June 03, 2001

Well, I got a new computer yesterday. It's not a replacement for my current "productivity" machine, where I script and color Schlock Mercenary, mind you. It's a PC for my kids to play games on. Sure, I could put games on my computer, but then I'd have to share it, and I'd end up sitting down to crank out some Schlock, and I'd play a game instead.

Well, I went out and bought a game for me to play on the "game computer," and was really looking forward to it. And then it didn't work. So I killed half a day troubleshooting, installing more memory (that needed to be done anyway, but still...), and basically not cartooning, and when it was all said and done I could watch the intro to Black and White, and be tantalized by giant dancing cows and demon hands throwing villagers around, but I could not actually play the blinking game.

So I cranked out three strips, briefly contemplated trying to install Black and White on my productivity machine, and then realized that the kid computer is faster, with a better graphics card than the box I'm currently sitting in front of. If it won't work there, it won't work here, and I'm not killing another half-hour proving it to myself.

The good news is that I won't be able to contact technical support, and/or acquire the new kibbles'n'bits I need to make the game go until at least Monday. So I'll have to entertain myself with a few more Schlock strips. The bad news is that I will resolve this eventually, and I will play Black and White for long hours at some point in the near future--and I believe this means that I may have to start neglecting a) Novell, b) Schlock, or c) my family in order to pull it off. Or perhaps the recreational value of the game will invigorate me, and I'll suddenly have more energy to put into a-through-c above.

A quick note on machine specs for those of you bent on asking me anyway: My computer is a Dell Dimension P450, with a 4MB Intel graphics card, 388MB of RAM, and an 8GB hard drive. The "kid computer" is a Dell P933, with an 8MB Intel graphics card, 320MB of RAM, and a 20GB hard drive. Sure, I could swap the two machines, but that would cost me a whole truckload of time, and in the end all I'd really have that I would notice is a slightly snappier interface. The way I look at it, my current machine does everything I need it to do, so I don't need to mess with it.

Oh, I also have a Umax c600 Mac clone with a PPC 603e running at 240MHz (Mac OS 8.1) down here in my office. Right now the ONLY thing it does is interface with my ancient flatbed HP scanner--the one I use for scanning strips. Needless to say, I'm not messing with it, either. A long, long time ago I played Marathon and Dark Forces on it, but those days are over.