Broked Wednesday January 16, 2008, 10 comments

You know, eventually you just have to take the old horse out back and put it out of its misery.

My 1996 VW Golf, with 310,000 kilometers on it, just blew a brake line. The car can still be driven, it just cannot be stopped. Obviously this presents a problem, but it’s only part of the larger problem – namely that the car is really old.

The hatch rusted so badly that the locking mechanism eventually fell off. This necessitated tying the hatch down. Very ghetto indeed. The solution was to purchase an rust free hatch from a different car. The car is black, the hatch is silver, lending it a nickname – Silverback.

The resonator fell off, so we replaced it with some stock pipe instead of a new resonator. It sounds like a Honda Civic with a cherry bomb muffler, but its livable. Twice the ghetto power.

The power door locks don’t work any more. This isn’t much of a problem, except that some of the doors might be unlocked when one arms the alarm, making it that much easier to wake the neighbors at 3 in the morning when I come home from a gig. Ghetto ghetto ghetto.

The silver hatch has a different key than the rest of the car. This wouldn’t be a big deal, except that the junkyard didn’t have the key for it. There is a ‘ripcord’ in the back seat that is tied to the latching mechanism of the hatch. 4x ghetto factor.

Sometimes the front passenger door lock freezes when its cold, meaning the person in that seat must clamber over the gear shift. Ghetto jackpot.

And these are just the things actually wrong with the car, not things that are impending, like replacing the original clutch, or replacing the brakes, or doing the wheel alignment. Or any of a million other small problems that I have grown so accustomed to I can’t even remember.

It might be time to take the old girl out to the pasture and put her out of her misery. Of course, this means I will need a replacement car, and that’s going to present problems of its own.


sarah Wednesday January 16, 2008

Strictly speaking it can be stopped. It just takes a while… ;)

Daniel Black Wednesday January 16, 2008

Possibly should’ve thought the whole MacBook deal through a bit more, eh?

I bought my first new car in September of ’06: an ’07 VW Rabbit. Overall, it’s been wonderful; but the few dings it’s suffered are more troubling than they’d have been on my aging Plymouth Breeze.

How, though, can you measure the visceral sensation of speeding around in a fun-to-drive car? It’s not a GTI (or an R32, or whatever other premium models they have); but with 150 HP (and 170 FP torque) it’s perfectly between “Hi, it’s grandpa!” and “Hi, I’m back from jail!”

Adrian Thursday January 17, 2008

Why would I possibly want to rethink the purchase of a tool I use every day, day in and day out, to generate my income?

As for the car…

I am considering a VW Rabbit myself. I only wish they came with diesel engines.

Daniel Black Thursday January 17, 2008

Well, if I were being blunt, I’d say that your older Powerbook G4 was still getting the job done, presumably. So it’s not so much that you purchased a tool which enabled you to start generating income. Of course, you’re probably able to get more done now, though I’d be curious as to how much more productive you felt with the new machine.

Adrian Thursday January 17, 2008

While it is true that I could run Photoshop, Illustrator and inDesign on my Powerbook G4, it is also true that I could not run them at the same time – even with the 1.25GB of RAM in the machine.

Based on the increase in productivity, my macbook will pay for itself before I’ve owned it for six months.

The fact is, the Powerbooks was simply not cutting it any more.

sarah Thursday January 17, 2008

On the one hand, you have the manufacturers striving for perceived obsolescence, encouraging you to buy the next shiny thing; on the other, the fact that functionality has significantly increased, thereby enhancing the ability of the tool.

I watched your frustration trying to use the powerbook. This time function really was the driving force. (Not to mention that I know how much you loved that shiny aluminium case ;)

Heather Thursday January 17, 2008

You can have the Sentra for awhile – that’ll ease you in to the transition to a new car. Just be gentle!

Daniel Black Friday January 18, 2008

Ever toyed with some of the F/LOSS (“open-source”) alternatives? GIMP 2.4 is a nice improvement of the app(so far; I’m not a heavy hitter); and Inkscape has lots of features you’re likely to need. I’m pretty sure each works with the dominant “industry standard” formats (.psd, .ai) file types, so you could give ‘em a try. If you can run Ps and Il simultaneously now, you should be able to blaze through the GIMP and Inkscape.

Further, there’s a fork of sorts of the GIMP, called GIMPshop, which aims to put a Photoshop-esque UI on the GIMP. I haven’t really played with it, as I don’t really need to mimic a UI I never use; but it might be worth playing with.

Your machine should PLOW through these apps, and they’re free to try.

Adrian Friday January 18, 2008

I have played with GIMP many times in the past. While it does a good job opening PSD files, it lacks support for some of the lesser-known features of the file format. Features that get used in a production environment on a regular basis.

They are good. Just not good enough.

Daniel Black Friday January 18, 2008

I’m always curious to know how they stack up. Clearly, your needs are professional needs; and, I admit, if I could, I’d have the CS3 suite on my woman’s Mac today, even though we don’t (yet) know quite how to push it. But, in our case, I think that’s more a product of a culture of novelty than anything.

You know…have you posted about your work and/or workflow? Maybe a pixel rig shot (Rands of has started a Flickr group called “Pixel Rigs” for such a gallery)?

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The website of Adrian Lebar

A Rain of Frogs is written, designed and built by Adrian Lebar, a twenty(!) year veteran of web design and development. He is currently managing web and mobile development teams at Canada’s largest and most beloved classifieds site, Kijiji!

He is a father, sailor, snowboarder, skier, cyclist, writer, artist, graphic designer, classically trained musician and afraid of heights.

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When we are unable to find tranquility within ourselves, it is useless to seek it elsewhere.”
- Francois de La Rochefoucauld


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