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Sorry for the radio silence!

Journal Entry: Thu Feb 26, 2015, 2:28 PM
It's been quiet here! Sorry about that. I haven't been completely twiddling my thumbs, it's just most of the things on my project list are comics and they take three million years for me to finish. I wish I was faster at this. I *am* getting faster, slowly (heh), I think.

Anyway, that's all I really have to say. Imma put something up in a bit, only a static image (they are WAY easier to produce, needless to say, being a single frame) but just while other things are making their way through the system.

Unrelated: WHO IS EXCITED FOR GDC NEXT WEEK? VR ALL THE THINGS. Nvidia? Valve? Oculus? Sony? Who else, I know I'm forgetting... My DK2 is gonna feel pretty jelly by the end of the week, I think. I really hope some consumer stuff ships this year, the wait is killing me. Elite:Dangerous in combination with an HMD has basically ruined games for me, it's just incredible and I want MORE.

Also unrelated: Homeworld.... HOMEWORLD.... REMASTERED... ON STEAM. 

Not a bad week actually!

Christmas Approacheth...

Journal Entry: Tue Dec 16, 2014, 1:58 PM
...Is anyone else not really feeling it this year? I am a dummy! 

Massive can't-be-arsed vibes over here. We haven't even put up the tree yet. It's a cheap plastic thing we blagged from Tescos a hundred years ago and looks absolutely moth-eaten and hilariously pathetic.

Apart from hanging out with the family, all I'm looking forward to is the bloody sleep. More than a week of not necessarily having to get up at 6:30 in the morning... oh, I can't wait... all that unconsciousness is gonna be awesome. :D

6000 watchers

Journal Entry: Mon Sep 29, 2014, 2:36 PM


Must.. post... things....

Comic translations...

Journal Entry: Wed May 14, 2014, 2:26 PM
Every now and then I get find of one of my comics being translated into another language. Which is awesome - thanks so much to the people putting all that time and effort into help share this stuff around!! :D You are all amazing.

However, I realise it's a pain in the arse to do, stripping out all the old text and putting the new stuff in. Very time consuming! So I've been meaning to release some "blank" versions of my comics for a while so that if people want to share them in their languages it's a little easier for them. 

So after yet another request for blank strips, I've finally gone and made them! :D took me long enough! These are flat PNG's like the normal comics, but of course without any text (empty speech bubbles, etc) so super easy to drop your own stuff on top.

If you'd like to translate any of my stuff, then firstly, thank you very much and I'm really grateful you'd like to translate. Secondly, please drop me a note letting me know what comics you want and I'll get you the blank versions!

I only have a few requests for any translated comic:

1) Please let me know the target language (I'd just love to know because it's interesting!)

2) Each comic has a bit of blank space at the very bottom, in the middle of my username/URL and the comic title. Please feel free to pop a "translated by" message and credit yourself in there somewhere!

3) Please let me know where you post the comic. Again I really don't mind where you're posting them, I'd just love to see where these end up going!

4) Please send me a copy! (Not necessary if I can save it from a website via request 3 above) Again, just so I can collect them for the sake of awesomeness. I don't plan on hosting them anywhere at this stage, but I suppose they could go in folders here or something if you had nowhere to stash them yourself.

Bonus Pepsi, because why not:

Ever rolled a car three times?

Journal Entry: Sun Apr 27, 2014, 4:13 PM
Ever rolled your car three times? I haven't, but my brother apparently thought he'd have a go. Lost it round a corner (aqua-planed down a hill in the turn, there was a blocked drain and loads of water on the road, although you can't see that area in the pics), caught the car on the verge, flipped it and rolled three times before landing on the roof.

Other drivers quickly found him and pulled him out (the seatbelt had locked shut and he was unable to escape) and he walked away with barely a scratch... unless you count smashing the driver door window with his face.

Upside: he's alive, he's OK, not even concussed according to the guys in the ambulance. Police aren't pressing charges for dangerous driving or whatever it is they sometimes do because they evaluated he wasn't driving like an idiot, just unlucky on a bad stretch of road.

Downside: Rolled my fucking car three times. Well.. it used to be mine. We've had that car for 8 years now, and everyone thought it was an excellent little car. Which it clearly was, since it saved his life. I'm going to miss it though. Oh well, not his fault, sometimes the road catches you by surprise, a guy on the MG forums had the exact same kind of accident today (unexpected aquaplaning) and smashed his poor MG to pieces, but he walked away too. Just a bad day for driving I guess.

And so, the family's bad luck with cars continues. :|

Three cars in one year. -_-

Journal Entry: Tue Dec 10, 2013, 2:45 PM
These last few weeks have been about as fun as a kick in the nuts. :D

I think I am cursed. Actually, I know it. The evidence is beginning to stack up.

You may recall my last journal about how terrible the roads are around here and how my car had square wheels thanks to a few craters that I can only assume were caused by meteorite strikes. Well, it so happens that square wheels were the tip of an iceberg of bullshit floating in my proverbial ocean.

That very same weekend, I took my car in for an MOT. It's not actually due one until end of Jan 2014, I only wanted a pre-emptive check, but the garage was like "meh, might as well do a full MOT to see if it needs work", which it transpires is Bad Advice on an old and crappy car.

It's Bad Advice because (and this seems so obvious now) the car was doomed to fail that test miserably. And wow, did it fail. It failed so hard that it filled the failure AND the advisory boxes, and when I went to pick it up, the mechanic who did the work summarised the situation for me with a cheery "It's shit!"

