Q my savior


So for the last week, I’ve been stuck at home with a seriously twisted back and the worst food poisoning my my life.  What happened to my back? Nothing special, every couple of years I just reach for the salt the wrong way an WHAMMO, say hello to a few weeks of poppin’ fresh pain. Then, while recuperating, for lack of wanting to leave the house, I dug a little too deeply into the fridge and ate something that, given a more may days of gestation, probably would have eaten me.  Combine these two goodies and you get an (in)action-packed vacation!

Try to think of it like spending a week on a cruise ship where you’re locked in your cabin, all they give you to eat is oatmeal and all you can do comfortably is lay on the couch and watch movies. Even sitting in front of the computer for more than half an hour makes my lumbar feel like a couple of Taun-Tauns had a tap-dancing party on it, so endless web surfing doesn’t even have the lustre it ordinarily might. 

Still, the occasional escape into cyberspace is one of the few things keeping me sane this past week, so it was with quite a wondrous thrill that I discovered a few short hours ago that I had contracted a virus!



mel-gibson-beardSee, last night at about 3am I start watching “Apocalypto” and realized my copy had NO SUBTITLES (I was watching a downloaded version of the movie).*  I mean, the movie is in a language no one on earth even speaks anymore,  so how anyone uploading this could neglect to put subs on it is beyond me.

Anyway, I heard you can download and plug in subtitle files, so, given the “must-see-it-now” mood I was in, I made the mistake of going to some shady “subtitles-R-Us” site that came up in a Yahoo search instead of hunting down a reputable fan subtitling site like I should have.

After I unzipped the files, I was struck with a bad feeling that I might have just unlocked something evil. Nothing obvious happened, but it was just one of those sites that makes you feel dirty from simply visiting it (and not dirty in a good, tingly way.)

Anyway, tonight (because I slept all day) I discovered my ‘puter was in a world of hurt. All search engines results were redirected to farm sites, and I basically could not launch search results. Any attempt to even run my trusty Spybot failed and attempts to even type in the URLs of known spyware busting and anti-virus sites just gave me “site does not exist” pages.  Cleverly attempting to get to those pages from links on sites like Tom’s Hardware  wouldn’t even work! I was finally able to download a version of AdAware, but this nasty bug would not let it (or any other software) access the web to update itself. ovion

Clever bloke that I am, I thought rebooting is safe mode would let me get around it, but to no avail. This was a nasty fucker.

I was able to type a few descriptive words about the virus into Google and could see search results with the solution, but clicking the links would just redirect me to the virus sites!

So it was with much dismay that I gave up and called my friend Q.



Aside from being the most talented CG artist I know (he does all the amazing fly-through-the-insides-of-stuff on CSI), Q is also a brilliant PC nerd. As such, everyone and their brother always calls him the minute their computer even just humms a little off-key (I’m sure I see a few DarthMojo  readers out there nodding their heads in complete understanding).


As result of this unwanted fame, over the last few years, Q’s response to such requests have generally been “fix yer own shit, loser.” So, it was with great trepidation that I even considered picking up the phone to ask for help. But when you’re psychologically one step away from hunting down and choking the Quaker Oats guy, you allow yourself to be selfish.

After I managed to convince Q that a working computer was the only thing preventing me from Viper-launching over the edge, he was kind enough to dust off his “I swore I would never do this again” tech-support hat, find the solution and email me the tools I needed to resolve it.

All is now well and fully inoculated in Mojoworld. Thank you, Q, for helping me avoid a descent into further darkness where only the flames of hell would have provided a ray of hope.


And, by the way, the subtitles didn’t work.


 * Yes, I admit, I illegally downloaded and attempted to watch a movie (attempted being the key word, here). I couldn’t leave the house and I think we can all agree that what happened as a result is fair and suitable punishment.


COMING SOON:  More posts.  I swear.

20 Responses to “Q my savior”

  1. 1 Peter von Frosta
    November 26, 2008 at 5:49 am

    I hope you’re a bit better now.

