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Of course we're talking about my art. Time to reflect what was the best and move on. So, without further ado...

Digital Art
I think I've always went with digital art first and photography second. I don't see why this year should be any different.

I've been mainly drawing smaller pieces that didn't take too long to make. There were only two that took longer than five hours. One was good and the other was meh — though some simple and quick paintings actually turned out decent.

The first 'Most faves' and 'most views' awards go to The Village on the Top of the World:
The Village on the top of the world by xTernal7
670 views, 53 favs.

I really like it and if I had to pick the thing I'm most proud of in my 2014 digital gallery, this would be the piece. The public seems to agree as the view/fav ratio seems quite healthy.

The second piece worth of mention is The Cottage:
The Cottage [Speedpaint] by xTernal7
I just generally like this one. I like how it turned out.


Third piece that needs a mention is Zver.
Zver by xTernal7
For some reason, I seem to fall for stuff that looks like digital watercolor, the dragon isn't entirely awful as far as anatomy goes (as long as we ignore the creature's front left leg - the one with claws visible. That one just doesn't make sense). I probably shouldn't have done the underneck/belly scales, though. With 234 views and 21 favs, the view/fav ratio isn't exactly terrible either.


I've also managed to have one dark and decent piece that actually looks good (unless it's viewed on a monitor with shit gamma issues. Happens a lot on cheap laptops). That was Jama:
Jama by xTernal7
Note though: It's dark. This piece was also submitted to only one group, so it didn't get much exposure.


My photography has actually become mildly better this year, though I was still mostly taking pictures of bees. That, and family gatherings. I managed to take some decent shots there, though I'm not sharing these on here for obvious reasons.

The second 'most faves' award goes, along to (B)icicle:
(B)icicle by xTernal7
53 favs, 355 views. I think I could say this is the most popular piece I've made in 2014 (regardless of the medium). This piece also gets the 'most comments' award (which it got with 8 comments). This piece has also made it to the 'Popular' stream on 500px.

And it's also my favourite photo. Other photos that I also deem better than the rest I've made in 2014 are:

  •  Metulj:
Metulj by xTernal7

  • Streha:
Streha by xTernal7

and finally,
  • Cvet:
Cvet by xTernal7

Traditional art
This was a sad year for traditional art.

Everything else

It seems I uploaded one deviation every 12.5 days. This means I've been less active than in 2013 (one every 9.4 days). Usually on a Tuesday (8 pieces or 28% of this year's submissions). In 2013, my favourite uploading day was apparently saturday. I was most active in September (5 uploaded). Like in 2013, my favourite gallery was photography (this time with 14 deviations, one less than year before). My favourite category this year was (digital) paintings/landscapes with 7 pieces.

The rest of statistics:
Comments per deviation: 1.37 (+0.01)
Favourites per deviation: 9 (+1)
Views per deviation: 113 (+22)
Comments per day: 0.1 (-0.04)
Favourites per day: 0.73 (-0.16)
Deviation views per day: 9.03 (-0.6)

Sorry for not being too entertaining today.
sucks. I've never seen a fantasy movie that would suck this bad since I've seen Eragon or Dragonheart 2: The New Beginning. My expectations were lowest possible but the movie still managed to disappoint me.

I saw it on Monday. It was fascinating how thoroughly Peter has ruined it. The quality of The Hobbit movies has been decreasing ever since the party reached Rivendell in the first movie, and this movie sets the new low. Is it a joke? Because I really hope that's just an elaborate joke, but seeing that Smaug in the second movie wasn't a joke either...

Yes, it starts with Smaug. Here's a quick recap of everything they've fucked up with Smaug in the second movie:
 1. Smaug is not a dragon by any standard (much less by Tolkien's!). That's a wyvern, learn the bloody difference.
 2. Oh good lord the way they did that chase
 3. The moment where Smaug gets covered in gold. Is that for real?
 4. You could probably find more
Well, since they fucked up a lot already, that means they can't fuck up even more, right? Wrong.

I mean; it really started well — Bard took his bow and quiver. At that point I was quite optimistic: no over-the-top bullshit this time around! Black arrow won't happen! The ballista won't happen! But no, half a minute later the bow is broken and quiver is empty, but fortunately Bard's son is there with the fucking arrow. Bard then sticks each half of his defunct bow into the invincible wooden tower and then uses his son as a tripod for aiming the arrow. In the midst of its flight, the arrow managed to take down my ability toucan. U   f o o k i n   w o t   m 8
What a shitty way to go. And while we're at that — why hasn't this happened at the end of the last movie? It really really could, and it would be for the better.

The REST of the movie is basically SOAP.

0. Why did Horde get rekt? Everybody knows that the Horde is better than Alliance.

1. What's with that ridiculous physics? The tower at the icy waterfall is the biggest offender, but there's plenty more (when Bard hits Smaug, the friction coefficient between the town and wyvern's body was negative). Guys, suspension of disbelief doesn't work when I have to suspend my disbelief with -9.

2. Speaking of the tower: Why does it look like Legolas has the power to control the sands of time?
>mfw legolas is actually the prince of fucking persia
God fucking dammit, Peter, I didn't came to watch the first boss fight from The Two Thrones.

3. I haven't come to watch Looney Tunes either. Yet that's what the final fight between Thorin and Azog was.

4. Do you think Tolkien was using eagles too liberally? Peter disagrees.
>mfw beorn air drop uwotm9.gif
How ridiculous can this shit get?

5. The way Peter invokes karma in this movie is fucking ridiculous.

6. When Gandalf and everybody who's not supposed to be in that movie fights in that abandoned fortress... DAE SHADOW OF MORDOR!?

7. The final dialogue between Tauriel and elven king. Paraphrasing:
-"cuz [the love] was reel"

O M F G  so deep  #3deep5me
No but really, what shitty teen movie did Peter rip off this time around? Why, why does this shit have to look like your average mexican telenovella?

8. Tauriel ruined everything. What could be approximately decent Throin-[twins] moment was instead turned into something shitty so Tauriel could express her love interests.

9. King tells Legolass to go and find "a man who goes by the name of Strider in the wilds, Aragorn IRL" at the end. There's only one problem. ARAGORN IS NOT EVEN A TEEN AT THAT POINT. He's fucking 10, he's not a man, he doesn't stride around anywhere yet.

10. Were that trolls? Why didn't they turn into stone like every proper troll does (as per Unexpected Journey).

11. I took some issues with subtitles as well. For Slovenian folk:
     a) 'lord' -> 'knez'. The correct and far more apt translation: 'Gospod'/'Gospa'.
     b) The 'wyrm/wurm-something' thingy started with 'zmaj'. No, word 'dragon' has nothing to do here. If it's 'Wyrm' -> 'zmij', if it's wurm (and it looked far more like a wurm) it's 'črv'.

     I did kinda like how they translated the title 'dragon slayer' (ignoring 'wyvern slayer' would be more apt for the context). A friend of mine and I once spent a lenghty time talking about translations and lamented the fact how 'dragonslayer' sounds awesome while there's no Slovenian equivalent. We tried to get one, failed in the process. The translators offered 'zmajemorec' which does sound rather nice. It's also probably picked from the translation of the book, but I've never made a mental note about that.

The only good thing about the movie is 48 FPS, which I didn't see because that would require additional effort that would cost both extra money and even more extra time, and the movie isn't worth it. I'd really like to see 48 FPS in action, but I guess this isn't happening with this movie. Maybe when Avatar 2 comes out.

Oh, and while we're speaking about framerates: at certain moments regular 24 fps looks like they were dropping every other frame without proper blur.

The movie and everything was made on computers running Linux and KDE, but I'm really not sure if that's a positive aspect of the movie or a negative aspect of Linux and KDE.

TL;DR The third Hobbit is the AC:Unity of the movie industry.
I was warned it will suck, I came prepared. I've had no idea this movie will suck far more than I expected.
It's 4 AM on April first and my roommate is apparently running his (proverbial rather than literal) chainsaw on full power throughout the night. Talk about starting early with the joy the first of April always is.

Anyway, things appear to be mostly back on track. I got my external hard drive back a month ago, fucked something, ruined one of my laptop hard drives, gotten most of my files back, raspberry Pi is up and running. Wow such fascinating.

