Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Un Message special

Bon aujourd'hui juste un réchauffé d’épisode - mais aussi un petit message pour vous chers lecteurs, et chères lectrices - Merci de suivre mon blog.

Un joyeux Noel et mes meilleurs voeux pour la nouvelle année!

Pleins de questions n'est ce pas ?

Est ce que Peter va revenir, est ce que Bob va pas s’écrouler par terre, est ce que Jim est pas entrain de mater les seins de Barbara par hasard ?

Vous le serez dans les prochains épisodes de "Call Center Grinder"

En Francais dans le texte

- Martin : T'es la vedette aujourd'hui Peter!
- Peter : Oh merci Chef, mais pourquoi tant de gentillesse ?
- Martin : Barbara est en formation, Jim et Bob sont malade et Tricia n'arrivera que dans l’après midi donc aujourd'hui t'es ma vedette ... Et grouille toi de te connecter y a déjà 6 appels en attente.

Après avoir pourtant décider que le "Call Center Grinder" ne serait qu'en Anglais voici un retour sur l'episode 001 de la saison 01 - parce que des lecteurs Francophones me disaient récemment que ça serait bien si les épisodes étaient en Français. Et d'ailleurs rien n’empêche d'avoir les 2 versions ?!

Au passage il est a signaler que la traduction est assez libre.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Grinder : Episode 027

Et donc revoilà Peter toujours décidé a joindre les "Helpdesk Angels" il doit procéder a sa première épreuve qui consiste a participer a un concours d'imitateur du grand Elvis Presley.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Grinder : Episode 026

Après la phase d'embauche suit généralement la période de Training, qui dure entre 3 semaines et un mois, malheureusement les personnes en charge du training sont souvent des gens qui ne prennent plus le téléphone, mais parfois en début de session un ancien donne quelques conseils aux nouveaux arrivants.

Ici c'est donc Bob qui se charge de donner les rudiments du travail quotidien, et explique l'utilité du bouton "mute", et des boutons auxiliaires (recherche, break, self-paced training, etc ...) qui permettront aux chefs d’équipes de mesurer l'efficacité de leur agents.

Évidement Bob ne peut pas passer sous silence le mécanisme d'escalation  (ce terme n'existe pas dans le dictionnaire apparemment) qui consiste pour un agent de premier rang de transférer son appel a un spécialiste (un agent plus expérimenté (qui est la depuis 2 mois de plus que lui)) - cela occasionne bien sur un surcroît de travail pour les Tier2 (qui fait d'ailleurs que a force un certain ressentiment s’établit entre les Tier1 et Tier2).

Mais cela donnera lieu a un nouvel épisode ...

Friday, December 17, 2010

Grinder : Episode 025

5 days, 5 episodes what an accomplishment ... clap, clap, clap
Oh Wait ... wait ...

En fait je pense que je vais parler Français un peu dans ce blog, je pense que la traduction en Anglais peut facilement être activer via le petit gadget "Google Traduction".

Donc cette petite BD d'aujourd'hui parle des entretiens d'embauche, on imagine assez souvent que le candidat est mort de trouille - mais on est souvent surpris d'apprendre que les "interviewers" sont souvent aussi assez nerveux pour les entretiens ; c'est ce que j'ai voulu montrer dans ce petit sketch tout innocent.

La dernière tirade peut se traduire de la sorte : "Vous n’êtes pas obligé d’être fou pour travailler ici, mais ça pourra vous aider"

Merci de visiter mon blog, et de lire mes petits gags 

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Grinder : Episode 024!

I had fun doing this page, but it was challenging ... so challenging in fact that Gimp crashed, I mean it quits completely during a selection - that was pretty surprising and so fast!

The story behind this little comic strip is that Peter (who left at the end of the Season 01) is now in Vegas, trying to join the "Help-Desk Angels" - a group of outlaws who were working in Call Centers all over the World and went Rogue afterward, because they were completely burned-out.

Actually there are many groups of Rogue "Call Center Agents" :
  • the "Headset Angels"
  • the "Help-Desk Angels"
  • the "Phone Wacko"
  • the "Mute Forever"
  • the "Press Hell Support"
Basically all "burned-out agent" join soon or later one of these group. Of course it's not easy to be part of one group, there are some "Rite of passage" and tests to see if a member is worthy.
But it seems that Peter is adamant to do so... 

