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Ew.

Zuckerberg’s Metaverse is – and I cannot stress this enough – ugly.

I’ve been trying to find a way to show you, but (no surprise) you’re not allowed to take screenshots in the normal way. When you take them with your virtual phone, you can only share them with Facebook friends – which, annoyingly, does not include your own self.

So let me describe. The character design of the avatars is poor. Those people in the picture above? It’s worse than that. This isn’t an actual screen shot (their usernames aren’t floating above their heads).

You do not have legs in the Metaverse. You are a floating torso that pootles around like a malfunctioning robot.

The Oculus Quest has multiple cameras to track the position of your head and hands. This means you can look over at people and wave or, like, fake robot dance. But wait! Your hands are also how you control everything. For example, to call up your menu, you raise your left arm and look at your wrist. But it doesn’t pop up unless you catch it just right, so you usually need a few tries.

Yes, that’s right – a whole room of zooming legless robots making gentle wanking motions.

The tracking is so good, it can track individual finger movements (there are some fun-looking games based on this idea). Even better! Imagine if you will an auditorium full of ugly torsos, zooming around waving their arms in the air and wiggling their fingers. Only a man as socially awkward as Zuck could think this would appeal.

One of the reasons the Oculus is so inexpensive compared to most VR rigs is that it can’t handle some of the more sophisticated visuals. But really, that’s no excuse for ugly design. I’ve spent my whole day on this island, which is a masterpiece of a silly VR world the Oculus can handle just fine.

March 16, 2022 — 7:23 pm
Comments: 3

I have no Photoshop, and I must scream

scream

Well, I have Photoshop now. I got it working in the end, but I had to reboot several times to do it. And one in three times I reboot, the computer does its best imitation of a brick. And has taken to freezing up randomly when it does run.

I wasn’t sure I’d be here tonight.

It sounds like a serious hardware problem, but the issues I’ve had with it track every new Windows update. New updates, new slew of misbehavior. Then it settles down for a while.

I’m well overdue for another one. This machine is about eight years old. But I always buy the highest spec machine I can possibly afford, so I’ve been putting it off until I hafta.

So, it sounds like the perfect day to change my cellphone provider, yes?

[gentle sobbing]

November 15, 2017 — 8:26 pm
Comments: 21

Feh!

plugs

I rolled out of bed this morning, made a cup of joe, sat down and switched on my computer monitor and…watched the screen fade to white. Like, totally white.

I did the usual cable-rattling, multi-booting and Googling without much luck (looks like a common problem with laptops, though).

As demonstrated by this crappy photo I stole off the net, my graphics card’s main plug is the one in the middle, the DVI. It doesn’t have the top one, the old VGA, but it does have several variations on HDMI. My monitor has VGA and DVI. BUT! I have an HDMI to VGA adapter thingie (huh! Wonder how that happened). Trust me: this paragraph made sense.

So I’ve got my monitor plugged into the HDMI-to-VGA. It works. Everything looks wrong and shit, but it works. (Hence probably no shiny new monitor for weasel, boo!).

So! Is the HDMI cable screwed? Is the HDMI port on the card screwed, or the one on the monitor? Do I just need to take it all apart, give it a good shake and a clean, and put it together again? Who cares? I’ve brought a shit-ton of work home this weekend and I don’t have time to mess with it!

Hope yours goes better…see you after the weekend.

July 21, 2017 — 9:12 pm
Comments: 18

insert thread pun

threads

Eh. I stayed late at work to meet a client who never turned up. I don’t have much to show for myself today.

This guy recreates old master fragments using round frames and a single spool of thread. The text says he usually does computer art and I’m sure he devised a program to work out how to cross over from what angles to get the dark spots just right make the picture. Still cool.

Speaking in my capacity as somebody who went to art school and later dropped out, we need a word for works that are extremely cool but ultimately pointless and emotionally sterile. I don’t have a suggestion, I’m just pointing out the need.

Yes, yes…I am reduced to trawling Bored Panda tonight. Now I’m’a go to Skyrim and shoot more arrows into my horse.

November 3, 2016 — 9:10 pm
Comments: 8

Sad weasel

witcher

I don’t mean to name-drop, but our new Home Secretary is the MP for nearby Hastings and Rye and, somewhere out there, there’s a picture of me standing next to her.

She’s a squishy, warmenist cow. *spit*

To celebrate my awesome new video card, I bought the last expansion to the Witcher 3, Blood and Wine. I haven’t played that game since February. Is it sad that I was really pleased and happy to see Geralt again?

Yes, that is definitely sad.

July 14, 2016 — 9:30 pm
Comments: 10

The old card with the new card in his arms

cards

By gum, that’s a big-ass video card. It fit in the case, just. For an awful moment, I thought I didn’t have the right power connector — the old one had two banks of six pins, and this one had a bank of six and a bank of eight — but I found that my old power supply had an extra two pin connector zip-tied to the cable for just such an eventuality.