It's Bad Advice because, as I am now aware, it failing an MOT technically means I am aware that it is un-roadworthy, which means I am aware it is not supposed to be on the road, which means my existing MOT is basically meaningless. If I had not MOT'd it, and continued driving it down the road with bits falling off as it slowly bursts into flames, spewing oil all over the road and choking passing wildlife to death on its emissions, that would have been just fine in the eyes of the law. But no, I went and MOT'd it, and now I can't drive it because I'm thick.

Fucking hurray, guess I'm buying a new car then, because this one was more than I wanted to spend to fix! This would be the second bit of helpful advice from the garage as well, who said I should "treat myself".

So fuck it, I WOULD treat myself. I began a week-long stressful hunt for my next wheels, fervently hoping none of them were square, and that nothing would catch fire, and that nothing leaked, knocked, banged, snapped, fell off or didn't work. Requirements that, in retrospect, were a little unrealistic for my budget (sod all) as I found that nearly every car that I went to view was indisputably shittier than my own. I viewed one which was tatty but workable until I put my foot down and it wouldn't move. I viewed another which turned out to have been crashed. Another which had suspension best described as "missing" because there WASN'T ANY. That thing was broke as fuck, or as the dealer liked to put it, "it's meant to be that way, it's a sports car" followed by "oh... that hard? Yeah I think the guy cut the springs to lower it or something".

So imagine my surprise when I find a near perfect example of a cheap, fun-looking car, with MUCH lower miles than any of the others I'd been seeing, had been owned by an enthusiast who was part of an ownership club, had full service history, was pretty quick, sounded great and drove really well! Sounds great, right?

And it was, so I bought it. I became the happy owner of my first British sports car - a tidy, well looked-after MGF. I did tons of research beforehand, learnt all about it (I do this with any car before buying), its quirks, common issues, what to look for, what to ask about, running costs, the lot. It checked out in every way; it ticked every box. All critical work had been done, some as recently as last year, TONS of work actually, and it was cheaper to insure, faster, and used less fuel than my current car.

An epic mission was undertaken to go pick up this car, which was some 150 miles away. Took the day off work; First I would go down there, view it, check it, test it, buy it, return home, take my existing car to a family home where I could store it for sale, sort out tax/ins, then get picked up by the girlfriend to drive all the way back to pick up my new car. Felt like some 500 miles had been covered that day between us, sorting that one out, but finally, late at night, I return triumphant in my car, which was a wonderful drive.

I go to work the next day, and at lunch take my Dad out for a drive. All is well. Then, as soon as we get back, steam erupts from the engine bay. Of course I assume it's fire, and I'm all like "IT'S OKAY I HAVE A FIRE EXTINGUISHER" and scrambling to unplug the battery and everything before I realise it's coolant. Hoping it's a split pipe, I call the AA, who on arrival inform me it looks like the water pump popped. My documentation said that had only been changed last year, so I was still holding out for a simple repair.

So to an MG-specialist garage it is towed, where it sits for a week, a week of tortured distraction and agony and panic, because they're fully booked but were nice enough to store it while I waited. I also get a parking ticket for PARKING IN MY OWN FUCKING SPACE with the company car, which I borrowed when it became clear there was no way I was getting my car back before the end of the week. Rage  (That's a whole new journal post right there, but I'll hold off for now because the drama is still developing on that one.)

When the garage got round to it, it turns out that the seller had been honest and yeah, the work he'd said had been done had been done, and the water pump was fine. What wasn't fine was the head gasket, which had given no signs of its impending failure because it was actually healthy inside (no oil/water contamination) and had simply chosen to pop outside instead.  Still, the repair cost what I just paid for the bastard car in the first place. 


I perform all the due diligence in buying cars, and I do treat them respectfully. So I guess I'm just cursed. I've broken three cars this year. One caught fire, the next went from whistle-clean MOT to catastrophic test failure, and this one blew up outside the office. :D

Oh well. I actually stubbornly fixed this one instead of just buying another, because despite its betrayal of my wallet I really like it, it is easily the most fun and possibly the nicest looking car I've owned, everyone I show it to loves it, and I am NOT searching for cars again, I hate doing that.

So yeah, that's where I've been for the last few weeks. I think I've fainted. Maybe now I can get back to drawing??! :D

Our roads suck. They are a vortex of suckage.

Journal Entry: Thu Nov 14, 2013, 3:40 PM
I hate potholes. We have plenty of them in my little corner of the UK, although the locals would argue the word "pothole" is incorrect (we prefer "craters", "fissures" or "canyons").

Now, many of you are thinking "so drive around them, you bellend" - and quite rightly so. Like many I driver, I prefer to adopt that strategy in lieu of edgier techniques, such as choosing to use a different road, or getting out of the car to yell at them, or moving house.

However, as you may know, in Blighty we are subjected to a fair degree of rain. This renders potholes indistinguishable from innocent puddles on the road - but EVEN THIS in and of itself is not necessarily a problem, as the regulars will have the locations of all potholes memorised anyway. No, my friends; it is when a new bastard pothole pops up that disaster strikes.

So on that note, this happened to my car the other day:

Both wheels on that side. Eugh. THANKS FOR NOTHING, EARTH.

There is an upside to my traversing the tarmac patchwork quilt that forms our road network, though:

Aww yeah! 123456 miles. :squee:

What a bittersweet week it has been.

  • Listening to: Music
  • Reading: Alloy pricing
  • Watching: Kickstarter campaigns!

Last chance to get your Omate TrueSmart for cheap!

Journal Entry: Tue Sep 17, 2013, 2:26 PM

Aww yiss. Mutha fuckin' TrueSmart.

I have no reason to own one. None at all. I just WANT one of these little smartwatches, which are rapidly becoming considered the future fashionable gizmo for 2014.

But I don't want to do things by halves, so I won't be getting one of those "companion device" smartwatches that need a smartphone to work (like the Galaxy Gear or Sony Smartwatch). No... I want a full-fledged Android device with all the radio gear, just because.