NB : You can see the "Help-Desk Angels" logo on the back of the T-Shirt, it represents a skull with a headset.

I'll probably will have to create a proper logo for the Help-Desk Angels, later ... 

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The magic effect of Italian Food

Martin is upset - Bob (on the phone) in the background is wondering why, and the coach is sleeping like a baby on his keyboard.  Life goes on as usual in Call Center Grinder.

A little preview for the next Episode ?
Okay,  I'll just say that it will not take place in the Call Center ...

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Here comes the second episode

As promised yesterday, I'll try to post a new episode each day of this week (at least)
This new Episode of Call Center Grinder shows Martin Bradford and Jim Bishop emptying the team's idea box and reading suggestions...

Monday, December 13, 2010

Back to the Grinder ... Season 2 on the Road

Here's the first Episode of the Season 02
Made with Gimp, I actually tried to do it with MyPaint, but wasn't comfortable enough.

I'll try to post an episode per day, during this week - so stay tuned!

Feedbacks and comments always welcome.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Office Comics Pack

I'm currently writing the Season 02 of "Call Center Grinder"
and since I've almost finished the text and dialogs ; I'm ready to move on with the drawing part, incidentally I was looking for some existing backgrounds - but I actually found a lot better : a complete "Characters and Office package" (64MB of vectorized illustrations especially designed for story-boarding) that looks pretty amazing ...

This is an example of what could be the first episode of the Season 1 if I had used  the provided clip-arts (originally in colors but I convert them in gray tones) :

Here's the link for the files (and kudos for the author : the quality of the clip-arts is amazing)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Xena Fan-art

After last week troubleshooting ... I needed to get back on track and what could be better than a little Fan art ?!

It's like Xena is saying "Go back to work!"

Friday, November 12, 2010

Test-Driving Linux Mint 10 "Julia" RC (part 3) fixing grub

Please read previous article Test-Driving Linux Mint 10 "Julia" RC (part 2) USB stick to get the context

Being stuck with a broken grub ; I had to read documentations to fix the situation
I started with where I found out that menu.lst no longer controls the menu. But grub.cfg is the new configuration filename.
After inspecting the local HD's grub.cfg - I couldn't find any link to the USB key's uuid ?!
I then inspected the USB key's grub.cfg and definitely found mention of the local HD "Helena"

First thing I tried (rebooting on each volume) was :
sudo update-grub 
But it was like "pissing in a violin", nothing changed.

Then I found

The solution looked a bit tortuous but I did what was instructed there : rebooted on the live CD (I made previously)
clicked on the internal HD boot volume waited to see it on the desktop then typed
mount | tail -1
sudo grub-install --root-directory=/media/xxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx /dev/sda
and finger crossed rebooted and it worked - there was no grub rescue error and the laptop was now rebooting Helena

The problem was now that the USB key was useless (can't boot from it anymore)
But I did the same rebooted on the Live CD
inserted the USB key waited then typed
mount | tail -1
sudo grub-install --root-directory=/media/xxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx /dev/sdb
and finger crossed rebooted
and it worked too - except it kept the link to mint-8 "Helena"

And that's the happy ending of this little experiment with mint-10 "Julia"
Now the next challenge for me is to manage to install Gimp 2.7 on the USB key
But before that I think I'll be back drawing for a while ... and do some work.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Test-Driving Linux Mint 10 "Julia" RC (part 2) USB stick

After installing a Live CD of mint-10 "Julia" on my usb stick 4GB using inetbootin  ; I decided to go for the full installation, but still on the usb stick (not on my internal HD that still contains mint-8 "Helena").

First thing I did was my backup using "mintbackup" (just in case something would go wrong, better safe than sorry).

And then burned the mint-10 "Julia" RC iso file on a cd - boot from the live cd (a lot slower and noisier than from the usb obviously) and launch the install.

After 15-20mn the installation was complete, I checked the result:
the USB stick had 2 partitions :
/dev/sdb1 3.8GB as ext4 (0x83) and still 1.1GB available !!!
/dev/sdb2 236MB as swap (0x05)

At this stage I was delighted and impressed so I rebooted pressed F9 and selected USB Hard drive in the bios menu. But then big disappointment there was only a black screen in text mode with a blinking cursor.

