Last Updated on 25/01/2007!
I get heaps of email. Which is great. But lately a lot of it
has been the same questions over and over and over again. So I
figured I'd put up this section to help you get your answer really
quickly and save me from getting a nasty case of RSI.
I try to reply to all email as soon as possible. If you don't get a reply within
a week it means I've missed it. A lot of you guys seems to have a virus and
I get send it non-freakin'-stop so I end up deleting anything that looks shifty.
If you don't get an email back tho it could also mean you've sent me something
stupid. Here's a quick guide to emailing me to ensure you get a reply:
1. Think before you hit send. If you send me a one line email that simply says
do this, do that, turn your head, cough. Then I probably wont reply, or you
wont get a positive reply anyway.
2. Send from a valid email address. Sounds stupid I know, but a lot of the
time when I reply I get it bouncing back saying the email address doesn't exist
for whatever reason. And that gets on my goat.
3. Rememeber, I do my best to make the best screen savers for
us all to enjoy! A lot are even free! And they all take so long
to make! And all I ever get is complaints! I try my best, dammit!
You ungrateful ba-- Well lets just say if you're going to complain
try and make it constructive. Stupid negative emails really get
on my goat.
4. Don't get on my goat. In fact, don't even look at my goat.
Alritey, before I get to the frequently asked questions, here's the most frequent
answers I send out:
Are you serious?
Glad you like it!
Please don't touch that.
Yes, you can borrow it but I want it back by lunchtime.
Try doing a web search, I'm sure you'll find it.
Pass the mustard.
3 tickle me Elmo's and some sort of nostril grooming kit.
That's not very friendly, and I doubt it'd fit anyway.
Now, if you can guess the questions that go with those answers you win a shiny
new donkey*. Send your entries to IWantAShinyNewDonkey@UselessCreations.com
Lets get on with it:
Q. What do you use to make your screensavers?
A. I write them all in C++ and I use OpenGL
to output the nifty 3D graphics. I use the Microsoft Visual C++ compiler. I
don't use any kind of screensaver creation program and I don't know of any that
let you do anything more than a slideshow, but I'm sure there's plenty around.
Try doing a websearch.
Q. What is C++? Can you send it to me?
A. No. C++ is a programming language. I'm not very good at explaining it so
I'd suggest you do a web search. There's heaps of info on the web.
Q. I have a Mac. Is there a Mac version of your stuff?
A. Finally, after all these years I can say YES! I shelled out
big bucks (these Mac things aint cheap, people!) for a Mac and
have been starting to make Mac versions of all my new stuff, aswell
as slowly converting the old stuff aswell. In fact, at time of
writing my Mac creations are far more popular than my Windows
stuff, so I'll do my best to keep making Mac stuff for as long
as you Mac folks like it!
Q. Speaking of the Mac versions, I just registered one
and I'm having problems getting it to work! Is this a scam? Are
you some kind of worm ridden scumbag?
A. Ok, so not many people email saying "is this a scam?"
just because they didn't read the instructions, but some do, and
it always makes me laugh. Does anyone who is actually running
a scam bother to reply and say "Yes, it is"? Anyway,
the most common problem with installing things on the Mac is that
it wont let you overwrite the trial version. There's links on
all the pages explaining this, but many people are so eager they
lose the ability to read (that wont have insulted any of them
because they wont be able to read this either). Click
here to visit the Mac help page.
Q. When I register, how long does it take for me to get the full version? Will I get an email straight away or what?
A. If you make an instrant payment with PayPal you will be able to download your file straight away from the THANK YOU screen, which you should be taken to straight after you're finished on PayPal. The system also automatically sends you the instructions via email once your payment goes thru. It even sends it to you again from a separate server to try and make sure you get it! But there's things you need to remember. The instructions are sent to the email address you provide, it's usually your primary PayPal email address, so make sure you check that email account! It's not going to magically appear at an email address you haven't given us! Also, if you're using Hotmail or have a spam filter, its possible that they are filtering out these important emails you actually need. So be sure to check your Junk folder! Hotmail is notorious for it, so always check your Junk folder regularly. If you paid with an eCheque thru PayPal, it will take approx. 4 business days to clear. There's nothing I can do to speed it up, and you can check your progress on PayPal's page. Once it clears, the instructions will be emailed to you automatically as soon as they notify the server that it has cleared. If you pay thru eSellerate, you can download the files straight away from the invoice that comes up, or from the link at the top of your receipt under the title DOWNLOADS. So there you go, you should be able to get your file within minutes of paying! Easy! If you've waited and waited and no email has turned up, please let me know by clicking here and filling in the form. I'll get back to you ASAP!