I've also decided it wouldn't be a bad idea if I tried to occupy myself with drawing on a bit more regular basis. It kinda worked the previous week, I just need to motivate myself to continue. I have a few ideas, I guess. Yesterday I namely started playing Avencast. So far the game didn't impress me that much though it's far from Guise of the Wolf (Okay, Guise of the Wolf actually impressed me. For all the wrong reasons, but it did). And you don't look a gift horse in its mouth. Also ...

Basically, an 'interesting' level design. The best part of these two drake statues is the lever behind them. You pull it and you get four... I mean, five! I mean, fire! (But apparently only if there's a minecart there in between). This is a neat idea and I'll probably try to implement it once, except with dragons. Maybe even actual dragons rather than just statues. (Or maybe I'll just give it up because darker pieces usually turn out rather bad)

I've also had some problems with the web Transmission (a torrent client running on RPi). It showed ↑ instead of ↑ and ↓ instead of ↓. So I decided to fix it. It also showed [symbol][one space][speed], which resulted in the display being highly unaligned. I also fixed that, so the end result looks something like this:

Note: That's the foo. I needed some torrents to test it, and ThePirateBay returned these two when I searched for something foo. Both torrents were deleted within 5 seconds of taking the screenshot because I don't need this to waste my HDD space. See how triangles are aligned?

Oh and speaking of torrents: The Pirate Bay also released The Pirate Bay Bundle, which includes 100 free games. Free as in free beer, not as in 'it kinda fell into my pocket' free. Similar to the book I'm reading at the moment (The Gaven by Irene North), it's free for you to torrent but you can also feel free to donate. (Official site.)

Guess that'll be all for today.
  • Listening to: Falkenbach and Finntroll
  • Reading: The Gaven
  • Playing: Avencast
This one's going to be one of the more boring journals again... probably, but I've lost another drive. This time it was the 3TB external hard drive by Seagate (which I bought for cheap enough) which I ran my Raspberry PI off. Like last HDD failure, nothing significant was lost because this drive a network drive, used mostly for torrents (don't judge, you can't say how (il)legal my stuff was). It was also supposed to be a backup thing in case of problems with my laptop but I've never set up the scripts for that so.

The first sign of trouble started the last week on Wednesday when I awoke to drive making that weird clicking noises and was generally louder than it was supposed to be. Thing was still working at that point so I powered the PI off, plugged the drive into my laptop and promptly dd'd the OS partition of that drive to a backup image. Then I plugged everything back the way it was supposed to. Raspberry PI was soon on-line (I stopped the torrent client. No I/O, no reasons to squeak louder than the fan of my HP laptop can howl (and oh that beast does howl loud with a high pitch)) and working. And because Raspberry PI is on pretty much on 24/7, I didn't notice anything is amiss until today when I wanted to access my network drive which Windows didn't want to map.

Well, that's strange. Let's SSH to the RPI and see what the problem is.

SSH clients used errors! They're super effective in preventing me from actually access the RPI. Internet (all my internet communication happened through Raspberry PI due to practical reasons) was still working, though so I didn't think much about it.

I reboot the PI.

PI used KERNEL PANIC! It's super effective! That, and it basically told me that it can't open the relevant partitions of the drive.

I then powered the PI down, connected the disk to my laptop. lsusb detected the drive, blkid failed to list any partitions from that drive, gparted didn't show the disk either. I then booted back to Windows 8 — an OS I learned to hate in the past few days (no OpenGL because AMD's driver doesn't really work, Samsung doesn't have a working driver for (older) phones (GT-S5570) as well) — and threw SeaTools at it. Needless to say, the drive failed every possible test (which I hope are filesystem-agnostic because everything on that disk was ext4 rather than your regular NTFS or FAT). I've chekced with the site I bought the drive from — it still sends this disk with 2 years of warranty. Let's hope that was always the case. If this was a regular 1 year warranty I'd be pretty much pissed because I bought this drive on 3th of february 2013, which is just a bit over a year ago. I also hope that the original packaging of the disk is still at home (I'm actually worried about this, in the past year my mom did remove some "junk" from my room and I hope that doesn't include the packaging) so I can invoke the warranty and hopefully get a new one in a relatively short time.

I think I've mentioned something about hating on Windows and Samsung above. Yes, I got a "new" phone. It's not really new, my younger brother had this one before but has since bought a new one and after my old Nokia refused to send out messages I took 'his' old phone. It's a Samsung mini (GT-S5570). While waiting for friends to go and beta TESO together, I rooted the thing and then tried to put a custom ROM on it because Froyo and Smaugsung bloatware. Instructions said: this zip goes to SD card, boot in recovery mode, wipe data and cache, apply update from SD card (yes, this zip), reboot, wait 5-10 minutes. Except nothing happened in the next 30 hours I quested around Tamriel while listening to the stuff found in Sounds directory of gw2.dat (Guild Wars 2) in order to notice anything that would be a nice ringtone or UI sound for the phone but the thing didn't boot. It became obvious that I'll have to flash back to the original ROM. Which was nearly impossible to find (Google and get links to hotfile or any other megaupload-like site that was shut down thanks to the shitheads at RIAA and MPAA), though collective googling efforts of me and my friend eventually gave desired result. And then came the hard part. Flashing the ROM back to the phone.
Of course the ROM we found was designed to be flashed onto the phone with ODIN, which needs you to put your phone into the download mode. That's easy enough, but then you get the problem of Samsung's drivers not working on Windows 8.1. Fortunately enough a friend of mine was also at the dorm (during second half of exam month the dorms are usually empty) and ran Windows 7, so I just rolled to his room and flashed my phone back to Android 2.3.6 (which isn't exactly stock but slightly better). This is probably why I'll be installing Windows 7 back to my laptop (because it's a necessity), even though Win8 is generally the faster OS. I'll be probably installing it along Windows 8 and existing Kubuntu installation, though (although the 30GB isn't that cheap on HDD space). Anyway, after that I just played the fuck out of TESO while I was still able to — at that point there was still 8 hours left on the beta.
  • Playing: Beta TESO

First of all, happy new year everyone. Last time when I bitched about The Hobbit and how I was disappointed that Smaug wasn't a dragon but a wyvern I mentioned I'll probably write another journal entry that would handle The Witcher or bitch about Windoge 8.1 by the end of the year. I noticed I didn't have time for either of the two things (my friends got me high on Payday 2). 

Today the said friends and I had some kind of reunion because we haven't met in person since last year (hehehe). After a while, one of the two friends invited us over to his place where we eventually started to scroll through his Steam collection and decided to try this game which I've told you about in the title (Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons. Somewhere in October/November a local gaming magazine criticized the shit out of "next gen" games and gave this particular game a score that was nearly twice as high as the score of an average next-gen game) while the other friend and I eagerly watched. I will keep this spoiler-free.

Yeah, this game is amazing. It starts nicely and you'd first think you'd even let your kids play it (because you don't read the ESRB ratings prior to playing the game yourself — admit it: nearly nobody does), but it turns out looks deceive (You may remember the internet-famous counting song). Somewhere along the way game gets from casual and nothing out of the ordinary to "this shit's dark" in under 3 seconds (wow). After that, it only gets darker, swinging between "almost normal" and various degrees of "really dark," "fucked up," and "disturbing." It's most certainly not something that you'd let your kids or — in case you aren't married or in your early twenties, your younger siblings and cousins — but it's still beautiful and awesome game with beautiful and quality story. Graphic is nice, looks cartoony. Oh and did I mention soundtrack, the soundtrack is nice, too. It's also something you could complete in an afternoon — about 4 hours of gameplay. 

Here's a screenshot for a taste of graphics:

And a taste of soundtrack:

Damned liesStatistics for 2013:

My most commented (7), as well as most viewed (nearly 2.5k views thanks mostly to Reddit therefore such view skew) deviation this year is "No Keep Is Lying Higher" — and with 27 faves, no less. (This would qualify it to share the place of most faved deviation but divide favs with views and statistics become rather depressing. I see dA's stats algorithm has some sense.)

No Keep is Lying Higher by xTernal7

Most faved deviation would be "The Dragon Peak" which scored 27 favs.

