Thursday, April 03, 2014

No Demo, No Purchase. More CC McCrankypants.

I have a rule.  If there's no demo for a wearable mesh item, I won't purchase.  It's that simple.  I consider demos an absolute requirement for any wearable mesh.

Today, a friend of mine visited a store called ArisAris and didn't see any demos.  I popped over thinking it was maybe a rez issue, or they were hidden in tiny prims on the vendors, but no.  There were NO Demos, NONE, Zero, Bupkis.  And before anyone asks, there aren't any demos on the ArisAris marketplace either.


This isn't some new designer either, this is 7 year old Ariadna Garrigus.  She should know better.  See that white tunic up there?  I kind of liked it and wanted to try it, but I'm not going to purchase it because Mesh is a crapshoot even within designers own lines....I need to know if it fits.  So I need a demo.  Heck, I don't even buy Truth Hair without demo-ing it first.

No Demo, No Purchase. 

I was going to do this for April Fools: Teefy Marlene/Marley.

I had this plan you see, to do something fun SL fashion-wise for April Fools day, but I didn't actually get around to doing it. I was going to talk about how from now on I was going to go for a new look.  No more classic glamour CC or even burlesque-y cheesecake CC, but a whole new original CC, and then I was going to post a photo of my new look:



Ha ha ha ha.  For those who haven't figured it out, I'm "doing an impression" of famous fashion blogger "Gogo" of Juicybomb. In fact, that Truth Althea hair is the one she's wearing in her blog header, and she wore this Tee*fy outfit a few weeks ago...except she did the blue and I was surprised she didn't do pink.  She wears a lot of pinks (and creams and whites and pastels in general).  If Gogo was a cupcake she'd be a pink cake with pink frosting...and pink candy sprinkles.  So when I picked it up, for this shoot, I got the Pink.  That's Pink Fuel Harley skin of course.  And yes, I have the hair in my proper red too, it's a piggie bun, I had to have it even though you cannot remove or turn off the headband.  Truth we need a headbandless option too!


Tee*fy Marlene is the Blouse, the skirt is called Marley.  It's very girly cutesy sweet, especially with the schoolgirl collar option.  And yes, the reason I'm using the Ohmai! Steampunk Albino Squirrel is because I can't get the Ohmai! Mochi Bunny that Gogo has sometimes posed with.  It's not like I don't like the squirrel, it's very cute (Look at it's little steampunk goggles!), but it's not quite as cute as the bunny.



If you don't want the schoolgirl collar option you can wear an off the shoulder version of the top without the collar.  Which makes it a cute little party ensemble if worn with non-cutesy non-piggie-bunned hair like this Truth Rowan and with shoes like the Hucci Glynco stilettos  And yes it comes in not-pastel colors.  The rigging is fine too, this is reasonably well done mesh.


SLURLS:

Tee*fy

Pink Fuel

Truth Hair

Ohmai! at Beetlebones

Hucci

IKON eyes







Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The EVGA GT 640 rev 2. (GK208) GDDR5 SC

In a previous post I mentioned a video card upgrade.  Sad to say but the card was faulty, and had issues and I had to RMA it.  But the replacement arrived and it is working well.

The card I had:

EVGA GT 220 1GB GDDR3  (the 01G-P3-1226-LR) 

Nice HTPC card, low power, a bit overpriced but popular amongst Linux users wanting a little 3D oomph for video and/or occasional 3D application.

For the replacement, I basically wanted a similar card, quiet, low power draw, no additional 6 pin power needed.  And I needed Nvidia...because Nvidia cards perform better on Linux.

So I googled around and didn't find anything that seemed a good fit for my needs and budget...at least not till after Christmas shopping with an Amazon gift card when I found this, which I hadn't recalled seeing:

EVGA GeForce GT 640 Superclocked 1 GB GDDR5 64-Bit DVI-I HDMI Ready Graphics Card 01G-P3-2642-KR

I might not have seen it because until recently, GT 640's with GDDR5 were rare...they were at one time OEM only.  Also there are at least 4 versions of the GT640.  No, really, 4 versions at least.  You have to pay close attention to tell them apart.

There's the original Fermi version that has separate core and shader clocks but has only 144 CUDA cores.

Then TWO Kepler GK107 versions with core/shader clocks at the same speed, one with DDR3 and one with GDDR5 (which at the time was OEM only)  Some people did everything they could do to try to get the GDDR5 version.  AFAIK only Dell made theirs relatively available.

Then last  year (May) came the GK208 "Rev 2." version with GDDR5.  It seems to be a rare card, the only review I've seen for Rev 2. GT 640 is for the Gainward version.

