Friday, February 1, 2013

Back Online!

Tremble, peasants! For we here at NosCo once again have fully working internet access!

...Okay, now which button cues the dramatic lightning bolt...?

But yeah. Since Tuesday the 22nd, I've been operating on ever-worsening internet. When it started, it was annoying -- it would go out every half hour or so, stay down five minutes, and then be back up. Yesterday morning, I was lucky if I could get through the three pages required to check my email before the modem pooched. My last comment on the Nexus took five or six reconnections to actually get through.

Turned out to be two issues: whoever worked in the junction box last had made, as the technician put it: "a mess". The co-ax to my apartment was so kinked up he described it as a "zig zag"; and noted that the cable was so bent that the filament or whatever co-ax has to transmit the signal was broken, dropping my signal strength so low that neither modem nor cable box could keep a connection when the wind blew -- which here in the Columbia River Hellhol- I mean Basin, is always.

On top of that, something (or things) in my modem was in its death throes. Hence the worsening performance as time went on. Some swapped junction cables and a new modem later, and here I am again.

I'd love to flip Charter Cable shit over the incident, and go on a tirade about their customer support as so many others have... but I can't in good conscience. Real life issues kept me from getting in touch with tech support until Wednesday of this week (and they showed up to fix it on Thursday, so not bad time); and yes it took two visits to fix, but that was mostly my fault for not testing the "fixed" connection with a sustained download before the guy left. Other than issues with piss-poor reception on my cell phone to call tech support (which they have no control over) I found the entire process straight-forward and simple; and the tech they sent out seemed to know his business.

I have to confess, I did a Google search earlier in the week trying to check for other problems in my area -- local contractors are bad about digging ditches without calling and cutting the regional fiber-op backbone (happens at least once a year, sometimes more) -- and the entire first page of results was nothing but people bitching that Charter didn't fix whatever they had wrong. I was expecting to be left hanging; when he said that the problem was signal strength in the junction box, I figured someone in the complex had tied one too many lines in on Tuesday, and that last straw finally broke the camel's back and we couldn't get cable internet anymore.

I was wrong. They fixed me up, and after catching up on some torrents and downloading that driver update I'd been needing since Thursday (no, no: the last Thursday, not yesterday), she's still running perfectly. Not only that, but the new modem has some kind of enhancements over the old one and my connection now tops out at 2m/bit instead of 1m/bit. Sustained download speeds of 1.9 megabytes a second. Well, it ain't flyin' cars... but that's living-in-the-future enough for me.

And junction box shenanigans and burned out modems are officially considered "not your fault" so it didn't cost me one red cent.

So while anecdotal evidence may still support them sucking, my personal experience now conflicts with that; and I'm pretty happy with my internet service. Still wish I could get the Military Channel and Nicktoons TV instead of eight versions of Telemundo... but that's a rant for another day. I'm just happy I didn't end up having to switch to the local phone company's craptastic excuse for A/DSL; which I had back in '06 -- cannot say I miss those big 30k/sec downstream speeds, either. What? No, I didn't miss a zero: thirty kilobytes a second.

Anyway. Should be posts incoming. As I noted in passing in the NCCS comments the other day, I ended up with a new video card; since my long-serving 8800GTS was on its way to Video-Card-Valhalla. It's the dust. Cakes up the fan bearings, fan stops, GPU fries. Ended up catching a helluva sale on a GTX650ti 2gb; though my old-ass PC doesn't much like the PCIe 3.0 format apparently. Am hoping the new drivers I finally managed to get yesterday will help with that.

I have since assembled a mess 'o screenshots; enough for six or so posts... but couldn't do much with them when I couldn't reliably access Picasa to graft them into posts. Of course now I have to separate them, sort out the ones that aren't suitable for public sharing (I. Admit. NOTHING.), and then arrange thoughts that go with them into semi-coherency for posts... so it may still be awhile.

17 comments:

  1. I admit, I was wondering what had happened to you Nos, as you seemed to have "gone quiet" for a while. Glad to hear you're back and should around for a while yet. :)

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    1. Well, going into everything in its entirety would take several posts and be both whiny and melodramatic; but suffice to say the last six weeks have been interesting -- and I mean that in the context of the old Chinese curse.

      Broke-down car, Christmas, dealing with family, five trips to the cataract removal specialist (for my dad; not me), three to the standard eye-doctor, adventures in gunsmithing, a bout of some virus or other that resulted in my having a fever so high I hallucinated (I understand this sends most people fleeing to the emergency room and/or doctor? Most people are complete pansies), new video card requiring I work out the settings for all my games almost from scratch again... and then when things finally start to calm down, my internet asplodes.

