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Technology issues XD

Ozoneocean at 12:00AM, April 26, 2024
tags: issues, Technology, XD

Lothar has had to quit his Friday Newsposts so I've had to take over for now.
So my post is tech issues.

I recently experienced some tech issues- Windows 11 messed up my comp because of a faulty update and the computer needed to be reset. This means Windows reinstalls itself and all your installed programs and hardware go away so it's very bothersome. It's nowhere near as much of an issue as such problems used to be though because Windows downloads itself, it keeps all your files and customisations, and most programs you use these days are all available online with profiles and settings that you sign into so you don't lose all your stuff the way you used to.

It was a little trickier for me though; although my computer is pretty new a lot of the hardware and programs I use are pretty old and need to be carefully installed and setup. My old Wacom Cintiq needs tweeking. My Photoshop CS4 and Illustrator CS4 are 100% mine and don't require silly subscriptions but the disadvantage is they need to be installed of off their DVDs and you need backups for their custom settings (like brushes, gradients etc).

The other part of this is that I mostly use a lot of Android based things for my art and Google services for a lot of my other work so I was never going to be slowed down the way I might have been in the past. Being that distributed and having that much online redundancy means that something that would have put you out of commission for a few days or maybe even weeks back in the day now doesn't even slow you down at all. Technology has slowly but gradually gotten a lot more reliable for art making over the years!

I've been using computers for art making since the 1990s (doing digital art, Graphic design, fine art, video and photography), so I've seen a LOT of change over that time. Despite using computers that long for art it still took me a while to fully transition all my art practice to the digital medium (having started as a fine artist, painter and sculptor), mainly because it took it a long time to match the reliability and capability of physical media, though now in many practical respects it has.

What's been your main issues with technology? Have things gotten easier or more difficult?

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Ozoneocean at 3:15AM, April 28, 2024

Honestly windows 11 is pretty uch fine. That hickup was really annoying but if something similar happened with with easier versions I doubt it would have been as easy to recover from. The main complaint I have about Windows 11 is that it goes too much for "easy mode". It simplifies options and things too much so it can emulate Apple. I hate that aspect.

PaulEberhardt at 8:51AM, April 27, 2024

Btw. reading your posts makes me glad I declined the offer to upgrade to Windows 11. I might have if I had another computer as a backup, but I rely too heavily on it, and the computer expert friend I know and leave most of the maintenance and cleaning up my mess to told me he doesn't feel familiar enough with it yet, so could I please stick with Windoze 10 until he is. What can I say? I know better than not to listen, and the upgrade to version 10 has already messed up way too many things for comfort. There's so much I used to be able to do and am only slowly regaining, if at all, it really feels like a downgrade sometimes.

PaulEberhardt at 8:50AM, April 27, 2024

Joking aside, I'm extremely wary of subscription schemes, even if they're the norm today. They go way back and they've nearly always been money traps for as long as I can think. They make you feel as if you made a bargain and cajole you with notions of safety when it comes to support and often enough, there may be a psychological trick behind it, like making you rely on the product more and more and creating an anxiety about missing out if you unsubscribe, until you don't object to raising prices after a year or putting up with hidden additional costs for this or that extra perk. Well, I have to give it to them that anything in development does need a steady cash inflow, and it's better to know where they expect to get their money from. However, subscriptions tend to accumulate so you need to keep very close track, and always make sure you know how and when you can get out of them. It's doable but you need the kind of organisation level that I find too stressful for my free time.

PaulEberhardt at 8:10AM, April 27, 2024

I've had days when I entertained the strong paranoid suspicion those people in the IT industry conspire to sabotage me.😤 Possibly a lot of it was my own fault, but I do know that software engineers or whatever they're called can't keep their fingers off anything that works until it doesn't. I like tinkering with stuff myself, so it's not as if I couldn't understand them at all, however I've learned to show some restraint when it comes to functionality and the stuff in question being actually important. So should some people in the industry. They won't, because that's how they earn money: upgrade the faulty upgrade with the promise that it'll work better than the original this time... Whoops! Oh sorry, now it ruined something else. By the way, hey, why don't you subscribe for € 899.99 a month so you will never miss any of our newest screw-ups and to make those one or two features work you downloaded this software for in the first place?😁

