My first Cookery Demo – Cookie Cream Cake


Another college assignment done!  This time it was an Instructional Design video to incorporate some of the theories I’ve been looking at recently.

Making a cookery video isn’t too difficult, unless you forget a step.  What do you do when you’ve made the cake and realise you’ve forgotten something?  Make another one.  So you end up with two cakes….to add to the first one you did as a practise run.

FOUR cakes later I had footage that was half decent enough to use.  And sure, then you couldn’t be wasting the cake!  Cookies and cream helped me get through the time spent in After Effects and Premier Pro.

My next demo video? A weight loss one!


Monitor Problems – Thin Blue Line

Samsung Syncmaster Monitor

Samsung Syncmaster Monitor - Photo courtesy of

One of my rare technical posts! 🙂

A few months ago I bought myself a nice new monitor, as I was starting to go half blind squinting at 3D Max Design on my 17″ laptop screen.  After comparing prices and hemming and hawing for ages over the many different types, I ordered a 24″ Samsung Syncmaster online, it coming recommended to me by my brother, and being similar to monitors we use in college.

The monitor sat on my desk where I made use of it until early December, when it was then moved to John’s desk so he could work from it. From there it moved to the tv unit in the sitting room, for the duration of the Christmas holidays, so that we could use it to watch the occasional DVD.  (By the way, we don’t actually have two desks.  I just like to refer to the kitchen table as mine….or the armchair….or where I can get a space to sit down these days.)

All was going well up until two weeks ago when I noticed a thin blue line appearing down the right hand side of the monitor.  Ally was using her laptop with it at the time so I put it down to some setting being off and made a note to look into it when I got around to it.

Round Tuit

Round Tuit

(I need one of these.)

Last weekend the line appeared again, only I was using my laptop with the monitor this time.  Needless to say I was dreading the thoughts that there might be a problem with my practically new monitor.

I searched online for a solution to the problem, and my fears that the monitor was faulty were further compounded by the fact that other people who were having the same problem were being told to return their monitors to the stores they’d bought them in, or dump them and buy new ones.

Hyperventilation time!!

Until I came across one poster on a forum somewhere that posted something I wanted to hear.

Easy Solution

I can’t remember who the poster was, or what forum he posted on, but this was the gist of it: “At the top of the line, press the monitor.  If the line disappears, then it’s probably something to do with the casing.”

And, lo and behold, when I pressed the line it disappeared temporarily, and when I pinched the casing at the top of the monitor it disappeared altogether.

So there you go! Before you dump your monitor or get into a lengthy argument with the salesperson you bought it from, check the casing.  I reckon that with all the moving around we did, the casing probably worked itself a little loose.

Anyone else have any problems they need fixing?

My action(script) filled life!


I haven’t been blogging that much lately.  That’s because these days my time is taken up with trying to get my head around this stuff.



I’m beginning to wonder what I ever did before all this programming stuff came along. (It’s a bit like when I used to wonder what I was doing before I had kids!)

I found this video on Flickr of a National Civil Defence Excercise in 2009, the year I started in the LIT Creative Multimedia Course.



And then I found this photo.
Coastguard Helicopter


And then this one…..Ok this one’s a bit smaller, but I was two stone lighter at the time.

fire engine


So eh…..basically I had time to blog this evening because I took a break from looking at blue boxes and em…..concentrated my studies in the area of Social Media. *cough*




Now that we’re all back to school, this is what our kitchen table looks like most evenings.

kitchen table with homework

Ally’s current art assignment involves an A1 sheet of paper and a pointillism/sgraffito task.

I wasn’t sure what either pointillism or sgraffito were, but I know now.  With pointillism you take a pencil and dot it, loudly and repeatedly, on your page, while giggling at the poor individuals around you being subjected to the noise.

With sgraffito (I wonder why they don’t call it scratchillism), you scratch layers of paint off the page to reveal layers underneath, while covering your surroundings with the bits of paint you’ve discarded.


With all the tapping and scratching going on, I’m glad my own assignment involved a set of headphones. (Testing the Embed code below)

The Coma by Susan Cloonan


I bags NOT doing the hoovering tomorrow by the way! (Just in case Ally reads this.)


3Ds Max – Turning the ‘Move Tool’ on and off


Something that drove me just a bit scatty this evening until I found out how to do it….

I opened up 3Ds Max, started up our latest project, and there was my ‘Move Tool’ (or  xyz arrows as I call them)…..GONE!!


3Ds Max No Arrows


It took me a while to figure out they were gone, but when you’re trying to move an object in a straight line, you really REALLY need the cursed ‘Move Tool’, so it wasn’t too long before I realised it was missing.

It didn’t help that I didn’t *know* the ‘XYZ Arrows’ were called the ‘Move Tool’, but eventually I discovered that hitting the ‘X’ key turns the disappearing fecker on and off.


Got my arrows back!


3Ds Max Arrows On


Like everything, once you know it it’s simple, huh?


Just to depress myself I took another look at Roberto de Angelis’s amazing 3Ds Max Jubilee Church animation that I discovered on YouTube last night.  I think it’s pretty amazing.

