Apple can bite it.

My post on the apple tech forums got removed. I was legitimately looking for a response, hoping that somebody could P2P a free tool for checking the hardware. The response from the forum was NO! You can't get free software for free. I got irate and left another post. After hours, the post was taken down. Here is the polite response I got from Apple, followed by my post.
Dear Eric,

Thank you for your enthusiasm and desire to help Apple
make our products even better.
We appreciate your comments
and encourage you to share them with Apple on our feedback page:


As part of submitting feedback, please read the Unsolicited
Idea Submission Policy linked to the feedback page.

Apple Discussions is designed as a user-to-user support
platform to address technical questions. To keep this focus
we have remove your post "Re: Can you torrent the Apple
Hardware test?", which is copied below.

Thank you for your understanding.

Kind Regards,

Apple Discussions Staff


A copy of your message for reference:

Well, Apple can bite it. They really should provide that for
download somehow. I don't think that's even a little unreasonable.
For the premium you pay for their hardware, they really should
give a little more.


Being naked is F*cking Metal.

Can stand to work on the speakers a little bit. But I'm pretty happy with it. Like the drawing of the guitar. Look for a color version in the future. Maybe.

Chicky Leet "Smiles" for the Camera

Character very near and dear to my heart. Trying to write comics about her. But writing is pretty hard.


Homosassa Springs

What kind of nutball series of posts is this? Rants about open platforms, bitching about John McCain, drawings of naked girls--and now Manatees?

Went on a field trip today to Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park to visit some of our very unlikely friends, the Florida Manatee. I really don't understand how these things are not extinct. Every one I've ever been around has next to no survival instict at all. And these were FAAAAT! The largest ones weigh upward of 3,000 lbs.

In all seriousness, I really love these animals. But I don't know that my grandchildren will even know what the hell they are.

Go to my flickr account to check out the whole set.

This manatee wanted to hang out and stare at these rocks. Good enough.

These guys were apparently pissed because the day before they didn't get their usual Romaine Lettuce since the grocery store was out or something. Fat jerks refused to eat it.

Awwww...look at him! He's got the cutey-ootiest little face. And a 3,000 lb body. That's 3x what a wild manatee weighs.
Sometime there are not words to describe the things we encounter.


Geek Girl Final

Well, it's pretty much a done deal that I'm not going to be included in the Eye Candy 2.0 book being put together at Brand Studio. I was pretty bummed about that outcome, but I feel good about having finished the piece on time and feel like I'm starting to get back into a good place creatively. I've had a hard time keeping myself excited about making art, and I think this is starting to get my mojo flowing again.

So, in that way, it's a good thing despite the failure.


Why don't we have an Open Platform Console?

Lately, this is all I have thought about. It's becoming a little obsession.

Console gaming is bigger than ever, but unlike computers, which are open-platforms, consoles are closed. Nintendo allows development for the Wii, Sony for the PS3, Microsoft for the 360. But in the end, it's really only a computer, and with dilligence, you can make it remember it's essentially a computer. Modchips and exploits sort of bring the closed platform down from being closed to being somewhat open. And God bless the heroic nerds that work for that cause.

Nintendo works hard to fight back against console hackers in their attempts to install things like the "homebrew channel." After a firmware update, hackers fought back and had the Twilight hack working within days. But I don't understand why they go to such trouble.

The Indrema was a much hyped console that crashed and burned back in 2001. It hurts me this thing never existed. It would have run a linux operating system and been an open platform, to say nothing of open source.

While Indrema never materialized, we may be at the point (in my eyes) where a properly marketed, open platform console could do well--with a casual gaming market, FPS and PC gaming fans--not only that, but it could give the indie (or homebrew, if you prefer) game market the legs it needs to stand on. Independant companies are important to any market, and it is going to be pretty well impossible for a small developer to get his game into the market on one of the big three consoles. An open platform console would allow these little guys to get their game into people's living rooms.

Steam is pretty much the perfect example of the way games are going to be distributed in the future. To counter piracy on the open platform, software could be distributed with a similar client, requiring the internet connection to activate. Of course, if developers wanted to release their game freeware or open-source, all the better.

I'd like to see this idea become a reality--an open linux platform where open-source communities can port existing linux software and transorm the console into all manner of crazy things. A bittorrent box hooked up to your television, or a small FTP server. Maybe hook it up to your surround sound and use it as a MP3 player. Hook it into your network and watch all of your shared media right on your HD television. I would personally buy one for Ben Heck.

