Friday, April 29, 2011

Alive and rendering!

Weehooo! Very Large Grin. Whoot! And all those kinds of exclamation...

If you don't think you recognize the Jarrat and Stone shot above -- you'd be right. It's brand new -- which means I got a render. Which means the computer went through its restoration to factory specs, and survived ... and DAZ Studio 3 came back up with my characters intact.

Talk about a feeling of sheer relief! The computer is now screamingly fast, but there isn't a darned thing installed on it, only DAZ and Irfanview, and a my content folders. Tomorrow I'll put back my painting programs, plus Serif, a word processor, and one or two other things, like Corel Video Studio, but --

You want bizarre? No web browsers, no FTP software, to webmaster tools, because the system is now in a state of quarantine. It's not going back online, so all the "service pack this" and "service pack that" stuff which gradually, inexorably, stops your older programs working properly, and in the end can actually destabilize the whole system to the point where you have to go through this process, won't be happening. (This is the second system restore, for the same problem.)

Someone said to me, "Is it wise to not get all those system updates?" It turns out, over 95% of them are security patches, designed to beat Internet hackers. If the system is in pure quarantine, they're not necessary. The rest of the updates are usually fixes for things that were done wrong in the last service pack -- bug fixes and whatnot. Welll.... sure, if I'm going to run on the original Vista installation which came with the machine, before any of the updates started, I'll be inheriting some bugs. But here's the rub: in the first six months after the machine was new, it didn't have any ailments. None. They all came later, after a year or more or updates and security patches! So here's the theory -- and I know, I know, I'm testing this out: quarantine the machine away from Internet hackers, revert to the early trouble-free months during which the older programs flew, don't load the machine up with a hundred gigs of programs that are rarely used, and ... see what happens.

Knock on wood, I saved almost everything. The only thing I forgot to do was to copy over my Fonts file, so (doah!) I now have to track down a couple of hundred fonts to get back to where I was before. Fortunately, a whole lot of them will reinstall along with Serif, tomorrow, and if I have to buy a compendium of fonts, I can live with that.

So you know what I'll be doing tomorrow! Installing software and basking in the pleasure of being able to render artwork, and having my characters still alive and kicking! And I'll let you know, in the months to come, how the system goes, being protected from the nasty world of the www by simply not being connected to it, and being insulated from the slow, steady rot of updates on the service packs on the updates. If it doesn't work out, and the system gradually erodes into brain death, hey, I'll let you know about that too. We can always do yet a third system restore, then plug in the doohickey, put it online and let it call home for whatever it wants. But till then it'll be a screamingly fast, guaranteed virus free, utterly isolated, art-dedicated cyber-hermit!

Looking forward to rendering up all the art ideas I've had in the last week, and couldn't do a thing about...

Massive thanks to Dave for the advice, support, help, reassurance and all else which he's given in these last few days. I managed to do most of the work myself, but I'm sure I'd have missed something critical without his oversight. "Thank you, dear" doesn't seem to say it, somehow...

Jade, 29 April
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