3Ds Max Design


We’ve started using 3Ds Max in college.  My first basic design, which involved shapes, text, lights and cameras, was this:


I spent this evening going through Tutorials from thenewboston that I had downloaded from YouTube.  They were really well put together and I’d recommend them.

If you fancy messing around with 3Ds Max, yourself, you can download a FREE trial at

I just hope it’s a LONG trial.

The New Facebook Timeline


Curiosity got the better of me this evening.  I decided I HAD to see just what this new ‘timeline’ stuff is that everyone has been ranting about.

So, I applied to be a Facebook ‘Developer’ (which is, apparently, the only way you can gain a sneak preview of the new Facebook profile at the moment).


FB Timeline

First impressions are that the page is actually quite pleasant looking.  (But then, it IS my pic that graces the top of it.) 😀

It’s clean and bright, easy to browse, and everything is laid out….well….in timeline format.  Mind you, I’m not sure why you’d want to browse anyone’s timeline unless they’re someone either REALLY REALLY famous, or REALLY REALLY interesting.  Personally, as I posted on Facebook earlier, I’d have been better off, myself, putting the two minutes it took to register as a developer into updating my status.

Am I worried about privacy?  Having seen the drivel I post, no, I’m not.  Although I did do a double check this evening to make sure that all status updates are only visible by friends.


How to see the new Facebook Timeline

1. Do a search for ‘Developer’ in the search bar at the top of Facebook. (See Logo below)


2. Create an app.  It won’t be seen unless you publish it.

3.  When your app is created go into ‘settings’ and click on ‘open graph’.

4. Create a new ‘action’ and a new ‘object’ and click submit

5.  Exit the application

6. Within a couple of minutes you should have an invitation to view the new timeline.  This will appear on your old profile page.


I’ve seen lots of people posting that they’ll be deleting their Facebook accounts as soon as the new timeline comes in.  If you’re one of these I’d love to know your reasons for doing so.



The Annoying Red Square appearing in 3Ds Max!


No, this is not an announcement for a forthcoming blockbuster movie in which relatives of the infamous Annoying Orange will star.

This blog post is about an irritating red box problem that I’ve had since this afternoon……no wait….that sounds wrong…..

See….I downloaded 3Ds Max today and this ‘red box’ has been appearing in Perspective view and wrecking my head.

3ds Max Red Square

It took me ages and ages of scouring the internet before I finally (thanks be to God) came across this post on the forums, from which I’ve extracted Thaver’s reply below:

He says ”

it seams there is an easy fix, i had the same problem with an ati hd 4650

all you need to do is go to viewport configuration

go to display performance tab

uncheck improve quality progressibly”

I did what Thaver suggested, and it works!

Yee Haa!!

And now I’m posting the solution to the problem here, hoping that all the keywords I’ve used are going to help the next poor fecker find the answer a lot easier.

What’s another year?


Ally started a Fetac Level 5 course in Portfolio today.  Last year she studied Art and Design (also a Fetac Level 5 course) in the local Technical College, partly because she was quite young when sitting the Leaving Cert, and partly because she wanted to do something in Art but was unsure what area she wanted to study in.  She put in a lot of hard work throughout the year, passed her exams with distinction, and, as a result of doing the course, realised her interests lay in the area of Graphic Design.  To give herself the best chance of securing a college place next year, she enroled on the Portfolio course.

Ally has been on Unemployment Benefit since finishing the Art and Design course.  She hadn’t any success in securing a job for the summer (despite handing out several CVs and filling in many online applications).  It is incredibly difficult for a young school leaver with no work experience to find work.  Only yesterday she was prevented from submitting a Primark online applicaton form because she didn’t have three valid work references entered into the work experience field.  God be with the days when ‘babysitting’ counted for something.

So, obviously, she was delighted to find out she was entitled to Unemployment Benefit.  It meant she had some money of her own during the summer.

She called into the Social Welfare office today to tell them she was starting college.

They signed her off Unemployment Benefit and told her she was entitled to nothing!

Absolutely nothing!

If she had been 78 days unemployed she would have been entitled to a Back To Education allowance.  She was just 14 days short.

So, she can return to college where she will have to pay college fees, buy books and equipment, fork out for college tours and God knows what else, and have practically no money for another nine months


she can receive €100 a week for the honour of sitting at home while ‘actively seeking work’.

Ally opted to return to college and do her portfolio course, and I’m really proud of her.  But I can’t understand the logic behind making her financially worse off when she’s being pro-active and trying to better herself.

It seems to me that if she had made the decision to take some time off for a year and twiddle her thumbs, she would be rewarded with fifty-two weeks Unemployment Benefit and be entitled to the Back to Education Allowance that she now can’t get. Are we daft not to take advantage of this?  After all, what’s another year?



Mara, Fota Wildlife, Cork

It’s well for some to be able to lounge around in the sun doing nothing!  This is a photo of a Mara that I took in Fota Wildlife Park two weeks ago, before I adopted the life of a hermit and launched myself into study mode for exams next week.

To all who have exams at the moment – GOOD LUCK!!

Hopefully we’ll be holding our heads high when the results come out!

Giraffe, Fota Wildlife, Cork