CGI coffee


Revelations of a computer graphics apprentice

Backup and Restore a Live Linux System Using Snapshots. How to Install Linux Mint 20 on an LVM Partition

In my previous post on the topic of Backup and Restore I mostly focused on Windows use cases and only briefly touched upon backing up Linux and MacOS systems. This is because Windows users have access to the amazing file system snapshotting capabilities in the form of Volume Shadow Copy “by default”. As for MacOS – it comes bundled with its own backup management suite called Time Machine, so backups are possible out of the box in there as well.

As for Linux folk... It’s a bit more involved, but still perfectly possible to backup systems without any downtime. And to do this one would need to make sure their system is running off an LVM system partition.

Why LVM?

If you have no idea what LVM stands for (spoiler: it’s “Logical Volume Management”), I would suggest you first get up to speed with what LVM is and why one would want to use an LVM partition for system storage rather than a standard EXT4/XFS one.

Either way, if you want to have an ability to backup a live Linux system (like an "always on" server or a hypervisor), you need to make sure the OS is installed onto an LVM-enabled volume, which supports creation of Snapshots. In this example we’ll set up an installation for a system with an EFI System Partition for boot-loader management. If you’re planning to go with a legacy BIOS boot instead, just skip the EFI partition creation step. The process is very straightforward and only takes minutes to complete.

Install Linux Mint on LVM Partition How-to

Linux Mint is my long-standing favorite among all distros, so I will be using it to guide you through the process. But the steps described here should be more or less identical for the majority of Linux distributions, especially Ubuntu Linux derivatives, which Mint certainly is. I will also assume you have basic understanding of Linux, storage systems and disk partitioning, otherwise you should certainly not follow the guide and get some more experience first.

DRM or Die. How Anti-Consumer Practices Became the New Norm and the Consumers Are to Blame

How many of your devices have you activated via the internet today?

drm-everywhere

Most people don't like it when things change. But, by following the proverbial "slowly boiling frog" principle (which is factually incorrect, by the way), if you change your business practices slowly enough and promote them in Media as something positive, these changes will eventually get accepted as the new widespread standard. And the waterfall of complaints and negative press will gradually subside, leaving you with an amorphous mass of consumers willingly giving up their freedoms and personal data in return for electronic services and even physical goods.

Because… What is the "norm"? It's an ever-changing concept on its own. For all intents and purposes, I think it's enough to consider something "normal" when it's practiced by or believed in by a large enough portion of the population.

Some of us may not consider anti-consumer practices mentioned in this post a "norm", but give it enough time, and they will become. Some may even suggest that maybe, just maybe, you don't have to blindly obey and do what the companies and the corporations ask of you, and instead protect your privacy and ensure the security of your future by favoring consumer-friendly businesses over ones which keep getting away with pushing more and more egregious ways to take those freedoms away from you, and turn your personal life into a profitable business asset. Except such opinions are becoming more and more unpopular with each passing day.

Now what the hell am I rambling about?

Simple:

DRM Has Won

No, seriously. And I can prove it.

Play Ghost of Tsushima

There are bad games...
There are... mediocre games.
There are good games.
There are great games.

And then there's Ghost of Tsushima. In a class of it's own, a pure masterpiece of visual and open-world game design.

Sucker Punch, you beautiful bastards you.

Backup and Restore. Don't Delay! Secure Your Files With Freeware Backup Software Today

I have a lot of files...

And I bet you do too.

You probably also use your computers on a daily basis. Those are cool. But sometimes they crash or glitch. Get stolen or hacked. Or install Windows 10 updates. Or die in a fire.

Together with all your files and memories.

Consequently, today I'd like to direct your attention to the topic of data backup.

"Wait. Isn't this a Computer Graphics blog?"

It sure is.

Still, part of getting any work done on a computer is making sure your files don't accidentally get lost. Whether you like it or not, unless you have someone else responsible for keeping your data safe, you should adhere to a certain form of a backup strategy on your own.

Unfortunately, lots of people overlook this topic, and end up losing sizable amounts of their labor.

data-backup-dog-meme

If any of this sounds familiar, this post will present a couple of suggestions and tools. And most of those won't cost you a dime.

Otherwise, if you are already using some form of a backup solution to manage redundant copies of the files you're working on, you probably won't discover anything particularly new here.

This article is not meant as an all-encompassing guide, but rather a brief introduction. One without product placements, affiliate links or hidden ads. Just honest opinions based on personal knowledge and experience.

Genshin Impact, GACHA and The Case of an Inferior Electronic Sticker Album

Last week saw the release of a new free-to-play Chinese electronic gambling game disguised as a 3rd person action RPG named Genshin Impact. And it turned out to be one of the largest launches for a Chinese game ever.

I wonder why...

Don't get me wrong: I love games with sexy girls and tons of fan-service! Not so much though, when I'm painfully aware that the actual entertainment product is a trap, designed to slowly condition players to regularly spend money for premium currency. Such currency can then be spent to take part in a game of chance-like ordeal where you pay to get a shot at unlocking a bunch of random heroes and items of different "rank", "tier" or "value" upon "rolling a banner", opening a loot-box, a chest, a magical item or whatever the hell they decide to call those in a particular game of this category.

Remember these?

tom-and-jerry-panini-sticker-album

Yes, the Panini Sticker Albums...

Blender Cycles + NVIDIA RTX = An Artist's Dream

Watch this:

Wow.

Now imagine yourself in the shoes of Autodesk management. You have hundreds of thousands of people who want to enter the 3DCG industry. You tell your shareholders: "Hey, let's take away professional and entry-level perpetual Software licenses and give our customers subscription as the only option. Yeah, subscriptions. The worst possible thing for a freelancer. What a great idea! It will sure stand the test of time!"

Now tell me: after a myriad of amazing Blender updates, more and more companies becoming sponsors of the Blender foundation, and now NVIDIA with their RTX + AI denoiser integrated into the Software this well...

Tell me how many more potential Autodesk clients will turn to Blender to never look back?

Don't ask me why my mind immediately went to Autodesk of all things... Probably because I will never forgive them for killing off Softimage and afterwards going subscription-only route.

Ahem, excuse me. Anyway...

Well done, Blender and NVIDIA!

Run and Rock-it Kristie... Kristie! Re-imagined in 3D

Evgeniy Kozlov, the guy who did an amazing job creating most of the environment art assets for "Run and Rock-it Kristie", surprised me yesterday by sharing progress on his own sculpting studies. Imagine my delight when the first character he fully sculpted, textured and rigged ended up being Kristie, re-imagined in 3D!

Check her out!

Run and Rock-it Kristie 3d sculpt by Evgeniy Kozlov

Run and Rock-it Kristie 3d sculpt by Evgeniy Kozlov

Modeling, sculpting, texturing, rigging and rendering were all done in Blender.

Run and Rock-it Kristie 3d sculpt by Evgeniy Kozlov

Cute. CUTE!

Run and Rock-it Kristie original 2D character