      I've been around (still checking your comic-blog once a week or so, for example) I've just been in lurking mode; since every time I get an hour without something going wrong, I've ended up wasting it in FNV or Skyrim.

      Don't know that I'll actually be able to blog post this weekend, though. Was notified on Thursday that the complex owners are getting their mortgage loan refinanced; and the bank wants to inspect seven units at random... so I (and everyone else in the complex) have some last minute, desperate cleaning to attend to. Could be worse, though -- at least my cleaning doesn't involve the phrase: "Quick, where do we hide the pot plants?!"

      ...Although I might need to make my stash of primers and powder less obvious; that does look kind of dangerous to people who don't know what proper storage is for such things...

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  2. My best friend seems to be under the same curse, and he is most definitely not happy about it. Hope things improve for you, somewhat at least.

    I spent quite a while in "lurker mode" myself over the holidays. That seems to be how I deal with them. *shrugs* Maybe I should go back into that mode, then I would stop spending so much time helping folks out on the Nexus...

    Thanks for checking in on Comicville, though I apologize for not having anything new posted. It has been so long since I did post something, that I have considered restarting it. I have also been mulling over the idea of an "Episode Zero" before I get back to where I left off. If I can just find my "muse" again, I will get back to production.

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    1. "Thanks for checking in on Comicville, though I apologize for not having anything new posted."

      You know, with Nos' Adventures having a year plus between updates in that one spot, I'm pretty sure I don't get to give anyone trouble for lack of updates, ever.

      Actually, it isn't even absence of muse that's keeping me from updating more -- it's that soon in the story, I'm going to need some stuff that I have to mod up myself; and I keep finding I'd rather play Skyrim or work on my slightly-mutated-wolf companion in NV than put a couple weeks into modding FO3.

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    2. Yeah, I understand avoiding having to do some modding for the story to progress. I have some 3d models to import into FO3, as well as make some new NPCs and some custom "stage sets". At some point I will have to make a whole settlement o.O

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    3. "At some point I will have to make a whole settlement o.O"

      Fortunately, I don't need anything that grand of scale.

      I suppose it won't spoil the story for anyone if I say that what I need soon is a house mod. Anyone who's followed my work for any length of time at all should have guessed that I wouldn't leave the characters in that shack in Springvale forever.

      Trouble is, I don't want to use Vault 1; since I have no interest in the community aspect of it -- I want the place to be private and smallish. Also located somewhere other than next door to the V101 cave.

      What I need is a DC-equivalent of my Mojave Estate. Trouble is, while the Mojave Estate was originally laid out with the intent of using FO3 room pieces, I had to change large amounts of it because of all the FO3 stuff Obsidian removed from FNV. Which is a problem because the FNV stuff it's made from now doesn't exist in FO3... so I basically have to redesign the thing from scratch. I could keep the same basic floor plan; but nothing is going to be copy-able from one plugin to the other for expediency's sake. On top of that, the Ultralux bathhouse cells that I used for the Terrace and Arboretum don't exist in FO3 at all; and neither do the aquatic plants and fish used in the aquarium.

      So no matter how I slice it, I'm pretty much looking at from-scratch redesigning, building, and decorating the place.

      Judging by how long it took in FNV; I'll be looking at two to three weeks construction and testing... and all that for a game I don't even play except in the course of writing Nos' Adventures. I just can't seem to work up the initiative.

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  3. I'm glad to hear both that your internet access has returned and that you're getting the video card dilemma behind you. I can't blame my lack of recent posts on my own blog on such technical difficulties; I've simply been either too lazy or too wrapped up in cramming as many custom feline races as I can find into a single Oblivion Master File to use as a basis for some new companions. Counting all color variations and such, the plugin's current race total is 42...

    ...and now I'm having a sense of numerical deja-vu; time to pack my towel and my Babel Fish...

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    1. "I'm glad to hear both that your internet access has returned and that you're getting the video card dilemma behind you."

      Don't know as I'd say the GPU adventures are behind me. Those artifacts I mentioned to you before are still there after the driver update -- at the moment I'm still debating whether to drop the ~$20 on a mini-HDMI-to-VGA converter (which the neckbearded nerd at Officemax assured me one of the local computer parts shysters does carry) or just chalk it up as the universe hating me and play on anyway. At this point, I've got my games ramped up way too far to be able to go back to a PCIe2.0 card with less memory.


      "Counting all color variations and such, the plugin's current race total is 42..."

