Wednesday, February 27, 2013

why is trying so trying?

It is because of habits. Oh, you are so flexible and have wide ranging know how. Not really, you have habits, preferences, comfort zones, patterns, familiarity, a groove, work flows that fit and name brand loyalty. So when change comes along it hurts, adjustments need be made, seems whacked, strange, I'm risking something here, there's a learning curve, it's new, it's different, I've gotta get use to this............

The antidote to computer anxiety has always been good instruction and play time. You learn the basics, accomplish something simple and mess around a little. You begin to build appreciation by figuring out how to do the things you've always done. While you are doing all this you see how the system responds to your input and how to maneuver the screens. Knowing what to expect is a big part of comfort.

I've been a big fan of the Gnome desktop in Linux many years, been my first choice because I understand how it works as a user. KDE always seemed like one extra step to do the same thing. In the past the computer world acted like sugar junkies. The eye-candy in full explosion mode after bootup. You couldn't even see what the heck you're doing for all the whiz bang. It became the selling point or the bragging rights, "ooh, lookie what I can do on this!" You can still have this but now it is hidden behind a control panel. You can tweak to full bloom if you want to or not. So you can see what kept me and KDE apart. Today, I am pleased with a modest amount of glitz. I don't use my computer for showing off, and need that power to do useful stuff. OK, I show off a little.

KDE so far is snappy, some applications open faster than in Gnome. KDE and Gnome are not polished in the same places. Gnome has nicer window trims. I'm trying to do what I've always done, which makes KDE seem awkward. The feel is different. Confidence comes with experience and time. Now, I've got to go so you folks keep on doing what you do and also try something new.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Trying more, enjoying less.....

Hi gang, been doing all sorts of stuff. The art gallery had a whiz-bang Black History Month reception with drummers, dancers, singers, portrayals and artwork.

I got the itch again to explore some desktop options. These things always make me rethink how I handle my PC setup. I did some research on Krita, the drawing, painting program. I am looking for tutorials so I can see what "work flows" suit me. You just can't jump in and start, mess'n around. Well, you can but, some friendly help gets you further down the road.

As you know I am using Mint 13 (Maya) on my laptop. It is a work horse and I like it a lot. The version I am using has the Cinnamon desktop, much like most desktops. I got the urge to try KDE (K Desktop Environment) again. It has improved and caught my attention once more. Installing it I made the mistake of not having a separate hard drive partition for my "Home" directory. So I can't reformat to install a new OS without destroying everything. Let that be a warning to all you "gotta change it" folks. Partition with change in view, have a good backup plan, a big flash drive and maybe an external USB drive. I wanted to install the new Mint 14 KDE version. The live CD causes my laptop screen to go dim. I had to settle for installing KDE from the repositories on to Mint 13. If I really want this Mint 14, I will have to backup all my stuff, darn. But why the dim screen? Hmmmmmmmmmmmm?

I did put Anti-X Linux on my other laptop. I like it and I don't. It is not a good choice because it doesn't allow CD booting without mess'n wid stuff. I will install a friendlier linux on it. Here is one thing I never liked about Linux. On a Microsoft system, you can set it up so that PC's can see each other on a network, to share files. It is pretty easy. It is not so easy to do the same on a Linux network. To say it better, it is not explained so the average sort of-kind of tech savvy person can do it. Linux loses me in the explaining department. I may get it someday but not today. In the meantime, Krita looks promising.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

try try again

There is one little thing in Linux I don't like. It is when programming platforms compete. There pops up a compatibility question. I use the Gnome desktop and the associate applications use a platform called "gtk". The competing platform is "qt" for the K desktop. It is no big thing until you like a "qt" application and install in on the "gtk" platform. I'm glad I'm not a programmer needing to make it all work. Actually it doesn't matter because the required libraries are installed to run what programs you have. I think it is a psychological hassle for me. With testing I get over it.

I have this app called Krita, it is a "qt" program and part of the K office suite. The kool thing is I didn't have to install the  K office suite to use Krita but, it does install the libraries to run the K office suite just to run Krita. Can you see my concern. Some times too much software can mean redundancy and or bloat.

So.....I installed the drawing app called Krita. When I first tried Krita a while back, it was limited. It seems to have been developed further. Drawing apps are weird because they have the same or similar tools but, you have to make yourself like the various interfaces. There is some strange mix of bit-mapped and vector drawing, plus a semblance of paint tools and effects. The best app is one that allows you to quickly find the tool and use it without pain in the creative process. I'm haven't time yet to play with Krita. When I do I will say further. Seems to work fine so far. Over time you can get used to anything, pain and all.

On the pen and paper front. I can't quite call my new hand drawing muse Zentangle, it's sort of more like Zendoodles or something. Anyway I whipped out a few more and am still intrigued by the whole experience. Another class is coming up on Monday, I will try to be there if I can. What fun, I think I am getting use to my own drawing. No, better than that. I am appreciating the line quality of my own drawing. I will not waste my bandwidth trying to be photograph perfect in my hand drawing. Woooah!
My anxiety level just went way down.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

size smatters

Every time I do a digital work someone comments, "you know it would look good really big." This really gets me because my printer only puts out so big. I could go to a commercial printer but funds are limited. I tried to draw big but it's not the same. Drawing big requires a different mindset, larger materials and pens that will administer lots of ink or paint. I thought I would draw small and print big.

I am overcome by planning and working to the size. It is killing my urge to have fun and create. This gal, a member of our gallery, Susan Olsen, she is into something called "Zentangles". Man, did she draw some wonderful stuff. I thought that was not the kind of draw to suit me. Recently a Zentangle teacher, Judy Montgomery, taught a class at the gallery, I sat in. Dudes, dudettes, I was into it!! It could help my skills, I'm convinced.

It is sketching on a higher level, opens the realm of possibilities. What was  so killing was we drew in a 3 inch square. I never had that much creativity in so small a space.
Anyway, I am not much of a freehand drawer, more of a doodler, AH!, right up my alley. I have doodled for a long time, somehow this adds to it. Maybe it's the meditative aspect or that it obliterates a blank page with what ever creative juice you didn't know you had.

Here is one of my tiny works:

Of course I had to scan it into the PC and print it out bigger. So, I think I'll dig a little deeper into this and release the inner artist. Then see how I can incorporate it with my computer stuff. Big is good and small is gooder.