I shutdown removed the USB stick put it aside and started again but then something more serious happened -
a message
"grub rescue> error: no such device : fbbba5b7-8624-a5d3-4e561-ebdf2113311" 
appeared and it made no sense
because it was the uuid of the USB key ?!

Anyway I put the USB back, pressed alt+ctrl+del - and then ... I could see a grub menu offering to boot from 2.6.35 "Julia" or my old 2.6.22 "Helena"
For some reason the installed wrote something on the internal HD to include a call to the grub file of the USB key
and couldn't boot otherwise the USB key was in.

And the worst was that the USB key alone couldn't boot - that sound really strange.

The situation was I could still boot "Helena" or "Julia" but assuming the USB stick was plugged permanently on my laptop - and I couldn't used the USB on another computer because it wasn't bootable ?! 

I asked for advice on irc and got the answer that :
a- when performing an install it's better to remove internal HD of the equation (disabling it from the bios (which a couldn't do with my current Bios), or simply physically removing it (no way))
b- I could probably fix the grub and everything should work fine afterward

I thought to modify the file menu.lst - but discovered later that now the file used by grub is now grub.cfg and that we're not supposed to modify it manually.

to be continued ...

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Test-Driving Linux Mint 10 "Julia" RC (part 1) Live CD

I'm a Linux Mint user and very happy with this Linux Distribution, because I don't like to spend much time to troubleshoot and tweak the system - and Mint is perfect out of the box (looks good, easy to install and to customized).

I'm running "Helena" (codename for Linux Mint 8) and curious about the latest release I wanted to have a pick at the latest release ("Julia"codename for Linux Mint 10).

After hesitating for a while (because I know there's always something that can drag you into troubleshooting and testing for a couple of days) I decided to test-drive "Julia" (if I may say so!?)

Anyway I added the package unetbootin into "Helena" and downloaded "Julia" iso file.

The result was a Linux Mint 10 "LiveCD" installed on my USB stick - which was faster and more silent than an actual Live CD. But don't be fooled even if the media is a USB (and therefor able to save changes from one session to another) it reacts like a Live CD, obviously.

After the boot screen appeared and the "mint" desktop appeared with the brand new theme (brushed steel called "mint-x metal") I knew that I had to install it even if it was a Release Candidates (which means targeted at developers and beta-testers)

But then that's where the real challenges started ... to be continued

Call Center Grinder Character studies

Friday, October 22, 2010

Calendrier 2011

Fiche technique du produit

Premier moisjan 2011
Longueur du calendrier12 Mois
FormatCalendrier De Luxe

Support independent publishing: Buy this calendar on Lulu.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A blast from the past

I had a couple of "Runes" magazine (role playing game from the mid 80s) as a teenager I must confess I was very much into AD&D (advanced Dungeon and Dragon) and as a good DMG ; I had to read a lot of documentations (usually in English) ... Anyway, the covers of these Magazines were always absolutely crisp and stunning ... made by Jean-Luc SERRANO.

When I found his "beulogue" last week, (apart from the Blast from the past effect), I was really impressed how he stayed true to his style.

See 1984-1985 Runes magazine's cover below :

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

ComicSpace migrates ... whether you like it or not!

A couple of years ago, I was looking for a social network similar to myspace (facebook didn't exist, so I tied an onion to my belt. Which was the style at the time...) but dedicated to comics, because I wanted to promote a few comics projects I had and needed some feedback, I found suits me -- It was a nice place, finding comics was easy, browsing them was a charm but more importantly it felt like a community.

Last week I returned to my comicspace account and surprise a completely redesigned website ... found out later that it migrates to Wordpress ?!

Of course I have nothing against Wordpress (I'm using that blogging platform at

I don't know what motivated the migration, but to me it feels like "Digg v4" all over again, there was comment of people complaining, people deleting their accounts, ... people don't like changes, people don't like to be taken hostage, people don't like not being informed before a major change like that...

I guess the conclusion is "Take it or leave it!" after all it's a free service ... but nevertheless it's a bit sad.

ComicSpace | About it says : ComicSpace is a place for people who like comics.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Small village view and How to give critiques

Found this interesting link on "Giving critique" and thought it would be a good idea to add it for today's post ; critiques are good, they help artists to progress.

