Tuesday, March 29, 2011

My Week in Review

First up, I'd like to welcome my new assistant, Jake Walter, to the Robiety project. He was one of the lone souls who knows Flash and to that I am very appreciative for his help. Jake has been helping with coloring, which I am very happy with, and he is now jumping head first into animating a couple shots. I'm anxious to see what he comes up with as I'm sure it will be awesome.

I also have my good friend Andrew Jakubowski working on some basic toon shading for the 3D cityscape which will be used for quite a few backgrounds, so I told him to make it look nice.

I've just been animating everyday doing what I can. Only a few more shots need inbetweens/cleanup/colors and then everything should be good as far as main character animation. I still have some backgrounds to paint and the implementation of sound, but I got dissss.

[Begin Rant]

So, last week was a very hellish week for me. Usually I go through my weekly routine with no bothers and have been doing so for the entire semester. I've been having issues with one of my LCD monitors since last fall where it would begin to flicker upon a cold boot.

In the beginning it would only last a few minutes, so it was bearable. Over the weeks and months it got progressively worse. The constant flickering would take an hour or more to cease and recently took 15 straight hours before it decided to stop being a shithead.

At that point I figured to leave it on 24/7, disabling sleep mode, and turn on the screensaver. That worked for a week until I cleaned my room and turned off the PC and monitors for 10 whole minutes. After that, all hell broke loose.

After 72 hours of being on, the flickering wouldn't stop and I deemed the monitor unusable as of early last week. I went back to a single monitor set up from the days of old only to have my other monitor crap out in the exact same way, only it took all of 10 seconds to kill itself. I turned it on, it flickered for a few seconds, and went dim to the point where it looked like it was off.

They're both 3 and 4 year old Samsungs and were quite expensive when they first came out, so I can't afford to go out and buy new ones. I did some research and it's a common problem after the 3 year mark, right after the warranty expires.

I cracked open both monitors to find that the capacitors on both boards have been blown out. A normal cap has a flat top whereas the bad ones have a raised top with some inner goo leaking out.

I had to desolder the bad caps to remove them and of course Radio Shack didn't have the correct capacitance I needed so I had to special order them and am waiting on those to arrive before I can hope to attempt to fix my screens. So for the time being, I've been using an 11 year old 17" HP CRT that takes up 90% of my desk and has a max resolution of 1024x768 at a refresh rate that almost doesn't kill my eyes.



W.A.C. said...

Shit, that really sucks. On a brighter note, monitors that were once a certain size are much cheaper than they used to be three years ago. Just did some quick googling and found this. http://www.google.com/products/catalog?hl=en&safe=off&q=samsung+1080p+23%22&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.&um=1&ie=UTF-8&cid=15621986107022211192&sa=X&ei=33-RTZimL4PQsAPo6P2iDg&ved=0CDIQ8wIwAQ#

Jeff said...

Yeah, definitely. My monitors are 1680x1050 max and full 1080p monitors are much cheaper than the $350 monitors I bought. Still, if I can fix these monitors for $10, I'm going to try it and hope for the best. At this point, they're not the best monitors and I could definitely use an upgrade to a better color ratio, but money's tight and I'm not sure if I'd buy another Samsung again since they use shitty parts.

W.A.C. said...

Personally, I love my LG monitor but it has its flaws. The brightness of the screen varies by the way I sit in front of it and a lot of their newer monitors have a lower refresh rates than mine which is 2ms. When this monitor goes out, I was thinking about getting a Samsung monitor since they're generally considered great monitors but that's disappointing to hear they purposely use shitty parts so they would die sooner. Good luck repairing your monitors.

Erin Greener said...

:( Oh no! I hope you're able to fix your screens

Jeff said...

I managed to fix the older one earlier this week, but the other one still has the same issue so something else is causing the problem. I might investigate further after graduation.