, video, freelance, etc., so we need two working computers.

I went to Fry's and thought I would ask about the PCI dilemma I will soon face. I asked if there are any new computers that still have PCI slots. He said no. But, he said that PCIe has the same size slot, but usually the older PCI cards are too big to fit in the newer boxes. I scratched my head, but I wasn't buying a computer with recording in mind, but I knew I would be in the near future.

I bought a Dell desktop. It had a pretty big box, so when I got it home I opened it up and checked out the expansion slots. It had a few different sizes, but the text on the MB was so small that I couldn't really read the label on the slots. Two of the slots were clearly newer form factors as they were tiny. They had two others that looked closer to size of the old PCI slots.

I opened my old computer and I looked at, and measured, the PCI slot that my Delta PCI card was plugged into. I compared it to the slots in my new Dell and one of the slots looked to be identical.

So I start researching  whether I can plug a PCI card into a PCIe slot. The answer, a resounding NO. They won't physically fit, but even if the old card would fit, it wouldn't work.

I then think that I am SOL and will have to buy a new PCIe Delta card. I look at the specs online for my new Dell and the specs say that it indeed does have a PCI slot. I open my new Dell back up, get some readers (it sucks getting old), get a flash light, and once again try and ready the labels on the MB of the Dell. Well damn. It does indeed have a PCI slot. I even installed the old PCI card and drivers to confirm it will work and it does.

So for now, I can use my new computer with the old hardware I have. The Dell is a quadcore with 6 GB of ram, so it should work fine for both audio and video. Well, video my be another story as I don't know about the onboard video on the Dell vs whats in my old computer. But I'll find out.

So my Fry was just talking out of his ass. He was a nice guy, and I wish him all the best, but if I didn't do some research I could have spend a lot of money on some unnecessary hardware.

Live and learn.

New running shoes. Stuck with Asics, but went significantly cheaper. I hope I don't regret it.


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