|Posted by Norman Black on October 11, 2009 at 9:34 PM||comments (1)|
Hello, and sorry about the lack of updates (again). Sorry there's no new comic this week, but instead there’s something that a lot of you have been asking for.
I've been getting a lot of requests to somehow fix the comics archive pages because everything is so slow, it's hard to navigate, and it doesn't work very well. Here are some excuses:
It's slow - This is because this site is using a free account, and thus I'm only allowed 500mb of bandwidth a month. The site is getting at least 100 hits a day, and with all the pages being downloaded, and the large files of the comics, it runs out really quickly. Even today, the 11th of the month, I've used almost 2 gigs of bandwidth out of my allotted 500 mb (there's the problem).
It's hard to navigate - Unfortunately I'm limited by the webhost to using their photo gallery tools for that kind of thing, and there are very few options for customization. Unfortunately there isn't much I can do about that.
It doesn't work very well - Yes.
So here's the solution for all this, and why I haven't posted any new comics. This: http://aconcernedrip-off.webs.com/pages/archive_index.shtml
I wanted to make it familiar and easy to navigate, so I modeled it after the Concerned site's comic index pages. It's using the same type of layout (with the addition of a sidebar) so you will have the first, previous, index, next, and last buttons on the top and bottom of the pictures, along with the familiar Hide/Show Notes button at the bottom for the commentary on each comic.
Because I don't know much coding, there won't be a comments section at the bottom of each page anymore, but I did add a link to the bottom that will take you to the corresponding page in the old comic’s archive where you can post your comments.
The pages should also download much faster now because instead of linking to the comics hosted here, the comics are being hosted on an Image shack account, and then linked here. The best part is that Image shack gives each individual picture 300 mb of bandwidth each hour so there shouldn't be any more waits for the comics to load.
There are also no advertisements there either, so you won't be bombarded with lame ads for crap you don't need, or that incredibly annoying interactive talking thing.
The new archive is formatted to work on a 1280x1024 sized monitor (just because I couldn’t think of anyone who still uses that resolution) so it will be wider than other websites. I apologize to anyone who is still using 1024x768 or lower resolution, and can't view the new archive fully (get with the times!).
I've also added a e-mail link to the sidebar so if you have any problems with the new setup like dead links, or the formatting is broken somewhere you can go ahead and let me know what's wrong, and where it's located. Everything passed the W3 validatior so it should work. I've tried the site out in IE (32&64 bit), Firefox, Chrome, Opera, and Safari, but only the latest versions. If you're using an older version of those browsers, or a different one altogether and it doesn't work, let me know and I'll try to fix it.
Anyway, let me know what you think of the new archive and layout in the comments section!
|Posted by Norman Black on May 24, 2009 at 7:06 PM||comments (2)|
There isn't going to be a comic this week, mainly because I spent most of the time working on something for the website that I've been getting some requests for. A lot of people have been selfishly whining about the load times the comics archive page has been taking to load the comics, so I'm working on a substitute page.
This will be more like the pages that the Concerned site uses instead of the on here now. I've been coding it all in XHTML and it's taken a little longer than I thought so it might not be up for a few more days. However, it will be easier to navigate, and it will (or at least should) load quicker. I think the main problem with the load times right now is the fact that I'm only allowed 500 MB of bandwidth per month, yet the meter says that for this month I'm already up to about 3 GB. To solve this I'm making individual pages that have less information on them, and I'm going to be hosting the comics on another site and linking them to the page they will be shown on.
Right now I've almost gotten the basic layout for the pages done and once that's finished, it should just be an easy copy and paste job to make one for each of the 40 or so comics that I've made so far. It should be up sometime later this week if all goes as planned.
|Posted by Norman Black on May 13, 2009 at 6:24 PM||comments (4)|
I got my computer back up and running. I was unable to return my board to Newegg because the 1 month return period expired while it was at Intel being checked out. So I had to go ahead and buy a second one. And an extra 2 gigs of RAM for the compy of Vista I bought. I love wasting money.
