Security & developer:
- Solaris 10, OS X, iOS, Windows XP (and once upon a time - AIX & Multics)
- mostly C, ksh, Oracle SQL*Plus, but sometimes (dis-)assembler.
New trailer for FOX’s Cosmos
DVR set to RECORD. Yay.
It would be funny were it not so terrifying. http://ift.tt/1bwVEn9
Anonymous asked: My teenaged daughter has recently started a webcomic. Could you give her one piece of advice that has helped you and one piece of advice that absolutely has not? Please indicate which is which. Thanks!
Good advice: Make your comics and put them online, then make more then keep doing that without stopping for at least 2 or 3 years before you expect ANYTHING in terms of recognition or readership.
This accomplishes several things. 1) It keeps you from viewing your work as precious. Don’t obsess over one piece, draw and redraw, correct and perfect it all while never posting it. You get better by making MORE comics. Not by making the same comic over and over. 2) It gets you accustomed to the cycle of creativity. Have an idea, refine it, make it, put it up, repeat. 3) It gets you accustomed to taking and responding to feedback and criticism. The more work you post the more readers you’ll get and the more opinions you will start to receive directly or indirectly about your work.
More good advice: ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS be kind. Be kind online, be kind in person, be kind to your readers, be kind to your fellow artists, be kind to the world. This is important above all else because 1)Being an online persona means YOU are the product you are selling. If your product is a total dickbag, the only people who buy it will be total dickbag enthusiasts. 10 years down the road and you realize all of your readers are assholes and you’ve hand picked them because of how you acted. 2) Your peers talk about you when you aren’t around. They decide who to work with on collaborations, who to bring in on new opportunities and who share hotels/booths/wonderful experiences with at conventions. Word will get around SO VERY FAST if you are not a nice person and you will start to wonder why fun projects keep passing you by. 3) Can anyone honestly come up with a reason to NOT always be kind? When looking for a default behavior, you can’t do much better than this.
Even More good advice (lightning round): Don’t worry about merch. Worry about making good comics. Dont worry about getting more readers. Worry about making good comics. Don’t EVER compare your perceived success to that of your peers. You don’t know their situation, or how they came about what you think they have that you might want for yourself. Just worry about making good comics. Never envy your peers money, readers or success (sounds a lot like the last one right? That’s because it’s super important.) Instead, envy how hard they’ve worked and try to emulate that. Also, just worry about making good comics. Don’t try to find success by doing exactly what another artists has done. We all have different paths to success and you’ll do better finding your own rather than copying someone else (in art as well as in business). Also just worry about making good comics.
The worst piece of advice I ever got: Get an invitation to the cool kids table, i.e. Get in with this certain clique and you’ll be instantly welcomed into the secret world of webcomic success. This secret club, community, group, whatever you want to call it DOES NOT EXIST. I spent too many years waiting for artists I admired to take notice of me that I eventually started to obsess over making them like me. Spoilers, it never happened and I had nothing to show for all that worry and grief. I gave absolute strangers power over my mental well being that they didn’t even want and certainly didn’t deserve. Don’t worry about making “powerful” friends. You will make more friends in this industry by BEING a good friend first. Offer help, offer support, share your audience with artists whose work you admire. Be honest, be genuine and be kind. Repeat that 1000X in your head every day until it’s the only thing you even understand anymore.
By the way, the person who gave me that terrible advice was me.
Very good advice from Joel Watson.
substitute “webcomic” with “app” and the advice works for app developers as well (or blog/blogger or probably most other creative endeavors)
In a very real way, the role of technology, even simple technology, is to unstick menial tasks from the user’s experience of linear causality. Rather than start a fire to keep myself warm, I turn up the thermostat and warm air rushes through the heating vent – who knows how? When my car breaks down, I take it to a mechanic. I couldn’t tell you how to fix it any more than I could perform open-heart surgery. Bowing to the authority of auto mechanics isn’t superstitious, but it has elements in common with a belief in magic.
Sir James Frazier, author of the classic work on religion and mythology “The Golden Bough,” describes belief in magic in terms of a dissociation of cause and effect, something like that between my need for warmth and the turning of a thermostat. Frazier organizes this belief into two groups: the principle of Similarity and the principle of Contagion. “Similarity” involves the belief that if certain rituals are performed, a desired outcome will be achieved regardless of the line of causality between the two — like, say, performing a rite to a fertility god to have a good harvest. “Contagion” has to do with belief in the effect of magical objects.
In a way, both the “Similarity” and “Contagion” dynamics are relevant to the modern person’s relationship to technology. If a person can’t draw a line between “how something works,” his belief that it will work approximates “Similarity.” Likewise, a person’s belief that a given product will go on working, regardless of his ignorance as to how, gets into the realm of “Contagion.”
The behaviours that make us human are not professional.
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