Mascot Costume Help plz~

My mascot Techne is a cyber-ninja who loves cats and over-sized weapons. Her color scheme is mostly black, grey, cyan/aqua, lime green and orange. Below is my WIP vector of her with her finalized hair and eye colors and a typical set of work out clothes that are easy to vector (ha-ha)

I really, really, really suck at designing cool clothes/costumes for my characters. I found a few cool inspirations for the design, but really I don’t know how to put them together to make a cool outfit.

Here are some links to the outfit inspirations I’ve found:

Blue Peach’s Digital Poster Girl
Pyawakit’s Apple Cyber
Feca Warrior’s from the MMORPG Wakfu

[Cross-posted from my TM diary because I’m laaaaazy.]

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Myrskyä

Myrskyä is a storm…

Myrskyä, my new Toshiba A505 Satellite laptop is a lovely, sleek, shiny black machine with small, lightly stenciled designs of lines running across the front and back of the machine. Despite it’s smart and clean exterior though, it’s a whirlwind of power. Running 64 bit Windows 7 it roars through all applications like they were nothing. Even Adobe can’t outclass Myrsky’s phenominal power. This laptop is easily the best machine I have ever purchased. It deserves something truely great to represent it. I decided to go with a personalized laptop skin from SkinIt.com, which I recieved giftcards for as a gift several years back, and never felt that (the late) AcerDemon really deserved.

SkinIt.com laptop skin teal and light green

SkinIt's Teal and Light green skin

SkinIt.com has many, many laptop skins for you to choose from, limited only by the make, model and size of your laptop. Even with those limitations, there are still hundreds of choices and dozens of themes to pick from. I saw many that I really liked, but I did not feel really matched the personality of Myrskyä. There was one in particular that I really loved, that is shown at the left there.  <—

This one here is a beautiful symphony of shapes and colors that I really love. The rich, deep teals and the nice, light greens are fantastic and match my own theme colors of the year. Also, the flowing, cloudy patterns are exactly the sort of abstract feel I want to portray the “storm” theme for Myrskyä. However, I feel that the design itself is a bit too generic in style. Also, I’m not a huge fan of the gilt-esque appearance of the golden and green outlines on the light green flourishes. It looks almost too “hotel carpet-y” for my tastes. Perhaps too elegant a design where I really want something that portrays both elegance and power.

Still, there is something about the feeling behind the movement and shapes here that I really like and I find really inspiring. I’m not sure where exactly I’m going to take it, but my own design will definitely be remeniscent of this one, if not completely inspired by it. The colors and composition especially.

Though, I would really love the colors to be brighter and more saturated; that would really suit my personality better, plus it will stand out much more than this design. I don’t want to get TOO specific with the colors, because goodness knows what their printer will spit out, but a similar color scheme is the plan. Teal, chartreuse, spring green, some light aqua and probably even some rich blues. Maybe even some orange-y yellows for contrast. I’ll just have to see what looks best in the final design.

About the über-mouse

Logitech's M305 wireless mouse

Logitech M305- blue w/dragon

Another important thing for me is for the skin’s design to have at least accent colors taken from my absolutely über-fantastiche mouse, from Logitech. It’s not just über-fantastiche because it’s in my favorite color, or because it has dragons on it, no-no; it’s really fantastiche because it’s a wireless, takes just one AA battery, senses motion and turns off when it’s not being used, has a very small USB nano-reciever that I can leave in the computer without fear of knocking it out every time I move it around (any USB port in a Storm…), AND has a small spot just for the reciever inside the mouse’s casing itself, right next to the battery. Oh yes, this was a pricey mouse, running around $35, but it is SO worth it. I’ve even taken it other places and used it on PCS and Macs in the labs as well as friend’s Macbooks and laptops. It even works with Ubuntu. Just awesome. It’s also pretty small, I can slip it in my jacket pocket to take it across the room and the scroll wheel is practically silent compared to some mice I’ve seen.

And did I mention it comes in my favorite color? It probably comes in yours too, with or without designs. When I see something in aqua or teal, odds are I’ll pick it up right away just because it’s my favorite color. This time I’m really glad I did! By the way, for no particular reason I named it “Mushroom” or “‘Shroom” for short. It may have been because of the shape or size. Whatever the reason, it’s an odd nickname, I feel like I should be something that fits the storm theme better. It needs to sound cute though, because my little über-mouse is just adorable. ❤

By the way, this counts on The Big List as item #1.

Let’s try this again- New Notebook?

