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Jaxilon
09-05-2011, 04:14 AM
I just spent all evening working on a commission. I was finally becoming really happy with how it was going and had probably spent a solid not moving from my seat 3 hours when Gimp crashed. As the error messages bonked onto the screen I began to try to remember when I had last saved...

*pause for a couple deep breaths so I don't type any curse words*

Ah, I hadn't saved at all.... *pause again*

The end of the story is that I just went to the kitchen and made myself a stiff drink and now I think I'll go kill a pile of aliens or something to slough off some aggression. I am mad and depressed at the same time.

The worst part was I was just doing that one last thing before I closed out for the night nice and satisfied. AHHHHHGGGGG!!!!!

Don't forget to save, how many times do I have to say it to myself?! I want to kick something.

Clercon
09-05-2011, 04:25 AM
I understand how you feel. For me the best training in remembering to save my progress has been working in cc3. Because of it's constant crashes you have to save all the time. But loosing work because of a forgotten save is horrible.

Mark Oliva
09-05-2011, 06:10 AM
For me the best training in remembering to save my progress has been working in cc3. Because of it's constant crashes you have to save all the time. But loosing work because of a forgotten save is horrible.

The main reason we dropped CC3 is that it doesn't fulfill our specifications at all. But if it had fulfilled our specifications, we probably still would have switched due to the instability of the program. However, that was in 2009, so it's quite possible that patches since then have cut down on its tendency to crash.

Clercon
09-05-2011, 06:46 AM
The main reason we dropped CC3 is that it doesn't fulfill our specifications at all. But if it had fulfilled our specifications, we probably still would have switched due to the instability of the program. However, that was in 2009, so it's quite possible that patches since then have cut down on its tendency to crash.

I think cc3 is great for some stuff. I mostly use it for city creation. When it comes to crashes I've noticed that 95% of the crashes comes when you zoom in or out. So I always hit save before trying to zoom.

Redrobes
09-05-2011, 06:50 AM
When I am working on stuff and I have been doing lots of things without a save I really really start to get the creeps. Its like I start to press each key stroke carefully etc. My threshold before this starts to come on is about a few minutes. This is especially true if doing art but I even get this when typing in code which in theory should be easier to repeat. So to go several hours of artwork would make me feel like I was standing on the high wire at the circus. In the old days we used to have computers with no hard drive and before the floppy you used to have to have a cassette recorder to back up a program. When the (very small) power lead used to wobble then it would crash the machine and wipe the RAM. There was a point in time when the computers had enough RAM - about 16K of it at the time but before the floppy disk - when you could spend a few hours typing in hex codes from a magazine to program the machine in machine code to play a half decent game. A crash during that period would wipe out several hours. I think I developed my creeps during those early days. Now that the HDD makes saving so easy I use it all the time.

You should have a play with MeshLab and do some 3D modelling. That program will crash every 30 seconds. Its amazingly poorly written even if it is doing some excellent processing and implementing some extremely useful stuff. Tho I grit my teeth against this one app, on the whole tho I avoid all crashing apps like the plague. I just cant bear it.

Just to hammer it home some more. I save often. I save with increasing number appended to the end. I.e. I don't keep saving over the top of an old version. And when you have done a few of them and what you have is worth something then copy the whole directory to another. It might be a waste of HDD space but its your time and effort here. If HDD space is worth more than your time then go an do something more worthwhile cos HDD space is cheap. A 5Mb map save is about 0.01 cents.

Coyotemax
09-05-2011, 07:11 AM
I feel your pain.

I was working on an illuminated celtic knotwork manuscript page (16x22 or thereabouts within the borders) with a lot of fine detail. I had the black and white work done, and I was about 1/3 done colouring it. I would guess I had put about 12 months of work into it at that point, on and off. Then my cat knocked over a glass of water on my table. oh, did i mention it was done on paper? No save, no backup, no undo. The inks were SUPPOSED to be colourfast/indelible/whatever it's called.. waterproof. Nope, they ran. the whole piece was destroyed. I haven't done any celtic art since, except for a few minor doodles. The way my wife describes my reaction is along the lines of "it broke your spirit".

