The original Giant Pachinko Machine of Doom.
>>  The day-to-day chronicles of Baka-chan, evil genius and overlord of the Giant Pachinko Machine of Doom.
Impending Doom

11/20/10 @ 09:21:49 pm, Categories: Life of Baka, 70 words, 2544 views  

Okay, computer is squared away (Mostly), something work-like is on its way to being accomplished, now I just need to come up with $120 before December to pay my hosting.

I’m so glad Dreamhost went ahead and gave me an extra month, even though I said I’d pay half in a week, and the other half a week or so later… Because things got worse after I talked to them, heh.

Bakachan in "How I accidentally the whole computer" or "IT'S OVER NINE-THOUSAND"

11/13/10 @ 11:41:41 pm, Categories: Life of Baka, 442 words, 2449 views  

Well, motherboard and memory arrived. It was smaller than I expected. 2/3rds the size of the old board. Installed the hexacore and memory, dropped it into the case, got everything wired up (Oh god the clean wiring job I can do with the P182SE…) got it booted up, and amazingly enough, it recognized the array from the old computer and was able to mount it. Tried booting from it for shits and giggles, and sure enough the hardware difference made Windows shit itself all over the place. So, I did a clean install on a pair of 500GB drives in RAID1, which is what I wanted to maybe transfer the old install to. Fastest Win7 Ultimate install ever. God damn. Didn’t even bother getting everything installed. Went straight to CrazyTown. Rebooted into the BIOS, started OCing. First, a modest bump from 3.20GHz to 3.60GHz. No problem, perfectly stable. Didn’t even have to bump the VCore. Played around with that a while. Decided I wanted to try MOAR POWAA. After trial and error with VCore, I got a perfectly stable 4.0GHz. Only problem is, with the stock cooler and not enough fans (I need to buy new fans, the old ones were all fucked.) it’ll BSOD on long renders after a while. (When it can’t crank the PWM fan up any higher and it gets stupid-hot.) The lack of the full 8GB of memory also hurts my rendering ability.

Heat problems aside, it’s perfectly stable. Let me say that again…


Gotta admit, that’s pretty impressive.

Everything screams now. Even games that I couldn’t play at full resolution run fine now at full res, with FSAA and everything. I doubled my old 3DMark06 score, and that’s pretty impressive considering I only have half the memory, my videocard OC isn’t enabled, and I can only get 16-by-4 on the PCI-E, and not 16-by-16 like my old machine. Hell, everything plays like I have a new videocard…though such an upgrade will have to wait.

At any rate, I turned it back down to 3.60GHz until I can do something about the cooling.

Now I just need to tear ASUS a new arsehole over the defective RMA’d motherboard, and somehow pay my electric bill and webhosting despite having had to spend ‘all the money I have’ TWICE to get my primary computer back. At least I can get back to work now.

After I take care of all the bills, next on the agenda is a new cooler, more case fans, and another pair of DDR3. Then I’ll be up to spec again and ready to kick ass and take names.

sono mama... utatte kure.

11/12/10 @ 11:57:33 am, Categories: Life of Baka, 493 words, 2416 views  

Just found myself watching the 5th episode of Cowboy Bebop for what is probably the 700th time, but the first time in a couple years. The audio in the remastered version is growing on me. Especially the gunfights, and the 5.1 re-mixed music.

But what really struck me is, with all the anime I’ve seen, new and old, that episode, especially the B-part, is some of the finest anime ever committed to video. What happened to good anime?

As things stand, these are the typical show archetypes you see every season:

  • Insipid moe fluff show that will make a fortune in merchandising.
  • Slightly less insipid moe fluff show that won’t be as popular.
  • Sequel to insipid moe fluff show from last season.
  • Mecha show with stock characters and even more stock story. (aka 22-minute gunpla advertisement)
  • Children’s show.
  • What appears to be a children’s show but is actually aimed at pedophiles and creepy otaku.
  • Mediocre mahou shoujo that will go on for three seasons for no apparent reason.
  • Terrible show based on a visual novel no one could understand but all claim to like anyway for the nerdcred.
  • Show based loosely on 2ch in-joke no one gets.
  • Harem show.
  • Harem show with bigger tits.
  • Reverse harem show.
  • Ridiculous gender-bending show.
  • Ill-conceived joint project involving Western property.
  • Just plain ill-conceived project.
  • Something that would be great if it had a budget higher than the average lunch run to the konbini.
  • Something that would be good, but ultimately squanders its potential for one reason or another.
  • Thinly-veiled pornography.
  • Thinly-veiled incest pornography.
  • Thinly-veiled child pornograpy. (Probably redundant given the last two and the ‘Anime-18-year-old rule’)

Do you detect a pattern developing? If you said “Yes, anime sucks.” you win a cookie. I’m sorry, but shows like K-On! have ruined anime. I think, or at least I HOPE, that this is the fault of the industry, and not otaku. I want to believe that otaku aren’t dead-set against good shows, and that the studios are just SCARED TO DEATH of producing anything but their current style of cash-cow show. But considering the kind of stupid behavior otaku are constantly exhibiting these days, I may be deluding myself.