So I'm going to blag one of these:

Click the image if you want one of these!! At the time of writing, we have 64 HOURS left before the Kickstarter campaign ends. These puppies will be significantly more expensive at retail, but right now they're much cheaper than the functionally-limited competition from Sony and Samsung (based on available pricing info, anyway).

What do you think about smartwatches? Do you think they could be useful (in companion mode, or as in independent device), or not? Do you even care, perhaps wanting one regardless just because it's a new gizmo you don't already own? :D

My initial opinions:

1) WANT.

2) That's it.

  • Listening to: Soundcloud
  • Watching: Kickstarter campaigns!
  • Playing: Star Citizen - The Hangar Module

Still Alive!

Journal Entry: Mon Sep 2, 2013, 3:56 PM
Hello everyone. 

Nothing of note to say today, just an apology for being slow on the uploads (again). Lots of stuff is taking time away from doodling, and when I do get time I'm usually exhausted.  Ah, life... why won't you go away and let me draw, you bastard.

My Little Websurfers: Part 5 is happening! Slowly, but it is. So are a few other things I wanted to do :D hurrah for that.

Thanks for your time (sorry I basically wasted it with a useless post. There's thirty seconds of your life you'll never get back, muahaha).

Oh actually, just remembered: Anyone pledged their support to Star Citizen, by the way?? (for the uninitiated... it's a crowdfunded game about SPACE, and looks very promising) 

The Hangar Module has been released (allowing us backers to wander around the ships and hangars we won in our pledges) and the dogfighting module should follow later in the year. Now would be a good time to get involved if the idea of an epic first-person space sim powered by CryEngine sounds good to you... :D

  • Playing: The Hangar Module

So I have a tea-powered engine on my desk... yeah.

Journal Entry: Tue Jul 2, 2013, 4:19 PM
Prepare yourselves, for I have in my possession a device SO INCREDIBLE that it can be powered by nothing but the heat of a warm beverage!

Aww yiss. Look at it go. Sure, it's running on a toaster, which isn't exactly a warm beverage, but that's a mere technicality. Pretend it's sat on a cup of tea. If you could also pretend the quality of this GIF is not appalling, that would be great.

Now I know what you're thinking: "HOLY CRAP MY WEEK JUST BECAME INTERESTING" (If not, then your life is more exciting than mine) and I must say, I share any enthusiasm you may have right now, as I am over the moon about owning one of these little gadgets. But it turns out these are cheap and readily available, lots of fun, and you can even BUILD ONE YOURSELF which apparently loads of people do.

It's called a Stirling Engine. It's a type of heat engine which runs on nothing but air and a temperature difference between two different areas of the device. It's magic. Actually it's science, but I'll be damned if it doesn't look incomprehensible as it seems to run on nothing at all (apparently it's hard for us to subconsciously appreciate heat, particularly low heat, as an energy source).

This particular design, unlike many stirlings, is a low-temperature-differential engine. Most stirlings need an open flame to operate, but this LTD engine will run off very mild heat sources. It's not the best one on the planet - it was a cheap blag on eBay (~ £25!) and needs about 20C across the heat plates to function. There are others out there which are so efficient they could run off a hot fart and a cool breeze (or the palm of your hand, if you don't feel like showing off your cool ass-powered engine).

Actually, here's a video by csizmarikg on YouTube, of one running off nothing but a wet piece of paper (yes, you read that correctly. This guy wet some paper, put it on his stirling engine, and that was all it needed):

Meanwhile, here's a video of one like mine, by noid919 on YouTube. I think this one makes a lovely mechanical sound. My one sounds like this. At lower speeds than this (say, ~50RPM) it's like a relaxing, ticking clock (if you have clock-phobia, don't watch this video):

You don't need a cup of tea or other really hot things. I like to run mine off one of those cheap shite USB cup warmers you can buy for pocket lint on the Internet. They seem to be just the right temperature to keep it ticking over nicely on the desk. Which is great because those bastard things certainly don't keep your tea warm; nice to know they are good for something.


Hey /MLP/! We need to talk.

Journal Entry: Wed Jun 26, 2013, 3:03 PM
Yo /MLP/! I want to preface this by saying I have no problem with you guys at all. Some stuff has come to my attention and I just want to cover it. Some of you are upset. Not froth-at-the-mouth outrage upset, but maybe somewhere between "annoyed" and "displeased". I don't like upsetting people, and apparently I've been doing that for a while. So consider this an explanation/apology/ wtf-people post.

So for the unaware, it turns out there's this group of people who like the idea of app/browser ponies and they're busy writing their own fiction (awesome!) and drawing their own artwork (awesome!) and character designs (awesome!) elsewhere on the web. And according to some over there, I've been winding them up by ignoring them and/or lurking on their threads and stealing their ideas (wait, what?!).

:| Ouch, guys.

Until approx mid April, I didn't know about any of this. I knew there were a few Tumblrs and sparse traces of art floating about the web featuring characters based on (and not based on) my own. I knew my stuff was being shared in other countries and translated into other languages. I loved the idea people were drawing and enjoying these characters. Sometimes I would search to see if there were any new images featuring them. But a Google Image search generally comes up with nothing but a few great images I've seen before, my own stuff, unrelated stuff, and some rather well-drawn clop, if you're into that sort of thing.

So this guy gets in touch back then and says hey, there's actually this place where these people get together en masse and make their own content about "browser ponies" and such. It's /mlp/, on 4chan... and they're making entire threads dedicated to these ideas and there are lots of these threads.

