My Frustrating Quest to 4K…

Hey Guys,

I haven’t written a blog in a while so I figured I would update you on my Nerd Cave rebuilding project I set out on just a few days ago. Everyone has wanted me to do an updated room tour and I haven’t done it because the cave hasn’t been in any kind of shape to shoot one and it’s time to change that.

I decided a few weeks ago I was going to re-build the Nerd Cave to better match my current needs and wants and to revitalize not only my YouTube channel but my love for technology. The truth is my current (3) 46″ 1080p screen setup isn’t as impressive as it used to be. When I first built my setup ~5 years ago it was one of the only large screen setups on the internet and the room tour video I made has over 2 million views and still is my most popular video I’ve ever made.

A lot of people were inspired by my setup and built similar and even better setups and now using TV’s as monitors is actually fairly common place among enthusiasts and non-tournament gamer’s (that need 120+hz).

I decided it was time to down size my screens to 40″ panels that were 4k to provide me with 4x the resolution per screen and free up some desk space. I went with Wendell’s recommendation from Tek Syndicate on the Microboard 40″ Korean panels he reviewed here.

I ordered up 3 of the panels from ‘dream-seller‘ on YouTube. For some reason it took a few weeks for the panels to arrive and I was going to re-build the entire Nerd Cave around these screens as the center piece.

For those of you that don’t know I have OCD among other things and I need a focal point to complete a task. In this case the screens provided that focal point and without them I was powerless to complete anything else since they were the center piece of my room and everything else was built around them.

The screens finally arrived and I was excited and finally found a day when I could start tearing down the cave and rebuilding it.

The new screens going into the Nerdcave today!

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I had just published a good video on Windows 10 privacy issues and the channel was chugging along good so I could afford a few days of down time… Or so I thought…

I unboxed the screens and noticed immediately that each one had different packaging.

All three monitors from Dream-Seller on eBay had different packaging. This was a bit of a red flag.

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I also noticed that two of the screens says ‘Ultra HD’ on the front and one did not. This started to raise a little red flag and I was starting to get worried about making the decision to buy Korean screens off eBay.

2 of the screens from 'dream-seller' said Ultra HD on the bezel and one did not. Very strange!

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I plugged in the first monitor and fudged my way through the menu system using the buttons on the back of the panel and figured out how to get it into English mode (Thanks Wendell for all the information in your review, it was very valuable!).

I configured the screen to 60hz over display port and 4:4:4 color space and the screen appeared to work so I was pretty happy. I then proceeded to open up Notepad to check for dead pixels and sure enough there was a cluster of dead pixels near to the top, center of the screen. I thought it was dirt at first but under closer inspection it was a group of 4-5 pixels that were dead all in a group.

Cluster of dead pixels on the 2nd defective Microboard 40" screen from Dream-Seller on eBay.

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I thought I could ignore the dead pixels but it turns out when they are in a cluster and not just a single dead pixel it stands out like a sore thumb. Also the remote control on this screen didn’t work to turn it on or off.

I decided to try out the the next screen (2nd one) and I was shocked when I found out the back light quadrant in the upper right corner was burnt out! It was clear as day when I first turned on the screen because you couldn’t hardly see anything in the upper right corner.

Demonstration of burnt out backlight in upper left corner of Microboard 40" from Dream-Seller on eBay.

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At this point I was actually pretty upset. I actually contacted ‘dream-seller‘ when I first made the purchase and asked if it would be possible for them to check the screens and expedite shipping before sending them to me and this is the response I received.

Dream Seller 2.PNG

I then responded back and gave them details on the YouTube video I was producing and the viewership the video would have once again asking them to please ensure the transaction goes smoothly since I have a limited window for this and this is the 2nd response I received which was just re-iterating they would ‘try their best’.

No dead pixels

 

 

I understand that they could not guarantee the screens but it’s pretty obvious they didn’t even try. And I would be willing to bet they just drop ship these screens and really had no intention on ‘trying’ anything and that is what frustrates me the most.

When I reported the problems back to them in detail and requested an RMA to return the screens they just responded back asking for a video to prove the damage and tried to get me to reference the ‘light bleeding policy’ and ‘dead pixel policy’.

But the part that pissed me off the most was where they said the remote isn’t actually included with the product and it was just sent as an additional gift. I took this as them claiming I shouldn’t be able to return the screen because the remote receive in the screen is broken because the remote isn’t normally provided with the screen? Keep in mind the auction specifically states the screen comes with a remote control.

Dream Seller policySo at this point I have the 2 defective units boxed up and waiting on RMA #’s so I can return to the screens.

If they try to tell me the defective screens are not defective and are considered ‘okay’ under their policies I’m going to launch a dispute with PayPal and eBay for merchandise being misrepresented. The sad thing is quite a few people reported ‘Dream-Seller’ on eBay was a good company when it came to replacing defective items however I’m finding that my experience is radically different. But I can tell you at this point even the 1 screen that didn’t appear to have defects still has horrible light bleed problems around the edge (Wendell from Tek Syndicate does talk about this in his review but it seems worse in person with my screens).

 

 

I may keep the 3rd screen since so far it seems like it works as expected with exception to the light bleeding problem (which I do understand). But the quality and experience I’ve had so far with this screen and the seller has once again soured me to doing business on eBay. In the end it should all work out but it’s far more hassle then it’s worth and I’m sure ‘dream-seller’ is going to charge me to return the screens which shipping to Korea will probably cost several hundred dollars $$$.

… Just breath …

Okay, so the biggest problem I have now is that I just ripped the entire Nerd Cave apart so I could rebuild with the new 40″ screens which are no longer an option. Even if I was to get the screens replaced the transit time from Korea to return the defective ones before they ship the new ones would add weeks to my project and the 66% failure rate isn’t giving me faith the new screens that arrived would be any better.

This is a lot of work!

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So now I need to pull a plan B out of my backside quickly. My main computer is the only thing I have setup for video editing and I currently don’t have a laptop so I’m a bit of a pickle.

The following morning I head over to Costco in search of TV’s to replace my old 46″ Samsung 1080P displays since the 40″ Korean displays didn’t work out. I quickly discover the 43″ Vizio which has an amazing picture.

They have them in stock!

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I do a little research on my cellphone and find that it will do 60hz over 4k so I throw 3 of them in my cart!

Here we go again!

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As I’m heading for the cash registers I discover the 50″ version of the same M series screen… Can you see where this is going?

So tempted to go with 50" screens… They would barely fit 😉

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So at this point the goal was to go down to 40″ screens because my 46″ screens took up so much desk space. This made sense to me but after seeing a 4k signal on a 50″ panel and realizing it was still tack sharp I let the “size matters” mantra get to me and low and behold…

How does this keep happening?!?!!

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So I get home with (3) 50″ M-series Vizio screens and unbox one and take it up stairs after assembling the base. I’m actually quite tired at this point from tearing the room down the previous day and deep cleaning so I just want to hook it up and have everything work.

I set the screen on the desk and realize just how massive it is and giggle a little bit wondering how on earth I thought it was a good idea to do 50″ screens when I already didn’t have much space to begin with. Oh well, I like huge stuff so here we go.

I plug in the HDMI cable to the TV’s HDMI port 1 and plug the other end into my Nvidia GTX 980 Ti. The TV immediately comes up in 4k mode and look absolutely amazing! I’ll be honest, I didn’t think Vizio screens were ‘High Quality’ but the picture is really good on these and the color pops.

Out with the 40"s in with the 50" screens.

