About my stencil hobby.

My second attempt, after this photo I made some corrections.

I really need to dedicate more time to some of my “hands on” hobbies, I love stencil and lettering so these days I watch a lot of streams of painters on Twich just to have some tips and ideas how to deal with my own creative craft.
When I started drawing on jackets, it was mostly because I wanted unique designs, everyone likes to have unique pieces that show their own character, so that was my way of having cool stuff on the cheap.

My main problem with painting clothes is my love for black and dark blue colors, most paints need a lot of layers and the ones that don’t need it are expensive as hell.
I want to try stencil with bleach on black and color the bleached areas after.
Got some cool ideas for T-shirts besides the typical nerdy things that is.

I suck at drawing but I have no problems with stencil or copying line art, I got a fairly strong hand and when I was a kid my favorite thing was to copy layouts of warplanes from books and magazines so I could paint them after.
Thanks to that, I don’t have problems working with stencil on my clothes but I still want to learn new refined skills from painters I enjoy. Some of their techniques can be brought from the digital realm in to the stencil crafts, specially the way the mix colors and use shadows.

I don’t plan in doing stencil craft tutorials mostly because there are tons of material in Youtube already, but I might show some step by step or just works in progress as I make my T-shirts. Painting jackets is expensive not only because one needs to have a denim jacket around but also because denim requires a lot of paint if you want a nice work.
T-shirt on the other hand only require a pre-washed cotton base and I can buy them for 5 or 8€, so it’s really the best medium to work on if one wants to practice stencil.

Sorry for the rant but I just wanted to share what was on my mind, in a way it’s normal that I want to return to the “hands on” crafts because I do miss the days I worked in actually creating something that would endure time and leave a legacy to future generations, my current job is nothing like and that makes me sad.

And so it begins…update on the desktop.

640px-Agelaius_phoeniceus_PP
By Cephas – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0

Some days ago I wrote that I would build another desktop computer, so today I updated that post to reflect some unforeseen changes, specially the compatibility with the RAM which seems to be an issue with some motherboards, including mine.

The update was also necessary because I  have purchased most of the base of the system, the final piece will be the Ryzen CPU.
Sure I still have some money to spend in the GPU, RAM, PSU and SSD but those can wait a little.

Some lose thoughts about the build:
The CPU had some strange problems with Linux, AMD is now solving some of the shitstorm with some microcode patches and whatnot.
I might be biased because I’m gonna buy one, but the AMD Ryzen is one hell of a CPU, seems Intel finally moved their ass and started fighting back, the CPU wars are back and I like it!

The DDR4 RAM support for the Ryzen is a mess, I had to actually buy HyperX because there is so much conflicting information around the forums and DIY community, looks like if you buy a RAM module which isn’t approved by the manufacture company your chances of getting a no go at boot are very high, add that to the Ryzen picky nature when overclocking and it’s a pain for DIYers.

I love videogames, I don’t consider myself a hardcore gamer because I don’t spend hours gaming every day, but I do love to play my stuff specially RPGs like the Witcher and Elder Scrolls series.
The problem of having a decent CPU is that you really need a decent GPU to come in to the fray when you want your videogame fix.
Right now the AMD GPUs are out of the question, even if I like them very much.
NVIDIA has better support for Linux and I use Linux for everything besides gaming so this is KO even before the match starts. I’m now considering the Nvidia GTX 1050 Ti and GTX 1060 by Gigabyte and Asus, both present a bottleneck when paired with the Ryzen CPU I intend to buy.

In terms of storage I need a SSD for Windows 10 but I’m still on the edge if I should go M.2 or SATA, I’ll research a bit more first.

On a nerdy note I have a name for the desktop, it will be called Blackbird because I love both the bird and airplane. Deal with it I’m a nerd…

A new desktop PC for 2018.

AeroCool-CyberX
AeroCool CyberX

My current desktop PC is a old horse and needs some rest very soon, it will probably be used later by my kids for school work or something. I did learn a lot with it and it was the entertainment hub for my whole family for a long of time.

My current setup:

CPU: Intel Core2 Quad Q9450  @2.66 GHz, OCed @~2.80 GHz (Still gives a respectful benchmark of 4000 at Passmark when OCed)
CPU Cooler: Stock Intel with copper base
Motherboard: Asus P5QL Pro
RAM: Crucial DDR2 8 Gb Total OCed
GPU: Asus GT 740 2Gb
SSD & HDD: HyperX 240 Gb + Assorted Scorpio Black HDD from Western Digital.
PSU: Nox 750Watts
Case: White Brand ATX Mid Tower
Screen: Dual HD Monitor setup from LG & Asus
Keyboards and Mouse: Razer Blackwidow Ultimate 2014Ed (US) + HP Classic Wired Keyboard (PT) + HP X500 Wired Mouse (Got kids so no expensive Mouse for me)