Because of this, there's all sorts of confliciting info, because there's at least two versions of the GK208 die.  For example some sources say this card has 16 TMU's but others 32.  Considering EVGA says it's texture fill is higher than a stock GT 650's...I'm leaning towards the 32.

Here's the EVGA product sheet for it, it's hard to find.  The card itself isn't listed in EVGA's products.  I don't know why, it's easily one of the better HTPC cards in this configuration, perhaps because it might cut into sales of the higher priced 650's?  I got my card for $89, try finding one at that price now..they're going for over $100 now and they're out of stock on Newegg. Unlike the GT 650, (and the previous versions of the GT 640) the Rev 2 versions come with full size HDMI jacks not those silly mHDMI ones so you don't need one of those silly mini-HDMI to standard HDMI adapters.  It is, however, wide enough to be a 2-slot card though it doesn't have a 2-slot bracket so you might mistake it as a single slot card...it isn't.

Here's the specs for the 640's

and the 650

But this EVGA version is factory overclocked and has a separate faster shader clock.  Several sites mentioned the card easily had the thermal legroom to do it in the GK107 version and the GK208 runs cooler and uses less power.  It runs cooler and uses less power than the GT220 even.

It's still a crap card for SL, I mean sure, it doubles the frame rate with shadows and DoF on, but it's still not a great card.  It won't bust your budget or eardrums though.




Thursday, March 13, 2014

Just Say No to Gacha, and few more gripes from CC McCrankyPants

Just Say No to Gacha!





Why?

Because while it was originally created as a fun inexpensive thing based on Japanese toy/collectable-in-a-capsule vending machines, it's turned into just another customer un-friendly marketing tool that is akin to gambling.

Think about it, while you can trade your gacha items, how many turns of the wheel do you have to do to get what you want?  And how much would that thing have cost you if you had just bought it in a store?  When I want something, I want what I want when I want it, which is usually...NOW.  I don't want to have to put 1500L$ into a machine to get something I'd only pay 350 for.  I don't want to have to wait for a trade so that I "might" get what I really want.  I want it now.  Not later, now, and at a fair price....now.  I don't want to have to go to a lag heavy region and wait for a machine, I just want to go in, and get what I want...perhaps even WHILE shopping on marketplace at the same time. Yes, I'm one of those people who have actually paid full price for items that were in Lucky Chairs...because I didn't want to have to wait.

And this isn't the only issue.  There's another of Gacha only items.  Meaning if you don't go there, you can't get it at all, not even if you wait.  I consider that, downright contemptible.  Sure I can accept some waiting period, but I want to be able to buy the gacha item in the store without having to put up with gacha to get it.  I'm willing to pay a fair price for it.

And don't get me started on every designer and their pet KittyCat starting up their own C88 style clique and doing their own monthly location based event.  Sometimes with the evil that is event only items, which the organizers tell the designers to use to get people to come to the events rather than just shopping at the stores.

And Hunts!  I'm one of those people who think Designers that participate in hunts should put the hunt item in the front of the store in a box  you can buy...just as an option for those who just want to get in, pay a little something for it, get the item and get out.

Look...Designers you have got to stop doing this.  These events don't really help you or the consumers, they just fill the pockets of the organizers.  I know they're one of the forms of marketing that work in SL, but you need to figure out something better.

Notes on the Outfit:

I wanted an Adolfo-ish Nancy Reagan-esque outfit, so I settled on the Steffen Garcia: Blair. The skirt is shorter than Nancy or most Political Wives would wear, but otherwise it has that whole "lady who lunches/Political Wife Sex Kitten thing going on.  It looks classic, but it also has sex appeal.

The skirt's rigged a bit too slim so it looks funny when you walk, the alpha and skirt rigging need some tweaks. Hopefully the designer will do an updated version.  It comes in several colors.

Hair is Truth Colbie, which is my go-to hair for that tailored elegance/anchorwoman bob look. Skin is my usual Belleza, Jewellery is the Michelle Pearl set from Yummy. (Which makes perfect sense with the outfit). Shoes are the Hucci Glynco's.



SLURL's:

Steffen Garcia/Faenzo on Marketplace

Belleza skins

IKON eyes

Truth Hair

Yummy Accessories

Hucci

Berry's Sexual Meme

Yes, I'm doing another Strawberry Singh meme.  This one is about Sex, baby.  But first, cheesecake pictures using the same hair Berry did:



 Truth Perla in Reds05, IKON Lucid Eyes in Moor, Belleza Betty Pale 3 skin with the Shyla/Betty lip 9 over it.  Lingerie from Luxuria


This one came out well, for not having depth of field and shadows on. Mata Hari sandals by Sax Shepherd.