Dragon Peak by xTernal7

My personal fav would be *drumroll* "Nobody Escapes With My Gold", which performs slightly worse than The Dragon Peak (Currently: 27 favs at 300 views, The Dragon Peak has 27 favs at 292 views. This means this one technically also qualifies as deviation with most favs. However, fav/view ratio is lower (and to be fair, latest couple of favs definitely came through this year — the very last one came as I was writing this journal).
Nobody Escapes With My Gold by xTernal7

Statistics changes very little if we focus only on last 6 months. "No Keep Is Lying Higher" is suddenly off-limits, so "The Dragon Peak" reaps both 'most faved' and 'most commented' deviation while The Wyvern Peaks takes the most views (three short of 400 — and no, that one has only 21 :+fav:s.):
The Wyvern Peaks by xTernal7

Hmm. That is rather disturbing. I've made only 4 digital works this year and they all take the 'top' spots. Okay I actually made about 6 — one is a "G+ exclusive" and the other is this speedpaint I always tend to forget about. But still — photography is nowhere to be seen in this statistics, despite the fact that my photos usually make more favs per 10 views than my digital pieces do, though it seems that 100 views and 20 favs are the upper limits for photos. Which is why I'll trust 500px for this one. I've got exactly two pictures that came to 'popular' stream on 500px. In no particular order: List and Loge.

List by xTernal7

The rest of the statistics:

I seem to upload a new deviation every 9.4 (which is up from the last year when, if I  recall correctly, that  number stuck somewhere around 7. I didn't write as thorough report last year). The day I upload my  deviations the most appears to be Saturday (8 deviations or 42% of my submissions). I would guess most of the rest falls either on Friday or Sunday. Not completely sure about Friday, but I'm pretty sure I uploaded a nice amount of deviations on Sunday with Friday being the third most common day of the week. The busiest month was July 2013 when 7 (37%) deviations were submitted. The majority of deviations are submitted to the photography gallery (15), while the favourite category was nature > insects with 7 deviations.

Comments per deviation: 1.36
Favourites per deviation: 8
Views per deviation: 91
Comments per day: 0.14
Favourites per day: 0.89
Deviation views per day: 9.63

I'd say that majority of the numbers are down from last year, just like everything else. (Amongst other things I noticed top deviations aren't faved as heavily as they used to be last year).

Oh and to conclude the things with Smaug. I've iteraded enough that I hate how Peter made him a wyvern rather than a dragon (which I don't tolerate). If Peter was to dogefy — rather than wyvernify — Smaug (both visually as well as regarding things he spoke), the whole movie would be hilarious and much more satisfying as the pathetic thing riddled with lame humour both Hobbits movies were. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you Smoge — so amaze, much stupendous. Wow.

Sorry guys but I ride the doge  train as well.

  • Listening to: Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons OST
  • Playing: PAYDAY 2
So, I've seen this movie. It was better than the first movie but EDIT: Who am I kidding. Saw both back-to-back, TDoS sucked more.. As Shania Twain would say, it didn't impress me much, Peter has the budget but he lacks the touch.

The first thing would be Smaug. His appearance managed to disappoint me. Seriously, Peter (the director), a wyvern? He is supposed to be a dragon (complete with 4 legs and a pair of wings (which totals 6 limbs). Which is consistent both with how dragons are supposed to look like and how dragons — especially those of Smaug's kind — actually look like according to Tolkien. Yeah, I am talking the purism that far in this case.

I also think three movies for the Hobbit is a blatant money grab because this movie has a lot of things that aren't supposed to happen. Not that these things are bad because they aren't in the book, I think they're bad because execution is piss-poor and over-the-top all the time, 160% of the time. Here's the rundovn of things that currently come to my mind:

:bulletred: I've mentioned Smaug. Deviation from Tolkien's character offers absolutely no benefits. He shouldn't have been a wyvern.
:bulletred: TeruvielTauriel (Oops, too much Witcher). Like Azog she is (along with Legolas and that silly love triangle) a pointless and lousy addition. There's probably a reason why there's pretty much no female characters in The Hobbit. Adding fem character just for the sake of having a female character is bad and Peter should feel bad (but he probably won't because he's getting Smaugish piles of cash from this shit). I was impressed by amount of screentime Teru... Tauriel and Legolas got, though. Trailers suggested they'll have much more screentime. I'm thankful they didn't.
:bulletred: The Barrel Scene. It was so LAME I could encode all audio of the film into mp3 files by using that scene alone. Legolas standing on dwarves' heads, barrels crashing orcs — fuck Peter this shit works if you're developing a computer game but has no place in quality movies. As I said, over-the-top.
:bulletred: Although the second movie was better at pacing as compared to the first, some things still managed to get way too long. Enter Smaug again: the scenes with him and dwarves started feeling more and more like a overly long cutscene in a game that you just want to skip as the movie progressed. Let's not mention orcs altogether.
:bulletred: Radagast can't distinguish between a TRAP and INTERRUPT (jk, that was just Assembler lessons kicking in)
:bulletred: The elven fortress. Like Smaug, the fortress too turned out to not meet my expectations. Especially the dungeon bits — It had more of a dwarven feel to it rather than elven... except shittier than legit dwarven craftsmanship.
:bulletgreen: At least ending didn't suck as hard as it did in the first movie so that's something I guess :iconitssomethingplz:
:bulletred: Basically, The second Hobbit continues to be a case of Peter Jackson trying too hard to make another Lord of the Rings and failing over and over again. That is crazy.

TL;DR Movie sucks.

Oh, and — Smaug and other changes weren't the only thing(s) that irritated me throughout the movie. The theater forgot to clean the glass on the room with the projector which resulted in no less than five more than visible dots right in the middle of the canvas. Fuck. This. Shit. Also, it was regular 3D rather than HFR (because HFR is just out of reach for me. I'd like to see HFR to see what the hype is all about). Needless to say: that was the first time I noticed and was annoyed by what appeared to be a low framerate (That were active glasses which means we probably saw 12 FPS per eye, guess that explains why I experienced lag).

That would probably be all for now, but that's probably not the last journal I wrote this year. In near future I'll probably look into Win 8.1 and KDE again and I'll maybe wrote a journal about  The Witcher because it's an awesome game.
I've recently did two stupid things: First one was upgrading Windows to 8.1 (Fresh install, I previously used horribly bloated Win 7) and the other was upgrading my Kubuntu to 13.10 which brings approximately equal bucket of problems.

Yes, I consider myself a linux user for the most part but there's a class in our course that requires Visual Studio Ultimate (free on university's Dreamspark), so Windows is a requirement. And because my Windows 7 got seriously bloated somewhere along the way, I decided to do a reinstall. I saw 8.1 on Dreamspark (also free), downloaded, installed and... now I have a bucket of problems. Because Win 8.1 definitely doesn't have its shit together. So far the UI appears to be the okayest part of the system. That, and ability to natively mount ISO images.

:bulletred: Explorer.exe is often in excess of 50%, rarely seen under 40% -- and that's on idle. Go to the new start or try to do anything, bam 100%.
:bulletred: Taskmanager doesn't appear to have its shit together either. "CPU utilization meter" stops at 54% (seems that's the new 100). Even at times of 100% CPU utilization — Windows, Y U NO go back to 2.2 GHz!?
Yeah I know I have dual core CPU, but Explorer.exe using over 25% on a quad core would be equally unacceptable as this.

:bulletred: Not really Windows fault, but I really miss ext4 driver and Amarok that didn't use the whole fucking processor. (From 3% and less when playing on older versions on Windows 7 to never ever ever under 40% at its current version on Win 8.1
:bulletred: No driver for SD card reader. ARE YOU FUCKING SERIOUS?! That shit is so basic even Linux has a driver for it. (I think that I'd similarly have to manually install the driver for USB ethernet adapter).
:bulletred: This also annoys me to no end. Why isn't there an option to display clock on both monitors and why I have to download stuff that would add that functionality? Also, if Windows would remember how I arrange my icons on different display configurations... that would be nice.

There are also things that Win8.1 does right, though. That's everything that Win8 did right with slight improvements of interface. What had Win8 done right?
:bulletblue: Native ISO mounting
:bulletblue: Less shitty Task Manager
:bulletblue: Automatic updates don't suck (hey Win7!)
:bulletblue: When you bring up the charms, there's 'Devices' option (second from bottom). Seems that this particular option became a little shy lately (read: won't work) but it offered some really cool candy if you were on multiple monitors. (One display, mirror displays, extend displays, external display only -- that was a tad bit pleasurable than doing the traditional way (desktop, right-click, screen resolution, set your display modes there)). Hey [Linux DEs], maybe you can learn a thing or two.

