19 October 2006


Here's a rendering my friend V. McAlexander made on her Amiga computer some ten years or more ago. It is titled Glasses and was probably crafted in the 3D graphic program called Imagine. I was looking for 2D paintings, instead of renderings from 3D apps, and found some, but then the pictures I found seemed to be some kind of animation, or at least still images with color-cycling. In these quasi-animation, nothing really moves other than the colors. For example, an eyeball may appear to dilate simply by making concentric circles' color turned on in sequence, to give the appearance of the innermost circle moving outward from the center of the eye. I'll try to load these possible anims into Personal Paint so they can be saved as animgif, an animation format suitable for the web. For all the great advantages the Amiga had, its native formats, IFF for still images and IFF ANIM for animation, are not standard on the web.

Originally I was going to use an old Pentium PC to be the middleman for transferring files from the Amiga to the Mac. Then on the way to the park to do my morning 2K jog, I found a discarded Dell PeeCee very much intact, left on the curb for garbage collection. Whenever I see a computer thrown away, I try to adopt it, either for parts or for the next electronics recycling event. Lots of time, the computer is stripped away of all useful components, e.g. hard drive, memory, expansion cards. Other times when the computer is still usable it would be an old 486 or Pentium I running Windows 95 and the minimum amount of memory. But this time it's a gem of a find. Windows XP with Service Pack 2, DVD player, 1.x GHz CPU speed! The machine was totally intact, all the data on the hard drive still there. It belonged to some teenage girl and there are tons of photos of her and her friends. I guess she doesn't know much about computers and identity theft. I'll create myself some accounts and leave her data alone, but someday when the hard drive needs space, I'll delete her stuff to make room. I would re-format the computer but Windows is such a pain to deal with I'm not going to do it. Windows being the unreliable system it is, I'm sure some days I will have to re-install it anyway. The machine does need a little work, like a replacement floppy drive, more memory (it has only 256 MB), and a network card. All those spare parts I've saved from other computers will come in handy. I just hope XP is smart enough to recognize the new hardware, as searching for Windows drivers can be quite a pain. Because of the defective floppy drive, I still had to use the old Pentium to transfer V.'s picture to the Mac.

No comments:

Post a Comment