AMD Lawsuit

So, sometimes something too funny happens and you just have to comment on it. Apparently, AMD has settled to the tune of $12.1 million in their big “Bulldozer” lawsuit in the fine state of California. That may seem like a lot, until you realize it’s a class action lawsuit and the “average” payout per person is expected to be to the tune of $35.

Full story here: https://www.anandtech.com/show/14804/amd-settlement (opens in a new tab)

Wow, that was sure worth it! Now, why is this funny? Because I have one of those processors. (but I didn’t purchase mine from AMD or in California)

Now, I think we all need to be honest here. We knew all along those processors didn’t really have 8 cores. It’s a hyper threaded 4 core. I bought mine on a Cyber Monday sale back in 2012, so I got a great deal on it. Also, it’s a really good processor. I’ve used it for many a CGI render and it handles rendering like a champ. I just think it’s funny that people sue over this kind of thing. I mean, that payout of $35 is so huge! 😛

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Raspberry Pi

I decided recently to clear up some clutter. Specifically, stuff that takes up a lot of space like old video game systems and cartridges. While that stuff is fun, the amount of room it takes up is pretty large. So, I’m going to box up all that stuff and put it into storage. Of course, I still love playing old video games. Enter the Raspberry Pi. A Raspberry Pi is a type of single board computer, which can be used for a number of things, including retro gaming. I ordered a Raspberry Pi 3B+ with a 1.4GHz 64-bit quad-core ARM Cortex-A53 CPU, 1GB RAM, Dual-band 802.11ac wireless LAN and Bluetooth 4.2. It’s a powerful device for something so little. I ordered that, some heatsinks, a retro gaming case and a power supply with a switch on it, and I got all that in the mail from Vilros today. I also picked up a SanDisk 128GB microSD card at work last night. Not including the controller, I just grabbed one of my PC gaming controllers, I have a little over $80 into this thing.

Everything assembled:

Yes, the door opens up to reveal the USB and Ethernet ports:

The side and back, showing the microSD, Micro USB (for power), HDMI and audio ports:

All put together, it’s a neat little package, about the size of a NES Classic Edition. In fact, this sort of system is essentially what the NES Classic Edition is, a single board computer that’s designed for game emulation. This one is just less restrictive. For software, I’m running Recalbox 6.0. Recalbox is designed specifically for creating game emulation systems. I chose it over RetroPie because I’ve used it before, as Recalbox has PC versions and can be ran off of a flash drive, which I was doing on an old computer over the weekend.

So, after getting the things from Vilros in the mail this morning, I got all excited and put the Pi and case together right then and there. Then I remembered the heatsinks. So, I took it back apart, installed those, then reassembled the thing. I’d like to say that was my last mistake, but I accidentally put the X86_64 version of Recalbox on the microSD. I realized something was up when my screen was all screwy, so I put the correct version of Recalbox on it, and it works like a champ now.

For games, I had plenty downloaded for various systems, so I just transferred them to the microSD. Note: you’re legally allowed to have ROMs of games you legitimately own, but we’ll just say that I have some I shouldn’t. 😉 But, it’s not like I’m hurting anyone, most of these games are ones the companies don’t make money off of anymore anyway, and the ones that are still sold for newer systems are a lot of the ones I legitimately own.

Anyway, this was a fun little project, and one I’ll be continuing to add to. The OS supports about 30 game systems and I have plenty of space on that microSD, so many more games will be added. Then I can finally start cleaning up some clutter.

Eaglemoss Phase II

So, I got this little beauty from an Ebay seller. The ship was sold out on Eaglemoss’s web store, that’s why I went to Ebay. It’s a 5.5 inch recreation of the Phase II Enterprise from the lost series in the 1970s.

Overall, I’m very pleased with this purchase. The model sells for $25 from Eaglemoss, when it’s in stock, plus shipping. I got it for $28, free shipping. So, not bad at all. The quality of the model is really nice. The saucer is die cast metal, the rest is plastic. I don’t know why it uses two different materials, but it does. The paint is pretty nice, but the windows on the underside don’t match up with the indentions for them. Apparently, this is an issue with Eaglemoss ships. But, it’s actually not bad and mostly isn’t that visible unless you look closely. The only minor negative is the seam in the engineering hull, but it is what it is. I still like the model, and it’s nice to see that Eaglemoss is doing even concept ships and other ships that have been seen less in Star Trek. The CGI model that this is based on was created by Ed Giddings, and I really like his rendition. The model also came with a cool magazine:

The magazine is nice. It’s not really long, but it’s got some cool info on it, including a write-up on David Gautreaux, who was going to play Lt. Xon, Spock’s replacement. He did play the commander of Epsilon IX in the movie, but Xon was written out of the film at his request when Leonard Nimoy agreed to come back as Spock. Unfortunately, the person who sent me the magazine and model put them in too narrow of a box and bent the magazine. I hate it when people are that careless when shipping stuff. But, otherwise, it’s a cool set and I’m glad I bought it. I have other ships and magazines on the way from Eaglemoss. 🙂

Phase II Part 04

I added lines to the secondary hull. I got as close to the lines on the Matt Jefferies drawings as I could, though some of them didn’t survive the passage of time. For some, I used the cleaned up schematics from the Phase II book and just eyeballed the placement. It does look like the Jefferies drawings have some more horizontal lines, but they’re harder to make out and very closely spaced. They’re also very straight, as opposed to how you’d normally draw a horizontal line on a curved surface. It’s possible those were indications of where the decks are for him to align things like windows. I think that’s highly likely as there’s no indication of these lines on the bottom view. The lines I added are the ones that most depictions of the ship include.