I really think the only chance we have for seeing a good anime, is if someone comes in from outside the industry with the goal of producing something genuinely good, not trying to make a fortune, not even caring if it will be popular. But just trying to produce a GOOD STORY.

The problem is, this pretty much needs to be a 100% indie development, because no studio would do it. Of course, then you can’t get it on TV. But god dammit. There HAS TO BE A WAY TO BREAK THE CYCLE. If we can just get one genuinely good show back out there, and have people like it, then maybe, JUST MAYBE, the industry will stop producing season after season of nothing but garbage.

Fuck it. Don’t care anymore.

I have reached the end of me...

11/12/10 @ 01:29:53 am, Categories: Life of Baka, 413 words, 2301 views  

Ugh. So, I got my sister’s PSU, only it didn’t matter because it didn’t have the 8-pin EPS12V plug that my motherboard needs. So I went back to trying my PSU one last time. I was examining the board very closely, when I noticed the unmistakable smell of hot semiconductors. So I started poking around, until…sure enough, I burned my goddamn finger on an overheating voltage regulator.

I fired off a very stern e-mail to ASUS tech support saying flatly that I’ve been unable to work for a month because of this BS and they sent me a bum board, and I WANT TO TALK TO SOMEONE HIGHER UP THAN A CSR. Especially considering this board may have fried everything I put in it.

They tell me to call their level two support, since it was a ‘repaired board’. Would now be a good time to mention it’s NOT EVEN MY BOARD? It’s got a sticker on it with the same serial number…but it’s not in the same place, or the same sticker. I should know, I have photos of mine.

Fuck it. They’ve dicked me around enough. I had access to JUST ENOUGH money to get a cheap mobo and some memory (Since I ended up getting a board that takes DDR3) so fuck ‘em. I’m done. I’m getting my computer back up and running, getting shit back to normal, and THEN I’ll deal with those shits. Since at that point it won’t matter how long it takes, I can concentrate on resolving the issue to my satisfaction.

The only problem is, a new motherboard probably won’t be able to access my system drives…which means all the things I was working on. It’s always some damn thing, isn’t it? Speaking of which, I’m about 8 episodes into Uchuu Senkan Yamato… There’s always SOMETHING wrong with that damn ship, even before you get to the fact that someone’s always trying to blow them up. It’s like watching the 1970s anime version of Star Trek: Voyager. I still love it though.

At any rate, UPS should be delivering my new parts in approximately 12 hours, so here’s hoping! btw, I love ordering stuff from Newegg. More often than not, it will ship from their warehouses in Edison, NJ which means overnight UPS regardless of what shipping I go with. (In this case, free!)

I just want my real computer back… Got so much stuff to talk about…and even more to DO.


11/10/10 @ 05:48:23 am, Categories: Life of Baka, 670 words, 2310 views  

I can’t help it. That is like, the manliest anime opening ever. It sounds like a military anthem or a march. I’d actually never seen Yamato before, although I had Starblazers comics when I was a kid and have, in recent years, been taking in ungodly amounts of old anime.

Sadly it took the death of one of the show’s co-creators to prompt me to watch it. He was a hell of a guy, too. A real dude…though possibly a little nutty. (Just read the wikipedia article and you’ll see what I mean!)

Anyway, that’s just what’s going on in my head THIS five minutes. (You know how I am.)

What does it say about my life that the fact that I’m turning 30 (Thirty. THIR-TY. THREE-TIMES-TEN. SAN-JYUU SAI!!!!!!) in a couple months isn’t even in the top ten things I’m worrying about right now?

What IS near the top of my list, is the problems with my primary computer, (Shogoki. Yes. I did. I did that. Yes. The machines are named Zerogoki, Shogoki, and Nigoki and have color-coded ethernet cables. I shit you not.) short story? It took a massive dump. The motherboard died. (I think, I’m not even SURE anymore.)

