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11:36 PM on 08.19.2009

Late night quicky post about artwerkz.

Once again, very few probably care, but there will be artwork here shortly. I have to finish up a website for a local restaurant that I frequent, as well as start working on a website for the local area itself that I live in. Add in that I haven't done a website in AGES and it looks to be an interesting rest of the week.

On the whole, I'm trying not to be this for the rest of the week:

On a plus side, I'm getting better with my small sketches, so feel free to mail me and ask me if you guys want me to draw something. Worst case scenario is I give it a try and it's terrible, right?

The following is an attempt at deceiving spam searches:

[vonneuton] & (-aT-) & [hotmail] & (-d0t-) & [com]

Also, does anyone know why the default resizing doesn't work right in the "upload stuff" section? It seems to cut off the right part of my images when I post them on here.   read

9:50 AM on 08.15.2009

Don't call it a comeback...

Sorry, couldn't help the LL Cool J reference. I love that song.

Not like anyone is going to care that I'm back, but hey! I'm back. Last time I was seen around here was March, soon after the Miami NARP (once again, thanks for a good time you Dtoid staff people!), and I decided at the time that it was a good time for a sabbatical from the good old robot. Now that I'm back to playing games and schtuff I figured I'd wander back.

Plus, who would Funktastic claim stole his avatar if I don't come back?

I don't want to make this long, since I'm basically only posting for input on something I'm working on. It's my first real drawing since March, and I'm wondering if you all could help me with an idea. To be perfectly honest, it's not complete, and it will go through more reworking (The head and lower body, particularly) before I decide to color and put a name too it and all that, but here it is:

The question is: What should the robot be conquering? For the life of me, I have no idea. So, please LET ME KNOW! Hopefully one of you has a good idea, because I can't figure it out.


And for the benefit of all:

[embed]144335:21462[/embed]   read

4:04 PM on 02.15.2009

My new gaming setup... All in one place.

Hello all. For the past few years, I've generally had whatever consoles I owned hooked up to the TV in the living room, and had my gaming computer hooked up to whatever monitor I had in the spare room or bedroom. I finally decided to change this over the past few days, and finally finished a little while ago. I'd like to detail a bit first.

I was gaming on PC with a 22" LCD, an AMD X2 4600 (2.4Ghz), 4GB of DDR2 800, and a BFG 8800GTS 512MB OC video card. In with my PC was the PS3, because my monitor has HDMI in, and the 30" CRT HDTV in the living room only had component as well as being limited to 480p and 1080i (no support for 720p). Now, out in the living room was the Xbox 360 and a crappy P4 PC just to watch Hulu and watch video files.

Now it's a bit different:

In this picture, you can see I've got the PS3 on the left, the Xbox 360, and a new mini gaming box all hooked up to my new 32" LCD and my old Kenwood 600W surround system, which is just as awesome as the first day I bought it. You can also see the corner of my Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters poster, as well.

If you're really perceptive, you can see I've decided to use the Origami Experience for Vista UMPCs as my launcher for the computer. It will make everything easier for people when they come over if they want to get on the internet or play a few games, plus I really like the music player interface. I also got that plugin for Firefox called NoSquint, which basically zooms to 120% by default and is a lifesaver.

On the table in front of the TV is the new wireless Logitech keyboard and mouse set. I'm happy I found a cheap one with actual media keys.

Now there's not much difference to the gaming computer, but it's enough to run almost everything on high... except Crisis of course. :) I replaced the AMD with a new Intel board and an E5200 dual core chip, which is basically a 2.5Ghz C2D with less L2 cache and a little slower FSB. It has the same Wolfdale core as the one I'd have loved to have gotten but was twice the cost. I'm thinking about pin modding it, but I'm not certain how that will do on this specific CPU.

I'm still rocking the 8800GTS, and unfortunately had to split the RAM from the other system until I can order some more from Newegg to bring it up to 4GB. It utterly kills the AMD X2 I had. Something like a 600 - 700 point difference in the CPU Mark scores, and the games are running noticeably smoother. I also got ahold of a couple USB 360 controllers so that any split screen gaming on the computer that is good with controllers can be had with ease.

