Book Report: Kingdom Of The Dwarfs (original edition)

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cover for the illustrated book

I’m not typically a fantasy fan, which is odd given my all-time favorite movie is The NeverEnding Story. I do like the occasional dip into the genre but as a whole it’s not really my cup of tea. And yet I ended up with this book.

In the 1990s Comico was offering an audition kit, filled with the kinds of things you would need to audition to work at the comic book company. Out of curiosity and wanting to get into comics I ordered one since it was being offered through the usual comic catalog my local comic store at the time was using. It included samples of Comico’s offerings at the time, a way to show potential creators what they were looking for. None of the offerings really matched the kinds of stories I like to tell, and thus I never even attempted to send anything in for review. It wasn’t the same comic it was in the 1980s, when I would read issues of Robotech or other licensed properties. Not that they were bad stories mind you, just not the kind that interested me as a creator or even a reader.

Part of these samples was an illustrated book called Kingdom Of The Dwarfs, released in a comic book format but it’s not a comic book. There are no word balloons or comic panels. It’s a book with some rather amazing illustrations by artist David Wenzel, and written by Robb Walsh. I’ve been trying to get this review done for the past few weeks, not because it’s that large. It really isn’t. It is more a question of personal interest than anything else.

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The Software Organizing Project part 6

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I didn’t get to do anything in the project itself but yet I do have an update. During the time off I did find some of my old CD wallets. One someone got me from a bank here in Connecticut, one is a hard case my dad gave me, and the third I bought myself. It’s a zipper case that can hold a lot of CDs or DVDs or CD-Roms. This one I actually had some disks in, which means more to go through. I thought all that was in there were some media storage, but I took a look inside to see exactly what I have and…

…I found my copy of Sonic Heroes! Turns out they were in there the whole time. I knew I still had them! And that’s not all I found in there.

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The Software Organizing Project part 5

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This is going to be a quick update as I don’t have a whole lot to report. There you see the games and one of my digital comic collections that are available on my Vista computer, minus a few I still need to go over. I was already planning to go through those as part of a different project in the future. So the heavy part of this is over. The project itself isn’t done though.

I still have all of this to go through. The pile on the left has all demos and other stuff so I’m not quite done going over games. Mostly I want to see if the disk itself runs. I’ll worry about the game demos when I have time to do something with them but there’s no point even bothering if the thing doesn’t work. Then I still have the productivity software to figure out what to do with.

Curiously I found a DVD with what I thought was a bunch of games, which is why they ended up here, but it turned out the games were online, not extras on the DVD itself, so I put it with the DVDs. That’s a larger project like the comics, only I have to watch through them instead of read through them. Obviously. I also have to figure out what productivity software I want to even bother with but I’m going through that corner pile first, which I’m going to try to do this week but I have another project wrapping up and I want to put my effort there this week so I may not have another report for two weeks. If you see one here next week you know I found the time.

The Software Organizing Project part 4

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As you can see work is progressing on the software organizing project. I manged to knock off all the Windows 95 games. Some of them still run on the Vista desktop but the XP laptop may be my only chance to play most of them. The funny thing is I got a few things to run…but that doesn’t mean they were playable.

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The Next Set Of Dishes

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I took a break from the software project this week to focus on some other projects. However, I did end up helping my dad with the next step of his clutter organizing involving our dish and cookware. My mom collected a whole lot of this stuff because she liked to cook. Unfortunately, between returning to work (partly to get out of the house since I was old enough to survive for a few hours) and getting sick she didn’t have the time to bake anymore, and her getting diabetes reduced what she could have anyway. While she did still bake, usually with my dad’s help near the end, there were a lot of stuff in the lower cabinets that hadn’t been used in years, and even some that I don’t remember ever seeing in use. So we went through it and reduced more of our clutter to just what we’d actually use.

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The Software Organizing Project part 3

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This is more of a quick update than a full article. I’m still going through my old software and seeing what works on the Vista computer…which is sadly not a lot. I think the purge list would be higher if I didn’t have the XP laptop given how many of the games I’ve tried will not run on the Vista computer, which means even if I upgrade to 8 or 10 at some point they won’t run on those either without some emulator or “virtual machine”, a way to run old operating systems like it was an emulator or something to that effect.