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I go to move the mouse and notice that it’s moving around at a really low frame rate and I got a little concerned. I opened up the Nvidia Control Panel and it showed the screen was at 30hz refresh rate (which is terrible), 60hz apparently isn’t even an option. I did a little research and discovered that to do 60hz you need a 18Gbps HDMI 2.0 cable. Turns out all my #poorpeople cables were only supporting 1080p because i got them years ago.

So I get back in the truck and head to Video Only and pick up 3 new HDMI cables that clearly say on the packaging they are 18Gbps (This is important!).

Hope these solve some problems…

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I quickly rush home, I’m pretty frustrated because the Nerd Cave should be half put back together by now but I’m still trying to figure out how to achieve 4k over HDMI since the Display Port screens from Korea didn’t work out and most HDTV’s don’t have Display Port connections (including this Vizio).

So I get home, plug in the new cable and voila, 60hz is now an option. I promptly select it and after a few flickers the picture looks good and when I move the mouse it’s nice and smooth (60fps baby).

Damn 😦 the Visio M series won't do 4:4:4 color at 60hz. Back to Costco they go!

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But I immediately I notice that all the small text has a strange blue cast to it and is very fuzzy and is straining my eyes. I play around in the menus for a little while and can’t figure out what the hell is going on.

I finally open up Nvidia control panel and realize that the color space is 4:2:0. Now I did a lot of reading on this color space stuff back when I was researching the 40″ screens and it has to do with the compression used to transport the data from the graphics card to the screen. 4:4:4 is what you want since it’s not compressed and each pixel is represented by itself. 4:2:2 is better and 4:2:0 is basically CRAP!

So I do a little more digging and find out that M-Series does not support 4:4:4 at 60hz (only 30hz) over HDMI…

!!! DAMN IT !!!

I was sure that I found the perfect screen this time. People on Amazon were raving about it for a PC monitor at 4k@60fps. But I’m guessing those people that wrote the reviews don’t sit close enough to notice the difference between 4:2:0 and 4:4:4 color space #Facepalm.

Looks like it’s back to Costco to return these and resume the search. Lucky for me I only unboxed the one unit so it made returning the screens easier but they still had to go through all the paces of taking it out of the box and checking the serial #’s to make sure I wasn’t pulling a fast one on them. I love how Costco is about returns though, they have the best return policy in the business and never give you a hard time.

I’m completely exhausted and defeated at this point from unboxing and re-boxing stuff. I walk around Costco looking at other screens that might fit the bill but ultimately just give up and head home since it was getting late and I really didn’t want more stress of finding out I had to return yet another screen.

It turns out that 4k@60 4:4:4 across 3 screens is not as easy as it sounds to achieve when working with large screens with no display port. I even tried the Display Port to HDMI converters and they are only good for 4k@30hz which is worthless. Rumor has it a new converter is out next month that should solve all these problems and allow for DP to HDMI 2.0 and all our problems will be solved (fingers crossed).

Okay, so I get a little sleep and it’s a new day (yesterday 11/23). I head to Video Only where I got the HDMI cables and decide to look through their screen collection since they have a lot of them on display. I met up with Graham from Volair Media so he could help me make a decision on a screen.

I end up meeting another guy (customer) at Video Only looking for a screen to use as a computer monitor also and I explain to him all my findings. One of the employee’s at the store started helping with the research to figure out which screen would be best for my application and the dude actually knew what he was talking about. Between Graham and the guy at the store they were able to find the ‘input lag, color space, refresh rate, game mode, PC mode, etc’ of virtually every screen in the store.

After a ton of research Graham and I stepped out for lunch at Mod Pizza to discuss the options.

Having some pizza with @volairmedia! #Foodporn #FuturePoopNap

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So after lunch I decided on the Samsung JU7000 50″ because it has a 26ms delay (which is actually fantastic for a screen this size) and it had amazing color but most importantly had UHD color space (4:4:4) over HDMI which is something not a lot of screens had and it was actually quite fast compared to the other LG and Sony displays. The only thing I hated was the base on the screen is garbage and takes up way to much space, but that is something I can replace. The panel is what is most important to me primarily!

Of course the store doesn’t have 3 in stock so they need to send me 30 minutes away to another location to pick them up but after all this time and work I wasn’t about to let a little traffic stand between me and nearly 22 million pixels.

Here we go again… Again… 😛

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So I finally get home with the new screens and unbox just one of them like I did with the Vizio’s because I wanted to make damn sure this screen worked as expected before unboxing the other 2. I plug the screen into HDMI 1 and the HDMI output on the graphics card and open up Nvidia control panel and notice I’m getting 4k@60 at 4:2:2 color space. I immediately feel defeated since 4:4:4 is not even an option. But then I suddenly remember the guy at the store telling me that I needed to ENABLE UHD color space in the menu system and game mode to get 4:4:4 and low latency.

I open up the menu on the Samsung screen and go down to picture options and sure enough the option is to enable the UHD color space for the HDMI ports. I go ahead and enable the option for the port I have plugged in and the screen reboots and I hear Windows re-detect the display. The picture looks good, the mouse is moving smooth, the text doesn’t look all blury or have a blue cast to it. So I open up Nvidia control panel and see this…

4 by 4 by 4

I honestly could have cried, I was so happy that after all this work and back and forth I was able to get 4k@60hz with 4:4:4 color format. I then went into general settings on the screen and enabled game mode and dropped the sharpness processing to 0 and the screen looks pixel perfect, color pops amazingly and I can’t perceive any lag.

I open Star Wars Battlefront and play a quick match at 4k and it’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen. Playing a game at 4k sitting close to a 50″ screen gives a level of detail that makes 1080p just look pixelated as hell by comparison. I notice a little bit of input lag but not from the screen, just from having max graphics settings in Battlefront at 4k. I drop the resolution to 1440p and the input lag disappears 100% and it looks amazing. I immediately notice that the screen even when at 1440p or 1080p looks fantastic. I’ve used TV’s before where anything that is not native resolution doesn’t look sharp but on this TV they all look like native resolutions.

So now that I know the color is amazing, the speed is good, the latency is low the last question is can I fit 3 of them on my desk…

… The answer is yes, and there isn’t even a single inch to spare. I have no idea where I’m going to put things and I really couldn’t care less. This is the most amazing display I’ve ever sat in front of and that is exactly the effect I was going for. Because there is no Display Port to HDMI 2.0 converter available yet that can do 4:4:4 at 60hz in 4k I had to plug in a DVI->HDMI adapter to connect the 2nd screen and the 3rd screen is connected to the 2nd GPU’s HDMI port which isn’t optimal for SLI configurations. But hopefully next month the DP adapter will come out that will solve that problem and if not I just disable one display to use SLI when gaming.

Looks even more amazing in the dark! Just for reference that is a 10ft long desk that is 3ft deep (actually a dinner table). Just look how small the keyboard and mouse look.

Here is a night shot of all 3 50" screens. The color on the Samsung panels is amazing.

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I’m still getting used to having almost 22 million pixels of screen real-estate in front of me but I love it. It’s certainly not for everyone but for me this is utopia.

The biggest problem I have no is finding the mouse cursor 😛

I keep losing my mouse cursor. #1stworldproblems #techproblems 24,883,200 pixels of pure cursor labyrinth!

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TL; DR – Make sure any TV you use supports 4:4:4 at 60hz in 4k to use it as a computer display. Also make sure you have 18Gbps HDMI cables to carry the huge amount of data required (All of my old cables would not work and just caused confusion when options wouldn’t show up or screen was garbled). Also use passive DVI to HDMI converter to get another 4k display connected since the DP to HDMI converters won’t work past 30hz (currently, this hopefully will change in a month or so).