    As for Apocalypto, it wouldn’t have made a big difference with or without the subs I think. Although I watched a legal Blu-ray from my trusted rent-a-move-store I was astonished that you actually don’t need the subs at all.
    Was a little disappointed though.

    Maybe you should think about userrights and not surfing the internet with an administrator/poweruser account ;)

  2. November 26, 2008 at 6:08 am

    Wow — just about the two worst kinds of comfort you can have! I know about that back thing — I had several days of that a few months back. Getting stomach crud on top, though, that’s completely unfair. Enjoyed your post.

  3. 3 The Hey
    November 26, 2008 at 6:44 am

    All hail Q!!!

    As the Adams and Binette family (as well as sometimes the NE Browncoats) tech support manager I fully agree that I am close to the “fix yer own shit, loser” level of popularity but I’m weak.

    However, I have started to charge people (not money, per se, but I tell them that ordering a nifty new item from NewEgg or Amazon will help with the repair).

  4. 4 Ein Staunender
    November 26, 2008 at 7:00 pm

    I think that’s exactly the reason why there are only low-tech Computers on the Galactica …

  5. November 26, 2008 at 7:02 pm

    You know, a guy so deeply related to BSG being prey of a computer virus is so deliciously ironic…

    Don`t you watch your own show, for frak`s sake?

    Well, at least you didn`t caught the virus accessing some “naked pictures of Tricia helfer”, that would explode the Irony detector and fire all the poetic justice alarms on Earth.

  6. 6 adallahq
    November 26, 2008 at 8:46 pm

    Good to see a post from you Mojo. I hope you feel better and glad you won the battle against the evil viruses.

    What happened to the Season 4 reverse episode VFX walkthrough that you had planned? Is that still planned or?

    Hope Season 4.5 is going well! Is it still in post-production? I’m guessing everything would be wrapped up by now?

  7. 7 James
    November 26, 2008 at 10:14 pm

    I enjoyed a similar situation back in ’99, when I, against all good sense stage dove for the 3rd and final time at a Megadeth show here in Houston. Third time being the charm, a kind soul helped to fling my dumb ass to the concrete in the midst of my drunken, show-ending triumph. I landed square on my lumbar, and reeling with pain, reached up to another concertgoer, only to have him yank me to my feet in one fell motion. This was the final insult to my injured back, which gave up the ghost, muscles ripping accordingly. Alcohol numbed the damage, just barely, and I awoke to near paralysis the next day. The nice lady who triaged me at the hospital informed me that if I couldn’t provide a urine sample, she would be glad to catherterize me to get the sample she needed, and walked away. I produced as requested, as you might imagine. Get better, dude. Happy Thanksgiving, in spite of the circumstances!

  8. 8 darthmojo
    November 27, 2008 at 1:12 am

    Thanks for the well-wishes, folks. Hell of a story, James! Do you still have issues from that incident or did it all heal and forever go away?

    Yes, I’d still like to do the reverse FX Breakdown of season 4, time and laziness permitting. And trust me, it’s mostly laziness. I do love making new blog posts and I enjoy sharing all the neat behind the scenes stuff with all of you, it’s just getting me to devote what amounts to several evenings to do an in-depth post – THAT’S the tricky part!

    Work on BSG is not wrapped yet, it still moves along albeit at a slower pace. The finale still has a ways to go for post production, finishing touches still await “Caprica” and “The Plan” (the BSG DVD movie) is still in the early stages of post.

    Hey, want to know the best part about being laid out for 5 days with food poisoning? I LOST SIX POUNDS! Awesome. Probably gain it all back this weekend.

    Ok, time to see if the Sony Store is going to have a good Black Friday sale. I wants me a new Vaio laptop!

  9. 9 sebimeyer
    November 27, 2008 at 10:28 am

    One more reason I love my Mac.

    Glad you feel better though.

