Quick Report> Technology Decided To Hate Me This Week

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Well…yesterday happened.

And since I’m writing this the day before it goes live you can imagine I’m still in a bad mood after reading my issues. I was going to make brownies (I have one bag left of brownie mix) but we’re out of eggs. That’s fine and I had a feeling we were out. Dad’s going shopping Monday so maybe next weekend. Also unplugged one of the air conditioners for the winter season so I don’t have the cord dragged. I just have to cover it and I’m good.

Then the problems started. My project drive appears to be zirched and unless my computer expert friend can recover them I’ve lost a whole lot of video projects and thumbnails tied to my other website, including a video I’ve been trying to edit for years with my various medical issues distracting me possibly lost for good. So yay.

Then I try setting up a set of programs I need for a different project and it fought me at every possible point. I don’t have it completely set up but far enough that I’m ahead of the game.

Finally our TV will only put up a picture for a second before becoming a radio. Have to get a new TV with money we really can’t afford to spend. Even more yay.

EDIT: Guess what started working this morning…AFTER dad came back from the store with the new TV. Yesterday was evil to tech.

Yeah, I’m a bit ticked off right now. Technology decided to smack me around and I’m not happy about it.


March Of The Android Devices

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Part of Operation: A Place For Everything is finding a use for it. If I have no use then the place it goes is away. To that end I’ve been deciding the best use for these devices: my old tablet (which I did an unboxing and later a review for and is since old and has terrible storage for modern needs plus some apps won’t run on it), my old smartphone (with storage also no longer big enough to the point where I had to get a new phone just to be able to update anything), and my dad’s unused smartphone (never send a smartphone to someone in their 70s, phone companies) that I’ve been using as a sort of “mini-tablet”. I wanted to come up with definite uses for these devices, and that was this week’s project.

Not in this picture is my current smartphone which I used to take the pictures because obviously the other devices were busy being photographed. Luckily I do have uses for all of these devices, though I really don’t need another one outside of maybe replacing the tablet someday, maybe with a Windows tablet instead of an Android device like the others. That’s going to be a long wait but what I have will serve my current needs.


Quick Report: A New Laptop

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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.


Quick Report: More Cellphone Webcam Experimenting

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I found a use for the old smartphone, by using it to replace the regular webcam that has trouble working after a while. Let it sit long enough and you can get a few days out of it before it goes haywire again. I hear so many people praise Logitech but they always break for me. Always. And I’m not even that rough on my equipment.

The app I was playing with last week only worked through OBS (Open Broadcast Software), a streaming and recording program that records your screen and any external input like the webcam and microphone. I found another one that I want to play with a bit more before doing an article on (I don’t want to promote something that doesn’t work right or at least go over key areas it doesn’t work) but can be used as a regular webcam and doesn’t need an OBS plugin to use it. I only found it a couple of days ago so I haven’t really played with it but it seems easier to use.

In the next week or two I’ll be decorating for Christmas (I’m not letting 2020 stop me on that) but hopefully I’ll get back to a proper project soon.

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.


[VIDEO] Parblo A610 Graphics Tablet (First Impression)

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As I mention in the video below, my dad picked up an Amazon gift card after changing cable companies and invited me to pick something. My choice was getting a new drawing tablet. Why?

Since I took this picture the pile on the right, containing lineart from my daily comic strip, has gotten larger. I’m not sure what to do with it. This comic is not one I can collect since so many punchlines are a product of when they were made. It’s like a political cartoon, except I talk about the storytelling industry, not politics. I try to keep politics out of my work; there’s enough of that out there already. While I still want to do traditional drawing I thought being able to draw directly to the computer, instead of scanning lineart and coloring/lettering on the computer anyway.

My tablet of choice is the A610 from Parblo. In the video below I do an unboxing, and then I’m joined by my friend Sean to try it out, using Clip Studio Paint, my drawing program of choice.


RCA Voyager II Tablet: The Review

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RCA Nipper logo introduced in 1977

RCA Nipper logo introduced in 1977 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Two weeks ago (sorry I didn’t post anything last week, I was editing convention footage and other life events) I looked at the RCA Voyager II Tablet I received for my birthday. In this week’s video I’ve had time to go over it and (this time without convention commentary) here is the full review of the tablet.