  1. What is your sexual orientation or do you not like to label yourself? – Sapphic.  That's no secret.

  2. Name a physical attribute that you find attractive or sexy. – Pale skin, dark or red hair, and glasses.

  3. Are you promiscuous, a prude or in between? – I'm rather asexual in both lives, I mention the asexual thing in my profile, but not a prude.  I can count the number of intimate encounters I've had in SL on the fingers of two hands with fingers to spare.  Okay it's 7, I'm averaging about once a year.  Some of those just involved cuddling.

  4. What turns you on? – Not much.

  5. Are you dominant or submissive? – While I don't do the whole D/s thing, there is one thing I sometims say for fun:  I am the CC, and you will OBEY ME! Though I really would need a Nehru Jacket and natty svengali look to do that properly. Why do designers not OBEY and fulfill my every whim?  This disappoints the CC.  Perhaps saying things like that is what gets me mistaken for a Domme at times.  Or maybe it's the slinky black dresses or the riding crop.

  6. Are you into sexual roleplay? – Not really.

  7. Which sexual position is your favorite? –  There are sexual positions?  And what is this sex thing you speak of.

  8. Do you have any fetishes? – Other than for massive amounts of shopping?  Well I do like nice lingerie, and redheads, and brains.

  9. Have you or would you do porn, amateur or professional? – I don't know, considering all the many things I've done in SL....in fact I think I remember doing an amateur porn video in SL once.  C'mon it was the old days, we all did crazy stuff back then, it was the Jooky Juice.

  10. Do you consider yourself sexy? – Me? No.  My avatar, maybe, sometimes.

SLURL's:

Belleza Skin
 
Luxuria is still in Nouveau

Truth Hair: Perla

Sax Shepherd Mata Hari's

IKON eyes: Lucid Moor

Sunday, March 02, 2014

Boogie Trains and Template Complaints

When I first saw the Liv Glam "Yes sir, I can Boogie" (white/black) and Trains and Winter Rains (multiple color hud) suits, I desired them as a classic suit loving SL fashionista should.

Classic military style belted jacket, slim pencil skirt, what's not to love?



What's not to love?  The skirt slit and rigging that's what.  The jacket is fine, the jacket is worth acquiring...the skirt not so much.  Look at the slit placement.  Yes, I know, I should be cheering that it actually HAS a realistic slit, but it would be better if it was centered and not quite so wide.  But the real issue is the rigging, notice  how the skirt clips into the leg.  That effect is worse, the more the legs bend.



Here's a close look at the issue.  It's just simply a problem with the rigging...of the template.   This outfit is a template so I can't blame the Liv-Glam's designer (SamanthaSJones) for this...other than her choice to use a template that really needed some more tweaks and polish.  If the rigging was fixed...I would be recommending this outfit.  But as it is, I can't.  It's not horrible, and I've worn it out and about, but it does need more work.  It's an "almost, but not quite" sort of thing.   Which is what I say about Liv-Glam as a design house...with some reluctance:  "Almost, but not quite a first tier designer...the work is hit or miss, could  use more tweaks/polish/better texture choices, and a second critical eye would do the designer some good.  Not horrible, but not spectacular either, especially since it's probably all templates."




For an example of how this skirt SHOULD be rigged, we have to go no further than the classic Maitreya Nolita.  THAT is how you rig a slightly below the knee skirt.




I've got a couple of other issues with the  Liv-Glam "Boogie/Trains" ensembles.  The HUD colors on the multicolor "Trains and winter rains" version don't match the actual on suit colors closely enough.  And some of those colors aren't very good choices at all, basically making those colors unusable.  Why put unattractive unflattering colors in a HUD?  Put colors that ARE attractive in it.

Theres also the fact that the template origin of the Liv-Glam suits are not mentioned and/or credited.  A customer might not be aware that they're templates, and thusly not know who else besides Liv-Glam to send suggestions/complaints to.  Here's a link to the template on marketplace

Dolphin Designs "The Lady"

It also means that there are most likely other designers using this template that needs more work that I don't know about.  I am absolutely of the opinion that Templates need to be credited in the interest of transparency and honesty to one's customers.  Use templates all you want, but for goodness sake, credit them.