I knew /mlp/ existed, but hadn't imagined "browser ponies" would be a distinct subject category there. Over several days I found a couple threads (#10 & #11 maybe?) loads of content (albeit mostly fiction, which I don't read, will explain why in a mo) and a fair amount of criticism about me. If I understand correctly, I'd stepped on some toes by releasing a design for the browser "Torch" (by request, I might add) which conflicted with an existing design you had already accepted. Possibly a few other things I forget. So I left. You seemed fairly autonomous, you were doing your own thing, you didn't seem particularly enthusiastic about what I was doing (or the vocal minority weren't), so… yeah. I considered posting about this at the time but figured I'd leave it. It was a bit disheartening but hey, we weren't really disturbing each other. :D I let the guy who notified me know that it was awesome people were doing their own thing with this and then carried on with my own stuff.

Fast forward and, the other day I finally release a Windows pony concept I've been working on (by request, again) and I'm really happy with it. But a second user comes forth (thanks!!) and says /mlp/ is a little upset about this too.

So today, I go and I find and I read the thread.

Let me address the issues raised as I found them:

11648109: dammit paralax.
***** keeps taking my ideas

11648195: what the heck
seriously parllax if you read our threads then we'd love to you do art here with us
but you can **** off if you are gonna take our ideas and then only post it to redshit and deviantart

Thanks for the offer to join you, that I do appreciate :) but I'm not taking ideas. If you have an idea and someone else has the same idea, neither of you have stolen each other's ideas.

I specifically want to avoid influence which is why I don't read fiction and I I don't scour the web for threads to borrow ideas or designs from. The idea was to PREVENT these kinds of problems but evidently it isn't working too well (sorry about that).

Moreover, the kind of content you're sometimes posting over there is not part of my collection of interests. I don't mind it AT ALL. Seriously. :D It didn't put me off exploring the threads I did see (since I was skipping fiction anyway, I mostly only encountered anecdotal discussion about such stuff). But it's just not been a draw for me to come back, really.

11648294: I really doubt he's reading the threads. The ponies have totally different designs. It's likely a coincidence that he drew Windows ponies.

Stop being so buttmad.

You would be right! Thank you. :) I was asked to make an image involving "Windows" characters (for the millionth time, admittedly, but I finally had an concept I liked, so it was time). Not that this should matter, people. This isn't a friggin' patent system! Where I've borrowed from other designs, I've asked permission (Chrome, Firefox, IE). This is disclosed where necessary in the submission descriptions. 

11648346: >sudden shift from browser to OS ponies
>making windows 8 a filly

I'm finding this increacingly hard to believe unless its a commission from someone in this thread

Of course she's a filly. Win 8 has been just released. Can two people not come to the same conclusion on this? 

Nor is there a sudden "shift". I don't regard these as a distinct category from what I was already working on. I suppose you could say I'm grouping things under the tag "digital". I suppose you disagree (fair enough).

I don't do commissions, I don't feel my art is worth money and don't really want the responsibility, but if someone asks me to do something and the planets align just so, I will comply. I was asked to create a Windows-related character. As far back as a YEAR AGO, actually, but also recently. Perhaps they came from /mlp/, who knows? I'm wondering if that's what happened with Torch as well. Suspicious, I have no way of knowing though. There are many requests I haven't (yet) fulfilled for all sorts of things. I wonder if they were timed with any discussion over at /mlp/ too?

are you also aware that the mane and body colour for windows 8 are freakishly similar

seriously go into PS and check the colours or our winnie and his metri, the mane colours practically match. body colour isnt that far off either

You're right!! It's almost identical, the mane colour (going by eye anyway. I haven't tested but someone did in that thread). I eyedropped the Win8 logo. If you did too, then of course some features are the same colour. Eyedropping a logo is one of the first things I do to establish a set of colours for a character, with which I may then experiment. :)

11648703:This is sad because if Parallax had just posted here then we could have been friends.

But keeping us in the dark about this makes it look like he is stealing our ideas and now it seems there is huge dislike for him here.

How am I keeping you in the dark?! I gotta broadcast my friggin' schedule now? You could always ask, you know. Everyone knows I'm working on MLW5 and I usually reply if I'm liking someone's request and think I might have an idea for it. I would love to be friends, haha. :D shame about all that dislike, then :|

11648744:he can redeem himself at any time if he starts posting here and contributes to the threads

I will not be doing that. I want to, but I don't have time, I have things I want to draw, very little time to draw it, and I don't want to get embroiled in other peoples' comics, stories, etc (I have my own to write and finish, without influence). Moreover, this is a rather arrogant comment. As if I somehow owe you my time in coming over to /mlp/ to post? Why? If this is what the atmosphere is like I'll stick to DA and "Redshit" anyway.

11649119:its just annoying that one of the only artists who still draws browser ponies is someone who almost completely ignores us

I am genuinely sorry. I don't want you to feel that way, and I'm NOT ignoring you. Come talk to me! Drop me a note. Ask me to draw something! If I like it and think it's worth putting off my other stuff I probably will. I'm not ignoring you any more than someone at the opposite end of a building, park, country or planet is ignoring you. I'm just "not there" to pay attention. If we just happen to be hanging out in different places on the net all the time, then so it goes :(

11649181:...He doesn't have to pay attention to us if he doesn't want to, and likewise to us. His art is good, but we shouldn't hound him with every image he makes that fucks with our headcanon of what the pony should look like. If he likes one design for a pony, and decides to run with it, that's his choice. It's just like the two different versions of IE; some anons like the blue-haired version, others like the blonde-haired version. Hell, even I enjoy the design he came up with for Torch; it's an interesting take that's almost completely opposite of what the original thread version was, but the colors and the design still work pretty damn well.

Thank you, Squidward :) you I recognise from the last time I saw an /mlp/ browser thread (around the time of this Torch thing, I believe). Nice chap.