Source : Henrik_Lindberg: Giving Critique - a Check List for Critiquers (1 of 2): "There are two checklists: a positive list for the elements that contribute to a successful work; and a negative list that looks at flaws."

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

hustle 3d perspective study

In need of improving my 3d perspective drawing, I put up an exercise by putting some wooden toy parts randomly on a table and tried to draw them as fast as possible (no eraser)

Here's the result

The picture above wasn't used as reference, it was added to get an idea of the whole composition.

hustle : "If there is one key thing I could convey to anyone reading this is to hustle. You will never be prepared for the things you are capable of doing. You will achieve your greatest accomplishments not by building up a grand framework of skill and then deftly creating something glorious, but by starting small and persevering in making it better and better. It is never an easy road and you will gain a grand framework of skills, but you have to push your boundaries to grow."

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Utopia (2)

“The function of  the overwhelming majority of  your artwork is simply to teach you how to
make the small fraction of  your artwork that soars.”
-- "Art and Fear" by David Bayles and Ted Orland

NB : The texture applied comes from "Princess of Shadow"

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Utopia (1)

“Artists get better by sharpening their skills or by acquiring new ones ; they get better by
learning to work, and by learning  from their work.” 
-- "Art and Fear" by David Bayles and Ted Orland

NB : The texture applied comes from "Princess of Shadow "

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Empire Fall's serie (2)

What you need to know about the next piece is contained in the last piece. 
The place to learn about your materials is in the last use of  your materials
--Art and Fear  by David Bayles & Ted Orland 

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Native American (Indians) Wisdom (Philosophy)

An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life.

"A fight is going on inside me" he says to the boy.  "It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves.
One is evil - he is anger, envy sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority and ego.
The other is good - he is gratitude, joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy ,generosity, truth, compassion and faith.
This same fight is going on inside you - and inside every other person, too.

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather which wolf would win.

The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed."

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Abba tribute - Agnetha Fältskog

After Frank Zappa, a little Extra Illustration : "Agnetha Fältskog" -  from "Abba"
Her official website is here

Frank Zappa Tribute

Using Gimp 2.6 and the perspective tool, from the photo below
I could correct the picture and then extract Frank Zappa and make a separate illustration - the word on the guitar says "Happiness".

Picture credit : Kaja Saudek / poster "Frank Zappa & Mothers of Invention"

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Audrey Hepburn (Life Magazine)

A portrait of Audrey Hepburn (based on a photo from Life Magazine)
Same as previously, the effort was to minimize the number of colors

Made with Gimp 2.6 - the ink tool (again).

Friday, March 26, 2010

Xena warrior princess [fan art]

Made with Gimp 2.6 the ink tool, and posterize

Pretty much the same exercise as the previous Fan art portrait, except that this time  the effort was to reduce the number of colors to a minimum

Interesting fact about Lucy Lawless (actress playing Xena), she's the fifth of seven children, (she has five brothers and one sister).

Thursday, March 25, 2010

I like Elisabeth Shue

After Amber Valletta (grunge style),  here comes a fresh caricature of Elisabeth Shue (who played the Karate kid's girlfriend, and later Marty Mc Fly's girlfriend ... Basically, the actress that probably every guys had a crush on back in the 80s) 

Art made with Gimp 2.6, the ink tool, and lots of patience.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Amber Valletta [Gamers] fan art

This is an experimentation based on a photo of "Amber Valletta" (link)

It was made with Gimp 2.6 - the picture was remade with "grunge" brushes, I added a light effect
then applied a filter (multiply) and a rough paper texture in the background

Other Amber's photos can be found here

Friday, March 19, 2010

Upset robot

The giant robot above is upset because he didn't save his work (and probably didn't made any backup) and the computer crashed ... No wonder he wants to destroy everything now.

Conclusion : Save often and do your backup!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Snow scene

A winter scene of the well known Russian Wonder woman Octobriana, riding a polar bear in the snow.
We're working on the 2011 calendar soon enough this time!

The final work has been posted on dA - here (with link to the previous steps of the artwork)
NB : Don't worry that the post is under the name of Octobrianacz (visit his blog) it's a cooperation.