Thank you for reading my BLOG, if you enjoyed this please support what I’m doing via donation or shopping at Amazon using my affiliate link. You guys enable me to do amazing things like this and you support my family so I can continue to bring you great content… And buy toilet paper…

Not again… #poopnap #walkofshame #greasywobbles

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Support my cause and keep me going…

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Greg tried to kill me on Saturday. Don't worry I survived since it wasn't a diamond sword. #dull

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The lost YouTube video script from 2013…

Hey Guys,

I am in the process of cleaning up my computer (William) so I can clean install Windows 10 prior to an upgrade my computer is getting tomorrow at Puget Systems. I’ve been finding tons of old stuff in my old backup folders while trying to free up space to store ‘important things’ and I found an old script for a video I was going to shoot in 2013. This is the only script I ever wrote and I completely forgot about it. This video never actually happened but after reading the script I’m still tempted to make it, let me know what you think via tweet (@Barnacules) or in the comments on this blog.**

** I’m still tempted to polish this up and actually shoot it at some point 😛

Title: How to Build an Epic Gaming Laptop from Scratch!

Guidelines

  1. Make sure you’re wearing the same cloths in every scene (even if shot over a couple of days)
  2. Make sure hair is brushed back the same way

Script

Act 1: Present the build

Background Image> Title of video with pictures of laptops, tablets, and some random things like Atari 2600 and a rotissary pig in the background.

Music> Play infomercial jingle in background

Shot> Show Netbook, Thinkpad and MacBook Pro

Sales Person> Are you sick and tired of paying huge $$$ for such a puny pathetic so called laptop computers?

Shot> Change to Jerry shaking head ‘Yes’

Jerry> YES!

Shot> Back to Sales person showing tablets

Sales Person> Do you find that so called tablet PC’s are just rich people drink coasters?

Shot> Change to Jerry with a drink on his iPad & Nexus 7, Jerry shaking head ‘Yes’

Jerry> Well… “looks down at coaster/nexus 7″… Yeah!

Shot> Back to Sales person

Sales Person> Would you be interested if I said you could build your own epic gaming laptop on the cheap that is better then all that other shit combined!

Shot> Back to Jerry acting out the biggest YES emote ever!

Jerry> FUCK YEAH!!!!

Sales Person> Well then, let’s stop fucking around and get this shit built!

Act 2: Gathering Materials

Background> Gathering materials, picture of me rooting through garbage! with title being “Gathering Materials”

Music> Play some Tetris music in the background

Narrator> First we’re going to need a few things to make this happen.

Shot> Pan to garbage can at end of driveway…

Narrator> First we’re going to need an epic desktop computer for parts! You can often find these in the garbage cans of rich neighbors.

Shot> Hand pulling Dell desktop computer out of garbage can

Jerry> Wow, I never would have guessed! Thanks voice inside my head!

Narrator> You’re welcome, but You’re also going to need a few more things like a Keyboard, LCD monitor, speakers, UPS and a wireless access point… but not to worry those wasteful richers throw all this stuff out too! Just check the trash can again…

Shot> Jerry pulling the rest of the hardware out of the garbage can

Jerry> Oh wow, you’re right!

Narrator> Okay, now you better get the hell out of there before they call the cops!

Jerry> Looks worried, runs away holding everything in his arms.

ACT 3: Final Preperation

Shot> Pile of obtained hardware laid out on the floor with Jerry sitting in front of it

Narrator> Okay, you didn’t get arrested and that’s the most important step. But we’ll need a few more things laying around the house.

Jerry> Like what?

Narrator> I’m glad you asked, first find a roll of duct tape, we’re going to need a lot of it!

Shot> Jerry grabbing duct tape from some place in the garage

Narrator> Now we’re going to need a blow torch.

Shot> Jerrys Face (Surprised)

Jerry> What the fuck?

Narrator> Nah, I’m just kidding…

Narrator> But seriously, get a blow torch… Just in-case…

Shot> Jerry grabbing blow torch from garage.

Shot> Show everything including duct tape and blow torch laid out on the ground with Jerry sitting in front of it.

Narrator> You did good kid, now let’s proceed to construct the most epic, oober, elite, n00b banging, troll raping, laptop of a computer ever conceived by human kind!

ACT 4: Build it

Background> “Let’s build it!” with picture of me in the background holding a blow torch to a hard drive while making a crazy face!

Music> Start playing MacGyver music in background

Shot> Montage of assembly – Start with desktop computer, place UPS on top of it and duct tape the shit out of it, place display on top of UPS and duct tape the shit out of it, tape the keyboard on the front and tape the access point to the back of the computer and duct tape everything including the slack in the cables, end with firing up the blow torch and putting it on the prongs at the end of the power cable and waving it across the computer case (for no reason but to confuse people)

Narrator> Give directions on what to do each step of the way

Music> Heavy Metal Music

Shot> Pan the new epic laptop in to view fully assembled.

Narrator> You did good! Just look at that bitch, if that isn’t majestic as fuck I don’t know what is!

Shot> Jerry giving Thumbs up!

Narrator> Now that you’re laptop is complete plug it in and let it charge!

Shot> Plugging it into wall

Shot> Accelerated video of microwave with timer counting down cooking a hamburger

Shot> Accelerated video of Jerry eating hamburger

Shot> Cooking another hamburger

Shot> eating the 2nd hamburger

Shot> Sitting on toilet

ACT 5: Lets try it out

Shot> Show laptop on desk in front of 3 46″ screens on Man Cave computer

Narrator> That is a thing of beauty, look how it blends in seamlessly in your Man Cave

Shot> Jerry’s face looking disappointed

Shot> Back to Laptop

Narrator> Let’s fire it up and try it out!

Shot> Turning on UPS

Shot> Pushing power button

Shot> Show system booting

Narrator> If you smell smoke or see fire it probably means you fucked up somewhere, but no worries most home owners insurrance covers shit like this… I think…

Shot> Pan out to include Jerry sitting in chair and laptop booted

Jerry> “Open internet explorer and navigate to Facebook!” – Holy shit, it works!

ACT 6: Going mobile

Shot> Jerry holding computer in front of him looking at camera (waste up)

Narrator> Now that you have your epic gaming laptop built and tested let’s take this bitch out for a test drive!

Shot> Walking out front door with computer in hands “Act like you’re having trouble carrying it”

Narrator> Let’s try it lounging in the sun!

Shot> Sitting in lounge chair on lawn next to tree with laptop on my lap booted up and running something

Narrator> How awesome is that! You built that man, I bet you’re feeling awefully proud!

Shot> Jerry looking confused and disappointed (rolling eyes)

Narrator> C’mon don’t be like that…

Narrator> Okay, let’s try something else. Let’s try it in the car!

Shot> Shot of me loading it into passenger seat

Shot> Be sitting in drivers seat with camera point across me to the laptop

Narrator> Open Bing Maps and get directions to the nearest buffet!

Jerry> Awesome! “Type in Bing Maps and Seach for Buffet” and select one!

Jerry> This works awesome! Thanks mysterious voice.

Narrator> You’re welcome, thanks for beleiving a strange voice inside your head this is how great things start!

Shot> Fade to next scene

Narrator> You’re battery is probably getting a little low right now since this thing only has the battery life of an iPhone 5 so we need to deal with that.

Shot> Jerry’s face

Jerry> But how can we charge it without being on the power grid?

Shot> Pan to generator

Narrator> This awesome laptop you just built is powered by GASOLINE!

Shot> Jerry’s face

Jerry> NO FUCKING WAY!

Narrator> Way dude!