OK, with a slight change in plans regarding the iPod Touch situation I have decided to focus my attention on getting a new notebook. Not necessarily a netbook, but certainly something to replace AcerDemon. The truth is, my mom’s laptop (Oldy-moldy) Owl, took a spill the other day thanks to our adorable kitty Mu and now something isn’t quite right with the power adaptor cable- or that general area on the machine. I attempted to take apart the machine to get to the area in question, but poor construction on the part of Dell (c. 1998) kept me from the power supply and all I managed to do was break the table I was working on when it collapsed under momma’s Dinosaur–I mean PC.

TL;DR? I want to give mom AcerDemon– which at least WORKS –to replace the (Oldy-Moldy) Owl.

This means, I need to get a new laptop. My parents are going to front me the money and I will pay it off in increments over the next year. Now that I have a job as a TCC at IUPUI, I will have a fairly steady income with which to pay them back. It shouldn’t be a problem, at any rate. Anyway, a few must-haves on the notebook that will either limit or expand my purchasing options:

  1. Must be a PC. NO, it has nothing to do with me hating Apple (I’m getting over that- in fact, I’m typing this from a Mac right now) it is in fact a choice based off of how comfortable I am with my computing skills as a programmer–comfortable enough to use a PC Fine, I’ll be honest, I just like PCs better, so there.
  2. I will NOT get another Acer- I don’t care HOW awesome it is. Acer gets no more money from me after last time!
  3. Needs to run Windows 7 OR Windows Vista with possibility of Upgrade is fine, since I own the OS. Needs to meet 7 specs.
  4. Needs to be able to run the Adobe CS4 Suite –
    • 1.8GHz or faster processor
    • 1GB of available hard-disk space for installation; additional free space required during installation
    • 1,024×768 display (1,280×800 recommended) with 16-bit video card

That’s really all that I have spec-wise. There are a few aesthetic/personal things I’d like to avoid, such as teeny-tiny touchpads (or the ones that have holes and feel like little air hockey tables), less than 3 USB ports, an easily scratched surface and short batterylife. Ideally, if the battery life is less than 3 hours, I would like something in a 12-15″ screen, so I can carry the A/C adaptor with me in the same bag as the computer. A netbook would obviously solve this and I’m still in love with the supposed 9 hours that the Toshiba NB205 used to brag about, but anything from 3-5 hours would be great (the average time that I’m in a lecture or away from home).

The most important thing overall is weight. It HAS to be light. Less than 7lb, preferably less than 5lb. Oh yeah, and I don’t want to spend more than say $400-500 on it unless it’s a really epic machine.

But, I don’t do New Year’s Resolutions…

I hereby declare that I do not resolve, but might otherwise attempt to achieve in the next 360 days:

  1. Lære mere Dansk!
  2. Be more honest with my opinions of people
  3. Keep up with washing the dishes
  4. Do my laundry BEFORE I run out of clothes
  5. Wear more green.
  6. Find a proper illustrator for Reality. Hacked
  7. Take shorter showers
  8. Work hard in all my classes
  9. Surround myself with cute and happy
  10. Eat more food! Gain 5 lbs!!
  11. Blog at least weekly if not bi-weekly
  12. Do something exciting/profitable with Cubecats
  13. Dis poor font choices less often (ext. Papyrus, Comic Sans)
  14. Make a portfolio website!
  15. Don’t let my lack of phone/car prevent me from socializing
  16. Take the REDLINE more!
  17. WALK more!
  18. Take more photos of things.
  19. Look into studying marketing/merchandising
  20. Learn to love Macs (ugh)

Fall Semester- The End

Well, as of December 16 I have completed all of my Fall Semester finals and are therefore DONE with school until Spring Semester starts in January. Compared to last years finals these were fairly laid-back. There was some stress involved, but there always is. Out of my five classes, only one had a “normal” final- Chinese (C-119). There was a three page written exam and an oral portion where we had to answer questions, read a dialogue with a partner and then create a dialogue with a partner. I actually got to say “Oh yes, I have an allergy, I am allergic to studying!” in Chinese.

My web class (N-341) and Design Principles (N-280) both had group projects. I won’t go into the web one, because it was just too chaotic and I don’t feel like I really did that much to help. The N-280 final project was to design a themed deck of cards. My group picked Chinese take-out, which was a total joke at first, but we ended up going with it just because it was weird. My job was to design the face cards. I did the Queen first and then the King, Jack and Joker. I picked Red Pandas because I think they are quite under-appreciated and needed some love. Read more about them in the Artist’s Comments on dA. We got a 190/200 on it~ not bad.

My Intro to Digital Video (N-240)…ehh, I’ll get back to you on that one.

My last final (which was technically my first) was for Directed Study II (N299). It was a job shadow reflection paper, meaning of course that I went on a job shadow. Sort of. It was less of a job shadow and more of an informational interview, since we mostly sat around and talked about things. Myself and my classmates spoke with Steve Hodges, the Director of Electronic Media in the Offices of Communications and Marketing at IUPUI. He has won many awards for the creation of our school’s website (which is pretty awesome- I still LOVE that search bar). It was very interesting and informative and writing a paper for it wasn’t too hard.

