TTEGD

So here we are today, following up my recent post on examples of good graphic design. I mean, you knew this would come sooner or later. We will go through the Top Terrible Examples of Graphic Design, or TTEGD. From the classic no-effort websites, to the *facepalm* examples of logos… THIS IS TTEGD! (commence the cheezy gameshow music)

Starting us off with Number 3 is…. http://www.emcp.com/intro_pc/reading6.htm

EMCP.com is here to give you the basics on great graphic design, I mean, just look at their perfect example of a site: *warning* SARCASM INTENDED

"great" graphic design tips

Follow emcp.com's tips for graphic success!

Coming in at Number 2: ACCEPT JESUS, FOREVER FORGIVEN at http://www.dokimos.org/ajff/

If I could describe this website in one word it would be puzzle. The thing that amazes me about this site is the fact that they it is a Christian website with a gif of a panther running and a bright rainbow background scrolling the the right. The website seems as if you stare too long, eye damage is ever so possible. I am not even sure if they wanted to make this website serious, but if they really wanted to promote Christianity, I would first remove the creepy messages advertising eternal life.

Accept Jesus, Forever Forgiven

Accept Jesus, Forever Forgiven

Finishing us off with the Number 1 worst example of graphic design is: Check Point Software Technologies Logo! http://www.checkpoint.com/

I am going to be straightforward and say it. Check Point Technologies Ltd has the worst logo I have ever seen. It looks as if they hired a toddler to draw their logo. I can guarantee that they sat the kid down in front of a desktop computer and gave him bright colored crayons. This is not something I would want my business to be remembered by.

Toddler Art

Toddler Art

My Servers and Admins

Recently my YouTube channel has been going through many popularity spikes and changes, and with that I thought I decided to start promoting something that I spend a bit more time on than anything else, my gaming servers.

If you do not know this already, I am a pretty big gamer. I mean, I have to put that computer I built to some use, right? But, yes, I am a gamer, but I am a bit more interactive in the actual up-keep of the gaming community. Instead of spending countless hours of playing the games, I decided to start managing servers for games I love. For example, Minecraft.

As you can see in my background, I very much do love Minecraft. Minecraft is a first-person sandbox style game in which you mine for materials and place blocks to create amazing creations. To me, its Legos with a twist. Anyway, the game is very popular and just sold its 4 millionth copy, which is VERY impressive for an Indie game. My favorite part about this game is the capability to run servers, in which, your friends and any other players can join and build in a world with you.

Setting up servers is not easy though, and either you pay a company to host a server for you, or you go out and purchase a server with RAID and plenty of memory to be sure it can handle 10+ people at once. Now, unless you are really into it, and are willing to put a lot of money into a powerful machine, I would recommend getting a hosted server, which is what I do. I pay a monthly fee to maintain a server that my members play on every day. Now, don’t think I am taking a shortcut. If I had a server to host at my own home, I would, but I don’t. I know how to set up the server files and port-forward the IP and blah blah blah… but it is just very expensive to manage that kind of thing, and I much rather have a company who houses hundreds of powerful machines do it for me.

Anyway, I run this server. On my server I am known as Hobojoe, or Hobo, as everyone calls me (I made it up years ago, I know its silly). All my servers are a part of HoboServers and we have a website and everything. Check out www.hoboservers.com and we have a Facebook page, the whole deal. The website is currently a wix.com site, just because I am still working on the final site in Dreamweaver and it is taking forever.

My servers are become quite popular these days and with our upgrade from 10 open server slots, to 20 slots, we have gained about 7 active members, to our, 8 members. Our staff is made up of 5 people, including me. Our admins: Cafgeo (George), 15, lives in North Carolina and is the head Admin. Lalli87 (Larus), 15 years old and lives in Iceland. Gamergabo (Gabe), 13 years old and lives in Nevada. IN7OMNIA (Abbie), 14 years old, she lives in the UK. Lastly, Apple Crack (Edan), 14 and lives in California. These are all our admins and they constantly manage the server during the week and whenever I cannot get on. As you have noticed, they live in very different places. We have Larus and Abbie who are about 5 hours ahead of central time, and they manage the server on a different shift from Edan and Gabe, who are pacific time zone. George is on Mountain time, so we are pretty close in time zones. I didn’t mean to set it up this way, but it is very convenient on how we are in different times, and it is good that someone is on most of the time, because it is difficult to keep up with all the people. I have talked with these people very much and I trust them. Some, I have know since the begging of my server, and others are new, almost as of 2 months.

I don’t want to go into too much depth on how we manage the server, but depending on how active it is, we are typically very busy in helping new members or fixing problems, etc. You could almost consider us a tech support service for the game. Because of all the admins we have, they can almost run the server without me, which is why they are so awesome.

