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techno rant
Dee Blue waves
I'm behind on my posting schedule for A New Day, but at least the next chapter (yep the one with the lemon in it) is mostly completed. But it's probably going to be another 2 weeks, what with tweaking and beta-ing and changing etc. However, I do have a nice little one-shot lemon to tide you over in the meantime.

BUT...I had the brilliant idea of drawing an illustration for it on my funpad, and ended up completely losing control halfway through the picture. It would not allow me any access to any colors except a thick red line, which when zoomed in on, turned out to be a pattern of red roses. Since I never chose the red roses, I can only assume it must be some kind of default. I couldn't get back to basic black ink freehand and I spent HOURS trying everything I could think of. I can't finish the picture until I can make this thing work again. Of course the help feature was no help at all. But it gets worse.

I tried to reinstall the damn thing, but it said my serial number was invalid! Grrrr! I phoned Corel and they sent me another serial number which worked in that a message popped up informing me that CPE3 had been successfully installed. However, now it will not open any of my files, nor will it allow me to do anything at all except reinstall endlessly because it detects 'unsupported resources' that will allegedly be restored if I reinstall. After reinstalling 4 times, I realize that is not going to happen. I'm ready to tear my hair out here. And I can't ask anyone from my RL to help (like my little computer whiz nephew or my co-worker for instance) because then they'll have to actually see the picture I'm in the middle of, which clearly features two men being intimate.

I have 'painted' myself into a corner, so to speak. I have been defeated ( and probably not for the last time) by technology.

Does anyone out there have any experience with computer drawing pads? It came with Corel Painter Essentials 3 and Adobe Photoshop Elements 4. Is there any hope for me? Or should I just pack the whole kit and kaboodle off to a computer service shop?

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Oh dear Brit, it sounds like you are in a terrible pickle. I hope that you are able to have it fixed soon. Good luck! *crosses fingers*

Thank you! I'll call Corel Tech support later when I have time to wait on hold for half an hour, if necessary. I hope they can help me. But even if they get the program fixed so that I can use it again, the fact remains that I'm still going to be blundering around like a bull in a china shop. I don't understand all the terminology. Sometimes an action has a name that seems to suggest something obvious, but when I click on it hopefully, it turns out to be a wholly different kind of action, one that I couldn't have anticipated. I think when I was clicking around exploring all the options, I must have been unknowingly activating and disabling things. I hope that a year from now I'll be so well versed in this stuff that I'll be able to look back and marvel at how far I've come. But I still have to get through the learning curve in the meantime. Thanks for your good wishes!

I've no experience with funpads, but it sounds like a wash to me - sorry!

Only thing I can think of is the undo button on Adobe, but I doubt it will be enabled as you've already re-installed.

Well, in the worst-case scenario, I'll just have to start all over again with another program. I've decided I need something designed for kids with simplified principles and language. Or maybe there's a Painter Essentials 3 book for dummies out there! Because I certainly qualify.

I'm using Corel Photopaint 12 and a Wacom tablet on a regular basis. The initial problem you describe above - line style being locked to a certain design (be it a picture spray -roses- or a certain line shading -I once had a cloud issue-) sounds familiar.
The problem actually isn't your drawing pad (tablet), which is basically just a different pointing device (think of it as a mouse alternative), but the software you used to draw the picture - Corel Essentials (I assume).
Corel graphics programs are highly configurable including default settings, line settings and style, and - most likely the source of your issue - the tools your drawing pad pen mimicks. Unfortunately, there's a hell of a lot that can go wrong with these settings (which is why there's a way to back up your workspace in most of the advanced graphics programs, such as Corel Photoshop or Painter).
Since I work with a different program (Corel Photopaint), I can't tell you specifically how to correct the settings, but a safe procedure is actually this:
1. uninstall the Corel Painter & Adobe Photo and reboot.
2. unplug the drawing pad from the computer and uninstall the driver software (if there is any; Wacom used a resident driver for a while that is loaded at systemstart even if there's no tablet attached to the comp; that changed by now - but only in their newer products).
3. Reboot
4. Check if Corel program is really deleted - proggies tend to leave the files containing the individual user settings behind - if there are any, delete them! (I can only tell you where they would be in Windows, but you're on a Mac IIRC) The problem of the wrongfully assigned drawing tool (one for all and an ugly one to boot) is likely stored in them, too.
5. follow the installation routine of your drawing pad and the software that came with it from scratch.
Considering the stress you had with unrecognized components, that's what I'd recommend anyway. That's an issue that can happen if a software got corrupted to a degree that parts of it aren't clearly recognized by the installation routine any more. Default reinstall usually reads what is installed already and reinstalls those, but if features aren't recognized they sometimes are ignored and thus the issue remains.

