Thursday, March 22, 2018

The Hunt for a New Laptop + My New Box Setup Process

I've probably mentioned this before (or maybe it was just in one of my still "in-draft-form" posts), but it's probably well and truly time that I set up a new machine. Actually, it's probably been time to do so for over a year now, but I've managed to get by with an increasingly large bunch of external hard drives and nasty hacks (i.e. command-line args + wrapper scripts) to make Blender 2.8 runnable (due to graphics driver bugs). But, as I'll soon explain, the reason why I haven't just gone out and gotten a new machine is not so much the money/cost aspect, but rather, the time + effort cost involved in hunting down a suitable machine, and then, SETTING IT UP.

Long time readers may recall the series of posts I did a few years back when I set up the current box - first spending weeks/months tweaking Windows 8 into submission, which lead to a 3-4 month unsuccessful "Linux Experiment" (which was nominally a dual-boot setup, that was an minor marathon in itself to set up). This time, I'm not currently hoping to do another Linux experiment (yet!  Until Microsoft's Windows 10 auto-updates drive me up the wall enough to start taking nuclear options...)

Anyway, with the Code Quest looming, matters have become a bit more pressing, as I'm not keen on lugging my current box over. (For one thing, I'd need to also lug a fragile external HD along with it, if I didn't want to wait several months until I could get all my photos off my camera; also, there are those hacks needed to run 2.8 (seriously inconvenient at times), and there's too much other stuff on this box that I don't want to be lugging around everywhere).

Originally, I'd been planning on getting my first desktop tower in years (with all the scope/capacity to put whatever high powered stuff in there, plus ample room for many racks of internal hard drives, a proper "silent" cooling system, and gazillions of top-mounted USB ports) for my main/daily-driver home-office workstation, and then a not-so-critical laptop that could be used on the go. (And, by "not-so-critical", I mean, I don't care soo much about max speed + max storage + max ram + graphics performance, since my tower can serve that role instead... of course that said, it'd still have to satisfy my selection criteria below still!)

Friday, March 9, 2018

Thoughts About Geometry-Editing UX issues - Multi Object Editing, Edit Modes, Selection/Action Split, etc.

Just a little earlier, I spent some time reviewing and commenting on T54242 regarding the design issues behind making Blender be able to have multiple objects in Edit/Sculpt/Paint Modes at the same time. As outlined, there are certainly a few rather prickly issues in that we'd need to resolve to be able to do this.

In this post, I'll go over a few of the key issues we need to contend with here, along with some other general thoughts I've been mulling over for quite a few years now about what IMO makes an effective UI for editing large amounts of geometry (i.e. vertices, control points, etc.)