What would being a denizen of late 2022 be without having a take on El*n’s Twitter takeover? And having no Twitter account left to gripe on, I’ll expound on my long neglected blog.Continue reading Of Birds and Pachyderms
While I was wrapping up the final touches on my Ultima VI map at the end of 2016 I was already brainstorming how to go about making a map of one of my other all-time favorite RPG video games, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.
If you’d like to skip ahead to see the final result, see the images at the end. Otherwise, read on to find out how it was made!
Ultima VI Map
Ultima VI is one of my favorite games of all time. It was one of the first PC games I ever played. It was installed on my mom’s computer by my brother in law, and I stumbled on it by accident one day. I didn’t have any manuals or maps or anything, so I was going in blind. I think that kind of added to the appeal. I wound up drawing a map of my own on graph paper with quite a lot of detail using nothing but the in-game sextant and sailing around the coasts of every landmass.
More recently I thought it’d be nice to create a new map, something I wouldn’t mind hanging on my wall. Continue reading Ultima VI Map
Legendary Digital Networks (LDN) has created a new subscription streaming and video-on-demand service, Alpha, featuring geek-focused programming from Geek & Sundry and Nerdist. It’s due to launch Thursday, November 17th, 2016 (a delay from the original date of November 3rd). You can find the press release and video here, but if you’re reading this you are probably at least somewhat familiar with the service already.
You are also probably aware there has been controversy. There are a lot of opinions being voiced about the new service, few of them positive, some in the wait-and-see area. I have a pretty dim view of the service myself. In fact, I see it as pretty toxic. I’m writing this post to my fellow community members to convince them to steer away from Alpha.
Felicia Day Office Drawing
Felicia Day did a paperback book tour in late April 2016 for her New York Times bestselling book, You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost). During her Denver stop I gave her a drawing I’d been working on for several months. This post details the process of how I created it.
Continue reading Felicia Day Office Drawing
Curta Mechanical Calculator
Here’s a little toy I’d had on my wishlist for years and finally treated myself to about a year ago. It’s a Curta II mechanical digital calculator, manufactured circa late 1966. It achieved the extraordinary feat of putting the complex mechanisms of an adding machine into a package small enough to fit in the palm of your hand.
Technology and the Elderly
I have a lot of thoughts on UI and UX that I’ve been wanting to organize into a coherent series of posts, but I feel like that may be too onerous and paralyzing a task, so I will try to tackle topics as I think of them. I am not a credentialed UI/UX designer, or a trained designer of any kind. I’m a software engineer who has specialized in UI, from desktop to web to now mobile interfaces, and I have a degree in psychology. Dubious qualifications. My thoughts are informed as an implementer of UI/UX designs, a mindful observer, and someone with the honed ability to whine constructively. Take with a grain of salt.
Most recently, I’ve been thinking about my changing relationship with technology as I get older. (For this discussion when I say technology I mean our consumer electronics and the software that runs on them.) My delight in new technology is waning, and I have some thoughts on why.
Kinga Fan Art
I’m a tremendous fan of Mystery Science Theater 3000. When Joel Hodgson launched a Kickstarter (now concluded) to bring it back I immediately pledged money. When Felicia Day was announced as the new Mad (or more accurately, when the information was leaked days before being officially acknowledged) I was over the moon, because I’m a huge fan of hers.
I decided to take a break from some of my other creative projects and draw some fan art of Felicia’s new character, Kinga Forrester.
The drawing measures 4×6″. It took approximately (very approximately) 30 hours over the course of about 2 weeks. As with most of my stippling projects, I used a Sakura Pigma Micron 005 (0.2mm) pen, as well as a brush tip for filling in the larger black areas.
I took frequent photos with my phone of the progress and turned them into an animation. I really like watching this, seeing the sections fill in like fluid, and details being tweaked in older areas. I’m going to make a point of trying to make these animations for future drawing projects.
I started with the face because I am not very confident about or practiced in drawing people, and if I messed it up I wanted it to be easy to start over. In terms of my skill and comfort levels, inanimate things are easier to draw than cartoon people, are easier than realistic made-up people, are easier than realistic actual people, are easier than realistic actual attractive people, are easier than realistic actual attractive people where I’m applying totally different lighting to the drawing than from the source photo I’m working off of. So I wasn’t very confident in how it would turn out. I feel pretty good about it considering my managed expectations. Perhaps in a few months I’ll be able to look at it more objectively and form a better snap assessment, but right now I’m pretty happy with the results.
Raspberry Pi Zero
The new Raspberry Pi Zero is only about $5 but has 512MB of RAM, a 1GHz ARM11 processor, HDMI out, USB, and a micro-SD slot. This puts a respectable amount of power within easy reach for hobbyists for all kinds of clever DIY applications. I love this.
“This tiny Raspberry Pi Zero will cost you less than $10” at Toronto Star
Eeek & Spoopy
I’m a fan of Geek & Sundry, creators of various geeky programs on YouTube and Twitch. During this past Halloween they changed their Twitter name to “Eeek & Spoopy,” and I was inspired to do a little drawing.
Color pens: Sakura Pigma Micron 05 (0.45mm) and brush, Copic Multiliner SP
Outline pen: Sakura Pigma Micron 005 (0.2mm)
Paper: Strathmore medium 80lb
Time: 2-3 hours