Shot> Pan shot to show laptop duct taped to top of generator sitting in the yard

Shot> Jerry walks over and fires up the generator

Shot> Tighten closer to laptop on top of generator

Shot> Jerry turning on UPS and firing up PC

Shot> Put chair in front of generator and PC and start playing a video game

Jerry> To hell with the Man Cave beast computer, this is the new coolest thing I own. Thank you creepy voice inside my head.

Narrator: You’re welcome! If you need any more great ideas just chug another bottle of NyQuil and spin in circles for about 15 to 20 minutes and you should be able to hear me again!

Shot> Jerry hugging the laptop on top of the generator

Shot> Fade out…

ACT 7: Overview

Shot> Show laptop sitting on floor with macbook, thinkpad, ipad, nexus 7, macbook air, etc all surrounding it on the floor.

Narrator> This epic gaming laptop can eat all this other shit for breakfast, brunch, lunch, snack, dinner, desert and before bedtime desert combined!

Shot> Transition to scale showing weight of computer

Narrator> It only weighs in at [insert pounds here] and you’re a fucking pussy if you can’t carry that around comfortably!

Shot> Show picture of Kilowatt power draw from the whole computer

Narrator> It doesn’t use shit for power either, hell it runs on fucking gasoline so you don’t even need to use any power at all. Now that’s greener then shit right there! You might even get a tax deduction! Never hurts to try right, the IRS is pretty nice about tax mistakes… right?

Shot> Fade to disclaimer sign graphic and a picture of me at the bottom holding computer over my head.

Voice> Disclaimer, the voice inside Jerry’s head might be smarter then the voice inside your head so proceed with caution. Jerry is a professional nerd and only was hurt several times during the making of this video. Kids, don’t try this at home… Unless you want too then who am I to tell you anything, it’s not like I’m your legal guardian or anything… But seriously, don’t blame me if the laptop falls on you and kills you from it’s epic impressive weight. Or if you get electrocuted. If you do manage to build one please share it in the comments below, who knows maybe the voices inside our heads can collaborate on a future project…

Shot> Picture of me holding computer over my head!

<The end>

What do you guys think? Would this have been a funny video for Barnacules Nerdgasm? Let me know…

Barnacules Nerdgasm Wallpaper 1080p

 

 

When it rains, it pours…

Hey Guys,

I haven’t written in my blog for a while or created a new video and I wanted to let you guys know what is going on in my life since today is the first day in a long time I’ve been able to breath a little. You probably have watched my video titled “I’m taking my life back, screw depression & anxiety” where I talk passionately about getting off my anti-depressants and giving “Zero Fucks” about things that don’t deserve them like online comments from people that just have hate in their hearts. Well, I’m happy to report that giving zero fucks has worked very well but unfortunately this month wasn’t done with me yet and decided to throw a lot more at me that deserved my “Fucks”. It really hit me hard in the depression and anxiety department however the one difference is the events that happened would cause anyone anxiety and depression so I don’t feel like this is a relapse in any way, shape or form.

In my video I talk about the untimely death of one of my best friends Jason Lawhead that caught me off guard and hit me really hard. It opened my eyes to how precious life is and how I really needed to change my outlook on life and start enjoying it more moving forward. Well right after I shot that video I found out that another friend of mine Daniel (aka. MrGlock420) had died in his sleep the previous night. He suffered a heart failure and nobody saw it coming since he was so young! I used to play video games with him and also appeared on a few live streams with the guy and he was always a straight shooter and fun guy to hang out with. I added a small tribute to the end of my video while I was editing so people would know who he was.

Well a few days later my best friend Greg contacted me and informed me that his mother passed away. She had been fighting brain cancer for over 5 years and finally succumbed to it. My heart sank because it brought back memories of when I lost my mom to cancer a few years ago. I attended her memorial/funeral service with Greg and cried my eyes out because I knew what Greg was going through. Greg was also there for me when my mom passed so there was a lot of emotions running hot that day.

So if you’re not keeping count that is 3 people I lost in 30 days and 2 memorials I attended in person and 1 online memorial live stream I attended for Daniel. I think this is the most people I’ve lost in 1 month in my entire life and it really was wearing on me emotionally.

Now let’s fast forward a few days and I discover our cat Hannah isn’t eating or drinking and is hiding under my son Xander’s bed all the time. We try to get her to eat and drink but she refuses so we take her to the vet since she had lost a ton of body weight and was obviously very dehydrated. They gave her antibiotics, vitamin shots and anti-nausea medication so we brought her home and she was eating again so we were so happy! We’ll that night Hannah stopped eating and drinking again and was back to hiding under Xanders bed so the medications effects were short lived. They also gave us some pills to give to her to help with the nausea but after administering them for a day or two they really had no effect.

I ended up force feeding her with a syringe down her throat and giving her water using the same method. She really didn’t like it but I was determined to keep her going! The Vet called after a few days and said they received the results and they were not good. She had fluid around her stomach and a collapsed lung and some masses they said were cancer spread throughout her system. They said that if we wanted too we could do an ultrasound and try to find and remove the cancer and fluid and do surgery, etc if we wanted to keep her around but they strongly urged us to consider putting her to sleep since she would be in a lot of pain and there is no guarantee she would ever recover since she was already 15 years old.

I really wanted to go ahead with the additional tests and surgeries, etc but after speaking with my wife we booth realized that it would just make her more miserable since she was a super active cat and the vet even urged us to not go down that route because they were almost positive it wouldn’t lead to a solution and could cost 10’s of thousands of dollars in the end.

This was very tough for me to swallow, I completely broke down into tears. Just to give you some background we picked up Hannah from PetCo (Pet store) 13 years ago right after we purchased our first home. We have never lived in this house without our kitty and Xander was raised along side her his entire life. We didn’t refer to her as the kitty cat, we referred to her as Xanders sister and our daughter. When Xander was born premature we thought we might have to find Hannah a new home since he was very fragile but Hannah proved responsible and protective of him and she would do anything to make him stop crying or alert us if there was a problem. She genuinely loved that kid more then you guys will ever know reading this and he loved her so much.

After talking about it and force feeding Hannah for another couple of nights we came to the realization that she was suffering horribly and we had to be responsible and put her to sleep. We made the appointment and did everything we could to keep Hannah comfortable during that time leading up to the appointment. When the day finally came (yesterday, 9/23) we took tons of pictures of her and let Xander holder her one last time. I explained to my son that she was going to live with another family forever where she could be cared for better. He broke down into tears and was very sad and he just kept saying “She’ll come back”. My eyes teared up and I explained that she wouldn’t once more and he began to accept it.

For those of you that don’t know my son has a type of autism called P.D.D.N.O.S which sometimes makes it hard for him to understand things and he is also a very emotional kid so we decided it was best not to tell him about death just yet and I’m dreading the day when I need to explain it to him.

Well Xander went to school and we took Hannah outside on the lawn and spent a few hours with her basking in the son and letting her chew on dandy lions. We both cried out eyes out and even our neighbor came over and cried his eyes out when he figured out what we had to do because he just lost his cat a few months prior and knew exactly how it feels. Some people that are not pet owners don’t understand that pets become more then pets. They become family, that you trust and become emotionally attached too. I talked to Hannah about all kinds of things even though I knew she couldn’t understand me it was always comforting.

Well the dreaded time came for his appointment so we wrapped her up in a blanket and took her down to the vet and they were very nice and polite and ensured us we were doing the right thing. They said she was dehydrated again and also I forgot to mention she couldn’t make it to her litter box anymore and was just peeing on the floor (tiny bits and it was orange). I kept trying to convince myself it was the right thing to do but I kept wanting to grab Hannah and run for the door and disappear into the woods never to be seen again! But realistically I knew I had to do it and I was being selfish trying to keep my cat alive when she was obviously in so much pain.