AFAIK, Corel painter documents don't store tool settings, so everything should be fine after a clean install (above), but if you want to be sure, you can email me the file. Photopaint does have import filters for painter files IIRC, so I can at least tell you if there's something wrong with the file itself.

Good luck with getting your drawing under control. :)

Wow! Thank you so much for taking the time to write all that technical advice. I'm itching to try it. I can't do it tonight though, because I'm behind on two projects that people are urgently waiting for, and I'm afraid that if I get all fired up over my funpad issues, it'll end up being 3:00 am before I go to bed again. That was unfortunately what happened on Monday night and I'm still feeling the effects. It's hard to stop and walk away, you know what I mean?

Your advice sounds very sensible. So far I've only tried reinstalling the Corel program. I didn't try to reinstall Adobe because I wasn't having a problem with that one. But maybe they all need to be reinstalled together. And it also never occurred to me to physically unplug the drawing pad from the computer and reinstall its driver, but I will certainly do that.

I don't hold out much hope over being able to find the files containing the individual user settings. I don't really understand how to use my current Mac at all. It's a thousand times more complicated than my old one, which truly was user friendly.

If I ever get my funpad and its assorted programs working again, I'll be much more cautious about clicking things. And I'm going to hunt down tutorials on the internet and follow them to the letter.

I have two more questions for you, though. First, I don't understand what you mean when you very kindly say I can email you the file. Which file would that be?

Secondly, and on an older issue, I found myself on eBay the other day, getting all lustful over laptops. But they were used. One of my friends strongly recommended that I stay away from used computers, and I admit to feeling a minor bias about that myself. But on the other hand, my home computer was bought new over two years ago, which makes it technically 'used' today, even though it was just by me and my husband. Do you think I should buy a new or used laptop?

I'm still considering options and saving money for this project. Hopefully laptops are getting lighter in the meantime! Weight is my number one consideration.

Thank you so much for your help with the funpad issue. I'll let you know how things turn out. You've given me hope!

I'm about to head out for work, so briefest answer only. :)

1. File. I meant your unfinished picture, which you don't want to show RL persons. I'm reading your stories, I'm doing risquée graphics myself (though not D&R), so I doubt it will shock me into coming over to gun for you. ;) It's just a suggestion, because I'm not 100% sure that Corel doesn't store used tool settings in its specific graphic files, esp. since you are using painter - which is a software I know only from version 1.0 years ago. I stayed with photopaint ever since.

2. Please note that I suggested a clean install of the whole funpad suite, mostly because a) searching the wrong setting is a nightmare when you don't own a documentation (and that means an additional fat book of at least 50$$ that weighs about 2 kg or more) and b) after the reinstallations (and the endless loop you got there) it's very likely that there are just garbled things left behind. I recommend throwing Adobe down as well, because you have to remove the pad and start anew - and it's just safer that way not to run into a new chaos. Adobe can't be responsible for your Corel issues, but you might have corrupted the adobe installation in the installation struggle and throwing it out together with the pad chaos is easiest then.

3. I'm sorry that I can't help you find the Corel user specific files on a Mac. I don't know it's interna, but it is important that you find those. Try to google for it with software name (and version), your OS, and "user settings stored" (or something like that).

4. used laptops.
A used desktop is - if the buyer is trustworthy - often ok, since desktop pcs usually are setup on their desk and left to work (kind of); if they didn't suffer an accidental footkick or a beer douche, they should be fine. Compare it to buying a used book.
However, laptops are meant to be hauled around and the risk that those have suffered damages over 2 years of use or so, is much higher. Especially the harddrives and the battery time may have suffered. Comparison: buy a used car from anonymous. Can be ok, mustn't in the least.
One exception: at least over here there are special shops, licensed by laptop manufacturers to sell returned or exchanged laptops, those get checked by the manufacturer before being sold "again" and are usually fine. It's not as cheap as ebay but your risks are much lower and you have an official contact in case of trouble.

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