This is me in my big green gaming chair pretending to play the PS3 for the picture. As you can see, I remembered to turn on the controller before the picture for maximum realism. Of course, like all my things, the chair is being slowly destroyed by the cat since I have this deficiency that keeps me from ever remembering to buy him a scratching post. I actually almost killed him yesterday when I caught him pissing on the power adapters for the router, modem, and 360... but I didn't. It's probably my fault for paying more attention to games than to him.

This is my pathetic little gaming collection, however, it's not so bad since I actually play A LOT of my games on the PC. Just much less physical evidence of gaming since the advent of no-cd cracks, ISO makers, and trash cans. On the left are the PS3 games sitting on a few PSX ones. I made custom cases for the PSX games since the smaller CD cases didn't really fit in with everything else. On the right are the 360 games sitting on top of the few GameCube games I have remaining. I have no GameCube. There is sadness in the land since I gave away my original GC when I got the Wii, then I sold the Wii and have no GC now.

I also need a PS2. Badly. I really want to play Persona 4.

I also got the component cables for the PSP so I could play Mother 3 and Minish Cap on a bigger screen when I'm at home without needing to run an emulator on the extremely non-power saving computer.

And that's pretty much it. As an aside, if anyone's in Central Florida and they want a 30" CRT HDTV (still works great), let me know and maybe we can work out a trade or something.   read

8:27 PM on 02.01.2009

Thank you, Ron. You made me draw something again.

I kinda started working with the Irontoid thing, and it turned into this pseudo Sin City / Daft Punk thing. Anyone like it?   read

5:08 PM on 02.01.2009

10 Things You'll Instantly Forget About Vonneuton (Again)

Sorry if this shows up twice for some reason. I don't see it in the CBlogs, so I'm hiding the previous one and reposting it.

1. My name is Brian, and I'm originally from Fort Lauderdale. I grew up with my parents, two sisters, and grandmother in a 3 bedroom house. We were "lower middle class", which translates as not quite poor. My family was in Newsweek one time because of it. I would only get two things a year... guess when? My birthday and Christmas, of course. I think that's why I started loving computers: They were the only thing that my father would bring home.

I do wish I was still there (Ft. Lauderdale, not that house) instead of Orlando. The only reason it's okay I'm up here is that I've met some awesome people, but it's a terrible town for doing anything. I really miss the shows and art culture in both Fort Lauderdale and Miami, and of course I'd love to live down there now that I've found D-toid.

2. My very first (and fondest) memory of gaming is sitting down at a tabletop Galaga machine and playing until my parents wouldn't give me any more money. It was at this little pizza place called Lou's Pizza, and my parents hung out with the owner all the time. Sadly, it is no longer there. I also remember seeing our country go to war in the first Gulf War on television there later on in life, and fearing for the life of my sister's friend. She came back. Yay.

3. I started working on computers when I was 5 (1982), when my father brought home a UNIX server with 2 terminals. Somehow we got it working and I can still see the orange screen in my nightmares.

4. I don't know anyone who loves computers as much as I do. I think it's Stockholm's Syndrome though, because no matter how badly they act, I still stick around. I now I have a job repairing them, and take utter joy in making them work again. I'm sick, I know.

5. Out of three dreams, I only followed one: That's playing live music. I'm not doing it right now because I'm giving it a bit of a rest and then going back out there with a new set. It's pretty awesome that I was able to play on the same stage as bands that I enjoyed seeing there. There's something magical about that. I never really got heavily into my artwork or writing literature. I used to love writing, but somewhere along the line it got fused with the writing of music and was never the same. I guess I could also say that I'd love to work with anyone in the Central Florida area on stuff... if anyone's interested... yeah.

6. I won awards for being teh smartz, and I hated it. When I was younger I was put in classes because I tested higher than everyone else. I now know that this was utterly wrong for me (and the other kids in this "gifted class"), since all it did was single me out as someone to give hell to. I was always a fairly large kid so I didn't get messed with physically too often, but I remember a lot of times just not being included in anything the "regular" kids were doing. How effed up is that? So when I hit high school, I did a 180 and started getting in trouble and generally not doing well in school on purpose. It's strange to be happier failing than achieving.


