Technical and related updates – 15th December 2017

Ok, after weeks of frustration … here’s the result:

  1. The sales guy either misunderstood my extremely plainly worded question, OR ( more likely ) lied to cover up his lack of knowledge &/or in fear of losing the sale … so no, my laptop cannot do GPU passthrough ( like a Razer gaming laptop ) without either writing some seriously clever upgrades to the UEFI BIOS and firmware, OR by getting an eGPU ( external GPU ) rig for connection via Thunderbolt ports ( which would be another $2,000 – which is a non-starter for my budget );
  2. I can only install Windows 7 directly by doing a very clever modification of intel microcode using information published for Linux developers, plus a tool published by VMWare … so that’s a whole bunch of time and effort I can’t be bothered with;
  3. Thus I have returned ( unfortunately ) to Windows 10.

So at present I’ve just finished reinstalling everything after getting all the RAID configuration done, and I’ve started installing all the software I need so that I can write my books and screenplays, plus develop and test software code, and also do 2D/3D/4D design work in animation, audiovisual editing, electromechanical/structural engineering, and other general design.

Once I’m finished setting up, I’ll be testing Scrivnr against other options ( eg: WriterDuet ) for writing ( leaving Microsoft Word for simple documents only ) – Scrivnr being more versatile between both books and scripts/screenplays, whereas Writer Duet is focused on scripts/screenplays only, but with great collaboration features.

I’ve decided to split the book into multiple books, partly because it’s so much content that it makes sense to do so, and partly because this will allow me to publish the first chunk sooner, and which would have an audience wider than just those interested in Ecological & Social Justice & Sustainability – because this book is actually an academic one that anyone can read who wants to better understand philosophy, argument, reason, logic, maths, modelling, and sciences.

Simultaneously I’ll be teaching myself to do animation with Adobe and a Wacom graphics tablet, so that I can do more of the illustration for the book without having to ask for help or spend money that I don’t have hiring others … but which study will be handy as it leads into skills that I want to develop for other purposes.

Similarly I’ll be teaching myself to use the 3D electromechanical/structural engineering CAD software, partly so that I can start to make virtual prototypes of various inventions I’ve contemplated over the years, and partly as before, because this skill leads into other skills I want to develop for other purposes.

I’ll be setting up Eclipse and MS Visual Studio IDEs for computer programming, and using VMWare virtual machines to test code that I develop … and I’ll start saving for a proper NAS device, and a full development server, capable of running many VMs simultaneously.

Along the way I’m hoping I’ll develop enough of a skills base in these areas to make some money as a design contractor, and either way to start developing inventions that could lead to revenue to fund everything else.

I’m estimating the next piece of equipment ( the NAS ) will take me somewhere from 6-12 months to save for, unless I receive some additional unexpected revenue from somewhere between now and then, while the development server after that ( at this rate of saving ) would take me a further 2 years or more.

I can develop a lot of components before I have that server, but I can’t really develop, set up, and test the entire framework prototype without it … so unless additional revenue comes along, it will probably be about 5-8 years before I have the basic system element prototypes all developed, tested, and configured as a fully functional integrated framework – and that prototype framework will be more rudimentary than if a budget was available to have an entire team to work on it with me as a full-time venture.

At least I’m almost back in the saddle … it was a big blow to lose my father on top of everything else I’ve been going through, but I’m feeling ready to get stuck back into it again.

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