The time finally came and they came into the room and gave her a little shot of sedative and let me hold her. She slowly relaxed and laid her head down and went to sleep on my shoulder while my wife and I said how much we loved her. I’ve never cried so hard in my life and I felt like such a failure to both her and my family but my wife assured me we were doing the right thing. After about 5 minutes she fell asleep on my chest while I pet her and we laid her on the table so they could administer the final dose of medication to stop her heart. She was absolutely at peace and didn’t feel a thing and my wife and I kissed her head while took her final breaths. I’m crying so hard right now typing this I don’t even know if I will be able to finish writing it…

We asked them to please cremate her and return her ashes to us so we could bury them under her favorite tree and put some of her ashes in a memorial. We left the building and sat outside for about 20 minutes because neither one of us could drive because we were so upset. Putting a loved one to sleep is the hardest thing you can do in my opinion but it’s also the responsibility of a pet owner to put your pet out of their misery since they will literally suffer until the last breath if you don’t.

I had nightmares all last night about what I had done and felt like a monster. No matter how much the doctor told me I did the right thing or my wife told me I did the right thing I felt like I had failed Hannah. I started playing all the what-if scenarios in my head trying to find someone I could have done differently but kept coming back to the same conclusion that cancer is something none of us can control and the survival rate in animals is far lower than in humans. And even if we did continue with surgeries and ongoing medication her quality of life would have been garbage and we would only have been keeping her alive for us, not for her and that would be selfish!

When Xander got home from school yesterday the first thing he did was run through the front door, through the house to his room and dropped to the floor and looked under his bed and said ‘Where is Hannah’. He didn’t fully understand when we said she was going away forever so we had to talk to him again. After the second talk he finally understood she was gone and had a good long cry and after that we watched Mater Tall Tails (his favorite Disney shorts) and he seemed to be feeling better.

Well, today is the first day without our kitty and our hearts still hurt. But we have to keep reminding ourselves that we did the responsible and compassionate thing for Hannah to take her pain and suffering away. The support we’ve received online from you guys has been tremendous and very helpful during this dark time. A lot of people have suggested getting another kitty and it would be a good move since Xander being in the autism spectrum benefits hugely from interactions with an animal. But we’ve decided to give it a few months so we can heal a little bit before getting emotionally involved again. I’m sure Xander will understand.

Now that we’ve all had a good cry over this horrible experience let’s shift gears to something a little more positive. I will be in New York at World Maker Faire in Queens this weekend (Sep 26th/27th) attending with Ultimaker. If you live in the area or you’re at the fair swing by and say hi. I really wish this trip wasn’t so close to this tragic event but I think it will be good for me to get out of the house and socialize with a ton of people to keep my mind off it. I genuinely hope that November is a much better month so I can focus on the YouTube channel and get back to having fun. This just has been a super dark month and has really beat me up emotionally.

I really hope that October is a much nicer month with less people dying and more people living! It’s the month of both my birthday and my anniversary. So I’m looking forward to really living hard and having fun through the month of October to make up for all the darkness September brought.

I will end this with a small eulogy I wrote for Hannah…

“I am so happy that my family & I had the privilege and honor of spending the last 13 years of our life with our kitty & daughter Hannah Berg. She was a very affectionate girl that slept with us every single night and always would snuggle up a little closer when she knew you were not feeling well. We will miss her “Nascar” style sprints around the house during the wee hours of the night digging her claws deep into the carpet for traction and her constant meow’ing when she wanted wet food or just missed us from being gone for too long. I will miss her trying to steal the bacon off my breakfast plate while I’m looking right at her and the look on her face as she continued very slowly thinking I wouldn’t notice. She was an amazing companion and friend to our son Xander his entire life and really helped with his therapy and teaching him how to show emotions and helping to calm him down when he needed it. Hannah, you will be missed more than these words could ever express and we will never, ever forget you. I’m happy that you are finally at rest and no longer in pain my baby girl, we will never be quite the same without you.”

R.I.P Hannah Berg… (2002 – 2015)

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Here are a few more pictures of our beautiful girl…

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Live & love every moment of your life like it’s your last…

Time to get the old Jerry back, because the new Jerry sucks!

Hey Guys,

So, it’s pretty apparent that I haven’t been posting new videos for several weeks. Many of you have contacted me asking if I’m alright. I’ve been on a hell of a roller-coaster this last month and it’s been a downward spiral that has been building for a long time starting over a year ago when Microsoft laid me off after a 15 year career. I’ve been in a deep depression that I’ve tried to treat with medication (Lexipro, Welbutran & Cymbalta) but I find that where the medications help they often has side effects that are as bad or worse then the condition I’m trying to cure.

If you guys follow me on social media you know that recently I lost a dear friend of mine (http://www.gofundme.com/JasonRIP) and it came as a shock since he had just successfully recovered from stage 4 rectal cancer. That’s right, he was cancer free and on the mend when he was taken from us by a complication from an operation he had that caused his stomach to collapse. I went to his memorial this past weekend and it was absolutely beautiful and it really changed my line of thinking about life.

The way I see it now is that life is a precious thing that is given to us and can be taken away at any given moment. It could be a car crash, falling off a cliff or a medical issue but in the end each day we have is precious and wasting it in a depressive slump is nothing short of a waste. It took me over a year and one of my best friends dying to make me realize this. I mean ‘really’ realize it, not just know it to be true but to deep down understand it at my core.

Yesterday while sitting at my desk ranting on my personal Facebook on many topics ranging from extreme religious people causing trouble or political BS something happened. I had a little break down and just realized that I’ve become a hateful and vengeful person. Something that I had never been before in my life. Where I used to be a loving, funny, compassionate and off the deep end hyper active person (watch my videos from 1+ year ago) now I find that I’m very easily affected by negativity online and the exposure to the constant hate online has pulled me and started to make me almost ‘evil’.

Once I really thought about this and let it set in I realized that I’m not making videos because I’m not passionate or fun loving anymore. I’m not turning on the camera because it feels forced and like I have too instead of me just wanting to share some quarky crazy shit with you all that I really love and have a deep passion for. I realized that the reason I’m unhappy is because I’m allowing people that hate me to cut in the front of the line of the people that love me and that can only lead to me being miserable as they are, and HAS!

Between dealing with fraud, hacking, attacks, threats and people just telling me that I’m living my life wrong or I’m a fat piece of shit every day has actually made me start caring about what these ‘nobodies’ think and it’s become toxic and contributed to my deeper depression and larger bouts of anxiety. Instead of recognizing the problems and dealing with them directly I decided to go the medication route and it did work in some cases and drastically reduced my depression but also really took my personality down a tick in the process and also had many side effects like excessive sweating and constant exhaustion which in themselves are very depressing things.

Medication is important to people that need it to get through life, I recognize that and hugely respect it. But I’ve come to the realization after trying to so many meds that it’s just not for me. I need to focus on attacking the root cause of the problem instead of treating the symptoms so that I can get back to the fun loving person my wife married and my kid loves and all my fans appreciate and just ignore the haters and let them suffer on their own.

So today I’m vowing to stop responding or fueling negativity on the internet. That Nicole Arbour lady that has a heart full of hate and a mind full of misguided ambitions can do whatever she wants. I don’t care and this is the last time you’ll hear about her from me (well accept in my upcoming vlog for a sentence or two :P). I need to stop responding to the hate and start responding to my heart like I always used to.

