The most revolutionary OS of all times, DOS.

loocas | miscellaneous,opinions,software | Sunday, January 31st, 2010

MS-DOS

I’m still amazed how useful DOS can be, even in 2010! And the main reason I thin it’s the most revolutionary OS of all times is that it actually brought the entire PC industry to regular folks’ hands.

Now, by DOS, I’m actually referring to the simplest form of OS environment, IO.sys, MSDOS.sys and COMMAND.com. That’s all you need in order to communicate with your system. That’s all you need to actually get some work done! Isn’t it amazing?

Obviously, Windows and MacOS heavily extended the OS functionality and brought something else in the game. But that’s just evolution. However, DOS on the other hand was truly revolutionary. I may be skipping some other important OS attempts, but DOS was the first OS I ever used as a little kid. I remember when I was about 8 or 9 years old, my grandpa had a, at the time, high-end 286 computer, 512KB of RAM, some 30MB HDD, it was a beast! :D and it was running DOS. I learnt a few basic commands, such as CD, MD, CLS, COPY etc… just to be able to run Prince of Persia or Wolf3D :D

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duber studio server is finally online!

loocas | hardware,miscellaneous,technical | Saturday, January 30th, 2010

duber server is online

Hell yeah! :) After a few months of putting the gear together, getting all the paperwork done, installing the electrical and network cabling, we finally run our own data management platform with an added bonus of a private render farm. How cool is that?! :D

duber’s render slaves

loocas | hardware,miscellaneous,opinions,technical | Saturday, January 23rd, 2010

duber render node

I finally started building the render slaves for my studio. The first dedicated render node I built is based on basic mainstream parts, nothing fancy, but with enough power so that the render node does make sense to be placed in a rack installation.

The basic idea, obviously, was to build as powerful a machine, as possible for the lowest price tag, as possible. Since I’ve been an Intel user since, well forever, I based the machine on a Core i7 860 (Lynnfield) CPU, DDR3 memory and the rest is pretty much optional. But for my purposes, I wan every machine in the studio, to basically follow this idea of having a dedicated hard-drive, preferrably pretty fast, for the OS and a dedicated one for all the offline data. So, each machine, including the render nodes, will host a C: drive with all the software and programs on and a D: drive that’ll be setup to support all the files that we’ll work with. The workstation will have some other HDDs optionally, but these two drives are neccesary in order to rule out variables in the pipeline I’ve been building for a few months now.

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A day with HTC HD2

loocas | hardware,miscellaneous,opinions | Saturday, December 19th, 2009

HTC HD2 (Leo)

After spending the whole day with the most awesome phone on the market (all right, a bit biased here, but I’m really loving it! :D ), tweaking the shit out of it, installing gazillion apps and customizing it exactly to my liking, what has the experience been like?

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HTC HD2 (Leo), finally arrived!

loocas | hardware,miscellaneous,opinions | Thursday, December 17th, 2009

HTC HD2

Ahhh! Finally, the courier has arrived and after 14days of waiting, I’ve got my new phone in my hands!

Yes, none other than the icon of pure awesomeness, HTC HD2 (Leo). So far (only a few minutes) the experience has been beyond fantastic. The phone is very snappy, huge and uber-powerful. I’m simply loving it! Besides, I wouldn’t settle for anything below high-end, so, this phone was a clear winner. :D

One little hiccup, though. The Mini (perhaps micro?) USB port on this device is slightly different to all the previous HTCs I’ve had, so I have to change the cable leading to my PC. But I’ll do it tomorrow and besides, it’s really nothing. :)

HTC HD2 (Leo)

The pieces are falling together

loocas | miscellaneous,opinions,software | Thursday, November 19th, 2009

Windows Server Standard 2008 box

I finally received the Windows Server 2008 Standard (not R2) package via the terrible czech post service, so I can finally start to fully concentrate on the server side software development for my studio.