SLURLS:

Belleza Betty Pale skin

Truth Colbie hair

Hucci Glynco pumps

Liv Glam

Maitreya

Friday, February 28, 2014

Lelutka Hair: Kate

I'm not for sure I've mentioned liking the Duchess of Cambridge's style on my blog before, but I'm a fan.  In her duties, she tends towards the classic, simple and pretty, skirts around the knee, moderately high but not too high heeled shoes, neutral makeup and long layered hair.  And when she's off duty, she can rock the jeans and ballet flats.  She almost always looks "nice".

As an aside, she has a brain too, graduated from St. Andrews with a Art History degree...with honors mind you.

And how I love her hair.   Thanks be to Lelutka for creating a Kate-ish fluffily wavy-whirly hair.


Normally I'm not a big fan of Lelutka hair because it's "too big" and kind of "there are too many extensions in it for fullness" look.  But this I like.  This is the Jessica color, I had to tint it to get it close to my "proper color".  It's a nice hair, worth demo-ing if you like long layered "girl next door pretty" hair.

Skin is Belleza, Eyes from IKON, Jewellery from Sax Shepherd, and everyone recognizes one of the most recognizable dresses in SL, the Maitreya Nolita.

SLURLS:

Lelutka hair

Belleza skin

IKON eyes

Sax Shepherd Designs jewelry

Maitreya


Thursday, February 27, 2014

Harper Ganesvoort's 2014 Oscar Contest

Harper Ganesvoort has done an Oscar photo contest for the past, what is it, 5  years?  Anyway I've been hemming and hawing on the photos (and looking at RL Oscar red carpet photos) for a month trying to decide on the look.  I finally settled on this:


The full length picture is my entry into the contest. Gown is an oldie but goodie, Azul Dailey in Champagne. Skin is Belleza Betty Pale 6 with the Shyla/Betty Pale lips 8 over it. Lashes are Redgrave 'Classy'. Hair is Elikatira Found 8 tinted 128/65/0. Jewelry is Sax Shepherd Designs 'Spirit of Giving' pearl edition. Eyes are IKON Lucid Series in Moor, XS size. Background/Posestand is the oOo Studio: Premiere.

Originally I was going to use Elikatira "Early" hair which was "Anne Hathaway Oscar Look 2013-ish", (you can see that look on my flickr) but my good friend LaDonna said the look reminded her of Jennifer Lawrence's 2013 look.  When she said that, I said, "d'oh" and switched to "Found" which worked better.

The lighting turned out fairly good, I think.  Modified one of AnaLu's windlight presets to get the look I wanted.  Not perfect, but close enough.   You'll notice the shadows and depth of field effect more in the close-up below.



SLURLS:

Azul

Belleza skins

Sax Shepherd Designs

Elikatira

Redgrave

IKON

oOo Studio by Olaenka Chesnokov on Marketplace


Friday, January 03, 2014

Deja Vu Dresses, or one of the downsides of mesh templates.

We all know what the concept of Deja Vu is don't we, from Wikipedia:


Déjà vu, (/ˌdeɪʒɑː ˈvuː/) from French, literally "already seen", is the phenomenon of having the strong sensation that an event or experience currently being experienced has been experienced in the past, whether it has actually happened or not.

Let me show you two dresses that gave me that experience, though they are not the only dresses that have given me "Deja Vu"  I kept the hair (Wasabi Pills "Claire") and shoes (Hucci "Glynco") minimalistic, and didn't wear jewellery to show off the dresses without distraction

This one is the Roksanda Bodycon dress from Liv-Glam



This one is the Suede draped dress from Cynful.


While the textures are different it's obvious they're from the same sourced template.  These two are not the only versions of this template I've seen, it's everywhere.  It's a nice dress, but not everyone needs to be making their own version of it.

Let me be blunt.  Designers, if you don't do your own mesh, try to use templates that aren't being used by  every "Art School Girl" with competent photoshop texture skills out there.  Becuase otherwise, we get dozens of variants of the same dress to sort through.  Not only that, even though there's a glut of this "slap some nice textures on templates" stuff, it doesn't seem to keep some designers from charging premium prices.  If there's a dozen versions of a template dress..you might not want to charge something like  L$500 for a single color, perhaps not even L$300.

[UPDATE} For the edification of readers I decided to add the actual prices of each of the dresses:

The Liv-Glam version is L$ 375, and includes six color variants.  There is also a floral print-pattern version that also has six variants included for L$375

The Cynful version is L$265 for each individual color.

There's nothing inherently wrong with using templates....the problem is when the same ones are used by a large amount of people, then we get a glut of sameness and lookalikes.



SLURLS:

Wasabi Pills hair

Hucci Main Store

Belleza skin



The Cheesecake for a New Year

Sometimes it seems like I know a lot of the neo-burlesque crowd in SL...especially the redheads.  Yes I know, but I can't help it.

