J218 – Sam Pencil Sketch

[11/26/2008] Well, this is late. Very much so. I was hosed last weekend, okay? And will probably be even more hosed this weekend…

Anyway, Happy Birthday Sam (the real one)! And so, a Sam sketch masquerading as an actual update.


dcomic 482


I finished part 6 today. 501 and 502 were kinda bland, but I shot for quantity over quality for those two just to get it out of the way. Part 7 should be the next and final chapter if there isn’t a short epilogue. Honestly I just can’t get it out my head as to how long this thing’s been going. I remember talking to J about a really early revision of this story on a bus going somewhere. I mean it really didn’t turn out the way I thought it would then, but y’know; some things change and some things stay the same.

So once in a while I do entries documenting the status and evolution of my art. I’m going to take this entry and start documenting the evolution of my so called “fleet” of computers; I also want to document the evolution of my room and how I store shit, but that’ll have to wait for another day. This short list really only includes active machines, specs and a short blurb; no more Latitude CpT C or Inspiron 500m.

dl004, custom, Colette

1x Winsis 400W
1x Abit AN7
1x AMD Athlon XP 2500+ (1833MHz, 1.38v)
1x Thermaltake TR2-M3
1x Arctic Cooling 80mm (8v, 12v)
2x PQI 512MB, DDR 333MHz
1x Sapphire ATI Radeon 9200, 128MB, AGP
1x Seagate 80GB, 7200RPM, PATA
1x Airlink 802.11g PCI
1x Coolermaster Centurion 590
1x Coolermaster LED 120mm
2x Yate Loon 140mm

Windows XP Corp SP3


Colette, the server, is the oldest member of the fleet, both in terms of absolute age and the duration for which I’ve owned her. Athlon XP 2500+ is seriously pushing six years now, having been released in February of 2003 – chances are it was probably manufactured even before that. The Abit AN7 is a bit newer, being one of the last Socket 462 boards released in mid 2004. Most of Colette’s core components I picked up in mid-2006 from the amazing Generalachoo and I spent a great deal of time learning how to quiet her down in the subsequent year and a half. Currently running 24/7; great stuff for the age.

dl012, custom, Motoko

1x Antec TruePower Trio 550W
1x Gigabyte EP35-DS3R
1x Intel Pentium Dual-Core E2140 (2666MHz, stock)
1x Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro (PWM)
2x Super Talent 1024MB, DDR2 800MHz
1x Biostar nVidia GeForce 8600GT, 256MB, PCIe
1x Arctic Cooling Accelero S2
1x Samsung 80GB, 7200RPM, SATA
1x Airlink AWLH3026T
1x Hauppauge WinTV
1x Antec 900
1x Antec LED 120mm
1x Antec 250mm

Windows XP Corp SP3


Motoko is kind of the unheard of child in the family; similar to Colette, she came together over a really long period of time. Back in mid-2007, I got a free 2400MHz Northwood Pentium 4, board and memory from my dad’s friend. This combo did a brief stint as Osaka when Colette started doing 24/7 server duty and it eventually evolved into what’s currently Motoko, so she’s relatively new. Or, well, the average age of her parts are relatively new, I guess. Motoko is pretty much my “daily driver” at home; since I’m in school, she doesn’t get much love. The original Osaka has since been sold to a friend.

dl013, Hewlett Packard TC4200

Intel Pentium M 740 (800 – 1733MHz, 0.7 – 1.0v)
1024MB, DDR2 533MHz
Intel GMA950
Transcend 4GB, 300X, PATA
12″ XGA 1024 x 768

Windows XP Tablet SP2


The TC4200 is the oddball in the long line of Dells I’ve owned and used over the years. Obviously I use it to draw. It’s also kind of my “road warrior” since the battery life is pretty good for the size and I’m not too worried about scratching or denting or destroying a $450 machine. It’s kind of old, having been introduced in late 2005, but a good investment nonetheless. I was telling my friend that with a tablet PC you get a free PC with your tablet… or something like that. Currently using a 4GB SSD. Solid state for the win.

dl014, Dell Latitude E6400

Intel Core 2 Duo P8400 (800 – 2233MHz, 0.925 – 1.0v)
2048MB, DDR2 800MHz
nVidia Quadro NVS160, 256MB
Toshiba 80GB, 5400RPM, SATA
14.1″ WSXGA+ 1440 x 900

Windows XP Pro SP3


The new daily driver. Probably two thirds of my computer time is spent in front of this thing. It’s Dell, it’s a Latitude, it’s not hueg. What more can I say? I can fit it in the backpack of my choice, it has a backlit keyboard, LED screen, 4hrs of battery, the potential to weigh under 4 pounds… just no SSD yet and the keyboard doesn’t’ resist grease very well. Did I mention it looks really cool?