I’ll write about it some more later, when I actually have something worthy showing off :D

Back on Firefox

loocas | miscellaneous,opinions,software | Tuesday, November 17th, 2009

Even though Google’s Chrome wasn’t a bad browser, the only reason I tried it was the horrible UI in Firefox under Windows 7′s Aero.

After a good two hours of looking around for the perfect Firefox theme, I bumped into two plugins that saved the day, Glasser and Stylish.

Glasser will conveniently turn most of the browser’s upper area transparent. Or rather, take advantage of Aero Glass’ theme.

But Stylish is really cool. It allows you to easily modify everything in Firefox, from the button colors, text highlights, to the menu width etc… and all using a simple CSS syntax. Really nice.

So, if you’re like me and hate the blueish shitstorm present everywhere in Aero Glass, or at least in Firefox, go get these two addons, they’re really cool!

Firefox 3.5.5 customized

Giving Aero one last shot

loocas | miscellaneous,opinions,software | Monday, November 16th, 2009

That’s true. I’m so pissed and desperate that Microsoft broke the old classic themes in Windows 7 that I’m willing to give Aero one last try.

I’m already having hard times getting used to the over-brightened workspace (dual monitor setup certainly doesn’t help), especially since I’m used to working late at nights. I adjusted most of my professional applications to make it a little more easy on me. I’ve brightened 3ds Max a little:

3ds Max 2009

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Things I hate about Windows 7

loocas | miscellaneous,opinions,software | Thursday, November 12th, 2009

Windows 7 Banner

As you might know, I’ve upgraded to Windows 7 recently, however, I’m slowly starting to regret it.

I’m a bit choleric about certain things, especially when somebody enforces me to do, think or work the way they want. And I’m extra sensitive to bad UI designs.

I generally think that Aero and especially its Aero Glass theme is a very badly designed theme with terrible user experience, globally. Windows 7, however, bring this nonsense to a whole new level by almost strictly enforcing you to use Aero, because without it, it simply doesn’t work!

Here are things I absolutely hate about Windows 7. They are mostly tiny details, mainly UI related, but all the more they piss me off! Especially since they not only influence my overall Windows 7 experience, but, by their nature, they influence it all the times.

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Skype 4.x sucks ass!

loocas | miscellaneous,opinions,software | Monday, November 9th, 2009

Skype 4.1 UI

What the fuck is it with developers and their horrible UI designs these days?

It seems it all had started with Vista, or perhaps with the WPF? No fucking idea, but the UIs of the programs I use very often, well, pretty much all the times, are terrible! Distracting, eye-hurting, slow, un-ergonomic, cluttered, very difficult to use and most of all annoying.

One of such a program is Skype. I’ve dumped the dumb ICQ for good and I can’t seem to start liking the Messenger, so I’ve got stuck with Skype if I need to IM someone. Besides a lot of my friends are on Skype already, so it was only a logical choice. However, since I’ve upgraded to Windows 7 recently and I tried to install the version of Skype I’ve been using for ages, I found it doesn’t start under Windows 7. Not even when run in a compatibility mode. When logging in it silently crashes. So I started looking around for a solution as I really can’t stand the shitty UI of Skype 4.x.

Thankfully there is a solution if you like the UI of Skype 3.x and don’t mind losing the 4.x new features, however, you’ll have to downgrade quite a lot as the latest 3.x version (3.8.0.188 from November 19, 2008) doesn’t work either under Windows 7. I had to downgrade to Skype 3.6.0.248 (February 5, 2008), which seems to be working even without having to run in the compatibility mode.

The UI wars of modern software should be ended soon. I refuse to believe that Microsoft, Autodesk or any other company can’t afford real UI specialists to do the job RIGHT! The current UI bullshit that we see everywhere is just insane! It doesn’t serve anyone! Not the seasoned pros, not the newcomers, not nobody! Perhaps, maybe, the PR suites are happy, but that’s about it.

I fucking hate modern UIs just for the sake of being “IN”.

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