The sticker I added. It says “my other computer is a time machine”.

The stimulus checks have allowed me to get a few things I needed. For example the Windows 10 desktop to replace the Vista desktop that died on me. With the latest round I was able to secure a new laptop. The XP laptop I have I’ve been using for my art desk, but the problem is thanks to a change in my primary comic and art software, the excellent Clip Studio Paint from Celesis (I highly recommend it for artists who find Photoshop restrictive as an art program, and even then you should try it out), has a new way of working its assets and now I can’t even update it. So I needed a Windows 10 laptop. Cheap because I don’t want to blow all the money I have since I still have no income to replace it and modern laptops have a built-in webcam, which I’d rather not deal with.

So I got a new computer, and this one doesn’t have a crack around the lid hinge that won’t let me close the top, which is another issue I have with my old XP laptop. Let me tell you about it real quick.

Refurbished did well for me with the desktop, and even the XP laptop was refurbished, so above is the new “artputer”, a Dell (because I really trust Dell products) Latitude D630, a step up from my old D610. It runs Windows 10 well enough in early examination that I was able to do before getting this post done, and I may go fiddle with it some more before bed. (I’m writing this the night before it goes live.) It has locked up on me but hopefully the updates will keep that from happening again, as I do need to get caught up there. My main worry is the 3D drawing dolls Clip Studio Paint uses, which I couldn’t get to run on the XP laptop despite the old Manga Studio 5 (the previous name of CSP) had no issues with that. I blame the new asset manager, simply titled Clip Studio, for my problems there.

There’s also an issue with the speaker but that’s a cheap component and the seller was kind enough to refund me the usual price for a decent one. You don’t find people that helpful often enough. Luckily I know someone who can change it. One annoying thing however is that it has a built-in microphone though I did confirm it doesn’t have a built-in webcam. I’ve heard the stories of hackers breaking in and listening in, even being able to activate it when you’ve disabled it, so I was hoping to avoid those things. I can set up the same webcam feature with my old smartphone and I’m looking into an external microphone for future projects. I may consider asking my friend to take it out, but it could end up someone connected something wrong and the speaker is plugged in as a microphone. It is possible to mix this up externally so why not internally? I really don’t know.

So that was my project for this week and possibly next week, so I’ll be updating you there. The goal is to get all my art programs on the laptop and keep it at the desk, and only having those programs, the special fonts, and various clip art and reference images on there. The only games I’ll have are the ones that came with it just in case, since most of the gaming will be done on the desktop where I can connect a monitor and good speakers. I may use it for video if I’m at a convention staying at a hotel but for the most part this is just going to be for making comics, video thumbnails, logos, or whatever else I may need to work on. As for the XP, if I can find a place to put it I’d like to set it up as a gaming PC for older games that can’t run on Windows 10 (starting back at Vista some games couldn’t run anymore, like DOS games and while DOS Box is an option I’d rather not go through the system every time I want to play a game from that far back). However, this is a decluttering project and if that doesn’t work for me there are ways to use the hard drive to create what my friend calls a “virtual machine” but that means connecting it to a more powerful computer that the program may run too fast on. We’ll see what happens but now I can update the things I need to with my art programs and the switch on the side allows me to turn off the WiFi a lot easier than the key combination I had to on the 610. Hopefully I’ll be able to do some good work with this one.