Ozoneocean at 10:00PM, April 26, 2024

I started with Adobe Photoshop 4.1, And upgraded to 5, 5.1, 6... Then CS, CS2, and finally CS4. Back in the day you needed a BEAST to fun art programs really well, more powerful than typical gaming PCs, you needed an expensive monster. My comp back in 2003 had a Gig of Rambus RAM, which was very expensive at the time. In fact when I retired that computer I sold the RAM separately and still got great money for it. But computers have gotten way better since and can run art programs happily on what are now considered minimal specs. You only need a really beefy thing for advanced 3D work or hi-res video. The latest mobile devices handle 2D art perfectly easily. The best thing to do is to become agnostic in your approach so you're not tied to any device, OS, program digital or physical media but can use them all- I can do that if i have to but the benefit of sticking with only a few things is that you can master secret hidden tips and tricks... plus things you're comfortable with.

J_Scarbrough at 7:11PM, April 26, 2024

Subscription-based licensing has its pros and cons. On the one hand, they tend to be a great deal and a lot cheaper than forking over a huge sum to buy the programs from installation discs, and of course, you can upgrade them without having to rebuy new versions of the software altogether. On the other hand, sometimes the new versions are inferior to previous versions, which is what I've been hearing about both Adobe Premiere and Adobe Photoshop . . . as a matter of fact, in the years I've been using Adobe Premiere, I've upgraded through about 3-4 versions, and each one has retired useful features that I used to use, which is why I finally stopped upgrading by the CC 2018 version.

fallopiancrusader at 4:55PM, April 26, 2024

The biggest change that I have felt in my day to day usage of computers resulted from the rise of subscription-based software licensing. I used most of the entire Adobe creative suite, and 3D studio MAX, in a professional capacity for more than 20 years. But when those companies went to subscription-based licensing , I pulled the plug on all of them, and had to re-train myself to use alternative products that have perpetual licenses. The whole process took about 5 years of re-training before I was back up to full speed. Right now, I am working to wean myself off of Photoshop. Once that is done, I will finally be able to say that I am 100 percent Adobe-free!

J_Scarbrough at 3:14PM, April 26, 2024

@CRYSTALPEN Your anxiety is justifiable. I had and used Adobe Fireworks up until the beginning of the year when I renewed my Adobe subscription, and it somehow made me lose Fireworks, and since it was discontinued years ago, I no longer have it after using it for almost 20 years. Also, Adobe no longer allows for downloads of previous versions of their programs, and the latest versions don't support 7, so yeah.

Hapoppo at 10:46AM, April 26, 2024

@InkyMoondrop - Been there. I want to give Linux another try at some point but it's definitely not a user-friendly operating system. Way less bloat than Windows with its forced updates and OneDrive garbage though, so I think it's worth sticking to and trying to figure it out, but that's just me.

CRYSTALPEN at 10:31AM, April 26, 2024

I sometimes get computer anxiety. I keep my art programs on an old HP with Windows 7 and use Photoshop Elements and Paint Shop Pro 6 I worry that my computer will die and I'll have to put out big bucks to replace these programs. I started out years ago with a Bell Computer (not a Dell) I worked for a computer book publisher that brought in a instructor once a week. I have a digital pad but being an ancient being I still use pencil to do layout and ink. I came to cartooning very late in life and am still learning. I can't remember how many times over the years that I've had put it all the pieces back together again. I do remember that it once took me ten hours to fix everything. -Crystal Pen (Bret)

InkyMoondrop at 10:30AM, April 26, 2024

Every now and then I convince myself to switch to Linux and after a few days I can't take it anymore. Even if I select one that's for completely comfort-oriented noobs like me with an easy-to-use desktop environment that only requires 5-10% of the commands to learn and use, installing anything not already included in software managers is a pain and the few software I normally use on windows are buggy af on linux, because the updates are out of synch or idk. I really don't want to buy new hardware to run Windows 11, but I guess it's going to happen sooner or later.