It will be a few days before I get everything loaded and working again, but I'm hoping to get a new comic out by this Sunday.
|Posted by Norman Black on April 29, 2009 at 8:22 PM||comments (3)|
As most of you already know, my computer is in a transitional stage right now. This is mostly the fault of the motherboard, which I have since sent to Intel to see if they could find out what was wrong with it and to send me a new one. I recently received an e-mail from their customer support dep. that they cannot send me a replacement board due to "customer inflicted damages" (of course they refuse to tell me what the "damages" were even after I asked for specifics). So they're sending the board back to me without telling me what's wrong with it or if there's any way to fix it. I'm going to attempt to return it to Newegg in exchange for a new one (hopefully the second one won't be defective also), but that won't be for a while.
As far as the comic goes, I've been working ahead on comic ideas and have a few lined up in the form of pencil sketches of stick figures in a notebook. I apologize for the lack of stuffs available, but there isn't much I can do about it at the moment. Especially with the shakes I'm getting from PC gaming withdrawal. My consoles are helping ease the pain, but they can only delay the inevitable... until I get my computer working again.
|Posted by Norman Black on April 15, 2009 at 4:18 AM||comments (2)|
Okay, as most of you have probably noticed, there wasn't a comic this week either. Unfortunately I'm having problems regarding the network and some other audio problems. I've spent the last few weeks either waiting for the board, or trying to fix the board, but I'm going to be sending it back to Intel to have them inspect it and hopefully find out what's wrong.
So basically, this means that there won't be any comics coming out for a while. However, this will give me time to plan ahead and try to come up with better... stuff for future comics (I hope).
And just so you guys know, I don't plan on stopping making the comics for any reason (unless it's a lawsuit from the great and all powerful Chris and his army of cybernetically enhanced super lawyers (that would be pretty cool actually)). Just check your RSS feeds every now and then and everything should be back up and running in a few weeks... or months. Stupid computers, "why do they always blow up when I use them?!?" -Freeman.
|Posted by Norman Black on April 3, 2009 at 6:49 PM||comments (0)|
There won't be a comic this week. The short version of the story is that my motherboard died while I was trying to move everything into a new case and I'm waiting for a new one to arrive. It might take a week or two for everything to arrive in the mail so I'm not able to access anything on my hard drive. I've got other computers I could use, but performance wise, they aren't as powerful and thus, the comic wouldn't look as good.
For those of you who like nosing around in other peoples business because they publish everything they do online for everyone to see, here's the long version.
So, it was Sunday. I had just posted last week's comic and I decided to go down to Best Buy and look around (although I can never seem to leave that store without buying something). While looking through the nerd computer section I came across a gaming case that looked very appealing. I bought it. It was an Antec 900, and I really wanted to test it out, mostly because of all the fans and pretty lights, but also because my computer case was really old, cramped, and pretty generic having only one fan and no lights or see-through side panel. Thus, using that case for my i7 supercomputer that I was planning on building after Windows 7 came out would have been a bad idea. Not only because of the lack of airflow and potential water cooling possibilities, but because my old case simply would not bring justice to the greatness that is a custom built i7 supercomputer.
When I finally got home (it felt like a long time), the first thing I did was open it up and prepped the emergency room for surgery. I ripped everything out of my old computer case and threw it into the new one only to turn it on and have nothing happen. I sat staring at it for a while before mashing the power button several times in hopes of turning it on, but nothing happened. Just for the heck of it, I plugged in my headset to the audio in and out jacks on the front, and for some reason, the fans started spinning (although really pathetic like) and the lights came on. However, the computer still didn’t turn on. After messing around with it for a few hours and it still not working I decided to take a break to watch some TV and play Killzone 2. After that, the day suddenly ended and I was forced to go to bed.
The next morning I woke up, and as I was leaving, I pressed the power button in hopes of something changing over the night, and… nothing. I pulled out my headset (no idea why) and left. When I got back, all the lights were on and the case fans, processor fan, and video card fan were all spinning like crazy. The hard drive wasn’t doing anything, but it was on. Everything seemed to be working, the only problem was that my monitor wasn’t displaying anything, and my mouse and keyboard weren’t lit up like normal. I held in the power button to shut it down, and restarted only to have the same thing happen.
Over the next few days I spent all my free time taking things out and trying to get everything to work. I tried it in both computer cases, I tried removing all the accessories, the graphics card, the RAM, and even changing out the processor with my old one. Every time, all the fans would start up, my motherboard light would be on, but I never got any beeps that signified that the computer passed, failed, or even entered the POST. I eventually found a better case (Antec 1200) while trying to troubleshoot the motherboard online, so I ordered it, and returned the 900 I bought for a full refund. Funny enough, my original case turned out be an Antec also.