  10. 10 James
    November 27, 2008 at 3:49 pm

    It gives a twinge now and then- but that’s the best part of scars earned having fun- the memories we keep! Look forward to more BSG FX porn. Dish on some of the old Foundation days sometime. You guys set the standard for CG spaceships before anyone else! Happy Holidays!

  11. 11 James
    November 27, 2008 at 4:18 pm

    Oh yeah- what 3D software are you proficient with other than Lightwave? Just curious…

  12. 12 darthmojo
    November 28, 2008 at 10:41 pm

    James: There is 3D software other than Lightwave?

    Seb: Yeah, I can understand why people don’t really write Mac viruses – kinda like kicking someone who’s already down. No challenge.

  13. 13 tom.cat
    November 29, 2008 at 1:57 am

    Time to patch the programs you use so that it doesn’t happen again? Surely you didn’t download and run an executable file?

    Funny to see you put down Macs after getting “owned” yourself. :)

    Anyway, hope you get well soon.

  14. 14 Dave
    November 30, 2008 at 2:49 pm

    Sounds like you had a DNS Router hijack? If So i had the same thing a few weeks ago – on my “trusty” iMac. I mean, sure, it wasnt the iMac that was buster it was my router, but it still let a nasty thing slip through mind you.

    As for 3D Packages, I was wondering If I could have some advice o-Mojo’d one? My Uni is pushing pushing pushing me to use Maya/3DS Max, which frankly I feel is worse than the food poisoning/Mel Gibson movie watching experience you endured, ive been pushing back to use Lightwave. If I went to a Job interview and said Im an Autodesk Bitch or a NewTek Whore (Im currently a Maxon Subdom), what do you think they would look kindly upon?

  15. 15 darthmojo
    December 1, 2008 at 11:52 pm

    No, I did not download and run an excecutable. I unziped a zip that had 2 text files in it… maybe it was a cooincidence.

    As for 3D packages, as many would have you believe we live in a Maya world, the fact is every year, every show that is nominated for an Emmy – not just the winner – is usually done by Lightwave. For fast work, LW really can’t be beat. Yes, Maya is an excellent package that lets you go perhaps a step further, but at the expense of needing to write scripts. Lightwave’s focus has always been on the creative and as an artist-friendly tool. One of the reasons it was written in the first place was because the founders thought people who wanted to make movies shouldn’t also have to be programmers.

    The one area I will concede to Maya is character animation. But even then, many studios still like to animate in Maya and render in LW, for both it’s ease of use and quality of renderer.

    3D Studio Max, as far as I am aware, does not have a strong foothold in Hollywood.

    I would tell anyone that any studio worth it’s salt will be looking for good artists, regardless of what software package they know. I’ve hired people before who had to be trained in LW, but it was worth it because it’s much easier to teach someone which button to press than it is to find a talented artist.

    As BSG comes to a close, we’ll see what *I* encounter as I venture out in search of my next gig.

  16. 16 John Whorfin
    December 2, 2008 at 11:51 am

    Monkey boy! This is what Macs and iTunes and AppleTV are for. ;-)

  17. 17 Boris
    December 2, 2008 at 12:48 pm

    Do you have Norton Internet Security or similar software? As for your next gig, I take it “Caprica” will be relatively light on CGI, or are you looking to do something different?

  18. December 3, 2008 at 5:28 pm

    Glad to see you up and around at LosCon over the weekend. It was a big surprise to see you on the panel when I got there, especially now after seeing what you’ve been going through for the last week. I’ll bug Shawn about Gallifrey for you…

  19. 19 Kraig
    December 9, 2008 at 10:54 am

    Whoa, you still blog? I thought you retired or something.

  20. 20 SR
    December 16, 2008 at 3:17 am

    Wow, I didn’t realize you had been feeling that bad! Next time – and I hope there isn’t a next time – just call and I’ll go find you a nice, safe copy of whatever film that won’t result in the destruction of your computer.

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November 2008

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