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xTernal7

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4 min read
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.


===
Photography

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.
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6 min read
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:
"OMFG KILI IS KILL! HE DED! Y DOES IT HAVE TO HURT SO BAD!"
-"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.
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3 min read
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 &uarr; instead of ↑ and &darr; 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.
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5 min read
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.
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6 min read

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.

/etc/stats/etc
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.

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Featured

2014 - Year in art by xTernal7, journal

The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies by xTernal7, journal

Kinda back on track by xTernal7, journal

And I've lost another hard drive. by xTernal7, journal

Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons + stats of 2013 by xTernal7, journal