I woke up this morning happy and recharged after having this realization yesterday. The truth is I didn’t build a half-million subscriber YouTube channel on hate. I did it on love, passion, drive and excitement which are things good people resonate with. If I let the evil take over my heart and just complain and apologize for who I am constantly I will eventually join that group of people I don’t even want watching my stuff to begin with and that isn’t fair to myself or the rest of you that have supported me and stood by my side because you liked who I was.

So in a nut shell starting today I’m going to stop worrying about my diet, I’m going to stop worrying about exercise, I’m going to stop worrying about what people think of me or what they think I’m doing right or doing wrong. I’m going to just do what Jerry does and attract the audience that resonates with that and hopefully start to drive away the audience that has fueled that toxicity. There is no escaping hate on the internet, be it from jealousy, racism, sexism, fat shaming or some other new found way to diminish peoples self-confidence to make low lives feel important it’s not going away any time soon. So starting yesterday I am no longer going to respond to negativity, I will simply block, ban, mute, delete and move on. I am no longer going to respond to negative YouTube comments and I will simply delete them if they become too toxic or take over the top comments in the video. I am going to return to doing what I want to do when I want to do it and enjoying every minute of life like I did before I let anyone get to me.

Now just to be completely clear I still want to lose weight, I’m at 281lb right now down from 308lb and that is a huge goal, but I’m not going to let that define me and my methods for getting there will change constantly and my depression to keep me happy and depression free. And if someone wants to tell me I’m doing it wrong or I’m going to die when I’m 60 because of it my response to them will be I will die happy at 60 knowing I enjoyed my life, had fun, entertained people and woke up happy and excited every day. I will take that over living to be 100 knowing I’m a hate filled asshole that judges everyone else and is more worried about how I influence other people then how I influence myself.

If you want to lose weight, lose weight, if you want to eat what you want, eat what you want! If you want to be an evil little shit that trolls people on the internet and tries to bring them to the dark side go head, it will have zero impact on me moving forward from this point on and you will be only robbing yourself of having a happy life yourself. The truth is with all the anti-depressants, sleeping pills, pain medication, etc I was doing 10x more harm to my body then I was having a few extra pounds on me and for some reason I completely ignored that fact since I really just wanted to lose weight and make people proud of me.

The most healthy and important thing in your life should be your own personal happiness. And don’t let other people influence what things make you happy because ultimately you will be living for someone else and not yourself and you will be robbing the people that accepted you for who and what you are from the person they came to love and support.

So starting right now folks the old Jerry is back. I’m going to create a vlog, unbox some subscription boxes and post endless funny shit to my social networks. I am going to ignore and block hate out and embrace love and fun. I’m going to spend more time with my family as the man they knew and not the man I have become. And if you think this immediately makes me a failure because I’m not doing what you think I should be doing then find that ‘unfollow’ or ‘unsubscribe’ button and please click it and never look back. If you’re more worried about judging me and changing the course of my life then enjoying the ride with me then you need to get the fuck out of the car! 😀

I love you all, please welcome the old Jerry Berg (aka. Barnacules) back to YouTube. The name calling, shaming and negativity ends here and I’m going to fuel my future by giving copious amounts of fucks to the people that matter and taking all of the fucks away from the people that don’t. So if you say something negative on Social Networking, YouTube or Email and you don’t get a response, don’t be surprised. It just means you were not worth of a fuck!

Also just as another quick update I’m in the process of getting off Cymbalta, it’s a great drug for treating depression and anxiety and if you feel you need to go that route ask your doctor about it. Seems to work the best for me out of the 3 I’ve tried but it does have the side effect of feeling tired (some people claim it goes away, it didn’t for me) and it does increase sweating so if that is already an issue for you avoid it. But if you think of suicide (like I did) and can’t shut the negativity out give it a try!

Feels good to be back! Love you all… Even the negative people that finally helped me really discover this realization!

1898063_1015625495128942_157118920337771079_n R.I.P Jason, you will be missed!

Please donate to Jason Lawhead’s family if you can. They need all the help they can get right now since they didn’t have much money or good insurance after a year of stuggling with Cancer before Jason lost his life. Every little bit helps! http://gofundme.com/jasonRIP

Life is precious, don’t take it for granted.

Hey Guys,

I haven’t written or made a video in a few weeks and I’m sure many of you are wondering what is going on with me. I figured I should write up a blog entry in an attempt to get some of my thoughts out and hopefully help me re-engage on this YouTube journey and life in general. It’s amazing how writing things down can really help you put things in perspective and ultimately deal with them. This blog has been a huge help to me when I can muster up the strength to write in it.

I want to start out and talk about my diet and exercise since that is on everyone’s mind on the social networks. The truth is I haven’t been to the gym in 2 weeks and my diet has all but fallen apart in that time frame. The good news is portion control has still kept me at my weight of 281lb so I haven’t gained back any of the weight I had lost but I really need too get back to it and continue on my journey, I haven’t given up I just needed a break. The reason the diet ultimately fell apart was due to stress, anxiety and depression taking over once again. I just had too many things going on between appearances at conventions like Vlogger Fair and PAX Prime and that feelings I’m not producing videos fast enough eating away at me.

If you read my previous blog you know I started a new medication called Cymbalta that had the added benefit of helping with my back pain in addition to my depression and anxiety. I want to report that the drug is actually working very well, I’ve been taking it for over 2 weeks now and the side effect of nausea finally subsided and I haven’t had many anxiety attacks since I’ve been on it and the ones I have had were really mild. I’m still dealing with a few other side effects like excessive sweating (not fun) but those should go away with time too. It’s a small price to pay to not feel trapped and like my heart is going to explode constantly. I think this might be the right medication for me finally after trying Welbrutran and Lexipro with no success.

The main reason I haven’t been producing videos is because I’ve been busy the last 3 weeks preparing for PAX Prime and working on the Storm Trooper suit to get it ready in time. We showed it off this last weekend and people were blown away! I will be making a video on it soon since the footage is in the camera ready for editing. Also attending 5 days worth of conventions in 2 weeks took a lot out of me and I ended up getting a respiratory infection that really beat me up for a while. It’s amazing just how much conventions drain you when you’re presenting, constantly talking to fans and trying to get video. But it’s worth it because those conventions remind me of just how awesome my fans are and how the things I do impact other peoples lives for the better!

I also got to see my great friend Jay (JayzTwoCents) who flew up from California to stay for a few days and attend VloggerFair with me and that was amazing, I always enjoy spending time with him since we’re so much alike and we always have tons to talk about. We ended up doing a ‘drunken #techtalk’ together here in the nerd cave that might just go down in history as the most random and disturbing #techtalk we have ever done (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ntS7ekPLSQc), enjoy!

The event however that effected me the the most recently was the passing of my close friend Jason Lawhead. He had been battling a severe form of cancer for the last year and was winning! A few weeks ago his doctors gave him the all clear and said he had no cancer left in his system and that the surgeries and treatment over the last year were a success. We had made plans to go target shooting and have a video game party after he got his strength back from the last round of treatment and we were all elated that he beat cancer! He was looking fantastic, his color returned to his face and he looked great and it was all behind him. I honestly thought that he was in the clear and we had nothing to worry about so I was letting him get his rest before going to visit him and I’m kicking myself for it because I never got a chance to say goodbye 😦

3 days ago I received a notification on Facebook from Jason’s wife that he had passed away. I had to read it several times because I thought for sure I was misreading it. My heart sank in my chest and I burst into tears, I didn’t even know what to think or do because this didn’t even register as a possibility at this time. All I could think about was how he had beat cancer and there is no way this could happen. Even today I’m still in shock and just cry at random thinking about it because it came so unexpectedly. Apparently in his sleep bile had backed up in his stomach due to complications with one of his surgeries and spilled into his lungs and he drown. His father Tim gave him CPR until the paramedics arrived but it just wasn’t enough and he was gone. It’s hard to believe that in a period of 5 minutes he went from being a cancer survivor on the mend to passing away due to a surgery complication. He spent his final moments in the arms of his wife looking into her eyes so at least he left the world surrounded by loved ones and for that I’m grateful.

