Outta the way horsey, it’s the goat’s turn!

Aaaaaaaand it’s over. It’s no longer my year. Damn. 😦  Ah well.

Happy Lunar New Year, y’all! Especially to all you goats out there! 🙂

Well, did ya get it? The sneak peek? I totally dropped one in my last post. 😀 Not a very big peek, but I took a screenie of the folder which contains my collection of finalised renders. There was a thumbnail of Year of the Goat in there. 😉 If you did notice, nice one, eagle-eye. 😀

Anyway, without further ado, I present the full-ass version of the 4th in my Chinese Zodiac series of renders, Year of the Goat! ‘ERE:

Year of the Goat - DracoAurarius

(There’s also a Dark version, as usual! I did 4K renders this time, too; if you want, you can grab the 4K Light and/or the 4K Dark version! But hahahaha who even has a 4K monitor. 😛 )

Honestly, between the render crashes, the questionable quality of the model, and the fact that I decided to re-pose it three times, I was worried that this one was gonna be a stinker. But I’m pretty happy with it! I kinda fulfilled my objective of making a goat look cool! 😛 The only thing that annoys me is the model and texture quality. I masked it as much as I could, but you can probably see better quality in games. 😛

Render time was insanely fast. Max quality at 4K finished in less than 20 minutes when I got around the annoying-as-hell crashing issues. This CPU is a BEAST. 😀 Postwork is the same as Year of the Horse; a custom background as usual, with a glow and a subtle yet sweeeeeet blur effect. The postwork took way longer than the render. 😛

Not much else I can say about it really. I hope you liek! 😀

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Windoze 10.

I remember when Windows 10 was announced. The first thing I posted on Facebook after the announcement was this:

Windows 10.
Hahahahahahahhahahahahahaha

I actually didn’t understand what the hell they were thinking when they came up with the name. It’s almost like they went “Ahhhhh, we should call it Windows 9, but that’s what they’re EXPECTING us to do, so let’s do one more and call it Windows 10 YEAAAAAH!” 😛

A somewhat believable explanation is that a lot of software developers actually do something like this:

if( windowsVersion.startsWith("Windows 9") )
{
    // Do stuff for Windows 95/98
}
else
{
    // Do stuff for Windows 2000 or above
}

But if this is true, it’s stupid, completely the fault of software devs and Microsoft shouldn’t be working around it. If you wanna know what version of Windows the user’s running, you should be using the kernel version number. Windows 95 was called “95” because it was released in 1995, durrr. Its version number was 4.0, not 95. Windows 7’s version number is actually 6.1 and Windows 8 is 6.2. Although that explanation makes sense, it’s still not believable.

Anyway, whatever the reason, it’s Windows 10, not 9. But, it also made me make a joke about how they actually stopped developing Windows 9 and went straight to Windows 10. Y’see, every other version of Windows is shite, so if they did that, they’d be bypassing a good version of Windows and skipping to the next crap version. Look:

Windows 95 = Good
Windows 98 = Shite
Windows 2000 = Good
Windows ME = Shite
Windows XP = Good
Windows Vista = Shite
Windows 7 = Good
Windows 8 = Shite
Windows 9 = Would’ve been good
Windows 10 = Shite?

Makes sense, right? 😛

Not sure if that’s actually the case, though.

A “Technical Preview” of Windows 10 has been available for some time now. I installed it as a secondary OS very soon after release, but I didn’t really want to commit to using it and only played with it for about half an hour. Now, though, I’ve been using it since my major upgrade (Pwnage-O-Matic V6; new motherboard, CPU and SSD!! 😉 ).

It’s basically an alpha. Stuff can break, and there’s a high chance stuff can change drastically between builds. You also get asked questions very occasionally while using it, like “how hard was it to find the setting you were looking for?” Oh, and I’m pretty sure nearly everything I do is being monitored. 😛 There’s also a dedicated app for getting news about Windows 10, and another app for leaving feedback or bug reports. Most of the feedback people give is completely useless, and I don’t think the rest is really looked at. Maybe glanced at from time to time. 😛

So what’s it like? Pretty decent, actually! Despite being an alpha, it runs pretty smooth and doesn’t crash as much as I was expecting. In fact, I’ve had the most BSoDs from trying to render in DAZ Studio, and I’m not sure if Windows was at fault.