I was able to scan the whole thing in and clean it up so it was B+W linework (and even messed around a bit with colouring in photoshop), but I never did get back to redoing it on paper. And then it was.. about 8 years before I took up any serious art of any sort (yay maps!).

Look on the bright side - you'll never forget "save early save often" again ;)

tilt
09-05-2011, 12:17 PM
InDesign saves automatically, but I do lots of work in photoshop, and there you have to remember to save now and then, also as a default it only has 20 undos. Then again, when I began using photoshop it didn't have an undo function and layers hadn't been invented yet. Back then you saved almost every time you made a stroke right *lol*

Redrobes
09-05-2011, 12:41 PM
My ViewingDale saves on every change so there is no save button to keep pushing and there is a 10 level (I think) undo for child icon position, rotation and scale updates.

I think if people were to describe the way they work with different apps and how they maintain their work in the event of a crash that would be useful to know a) for other people using the software and also b) for app designers so that they can make sure their software will be easy to allow for these work flows.

Ascension
09-05-2011, 12:45 PM
I soooo feel the pain of a breaking spirit. My hard drive warped or got corrupted or something in July and I lost everything. I went all of August without the "oomph" I used to have. My new computer is not the elite gaming rig that I used to have, it's more of a general use home pc so it's way underpowered for what I'm used to. My Photoshop crawls along on even the most basic things and games are so slow as to be unplayable. I'm saving in PS after every step I complete successfully because I feel it's a major triumph to accomplish anything beyond file - open. :) So in a way, a crappy pc is teaching me to be more diligent than the super computer I used to have. All I can say in the way of encouragement is this: it does come back. You get the itch eventually and you just gotta do something to scratch it. How long it takes to come back varies for the individual and mine is slowly coming back (been fiddling in PS for about a week now after a month of nothing). Steel lost his mojo and hasn't got it back yet and it's been like 2 years...poor guy. But at least you still have a pc to play with and it will take a few days or weeks of cursing under your breath and the thought of mapping stops making you feel disgusted but it goes away. Killing aliens or zombies for a week helps to settle the bile but nothing scratches the itch like a well done map.

Jaxilon
09-05-2011, 12:45 PM
Well after a nights sleep I do feel a little better.

Normally I do what you guys do and save often but when I get really absorbed making art I tend to hyper-focus and time goes out the window. This was one of those sessions. It would be nice if there was an auto save feature where you could save to a temp file just in case. I wouldn't want it to save over my actual file. I can do that myself but an autosave file would be perfect. Not sure how that would function if you were in the middle of running a filter when it hit however.

RobA? :)

Beoner
09-05-2011, 01:24 PM
Something like this happened to me last year, and yeah it is frustrating. Thats why I save everything I do, if I make a little point on the map I save it.

I think everyone has experienced (is that right?) a situation like that, and the worst part is we can't do anything, only sit down and start again :(

Ascension
09-05-2011, 01:31 PM
Yeah, that frustration is a mega killer. But then, look at the bright side. I was well on my way to making a pretty cool map when I accidentally saved the small flat jpg I used for uploading as the main psd file. I was about to choke myself but after a week I started a new map and it became The Butcher, The Baker, and That Other Guy...one of my best maps ever. So while you will choke yourself for a while, you've got a chance to do something even better...every map is a learning experience.

Beoner
09-05-2011, 01:39 PM
Yeah, that frustration is a mega killer. But then, look at the bright side. I was well on my way to making a pretty cool map when I accidentally saved the small flat jpg I used for uploading as the main psd file. I was about to choke myself but after a week I started a new map and it became The Butcher, The Baker, and That Other Guy...one of my best maps ever. So while you will choke yourself for a while, you've got a chance to do something even better...every map is a learning experience.

Yeah, I read about your mistake, and then I thought "Poor guy", specially because, as you said, it is one of your best maps. But the problem for Jaxilon is that he was working on a comission, so I guess he has a limit time to finish the map.