Jason’s passing has reminded me of just how precious life is and how fragile it is. Any one of us at any time for any reason could pass away unexpectedly and for that reason it’s important for us to live every day like it’s our last. Unfortunately depression tries to rob people like me of that opportunity but that is exactly why I’m fighting to find the right medication and activities to break that cycle. I want to live every day like it’s my last and start each and every day with saying ‘I love you’ to the people I care about and embracing them and being thankful for the time I have with them.

My friend Jason was one of the most kind hearted and east going people I’ve ever known in my life. He was the type of guy that anyone could get along with and you could trust with anything. I first met Jason almost 20 years ago at Mothersboard Computers in Gorst, WA when I took a job there when his father hired me and gave me a shot. I considered him like a brother and his family was my extended family. I will never forget Jason since he left a permanent positive mark on my life and many others.

I have started a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for his wife Jenn (http://gofundme.com/jasonRIP) to help with medical and burial expenses. Jason didn’t have a lot of money or even good insurance so anything we can raise will help tremendously. Jason had been unemployed since Mothersboard Computers had to close it’s doors after he was diagnosed with cancer due to a break-in where they lost everything! I can’t even imagine going through what Jenn is going through right now. I just hope to raise enough money to help take some of the burden off her so she can grieve for her husband and best friend without having to worry about financial problems for a little bit.

I have video recorded from both VloggerFair and PAX Prime that I need to edit and get uploaded. I’m going to start working on it today but I’m still pretty emotionally fragile after this whole turn of events. I’m going to ease back into YouTube and try to steer things back on track since my new medication is working well and things are looking up but it might take a little time. I need to focus on my life, family and the things I care about that make life worth living instead of constantly living in a state of panic about getting things done online to grow the business. Some things are more important then career and it’s taken some horrible events to open my eyes to that.

I love each and every one of you that support me and what I do and I thank you for being patient and supportive when I need it. You guys out number the trolls 99 to 1 and I wouldn’t trade you for all the gold in the world!

R.I.P Jason, I love you like a brother and always will!

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If you have a few dollars to spare the donation link for Jason’s wife is @ http://gofundme.com/jasonRIP. If you can’t afford to donate please share the link on your social networks and let’s try to help take a little burden off Jenn during this horrible time she is going through.

I’m becoming a science project!

Hey Guys,

Today I went to my doctor for a follow up appointment after he put me on Welbutrin almost a month ago for my depression and anxiety. I explained to him the problems I had with all the medications and we both decided to have another go with another medication called Cymbalta which can treat back pain, anxiety and depression which are the 3 things that bother me the most in my life. The down side is the medication can cause nausea for the first week or so of use so I’m not looking forward to that but I’m still hopeful that we can find the right medication that will allow me to function with less anxiety and panic attacks and reduce my pain to a level where I’m happy.

A lot of people have recommended Cymbalta to me since I started writing this BLOG so I figure it’s worth a try. People tell me that it can sometimes take trying 5 – 10 different medications before you find the one that works best for you so I’m hopeful that at some point I’ll find something that will let me just get back to life as usual and help me get through my days happy and energetic. I’m really sick of not sleeping and constantly feeling anxious and depressed. I thought coming off all my meds and just being hardcore was the way to go but it turned out to be a very stupid move on my part since I haven’t slept well in days (more like weeks).

My diet has also suffered because of the lack of sleep and energy preventing me from going to the gym and the depression shutting me down on a lot of fronts. I want to get this problem solved and as much as I want to believe I can just focus, commit and fix everything without medical involvement I’ve since come to my senses and decided that I really do need to find a medication that works. I think it’s amazing that I have a doctor that speaks so openly and freely with me about anything and is willing to do whatever it takes to find the right the solution. He’s been my doctor for years and he’s very encouraging and will try anything including therapy, non medicine based therapies or medicine if necessary. After talking with him I think the next step is to not give up on medication and still try to find the right one. I know a lot of people have recommended therapy but I have a long history of therapy as a child and to be honest I’m done talking to therapists about my problems. It has never really helped and if anything even give me more anxiety, some people respond well to it but I’m not one of them.

One of the biggest things that has changed in my life over the last year after leaving Microsoft is that I have to focus on much more then just my job and my family. The directions I’m pulled in and the management of my time is critical to my success and direction can change multiple times a day. That additional stress and anxiety has lead me to losing sleep and constantly in state of panic or feeling defeated which isn’t good. Where I didn’t need help a year ago medically for my anxiety and depression I find that I absolutely need some kind of help now. A lot of people don’t realize that the person they see on YouTube that appears to be this super happy energetic person often is sad and depressed off camera. I find now after talking to lots of other large YouTubers this is very common in this line of work. The pressure to constantly deliver something your viewers want to see begins to consume you. It’s very difficult to find a balance that works for everyone.

I really want to get back to exercising every day and get my diet back to a better (not perfect) more stable one. I was doing so well with it for several weeks but ultimately failed because the depression bug crept back up and bit me hard again. Every time I feel like I have it defeated and behind me it finds a way to break my knees again with a baseball bat. I’m hoping that if I find the right medication that can get me into a more positive mind state and not let the negativity that surrounds my new career gets to me I will be able to dig myself out and live a more productive and happy life which in turn will give my wife and kiddo the husband and father they deserve and I may live a little longer too 😀

You guys are amazing, I wouldn’t continue to do this YouTube adventure if it wasn’t for you guys, the viewers! For all the negativity out there I find the positiveness overwhelmingly defeats it and that keeps me going. But for some reason the negativity still creeps in and builds up to toxic levels and makes me feel like a failure. That shouldn’t be the case since the evidence overwhelmingly shows that I am successful at what I do regardless of some people calling it ‘selling out’ or claiming I’m a ‘fat piece of shit’. I’m hoping with the right medication, good sleep and the ability to relax a little bit I will regain what I’ve lost transitioning YouTube from a hobby to a career and get back to business as usual.

Also on another note a lot of people have been recommending CBD (Cannabis extract) for treating pain and anxiety. Well since I live in Washington and it’s completely legal I gave it a try for a few days and I have to say all it did was give me extreme nausea and made me feel hung over and did very little for my back pain or mood. I know it works for a lot of people out there and I hoped that I would have been one of them but unfortunately it doesn’t agree with me. I tried different ratios of CBD/THC and things even got worse. So I’m abandoning that avenue of treatment but I’m not condemning it because if it works for you then nobody has the right to tell you it’s wrong. But since so many people suggest it I figured I would mention it so people know it simply doesn’t work for me and stop recommending it.

On a more positive note my friend Rob (@DarthTigger501) is coming over tonight to help me work on the #3dprinted Storm Trooper suit and get it ready for PAX Prime. So be sure and keep an eye on http://instagram.barnnerd.com for updates on that tonight! Having the suit ready for PAX Prime is going to be difficult but we’re going to make it happen. The guys at MyMiniFactory (Lloyd, Kirby and Robert) have been amazing in delivering a sliced model I can print and assemble to showcase the versatility of desktop 3D printing and I thank them for that. Also huge shout out to Cooler Master for providing me with exhibitor passes last minute to the event and inviting me to participate in some 3D printing demos they are going to be giving at the event. If it wasn’t for support from awesome companies and amazing viewers like you guys this job wouldn’t be a job at all and I would be back behind a desk typing thousands of lines of code into a compiler every day and attending meetings about TPS reports 😛

Also #VloggerFair is coming up in less than a week so if you’re in the Seattle area check it out and come visit me and @JayzTwoCents, we will be there! You can use discount code ‘poopnap’ at http://vloggerfair.com to get 15% off your tickets. I look forward to meeting a lot of you at the event. I never have more fun then actually going out to events and hanging out with my viewers! Also I will be at New York World Maker Faire next month so if you’re in the area swing by the Ultimaker booth and say hi!

