Sunday, August 28, 2011

My Ideal Computer Setup

(Quick note: I am not a tech expert. I'm not up-to-date on the latest processors and what-not. So this post will be very generic. If you need help setting up a computer, don't ask me.)

I'm a 3D artist. I have a relatively powerful desktop at work, and right now I own a laptop computer. I haven't done any freelance work - yet. I hope to be able to do some eventually. But I have come to one important realization: I have found the ideal computer setup for myself.

What do I mean by this? I mean what gear I would ideally own that would be a perfect mix of practicality, power, and easiness-to-carry. The answer is simple: own a netbook and one desktop.

The netbook would be my travel computer. I would use it to store my demoreel, other work files, and other miscellaneous files. It would not contain any work related software and would be used exclusively for surfing the net and file storage. And maybe the occasional game or two.

Why not a tablet? I've got one simple answer why not a tablet. Connectivity. Sure, you can connect via wifi or bluetooth (do tablets have bluetooth?) but I'm not sure about it's USB connectivity. How easily can you connect your tablet to a digital camera? An external hard drive? A card-reader? Exactly. The netbook can still handle those things and it's still small enough and portable enough that it won't be that much of a hassle.

The desktop would be the powerful computer. I would use it for the more hardcore games and hardcore gadgets, er, and of course I'd try to put work-related software into it. It would be powerful enough to run the latest games, and still handle the latest 3D artist related software (if I have to put any into it.)

As for synching files between the two computers, it would be easily done using my home wifi network.

So there. One netbook for portable stuff, one powerful desktop for doing freelance work (and games, of course, and games). Plus I'd be able to save on the electric bill because if I just need to surf then I can just use the low energy netbook.


Thursday, August 18, 2011


So many thoughts, so little time to write.

I've been working overtime at work since Monday. No, I'm not complaining. I've done overtimes before. This is nothing new to me. So now I really want to blog, but usually when I get home I'm too tired to write.

Not tonight. First, I took a power nap during the afternoon break at work. Second, I don't plan on doing overtime tomorrow (to rest and recharge because in all likelihood I will be doing overtime this Saturday and Sunday - again, something I've done before). And finally, my wife and I will be hitching a ride with my mom tomorrow so I don't have to wake up early to drive to work.

Yes, I'm tired. I rarely do overtime in the game industry. I used to do a lot of overtime in the advertising / post-prod industry. But now? Rarely. Plus my body clock is adjusted to sleeping early and waking up early. So I'm sort of adjusting.

Anyway, I'm sort of surprised at my new mindset at work. I now make a conscious effort to not be a source of negative energies. I try to get along with all my teammates, and I try to be a positive influence around them.

I have no idea if it's because I'm becoming better as a lead, or if I'm just getting older, wiser, and more mature. Maybe it's all of the above. Maybe that seminar on positive attitude worked even better than I expected. I have no idea.

* * *

I also regret this week that I have had no chance to go jogging. It's frustrating because last week I was able to go 500m non-stop on a slow jog. This is a big deal for a fat-ass like myself. I've been pushing myself every week to increase the distance of my jog and this was a major improvement. I used to be able to do 1.5 laps around the park my officemates and I jog at. That's about 250m per lap.

* * *

I can't believe that I learn more from "bad influences" than from good ones. If I see examples of bad attitudes or whatever from people, I tend to remember those more than the good examples. And I do my best to avoid doing those bad things.

* * *

That's all I can write tonight. I had no plans of writing so basically I just wrote what my mind rambled.


Thursday, August 11, 2011


Here is a clip of "revertigo" as explained on that wonderful TV show, How I Met Your Mother.

For those who didn't click on the link,revertigo is "when you're around someone from your past you kinda revert back to who you were when you knew them." Or, as is also mentioned in the clip, you can call it "associative regression."Meaning if you started hanging out with friends from high school you start acting like you were back in high school.

I totally subscribe to this theory. In fact, I'd even go so far as to say that you don't even need to be around someone from the past to revert back to a certain behavior.

For example, recently I attended this brilliant seminar on positive attitude in the workplace. After that seminar I was on a positivity high. That soon came crashing down as I reverted to my old, negative ways.

Why am I saying this? Because I don't like it. Up to now I am making a conscious effort to try and be more positive, despite the fact that I'm basically back to almost 100% of who I was before the seminar.

But, I have retained some small bit of positivity. I have changed in some small way. Now all I have to do is to fan that small ember of positive attitude so it can burn and help me improve myself as a person.

I just hope I can push myself to actually do it.


Monday, August 08, 2011

Fighting the Fat

I am obese. I have no idea if I am morbidly obese, but according to science, I am obese.

This of course is not good news. Most of my life I had led a dominantly sedentary lifestyle. My work involves me sitting in front of a computer to create 3D assets and animate them when needed. When I get home my usual pastime (pastime is spelled with one 't' huh?) is to sit in front of a television or computer and either watch shows or play video games.

Sure I was active when I was young, but had I known what I know now, I would have been concerned. I had the least stamina in my then group of friends. I was the least athletic. I played basketball casually, and biked once in a while but I never forced myself to make it a habit to be physically active.

I am just glad that I am now mature enough to force myself to be active. I aim to go brisk walking (with a little slow jog added in) at least twice a week with a minimum of 30 minutes active time. I can now push myself to exceed my comfort zone, and in fact I am quite proud today that I managed two laps of slow jogging around the jogging path my officemates and I go to. That's about 500m straight jog. Then after three cooldown walking laps, I managed one-and-a-half laps of slow jog. Not bad, not bad.

I just regret that I did not start this healthy habit early on. Now the "battle" I wage for my health is already lopsided, and not in my favor. But at least I am man enough to admit that it's time for a change, and man enough to actually do something about it.

Keep on fighting.


Tuesday, August 02, 2011

When Being Negative is a Good Thing

Being negative can sometimes be viewed as a positive.

There, I wrote it. Now, allow me to explain with the most basic example I can think of.

As a Lead 3D Game Artist in the company I work for, I am responsible for scheduling when assets created by my team are due. So naturally I have to make sure I give my team enough time to create quality outputs, while also making sure that we deliver it soon enough for  approval.

When it comes to scheduling I don't usually over-commit. In fact, I usually give a buffer of plus 50% the usual time for output. The reason for this is because I'm already including the possible internal revisions from the higher ups. Plus the fact that I'm already anticipating every possible negative scenario to happen (hardware failure, sick leaves, total revision of concept art).

You could say I'm being negative when I start factoring all the bad stuff, but for me it works. We usually pass our assets either on time or ahead of schedule. Usually there are no more revisions needed unless there are drastic changes requested by the client. And if ever we do submit it all my expectations have either been met or been exceeded.

Quality wise I always make sure we create better-than-acceptable assets. Duration wise I feel that the schedules I give are fast enough for the higher ups, yet long enough for the artist to complete the task without rendering overtime.

So there's one example of my being negative ending up as a positive. I usually set low expectations on certain things. So when the expectations are met, they are usually greater than what I originally expected.