Ok, that’s it for this entry. Hopefully more exciting news to come next week.

J217 – Kibby Syndrom

Kibby Syndrom



So instead of drawing a comic, I spent way too much time on Friday making this. It was fun though. And it’s cute! It’s cute, right?

So, the animation is actually inspired by a series of animations based on the following video:

The site I first found them on referred to them all as “_______ Syndrom”, so I called mine that as well.

Who’s Kibby, you ask? Not my character. Or rather, I didn’t design her. I got the character description from a friend, and this is how I rendered her.

Also, this update features the first imbedded YouTube link in a rant. I had wanted to do one last week, but YouTube doesn’t let you imbed the hi-def version of the videos (for obvious reasons), which was kinda necessary for the song, so you got the link instaed.

As for what Derek said about the comic numbersĀ here … It’s not like mine are particularly accurate either. Seeing as the “jcomic***” format only counts actual comic pages that are part of regular NW, I’ve actually drawn a lot more (Sandstorm, for example, adds 15 pages (and another two for the “Director’s Cut”)). So yeah, numbers are worthless for counting. In some sense, they’re worthless for organizing, too. Does Derek really remember what’s in “452”? Do I remember what’s in “jcomic122.jpg”?

Huh. Turns out it’s this. Those were actually funny.

dcomic 481


Hmm, I’m writing this in a car on a laptop without a backlit keyboard and it’s in times like this where you realize just how helpful those kinda things are. It’s like wifi. I still remember plugging a USB/Ethernet adapter into my Latitude CpT because it neither had wifi or an ethernet port… and it only had one USB port.

So here’s 481. I’m working on 499 right now… just one page away from that magical 500! Of couse, like J said, the number don’t really mean anything anymore, other than just a “name” with which I can address each comic page (since I don’t bother actually naming the pages like J does). I’ve actually drawn quite a few more pages than 500 already; while there are no gaps between page numbers 1 and 500, there’s also that axx series that I used for the part two redraw (I feel like I’m mentioned all this before but I think it was to J…).

I’m surprised as to how strong muscle memory can actually be. It always surprises me as to how I’m able to touch-type (albeit not amazingly fast); I played piano for 6 years and I actually can’t play a note. Not even something like “Twinkle Twinkly Little Star”. I can’t actually tell you where any of the keys on the keyboard are just out of the blue, so it always surprises me that I can type without seeing or looking at the keyboard. And with reasonable speed and accuracy too.

I’d like to thank AIM for teaching me how to type. Back in junior high we had mandatory typing classes and to say the least, I did very poorly. We didn’t need to do a lot of stuff on computer, so it’s like language – there wasn’t any real pressing reason for me to learn how to type fast, so I sucked at it. It was only after joining like Militate and talking to these people online that I had a use to type fast(er) and I’d say it was only then that I actually got enough practice to be effective. I wonder if typing is one of those things that you can’t unlearn… like biking?

Main point number one for this update: The plot summary is finally updated. I actually rewrote the entire thing. It’s almost funny to read if you ask me, but the big point is that it’s now current through the end of part 5. Now if I could just keep consistently updating it…

Point two is gonna get delayed cuz I don’t feel like writing anymore. That’s all for this week.

J216 – Confrontation

[11/12/2008] Aaand, the end of a 4-day weekend. Once again, I wasn’t particularly productive. Perhaps it has to do with the two tests I have tomorrow and the next test the day after?

Not much to say here, other than I wish I had done the background in panel 4 better. Ah well.

Also, getting addicted to this video:

MikuMiku Yukkuri

Yeah, Miku isn’t really designed for songs like this, but it still sounds nice…

dcomic 480


Zomg! Comic page! I can’t believe it. Comics are done through half of 496 though these couple pages are just a bunch of airplanes and stuff flying around. Not necessarily easy to draw though; fighter jets are kinda annoying especially if you’re trying to draw some extreme angles.

With this current drawing cycle I’m actually starting to finally plan out the end of this story. Part 6 will probably last into the 500-510 range and part 7 should seriously be the end; I might save all the explanation for a part 8 epilogue if it gets too cumbersome, but we’re really looking at just another 30 to 40 pages.