But that is it, we are always learning, even when the knowledge comes from a bad situation.;)

jfrazierjr
09-05-2011, 01:58 PM
Jax, if your on linux (you are aren't you???) or you can compile your own windows version, there is this Perl Plugin: http://registry.gimp.org/node/20875. it's still not automated by "default" but once you turn it one after you start GIMP, you should be good to go...

Note that I have not tried it yet....

RobA
09-05-2011, 02:23 PM
Well after a nights sleep I do feel a little better.

Normally I do what you guys do and save often but when I get really absorbed making art I tend to hyper-focus and time goes out the window. This was one of those sessions. It would be nice if there was an auto save feature where you could save to a temp file just in case. I wouldn't want it to save over my actual file. I can do that myself but an autosave file would be perfect. Not sure how that would function if you were in the middle of running a filter when it hit however.

RobA? :)

I don't like "autosaves" because my files can get pretty big.

I wrote this script: http://registry.gimp.org/node/14246

It will save a backup copy of your active image as [imagename]-YYYY-MM-DD-HH-MM.xcfgz in the same directory as your active image, so you need to have saved it once with a real filename.

It can be accessed quickly by Alt-F,B which is what I do every now and then...

I combine that with Alt-F,S to just save (overwrite) the file I'm working on with its real name.



If you have python there is this: http://www.mail-archive.com/gimp-developer@lists.xcf.berkeley.edu/msg18118.html but I've never used it. You just "start" it:

- start GIMP from a terminal (so the script's messages become visible)
- toolbox: File->Activate Autosave (activate only once)

Every 30 minutes the script saves backups of all opened images to a temp folder.
The backup files won't be deleted when GIMP exits, so some manual clean-up will
be required from time to time.


-Rob A>

Coyotemax
09-05-2011, 02:44 PM
What Ascension said.
I ran into a problem recently too with a map crashing out.. no autosave in photoshop and when i went reading through the photoshop reuqests and dev forums, no apparent future plans for autosave (lots of debate over the 'at least let us recover TMP files' and 'it saves crap to the scratch disks all the time in the background so why not save in the background' etc)

Ended up spending a few months playing Mass Effect, Deus Ex, Bioshock etc and ignoring the mapping, all the while blaming my lack of artistic feeling on the day job. Finally wised up and realized it was a form of depression (not as magnified as the manuscript incident, but still there). Been slowly getting back into it and boy am I glad.

By all means go and blast the hell out of some alien menace to work off some frustration, but don't stay away from the art too long, we would miss you (and eventually your muse will kick you in unexpected places) ;)
(I say we because I suspect others would feel the same as I do.. there's a long list of members here that whenever I see a new post by them I go OOH and have to run check out and see what's going on. You're on that list. I'd miss getting my map/art junky fix!)

Jaxilon
09-05-2011, 03:04 PM
Hey thanks C - I really hope you get back into the thick of things soon as I for one want more from you as well :)

Your's were some of the first maps I was really impressed by when I joined up. I remember thinking how I wish I could get my ocean's to look like yours, etc.

The sharing of my pain with all of you is pretty much why I even bothered posting this sob story in the first place. My wife heard me yell at my PC and when I explained I suppose she felt sorry for me but it didn't really seem to hit home with her like it does with fellow artists who have been through it.

This sort of thing is like getting punched in the stomach and having the wind knocked out of you emotionally. It's hard to get back in the saddle right away. Unfortunately or fortunately, depending on how you look at it, this is for a commission so I don't have the luxury of sneaking off to pout. I also have a bad case of follow through (probably not a bad quality) which makes it hard for me to walk away when the going gets tough. I will probably be back at it sometime today if not tomorrow.

I just hope it comes out even better this time.

Diamond
09-05-2011, 03:12 PM
I agree with everyone else, especially Coyote. It really is soul-killing to have spent that much time and effort on something only to see it disappear as if it had never been. I've lost more than one map and yeah, it makes you die a little inside.