On a side note, I’ve been looking at the Eaglemoss miniature of the ship. Right now, I just have web images, but I do have my very own model of this ship on the way from an Ebay seller. (they’re sold out on Eaglemoss) I noticed they didn’t include any of the lines on the secondary hull, or the ones on the bottom of the primary hull. Now, I haven’t seen the ones on the bottom of the primary hull on any of the drawings, I just added those myself. However, the ones on the secondary hull are definitely on Matt Jefferies’ original drawings. Anyway, that’s just something I noted. I’m still looking forward to getting my Eaglemoss model of this ship. I’ll post pictures when I get it. 🙂

Phase II Part 02

I redid the grid lines on the saucer. I did them the same way I did my 24th century cruiser’s lines, but these went faster because I had less of them to do. I was able to do one section, then clone and rotate that and join them until I had a quarter of the saucer, the just mirror that along the X and Y axis. I also started on the bridge and planetary sensor array. Those were a bit of a pill to do because Jefferies’ drawings of the ship don’t match between views. I got it to a point where it’s between matching up closely enough with various views and the photos of the miniature being built by Brick Price. I would assume they were working with a more refined set of blueprints to make the 4 foot miniature.

My rationale for fitting this design into Starfleet is simple: They were already working on upgrading the Constitution class before the Enterprise came in for its refit. They had already done a redesign and had built and possibly even refitted some ships into this design by then. Then, when Scott and his team set about redesigning and refitting the Enterprise, they refined the design. This ship could still have been in service, though, as a variant of the Constitution class. Really, this is art imitating life as it fits with how the ship was done for the show and movie. Matt Jefferies came in to do the redesign of the Enterprise for Phase II. His design was then used and further refined by Richard Taylor and Andrew Probert for the version we saw in TMP. Since we didn’t see all of the ships in Starfleet, it’s possible there were ones like the Phase II ship creeping around in the 2270s. But, I will maintain that it was probably a more rare refit, perhaps five to ten vessels were done in this configuration. There is precedent for more rare versions of ships. The rarely seen Enterprise-B version of the Excelsior, for example. Even after Generations hit theaters, we still only saw one other ship in this configuration. The rest of the Excelsior class ships we saw were the original design. So, it’s possible only a small number of Excelsior class ships were done in that design. It may have simply been a sub class specific to a select few ships used for special purposes. That same kind of refit logic can be applied to the Phase II refit Constitution. Perhaps it just wasn’t as desirable of a refit as the TMP ship.

Anyway, those are my thoughts on this.

Phase II (Again) Part 01

I’ve been thinking lately of doing the Phase II Enterprise concept again. I’ve done it before and in fact was working on a model of the ship almost two years ago. I couldn’t find that model on any of my backup drives, so I figured it was lost. Well, as luck would have it, I got a new game controller. I’m tired of playing games on a little monitor, so I decided to hook my gaming computer up to my TV. I pulled one of my earlier desktops out of mothballs to use as a regular desktop, as I’ll probably keep the gaming rig hooked up to my TV. When I went to boot it, I saw it had no operating system. No problem, that’s an easy fix. I saw the drive had a backup partition on it, and plenty of unpartitioned space, so I decided to leave the partition alone and proceeded to install MX Linux on the unpartitioned space. It’s a good thing I did that, because there were several files on that backup partition, including some Blender files. As luck would have it, one of the folders contains my Phase II model project from 2017. So, I installed Blender 2.79b from the MX Linux repositories and took at look at it. Naturally, I did some renders to assess the current state of the model:

It doesn’t look too bad. It looks like I had a lot of the painful stuff out of the way. The saucer grid lines need to be redone. I’m not sure how thick they are, but they look pretty thick. I also don’t like certain other aspects of them. If memory serves, I tried a different method with them and it didn’t work like I wanted it to work. But, those are easy to redo. The warp pylons also have something funky going on with them, but I can easily redo those as well. The nacelles and secondary hull both look good, which is what really matters.

Ideas Part 3

So, this is where I’m at with this little funky design.

The underside is pretty flat right now, so I’m not showing it just yet. After several attempts to redo the secondary hull to something I like, I wound up just going with what I had before, but with some modifications. Right now, this ship is around 81.5m long, 45.6m wide and 11.35m tall. It’s going to get taller when I add a bridge and something to the bottom. As previously stated, this is a support ship, so it’s nothing that is going to have to survive for long periods of time on its own. I’m also thinking it doesn’t have a very big crew, maybe 15 or so. It would likely mostly be used for transport duties, possibly the occasional scouting or scientific mission. It also would likely be used for defense.

The square part in the back is going to be for a shuttlebay, I’m thinking it only carries one shuttle. I’m not planning on giving it the ability to land, as landing gear would take up too much of the finite internal space. That’s what transporters are for. Anyway, that’s what I have for now.

Ideas Part 2

Another idea I had for a ship is based on this one:

That’s my own design for a TOS era Starfleet scout ship. If I remember correctly, it was supposed to predate the Constitution class. About five years ago, I was working on a refit.

It looks like I was almost done with the model when I stopped working on it. I don’t know why I stopped working on it, but I did and I no longer have the file. I plan to start working on a new version in the upcoming days, though I may not have anything to show for several days.

Ideas

This is an idea I’ve been playing around with for a while. I don’t know if it’s going any further than this. The idea is that this is a very small ship. It’s not something that would go into deep space or on missions of long duration. Even with pattern replication, a ship this small simply couldn’t sustain itself long term. It could be a support ship for a Starbase, or something like that.

But, I’m not really sure I like it all that well, so it may just go away. But this is what I’ve been working on lately.