7. I stuttered like crazy until I was about 8 or 9 years old. Luckily I wasn't half as bad as the kids in the video above, but It made #6 even worse when it was happening. A stuttering geek? Hold on... a bespectacled stuttering geek? It's like hitting the trifecta of sucky childhood. I'm just lucky I had help to get over it early. I can't imagine dealing with it now.

8. I used to phreak a bit. I was quite good at it at the time. It was pretty much a way to whittle away the wee hours of the morning when I wouldn't sleep since I was up running my BBS. And yes, I had my own phone line when I was 8 because my parents couldn't get me off the modem. I even got to do that thing once where you bounced a phone call around the country and talked to yourself. It was fun.

9. I have a lot of trouble gaming with people online. This is probably something I should go into for the monthly musing, but while I'm extremely social as a person (who can play music on a stage and not be?) I somehow can't extend that into the online realm beyond posting and commenting here. Just going into an online game of Castle Crashers gave me fits since I didn't know anyone. I don't get it. I guess I just don't trust anyone I can't see. Call it Livephobia or something.


There you go... hopefully some interesting and some just embarrassing insights you never wanted. Yay.   read

6:18 PM on 01.05.2009

Why pirates are a-ok with being a pirate...

I'm not going to say that this is the end all be all reasoning pirates use, but for me it rings true.

If you download a title for your PC, it doesn't exist in tangible form. If you download a game for your PSP, Xbox 360, DS, or anything, it doesn't exist in tangible form. You're not going down to GameStop and stuffing the game in your pants and running out the door with it. There is no REAL risk, because it doesn't really exist. You're not going down to some warehouse in the bad part of town and handing just a few dollars for a copy of something that's $60. You're not worried about the cops catching you like you would in person, because the cops don't really exist for people on the internet.

And really, do they? There is so much traffic on the internet, what are the chances of actually being caught by the actual police when you download something? Plus, are you actually in trouble if you're downloading it, or only in trouble if you share it with other people? How many people actually know the laws governing this shit?

In general, people learn by making mistakes. People get caught or hurt or SOMETHING that makes them stop doing the bad or stupid thing they did. Someone can bitch about piracy all they want: It will never stop someone from doing piracy or even give two shits about piracy until it is perceived as something that can actually hurt them. As much as I hate to say it, even though the RIAA was doing a bunch of bullshit when they were charging people left and right: a fuckton of people stopped pirating music. I personally know at least 75% of my friends stopped downloading because now there was a real honest to goodness consequence.

Admittedly, sales didn't really go up at all due to this because they were pirating stuff because they didn't have the money to buy it in the first place, but it stopped them from doing it because they were scared of getting caught.

And really people, I can tell you one of the reasons piracy started in the first place. It's flat out because we couldn't return software. I pirated stuff, and yes I actually fucking paid for it if it was good, because it was a time when Demos didn't really exist. There were just boxes on a shelf. Good luck and all that; hope it was what you needed, because they wouldn't take it back. You still can't trade PC games except through services like Goozex (of which I've found no others, but admittedly haven't looked hard).

What really sucks about piracy is that there are too many "reasons" for people to do it now, and not enough of a reason not to. If someone can finally flip that around, I'm sure everything will be hunky dory. Good fucking luck on that, though. As long as people keep making stuff like this:

I think anti-piracy people are well and truly screwed out of convincing people that this shit is wrong. I don't want to say STFU about it because it seems trite, but unless you can turn it around, STFU about it because all you do is make people that pirate give themselves MORE reasons to pirate. Arguments do that. They make people fortify their defenses against things that aren't what they want to hear. You're not helping.   read

8:04 PM on 11.14.2008

Just a little bit of "art" from WAY back in the day.