11649263:He didnt have to make our Winnie
But I would have been much happier if he had just come in and gone "hey guys I drew my interpretation of Windows 8"

If he lurks the threads then he could have at least given us that courtesy. In fact if he had then we could have given him praise, critique etc

Thank you for the suggestion. I don't suppose this comment applies as again, I haven't been lurking. I didn't think you guys cared for my input anyway! You seemed to be doing great on your own. Besides it's sort of just easier for me to dump my art on DA and call it a day. I don't lurk, if I'm hanging around I'm posting. I'm hard to keep quiet :D so you'd know if I were there.

dont worry squiddy
none of us are big enough assholes to spam his DA page or anything
he will remain unaware of us if he chooses it

i really hope he makes more actual browsers though, the mane 5 need more art

THANK YOU for not spamming my DA page, even if I upset you. I really, really appreciate it. And I agree, the mane 5 do need more art. More art is coming :) I am not switching "themes" or anything. As far as I am concerned, these are all one and the same to me. Besides that, there is a massive list of stuff to do in general, and the order in which it gets done is quite random. There's more Mane 5 MLW stuff, standard MLP stuff, more "app" icons, etc etc.

11649434:...Im thinking as a pony gets popular here its only a matter of time till parallax does it since Torch and Winnie are probably our current favourites

This concerns me too, if people are reading /mlp/ and then coming to me to request stuff. I can see how it looks. I'm not sure what to do about it though. I don't want to have to scour the Internet every time I want to fulfil a request, or draw an idea of my own, just in case someone else has just made their own piece. Nor do I want to be ignoring requests or second-guessing my own ideas "just in case" you are busy with the same idea.

yeah opera does need more pics

Noted :) Opera is my favourite. What kind of pics? Standalone pics, I assume?

how long before he does his version of Oz?

we now know he does OS, so how long before he comes after iOS

...iOS was on my list :( as was OS X, and a lot of other operating systems. Argh, this is the kind of crap I'm talking about. You are free to make your own images as I am free to make mine! It shouldn't be an issue. Adopt what you like, ignore what you don't! I'm not trying to steamroller anyone's headcanon with my art. I'm not trying to shit on your ideas, copy you, or pander to the crowd with "popular" designs. I apologise if I've been appearing to do so.

...What is Oz?

11653710:>>11653786 >>11673330
OH BOY this blew up overnight. I will talk to Parallax and see if he will get his ass in here. XD

Best of luck with that. I doubt he'll show up here.
Ask him how much his version of W8 was inspired by Winie.

Metri was not inspired by Winie (Winie is a cute name!). I first heard about Winie today. She looks great, by the way! 

As far as I can tell Winie and Metri seem really different, apart from part of the mane colour, which I believe was eyedropped from the logo like mine anyway so inevitable, and the basic concept filly for a young OS and blue body which are also logical conclusions to draw without needing to copy anyone. I don't see any other similarities. (Winie... ah, that's cute.) My original concept for Metri was going to be even more divergent - it involved her having curly hair, not unlike Sweetie Belle's... except I decided it needed to be boxy and angular, not curvy and bouncy.

Check out this crappy draft, here's where I was originally going with Metri:

Winie has interesting eyes. Comments in the thread say that was to keep the colours from mashing together on the body. I'd agree this is a good idea, as making Aeris was hard. None of those colours are designed to sit together and make sense.

11655552:I'd rather he **** off and stay away, we don't need a circlejerk around ONE ****ing person, thats what starts drama and kills threads

:| Wish granted, I suppose. Though it seems there is plenty of drama already... but I guess that was your point? 

11663534:I was wondering something... who made the first browser pony thread?

I talk to the guy who made the first thread regularly. He says he posted it anyway... kind of hard to prove either way :D He is a cool guy, very talkative and friendly, very nice to talk to. He was the one to alert me to the threads in the first place. I suppose since he posted as Anon he will remain as such (sorry).

In summary:

  • I don't hate you guys or hold anything against you. I see where you're coming from. I would like to be friends. Many of you don't seem to care either way, and some even defended or complimented me/my work, so thanks for that. :)
  • Drop me a note if you ever have questions or want to talk. I'm not trying to ignore anyone or disregard their feelings/opinions or anything. I am VERY friendly, so go for it. I am open to talking and things, or taking requests if I like them, or whatever, but you'll probably need to get in touch with me here or on "Redshit". I am like a reclusive Internet hobbit.
  • I don't assume you want to adopt my vision for what a character should look like, nor do I expect you to. I'm one guy with a small DA account. I make art I like and I post it. It's that simple. The idea of "browser/digital ponies" was around before me. My first experience was encountering the Firefox and Chrome icons, and soon thereafter IE. They were brilliant and inspiring! So I made some more, and had some ideas for comics and stuff. I doubt I was the only one?

  • I'm not here to screw with your headcanon for these characters, either. I don't want to upset people, I don't want to mess with your stuff, I don't want to steamroll your ideas with my own. My sincerest apologies, if I've managed to do any of those things by accident!

  • I do not "lurk" on threads and watch what people are doing and then nick their ideas. And because I don't lurk, I can't be expected to know what you're up to, or be expected to check, or keep some sort of checklist. I take great pride in making my stuff unique and my ideas my own. How can I do that if I'm constantly being exposed to other peoples' stuff? :)

  • Only two people ever have directly talked to me about /mlp/ browser threads on here. I get almost zero exposure to /mlp/. There is no bridge between us beyond what people choose to cross-post over there. You don't have to endure my stuff if you don't want to and nobody posts it! I'm not forcing it on you.