Since my new motherboard is UEFI-compatible, after a lot of poking around and an unlikely hero (my point-and-shoot video camera formatted to FAT and connected via USB was the ONLY method I had short of wiping my external hard drive :P), I figured out how to boot and install Windows 10 in UEFI mode. Let me just say HOLY MOTHER OF GOD it boots like friggin’ LIGHTNING. Seriously, I started the computer and pressed the power button on my monitor. By the time my monitor turned on, Windows had ALREADY booted and was ready to go. In no more than 15 seconds. I had to reboot and test it again to make sure I hadn’t accidentally booted out of sleep mode!

Of course, it isn’t that much of a big deal. Mac OS has been UEFI-compatible for God-knows how long, and Windows already had it in Windows 8. It’s just mind-blowing when you experience it for the first time. 😛

Right, yes, Windows 10, the user-facing stuff. 😛 The most dramatic difference is the Start menu. Yes, START MENU. IT HAS ONE

START IS HEEAH!

What they’ve done is taken the Metro interface that doesn’t work on PCs and the Windows 7 Start menu that doesn’t work on tablets and made them have a baby. The left side is pretty much automatic and can’t really be customized, all you can do is remove items you don’t want there. The right side is totally customizable and you can have anything you want. The most recent build lets you split your stuff into sections, so as you can see in that screenie, I have a “General” section for stuff I wanna see or get to quickly, and a “Drives” section for quick, direct access to my drives. Further down (you can scroll) I also have “Tools” and “Windows Store Games”, the latter being almost completely empty save for Asphalt 9. Which I don’t really play because the car handling is laughable and The Crew and Carmageddon Reincarnation are better. 😛

I think it’s really awesome. Unlike the huge, horrendous Start Screen, the new Start menu doesn’t completely break my focus when I open it. With the Start Screen it was like “WHAAAAA HUGE FULLSCREEN MENU WHAT’S GOING ON I JUST WANTED NOTEPAD”

It’s currently quite fragile though… 😛

Lol Start Menu

You CAN make it go fullscreen, but lol no thanks:

Ew no be smaller plz

There’s not enough to add to it to make me want it any bigger. 😛

Let’s ‘ave a look at File Explorer next…

File Explorer

It’s the same as Win7. 😛 Well, actually… no, that’s untrue. It’s the same as Win8. Because ribbon. Hrrrrrhh. :S THANKFULLY, it’s not commonly used unless you’re unfamiliar with keyboard shortcuts, and can be hidden with that small arrow next to the help button in the top right. The only useful commands in there are under the View tab; hiding/showing filename extensions and hidden files, and hiding/showing files. That’s… pretty much it, because you can get everything else through the context menu. 😛 Files are still sent straight to the recycle bin with a press of Del, but I actually like that now. Getting a confirmation dialog in Windows 7 for a non-volatile delete operation was really starting to grate. Shift-Del still brings up a confirmation, which is good.

The ONE thing that’s REALLY annoying me is that annoying friggin’ “Quick access” link in the sidebar. I just want it to go die in a fire.

GO DIE QUICK ACCESS

It gives you a random jumble of files and folders you recently accessed, all mashed in with any files or folders you explicitly add to quick access. I don’t understand how this is useful to anyone at all. If you constantly access a specific Word or Excel or whatever file, surely the most natural way to open it is to open Word/Excel/whatever and select it from your recent files list in that program? That would be just as fast as going into Explorer and looking for it in quick access. It’s like a dumb fusion of two completely unrelated menus, Favourites and Recent Files. It actually replaced Favourites in build 9926. Favourites was the same thing, but it only contained what you wanted in there, and could be arranged in whatever order you wanted. So why the hell did they remove it?! 😦 << I wanted an angry smiley but WordPress doesn’t have one because it SUCKS. 😛

Oh, and OneDrive as well. I want that to piss off but you can’t get rid of it either. >.<

What else… ah yes, they have improved snapping tools now. You know that in Windows 7 and 8 you can grab a window and push it against the side of the screen to make it “snap” to that side of the screen? Windows 10 expands on that and lets you snap to a corner now, and if you have two monitors, you can snap to the inside of a screen without needing to use WinKey-Right or WinKey-Left, WOOT! 😀 Also, when you snap, you get a display on the other half of the screen, which easily lets you choose another window to snap to the other side, which is pretty neat:

Snappy Snappy!