Did I mention how the new Kubuntu (and according to the internet, every other flavour of Ubuntu including Ubuntu) (that's 13.10) isn't really that much better?
:bulletred: You can't gui-login yourself. My login routine now consists of
<ctrl- alt- F1>
DISPLAY=":0" kwin&
DISPLAY=":0" plasma-desktop&
killall -9 ksplashx
I've met a guy (on the Internet, of course) who seemed to have an almost identical experience with  logging into the shittiest DE ever Unity.
:bulletred: It won't connect to wlan. It simply refuses.
:bulletred: It won't even connect on regular LAN, via ethernet port (Workaround: Use Linux 3.8 kernel instead of Linux 3.10/3.11).
I've ran apt-get upgrade before getting my ass on Win 8.1 because my battery didn't seem to charge on Linux, hopefully that fixed some things.
Turns out every single of these problems appears to have been caused solely by upgrading from 13.04 to 13.10. I've did a clean install yesterday evening and so far, I had zero problems with it. Windows 8.1 is thus now the shittiest OS I have.

Other problems: Yeah, I've lost BOTH CHARGERS FOR MY LAPTOP IN LESS THAN A MONTH. And that's not 'lost' as 'misplaced', that's 'lost' as 'shit broke, bro'. Which means I've spent the time between Sunday really early (2 AM the second time)  and today afternoon without my laptop. I had to put up with using Raspberry Pi for the most of that time, and it sucked. Basically, Raspberry PI is quite decent if you want no GUI. It makes a decent server. And it even manages to play full HD video without lag (but I had to spend at least an hour on figuring how to do that) (and that's provided it's not really running anything else)... Try using it for anything else? Anything that requires GUI? (Think browsing web?) Well you're not satisfied with lynx, then you're out of luck. 
I managed to install xfce and chromium (Dillo and Midori don't really cut it) and... chromium runs, but it runs really slowly. Plus you have to be careful with your tabs because you're out of memory as soon as you open more than three, and then everything comes to a screeching halt. Albeit unpleasant, it's possible to browse the web on pie, but... Just don't expect Youtube to work.

There are still some of us who still haven't jumped on Pandora/Spotify/etc. train, some of us who still have local music libraries (sometimes measured in dozens of Gibibytes) and use old-fashioned media players on computer. And as all software, some are better and some are worse. 

So far I've been using Amarok, but with later versions the program has gotten a few serious problems. First thing I did mind was its disregard for which folder(s) I've selected for my library, including just about every sound file I've had on my disks. But at least there was no further problems.

That was when my library was still 5k songs. That number recently saw a rise to about 20k songs, which is... A lot. And Amarok started to give me fair amount of problems when I tried to put them all on a playlist: I saw crashes on about every 3 songs, long startup — not to mention that thing became somewhat inresponsive. So I've started to look for alternatives, and I found four. First one was banshee, which quickly got thrown away for its inability to include more than one (parent) folder as your music library. (I figure that with some work I could find a way to do it, but ain't nobody got time for that...).

Second was Minirok, which is a python-based minimalistic version of Amarok. Some of you may have already noticed the problem. Anyway, it's not really that bad — it features a playlist, you can queue tracks, modifying shortcuts is easier than in any other program save from Amarok. But it too doesn't like adding 20000 songs to the playlist and... it's written in Python. Some of you may know how people joke about Java being shit and slow? Well, python is more or less on the same level. That being said, it didn't really surprise me when I saw that Minirok used a whole CPU core just for playing an mp3 file. And that's... far too much. Plus the program wouldn't close when I clicked on the 'X' button. Wasting 50% of my processing power for playing an mp3 is a no-go.

Then I've moved to Clementine. Everything started quite promising: I could quickly set up the desired settings, interface was okay, I could modify my shortcuts to some extent and BONUS - it even had working crossfade. But it was slow. As. I-don't-know-what. Adding songs to the library/playlist proved to be a very time- and CPU-consuming task — it literally took ages, almost crashed the system, and even when I disabled everything that could be disabled Clementine took itself a liberty to waste away a whole core for playing an mp3 file.

Then I went to the Software center to see what else repositories had to offer. First, right there on the top of the list, there was Audacious. It's a small thing so I was a bit skeptical about its functionality — but nope, it's almost like Google: It has majority of things I'm looking for. It can queue track, it can handle 20k+ songs on my playlist (and it's quick about it), it uses 2-5% of my processing power to play songs. It can also queue tracks, but I don't really like the interface — searching for stuff on playlist is the one thing that annoys me the most. Custom global shortcuts are nowhere to be seen, but you can control it via Terminal. Since decent DEs allow you to trigger a certain command with a custom key shortcut, lack of customizable (and) global shortcuts in the program itself is suddenly a non-issue (and I actually even like it more that way — my wireless keyboard lacks previous/next song shortcuts, but my laptop does (but lacks the extra keys that I made to function as media keys). And since every global action (at least in KDE) can only have one shortcut, controlling the program from terminal allows me to create multiple global actions with identical command. Win. Audacious also has working crossfade, is said to be skinnable and comes with a lot of plugins (disabled by default) that brought my experience close to what I had back when Amarok didn't have to handle 20k songs. (Except 'Global hotkeys' plugin didn't really work for me).

TL;DR — Goodbye Amarok, long live Audacious.

I've also been tagged, but I will come to that in a bit. WARNING: GEEK STUFF AHEAD.

I have noticed that I've apparently neglected to mention that I've ordered and gotten my Raspberry Pi. For those who've missed out on the news, that's a ~€30 computer in the size of a credit card. With 512 megs of RAM and 700 Mhz ARM CPU it's not really that much of a beast, but it's good enough for what it gets used for. So far, it's a:

  • Router (Wi-Fi, I also added extra Ethernet port), but speeds aren't really shiny. (Our dorm has 100 Mb/s symmetrical (due to torrent traffic, actual available bandwith is 90/60), Wi-Fi over Raspberry Pi only does up to 25 Mb/s of traffic (both upload and download) with +10 Mb/s if I use ethernet instead.
  • Torrent box. I use transmission which can only handle up to 1.2 to (if I'm lucky) 1.5 MB/s in torrent traffic, which is worse than download speeds on my laptop (~2 MB/s over Wi-Fi, but I've got upwards of 5 MB/s when connected directly to dorm network with no RPI to handle traffic for me). I can put up with this, mainly because...
  • Network storage. I've managed to grep a 3TB external HDD for ~125€ a while back, now I use it as network drive (and FTP server). 2.5 MB/s is generally good enough for streaming BR-rips, but when I tried with Sintel I got occasional glitches.

I've also wrote some appropriate scripts that switch DNS and Hostapd (SSID and password) configurations in case of expected LAN sessions, and there's another pair of scripts that periodically greps RPI's IP address and posts it on pastebin if it detects change. The other script is on my laptop — it fetches the pasted IP from pastebin and adds it into my hosts file, so I can type ravenlodge.hoelbrak instead of 4 numbers you can't remember and can change at any time dorm's DHCP server sees fit. Theoretically, IP should change should every day but as it turns out... Getting a new IP? Not Even. Once.

On the other hand, my "TODO" list for Raspberry Pi is still long:

  • RPi-powered "SmartTM&reg;" desk — It won't really be that smart, but it'll will contain a few (currently 3, additions are more than likely) power outlets that can be switched on and off. Because I like having on/off switch for my RPI handy. It would also be nice if I could remotely unpower monitor and laptop charger (and some other things) remotely. I'm still undecided whether I should use GPIO pins on Raspberry Pi (problem: They aren't 5V-tolerant, so most IC components instantly become irrelevant.). The desk would in theory also be fit for audio playback, so I could power off my laptop for the night (maybe a bit unnecessary measure, though. LINUX HAS (with the latest kernel update, I suppose) FINALLY LEARNED HOW TO PROPERLY CONTROL THE LAPTOP FAN (which means the fan gets turned off if it's not needed).
  • Write a script that would do periodical backups of stuff from my laptop to Raspberry Pi.
  • Make a RPI case.