Over the break I plan to work on assembling a portfolio site so that come Spring, I’ll have something to show for all my work in and outside of classes. I still need to find a good balance of my newfound love of design and my old love of drawing manga. I’m sure a few weeks away from classes will help with that. At least, I hope so! > w <

TinierMe vs. GaiaOnline- Part 1 (updated)

Wow, it has been a year and people are apparently STILL referring to this for information. Well, I personally don’t use TM anymore (or Gaia Online for that matter) so I never bothered to update this article reflecting that, but I suppose I should now that it’s my most-commented-upon article.

This post is old and outdated and no longer reflects my current views on TinierMe. I personally think that now they are about equally bad.

___

Part One will focus on the differences in the website design- the first thing I noticed when I went to sign up for TinierMe suggested to me by a friend from highschool that I hang out with on deviantART and GaiaOnline. TinierMe is still in Open Beta and there isn’t much to do yet, but so far so good. It’s cute, fun and I love the interface. Here’s a comparison of the two “main profile” pages that appear for users when logged in and the two main pages that show up when a user reaches the site unregistered or before logged in. They show the best examples of layout.

(click to enlarge)

TinierMe’s site is cleaner and more minimalistic and modern. They picked a orange monochromatic scheme with light accents of green and gradients in greys and whites. It’s all very clean and well organized. My main page here includes a simple 3-column layout with a navigation bar to the far left, a space for links and content in the middle and my own personal panel to the far right. All of the major content sits neatly above the fold and it’s mostly text and small icons so it is not cluttered at all. The navigation panels on the left and right are consistent throughout the whole main portion of the site. It is, overall, a very nice, clean and well presented site that is easily navigated.

GaiaOnline’s site is packed with stuff. This page displays only the “My Gaia” page which shows my avatar, house, car and status on the left, and an RSS-type feed of information about my friends on Gaia, and other activities which I can set specifically to show by changing my Feed settings in the middle. My main navigation and avatar are located in the header at the top of every page. There are easily five or six different forms of navigation to be found, from drop-downs to links and tabs. Gaia Online recently updated the look of it’s user interface again to make it more, what I consider, Web 2.0-y. Things are rounded and shiny, but not at all what I would call clean and neat. There seems to be stuff everywhere and to a complete newbie this page alone would be a nightmare to navigate. Plus, GaiaOnline doesn’t seem to understand that all the best and most-used sites are going for the jell-o layout; none of that left-aligned crap that leaves 500 pixels of background pattern for me to stare at on the right.

TinierMe is still new and there aren’t any advertisements or promotions yet, so it’s bound to get more cluttered, but for now it’s very nice and impressive design-wise. Much more-so in my opinion than GaiaOnline, which is understandibly much larger and therefore more cluttered, but still, I would sacrifice a little content to regain simplicity, especially in the menus and navigation. Not to mention, Gaia doesn’t seem to have a color scheme anymore. I don’t know what happened, but for now I much prefer TinierMe to GaiaOnline. Opinions may change as the site evolves, we’ll see.

The Things Are Against Us

This is a short entry touching on one of my favorite topics- resistentialism. Wikipedia defines it as “a jocular theory in which inanimate objects display hostile desires towards human beings”. The term “jocular” meaning as a joke. It is not a real theory, it’s just for fun. Not to be confused with “Existentialism” which is a real theory. No, resistentialism is more of a spoof on that far more complex theory -that I will note here, I care nothing about. I am more interested in how my life- in particular my purchasing decisions regarding electronics- has reflected this theory all too well.

I have several devices and machines that hate me. There’s AcerDemon (Aspire Notebook), DemonDevice( iPod Shuffle), PisaShitou(PS2) and most recently Onigiri-kun( my rice maker). It’s like they’re all out to get me. They rarely ever do things as they are told, even if the function is as simple as ‘shuffle/don’t shuffle’. And in response to my screams and shouts at their incompetence they seem to delight in bewildering me further by doing something worse the second time around; like lying about how much battery is left and then cutting out right in the middle of a song I’ve had stuck in my head. Oh DemonDevice! Why can’t you behave like a good little Apple product? Aren’t you guys supposed to be flawless??But I can’t pick on just DemonDevice because that wouldn’t be fair. The truely evil one is AcerDemon. What follows is his saga:

Acer Aspire 3050 purchased through NewEgg online. It runs perfectly fine at first. Then, it slowly pulls itself apart from the inside out. It’s like it is on drugs or something. The OS started out as WinMedia Center Edition which it slowly and steadily became unable to run. So I switched to WinXP Pro which worked for about 4 months and then slowly started to pull the same thing. It would eat it’s own system files until one day I started it up and it couldn’t find command.com. (Please note that command.com is the first program run after a Windows machine boots. If it’s not there, then nothing is there. At least nothing that you can get to.) So, of course I reinstalled the whole shebang- WinXP Pro and it worked for a bit longer. Until finally the computer just plain stopped working after POST. Hmmn. Seems like a HDD error. Let’s see what’s on the HDD by using a reader. Well, will you look at that? There’s NOTHING on this HDD. It is empty, wiped, kaput, gone, finito- dead. AcerDemon ate his own HDD. Fried it completely. Further inspection of the hardware showed that AcerDemon had in fact melted some of the insulation around the HDD as well. It had in fact overclocked the processor at one point, without any lingering damage. AcerDemon tried to commit harikiri! I was lucky that my roommate at the time had a spare IDE HDD since they evidently don’t make those anymore. So, I decided that this Windows stuff was too much for him and went with Ubuntu Linux to mellow him out. So far, so good. His BIOS is a bit old even for Intrepid Ibex (8.10) and sometimes his hardware doesn’t respond like it should, but things are going OK between us. As long as his battery stays intact, everything should be fine.

Which brings me back to my last post about getting a new notebook- or rather a netbook. When I purchase this little wonder of technology and give it a name, will it too turn on me? I do have electronics that have never troubled me (through any fault of their own). Most notably my desktop NeoDell. NeoDell is so well behaved that unlike my Shuffle and notebook, he is completely devoid of personality. As is my phone, camera, DS-Lite and printer. They are all good, well-functioning machines but they are boring. So perhaps in retrospect having a little something wrong with your device makes it feel less like a machine and more like a partner or pet. Perhaps those imperfections are what helps create a more human feel. Maybe these really are “features” and not “bugs”. And these little mistakes and mishaps they have are just part of their own way of being alive.

Then again, if that is the case, maybe the things really are against us.

New Netbook?

Many of you are familiar with AcerDemon, my Acer Aspire 3050 Notebook which has gone through 3 hard drives, 2 CD drives, 3 versions of Windows, and 2 versions of Ubuntu Linux. AcerDemon turned 3 last February which is pretty old for any computer, let alone a notebook. But despite being old, with outdated hardware and drivers that even Linux can’t always work with, it still works. Sort of. Most of the time. “It sort of works most of the time” is a good description of AD. I have a love-hate relationship with it. It’s pretty evil- I mean, I wouldn’t have named it “demon” if it wasn’t an evil machine.

(I love you AcerDemon, please don’t die on me or plan any sort of revenge as I type this. I know you are a jealous demon…)

My AcerDemon works right now and will probably continue to work as it does as long as I pretend that I don’t care, but I do plan on getting another notebook *waits to see if the power shuts off* No? OK- so I plan on getting another notebook not necessarily to replace AD but to provide me with a more convienent machine. And by convienent I mean lighter. AD weighs in at about 7lbs. Not really “heavy” per se, but for me and my weak back and shoulders it’s not light either. My coworkers at Plow Digital often joked that I needed a laptop that weighed nothing, and suggested a Mac Book Air. I am not made of money. Screw Apple. The newfound popularity of Netbooks piqued my curiosity though and I decided to look into purchasing one as soon as I got the money to do so.

I know that netbooks are really just shrunken laptops with little functinality outside of your usual Office programs, Internet and services like MSN and Skype. It’s meant for use on the go. They usually include around 1GB RAM and 150GB HDD, but I’m not sure about the sound or video card specs. I will have to look into the specs further. I do have to say that whatever I plan to sacrfice in computing power will be made up in the fact that the largest netbook I’ve looked at weighs in at 2.9lbs. Oh yes, and the inclusion of the awesome little Intel Atom processor- whatever netbook I get will have to include one of these. ❤

There are a few specific models of Netbook I’m looking at. I’ll probably go over them in more detail in the next entry.

Experiencing technical difficulties?

Indeed I am. With my notebook in any case. I love the idea of Open Source tech and getting to share the joys of computing with people, but Ubuntu seems to really hate AcerDemon (my notebook). I’m currently running the latest and second-latest versions of Ubuntu Jaunty and Intrepid (9.04 / 8.10 respectively) and each one seems to be giving me all sorts of issues. Still, I love them both better than Windows. It’s just because Windows is Windows and no matter what I like to say I am an “OS bigot” and I hate Windows and Macs. I want to learn more about Linux just because of that. At least, I think that’s why? Well, that and I adore the GUI for Linux, it is just so cool looking!