So, I was hanging out with a friend a while back and he gave me a little present. You see, a long time ago I was a frequenter of BBSs, or Bulletin Board Systems. I myself ran one in Fort Lauderdale that ran on the WWIV software, custom modified since I've always had at least a little skill in programming. One of the things I always loved were the ANSI artwork done for warez releases back then, and after a while I actually got to be in one of the groups that did a lot of the work for those groups as well as other BBS's that wanted cool intros: iCE.

My friend actually found a lot of the art (or what we called art) that I did back then and compiled it into a graphic so I could remember those days gone past. I'm going to share it with all of you, because it's a neat bit of history for me and I really would like to know your experiences, if any, with BBSs and the like. I'm sure there's one or two of you out there that used TAG, or maybe Telegard software at some point for your own hi jinks. But without further ado:

Now, before you go: That's not all original artwork! I'd like to say that most of the time people wanted us to reproduce their favorite artwork from various sources. My specialty was reproducing comic book art. I would also like to say it's REALLY HARD to actually go in by hand and reproduce stuff with ridiculously ineffective tools, which is what we had. You could only work on one screen at a time, so those huge strips of stuff were done 24 lines at a time. So please understand that it was somewhat of an art to bring that stuff over into our medium: 16 color blocks of text based graphics.

Now, If I did it right you should be able to click the image for a slightly bigger version. Thanks in advance for any responses. I will be posting some original art soon.   read

10:57 PM on 11.13.2008

Hit the reset button.

So, at some point today I realized that I have been coming to Destructoid since January of this year and have been extremely pleased with this corner of the universe that embraces one of the things that I truly love. It had totally passed me by that I had never actually signed up with my normal pseudonym... which is irrelevant to anyone else, I'm sure, but it was bothering me. So Collette fixed it today and I am now "vonneuton" instead of "vn1977". Thank effing god.

I also realized that I had never properly introduced myself: Hi. Please let my thirtieth impression be a good first one.

First, I updated a pic over on my profile, so I'm not going to re-post one in here. Second, I'm going to warn you guys ahead of time that I may wax a wee bit nostalgic. Just a little. Hah.

Besides being in love with video games of all sorts and having played them since I was a wee lad, I am also a tinkerer. I love taking things apart, putting them back together, sometimes even how they went together in the first place. When computers came into the picture, I was in HEAVEN. My father has always worked on computers since he got out of the army (which was a long long looooooooooong time ago), and he made sure that I got the experience with them that I needed to stay technologically valid in this world. If that meant he brought home a Unix server when I was five, then he did it. It was amazing.

Holy crap, I actually had one of the portable ones. Got it years after I got the original from some little shop somewhere.

My first actual experience with games was on the Commodore 64, which was awesome. I will never EVER forget the music that played out of those games from that little computer. I've been so glad that there's been a revival of younger people using the SID chips for synth stuff in music now. Perhaps this isn't hell.

However, I wasn't truly excited about games until I started hanging out with my friend across the street. I still remember the first time we started up his NES and played Ice Hockey. It was so fun, it was mind bending. Not to mention eventually getting Blades of Steel... it was like the first taste of some awesome drug. In fact, I can basically remember the first thing I played on every console that I eventually got.

Please forgive me, but I have to list them. On the Odyssey2, it was Pick Axe Pete and Monkeyshines. The Aquarius had the arcade Tron game with the paddles and everything. For Coleco it was B.C.'s Quest for Tires. SNES was Street Fighter 2. Sonic was my first for the Genesis. Gameboy was Tetris. PS1 was Ridge Racer (along with some CD's to swap out and customize my racing music). PS2 was GTA3, since I couldn't afford it until a year later. Xbox was Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance, due to the same problem with affordability. The only one I forget is a recent one: The DS. There were just too many things that I got with it and I just can't remember.

There were a lot of games at arcades, as well. One of my favorite times, as well as plenty of other people I'm sure, was playing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and the Simpsons. We had both at a bowling alley that was fairly close to my house, and I would get my friends together and spend every cent of allowance. However, the last thing I remember playing was Tekken 5 in the arcade...

Anyways, I really wanted to do a longer post but it's getting late for an "old guy" and I have to work early in the morning. I just want to say thanks, even if no one really cares, it's certainly nice to be here.   read

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