The worst experience I've had: I'm an aspiring novelist, and about five years ago I had a novel roughly three-quarters done when my computer bit the bullet. The computer techies at the shop I took it to were able to recover about half of the stuff on my hard drive, but my novel was completely corrupted. There was just enough left to make me insane, not enough to let me rebuild. All my notes, my outlines, the novel itself, gone. It completely broke me - more than two years went by before I could even think about writing without getting this sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. Now, instead of not having any external backups at all, I've swung the other way - I've got a fire safe with about 70 flash drives meticulously labeled and stored.

I'm still not saving my art like I should though, mainly because it takes up so much more room. And I know one day I'll regret it...

So if nothing else, Jax, I guess you can take away from this thread the fact that you're not alone, at least. :D

Djekspek
09-05-2011, 04:04 PM
sorry to hear Jax, and yeah you're not the only one here. Just lost 2 hr work (ok not soo much, but it was a part I'd been struggling with for a couple of weeks and finally got it right :( ) yesterday. I found a tool: Autosave (http://download.cnet.com/AutoSave/3000-2094_4-10376776.html) I may try. Anyone any experience with this? it's a 3rd party thing that runs in the background and can schedule specific key-strokes (e.g. the save function of the app). Not sure if it works ok, but it could be a real saver if it works. cheers, DJ

ps. lol my browser just noted me this message was autosaved :P

jbgibson
09-05-2011, 05:05 PM
Jax, would it help when you resume, to consciously do this map differently? Since you can't put it back just like it was Before Carto Catastrophe, would it keep you from that jab-in-eyeball pain, if you dodge the echoes somewhat?

Add me to the list of eagerly awaiting whatever you come up with, btw.

I screw up so regularly I might as well name every map I start Ragnarok and just go with the flow.

Redrobes
09-05-2011, 05:55 PM
Hmm despite all the attempts within the apps to do something about it, it sounds like they are all failing to address this problem adequately. I'm not sure what the answer is tho. Do you buy an extra bit of software or learn to save more often - I don't know. What I can say is that from having those sorts of experiences with such soul crushing effect then spending a few quid on an external USB hard drive must surely be less painful than this. A bunch of flash drives in the fire safe is a good idea as well. Not all that dissimilar actually. Offline USB storage whether on a disk or flash is worth the funding. Its no effort to do it, just the cash to do it. If you live in a zone where the power is icky then I would also suggest an uninterrupted power supply. These are expensive off the shelf except that if your in a country like the UK where your going through this green energy thing and nobody is allowed to recycle commercial stuff then they can be had for nothing as a lot of industrial companies are getting rid of them because of the expense of disposing of the dead batteries. I have a collection of about 5 now all for no cash but you have to buy the quite pricy lead acid battery to go in them. But for the cost of the battery alone they are worth having. Its saved my PC from two hard power cuts and numerous brown outs any of which could have been fatal to my system.

I have mentioned this gadget several times on here but ill say it again to attempt to prevent some of this pain going around... you can get a USB HDD docking station. Fit old HDDs into the slot and it gives them USB access. So you only need to buy extra HDDs and not the USB versions of them. For one its not much in it, but if you have a rotation of them like Diamond has with his drives then you can buy a small blank internal HDD for low cost and make it a USB type.

http://www.amazon.com/Thermaltake-BlacX-eSATA-Docking-Station/dp/B001A4HAFS

BTW you dont need a 2TB drive to go with it. Something like a 300Gb would be ample.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00461E7JE

I know its $70 but its your work, sweat and tears. The computer you can replace, the work you cant. If your machine has just failed spectacularly but the HDD survived and is a SATA type then you can build / buy a new machine and keep the old HDD as a backup. Then its only $30. By having the HDD powered off of a power brick instead of the PC's PSU then if its the PSU that goes bang (literally in some cases) then it can fry all the electrical stuff in the box. By having the external HDD over USB it might fry the USB port of the PC or even the docking station but its unlikely to fry the HDD as well. Put the powerbrick on the uninterruptible mains as well. Not a lot other than simoltaneously losing both the PC HDD and your backup at the same time will then be a disaster. If like Diamond you rotate them then they all have to fail or the whole house has to burn down. In Diamonds case the fire safe might even prevent that. Extreme, sure, but that is what we do !. Big companies have offsite backups to prevent even that.

