Time to gather up a cup of coffee or whatever warm substance you drink and snuggle up with a pillow for this weeks “Storytime” edition where we reminisce about times long gone and how to give old windows 98 machines, eternal life using tools like Clonezilla, Vmware converter and Virtualbox.
What is FACTS ?
According to the official website, FACTS is the biggest comics, sci fi and anime festival in the benelux and is located in Ghent, Belgium. This year the convention too place on the 20th and 21st of october.
Your On-Site reporter
Normally we go visit FACTS with a full Knightwise.com team. That way one of us can take pictures, the other can do the interviews, yet another does the video stuff and someone is giving out business cards. Each of us has his specific task,and that’s how we’ve been doing it for the past 2 years.
Sadly … this year not everything was going the way we planned it. @KonradPhoto, our professional photograper was the unlucky one who took an arrow in the knee so he couln’t make it. Well … actually right before Photokina he broke his toe … and so he had to bail out. @Knightwise and @Niejanahad issues with their holodeck and had to do some renovations manually. But that didn’t keep me from going to FACTS, even if I had to carry my camera, mics, DSLR and all that stuff around all day …
This edition they changed the layout of the showfloor a little. Previous years FACTS was spread over 3 halls, but this year they had 2 bigger halls. At first it gave the impression that FACTS was smaller than last year (hey … 2 is less than 3, right), but according to the organization the showfloor was actually bigger. To me … it looked very busy … and the layout didn’t really improve that. To get from the first hall to the second (and back) people had to walk through a small hallway which made it get very crowded at some point on saturday.
The even organizers quickly spotted that and opened some exterior doors so people could move from one hall to the other much easier. The weather was very good … so people took that opportunity to get some fresh air and go outside and enjoy the sun a little.
Personally, I haven’t been reading a lot of comics lately, so I decided to go have a look in the Artist’s Alley. Apparently they had already a few well known comic book authors and graphic artists there … sadly I didn’t know a lot of them. At first I watched Petar Meseldžija draw (he worked on the European version of the Tarzan comics in the past) and I immediately knew I was standing int he mids of real artists. The way he worked and was drawing characters made me wish I had that talent as well.
The next step was Sophian Cholet who was signing a hardcover and drawing something from the Zombies series on it. They also had Augustin Popescu from “De Roos en het Kruis” (a comic I really want to know more about). Then a little further up someone was drawing Yoko Tsuno. I had already heard about Yoko Tsuno before, but I thought Roger Leloup was the author and thought he was a lot older … but then again … maybe someone else was drawing Yoko Tsuno.
When I was filming the artists, someone else arrived, and I started filming him for about 10 minutes. In all honesty, I had absolutely no idea who it was until I noticed he was sitting in the Walking Dead corner. He was drawing Zombie characters and I was really impressed by how good he was at that. I was so impressed I actually asked who he was, and apparently it was Charlie Adlard himself … I had no idea … and probably most of you are thinking “Shame on You!” right now.
The drawings I have seen there were truly awesome, and it sparkled my interest to go read some comics again myself … so if you have any good suggestions, feel free to let me know about them in the comments.
Just as the previous years plenty of people spent a lot of time and effort to create their Cosplay costume. But those costumes are only part of the Cosplay act. Some people really studied the character they were cosplaying and acted just like the character. Making a costume with lots of gore and blood is one thing, but really walking and reacting as a zombie … now that is cosplaying. Some of them even imitated the sounds you would associate with their character … truly amazing.
This is the third year we go visit facts, and thus we start to meet some familiar cosplayers. This year Puck Barendrecht and Tamara Boss were there as well. I also noticed Tessa Van den Eynde who cosplayed the ever so sexy Lara Croft previous years. But this time I don’t think she was cosplaying at all, or maybe I don’t know the character she was cosplaying.
De Games & Showfloor
I remember that two years ago I already wrote about someone cosplaying Altair (Assassins Creed) in my dutch blogpost. Well, this year Ubisoft was showing off Assassins Creed III at facts. They had a booth where you could play a demo of the game and watch some trailers. I think they also hired 2 cosplayers and both of them had a stunning resemblance with their in-game characters. If the Ubisoft people are reading this … I was very impressed by the game and the cosplayers … but sadly I was unable to catch a Assassins Creed branded T-Shirt / Sweatshirt during the give-away … my sone would have been very happy with one of those.