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The Software Organizing Project part 2

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This is turning out to be a more involved project that anticipated and at this point I’m only doing it to myself. I think it’s because unlike the comic organizing mega-project I can go through and get this finished without dedicating my life to it and move on to something new. It may also be one of those projects that’s a long time coming. Even doing this a few pieces of software are still missing, although I did find a few productivity and art programs. Still don’t know what happened to Sonic Heroes.

If you recall from last week I was trying to figure out how to store my software. I just realized as I was writing this sentence that I have more than two categories. I have the games, the drivers, the art software, the productivity software, and a few “interactive cybercomics”, which means I have to figure out what to do with all of that. Right now though I’m focusing on the games. Here’s my current progress.

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The Software Organizing Project part 1

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It’s kind of annoying when a project you think can be done in a few hours isn’t even complete in a full day. And yet that’s what happened with this week’s project.

I have two computers, the old Vista desktop I bought when I still had a decent paying job and the older XP laptop I received as a gift. I have plenty of software that was made for Windows XP and below, the last decent operating system for backwards-compatibility all the way back to the old DOS (short for disk operating system, which is really the heart of the computer; even today Windows is just an interface really). So even if I got something new I wouldn’t miss Vista if I can get 7 or 8 (until Microsoft and the various browsers stop supporting them as well) but I would miss XP. As it turns out I have a lot of Windows 95 software.

This week’s project was to get all of my software together and organize it for easy locating. I have a lot of games and some productivity software, and while much of it can run on Vista some of it can’t. My goal was to separate that, see what I might want to get rid of, and better organize the rest between my two computers. I was partly successful.

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Quick Report: Cleaning A Different Corner

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The corner near my Atari, VCR, and cable box was a bit cluttered but not as bad as other areas I needed to fix so I didn’t do much with it. However, I needed access to that corner to change the cable box (long story) and had to move the junk out of the way. You see where that ended up, and that did need to get cleaned up. So I took the opportunity to clean that up a bit rather than put all the junk back there and along the heater. That old computer will be dealt with when a friend of mine has time to look at it.

The tripod is there because I needed to judge the distance between the white drawers (where I have comics from that long-running project) and the cabinet where some of my games are. I didn’t want to lose access but I was hoping I could move it over and away from the heater. I don’t think there’s a fire hazard, I just thought it would be better not under the air conditioner. The tripod held up the door and…there isn’t enough clearance. So it has to stay where it is. I did manage to find a difference place for a ceiling fan we haven’t had the chance to use, move the Mini-Cons that were sitting on the floor where the clutter in the picture is, and at least got my photo studio case away from the heat. I also moved a box I don’t need anymore because I know I’m not sending what was in it back, but I might want to use it to send something in the future. I haven’t decided just yet but those go elsewhere anyway. The end result:

I can get to my windows again and it’s a lot cleaner. (This is before I moved the Mini-Cons.) I also have a better place to put the heater when Winter is over. (We seriously need new windows.) This opened up the floor space a bit more but I still need a new place to put those Transformers comics, which I can’t put in the closet currently. But I left it in better shape than it was when I had to move the stuff to reach the cable box, so I achieved that this week.

The Art Corner Clean-Up: Second Strike

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Update on this phase. Due to things happening during the week I didn’t get to devote as much attention as I planned to this part of the project, the one where I went over all the card backs with Transformers tech specs and other profiles, but I did go over them. I did send some stuff to recycling bin while still keeping stuff for a future art project that I still think I need. With that I moved on to the next part of art corner clean-up.

With the keyboard shelf now cleaned out of junk it was time to look at the middle shelf. (The bottom shelf will have to wait until I’ve continued my comic project and hopefully cleared up space for the comics sitting there to go where they belong.) This shelf has collected a bunch of various things. Primarily it’s where I have artwork that won’t fit in my huge art binder because of the paper size. See, most of the art was done on 8X11 paper because that’s what I used for years. It’s what goes into copiers or computer printers and that’s what was available. When I switched to Bristol Boards the smallest I could find was 9X12, and I can’t find binder sleeves that hold 9X12. This includes not only lineart for the comics I make but work on title cards for videos and other things I’ve worked on. Throw in a few magazines and it’s become something of a disaster. So this week the goal was to make this look less terrible.

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