Thoughts on Google Chrome OS

This is a post that’s been waiting in my drafts folder for quite some time now, and I figure this is a good time as any to get it out. I’ve been thinking about Google Chrome and what it exactly means, at least to my observations. I was one of many dorks who watched the livestream of the conference, who watched with a slightly underwhelming view of the announcements. No installed applications! It’s all in the cloud, baby! It was all so very new and such a weird take that I had to wait to think and process the information that flowed forth about the OS and what my take on it would be. But in all honesty, I agree with so many critics- it’s a small step. It’s a small step between a full fledged OS and something you’d find on a cell phone (a smartphone, that is). And for the applications that can run on it so far, that would be just fine for certain uses. I could probably see myself running the Google Chrome OS on a netbook someday- something that can boot quickly, to check the plethora of GMail accounts I have running (last time i counted, it’s about five so far, but that may grow with passing time), Twitter, Facebook, etc. The Google Suite has been a major part of my workflow the last six months, so the use of Chrome OS would be a welcome addition to my workflow. The ease of which I could check emails, type out some writing I had in mind into Google Documents, so on and so forth, would be a snap on the Chrome OS. Hell, I’ve used GDocs to bounce out scripts to later convert and move over to Celtx for formatting. To have the Google OS as a stopgap to between my random ideas and rough drafts to the finalized versions on my computer would be a tremendous help. Hell, this was written in Google Documents before I moved the document over to MarsEdit for editing and posting. I could have foreseeably used the OS in the process of writing this. As John Gruber stated, “The idea of a computer that does a lot less — leaving out even things you consider essential, because you can still do those things on your other, primary computer — is liberating.” To have a small netbook running chrome with my usual menagerie of permanent tabs (gmail and twitter, mostly) off on another computer while I save the system resources for Final Cut Pro or some other resource hogging application. It’s just a small resource that would complement the entire computer experience. It is my belief that the strength of the whole project can be seen in the fact that the OS itself is open source. Everything I’ve seen so far with the OS has been offshoots people have cooked up for the public to play with, and in time, I can see major companies doing the same. Imagine, what if Asus built a motherboard that had a small flash drive onboard just for chrome OS? Sure, you can take your time and boot into Windows, but you can just hold down a key when booting up and Chrome OS kicks in from that onboard flash drive and lets you check email or show that funny cat video you wanted to show to your significant other before you leave for work. A fully customizable instant on OS. Imagine the offshoots some valiant coder (or company!) could pull off with the operating system. With the code being open sourced, there could be a plethora of flavors of the Chrome OS that could come out for different uses. Perhaps one version could be created to be run on MacBooks and Macbook Pros, for quick bootups. Another version to be run on tablet PCs. What could be seen as a slow tablet could run quite briskly with its own flavor of the Chrome OS. Hell, aging computers could be given a quick update with a 10 dollar ethernet card and given a new lifecycle with this OS- something simple to allow a family member to check their email or annoy the entire household with a terrible youtube clip (if you don’t, more power to you). One offshoot could benefit my current place of work- the library. Imagine a flavor of the Chrome OS that would be designed for library use. Patrons to the library could keep their bookmarks, their settings, hell, even their own background as they come in to use the computers, as they move from terminal to terminal. The OS could be limited to have parental controls and time limits for children and for adults alike. Instead of suffering from the constant upkeep regular windows computers have to face, a simple Chrome OS system that’s self updating, and much more secure would lower the frustration and the costs of said upkeep with public use computers, such as the ones at the library. A similar system could be put into place at a cyber cafe, with little to no overhead compared to its windows counterparts. Of course, like with the actual OS, such an idea would come in the pipeline- nothing that Google makes right away is all that good to begin with. Anyone care to recall how… simplistic Gmail was back in the day? Or how much the Google documents system (remember when it was still Writely?) couldn’t do basic exportability to word documents? Everything is a work in progress at google, and I would expect Chrome to be no different. What we see now would probably be remarkably different even months down the line, even six months after the fact. It will grow, it will evolve, and in what ways, it may turn to be interesting. For what it stands now, a small step, it’s quite small. But the magic lies in the potential to where it may grow and flourish. The initial steps may be underwhelming, but where it can go is promising.