      Ye Gods, Neko. I knew you were getting back into Oblivion hardcore and all.. but 42 races of just cat people? And I thought having MBP and X117 running at the same time added a lot of Khajiit-derivatives.

      You still using that set of snow-leopard-Khajiit textures I made out of Colourwheel's basic orange set a couple years back?

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    2. Actually, I seem to have misplaced those textures and can't find any Colourwheel cat textures either, but they would indeed fit perfectly into this mod I'm compiling.

      But yeah, I suppose it has gotten a bit out of hand over the last week or so. Originally I was going to attempt to follow your fine example and create a mod from which I could simply create two or three custom companions that I would always use, an Ainmhi and a couple of Tabaxi. Then I added the Black-eared Ainmhi and the White-eared Ainmhi, then the Chocolate Ainmhi and the Freckled Ainmhi, then the Kawa-Khajiits and a few others, and suddenly I can't make just two or three companions if I want at least one variation of each race to be represented.

      You once said that I never do anything on a small scale; I think you were right...

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    3. "You once said that I never do anything on a small scale; I think you were right..."

      I think that your "Herculine's Scouts" and "Doom Randomizer" are proof of this, but I could be wrong...

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    4. "Actually, I seem to have misplaced those textures and can't find any Colourwheel cat textures either, but they would indeed fit perfectly into this mod I'm compiling."

      Yes, they would. Dropbox is uploading both my revision and CW's originals; I'll fire off an email to you with a link when it finishes.


      "Originally I was going to attempt to follow your fine example and create a mod from which I could simply create two or three custom companions that I would always use, an Ainmhi and a couple of Tabaxi. "

      Nice idea, but that doesn't work for everyone. One think you should bear in mind is that my three "personal" companions aren't just three random NPCs I brainfarted one day. The longest-serving of them (Mystery-chan) has been in my games with me since sometime in 2001. They're well-established at this point, and fairly integral parts of most of my games.


      "You once said that I never do anything on a small scale; I think you were right..."

      Actually, what I said was that you never do anything half-assed; but you're correct also. Big scale mods are certainly fun; they're just a lot more work...

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    5. Though I've said it privately I wanted to be sure to say it publicly as well; thank you.

      I haven't gotten around to utilizing the textures just yet, but I will. As you'll see in an e-mail, I got distracted by tinkering with something not entirely but slightly different.

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    6. You know, after seeing what you've been working on, I feel bad about my crappy texture edits.

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    7. Don't be so modest. I'm just a noob. By comparison, the guns you've done make me look like a graffiti vandal.

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    8. "Don't be so modest."

      Eh, I'm not going on a 'oh god my work is shit someone please hug me' tirade or anything melodramatic.

      I don't count the NosCo Super Blackhawk as an accomplishment; since it had no right to end up looking as amazing as it does now -- but I'm fairly happy with my Fallout and Skyrim body textures, and some of the armor has turned out pretty good (still love the purple Ebony Mail, for example).

      I just meant that set of edited CW-Khajiit textures. Not my best work by any stretch; they still have that nasty wrist seam I could never get fixed, and in general aren't very polished. Very shoddy work compared to your metal girls and tattooed elves.

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    9. Well, those neck and wrist seams are definitely no joke; Bethesda might as well have used the meshes and textures from Neverwinter Nights for all they're worth. Also, the point where the whole body texture meets at the spine has thus far vexed me. Working with tattoo ideas as I have been, I had in my mind the vision of giving a character a nice full-back piece like some winged creature or some such, but as my skills are at this point it just ain't happenin'.

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    10. "Working with tattoo ideas as I have been, I had in my mind the vision of giving a character a nice full-back piece like some winged creature or some such, but as my skills are at this point it just ain't happenin'."

      I'm not sure whether anyone remembers, but that reminds me of when I tried to slap a Brotherhood of Steel tattoo on the custom body for the Cohen sisters in my FO3 companions pack.

      For whatever reason, the way the texture was wrapped around the mesh ended up with it curving back and forth almost like the curvy arm of a hairpin. And with no way to test it except to load in game and see how it looked, I couldn't do anything except make a mental note of the bends, and try to account for them by putting the tattoo in a separate layer, and bending it in and out in various spots.

      Never did get it working, and eventually gave up on the idea altogether.

      Oblivion textures are kind of weird anyway, though. I made up some custom sets for the girls, as I usually do, and for some reason one set ended up with pink ears. Normal everywhere else, minimal seams, all nice... except for the insides of the ears being almost neon pink. Rather than mess with it, I decided that since their hair covers it up in nearly all poses that I'd just call it good enough and be glad I wasn't still using textures swiped from x117 that had weird whore makeup on all the heads.

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