Covering the FACTS Convention as a one man team was quite hard. Getting the right shots with the video camera, watch the audio, quickly grabbing a picture when I noticed something nice … I really had to do too much at the same time, which resulted in no more time to do some interviews. But then again … it would have been impossible for me to beat Knightwise’s interviewing style and techniques anyway.
But in the end I was quite happy I was able to go, and I’m already looking forward to FACTS 2013 which will be the 20th anniversary.
For those of you who missed it … I threw together some footage and made a video montage of about 10 minutes for you to enjoy :
As I mentioned, I didn’t have a lot of time to take pictures, but you can see my shots in my FACTS 2012 Flickr Set.
About the Author
Stefaan is a Software Developer by trade, but also active as a Tech Reporter and Podcaster mostly in Dutch / Flemish. You can find out more about him on his blog at iTutor Podcast or check out the Tech45 Podcast.
It was a first timer for me : an “in place” upgrade. I had made it ‘a thing’ to install every Ubuntu version fresh, and do it fast. Creating a list of installed applications, exporting the software sources I collected and then let it install everything automatically after a fresh instal of the OS. This made it possible to do a totally clean install and be up and running within 90 minutes. But yesterday I got tempted by a tweet from @omgubuntu, explaining how to do an easy inplace upgrade. How? just run “update-manager -d” from the terminal. And i was curious, updating anything on Linux has become a breeze, so how would an entire Operating System upgrade turn out.
So i started a terminal, and pasted the “update-manager -d” and pressed enter. At that point I was given the option within the update-manager to do a distro upgrade, which I chose and I let it run. And thats all there to say, it went smoothly, fast and since we had friends over, almost enirely “unattended”. (So its ‘Social Life – Friendly’ technology.
Well, let’s cut to the chase, what is it like that “Ubuntu 12.10”. It looks more mature so to say, the transitions between applications, the hiding of apps within the unity interface just feel more.. more.. reliable, stable, … no, consistent. Yeah, all over my first conclusion was that it’s more consistent and more professional then 12.04. There, i said it, it’s a professional desktop. That might be why they have built up the guts to ask a contribution when you go to the download page.
I’ve found some nice touches. For example a dual monitor setup now results in two monitors with their own dash and an automatic focus when starting applications on either monitor.
The dash has the new feauture of “The Right Click”, where right clicking on an item gives you for a music file the ability to play it directly, for pictures the ability to mail them to someone and so forth.
One other thing i found while frantically clicking away at my new setup, some heavier 3D applications run faster. As an benchmark i always test with UrbanTerror to see what framerate i get. On this laptop using gnome 2 it has always been around 54 FPS, with SolusOs it was the same and with Unity i never got above the 24 FPS. And now it does, a nice 50 FPS was in my top right corner.
Another nice surprise is the wifi connection, after a nap or a well deserved deep rest it reconnects in about half the time it used to, a mere 4 seconds.
Any hickups? Well, i have found one, Thunderbird doesn’t show up in the notification centre. But that seems to be a problem with my own settings. Moving the .thunderbird in /home/mcvries to a different location and starting ‘Fresh’ makes it show up again. So there’s a small job left for me.
I am far from ready exploring and tweaking but for now I am quite impressed. Not in the least from the in place upgrade which plain simple was elegant and easy. Installing a new version of an OS was never this easy for me before.
Not an Ubuntu User yet? Head over to Ubuntu.com and find out!
A post by Guestblogger McVries http://www.mcvries.nl A blog about my experiences using an opensource OS while working as a Windows sysadmin, and being the techno advocate for the organization i work for. @McVries_ Skeptic IT Manager with a liking for open Source.
As we talked about in our interview with Alan Pope last week , Ubuntu 12.10 is going to be released somewhere today. If its your first plunge in the purple pool or if you are waiting to hit “Distribution upgrade” on your 12.04 install.. here are the top ten things to expect.
Sometimes the world is a small place 🙂 An old personal friend with a great voice and a shipload of talent has been roaming stages and cabarets, blowing away crowds with her performance. Great was our joy when she made this funny song (and Videoclip) about what it is like to be an ‘iPad widow’, bringing her performance into the crosshairs of our Geek-Culture section. Yes .. Talented and geeky at the same time : enjoy Sarah-Louise Young’s iPad Widow.