Introducing The Clutter Reports Sell Page

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I’ve been doing this site for a while now, and it has included reviews of items to decide if I want to get rid of them or now. And yet those items I said I wanted to get rid of are still here. I was planning on selling them on eBay. I even have an account. What I don’t have is money in my PayPal account to serve as a buffer in case something happens. So I haven’t done it. With my current situation it will be impossible to ever do so. Therefore I’m cutting out the middle site.

If you look above you will see a new tab has been added: “Clutter For Sale”. It’s all the items I know I want to get rid of, broken down by type, plus a miscellaneous section for anything that doesn’t fit. So far there are categories for books, comics, toys, and video games, with only comics and toys currently having anything to offer. At least for now; as we continue there will be more there. When available there are links to reviews I’ve done here and at my other site so you can’t say I’m being dishonest about anything. If you get a comic with a bad story or a toy missing a feature I said so at the time. I don’t want to screw over anybody and hopefully nobody wants to screw me over.

Right now I can only do domestic shipping, and you’ll have to pay for the shipping. As I get more money in reserve I may be able to be more flexible. Orders can be paid through PayPal or by check (or cash if you’re really that trusting…I wouldn’t be). Contact information is on the page if something is there that you want. And if there isn’t keep looking back. As I review stuff here or at the other site things I don’t want will end up here. (Some comics are also multiples.) If you have questions let me know. Hopefully I can get rid of some of this stuff at last.

Toy Report: Pokédex & Friends


Here’s a fad I bet nobody saw coming, although as far as I recall only Tiger Electronics made them so maybe it really wasn’t a fad. The “electronic index” or “E-Dex” (I’m not sure if either is an official term or spelling, but it’s what I call them) was an interesting way to patch in to Hasbro-licensed series. (Hasbro being the owner of Tiger.) The E-Dex’s birth began with the item on the left, the Pokédex, and would continue on to other licenses. Continuing left to right is the “Shepard’s Journal” (Atlantis: The Lost Empire), the Dino-Dex (Jurassic Park 3) and the Jedi Dex (Star Wars). Each contains information about the series or movie it was based on, and all but the Pokédex contains bonus features like a PDA-type method of storing phone numbers, websites, and whatever. These really don’t work very well, because the programmers didn’t bother to allow the date to be updated past 2009, thus making scheduling and alarm functions almost useless. That tells me they didn’t have high hopes for long-term use of their products.

The later three, as well as other E-Dexes, also include a game unique to the property and Dex. I’m not able to get a decent pic of the LCD screens but I can promise you it’s better than the old LCD games they produced all those years ago. The sounds are painful to listen to and these toys didn’t really age well. But let’s open them up and take a look at them in greater detail.


The First Report

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I own too much junk. Seriously, look at my living space.

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I’m tripping over my videos to get to my games, Transformers and other action figures are all over the place, and my comics and old mail are getting in the way of my art space. And that’s just for starters.

Additionally, my place is one big mess, my records are disorganized, my computer desktop is full of links, and I have trouble finding things when I want them. In other words, I have a lot of clutter, digitally and physically.

I run a storytelling critique blog called the BW Media Spotlight, and for some reason, despite not getting paid to do it, I have this urge to write an article every day. So my thinking is that if I have the mindset where I must write at least one article a week about going through the clutter, organizing or removing it, then maybe I won’t procrastinate as much about it and actually do it, just to have an article.

The best part is that when I review a video, comic, or even some video games, I can cross-post it to the Spotlight and give myself an easy article there. It’s a win-win for me, provided I actually go through with it. In addition, some of the stuff I review will be going away, which may mean selling, auctioning, or just giving it away, depending on my needs. (I know a former co-worker who wants first shot at any NES games I plan to give up.)

It won’t be just about reviewing all the junk I own, mind you. Some articles will be devoted to organizing, and seeking tips on better organizing my living space. This is a side project, but hopefully one that will get my butt in gear, and by necessity will probably be a bit more formal than what my BW readers are used to. Hopefully, we’ll all get something out of this.

Weekly updates will be a bit sporadic as I try to figure out when is a good day to schedule an update, but I still want one article per week minimum. So welcome to the Clutter Report, where I review all the crap I own and try to own less of it, or at least stop tripping over it.