It feels like an OS designed for PCs, but with the new Microsoft style. It doesn’t feel confused any more. Like, “Desktop” is no longer an app, for example. There’s no annoying bar that appears at the side of the screen when you hover there for a sec. You close apps and windows by clicking their X buttons, not by dragging them to the bottom right of the screen. You shutdown, restart or sleep by pressing the power button on the start menu, not by going into Settings. It’s… nice. 😀

Although speaking of Settings, that’s one part of Windows 10 that still feels confused. Control Panel still exists and can do pretty much everything you want it to do, but there’s a Settings app which does… almost as much, and is Windows’ “preferred” way of doing things. As in, when you click the Network icon in the taskbar, it launches the Network section of Settings instead of going to Network and Sharing Centre in Control Panel. It’s been improved in the most recent build, but I still want to use Control Panel for everything.

Other niggles… well, unfortunately, the All Programs list… sorry, all APPS list in the Start menu is pretty horrible now, Windows comes with pre-installed bloatware apps, and apps still exist. 😛 But since apps act almost the same as normal programs, I’ve gotten used to them (not like I use them much at all), and I have all the programs I commonly use on the desktop. If a program I want isn’t on the desktop, I just use the search bar, so I never need to use the all apps list. 🙂

If you’re wondering about Cortana, I haven’t been able to try it out because:

Like I Care!

Not sure why it’s not available in the UK but I don’t care. 😛

So yeah, I quite like Windows 10 in the state it’s in right now, well, apart from the looming possibility of a nasty crash. 😛 As for the pricing, well, it’s actually going to be a free upgrade for all Windows 7 and Windows 8 users. Yep. 🙂 Kinda concerns me about why it’s free, though. Maybe people’ve been pressuring them about how Mac OS X users get free major upgrades, but y’know, you have to get something when you pay about twice as much than the computer’s worth. 😛 I guess we’ll find out in due time if Microsoft have some sort of smartass proviso up their sleeve. 😛

Unlike the Windows 8 Consumer Preview, I will link the Windows 10 Technical Preview here:

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-gb/windows/preview-iso

If you know what you’re doing, have your important data backed up, don’t mind large, somewhat frequent updates and you’re interested in trying Windows 10 yourself and watching it evolve, I’d definitely recommend giving it a spin. 🙂  Probably not a good idea installing it on a family computer or something, though. 😛

I think that’s all. Lemme know if there’s something I haven’t covered that you’re interested in. 😀 See yaz! 🙂

This statement is false. And null.

Or nil if you like Lua.

Or Nothing if you like Visual Basic.

Or Empty if YES they get the idea MongMaster shut up now. 😛

Well, since I’ve been working on the 4th render in my Chinese Zodiac series, Year Of The Goat, I was planning to write a li’l bit about the DAZ Studio 4.7 update after I was done for the night.

However, a thing happened. A stupid thing. In fact, many stupid things happened. I wanted to re-open the Monster Fight scene I rendered quite some time ago so I could re-render it in 1080p, but it failed to load the Kaiju models because it couldn’t find a huge mass of data files that aren’t even included in the product’s installer. Yet I can import a fresh Kaiju model into a scene just fine. >.> Then, I almost lost my work on Year Of The Goat because DAZ Studio did some absolutely insane thing that I can’t even begin to explain.

Then, the aforementioned thing happened.

It was so idiotic and senseless that I decided the only way I could convey it is via the medium of video. So… here you go:

DAZ Studio – I Don’t Even

So… yeah. If you don’t want to listen to my stupid voice, then basically, DAZ Studio 4.7 is.. just… heh. Like, insane. And not like “Hahaha, you’re insane but that’s cool”, more like “AAAAARGH YOU’RE INSANE GET AWAY FROM ME”

One last thing before I pop off, I’ve revised my DAZ Studio workspace layout. I added a couple of new panels and managed to re-learn how to change viewport background colours. They decided to change it for… some… reason. I dunno. Maybe they’re struggling to find things to do cuz there aren’t any bugs. Heh. Anyway, I dunno if anyone would find it useful, but you can get it HEEEAH if you wannit. 🙂

Eekay, I’m off. Need night nightz. If I get around to writing it before the Chinese New Year, I’ll probably tell y’all about Windows 10 next time. Seeeee yaaaaaa. 🙂

mongmaster.wordpress.com has been (un)suspended!