Did I mention Linux? Yes I did. While we're at it: newer releases of Wine finally allow me to run Sim City 4 Deluxe on my Kubuntu setup. I moved my windows install to PlayOnLinux virtual drive and just ran it with no-cd crack. With Wine, not with PlayOnLinux. PlayOnLinux crashes if I do that. Mods work and so far, the game seems to be more running more stable under Wine than it does on Windows 7/8. Although game will still crash in certain instances (such as moving cursor with elevated-rail-over-road piece to a tile that's occupied by elevated-over-road station, crash in this case is imminent both in Windows and Linux. It's a infamous SC4 bug.). Speaking of SimCity: Yeah, SimCity 2013 is out (and that 6th Sim City. 5th Sim City was Societies), and judging by gameplay videos on youtube it's shit game anyway. Game logic is virtually inexistent. Buy Sim City 4. Or Tropico 4. EA and Maxis screwed up big time.

That will be all... for now. The Game. 

Also, I've been tagged over here: (insert pun here)

sudo nano /etc/udev/rules.d
1. You must post these rules.
2. Each person must post 10 things about themselves on their journal. &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; #desusudo sudo sudo sudo!
3. Answer the questions the tagger set for you in their post, and create ten new questions for the people you tag to answer. # sudo is a life-saver.
4. You have to choose 5 people to tag and post their icons on your journal. #No you don't.
5. Go to their pages and tell them you have tagged her/him.
6. No tag backs.

Answer alle Fragen!:iconallthethingsplz:

1.What was your dream of becoming when you were really little? ( when little kids say "I'm going to be a policeman, firefighter, doctor...)

Something that would have to do with roads.

2. Which anime or series would suffice is your favorite at the moment?

Anime: null; series: if this would count: Dragons: Riders of Berk and Game of Thrones. (Also, I generally don't watch TV.)

3. If you had a lot of money and time, what would you create? Anime, manga, comic, movie or video game?

Anime: no; manga: no; comic: no; movie: yes; video game: yes.

4. Did you ever made up any names or second names? If you did tell your best ones.

Yes but none decent.

5. How many languages do you know? If you know more than one, tell where do you use them.

Slovenian, English, Croatian, Serbian, Montenegrin, Bosnian, German, Java, C, Bash, HTML. That's a whooping 11. Slovenian — IRL, English — die Internet, Croatian to Bosnian are the ones I can conditionally understand but can't speak while I don't know enough German to actually have conversations in it. Same goes for HTML and C. I understand a bit of bash (I use it for scripts) and a bit more of Java. (And technically the last four are languages.)

6. Describe your dream world.</strike>

Natürlich it contains dragons (and optionally lacks wyverns, drakes and the rest), it either a) completely lacks religion or b) religion under my control (either one will do). It's a world that can contain humor dark and full of terrors (lol); a world where there is no stupid users and no stupid people either. There is no 9fag and I'm in the universe's sudoers file.

7. Are you in love?

No :iconforeveraloneplz:

8. Have you ever won or at least got high on contest?

Yes, it happened.

9. Do you like dancing?

Not even remotely.

10.What separates your best friends from usual ones?

I have no such separation policy.

Happy new year to everyone. It seems that we've ran out of 2012, so I think this is an opportunity to review my artistic life so far. 

Before continuing, I invite you to read this journal and share your own artistic achievements of 2012 in the comments below. Because I've noticed that writing my journal feels a bit like talking to a wall.

Anyway, back to track. Statistics for the past year are pretty short. I was more actively dealing with photography, while slowly abandoning digital painting. I've been uploading about one deviation per week. An average deviation would get around 9 favourites. (Average in last 6 months was 10 faves). 

First greater success of the year was Winter Panorama, (which is most viewed, most faved and most commented deviation of 2012. Most faved deviation (sans DD) was for the second successive year submitted in February).

The image is most probably one of my best shots of the year. I was very lucky to get it — I happened to be at exactly the right place at exactly the right moment. When I remember a two hours long walk from Kranj that I had to make (it wasn't that simple due to snow and the fact that I had to watch over a group of kids), damn... It was totally worth it. I think I could increase ISO and F-stop a bit, though.

Next deviation that stands above the rest is Man and the Beast, with just 3 views less than above deviation (but a far cry from being most faved. And I think I'd be quite unsatisfied if I saw this deviation being more faved than the previous one).

It does have its own failures, but damn — if that one didn't turn out awesome. Creature refuses to look evil, though, and 3D effect is pretty lousy at certain parts. I still think that that was an improvement over the year before — at least when we limit ourselves to traditional category.

Later in the year, I've really started to like my other lens on my DSLR — 55-200 mm (Previously, I've been mostly shooting with 18-55 mm lens). Because 200mm is awesome (when you can afford it).

Because 200 mm can easily get me overwhelmed. Rusty bolt (above) is one of my personal favs — I especially like the color and the texture.

Our cat liked to hide in our stash of firewood (when it was still pilled in front of our house), and I liked to take pictures of her. 45 mm (focal length) seemed to worked the best in that situation.

Cat by xTernal7

One of my two digital flagships of 2012 was Just Me and my Dragon.

It was a contest entry. It didn't win, but I do find it an improvement in a digital category. I think that lightning is executed really well on that one. Textures, on the other hand, still aren't. Rock textures are subpar, forest in the background could totally been done better, and the male figure features everything from weird body features to whole lot of minifails at clothing, beside looking stiff as a board.

The other flagship in digital also has a dragon on it. It's called Statue of Ice v2 and it's a remake of Statue of Ice. The later is, if we ignore the DD I've got in 2011, still the most faved artwork in my gallery.

Statue of Ice v2 by xTernal7

It's clearly an improvement over the old piece. Textures and anatomy of the dragon are improved. So is lightning (although there are small mistakes in lightning on the piece). However, rock textures are still far cry from perfect (and same goes for the dragon). Also, both were made with Linux and GIMP — cheers for me, switching my operating system.

The autumn of 2012 contained some extra snow, and since autumn and snow don't tend to mix nicely in the nature, I did go outside and took few shots. I figure that clash of autumn and winter could have had some better lightning, though.

In the beginning of December, I've again remembered how you hold a pencil and another dragon was drawn. This time, it turned somewhat better than the one 9 months prior (in my opinion):

Dragon by xTernal7

And this is how my artistic life looked like in 2012.

So, I saw the Hobbit, the very first day it was released (13. 12.), in 3D (not HFR, though). I will admit to having pretty high expectations about that movie, so that might be a part of reason why I'm disappointed, but it's a pretty factual thing that The Hobbit as a movie does NOT live up to its hype. Yes, it's not bad, but it's not an excess either.

The first thing that made my eyebrows lift is how the movie started — yep, fast forward to the beginning of Lord of the Rings. I found that somewhat odd — The Hobbit is a prequel to LotR, but it's not Lord of the Rings. Also, the story of Dale would be better suited for telling over some campfire or along the way instead one of too many random orc popups rather than in beginning. But okay, that's pretty pointless thing to be disturbed with, so I simply sat back and tried to enjoy the rest of the movie. I didn't tend to have much problem with most other additions (such as Radagast and the Elrond/Galadriel/Saruman scene), although it did raise an eyebrow. I think that the Hobbit would be better in just two movies and without such additions. Same goes with Thorin's elfphobia — in the book, he did not seem to hate Elrond (that much), although he didn't really like the elven king in the Mirkwood. Trying to play some creativity, I guess.

But what I did have problem with was Azog the Goblin subplot. Sup with Azog? In the book, he's barely even mentioned. In the movie, he's randomly appearing all the time. He and his fellas. The subplot by which he is introduced in the movie is shit and so overused that I thought I won't see it in any high-budged movie ever again (unless it's a main plot and has been extensively worked at. See: Taken and Taken 2). NOPE! It's Peter Jackson.  It seems that when Azog attacked Moria, Thorin was there to cut his hand off. And now Azog chases Thorin and his band all around, which is the reason for random orc popups and reduces the role of the fellas which live under the mountain. On the rate of 1 to 10, how pointless was that addition? I say 16: while the meeting in Rivendell at least kinda gives you some backstory for Lord of the Rings, this addition is movie equivalent of world's most useless machine. 

Also, 'sup with Goblin King? He could at least be scary right next to being dumb, but no... Yes, Hobbit as a book is far less serious and lighter than Lord of the Rings, but it's not a comedy — which the whole scene under the mountain comes remarkably close to. That's a no-go. Also, when did the goblin king become a mercenary? And while I'm not disturbed by trading a system of tunnels for a cave that's big enough to contain Tyria, Tamriel, Azeroth, Narnia, Westosteros and half of Ferelden, I am quite disturbed by the chase scene and especially by how it ended. (That is, with using one get-out-of-jail-free card too many, excessive humor and breaking almost every known law and theory that exists in physics save from gravity.) Come on, Peter, you could do better than that.