Emulators will undoubtedly among the first things ported to this system. They are whenever a console is hacked. They can be tricky to get perfect, but they open up a huge library of great old software. And I don't think I should have to pay a bunch of Wii points or whatever to play Super Mario Brothers 3, which I happily still own despite my NES being in something less than perfect working order. But after emulators, where do we go from there? I would hope that some of the talented minds and communities that work on hacking consoles could move on to developing homebrew games so we can see some little guys starting some innovation in the medium.

If I had my dream team working on this, the console would be manufactured by either ASUS or Gamepark Holdings, Korean creators of the GP2X, which actually IS an open platform, open-source portable system. As long as I'm dreaming, I would also like Valve to create the Steam-like client. I would also like to see them develop some software for the system to encourage homebrew games, maybe releasing Half-Life as a free game with the system to allow modders to create their own HL based FPS games.

I suppose I will have a lot of time to obsess over this, as we will likely never see anything like this.

C'est la vie.


Geek Girl Pinup--Update

The color process in Illustrator is crawling along slooowly. Good thing is, I'm begining to feel pretty good about what I'm doing. Illustrator sort of does that to me. I feel like I'm wasting my time for several hours and all of a sudden, what I'm working on looks great.

That's my humble take on it, anyway.


The Death of the Record Industry, the Resurgence of Vinyl?

Reading through my RSS feeds today, I came across this article. Apparently services exist that very cheaply and very easily will publish your music to the iTunes store, Amazon, etc. Indie artists can pay the minimal fee of about 30 bucks and completely forgo having to sign over rights to music to record labels. Anyone can now produce a record and have it for sale in the largest music store on earth in minutes.

Record companies are panicking because they are losing the control they had. They believe the problem is entirely rested on P2P programs like Napster, Audiogalaxy, Bittorrent, etc. The reality is, no one gives two shits about "owning" music anymore. Nobody wants to pay for something that they can't hold in their hands. Intellectual property like music, falls into that catagory. No one views music as something tangible--as tracks on an album. CDs are garbage. You can buy 100 for ten dollars. Why would you want to spend $18.99 on ONE?

Rick Rubin was recently asked to "save the record industry." His solution was to offer consumers the ability to listen to anything they wanted to, streamed to their computer and on demand, for a subscription fee per month. The record companies, being big, dumb dinosaurs, didn't like the idea and thought it undermined the value of the music. But if current trends continue for them, their music will be completely worthless. It's already completely free.

The brilliance of Rubin's idea is that it is actually easier than downloading music. You don't have to store hundreds of gigs of music, and you would be able to take everything you like around with you, as long as their was some sort of internets being piped in wirelessly. Microsoft is already doing this, and I don't know who else might see the light. A small cash cow of twenty bucks a month is certainly better than almost no one ever buying albums ever again.

In my opinion, and it may not be a unique vision, but I see two distinct markets for music. The Rubin subscription service will work fine and dandy for most users--low quality, down and dirty radio-like streaming, ala Pandora, will get the job done for most consumers and gets them paying for a service--something more tangible than just digital information. Getting all the music you want on all of your devices is more like getting your water or electricity turned on. So that makes sense. But I think there is still a market for audiophiles and music geeks--those of us that still buy albums in this Golden Age of Piracy.

I'm hoping there will be a bigger movement to fill the need of audiophiles. I own a lot of vinyl and know more than a few music geeks that collect it to. That's part of the problem with CDs--that big record really makes you feel like you're getting something warm and rich. The art on the sleeve is enormous compared to your regular CD sleeve. More often than not, an average CD cover looks considerably better printed on that paperboard sleeve. A lot of illustrators moaned about the demise of large album art. I say bring it back. Offer the audiophiles high quality music, with the dramatic range many critics of CD and MP3 sound so often cite. Give us a real reason to want to own the music.


Geek Girl Pinup

Been slaving away at this for Alberto Ruiz's upcoming book, Eye Candy 2.0. Alberto is one of my all-time favorite artists, so reading about this open call to entries has gotten me excited about creating art for the first time in probably a year. I've had a serious slump to get through, but I think I'm finally starting to pull out of the nosedive.

I'm working through the painful process of creating the final illustration in Adobe Illustrator. I've been very happy with the results of my recent vector pieces, so hopefully I can finish this little beauty in time to enter.
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