Whoa. WHOA. WHOOOHOHOHOHAAAAHHAOOA! My number of subscribers has doubled! TO TWO!!

Welcome, Mr./Mrs./Miss./Dr. New Subscriber! 😀

Yes, it was almost immediately after my blog came back online. Y’see, I was just passing by, doing a couple of tweaks to some articles, not going to write another one because I didn’t really have much to write about, when all of a sudden, I get some weird-ass errors when trying to update a post. Something about an API call that failed. About a minute later, just when I was about to say “stuff this, I’ll come back to it later”, I get a banner at the top of my dashboard, saying the blog has been suspended because of a violation of the Terms of Service.

Lel?

I thought maybe I had done something wrong at some point yeeeeears ago, back when this blog was actually on Windows Live. I thought something’d crept up from then and bit me in teh ash whole. But even so, an instant suspension and imminent deletion with no warning or reason whatsoever? I didn’t even get an e-mail, and nothing explained why this had happened. Come on.

Naturally, I contacted support. Turned out that I’d been hit by an anti-spam bot which flagged the site. Understandable! 😛 Can’t fault the support I got, really. Well, apart from that they didn’t actually fix the issue the first time I contacted them, but whatever, no biggie, they still got me back up and running within 24 hours. 🙂  I’m still gonna tag all my posts with that tag, though. 😛 IT’S TRADITION!

Anyway, yes, I’m back, with DOUBLE the subscriber POWAAAHH! Awwww yisss, I’m SMASHING my way onto the Internetz celebrity scene BIG time. Haaaah. 😛  As a celebratory thingiemabobbyjig, I’ll go ahead and post something I was gonna post anyway! WHOOOO! CELEBRATIONZ! 😀

I finally got my ass in gear and got around to rendering a final version of The Third Breed; the render I made in my last (real) post. 🙂 Man, it was a pain to render out again. I updated to DAZ Studio 4.7, which was a slight mistake, and I’m currently rocking the Windows 10 Technical Preview, which is a mistake and a good thing in almost equal measures. Let’s just say it took at least 6 attempts to render it out. 😛

Why? Well, during a render, the CPU completely maxes out, and the Pwnage-O-Matic V6 doesn’t seem to be happy about this. 😛 I got about 3 BSoDs, the computer completely locked up once, and the graphics driver kept crashing, too. I really doubt it’s a hardware issue since the processor is practically brand new, never exceeds 60C at full load, and is currently running at stock speed. It’s probably some kinda Windows problem. Although… I did close a bunch of background programs before I began the render attempt that finished successfully. Or maybe it was just a fluke. We’ll see when we render Year of the Goat. 😀

As an extra-special treat, I rendered it in both 1080p and 4K. 😀 To render the scene in 4K, it took… 2 hours 10 minutes and 21.44 seconds. Says the log file. 🙂 Anyway, yez, I’ll stop yammering and show you le beautiful dragon! BOOYAH:

The Third Breed - DracoAurarius
Available in: (1080p) (4K)

It’s not hyper-different from the draft, but it’s better. His head’s angled down a little more, and his claw is a bit closer to his body. I also tweaked the position of his left wing, adjusted the lighting slightly, and rendered at max quality. DJ MAX quality. 😀 Also saved the final JPEGs at a higher than normal quality because I noticed some really ugly artefacts on the draft version.

I hope you liek! 🙂 If you want him on your desktop but I haven’t rendered at your native resolution, I’d be happy to churn another render out for your res and add it to the list. Just lemme know! 😀  Within reason, of course. I ain’t rendering it out at some crazy-ass overkill res like 16K or something. I like my PC to be usable! 😛

Anyway, I think that’s all for now. I’ll make a separate post about my new PC build later on. And Windows 10, and DAZ Studio 4.7, although there’s not a great deal to say about it. And of course, the 4th Chinese New Year render is almost here! I gotta render a GOAT and make it look EPIC!

Maaaaaan this year’s image is gonna suck! 😛