So, from what I tried, my conclusion is that the motherboard was fried. Nonetheless, I took it down to my local computer repair place on my way to work today and dropped it off to be tested. They told me they should be finished testing it either tomorrow, or Monday. I’m pretty sure it’s fried, and because I’m impatient, I bought the i7, motherboard, and 4 gigs of RAM online. It should arrive sometime next week (if I’m lucky).
And so concludes my excuse for why I won’t be posting a comic this week. Oh, and also, my car broke down as well. The spring on the throttle rusted and broke and so every time I put my foot on the pedal and lift off it won’t come back up and the engine keeps revving. Fun times.
|Posted by Norman Black on February 22, 2009 at 2:59 AM||comments (5)|
Sorry. I'm making some upgrades to my computer and it's taken a bit longer than I expected. Because of this, I haven't been able to work on the comic at all this week. One of the major things I'm upgrading is the hard drive. I was running out of room on my 180GB drive, so I bought a 1TB drive to replace it. Then I had to go through and figure out which one of the hard drives that's currently in my computer was the one I wanted to clone to the new one, and which drive I wanted to remove. Then I had to delete half of my programs to make room (all my files and such are on an external 500GB drive) for the disk defragmenter and the cloning software to do its job. I'm going to be transferring everything on my current drive to the 1TB drive today and then reinstall all the programs that I had uninstalled, make sure everything's working right, make sure that the dual boot configuration I had set up previously doesn't interfere with anything, and then hopefully I will be able to start working on the next comic. I want to have it out sometime in the middle of the week, but we'll just have to wait and see if everything goes as planned.
And as a cop-out, here’s something else to keep you entertained.
|Posted by Norman Black on January 4, 2009 at 4:20 AM||comments (2)|
First off, I have ended the poll on the front page. The final results have 48 votes for "Yes", 8 votes for "Go die in a fire", and 2 votes for "No". Therefore, I will start including notes on the making of each comic, and will be adding notes to the other comics as time goes by. So, by popular demand, I give you the first comic to have the whole note thingy included. And I believe there will be some disappointed people out there wishing I was dousing myself with gasoline right at this moment.
This was the first comic that I hadn't really planned out in advance. Usually I would write a bunch of comics quickly, and then tweak them over time based on what was going on, and any last minute changes I thought of. This time, I wrote the comic on a Monday, and edited it for a few days before letting it sit, re-reading it later, and making some more changes. I'm not sure if it has really made much of a difference, but it's easier to make them this way, so I think I'll stick with this producing method.
The lack of light in the tunnels here is both a good thing, and a bad thing. Good, because I don't have to worry about posing a lot and bad, because there isn't really much for the reader to look at and understand what is going on. Usually I would say that without seeing the characters you miss half the action, but that doesn't happen much in my comics because I don't use their bodies enough. It's a problem I'm working on.
I added the reference to Frohman being a rebel expert just because I needed something for the combine soldiers to talk about while waiting for Frohman to blow himself up. His final line in the last panel I had ripped off from a Foxtrot comic where Peter tries to slide over the hood of his car Dukes of Hazard style. I just changed the line "Molten... shrapnel... in... groin...." from the original "Underwear... snagged... on... windshield wiper...." I'm not sure why I added the "Molten" part in there though. It could be something that would be funnier if left out.
Lighting in the 5th panel was pretty easy. I just put a big yellow colored light on the ground, and then a yellow colored lamp next to it facing the Combine Soldiers. I kind of like how the lights worked out. Oh, and that big yellow blur over the combine soldiers' heads is supposed to be a car that was blown over their heads by the grenade. Usually grenades don't have that kind of force, but I needed to find a way to get that car pinned against the door.
|Posted by Norman Black on December 30, 2008 at 10:00 PM||comments (0)|
Recently the updates page went through a change and looks a bit different now. Also, anyone who had previously subscribed the RSS feed on the old updates page may have to re-subscribe to the new version of the page in order to get the RSS working again.
And if you haven't already, you should participate in the poll at the bottom of the home page. I plan on letting it run for another week or so, just to give option 3 time to catch up.