And finally, we're at the ending, which is the biggest fuck-up I've seen since Avatar. In the books, the party notices wargs and goblins coming and climbs up some spruces. Gandalf wants them gone, so they throw a few fiery cones down at them. The idea backfires when goblins torch the trees they're hiding on, singing their song. Tolkien then gives the party a get-out-of-jail-free card in the form of eagles which rescue the party while goblins rage down below. Eagles then carry them off. What about movie? Well, it contains soap (and lots and lots of it). Wargs and orcs — under the direct leadership of guess who? — are seen coming, party climbs on trees. Then, wargs start jumping on the trees too, and trees start to fall. Gandalf, dwarves and Bilbo must now jump from tree to tree, eventually coming to the last tree before the cliff. Pine throwing party then starts, but it's super ineffective. The last tree eventually leans over the cliff and two dwarves almost fall off in the process. After that, Thorin Oakenshield rises, looks directly at Azog and Leeeroys at Azog. Of course, like Leeroy, he gots pwned. Once Thorin's on the ground, Azog orders another orc to go and make Thorin a head shorter. At that moment, Bilbo goes BLITZKRIIIIIIEEEEEGGG at the orc who'd otherwise shorten the dwarf a bit. Then shit hits fan for a while, and only then eagles come to rescue them — in the very last possible moment. And after eagles carry them away. When they touch the ground, soap++: Thorin goes, hugs Bilbo and cries like a baby. And I just sit there, in my seat, wondering how Peter managed to fuck it up so much.

48 FPS thingy.

This part does not concern Hobbit as the movie, but the technology in which it was shot. There were certain morons complaining over it, while I'd be very pleased to see a movie in 48 FPS (but if I wanted to, I'd have to drive to another country and that's not an option). It's true that human eye detects around 24 FPS (at least dark places are considered, framerate is said to lift in brighter places) and that it's not likely that difference would be quite obvious (I haven't noticed much difference between NFS:MW which ran at 60 FPS and Far Cry 3 which ran at 25-30 FPS), but it ought to be a bit better in action scenes (where normal 3D yields flickering). That would also mean less motion blur when pausing the movie. And guys, most cameras can already shoot at 50 and even 60FPS, some do that even in Full HD.

When you say that you that 48 FPS sucks and 24 FPS rules, all I can hear is "music sampled at 44 kHz sucks, music sampled at 22 kHz is the best!". (Majority of music nowdays is sampled in 44 kHz.)

And finally... Far Cry 3.

So I got to play Far Cry 3. It took me 4 days to complete it, and... it was awesome. The storyline is awesome. The soundtrack is awesome. Seriously, the best game I've played in a while.

I will admit that I got myself this game just because Ubisoft put Skrillex as soundtrack to some mission. (I've watched my roommate play the game for a while then, but that was deciding factor. From what I've gathered on 9gag and the Internet a few months ago, Skrillex has quite some bad rep. If they dared to put him in the game... Damn, that must be some awesome game, and it turned out to be an awesome game.)(And yes, I do enjoy a few of his songs too).

It does have certain shortcomings, though. Like, liberating outposts. Seriously, every new outpost was easier to liberate than the previous — and I liberated all outposts without getting detected. Liberating outposts on the first island was a challenge. The terrain is mostly woods and hills don't go quite high, so I've actually have to try really hard to kill all the pirates. I had to move around, partly because sometimes trees didn't allow for sniping them from one place, sometimes because they would come out of their base, after me. On the island 2, there are large hills without much growth, save for a bush here and there (just enough for hiding). That means that 1) I could use RPG and blow the heavy gunner which stood in the middle of the base (similar scenario on the island 1 would involve making ambushes with mines or C4 or throwing grenades — both options mean coming very close to the base) and 2) I was unreachable and thus undetectable by the pirates/privateers. But other than that, it was a very enjoyable game.

I have a feeling that Ubisoft wanted to tell me something with that game. (Game barely ran on lowest settings. Full HD was a no-go, my laptop's native resolution (1600x900) was a no-go too (15 FPS), so I had to lower the resolution to HD (720p) in order to enjoy 25-30 FPS). I guess I'll have to get a new laptop in a year or so.

TL;DR: Hobbit doesn't live up to the hype and is under-average movie while Far Cry 3 is an awesome game.

So. In less than four weeks, we'll be up against that ominous day — 12th of December, 2012. As you may have heard throughout the last four years, this is the day when the world ends. The worst thing about all this is that predictions are true — the world is going to end that day. Unless... 

I'll give you a TL;DR first: If you wake up on 22th of December, you can thank me and my team for saving the day. 

If you want all the details, here's how the (true) story goes:

Predictions about the end of the world ARE true. The Matrix contains a serious bug that will crash the whole system to crash really hard, causing a major corruption of the data so the simulation of the universe we live in will have to start anew. In short, the world will end and nothing that exist will continue to exist.

Fortunately for you, the bug was spotted. Me and my team were assigned to patching it, and we have already started working on it. We aren't going to apply the whole patch at once — we will rather apply series of smaller patches in order to minimize the chance of failure. Main server will thus get updated really often. Side effects of this could be increased number of "Deja Vu" events. We ask you to ignore these, they aren't a sign of your newly acquired skills to predict the future (this will not be possible at least for a while). Client-side updates will take place before and after sleep, which means you might have trouble with falling asleep for the next four weeks. (We will try to make such occurrences as rare as possible). If your brain runs Linux, client-side updates will be live and will only require restart (sleep) to take effect.

I just wanted to give you an early notice.

Yep, the best things are free. The Blender foundation released the fourth open movie, titled Tears of Steel. Unlike the first three projects, which were completely animated, this movie is an acted one, aided with CGI effects.

I'll be honest: I wasn't impressed with the movie. Graphic part was indeed great (except rocket fire at the beginning), but storyline felt somewhat lacking. If it only focused more on interactions and less on scientists panicking around and gunfire and stuff. I know what I was supposed to feel when watching it, but... I just didn't. It didn't get to me as it was supposed to. Sintel was better at inducing feelings and emotion, sorry guys. And even though all this harsh criticism... Still better than majority of mainstream stuff out there. 

Second thing.

(With a bit more personal undertone)

I'm at Uni now, home for weekends and at dorm througout the week. Thing is quite okay, except for the schedule which could be better (I admit, I grew lazy). The internet is a 100/100 Mb/s connection for the whole building, which is ideal for any download. You know that feeling when you're installing a program, and it actually takes longer for program to install than it took for it to download? My roommate only gave me a heads-up on torrenting: the company which runs the internet for our dorm is allergic to enormous uploads. Also, uploads to deviantART are almost instantaneous. I suffer very much now I've come back to 1Mb/s internet we have at home.

Food. That's another thing that I like. Lunches for students are enormous, and I haven't yet eaten anything that wouldn't taste good. Oh, and Ljubljana could turn out as a good place for long exposure photography (I'm eying a few places that could look good at night, and some that would work in the daylight, too) — I think I'll bring my gear.

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 "MS Office 2013 Beta" is out and available for you to test. So there's a reason why it's free. Default installer will stream files that are required for installation from the internet, so installation process suck. On Windows 8, I actually had multiple hangs which I blame on 1Mbit/s download.

Because nothing says "We think you'll love it" more than "(Not Responding)". So I rather sought a torrent version for Windows 7: download everything and then install.
They haven't been really wrong, though: it is great to look at (really simple and non-distracting interface), but otherwise pretty much like Office 2010. With exception of SkyDrive integration.

So that would be short about Office, now let's be quick about...

Guild Wars 2.

Actually, thing is nothing new, all kinds of rumors and facts have been published. And the last beta event was 20th-22th of July. But I participated in it, so I'll give you a late but slightly subjective review, laden with screenshots and few pieces of concept art from the official site (Warning: You are about to lose The Game -- oh wait, OOPS! :D)

Two Charr enjoying the view of what appears to be Divinity's Reach

First, let us start with "WTF is Guild Wars 2?" thing.

It's MMORPG. Like World of Warcraft. Except better (in the same sense Google + is a social network, like Facebook but better).

There are five races.