It took me a week to send it out, but nonetheless I was able to RMA it. Thank god for 3-year warranties, yeah? It took two more weeks to get it back from ASUS, during which time I was moving through several stages of dementia since I was in the middle of making a whole bunch of cool stuff, only some of which resided off that machine. And Zerogoki is just my storage machine, and not really suited for Photoshop and stuff.

Anyway, I get the motherboard back from ASUS, and then I realize I can’t install the CPU because the box I collect all my thermal compounds and my thermal compound remover in was nowhere to be found. Just GONE. GONE!!! So I burn two more days (And $30) to replace it. It arrives, I install the CPU. Computer won’t turn on. There’s standby power, but the PSU wouldn’t turn over when I press the button.

I tried the PSU separately, shorting the green wire on the ATX connector to ground (Switching it on, like the motherboard would) and it spun up just fine. I didn’t bother testing the voltages, because when I was first diagnosing the problems to begin with, I checked all the voltages I could get to, and they were fine. (Of course, I couldn’t read current, so god only knows.)

I contact ASUS again, and they basically tell me that if the memory, CPU, or GPU were bad, the motherboard wouldn’t let the PSU apply power. Well… I DROPPED THE CPU WHILE I WAS INSTALLING IT, MAYBE THAT HAS SOMETHING TO DO WITH IT, HERP DERP. So I had a decision to make…I needed to buy a processor, I had roughly $250 I could access… I had stuff I needed that money for. Do I spend $70 to get a processor that’s barely better than what I had, or do I spend $230 to get the best AMD processor on the market right now, which I was going to upgrade to in a few months anyway. What the fuck do you think I did?

No, I’m not proud of that decision, honest. (But I’d be lying if I said the thought of dropping a hexacore in there and TURNING THINGS UP TO ELEVEN didn’t give me a grin that’d creep out the Cheshire Cat.)

So, next day, it arrives… (I love buying stuff from Newegg and having it ship from the New Jersey warehouses. Free overnight, almost guaranteed.) I install it, hook everything up… SAME THING. That brings us to right now. Today, I’m going to try the PSU from my sister’s computer (Which I’m supposed to be fixing anyway because her HDD somehow *cough*PEBKAC*cough* contracted E-AIDS and self-destructed.)

So, if you hear someone yell “ZETSUBOUSHITA!!!!” it didn’t work, and I’ll be leaving soon.

Blorp blorp!

05/02/10 @ 11:08:18 pm, Categories: Life of Baka, 118 words, 2518 views  

I swear, I’m going to redo the site soon! Promise! I am probably lying.

I have this project I’m working on that should get me out of debt with people, like Edward_K. No, it doesn’t involve ‘faking my own death’ and ‘moving to Mars’.

I’ve been not-drawing. I’ve also been not not-wasting-time playing arcade games. Honestly, I’m so goddamned lazy, I still haven’t RMA’d my monitor yet after it shit itself and died. D:

For about a week now I’ve had my desk cleared off enough to draw, but I’ve got artist’s block or something. Luckily it didn’t coincide with writer’s block, because I was able to write out event outlines for 7+ volumes of Gaijin Samurai manga.

Lots of stuff going on, I'm not dead!

03/29/10 @ 02:17:49 am, Categories: Life of Baka, 148 words, 1375 views  

Okay, so, first of all, this site is getting replaced by a new Wordpress blog when I have the opportunity, and the posts will be restored with the original timestamps and everything.

Secondly, the care and feeding of my arcade cabinet has been very fulfilling so far, both for me, and for the cabinet’s coin box.

I’m launching the first of several arcade-related projects, all of which will eventually be found at a new site I made to keep it separate.

Remember the clock design I modeled? I finally got one to call my own out of the small batch Jason von Nieda built.

I must say, it’s absolutely exquisite. :D

Pic 1Pic 2Pic 3Pic 4VFD Detail

He’s also auctioning off the only one he didn’t make for any particular person. Complete with really nifty laser-cut wood box. :D

Trust me, it’s worth it.

Birthday Shenanigans

02/02/10 @ 11:35:57 pm, Categories: Life of Baka, Retro Kikaku, 2176 words, 10649 views  

A story of how Baka grows old, eats too much pizza, acquires the holy grail AND the lost ark of his NEO-GEO collection, and almost dies! YOU KNOW YOU WANT TO READ MORE!!!

Next: Part 1, In which Baka encounters the first plot twist.

Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

On the passage of time and bad jokes

01/15/10 @ 10:21:35 pm, Categories: Baka-chan Brings The Funny, Life of Baka, 646 words, 1287 views  

Well, it’s that time of year again. I was going to make a joke where I write— at length —about an ‘extraordinary individual whose birthday is quickly approaching’, saying “What? Did you think I was talking about Mozart?"… But as Lewis Black would say, “I’m just not that fucking funny.”