Hugo Solis
09-06-2011, 02:08 AM
I think this happens to us all... and we all react pretty much the same way :D

For me thou, aftwer the rage subsides and I find myself reworking aaaaallllll the stuff I've already done, I've noticed that somehow the second time turns out better than the first, I suppose this is because memory is still fresh and I get to improve/polish those little parts I wasn't very happy with but had already done so would not get too deep/back into it. So, in a way, crashing is not always too bad a thing to happen.

Cheers to crashing and buying more ram for Photoshop to devour! :raises the mug:

tilt
09-06-2011, 04:44 AM
I'd love more ram for my photoshop, but its just so damn expensive for my MacBook Pro :(

Steel General
09-06-2011, 07:26 AM
@Jax - Been there, done that and I feel your pain. :)

jfrazierjr
09-06-2011, 08:34 AM
heh.. not exactly the same thing, but I just spent the past 6 days upgrading, installing, installing, installing, installing, and installing Ubuntu 11.04 until I finally got fed up with the fact that the 2.6.38.* kernel does not seem to like nvidia cards very much(as in X won't start correctly no matter what driver I use or workarounds I try from googling the problem).

I finally ended up re-installing 10.10 and everything seems to be running fine except for getting my tablet to work on 2.7.3 which I built from source. All of the input devices are greyed out except for "core pointer" so I can't modify... 2.6.11 from the Ubuntu repos works great.... When I HAD built Gimp from source on 11.04, the wacom worked fine each time... so I am sort of in a chicken<->egg scenario, working graphics card = broke tablet(for GIMP 2.7.3) OR broke graphics card + PITA booting to failsafe mode + low graphics = working tablet for GIMP 2.7.3

Redrobes
09-06-2011, 08:57 AM
I know they can be tricky sometimes to get it to run the nVidia cards but I didn't find it too much of a problem on my particular ubuntu box and I am on an 11.04 with a 2.6.38* kernel too. So its not a general problem but I have had issues like that in the past. All I can say is to boot it into the default non nVidia option and then under the settings there is the "additional drivers" widget. Every time I try to do it by using the xconf commands in a shell it seems to go bad. I'm using nVidia driver version 173 if its any help.

jfrazierjr
09-06-2011, 09:34 AM
Thanks RR, I will just wait... If this was a desktop, I would just go get another card, but it's a laptop so that option is out. I did try many different options and work arounds, including the one you suggest. One thing i notice different is yours appears to be using the pae which indicates a 32 bit machine (it I understand correctly) while mine is using amd64 native, so it could be a combination of the 64 bit kernel and the nvidia drivers(tried nouveau, nv, and binary proprietary from Nvidia's site). Each attempt seemed to cause, a different problem all going back to the card drivers.

Jaxilon
09-06-2011, 01:16 PM
Well, I worked on this last night and made some good progress. Even came up with a way to create a sort of dead swamp area between the mountains and the jungle.

Here is a mini shot of that part of the map. I don't have permission to post the whole thing plus, I'm nowhere near done but I'm pretty happy with how this area looks.

Djekspek
09-06-2011, 01:45 PM
That looks very good man! This style is getting better and better! cheers, DJ

Clercon
09-06-2011, 01:49 PM
It looks really great. I'm glad to see that you're already back mapping :)

Hugo Solis
09-06-2011, 01:53 PM
Looking real good!

Piscivorous
09-07-2011, 09:38 PM
The main reason we dropped CC3 is that it doesn't fulfill our specifications at all. But if it had fulfilled our specifications, we probably still would have switched due to the instability of the program. However, that was in 2009, so it's quite possible that patches since then have cut down on its tendency to crash.

And you moved to FM8? I have a really sturdy machine but I keep getting "Out of Memory" messages. However, it does usually allow a save before you need to back out then restart.