I plan to keep the server running as long as I can fund it and I encourage all of my active members to donate on the site. We do many server-wide weekend events and people can win prizes and other things. Most of the time I film the events and put them on my channel, but recently I have been letting the other admins put them on their channels.

Running a server is a great experience if you like meeting random people who might actually be cool, and other than that I just consider it a weekend job, like running my own business.

Ultime Game Servers

Hosted Server control panel

It Runs!

This post is continued from my recent post on “The Computer I am Building.”

So after about a month, I have finally got my computer running. I spent around 2 weekends messing around with it, trying almost everything to get it to work, I eventually returned my motherboard. I read on one of the 50 forums I browsed over those 2 weeks that I may have fried my motherboard because I had used magnetic-tipped screw drivers. I returned the motherboard and got a new one that arrived last Tuesday, the 4th of October. I rebuilt the entire machine that Saturday with my dad this time. We figured I may have done one small thing wrong, and 2 minds are better than one, right? Wrong.

When we powered it on after meticulously looking over it for about and hour, it did the EXACT same thing as before… all noises, beeps, fans spinning, but no picture on the screen. At this point we about had it. I had just gotten a brand new motherboard, 12 some-odd dollars for shipping. Well one good thing came out of it, we knew the problem wasn’t the motherboard. Together we sighed, and after 30 minutes we called a computer technician my dad has done a lot of business with over the past years. We brought it over and they took it for the afternoon to check it out.

Later that evening we came to pick it up. They agreed that it was difficult to find what the problem was, but they got it. The problem of the matter was an incompatible power supply. Right when we heard this we were just completely shocked. For one, who would’ve thought? And another, how could the company, Tiger Direct, not have noticed this? I mean, don’t they build these to make sure everything works and it actually runs? The man said that the power supply that came with the kit had a 6 pin power connect for the motherboard, not the required 6 pin with a detachable 4 pin that connected to another slot on the motherboard. Apparently, the reason nothing was showing on the screen was because that the motherboard was not getting enough power from the power supply. During the assembly, we had noticed that there was a slot that we didn’t have a cable for, but there were so many ports on the motherboard that we knew we didn’t need, we kind of just passed over it and thought that the motherboard was fine without it. I still need to talk to Tiger about this.

I got home and powered it up. We set up the BIOS and I began formatting the 2TB hard drive to NTFS. I began this process at 8:22 p.m. on Saturday night. The formatting ended at 1:42 a.m. Sunday morning. When I woke up Sunday, I installed the spare copy of Windows XP Professional 2003 32 bit. This process was painfully slow, just like waiting for it to format. I got some homework done in the mean time. After it was complete, I had to install the XFX HD Radeon 5570 1GB graphics. Talk about annoying. For some reason, the stupid driver was not installing. I had it downloaded and everything. So again, I went back to the forums. One forum told me I had to look at the requirements on the card, and somehow I was taken to my specifications on my computer. I read that only 4GB of the RAM was being used. At this point I slapped myself for not remembering that a 32 bit OS can only handle 4GB of memory, I wasn’t even accessing the other 4GB of perfectly good RAM that was just wasting away in one of the slots on my motherboard. About now I had almost had it. I turned off the machine and finished my homework that day, putting it out of my mind.

The next day, to my surprise, my kind father took my computer the the gentlemen at the Computer House and ,not only did they install Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit (thank you dad), but they fixed the graphics driver and everything. It was the perfect way to end a slow Monday.

So now, I have a powerful machine that I have always wanted. It does everything I can imagine at faster than I can handle. The powerful processor and the massive amount of memory is letting me write this blog, have a game open, about 15 tabs in FireFox running, iTunes playing, a video processing to be ready to upload, and I am downloading music and yet, I feel it has enough in it to run more at the same time. This is my dream machine and I plan to enjoy it over my upcoming fall break. That is when I will be able to test its graphic ability and see how well it runs in graphic intense situations. I plan to upgrade this machine over the next few months, depending on what new technology comes around.

I am not done with Tiger Direct. They can expect a call from a very unhappy customer sometime Friday afternoon. I feel it is unnecessary that my dad and I had to put so much time and money into this just because Tiger didn’t include the compatible power supply. Over all we paid $55 for the technician fee, $48 for the correct power supply, and $12 for the shipping on the new motherboard. Total, I am asking for $115 back from Tiger, but I highly doubt that they will pay for the technician fee. But I would gladly take $60 back for what I have been through.

But this doesn’t stop me. I have some friends that have heard good things about my machine and are considering buying parts for me to assemble for them. I plan to keep working with computers my entire life. Hey, Michael Dell started out building computers from his dorm, who says I can’t try?

Steve Jobs, gone from us today.