 * Charr (cat-like, it's awesome. I enjoyed that demo storyline I had)

 * Azura (The small race, inventors. I haven't enjoyed my storyline there too much, I quit at level 5).

 * Sylvari (treefolk. Literally. They came out of trees. Appearance might remind you of elves. My storyline there was nothing special)

 * Human (I somewhat enjoyed my storyline there, but it wasn't nothing special) and

 * Norn (If anyone else thinks about Nords (Hint: Sky and rim.) and/or vikings, that's not quite wrong. Except that Norns — unlike the vikings and Nords — don't follow any gods, but spirits. It's at least as awesome as Charr, possibly more.)

And there are eight professions. I tried Elementalist, Thief, Ranger, the rest are Warrior, Guardian, Mesmer, Necromancer and Engineer (<but this one offers good pick-up lines. Trust me, I'm an engineer.). I think I'll forever stick with ranger, as that's how I always roll.

Skill #4: In the knee, plz. Skill #5, BOOM HEADSHOT.

GW2: First impressions.

If any of you played WoW, you'll know what WoW is like. You can complete whole game (minus dungeons) almost by yourself. But folk can help you with quests. In GW2, nobody can help you with your main quest. However, main quest won't give you enough XP to level up. You must do the 'side quests' or 'renown hearts' to gain extra experience (Yep, you can have a helping party there) and participate in "events" — that are randomly occuring events in the world. They just appear, and if you're close enough and other folk is close enough... You can engage. However, you can do certain of those by yourself, if you are higher-than-advised level. (That is true, I can confirm. Servers were almost empty at 3 AM, and completely empty after that. But I still managed to complete certain events. But if servers are empty, you're gonna have a bad time at events).


I will once again do a comparison with WoW.  There is practically no story at WoW. GW2, on the other hand, you have plenty of storylines. It takes you 10 steps to create your character (Race, gender, class, name, character customization and 5 others), and certain steps among those will impact your storyline. For example, one of these steps when I was creating my Norn character was a question: What happened on the last festivity? I went on with 'passed out'. And eventually, this choice came back at me, I had a several quests based on the drinking deeds I was told I have done.

After a successful "fight for survival..."


Better than WoW. It just feels more natural to me. You can use pretty much any weapon (there are class restrictions though), and you earn special attacks by using that weapon, which is better than spending points on level up. You can evade incoming attacks (but it's not as easy as it sounds). When you're killed, you're not dead right away — fight for your survival. (Generally it's keyboard smash time, pressing 1 and 2 keys like a maniac). If you fail this fight for survival, you can respawn on some waypoint or you can wait for someone to come and revive you — but your armor will slowly decay. Oh, and one more thing: NO AFK-ing. If you're go away to pee, always log out or exit to character selection screen. (Unless you're in a capital, but if you aren't, then teleporting to the nearest one doesn't pay off). With dynamic events, Guild Wars 2 is not a game in which you can afford to leave your character unattended. Not even for a minute. Because you're gonna get killed. Revived. And then killed again. And then possibly revived again. And in the end, all armor'll decay — and you'll be without armor. And I dislike trips to the repair guy.

GW2 is full of breathtaking scenery. Also, low FPS on screencaps is always caused by my desire for best graphic, and I was playing with settings a lot.

Game also allow you to earn skill points (which you can spend on non-weapon related skills), discover "points of interest" (you gain some xp points). You can also discover vistas (no, that's not going to crash your games), which are like viewpoints. Remember Assassin's creed? It's just like that. Including the way up, except this step is usually harder. Some vistas are really hard to reach.

So that would be all. And, because you were patient enough to read this, a seagull goalkeeper I've saw on my vacation on Cres:

I don't always write journals in so short period of time, but when I do, I tend to have a really good reason.

I think I've heard about open animation projects a while back on Google+. I paid it little mind back then, but then I started to get mildly interested in the idea. Today morning, I've decided to google it up, and I soon stumbled upon Sintel.

It's a movie that will cost you about 12 and a half minutes of your time (with credits, it's 15 min), and it's well worth it. Story: excellent, graphic — more than decent... And, only open software was used to create that movie, which might be the most important thing here. You know, that software you can get for free. And movie is freely available too. 

And... that's a wyvern. Not a dragon. Learn the difference. Saying wyverns are dragons is like saying Kosovo is Serbia. Neither is correct. People practice both things. I can get yelled at for mentioning either.

This would be worth of paying for. (Unfortunately, I can't donate.) Because, really. Respect to all involved.

Now watch the short movie.
And weep.

So, I'm done with the finals. Today was the last oral exam from English. For this occassion, I've thought of extended lazy senior parody of Call me maybe and shared it with schoolmate. At that moment, I had no intentions of singing it. But when he asked if I'm really gonna do it... Well, challenge considered. 

And after the official part of the exam was over, I've decided to pull it off.

You're asking questions and all,
about a book I don't know,
I don't know nothing at all,
I think I'm gonna fail.

And so I beg and I plead,
to get the points that I need,
I have money, you need?
But you're not giving in.

Oh, this is tragic,
getting points is magic.
I don't know this magic,
but here is a song that I'll sing:

Hey, I just met you,
and this is crazy!
But I'm your student,
so pass me maybe?

It's hard to know all
you've tried to teach me.
But I'm your student,
so pass me maybe.

Teachers (there are three at oral exam) appeared to be quite amused by this tune, so I hope they won't act Gandalf-like and give me :iconallthethingsplz: ALL the points for oral — it totals 20% of the final grade. The 'book I don't know' refers to The Catcher in the Rye, which was read by almost nobody in the class (but I've been through summaries). 

Extra notes: somewhere in the past days, it has been 3 years since I joined deviantART. Nice.

So, it's been a fairly long time since I've reported here in my journal. Winter has come (not only figuratively via the Game of Thrones, season 2, but IRL too — we've had snow previous week. Snow, Y U NO FALL IN WINTER?!). And prom has passed.

Our prom was epic. The best part (which'll be most probably censored out on our DVDs) was after the prom king&queen selection. Two guys won, and when the host (most provocative radio host in Slovenia) pointed out the homosexual tendencies of their act, one of the guys responded: "Well, and now you feel bad?! Why don't you admit what we've done yesterday...!" — and thus effectively shutting the guy's mouth for a few minutes.

Another tradition of proms is also a presentation of classes. Most make presentation movie. We did too. Well, there were only two of us who actually gave a fuck, few more who were ready to provide the stuff we need... and about half of the class who didn't give a fuck. Anyway, here's the final result.

And a note on subtitles. There is a glitch in youtube that assumes you want that everyone is forced to see your subtitles. Well, nope, I don't. Majority of people seeing this video don't need subtitles. At all. So fuck you youtube I've made two subtitle track. English - Decoy and English - Real.  English - Decoy should be default. Guess which has subtitles and which one (kinda) hasn't.

The goal behind this video was to keep video under 3 minutes (suggested limit, but nobody (except us and the class who was without a presentation movie) gave a single fuck about it), and we succeeded. Although, considering amount of usable material that wasn't really a science. First play was accompanied by few glitches at render, but youtube version is pretty much fixed.

Eurovision song contest 2012 — pre-finale 1.

Report on pre-finale 2 will have to be done by someone else (Class picnic in sight), but I've had it covered for today. More details and songs are in this blog (external site). Overall, there was nothing really special, save from Icelandic singer/violinist who reminded me on Daenerys Stormborn, Russian grannies and Austrian team (party time!). Dany was granted access to Quarth finale. What considers Russians... Iceland went into finale. For Russian Grannies, this isn't so. Namely: in Soviet Russia, songs sing you and finale gets into you. Fact.

GIMP 2.8

...has a nice set of new features, but stability ranks somewhere between Sim City 4 Deluxe on Windows 7 and Sony Vegas Pro 11. (Hint: I had 21 crashes while making our class movie). That makes it one of the best tools for learning how to press ctrl-s in regular and frequent intervals. Unfortunately it still lacks autosave feature. Importing (16-bit) TIFFs has suddenly became a great problem. Brush scaling is disastrous. See, I need the ability to finely adjust the brush at really small sizes. Smallest jump you can do on slider I've noticed is little less than 1 (out of 1000, where 1000 is fucking huge). And I've already experienced cases where a brush in size of 1 was too small and brush in size of 2 was too big. So I had to input the value via keyboard or that increase/decrease arrows. Thing sucks, a lot.  However  — when does work — it works faster and generally better — dynamics is improved a lot. GIMP 2.8 has thus joined the 'EPIC FAIL SOFTWARE' group (Gnome, Unity*, Newest windows build of Amarok and newest versions of Skype and Windows 8 are in that group too). GIMP differs from the three examples, though, it's the only one who's made a significant move forward. This is why I can't decide whether to downgrade or not. 