Love you all, thank you for being on this journey with me!

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3D Printing Tips & Tricks

I just wanted to share my top 20 ‪#‎3dPrinting‬ tips that I plan to address in my upcoming video next week. I hope my top tips below help you achieve better 3D prints, these methods have served me well! Also please leave your own methods and experiences in the comments below, I want this thread to serve as a great starting point for anyone getting into 3D printing for the first time or someone that keeps having a problem they just can’t get past. Also in the interest of full disclosure all of the links to products mentioned below do link to my Amazon affiliate and help my channel if any purchase is made. Feel free to use someone else’s affiliate or just look up the product somewhere else if you’re not comfortable helping me out.

1) Always level your bed so that material is not only laying down and sticking but appears to be flat on the first layer and merged flawlessly into surrounding lines. Make adjustments manually to the z-axis once the print starts on the first layer just to make sure it’s perfect every time! Also try to select a 3D printer that has a tool-less method of changing the bed leveling so you can quickly make adjustments while printing is underway.

2) Always put some kind of adhesive like packing tape, hair spray or glue stick on your heated bed before printing to ensure nothing lifts. Use a slightly higher bed temp then usual so the thermal shock while cooling down makes the part easier to remove. I usually do 70C for PLA and XT. I recommend Aqua Net Extra Hold hairspray. Also don’t go too crazy with it, just a thin coating on the surface, don’t try to paint it like a car! [http://amzn.to/1TLIicL]

3) Always clean your nozzle with a wire brush between prints to keep any boogers from creeping down as it heats up. I also find the nozzle is less likely to pick up support material and transfer it to other parts of the print if the nozzle stays clean and doesn’t have material residue on it which might touch and pick up other material along the way like a magnet.

4) Increase your material flow slightly to get better layer bonding for stronger parts. I usually use 107% of normal for most materials I use (PLA/XT). It can change depending on the material tolerance but it’s work experimenting with until you get something that looks extra solid!

5) Try to print with material as hot as possible but not dripping from the nozzle on it’s own, I find that when I print at lower temps the material supports it often compromises the strength between the layers since they don’t bond well. Try to find a good balance between the highest temp the material is rated for without burning or dripping and use a lot of fan (unless printing ABS) to solidify the material quickly. Also remember that each 3D printer (even from same MFG) often will have variations in actual nozzle temp and set nozzle temp so use trial and error to calibrate each printer properly and know the ‘true’ temperature.

6) Always track how much material your using either by weight with a scale or by length (1kg roll of most filaments is about 90 meters long). This way when you start a print you always know if you have enough left on the roll to complete it. I use a spreadsheet for tracking mine and when I re-tire the roll I mark the remaining material on it so if I have a small print later on I can swap back to one of the throw always instead of burning through a more full roll

7) If you get a nozzle clog and material isn’t coming out right heat the hot end to melting point then cool it down, wait for it to get to about 150 – 170c depending on material and give the filament a TUG. This will pull the clog out with the filament and you can just snip the end off and re-insert and the clog should be gone. If it’s not gone then take a wire brush like you would use to clean the grill on a BBQ and bend one bristle sideways and run it up through the nozzle to dislodge the clog. I find a combination of these two methods allow me to clear any clog without having to tear a bunch of stuff apart. [http://amzn.to/1fk5z7X]

8) Always use a UPS (uninterruptable power supply)! I have all my 3D printers connected and it prevents you from losing a print if the power flickers or goes out. Most larger UPS’s can run the printer for over an hour giving you plenty of time to hook up a generator or hopefully get the power back on. [http://amzn.to/1gPCOB8]

9) Get a putty knife to use as a spatula to pry prints off your print bed when they don’t come unstuck after cool down. Also use a knife sharpener or grinding wheel to put a blade edge on it to make it that much easier to work under the project with minimal force. [http://amzn.to/1NmZ9Tl]

10) Invest in a cheap set of wax carving tools. They work amazing for removing support material in tight places and finishing up the details on your model [http://amzn.to/1TNw7RL]

11) If you’re making a part just to display on a shelf you can use a 0.8mm wall thickness but for anything structural (Cosplay, Tools, Moving Parts) I recommend doubling the shell to 1.6mm and using a healthy amount of infill. It costs more material but you end up with a much more ridged part.

12) Avoid 100% infill unless you’re printing very small items. It uses a ton of material that is usually unnecessary and also causes the highest probability of warping. I only use 100% infill for structural load baring parts like pins, screws, bolts, etc. Anything that isn’t pulling duty of holding multiple things together I just print at 1.6mm wall with 10% infill and it gets the job done.

13) Invest in a cheap deburring tool. These are generally used for cleaning off burrs that occur when milling metal. They however work just as good for cleaning out holes in 3D models to give them a very crisp edge. I use mine all the time when I’m printing parts that are meant to be assembled together. Much easier to get a good result then just using a box knife or razor blade since it’s self guiding. [http://amzn.to/1fk6aGL]

14) Wrap a small piece of foam around the filament where it enters into the printer and put some tape or rubber band on it. This will help brush away any dust or debris that might be sitting on the filament that could clog the nozzle. Since I’ve started doing this I haven’t had a single nozzle clog!

15) Always use high quality filament like Ultimaker, ColorFabb, Proto, etc. Also keep it dry by placing the spools when not in use in 1 gallon ziplock bags with dried rice or silicon desiccant. Low quality filament or filament that absorbed water sitting in the humidity will lead to prints that are very rough and will make you think your 3D printer is broken.

16) Try to loop your filament around a 2nd point before entering your 3D printer so there is more drag placed on the filament line. I found this reduces (but does not eliminate) filament snags that occur when a lot of retraction is going on and the filament becomes slack on the roll. Experiment around to find the best way to do it, you don’t want to create too much drag on the filament though otherwise the feeder might start skipping and you will also end up with a bad print!

17) If something is too big to print on your build platform then cut it up into more manageable sizes using NetFabb. They have a free version of their software and lots of tutorial on YouTube showing you how to cut big models into smaller segment .stl’s that can be printed and then glued or welded back together!

18) Invest in a cheap piece of crap 3D printer pen. You can use it to fill in defects and close up seams on larger prints. I find it works much better then friction welding with a Dremel or using glue that doesn’t match and leaves a seam. Just weld the seam with the pen, grind it down with a file and then finish it up with sand paper and it looks amazing.

19) Search for your ‪#‎3dprinter‬ on sites like Thingiverse.com and try to find all the upgrades people have created. You will find a lot of these upgrades often improve the abilities of your printer including better resolution, better material management and in some cases reduced noise or faster printing speeds.

20) Don’t get frustrated. 3D printing is more art then science at this stage and you can’t expect to get flawless prints right out of the box. Approach each print with the mind state of how a 3D printer works and find the best orientation to print it in that requires the least support material and gives the smoothest results. I’ve seen people cut models into 20 parts that could have been printed as a single piece just to ensure each part was printed at optimal orientation so that when everything was assembled it looked like an injection molded part!

I hope you guys enjoy these tips, there are a lot more tips that are more advanced and if you guys like this post I’ll start to share them along with the video series I do going into more depth on each one of them.

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