Artist’s Block

Writer’s block is common for many artists- i know of plenty of webcomic artists that struggled to get work done only to feel that their art or their current output is less than satisfactory. To simply call it writer’s block is rather unfair- I rather like to refer to it as artist’s block. Any artist can get it, whenether it may be something so simple as not being able to draw a simple sketch or a musician unable to get the concepts in their head played back upon their musical instrument of choice. As of late, I find that my artist block affects me in cycles. I basically dabble in multiple fields, including writing, filmmaking, minor photography, and website design. When one of the fields feels stifling to me, the other flourishes. As of late, I can’t seem to get any work in my website design field done AT All, but I feel much more inspired in the case of writing- I’m getting scripts done with much more fluidity than before. I’ve gone back and looked at older scripts that I had done on old Word macro templates and pulling out the funny parts that I had written back in middle school/beginning of high school and seeing what I can do with all of it. There’s some small funny bits i found, but most of it was simply sophomoric humor that would barely fit in say, the Disaster or Date Movies. (I wonder if I could ever combine them all and sell it as a bad parody movie. Somehow, those always make money.) I had been using the popular Final Draft program for my mac for quite a while, and I had found it to be rather buggy and well… antiqudated. C’mon, a decent program on the mac has to at least use the mac’s own native spellcheck program, right? Nope! Final Draft uses it’s own spellcheck program, and that has proved to be inadiquate for my needs (the program doesn’t even bring up its own spellcheck, persistently frustrating me), . I made the recent move to Celtx, an open source pre-production suite, and that has made the difference between night and day. While it doesn’t have the technical complexicty that Final Draft holds, the program does do a good job of tying in the script to other parts of the pre-production process. It’s rather simple to tie a character sheet together with whatever props I may need to use, what parts of the script is being shot on a certain day, and other aspects of the post production. Best thing, it’s fucking free (fucking just adds the fact that a program of this level should have some sort of price attatched to it, and being free just sweetens the deal for me). I can’t complain with that now, can i? There is a download serivce available to make the program availalbe to multiple people, but if it had some sort of syncing system in place (with wikipedia-esque editing service) i would be golden. But anyways, back to the original topic. I feel that some of the parts of my artistic enviroment feels restrained at times, while in other times, other parts of my artsy fartsy brain seems to flourish with great gusto. My techy part and my writer parts seems to have been much more proactive, while trying to do any sort of graphic design work or anything along those lines (website design) seems to have gone dead. I’ve tried FORCING myself to get work in those fields done, but they end up looking subpar and crappy. Thankfully, I need more scripts done, so i’m not feeling that far behind, I’m just afraid i’m going to have to play catchup to hit my own personal deadlines. Well, back to work. Maybe.

Things I hate about webcomics

Okay, I’ve had plenty of things I hate about webcomics. Things that bother the crap out of me to no end, and they come up time and time again in webcomics, and truthfully, it gets to be a pain to look at. This may not reflect the rest of the crew, as it is my own views. I won’t use any actual comics as examples, as not to insult anyone. 1. “OMG, Let’s start a comic!” This is one many smaller comics are guilty of. You know the drill, two of the characters talking to each other on the first page of the comic, saying, “Let’s start a webcomic!” and the other replying in “Okay!”. This happens way too much. Come on, can’t you use a much easier character introduction than this old bag? Try something new. Anything, really, just keep away from this. And please, please don’t try to make fun of this for your first strip. People have to get used to your comedy, and it’ll bascially become the same thing you were attempting to rip off. 2. “Look! It’s Piro-sama!” Don’t, don’t cameo famous characters. We get it, they’re popular. Don’t . At the same time, don’t do your own take of Piro’s infamous “sad girl in the snow” unless it was a bukkake scene. Somehow, I’m guessing somebody did a take on that already. 3. “Read right to left” What exactly does it accomplish if you flip your comic from right to left, exactly? Does this make you “genuine” to make people read in the traditional manga style? Please. It’s just another bother for people to use. I have yet to see a good comic actually attempt to use the flipped style effectively. It basically becomes a cheap flip in photoshop instead of an interesting experiment of different styles. 4. “Page 1-2-3-4” Okay, one of my little annoyances, I know, but when a comic doesn’t have a button for the next comic or the previous comic, it gets to be a bug in your ass to navigate these pages. 5. “I love , I’m going to make a comic out of it!” You know the idea. Somebody loves a well known cultural object with a respective fanbase, and attempts to make a webcomic out of it. Yeah, there are those that have pulled off the concept at least halfway decently or amazingly well, but every other comic has attempted to do so has failed, as they try to use the same exact characters from the universe, but either making fun of the storyline already built or simply idolize the universe/object over and over again I’ll probably make more of these another time.