These are the cheescake pictures I took at my new house.  Yes, I do have a house besides the Linden Home I use for my studio.  No, you're not going to find out where it is, that would be telling, unless you are one of my close personal friends.  And no, it's not at my parcel in Caledon, that's a park.

I still have a weakness for the  Luxuria  "Cherie" set  I found my self a nice dress form on marketplace from Haute House for L$150



Got this nice shot with the window behind me leaning on my old Luth Mein Herr chair.  The hat is the Black Arts "Laima" the gloves are also from the Black Arts, they come with the "Laima" dress.  Hair is Amacci "Eclaire"  "Kennedy" pearl set by Caroline Apollo


This one shows off the depth of field effect on my Dutchie  "Gustavian" Wardrober


I decided to see if I could get a good shot through the window as if some paparazzi caught me posing inside. Not great, but not bad either.



Just relaxing on my "Gustavian" Dutchie bed... yes, its the "Sapphic" version if you get my meaning, not that I'm planning on getting any use out of it other than pictures and it looking pretty.  While Dutchie furniture is reasonably priced and attractive...by my standards...the bed was a bit "dear.  As far as I could tell this is the only Dutchie bed that comes in a "Sapphic" version. Which is a little bit bad, I actually liked the brass bed slightly better.  Oh well, beggars can't be choosers and at least there was a "Sapphic" option available, that was a nice thing.


SLURLS:


Luxuria Lingerie by Roslin Petion

Black Arts clothing

Belleza Skin

Amacci hair

G Field Shoes

Caroline Apollo Jewellery

Dutchie Furniture and Houses

Haute House Vintage Dress Form on Marketplace

The new Blog Header, with appreciation to Gogo and Mr. Whybrow

Ever since cute blonde Gogo changed her blog header I had been thinking that I needed to do one rather than just have plain text.  I had been meaning to do it, just never got around to it.  I am, after all, quite a lazy blogger.

But I was taking some pictures today, at my new home, some cheesecake ones to tell the truth.  I decided to try to get a formal style portrait for the downstairs.  I did get some pictures I thought were fairly well done, specifically this one:



I liked it so much, because it "exemplifies Ms. CC" , so I quickly cropped it down to make a new profile picture.

However, my friend Mr. Whybrow of Caledon said it was dark and could use some lightening up.  I had taken it using a non-fixed region windlight because the lighting was good only a few minutes before....it had gotten darker, and this pic looked even darker in the profile.  He suggested I try again with prim lighting... but I don't do that, don't usually need to because I'm running around with a fixed time windlight....but not this time.

But I liked the picture so I normalized it up in the GIMP and used THAT.  Then I realized that might make a good blog header.  Played around with it until I realized it would work best with some text on it, so I added some BodoniXT in The GIMP.  That got my header.

So Kudos to Gogo and Mr. Whybrow...and my new EVGA GT640 Rev 2. (that's the recent Superclocked GDDR5 version not the 2012 version) video card, which let me actually MOVE (with a low 15fps) with ambient occlusion, full shadows and depth of field on.  And not crash a few minutes after turning them off again.  In fact I've turned them on and off 3 times.

CC's KittyCat

I think everyone in SL knows about KittyCatS by now. KittyCatS are a breedable scripted pet created by the team of Dennis Lagan, Equinox Pinion and Callie Cline. Yes, THE Callie Cline. Yeah yeah I finally caved in and got one....only just birthed it now after my SL move.  She...is adorable.  I don't plan on breeding her, so I'll perma-pet her eventually.  Yes, I took cat pictures.  I do it in RL too with my RL cat.

Caught her with her tongue out.


She's got heterochromia (eyes of two different colors)


AWWWWWW!  Kitten!


Only 13 prims.  Here's her info:

 KittyCats - Gabi: http://kittycats.biz
▼▼▼▼▼▼▼▼▼▼▼▼▼▼▼▼▼▼▼▼▼▼▼▼▼▼▼▼▼▼▼▼▼▼▼▼▼▼▼▼▼▼
♀ Gabi

   ҉ 0 days     ♥ 0%     ☻ 96%     ↯ 81%       모☁ 1%

Fur: Genesis - Flame III
Eyes: Genesis Odessey (Shape: Curious | Pupil: Big)
Shade: Natural
Tail: Genesis
Ears: Genesis
Whiskers: Silver (Shape: Guitar)
Size: 12 cm  (4.7 inch)

Version: 1.35
Owner: CronoCloud Creeggan

For more information about KittyCats go to:

KittyCatS website

or

KittyCatS Main Store in Second Life