Sketchydrawer at 9:29AM, April 26, 2024

I also believe it's a double edge sword. My brushes and system ressetted and that was hella annoying and stressful due to how some brushes were no longer supported or available but its online and there is a ton of other similar tools so i make do. While in traditional I have had some of my stuff ruined a bit from food or drinks lol but it gives me a different vibe compare to digital. You can do lots of things in either one but its the preserving part that worries me on both sides. So i take photos of my best work and use services like Cloud or Drive ( backups )

Ironscarf at 9:00AM, April 26, 2024

I didn't start moving to digital art until 2006/7 and learned mostly from places like this back then. A fellow called Ozoneocean had a wealth of priceless knowledge and also rescued almost my entire body of work on at least one occasion. You can learn just about anything from YouTube and other venues, but picking the good advice from the bad is not so easy. I love being able to link my brainstorming and writing across all devices, but like Hapoppo I'm wary of the relentless push to subscription. I don't use Adobe products in my process and avoid Apple like the plague for this reason. I don't want to become part of anyone's techosphere. I can't say things have become easier or more difficult, but it's nice to know that when I no longer have a steady hand I can fall back on vectors and stabilisation to keep going a while longer, unlike artists of the past.

J_Scarbrough at 8:18AM, April 26, 2024

I still don't know how anybody can accomplish anything significant with the limitations of mobile devices . . . I need the expansive workspace and setup of a computer - not to mention, mobile screens are so tiny, how can you even see any of the fine details?

J_Scarbrough at 8:18AM, April 26, 2024

I would say my biggest issue with computer technology is how constantly it evolves, and by that I mean at any given time, the amount of RAM, diskspace, etc. you have seems like the best in the world - just to date myself, I can remember a time when on 512MB of RAM was considered impressive. When I got my current computer in 2012, its specs were maxed out: 8GB RAM, 586GB diskspace . . . now, that's small potatoes, and my computer acts slow and sluggish at times because of it. I heartell the new max for such specs is 64GB RAM and an entire freakin' terrabyte of diskspace!!

J_Scarbrough at 8:15AM, April 26, 2024

As I've mentioned on the forum, this is exactly the main reason I changed my update settings to where the updates can only be installed manually if I allow them to, because for a while back in the mid-to-late 2010s, my computer would occasionally automatically update to Windows 8 or 10, so I would have to do a System Restore to revert it back to 7; I had heard not one iota of positive reviews about 8 or 10, and had no desire to update - I wanted to hold onto 7 as long as I could . . . but unfortunately, I'm now in a position where I have no choice to get a whole new computer, and I'll explain why in my next comment. . . .

Hapoppo at 7:42AM, April 26, 2024

... but as much as a lot of PCs are connected, I have no idea how much of my info is actually kept to myself and how much of it is logged to Microsoft's, or whoever else's, servers, so I can't trust it to put any kind of sensitive info on here, at all. Plus, if you're in the gaming world like I am, you know there's a big issue right now with digital ownership - which is to say, it's non-existent. They can change or take away anything you paid for, at any time, which is why having some form of physical copy of your data is always a must. As a bit of a detour from my point but also an important one to consider, cloud storage can be great as a backup, don't get me wrong, but keep in mind the 3-2-1 rule for archiving - 3 copies, 2 different formats, 1 remote location.

Hapoppo at 7:37AM, April 26, 2024

It's a bit of a double-edged sword, in my opinion (Yeah, I know, some people aren't a fan of that saying... what can I say, it's the best one I have for the situation XD). On one hand, it's great that I can just pull out my phone and hammer out a few lines of script even if I'm out on a walk - and since I have a Galaxy Note phone, I can even draw out a comic page, if I wanted. Plus storage for backup is cheap, I can just get a couple 256 GB thumb drives and probably have enough room for basically every file even remotely related to my comics. The flip side is, so many companies now want everything to be online, everything has to be subscription-based, and there are issues of privacy and ownership. It's not a big deal in the webcomic world, since I plan on putting this stuff out to the public anyway it's not like I'm worried about that info getting leaked there...

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