The update will be something in these lines:

CPU: Ryzen 5 1600X
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master MasterLiquid Lite 120.
Motherboard: ASUS PRIME B350-PLUS
RAM: 1X HyperX FURY 16 GB 2666Mhz (Will updated 16GB every 3 Months until a total of 64Gb, will not make the same mistake I did in the past).
GPU: Nvidia GTX 1050 Ti Windforce OC 4G or GTX 1060. (Will hold on my GT 740 for a while)
SSD & HDD: HyperX 240 Gb + various old HDD
PSU: Corsair Series VS650 (When The NOX bites the dust)
Case: Aerocool CyberX Advance with a clear window on the side
Screen: Dual HD Monitor setup from LG & Asus (Will update for a good big FHD when my kids grow up a bit more)
Keyboards and Mouse: Razer Blackwidow Ultimate 2014Ed (US) + HP Classic Wired Keyboard (PT) + HP X500 Wired Mouse (Got kids so no expensive mouse for me but I do want a Kanonic 82 keyboard really bad).

All in all it’s a budget desktop PC and it will be build not as amazing gaming machine but as a entertainment hub that can run some video games from time to time.
I will dual boot on this machine if I don’t get too much nags from Linux.
Unless something bad happens this PC will be built by the end of 2017

If you enjoy your hobby write a blog.

camille-kimberly-58392
Photo by Camille Kimberly on Unsplash

When I wrote my first opinions on this blog I did it mostly to vent some criticisms related to the audiophile hobby. I was truly tired of not having a voice in the community.
After being quiet for decades I had the need to stand my ground on controversial subjects, even if I had to criticize and offend other enthusiasts along the way.
These days I must admit that I don’t feel the urge to complain so much. Writing on my blog actually released me from the frustration of not having a voice, so now I don’t need to be so blunt when I see companies trying to sell snake oil to audiophiles or other related bullshit.

I believe having a voice and a space also made me a better person online, I don’t feel so inclined to be a asshole when participating on audiophile communities. Looking at the current state of some forums I also believe many commentators should actually write a blog to release all of their hate speech, saving some newbies along the way.

In fact it’s my opinion that if you truly enjoy your hobby, you should write about it if your time allows it and your inspiration gives you a hand from time to time.
It’s fun to have our own uncensored online notepad. Communities like Reddit and forums belong to people or companies with their own agendas, so in those usually highly moderated places it’s hard to give an honest opinion without being down-voted to oblivion or harassed by other users. I more often than not watch really good opinions being down-voted by the community just because they don’t follow the sheepish opinion those users have about a brand or topic.

Lets not forget that in those communities discussions can be toxic for newbies, making them frustrated for not having the “golden ears” some audiophiles claim they have, like it’s some God given gift that only they can achieve.
These days when I visit some communities, users often discuss topics like they are in a competition. Everyone wants to win but in the end nobody actually wins anything besides some kind of status which can be removed as soon as the administrators feel you are attacking their sponsors and source of income.  Looking at the fast pace things change the best way to actually have a voice is to write on a blog.
Discussions can still happen and people can refute your opinions on their own blogs.

My wife often laughs at me when I’m ardently fighting discussing something on a social network, deep down I also laugh because I know it’s a total waste of precious time.
I could be using all that time to actually write about things I enjoy on my own blog.
Social networks are an amazing way to find people and chat about daily news but they are too volatile to be of any use in the long run. That’s why all the best articles I often read are on websites or blogs, in those places time has a different meaning and the readers actually read, unlike the users of social networks which are expected to interact with the platform.

In the end if you enjoy your hobby and want to learn more about yourself and the world, I highly advise you to write a blog one day.

Raspberry pi + Wolfson Audio Card project.

 

So I finally finished my Raspberry pi + Wolfson Audio Card project.

Yea, I was lazy….anyway I now can play 24-bit, 192KHz lossless audio on my rig and there’s no need for a power hungry computer.

The Pi box is behind the TFT, its a simple black box similar with the one with a wood front in the photo. HDD is next to the decks and yea I’m gonna disconnect the blue LED ou cover up that light.
I did a little overclock to the CPU but nothing too serious, heat dissipation is enough and the box has an open back.
I also have a little hub to connect the keyboard and mouse.

Software wise the Wolfson cards suck…most distros out there aren’t compatible with it.
It runs the OS image provided by the amazing Ragnar Jensen.

As for playing music, it does sound nice and there aren’t dropouts or noticeable hum.
Anyway I’ll put a decent keyboard on the thing when I can.

On a final notice, stay away from this board as it doesn’t have decent support.
There are better things out there these days.