Today Steve Jobs, chairman and Co-Founder of Apple Inc, died today at age 56. After stepping down as CEO in late August, many knew it was looking rough for Jobs. He had created a company with success like non-other and is looked up to by his customers, his family, and his 49,000 employees as one of the most creative and remembered men.

The past 7 years have been a roller coaster for Jobs when it came to his health and his business. In 2004 Jobs had undergone surgery to treat a rare form of pancreatic cancer. After his liver transplant in 2009, he took a sixth-month leave of absence. All this happening in the peak of his business, Jobs was ill and overwhelmed.

Steve Jobs is known for his blue jeans, black turtle neck, and casual stage appearance. Jobs was an artist in his line of work, inspired by the Buddhist religion and hiking in India as a teenager. Steve Jobs mastered his art and created products that are innovations in today’s technology. He will be missed by all, rest in peace – Steve Jobs.

Steve Jobs 1955-2011

The Computer I Am Building

For a long time I have wanted to build my own machine. I wanted something powerful, a beast. The computer I would build could “run NASA” and design jumbo-jets… and this summer, I saved up enough to just do that.

Unfortunately, my budget didn’t cover NASA’s specs and Boeing had to reconsider, but it is still a monster. At the time I knew little about building computers, but I knew the basics. It started when I wanted something that could actually process a video and upload it quickly. I was really into my YouTube Channel at the time and nothing was powerful that I had my hands on. I decided to check out TigerDirect for some cheap powerhouses. The only thing I could find was a little shy of $700, a goal that might take a couple of summers at my rates. Then I came across “barebones PCs” that you build on your own. A barebones PC is a little PC kit that comes with most of the parts in building a desktop computer. Fully customizable, this was just what I wanted. I didn’t know it at the time, but I was stepping in a big puddle and the water was coming through my shoes.

This is all I wanted, a barebones PC that I could equip with an arsenal of parts. You have the motherboard, the processor, the CPU fan, the RAM, the graphics card, the hard drive, the disc drive, etc., I was in heaven. To give it to you straight, I had myself focused on certain specs that could do anything I wanted. As time passes I can upgrade all these parts and keep my monster angry and hungry for more power.

After working an entire summer, 4 days a week, 3-4 hours a day, I came up with around $500. I know that is not that much for working the ENTIRE summer, but I did what any person would do, and try to enjoy their summer while they could. So, NO, I did not work everyday. Back to my point… With this money I had purchase the following parts:

1. GIGABYTE M68MT nForce 630a Socket AM3 Motherboard
2. AMD Phenom II X2 550 Black Edition OEM Processor (3.10 Ghz)
3. Thermaltake CL-P0503 70mm CPU Cooler
4. Lite-On Internal 24X DVD Writer
5. ADATA 4GB DDR3-1333MHz Premier Series Desktop RAM (x2)
6. Seagate Barracuda Green 2TB Hard Drive (3.5″)
7. XFX Radeon HD 5570 1GB DDR3 PCIe 2.1 DirectX 11
8. DiabloTek Elite 450W PSU ATX Mid Tower Case

I ordered the parts Saturday, September 10, 2011. They arrived Tuesday night, around 6:15 pm. Sadly, I was sick Tuesday and Wednesday and did not get to touch it until Wednesday night. I put all the parts together, solving this hog of a puzzle, in about 2 hours (keep in mind this was my first time putting a computer together). I followed the motherboard and mid tower case instructions and had wired everything to exact details. I took it upstairs to my room to connect it to my monitor. The moment of truth…

I plugged in the power supply and connected the VGA to the back. Flipped the switch, hit power. My beast lit up in bright blue and red on the front, cheering with joy… but blank monitor. (insert sadface)

I immediately shut it off, hoping it wouldn’t explode. I grabbed the manual and briskly flipped through it. I power-read for a good 15 minutes and couldn’t figure it out. By about now it was almost 7:30 and I had a lot of homework still. I decided to put it out of my mind and figure it out this weekend.

This is where I stand. I couldn’t stop thinking about it this entire day and I will probably tweak with it tonight. I don’t want to, but if there is no solution, I may I have to accept defeat and take it to professional help. Which (1) I can’t afford (which means having to pay back my dad) and (2) WOULD BE SO WEAK OF ME!

I will look at it again tonight and pray to the gods of “Motherboard Manual” that there is one silly thing I missed that is kicking me in the shins.

If I figure anything out I will post a weekend blog post on what’s going on.

Thanks, Henry

My Barebones PC

Yeah I know the wires are messy... SHHHHhhh

XFX Radeon HD 5570 1GB DDR3 PCIe 2.1 DirectX 11

My Graphics Card (XFX Radeon HD 5570 1GB)