Hey, me again, letting everyone know that I haven’t been writing much. You, among all my friends and acquaintances, know this.
What happened? I’ll try to keep it short. I bought that grand new computer from Newegg, used their assembly program to have it built and shipped to me, and it worked for about three weeks until it started crashing daily, then repeatedly. None of my own troubleshooting had any effect; I kept the original packaging and shipped it back.
Newegg told me they would repair it and send it back to me. Instead, once they got it, they told me the CPU cooler (a big, fancy Noctua affair) was broken and they were all out of stock. At that point, they should have given me the option to pick out another cooler, get it installed, and send the whole thing back to me, right? Nope: Newegg instead announced they would refund my purchase and keep the computer.
That meant keeping the hard drive I couldn’t back up, with maybe a couple hundred DAZ renders and saved scenes, works in progress, stories, etc. I appealed to their tech support, who clearly didn’t understand what I was saying and repeated that I would be refunded soon. I’ll do my best to recreate the illustration series I was working on, where appropriate, but mostly it’s all going to be tabula rasa.
That was a defeat. But there’s nothing to do now but create newer, better content, and not look back. And never use Newegg again.
I assembled another machine, based on the previous stats, shopped at Micro Center: Intel i9 12900 Alder Lake, RTX 3080 graphics card (“card!” A woman could bash an unfaithful spouse’s skull in with this chunk of machinery!), be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 4 chip cooler. The guys at Micro Center said a fan wasn’t better or worse than liquid cooling, because the i9 just goes beyond anything there is now: “It’s a hot chip!” I don’t think I’ll tax it that badly, though.
You can bet that after all this, I was really careful with backing up my gaming computer (an HP Pavilion I was using for World of Warcraft and Minecraft, until Activision/Blizzard turned out to be such consummate assholes) and my laptop, which I’ve been meaning to back up redundantly and do a factory refresh to turn it into just a reliable writing machine.
So of course the external hard drive burns out after only three months! I don’t normally have bad luck with electronics, but this was a real streak. The laptop’s fine, everything on the WD easyshare drive was backed up elsewhere, all I lost was what was on the previous graphics machine. I brought it in to a platinum-rated data recovery shop, but they wanted nearly $1,000 to salvage a bunch of size porn and Instagram grabs. Couldn’t see my way clear to that.
As for the new machine, so far, so good. I’m playing around with ideas… I keep a notebook of scenes I’d like to try to recreate, I save Instagram posts with expressions and interesting shadow/lighting and hot goddamn bodies. Emulating these in DAZ doesn’t always go so well, but it’s all a learning process, you know?