The current story in Sythyry is taking place over a hundred years later, and Esory is long-dead (Sythyry's species does not die of old age, but Esory's does). I've thought now and again that it'd be nice to have an IC persona that could comment in Sythyry's Vacation. Reading the book decided me, and I resolved to make one up. This time, I would even have the character write in her own journal now and again, which Esory never had. So I came up with a new character and wrote an exceedingly neepish post for her yesterday, which will only make sense to World Tree fans. Which I haven't posted yet, partly because it's the weekend and partly because hardly anyone one is going to read an exceedingly neepish entry on enchanting in World Tree, but mostly because I can't make a journal for her without making an icon. All right, I could. But I won't. Journals need icons!
So this morning I started sketching little pictures of anthropomorphic otters so I could decide what the character looked like. I don't know how people who don't draw ever decide what characters look like. After the fourth sketch, my mechanical pencil stopped working. I took this as an omen that I should go with sketch #2, which was my favorite of the lot so far. This was WRONG. It was actually an omen that I SHOULD NOT BE DRAWING. But I didn't realize that at the time.
I went to scan in the sketch, and unsurprisingly Corel PhotoPaint said it couldn't find my scanner. Right, I never re-installed it after I upgraded to Win7. I asked Win7 to find a driver for it.
Win7 responded with "Huh what?" which is usually what happens when I ask Windows to find a driver for something. I pulled out the original install disk for the scanner, which miraculously I still have conveniently located in a CD carrier full of original install disks. I put the install disk into my PC and told it to run. The install disk said "I only work on XP and 2000" and canceled itself.
I asked Google to find me a driver for the scanner, which is a Mustek A3. Google pointed me to Windows 7's page on devices, which said "We don't have a driver for this yet, why don't you ask Mustek?" I asked Mustek. Their latest driver was for Vista. I tried installing the Vista driver in the vain hope that it would work. This was indeed a vain hope. It didn't.
Well, I've got a tablet, and the tablet has a transparent cover for the express purpose of sticking drawings under it so they can be traced, and this is a small enough drawing that it will fit. I will trace it in!
I fired up Corel PhotoPaint again and attempted to trace it.
Oh right, my tablet doesn't work right in Win7 either. It kind of works. As a strange dysfunctional hybrid between a mouse and a tablet. I had this problem the last time I tried to use it, but I thought I'd gotten it working. Apparently not. So I asked Google to find me a driver for the tablet, which Google did and which actually worked, or seemed to work. At any rate, my tablet was behaving like a tablet again.
I traced in my drawing and darkened it up and started to color it when Win7 told me MEM_BAD_POINTER and Corel PhotoPaint crashed.
Of course I hadn't saved yet.
I fired up Corel PhotoPaint again, traced the drawing, saved it, fixed it up nicely, and was almost ready to color when MEM_BAD_POINTER *crash*.
I reloaded the save, started to fix it up, saved again, touched up some more, saved again, worked a bit more and MEM_BAD_POINTER *crash*.
I tried to reload the save. Corel PhotoPaint decided to save me the whole "work on picture for a while" step and skipped straight to the *crash*.
By now I had realized that this was all, in fact, a sign that I should be writing and not, the universe repeats, NOT DRAWING ANYTHING EVER.
But I still wanted an icon for my new character. At the by-now-evident risk of the destruction of the space-time continuum in an effort to prevent this icon from being finished, I rebooted my PC, tried to load the save again, and succeeded!
In here somewhere, Lut woke up and suggested I check for a patch for PhotoPaint. I didn't think my fourteen year-old art program was still being supported, but I checked anyway. Corel does still make PhotoPaint, somewhat to my surprise, but the oldest version they have any patches for is two releases after mine.
After three or four more crashes and two more reboots, I finally managed to finish the icon. It is not my best work ever. That's okay.
I find myself oddly sanguine about the whole affair. I should be frustrated, but I'm not. I'm mostly just amused.
I do kind of want my scanner to work though. Maybe I'll hook it up to my old computer in the living room and scan stuff on it. I don't really want to revert back to XP. Having my paint program constantly crash and frequently require reboots is also inconvenient. Maybe I could buy another copy of ArtRage (or maybe even rescue it from the backup of my old computer? I downloaded it originally. I might still have an accessible copy somewhere). But I really do like using layers in pictures and ArtRage doesn't support that. Wait, I haven't looked at the product in years, maybe the latest version does? *checks* Oooh, it does! It's also much more expensive than the ArtRage2 version that I already purchased, but still a lot cheaper than Corel PhotoPaint or Adobe PhotoShop. Maybe I will pick it up.
Also, I am totally counting this entry as writing for the 30in30. In case you were wondering.