More R4 Content

February 3rd, 2009

Another R4 skin. My coworker ordered one and wasn't too excited to use my half naked girl-themed skins, so I made one with her interests in mind; checkerboard, comics, and classic video games. The cool part about this skin is how I made it. I took screenshots of Super Mario Bros. 2 running on an emulator, then made patterns out of the textures in the game. Most of the sprites are 16x16 pixels, so if you set the grid in Photoshop to 16x16 you can make selections to large areas of the image and fill it in with background textures. If you select an arbitrary area of the screen and fill it in with the texture it fills in the texture off-center. It's not a huge deal for most of the background textures, but if you're adding trees or character sprites it becomes really important. You can download the skin here. I'll do a write-up detailing the process step-by-step as well as provide the patterns for Photoshop.

I'm going to be adding a portfolio page somewhere on BlatBlatPewPew, since the store I work at is closing and I could really use from freelance jobs on the side.

LOL Graphics // Graphics LOL

November 17th, 2008

I made this design as a shirt to print and wear to a YTCracker show that was last night. I wasn't able to have them printed in time, but I should have them in a couple weeks. It's based off a freestyle YTCracker did a while back called "LOL Money" which turned into a catch phrase online. I'll post pictures once they're made, which I'm pretty excited about. If you're interested in purchasing one they'll run you like $12. Hit me up at cheesegnome at msn dot com.

Windows Vista Optimizations

November 9th, 2008

Lack of updates. Bah. I haven't designed anything lately, so I've had nothing to update about. So in an effort to keep me in the habit of updating this I'm going to post about my experience streamlining Vista and tweaking the user interface.

Let's start off with the kind of system I have. I'm running Windows Vista Home Premium 64-bit on a (single core) AMD Athlon 64 3200+ with 4 gigs of RAM (4x1GB), a GeForce 6600GT, and Sound Blaster Live! 24-bit External sound card. I used this article on PCSTATS as a guide, so I'm not going to go step-by-step on what to do, but outline the steps I took and how their effect on my Vista experience.

I followed all of their steps on disabling services with the exception of security. There were steps such as disabling the dialog box that allows or denies programs the ability to run and disabling Windows Defender. I'm not so obsessed with getting the last 0.n% performance out of my hardware that I'm willing to disable core system security features. I also kept most, if not all, of my visuals running. I find Vista to be a very fulfilling experience because of the interface, and there was no way I'm turning off things like Aero or menu shadows. I did disable the hardware and network-related items I didn't use such as my firewire and weird network-based compression. Here's the before and after results of my optimization as determined by the Windows Experience scores. All scores are out of 5.9.

ComponentDetailsSubscore
ProcessorAMD Athlon(tm) 64 Processor 3200+
4.0
Memory (RAM)4.00 GB
4.5
GraphicsNVIDIA GeForce 6600 GT
4.6
Gaming graphics2047 MB Total available graphics memory
4.5
Primary hard disk148GB Free (298GB Total)
5.6

ComponentDetailsSubscore
ProcessorAMD Athlon(tm) 64 Processor 3200+
4.0
Memory (RAM)4.00 GB
5.1
GraphicsNVIDIA GeForce 6600 GT
4.7
Gaming graphics2047 MB Total available graphics memory
4.5
Primary hard disk148GB Free (298GB Total)
5.6

The +0.6 to the Memory score was pretty surprising, especially since I assumed that Windows would rate hardware based on the components themselves, not how they were being used by the system. It also pulled the Graphics score up +0.1 which struck me as odd. No bonus to Gaming graphics, though.

Sexy Graphic Design (cont.)

October 24th, 2008

Finished my second and, for now, last of my sexy girl R4 skins. Next I'll be tackling other themes that are a little more work friendly. I also decided to Photoshop the screen shot rather than dealing with a crappy cell phone picture. Looks a little nicer, but you can't see the fine details unless you look at the full-sized version. I didn't make a background for the browser half since I actually liked having the other theme's background there. That, and variety is the spice of life, so why just repeat the same image over again from screen to screen? Again, the link to the files can be downloaded here.

I forgot to mention before how to use these. In case you have an R4 and don't know how to skin the user interface it's pretty simple. On your Micro SD card there should be a folder called _system_. Just place the four bitmaps in that directory. It should look like x:\_system_\logo.bmp, x:\_system_\icons.bmp, and so on.

If you don't have an R4 I highly suggest finding one. I got mine for $40 for a local game shop that just opened up.

Sexy Graphic Design

October 23rd, 2008

I picked up an R4 Revolution for DS. After realizing I could skin the user interface for the R4 I decided to find some pictures that I wouldn't mind seeing when I booted my DS and started Photoshopping. If you have an R4 you can get the files here.

I was originally going for the same style as the first BlatBlatPewPew layout, but it ended up being mostly a colored image. Oh well, I'll try for something a bit more artistic next.

On an unrelated note my relic of a computer seems to run Crysis in 64-bit mode without much issue at all. The sound effects are sometimes delayed by up to 30 seconds but it runs without any stuttering. Yay for gaming on Vista! It doesn't suck as much as people said.

Disaster!

October 16th, 2008

Handy Recovery 2.0, Handy Recovery 4.0, AusLogics Emergency Recovery, and Nero RescueAgent. Crashed, crashed, blue screen, no results respectively. So looks like all my stuff is gone for good. Time to start fresh. I'm downloading an ISO for Sabayon so I can wipe the drive and put Linux on there. I'd debating between that and Ubuntu but Sabayon has Ruby and all kinds of fun toys built in that I would have to setup under Ubuntu.

Blat Blat ver. 2

October 15th, 2008

Well this is a post I didn't really want to make. It seems that all the files and folders inside of C:\Documents and Settings on my old hard drive are gone, which included the source files for Blat Blat Pew Pew. I've attempted to recover the files quite a few times but so far my efforts are fruitless. So along with a fresh install of Creative Suite 3 I decided to play with Blat Blat and make it a little brighter. I liked the style of the old layout, but it just didn't feel right. I don't really like this version a whole lot, but I need a place holder until I can do a serious makeover.

Blat Blat Pew Pew Gets a Purpose

September 18th, 2008

So until recently I bought this domain name for the sole purpose of taking advantage of a 99 cent special on domains. So this is going to be my place to dump and organize my arty-fartsy stuff. Pictures, music, whatever. I suck at all of it but oh well. The only people forced here are my friends who I spam with no remorse until they tell me how neat it is.