‘Scuse me, I’m off to play the Witcher Wild Hunt, with that last bit of new DLC.

Oh, by the way, I haven’t disabled the rating system, it’s just not working somehow. I started to hunt down the problem and fix it, but I’m kind of torn. On the one hand, I really liked being able to rate comments, but on the other hand I didn’t think this particular widget was very good. Sometimes I had to refresh the page before my vote would take, and the rating thingie popped up at unwanted times sometimes.

Did y’all have problems with it, too?

July 13, 2016 — 7:04 pm
Comments: 9

This has large megawotsits and many cyberdoodahs

graphicscard

I got up this morning, hopped on my bike and…dead as a doornail. The battery was fine — showing four bars out of five charge — Thursday afternoon and a brick on Friday morning. It won’t take a charge at all, so it’s the battery, not something mechanical. More fun!

I had to walk to work. I had forgotten how much that sucks.

I’m not complaining (much). If all my bad news involves computers and bicycles (instead of, say, biopsies and blood work), I’m not going to poke the fates with a stick.

Anyhow, I was home and footsore and sitting in front of my jittering computer screen feeling sorry for myself, when I suddenly thought, “hol’ up, hol’ up, modern motherboards have a built-in VGA, don’t they?” Yeah, they do. I just pulled the dead card, plugged the monitor into the back of the machine and…it’s surprisingly good, really. It’s running Photoshop and everything.

I imagine it would shatter into a squillion pieces if I asked it to play The Witcher, though.

It’s surprisingly hard to pick the best card for doing 3D modeling and rendering. I mean, at the consumer level. That’s because every program is different — some lean on the CPU, some lean on memory, some lean on the GPU or the graphics card’s memory. I know what programs I’m using now, but who knows if I’ll be using the same ones a year or two hence? Anyway, I think I’m going for the one in the picture. Not cheap, not expensive, best all-rounder.

Unfortunately, I have to go to work for a while tomorrow, Saturday that it is. And I have to do it on a bike with no motor assist. Pity me.

July 8, 2016 — 9:29 pm
Comments: 17

Okay. At last, I’m in.

zbrush

ZBrush. Man, I’ve lusted after this program for years. It’s a 3D modeling package, but one aimed at people more accustomed to traditional modeling tools. Artards, in other words. Sadly, it’s like $800.

Naw, don’t worry, I’m not hitting you guys up for money. They offer a 45 day trial. The plan is, I download it, I make as many models as I can in 45 days, I upload them to TurboSquid (sort of like Zazzle for 3D models), and if that account ever reaches a high enough total to buy, I buy. If it never reaches $800, then I’m probably not all that good at it anyway.

So, here I go. I think I can remember a dim and distant time when learning new stuff was fun. Can you?


Oh, yeah. ExpressoBold takes the dick for René Angélil, Celine Dion’s husband. I hemmed and hawed about that pick, since I didn’t really know René Angélil from Adam. But then it occurred to me I don’t really know Celine Dion from Eve, so what’s the diff? Congrats, ExpressoBold — is that a second win? So, up Friday Dead Pool ROUND 80.


January 18, 2016 — 9:32 pm
Comments: 22

Gosh, is that the time?

Sorry, sorry…I’ve had my nose in tutorials all evening and I lost track of the time. Blender again — the free, Open Source 3D modeling and animation package.

I don’t do New Year’s resolutions, but I have promised myself I’ll slog through some tutorials this year and brush up on some of the tools I’ve used since forever. Sometimes, you learn one little trick and it opens whole worlds of possibilities.

Alas, I’m a long way from giving Mister Disney a run for his money.

Remember – here, tomorrow, six sharp Weasel Blog Time. NEW DEAD POOL!

February 8, 2013 — 12:05 am
Comments: 16

A good idea

Hm. So. I bought Dear Esther last night, which is an Indie game.

Actually, I would dispute calling it a game. You don’t really interact with stuff. You wander around a surreal landscape at will while a narrator (who is presumably you) randomly declaims fragments of a story. That’s potentially a cool ride, but it’s not a game.

I “finished” it tonight — that is, I reached the end scenario, though I haven’t seen all the content. If you watch the trailer at the link, you’ll pretty much have the whole experience, right there.

Dear Esther started life in 2007 at the University of Portsmouth as a free mod, using the Source game engine (Half Life 2). They decided to develop a commercial version, which was released on February 14 of this year. They cleverly charged a pittance (well, £7), and — much to their surprise — made their investment back in six hours.

So. Well. It was kind of like watching many indie films (something I did a lot of in my yoot). It was pretty to look at. Evocative. But after a while, you figured out that nothing was going to happen, nothing was going to be resolved, and they weren’t really ever going to tell you anything. If you like that kind of movie, you’ll love this.

Anyhow, I do hope they keep developing off-beat stuff like this. I think it could be a spectacular experience, with a bit less hippie and a bit more…meat.

February 22, 2012 — 10:57 pm
Comments: 11