  • I'm probably still not going to get involved in your threads. Some of you don't seem to want me there, the content is not entirely my kind of thing, I shouldn't view most of it anyway because of my own stupid rules about "exposure" and copying, and I still believe I will annoy less people by not getting involved as opposed to joining your community. Besides it seems you are well underway with your own ideas and projects that have little to do with me! :) let me reiterate that I will not ignore you if you want to get in touch. Beyond that I can't magically see what you're up to though.
  • Thank you for reading! Sorry it's so long. I hope some of you at least feel a bit better now. If you are still mad/disappointed/annoyed, I'm still sorry. I didn't mean to upset anyone. I love pleasing people. Maybe drop me a note or something and we can talk about it if you're really pissed!
That is all! :D

  • Listening to: Mashup Mondays on Earmilk
  • Reading: 4chan threads -_-


Journal Entry: Wed May 22, 2013, 11:28 AM
I wasn't really expecting to spend the other morning stood by the side of the road, watching my car going up in flames.

Yet, there I was.


Don't ask me how it happened. I have no idea. Although, there are clues to be found in that the fire started at the back of the engine, near the top where all the fuel-related plumbing can be found.

All I know is the car began juddering, lost power, and after pulling over and opening the bonnet I found flames licking up the engine bay.

Now, it's common sense to (a) NOT open the lid to the engine bay and (b) move a large distance from your car if it catches fire. Everyone should know this. But fuck that noise, that's my fucking car, and the flames were small, so I had to do something. I had a giant bottle of water in the back in case I ever ran out of wiper fluid or needed to top up the coolant for some reason. So I grabbed that and doused the flames, sloshing it down the back of the engine. Where I saw the pollen filter catching alight, I tore the plastic housing apart with my hands and put that out too (any damage I did was going to be better than fire damage).

This actually worked... for what, five minutes? Then it just reignited while I was on the phone to the AA. And I had run out of water. So, I dialed 999. Out of desperation I had a go at using wet stuff (leaves and things) and even had a go at blowing it out like a candle (which in hindsight is friggin' hilarious... and stupid) but it was a lost cause. I put the lid down to try and stifle the flames.

The only remaining option was to ransack the car before the fire got too big. I probably looked like the world's worst car thief to passers-by but let me tell you, never has a car been emptied so fast, nor a head unit left a dashboard so quickly :D (yep, I even ripped the radio out).

There have been two major responses I've had from telling people "my car caught fire". The first is "oh, but you're lucky really, I mean you're still alive!". I dispute the validity of this claim, because I was also alive before my car burst into flames. That, at best, represents a net zero change in luck. Besides, factoring in the fact my fucking car caught fire, we're probably trending downwards in the luck department.

The second more reasonable response is "what... while you were driving??!". Well, yeah. That's how I know it caught fire, 'cause I was, you know.. there when it happened. I mean, I'm sure people say much the same thing if they come back to their car to find it had been on fire or was still on fire. But it still struck me as interesting that people still want to confirm my presence at the time.

AWESOME. :squee: So yeah, that was my Tuesday. Hope yours was better than mine!

Sooo... will it drive away, maybe?

  • Listening to: Cracking flames
  • Reading: Car buying guides
  • Drinking: A lot of water. Lots of it.

Comics and Aircraft

Journal Entry: Wed May 8, 2013, 2:08 PM
So the next comic is underway (has been for a while, now). I can't crank these out fast enough. I am DESPERATE to get to the awesome stuff in the future. But I can't compromise on quality in the meantime, and full time work and other commitments etc are kicking my arse too, hurrah for that. -_- eugh.

Anyway enough of that. None of you may know, when I had more time on my hands, one of my hobbies was RC model aircraft (primarily helicopters). RC Model aircraft are freaking awesome. You can design them, build them, customise or modify them, and of course fly them! Naturally with this viewpoint it's not surprising I own a few, right? I own a few 450-class helis, a 250, a 500 (these roughly refer to 'size', if you're wondering) A typical owner's "fleet" might look like this (these aren't mine.. seems I don't have any photos of my whole fleet. Wtf? Anyway looks like this chap is rocking some nice 450-size helis):

In fact, here's a video of the kind of things you can do with one of these things, this is a 500, bit bigger:

Not what you were expecting, right? I can't do those things (you could call me a 'sport' flyer, not really into 3D flight like that...) There is a problem though. Well, a few really. It's an expensive hobby, and restrictive too unless you own land (which I don't) as they require a lot of space to fly (many can travel at over 50MPH, and I've heard of double that too. They also accelerate extremely fast). If you crash, the parts are expensive to replace (and crashing happens to the best of us). More importantly, the aircraft are dangerous - very dangerous, in 450 and above actually. If one hits you, it will do a lot more than 'hurt', you will be hospitalised. You need to witness one in person to really appreciate the sheer noise one of these aircraft makes. Then you can appreciate their power.

Anyway, rapid advancements in new technologies over the last few years have led me down another path. There's another kind of VTOL RC aircraft, simpler to manage, and a hell of a lot safer. And they're very futuristic-looking things. You can build one for under £200 (I did), but the largest pre-made models can cost thousands. And they're still BIG - not a lot you can do with one of those in an enclosed space. Here's some examples:

And a video:

So quite inaccessible, right? Well, actually, not any more. Not for over a year now even, as aircraft like I'm about to show you have existed for some time now. Allow me to introduce the latest addition to my fleet, the Hubsan X4 (next to an SD card for scale):


This is a complete quadrotor aircraft, ready to fly, with all the capability of the 'huge' multi-rotors, except you can fly it in your living room, and it sits on the palm of your hand. And the price? UNDER £30 (where I blagged it anyway).

Modern technology has now come so far that you can fit four high-powered PWM driven motors, a fast processor, 2.4GHz radio technology, a six degrees of freedom IMU and a high-capacity lithium polymer battery into a hand-sized blob and have it be not only flyable, but cheap.