Ok, I guess that’s not really “only” as it’s taken FOUR years to do a scant 120 pages, but we’re seriously looking at being done before the end of 2009 and I will seriously try to make that “deadline”. I just need three or four more of those amazing drawing spurts I had last year and we’re good to go.

Was gonna talk more, but I’d rather be drawing than writing an entry. So that’s all.

dupdate 081105


Well, in general I apologize for the consistent lack of comic, but it just ain’t happening these days. Like the comic isn’t happening. Like I’m not drawing and don’t feel like drawing it. Yes, there’s a backlog, but when i don’t draw, I don’t feel like using the backlog unless I have to. So yes, this is another round of doodles.

(3) is actually (4) from last week, finally complete. I think this is one of the best of the lot. (4) just attempts to do the same sort of thing art wise though it kinda falls short. (5) goes for a less zoomed in view with the same sort of thing again. Overall, not bad I’d say.

I was talking to J about drawing bigger and I’m trying to follow through here. All three here are scaled down, but originally about half a sheet of paper in size on paper. So yes, they’ve been kinda copypasted around; you can’t fit 3 halves of paper on one piece.(6) actually looks a bit better scanned; I actually busted out a regular HB pencil for this one o_O.

These are parts of a paintchat done on the 4th. I cropped out my parts in case J wants to use his part as an update at a later point in time. The theme is like “epic everyday activities” or something. Mine are “epic shit” (not so epic), “epic homework” (works a bit better), and “epic rolling eyes” (doesn’t really look it). So this whole thing is kinda fail, sadly, not of the epic variety.

Well this next one is a bit different. That’s a 4GB, 300x Compact Flash card with a CF/Ultra IDE adapter. Yes, CF is the kinda stuff you put in some digital cameras (but not mine; mine is Sony) and on which you can store your blurry twenty megapixel photos that’ll you’ll never look at again (cuz they’re blurry. Cuz camera makers need to focus on taking better pictures, not more megapixels). The thing is, Compact Flash has become pretty fast and pretty cheap lately… not to mention this one is SLC.

When I say fast, I mean fast enough to run Windows. Yeah, the size is kinda limiting, but my dad’s desktop(s) were 8GB and 10GB respectively right up through 2007; there are applications in which you don’t need that much space. Anyways, under there is my upside down TC4200. So you can kinda see where this is going. XP Tablet boots in something like 15 seconds; maybe half the time it took on my 5400RPM mechanical drive.

With a 2GB SD Card, this machine now has a grand total of… 6GB of “disk” space. With XP Tablet and programs taking up 2.5, that’s effectively 3.5. In this day and age, that’s… something like 16 episodes of anime. AKA nothing. It’s pretty nippy though. Effective 40MB/s read and maybe three quarters of that write. Negligible seeks compared to standard spinners (the biggest benefit of SSDs and the like in my opinion).

And I honestly don’t need the space here. All I do with this comp is browse and take occasional notes. And I draw. And sometimes watch anime in bed. My “working set” of files are stored on my E6400 and my extra media is stored on a small external drive. I had basically all of the old 40GB drive free. It’s a bit annoying loading anime to SD or USB before watching, but hey, this is an experiment.

The great Generalachoo has been using one of these for months.

This storage setup is actually a lot like what you get in an early EEE PC (EEEK PC) save that the Pentium M 745 rapes the relevant Atom and Celeron. Running without a page file seems to be fine, even with a “Scant” 1GB of memory. It’s also completely silent which is insane. Battery life has yet to be fully tested, but this is roadtesting week for this thing.

Ok that’s it. I’m tired. It’s 2:30.

J215 – Ambition

[11/3/2008] Hi everyone! Tomorrow is the election~! If you haven’t yet voted (absentee), please go vote tomorrow. Speaking of which, a small excerpt from my ballot:

Also, my mechanical pencil broke halfway through the drawing of this comic (not while drawing the comic though). It had already been on a slow decline, with the metal tip first sliding back into the plastic cone at the front (not a major problem), then the rubber clutch going missing (so the lead would fall out if I held it vertically and clicked), then the clicker breaking (reinstalled backwards to restore to functionality, then the grip warping out of shape. Today I noticed the lead was snapping pretty frequently, so I went to tighten the tip, and this happened:

The bit of plastic with the threads on it separated from the rest of the pencil. Now it’s basically unusable (well, it would be awkward). So I spent some time today at the overpriced textbook supply store near MIT picking out a new mechanical pencil.

Retired, November 11, 2008.

The new statesman:

I wonder if this will change my style any…?