Well, have not been progressing much in my learning of late.
The loss of the car over a year ago means I spend from 5:45 PM to 7 AM either at work, on a bus to or from work, or waiting till I can work. This was bad enough, but at the start of the year we lost the other donut finisher, so now I do this 6 days a week, and spend all day sunday zonked out catching up lost sleep.
I have a PLAN though. Rather than reading at work while I wait, I want to be able to USE that time. My tax refund is meager, but if I can keep the overtime I am using focused, I can buy a refurbished laptop when taxes finally come in. The one I have my eye on is a quad core AMD, so when all is said and done for rendering I will have 6 cores to run a really tiny render farm.
I figure I can model and rig on the laptop at work, and to some degree it will handle animating the scene and some texture work. Then when I come home, I connect up to the main computer and render with all six while I sleep. Can also render while I'm at work if that is not enough.
Gotta brush up on my network knowledge though, and get some sort of cheap snyc software, although drag and drop over a network will work, and sneakernet through key drives.
Well, not MUCH of a plan, but a plan non-the-less
Well, it has started.
Ordered the new laptop this morning, should be here thursday.
AMD quad core, 1.9 gizhertz, 500 Gig Hard drive, 4 Gig Ram (will take 8)
Uses Windoze 7 home premium.
My current system is AMD dual core running at 3 Gig, with 8 Gig Ram and 2 Terabytes of Drive.
IF I am doing the math right, the Laptop will be a slight increase in processing power. (2*3 = 6GHrtz, 4*1.9 = 7.6GHrtz)
While right now I plan simply on doing work with my content on flash drives for portability, I already have a cross wire Cat5 cable so I can make a mini-network and set up a render farm. (or a render garden, I guess). Still, 6 nodes working at once will more than double my output, IF I can use the dead time at the donut mines.
Well, here's the current.
Doing a benchmark scene on the Laptop and the Desktop goes the opposite of what I expected. I got a slightly faster render of a series on the Desktop, possibly because the desktop has 8Gig of ram and the Laptop has 4Gig.
Have managed to get the Laptop and the Desktop 'talking' over the wireless, still haven't tried the hard wire connection yet, had a slow run of reorganizing my desk to put the Laptop where I could access it properly.
Can NOT use my wireless mouse with the laptop while in the area of the wireless internet, I knew that, on my shopping list is a non wireless mouse and a 4 GIG SD card. Windoze 7 lets me use that to buff the memory up, but I suspect I will be better off to make the effort to upgrade the internal memory properly.
Still not sure of the best way to work, bring ALL my content over to the laptop and sync the 2 computers, or use the USB key drives to bring over only what I need. The USB is the best to keep the drive space free, but I suspect as I get my little render garden set up, (I can't really call 2 computers a render farm, can I?), I will find that I will have all sorts of errors trying to make everything match, so I am leaning towards the master content directory side.
Well, new laptop is progressing SLOWLY. Got the Ad Hoc wireless network working, but it is SLOW. After a few hours work I got things configured to run Screamernet on whichever computer has the dongle, and set up batch files to start the nodes. (not an easy job as I haven't programed batchfiles for YEARS, and Windoze seems to want to run them from whatever location your user file is. But I have proved it to work. After a little searching on the assumption that Charlie could not find the crossover network cable because it was still in the ziplock bag it was sold in (which changes it's mental picture) I found the crossover network cable a few minutes ago.
Great, you might say! Now you can wire the desktop to the laptop on a straight ethernet cable!
As an old navy friend would say "Nay nay moosebreath!"
Said cable is about 2 feet long. Laptop sits on the desk L arm to my left, Desktop sits to my right. The Desktop Net connection is on the back side, to the right, the Laptop is to the Left, near the front. To get this working decently, I will have to move the desktop over to the Left arm of the desk, the laptop to the fron, and prolly shift the printer as well.
Even then I am gonna have to learn a workflow for moving my scenes and work to the network folder where both computers can see it when I do a renderfarming, and work on both the laptop and the desktop. And keep everything netaware while I do it.
Still and all, I HAVE gotten screamernet to work on both puters. Proof of concept.
Well, we have acheived sucess. I have set up a wired network, Arranged my test scene to render, set up the scripts I needed to run the nodes (Yes, I worked that out before I had a working network. The bats have a folder on my each desktop, 2 for the Desktop, 4 for the Laptop. I expect some research will let me learn how to have all the nodes run at once, but this works for now.)
Here is a snapshot of the new desk arrangment
Well, the learning curve is steep, but I am getting there. Have a sync system so what I work on on the laptop can be matched with what I have on the desktop. The network is not THAT fast, but it works. I have to disable my virus scanner from the area my screamer net is running so it doesn't scan every file moved each time.
I am starting to work on animating, but it has been so long since I did rigging I am struggling to remember, so I am moving Pent's wonderful rigging tutorials to the laptop so I can watch those again and get back into the game.
I will afford an upgrade eventually, I suppose.
Donut mines don't pay a lot, so I make pretty much just what I need to survive, until the guy who does my days off gets stupid and gets fired, then I spend a month or so working stupid overtime, make enough to put a little away.
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