To put this in perspective, you know those toy RC aircraft you can buy in supermarkets or gadget stores? You know the kind, they look like this:  


You know the kind. They generally only go up, down, or into the nearest wall... yeah, those. Well, they are as or MORE EXPENSIVE than the Hubsan. And let me tell you, there is no comparison. None at all. Now that these things exist, I don't know why anyone would ever buy "3-channel" or less RC helicopters any more.

Anyway, I wasn't going anywhere in particular with this. I'm just really pleased that you can buy high-quality RC aircraft at such low prices. Plus I'm really loving quadrotors at the moment. I haven't flown any of my helis in the best part of a year (need more space and time) but I can easily zip one of these around the garden or even inside the house. I'm looking at modifying it with a camera and video transmitter to create a tiny remote-piloted drone. Well, if I ever get a chance around completing these comics! :D

What do you use for drawing? (Graphics tablets?)

Journal Entry: Mon Apr 15, 2013, 3:35 PM
Recently I've been trying to find ways to draw which don't keep my bound to my desktop, or a flat surface with a laptop. I found a cheap and interesting solution that I didn't know existed! :D because I'm an idiot.

I wanted to be able to draw... wherever, really. But most particularly places like the lounge, for a bit of afternoon doodles, or the bedroom for some late-night scribbling.

Taking the lounge as an example, I wanted to be able to laze about on the sofa but still draw. Up until recently I've done this using one of these newfangled Retina Macbook Pro's and a cheap Wacom tablet. Needless to say this isn't brilliant - you can't juggle a laptop and a graphics tablet on your lap - it gets uncomfortable quickly. You could put the laptop on some sort of coffee table, or even a laptop stand and keep the tablet in your lap, but then you're still leaning forwards to see (or trying to fit laptop & tablet into the same space again).

I felt like I needed something else. It was simple math really; surely better equipment = more productivity...

So what did that equation mean for me? Interestingly, it added up to a cheap, old Lenovo X60T tablet-laptop, uh, thing. Thanks, eBay!

It seemed unlikely. I'd been drooling over the latest crop of Windows tablets as I'd heard they integrated Wacom digitisers (making them perfect for accurate, pressure-sensitive scribbling). In doing so, I'd forgotten that Wacom have been supplying their technology to portable machines for years. And these machines are very affordable now.

You can blag these laptops for very little on eBay (expect to pay between £60-200) and as far as I can tell, they work great. I can flip the screen round (into 'tablet mode'), pop out the stylus, and scribble away like it's some kind of digital notepad. But when I need keyboard access, I can flip it back round and keep working with stylus and keys. And I don't need a desk, keyboard and Cintiq display to do it! :D Nor have I spent a fortune on a shiny new tablet (fun as that may be).

Is it a perfect solution? Well, probably not. It has less pressure levels (256, I think), probably not brilliant colour accuracy, and though the performance is actually not bad, the version I found sports a 32bit processor, which isn't ideal. But I can sit really comfortably nearly anywhere, and do most basic work now, and switch back to bigger machines for any really heavy stuff. These below three Deviations were all created on this little machine:

My Little Torch by ParallaxMLP

Prepare for Downvotes by ParallaxMLP

Vote of Ascension by ParallaxMLP

Does the trick! So what do you use? Pen & Paper? Mouse? A graphics tablet? Cintiq/similar draw-on-screen technology? A Microsoft Surface Pro? Or perhaps you use or are considering using a laptop convertible with an inbuilt digitiser too? :D

  • Watching: Telly

I hate EA with the force of a thousand suns.

Journal Entry: Wed Mar 6, 2013, 1:32 PM
Most people that I know who care about PC gaming steer very clear of Origin, EA's crappy answer to the Steam ecosystem.

This works well for most people, except EA recently tried to tempt me to actually use the account-I-had-to-make-to-play-Dead-Space-2 by offering me a 50% off promo code on the store.

Ok, fair enough, for 50% off I might bother to look at Crysis 3 or Dead Space 3, for instance. I would brave Origin for a good deal, sure.

Except the code is invalid.

Reading the fine print it's revealed that the code is invalid for new games, some specific big titles, Valve games, EA partner titles, etc etc... in fact, here's the whole blurb:


But their checkout system doesn't tell me the code is invalid for my purchase - just that it's invalid. "Invalid promo code". Mmkay. At this stage I already know I'm not going to be able to use the code for anything useful but I might as well test to see if it's even a valid code at all, right? Surely it works with something... right??

Well... After much experimentation, as near as I can tell, the code is either an outright fucking lie and is completely invalid or it applies to only 1% of EA's Origin library because I can't find a single fucking thing this stupid promo code works with.

So thanks for the offer, EA. Also, eat shit. I'm gonna go buy something on Steam just because.

  • Playing: No EA games

The office toilets smell of gherkins...

Journal Entry: Mon Feb 18, 2013, 4:48 PM knows why. :|

Usually they smell of poo and death. There's this woman at work who claims some of our co-workers are 'zombies'*. Now, I haven't seen anyone chewing on anyone else's heads over there (metaphorically speaking there are plenty of people who receive a good skull-gnawing at meetings, but that's about it), but sometimes when I walk into that toilet and one of a select few is occupying the stalls... let's just say it's hard to believe smells like that come from living people.

So really, gherkins are quite the refreshing change.

*She really means it. I don't know how someone can talk to people they genuinely believe are in fact flesh-eating undead corpses or indeed how someone like that can even land an office job but I'm pleased she did because she's hilarious.