Yes, for those who don’t know, my birthday— January 27th —is also the birthday of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, who would be 254 this year if he was, well, a vampire…or something…I guess…ANYWAY! That’s all irrelevant because I couldn’t be bothered to write the joke which I have now explained anyway, in far too much detail, PUTTING THAT ASIDE, I just thought I’d write about what it is I’ve been doing.

Among other things, I’ve had an extensive e-mail conversation with Jason von Nieda, the guy who built a clock based on my design. We talked a bit about what it would take to make more. Right now, I’m waiting on a new drillpress so I can finish my CNC machine, as I might be able to make the clock enclosures and stuff.

I’ve been doing a bit more drawing lately, but I’ve been trying not to get too involved as there are things I really need to be doing…and am still not, even when I don’t draw… So really, I need to quit fucking up.

Speaking of fucking up, last night, our camera took a header off the top of my computer case for no discernible reason, landing on my foot, and then the floor… I call bullshit. It gets to fall on my foot, OR break. Not both. NEVER BOTH!!! Anyway, it broke the UV filter (That’s what it’s there for.) and jammed my 35mm lens. Luckily the camera is okay, and the lens seems like it will work correctly once I pop the moving bits back into the right position. So if I’m real lucky, I’m only out a $7.99 UV filter which fulfilled its destiny and took one for my glass.

I’ve started collecting the original Graphic-sha published How To Draw Manga books for my birthday. I already had a couple, but I managed to scrape together enough to buy another ~25 of the books in various states of ‘used’ condition. (Nine of which have arrived so far.) I even managed to snag an OOP book that some assholes are trying to sell for $280 and up, when someone put one on the Amazon Marketplace for $12.99 (I bought it within like 10 minutes of it being posted.)

I’ve seen people trying to sell some of these books for as much as $900~1200, and that really pisses me off. Someone should take action to undercut these assholes, like releasing PDFs of the OOP books. No one should have to pay that much, and the publisher doesn’t get any money either, since they’re all used copies! Given that a lot of the unavailable and ridiculously priced books are both fairly new, and very good/useful, it really is a frustrating situation and people who try and charge that much are basically human garbage. This isn’t commerce, it’s taking advantage of people. Don’t ask me why, but it seems harder to buy a How to Draw Manga book from ~2007 than it is to buy one from ~2000. And things like the ‘How to Draw Manga: Sketching Manga-Style’ series are very recent and up-to-date in art style and seem to be better written as well.

Anyway, enough about that, I’m not really doing anything special for my birthday but hopefully I’ll have some projects gaining momentum come the end of February. And on the off chance that anyone wants to help me complete my collection of HTDM books, there’s still quite a few cheap ones on my Amazon wishlist. (I only ask that they not be ‘ex-library’ copies and that they still have their dust jackets.)

Err, wow.

12/27/09 @ 12:57:56 am, Categories: Life of Baka, 298 words, 1371 views  

So, on Atheist-kids-get-presents-day Eve, I got an e-mail from someone named Jason von Nieda saying that he really loved the design I had for my vacuum tube clock, and that he used it as inspiration to machine a similar enclosure of his own. He included pictures of the finished device. I know a bit about obsessing over things you think are cool and working your ass off to imitate them, so I can sympathize. And the end result is really great. (The inner workings are as nice as the enclosure, too.)

I have to admit that, while really flattered that someone would like my design so much, I’m also kinda embarrassed and more than a little pissed at myself for having spent all this time struggling to make even one. Especially given how much attention it seems to be getting… (Of course, I already had some idea about that, since everyone I showed the design to thought it was incredibly cool.)

Now, don’t get me wrong, internet. It’s all good, so put all your sharp-pointy things away. Jason was very up-front on the matter and made sure I was cool with him using the design, and he did a smashing good job of making it, too! (Especially considering he was working from a single rendering I had posted.) It’s still just a bit shocking to say the least. :)

Anyway, here’s the original conceptual rendering I did.

Here’s the flickr photoset he posted of the finished clock and various prototype PCBs.

Here’s the post on his blog about it.

Here’s the post about it on Hack-A-Day with an insanely great post title.

Here’s the source of the Hack-A-Day post, an article on MAKE.

I guess I’d better get my ass in gear then, eh? I sure have enough tubes.


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nani sore?
A peek inside the mad, mad, mind of Baka-chan. Animator, artist, hater of stupid people, and evil genius. Look upon the undoing of all order in the universe, and tremble.
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