And finally, a word about Google+

I've started to frequent this social network more lately in the past week. I must say that I like it. True enough, nobody I know uses it, but I've always been a loner. Everyone's on Facebook. 

Google+ differs from FB a lot. Facebook is like a box — you're trapped between friends, their posts and posts of groups you had to find yourself. Google+ is like a city, and things just come to you. You have the home page — where you see posts from people from your circles. And then you have 'explore' — a neat thing that gets you out of the box — that box Facebook is putting you into. (And 'hot' things can get displayed on your home page too, depends on your settings). There is also 'index' of trending stuff, you can search these terms and get public posts related to that topic. And people who post publicly on G+... Well, I think I'm finding out that G+ offers way more content that I find pleasing to my eye. It also allows you more freedom — you can upload and watch bigger photos, you can format your posts up to some point (you have strike, bold, italics, underline if I remember right)... edit your posts, even (It can come handy). All in all, I think Google+ got it right, while Facebook... Well, Facebook could just compare to living under a rock, while Google+ is much more dynamic and open.

*Haven't tried Ubuntu 12.04 yet, so data might be old

First, an off-topic matter. TITLES, Y U NO LONGER?!

Now, in the middle of the mess with making my assignment, editing all the photos from last week's event, 'Spring Day', fuckery with prom (My prom is 11th of May. However, my dancing pair comes from another school and has prom the next week.) and general mess of everything, I somehow take the time I don't really have for writing this journal. So what it'll be about? 

Scumbag camera and scumbag lightning, white winter, scumbag brain and treacherous open-source software.

First, let's go with scumbag camera and scumbag lightning part. As implied in the first paragraph, I was photographing the school event called 'Spring day'. It was held in the evening, which means high ISO values (800+!) which bring high noise. Thing sucked when the sun went down, for thing got really dark, so I had to keep ISO at 1600 all the time if I wanted to have 1/200s shutter speed. (Anything slower meant "nothing to do here".) At 1600, noise is already fucking high, (although at ISO 800 I was able to reduce it in post-processing for quite a nice deal.) When the sun was still shining, light was a scumbag even more. That was because sun shone on the background, while bands and others tended to stand in the shadows. Someone also brought two fucking lights (special effect stuff, usually seen in concerts in greater amounts) and put them on the side. The blue shit wasn't noticeable enough it would be worth keeping on the stage. However, it was strong enough to fuck up half the photos, so now I have a great time with RawTherapee trying to solve this mess. 

I do find it funny, though, that this event was called '[the] Spring Day', just few days before the winter started on April 1st. And it's world-wide winter, with first snowfalls (to my knowledge) starting in America, then moving to The Pirate Bay. The blizzard should strike us in Monday at around 8 PM, but... It seems that Lannisters now s(h)at on the IPTV roads and have no way of moving themselves away: I found most displeasing news that I can't watch paid programs on my laptop anymore unless I'm subscribed. ISP got some blocks apparently. First I thought that this was a playlist issue, so I searched the internet for a playlist with channels my ISP provides. I found most recent one, uploaded a month ago, but thing still didn't work — thus I know that ISP must be responsible. The fun part was comments which started to appear yesterday at 5 PM: people were requesting similar playlists for other ISPs and whining about HBO not working. Well, I see that I'm not the only one who wants his own piece of winter which we didn't have this year. But as long as Lannisters s(h)it on the IPTV roads, I guess I'll have to rely on Davos to smuggle me some snow. (And yes, for those who didn't get it: Game of Thrones, season 2, not the real winter.).

Speaking of A Song of Ice and Fire... Le spoilers. I got tons of them. And scumbag brain, guess what it does? Remembers. They are the legion, it seems. They don't forget. They don't forgive. (True story). Or, they remember at least ALL the book spoilers and link them to as much thing as possible. For learning and knowledge, though, that statement is incorrect. "So you need to know that for school? Oops, I forgot to remember." —The brain, lvl 85 scumbag.

Additional complaint: It seems that George R.R. Martin briefly mentions wyverns once in a Dance With Dragons... Which I don't get is:
Geroge R.R. Martin, if you know what wyverns are
Y U MAKE DRAGONS LOOK LIKE WYVERNS (crime against fantasy and lvl 75+ fantasy geeks) (Yes, he whispered the descriptions to creators of ASIOAF-dwelling products).

This rant over, let us head to the biggest problem that there is... And might appear boring to certain people on here BUT... Open source software. Stuff like GIMP, Amarok, Linux distros. I mean, they are okay but when you start to love them, they crawl behind your back and stab you with a knife. Which is supposed to be a metaphor for frustration open source stuff tends to cause. What considers GIMP, I'm still at 2.6.8 because later versions suck (but even at that version I suffered some crashes lately. I have beta 64-bit, so that explains that). What considers linux, I can't stand *ubuntu distros for more than 30 minutes, and (especially ubuntu) is getting downhill since 9.10 IMO. (Firstly, shittier and shittier gnome, now Unity which fails even harder than Gnome...). But a program that tends to cause me most frustration of late is Amarok. My current version has a bug that won't play files with š, č, ž and things mit dem umlaut in them. Which suck. So I find out that newest version has solved that bug. I so update my KDE, only to find thing now sucks a lot, and sucks hard. Firstly, KDE appearance settings (color schemes) stopped working, which is first bigger fu—. After that I look at Process Hacker (read: task manager)... And I see that new Amarok constantly uses at least 6-16% of CPU, which is 3-10+ times more than previous version (2-3%). Fortunately I still had old KDE installation files saved, so I could roll changes back very quickly. Today I tried getting newest Amarok as independent package that didn't require KDE-on-windows installed. CPU usage was a little lower, (4-12%, spending most time at 6-8%, which is too much) but thing crashed when I wanted to check which plugins are enable, and won't run ever since that happened. I guess I'll just have to rename files.

So, today we had an event called 'Spring day' at our school (which is kinda funny, because it's almost summer temperature-wise and because winter's coming on April 1st. (And, not only that HBO people don't seem to know the difference between wyverns and dragons, they forgot to update the series title to 'Clash of Kings.) Anyway, so we had this event, and I was one of the photographers. And yes, I brought my camera.

The show started at 6 PM, right at the time before sunset, so the light was "scumbagging" all the time. That means too much light where I didn't need it it and too few where it would be most welcome. And after the sun set, there was no sunlight at all, which sucked a lot. I've taken 'only' about 100 pictures, and some were good but some weren't. Issues are related to me using 55-200mm lens (Level 20 item! It's also called a tele-zoom lens, and it amplifies vibrations a lot. But it (using that lesn) did pay off on successful shots, and there were others who had the standard lens kit so...), too long exposure time (1s/100, and still blurred) (because I didn't want high ISO as long as possible), lack of light (I sacrificed image being darker and thus had lower ISO at shorter exposure times), high ISO (I wanted to keep it under 800, but I eventually had to rise it to 1600. I hope RawTherapee will fix that fail on more successful shots) et cetera. In a word, sports halls suck a lot for taking pictures in general.

And then I had that moment today where I had far more luck than brain. Considering my high level of intelligence (lol, self-esteem is a must), this thing doesn't happen often.
I don't always have more luck than brain,
so when I do, I really have really really big luck. (Luck levels being far over 9000).

I've managed to forget the camera bag with all the equipment in it on the bus. Fortunately, the GGG from my part of town, who was sitting on the seat next to me (by the window, while I was in the middle), noticed that I forgot it and brought it to me. Calculating all the probabilities and applying 'Murphy's law' factor to them, we can see the amount of luck I had.

So for the end: Dear admin of 'Beta' server/archadmin of Asgard 2.0 platform, thanks for fixing the memory leak that occured in the processing of data on the Yggdrasil processing units. (Also, I might explain the 'religion' of this paragraph in a later journal/deviation!)
  • Listening to: Eva Rivas - Apricot Stone
  • Playing: Minecraft (but I shouldn't)