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February 11th, 2013

Disappointey Weekend is Disappointing

For past few months laurie_robey and I have been looking at ways to affect some positive change in our current lifestyle. Financially, we're on nice solid footing, but we're both stressed out (her especially), feeling frustrated, and being pushed by market forces into dead-end careers that we need to get out of.

So we have been looking with a keen eye at the idea of me cutting back to part time in order to free me up to work on my writing and comics, as well as trying to land some freelance gigs in order to update my skills and resume. This weekend, we sat down and ran the numbers, giving our budget a thorough and honest look... and came to the conclusion that the money just isn't there. :( Full-time, we operate on a comfortable surplus. Part-time, even after cutting out a lot of stuff and throttling back our savings contributions, we end up ~$10k short a year.

So I'm staying full-time. Yay for having more money than we need... I guess?

In other news, that Cintiq I bought from Flinters at FC? It works beautifully by itself on my system, but will not stand the presence of another tablet-- even the bonus tablet made specifically to work with it. The problem appears to boil down to Windows 7's security settings: the Cintiq wants to write its preferences to the Windows directory, and Windows doesn't want to let it. So the preferences never get saved, and the defaults are all wrong.

I took the Cintiq over to hantamouse's house last weekend and tried it on his Mac, and it all worked perfectly. So when, earlier this week, Sparf on Twitter offered up a G4 Mac Mini for $100, I snapped it up, figuring this might be a way to salvage use of the Cintiq. Yesterday Sparf brought it over, and I discovered that the DVI-to-USB adapter I have is not compatible with a Mac that old, and cannot be made compatible with workarounds. Which means... I can have a tablet on the Mac or the Cintiq as both tablet and monitor.

Which is to say, it still doesn't work.

So at this stage, I've got pretty much one more option before giving up on the whole idea: see if I can find some reasonably-cheap way to add another DVI slot to a G4 Mac Mini from ~6 years ago. I have come dangerously close to the "throwing good money after bad" point on this project, and if the Mac doesn't work, I'll probably put it and the Cintiq back up for sale (or up on eBay).

After all, we're running at a surplus, I can just buy myself a new Cintiq if I really want one. :P If only I could buy myself some free time.

-The Gneech

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