HOLY CRAP I suck at keeping to deadlines. Not work ones (well...) just these stupid comics. Dialogue is complete, artwork is almost entirely done (a couple of frames left) and just some extraneous tweaking to things I don't quite like, then the obligatory obsessing over it for a couple of days and worrying whether I missed anything (I always do). So yeah, "bang" goes the "early/mid" Feb promise (sorry).

There has been a lot going on recently, I think I'm a bit burnt out, productivity-wise. I spent this weekend tidying up terabytes of data accumulated over recent years (my delete button is looking tired) the rest of which has been backed up to a shiny 'new' (blagged off eBay) NAS to join the other one in my home network. Even over a gigabit link it takes FOREVER.

That's about all, minus generic weekly drama. Maybe I will have something to post n- you know what? Not even gonna jinx it. Goodnight chaps and chapettes.

Raspberry Pi... cheapest Minecraft server ever.

Journal Entry: Mon Feb 4, 2013, 5:55 PM

"Uh... hello?"

Comic is coming along nicely. In the meantime... How many of you fine, upstanding people have engaged in the blocky phenomenon that is Minecraft?

How many of you ran your own Minecraft server for yourselves and a few friends? Anyone do anything more ambitious? Renting/hosting massive servers?

I used to run Minecraft on my home server- a quad-core Server 2008 system with 16GB of RAM which among other things ran multiple MineOS VM instances under Hypervisor. It was loud and noisy and power hungry and since moving house I've had to decommission it. :(

The fileserver, UPnP and other goodies are now being handled by a NAS but a nailed-up Minecraft server was no longer a possibility...then I got a Raspberry Pi!

I found a miniature tutorial online from an enterprising RPi user who had figured out how to cram Minecraft onto a fresh Raspberry Pi configuration, so I followed suit and sure enough, after firing up the server I could log in from my PC.

But it was slow. Very slow. If you destroyed a block it would reappear... and then disappear several seconds later!

So I did some tweaking! And now it runs great. And now I have a tiny, energy-saving, portable Minecraft server that I can carry around for on-demand sheLANigans or nail up at home and dial in to over the interbutts.

It transpires I don't even need to overclock it (though it does help) to get smooth performance. Just a few tweaks and some adjustments to the launch string to dedicate more memory to Minecraft's Java-ry goodness.

I'd pop the server up for you guys to explore, but I STILL DON'T HAVE HOME BROADBAND and external connections don't seem to work over 3G no matter how many ports your forward!

Related adorableness follows:

Sssssup? by atryl

Upgraded to Windows 8: next comic due Q4 2015

Journal Entry: Sat Feb 2, 2013, 8:32 AM
Microsoft's discount on Windows 8 Pro has just expired. A couple of hours before it did, I figured I'd need to buy it or I would never own a legit copy of Windows 8 when the price rose to a bajillion quid. Well, £190. Still, what a difference!!

So here I am, on Windows 8, grudgingly accepting of it due to the discounted price (was about £24 or something).

I love the behind-the-scenes upgrades to performance, file handling, the task manager, etc etc. Great stuff.

The home screen is gorgeous. It's also mostly useless. This would be fine but there are plenty of things which must be done through the new interface. This would also be fine, if said things didn't take three times as long to do now. Let's go over one example, searching for something:

On Windows 7: Mash Windows key. Mash a few letters of what you want (app, file, contents of file, whatever). 8 times out of ten you can hit Enter immediately because it found your exact target file/app/folder/whatever.

On Windows 8: Move mouse to upper/lower right corner of the screen. Menu pops up. Click Search. List of apps comes up (cool). Type what you want to filter. If you want files or the contents of your control panel, you must select so in the menu on the right, then make your selection. For some reason all apps are displayed when searching but all control panel items are not, so you can't browse (as far as I can see).

Now I'm probably missing some shortcuts in Windows 8 which make this a lot easier. For the time being though, it's irritating. Pretty, but irritating. This theme continues throughout other use-case scenarios, which I'm praying is the natural reaction to having to completely change your computing habits to match a new OS environment. I don't know about you, but I don't like layers of abstraction hiding me from the contents of my computer.

Not regretting the upgrade though. Progress! I will keep an open mind and learn my way around the new OS. I've been using it on and off for a while in virtual machines but beyond that am about as clueless as any other new user.

And no, it isn't really delaying the comic :D   ...not much anyway.

So yeah, about the next comic...

Journal Entry: Tue Jan 29, 2013, 2:06 PM
... I know I said January, and to be fair I could post it in its current state... but I wouldn't be doing you a favour, I think. :(

Enough frames are complete that it could actually be rounded off and published, but the remaining 5 frames will round it off much nicer rather than being relegated to a future release.

SO.... Early Feb? It will definitely be early Feb, as opposed to mid or late Feb. :D

Speaking of future releases, I need to make these comics shorter, I think. A month or two is a long time to wait for a comic - I know I'd have forgotten what the previous comics were on about if I had to wait that long.

So MLW Part 4 will go up in the next two weeks and the comics to follow will (where possible) be shorter, and snappier.

'K, now I've said all that crap, let's see if I actually do it, eh :D

  • Watching: Mouse cursors, vectors

DeviantART, why must you Torment me? T_T

Journal Entry: Sun Jan 6, 2013, 5:22 PM
Confirmed: I am an idiot. All fixed now. Carry on! :D

*whines* I don't understand!! :cry:

Apparently I can't add custom boxes to my profile.

I've tried on two different computers. On two different operating systems. Different browsers. Even the simplest box - just a title and sentence of two of text - won't install. I put in the content, click "Save and Preview" and that works, then click "Install" and nothing happens.

Is this broken for everyone or is it just me?!

Hopefully I'm just being an idiot (again). :|

  • Listening to: Snoring
  • Watching: Nothing happen as I click the Install button. -_-