Q. I registered one of your screen savers, and now you have released an update. I want it! Give it to me! NOW!
A. How nice of you to completely forget to say anything resembling
"please" in your demanding email. You friendly thing,
you. First things first, stay calm! You paid a tiny amount of
whatever you registered (yes, tiny, don't deny it! Look around
people, they charge a lot more elsewhere for total crap!), and
now you want a free upgrade?? Are you kidding?? Well, you can
have it! At this stage I haven't become mean and bitter enough
to charge for upgrades, altho I'm sure I'll be nasty enough before
too long so enjoy it while you can! All you need to do is go back
to the link you received when you registered. So as long as you keep your download link safe, you'll have no problems keeping up to date with the latest version! That's why it said
to keep that link safe. Remember? Of course you remember! You
wouldn't pay for something and then delete the important email
with the instructions, you just wouldn't! That would mean you
would risk having to pay again in the future, and you don't want
to do that! So anyway, click here for all the info on upgrading or re-downloading.
Q. I lost my download link when my pet llama ate my computer and I need to download again. What do I do?
What?? You didn't keep it safe?? But the email you received said quite clearly that you needed to keep it safe! Why didn't you?? Well then, you're stuffed
because I'm sick of re-sending them to every man and his neighbour's
pet chimp just because you didn't read the instructions. It's just so easy to keep it safe! Print it out, or write it down, or tattoo it on your cat! Easy! It doesn't change! Ok, well, if you're extra polite I may resend it to you, but we can only re-issue registrations that have been made in the last 6 months, and we can only do it once. After that, you'll have to re-register. The prices are just too low for me to spend all this time re-issuing over and over. Click here to fill out the lost registration form begging for your link to be re-issued!
Q. How do I download additional fish for the Desktop Aquarium?
A. This is actually explained all over the place, but I'm being asked a lot lately so I figured I'll add it to the FAQ. It's easy on both Windows and Mac, and it's explained on this page with has all the images of the fish as well. So click here!
Q. I have problems running something or it runs too slowly. What do
A. So many things can cause problems that its really hard for
me to say. Send me as much detail as possible but before you email
me at all make sure you have installed the latest drivers for
you video card. This fixes almost everything and is the first
thing I'm going to suggest. On the Mac it's a different story,
and the butler didn't do it. It really comes down to your hardware,
since there's not really any drivers for you to update. If your
Mac is an old iMac or something that doesn't have any 3D acceleration
at all, you're probably going to have probs.
Q. How can I get it to run faster?
A. First, update your video drivers. Secondly, again make sure you have the latest drivers!
It can make a HUGE difference. Then you could try a different resolution,
or even just try changing the colour depth. On my machine if I run at 32bit
colour depth everything runs slowly, but under 16bit its smooth as a baboons
big red butt.
Q. I use Windows XP. Why do these things run too slow and are all jerky?
A. Apparently Windows XP doesn't actually come with the proper drivers for any
video cards. So to get things to run properly you must update your video drivers.
Almost all video card manufacturers have new XP drivers available on their websites.
Q. Why do you do make these screensavers?
A. I started doing them because I wanted to know how this kind of thing was
done, and since I had a job a poorly trained monkey could do I really needed
a creative outlet. I've just kept going because I'm still learning. Everything
I do has something in it I've never done before. And I still need a creative
outlet. I'm a digital artist, darling.
Q. I can't believe you expect me to pay for a screensaver! Are you insane? I hate you!
A. Thankfully, I don't get this all that often. But I have had a couple of rabid Mac users telling me how wrong I am to charge for Mac software. I don't understand that as an argument, because not much good stuff is free these days. But I can address the why pay for a screensaver issue: Basically, I work long and hard to make these screensavers. It can take months to put them together, and while I enjoy it for the most part, it's just impossible to dedicate my life to making this stuff and then give it away for free. Would you work months building a house and then not charge rent? If so, give me a call! But no, you wouldn't. That said, this stuff is cheap, people. You have to admit that. It's stupidly cheap. You're paying less than you would for a cheap lunch, and yet these things last so much longer than that half chewed cheese sandwich your co-worker just stole! So try to stay calm and remember that no one is forcing you to pay anything. You don't have to use these screensavers at all if you don't want to. Not until I arrange to have the laws changed forcing you to do so, anyway. And on top of that, I have plenty of free stuff available too! It just keep getting better for you folks in the foul mouthed minority!
Q. What's with the bundling?? I hate bundled stuff!
A. So do I! That's why I've completely removed all the bundled crap from my stuff. It's all gone! Completely! All the Mac stuff was always clean, but there was some harmless stuff with the Windows freebies (only the freebies, none of the shareware) for a while. Sorry! Anyway, fear no longer. It's all completely gone! Yippee!
Q. How many gold fish can you fit up your nose without sneezing?
A. That depends on a lot of things. The size of the fish, the weather conditions,
how lubricated my nostrils are. But on my last attempt I managed 37, and I sneezed
on the 38th. It was like some crazy gold fish fountain. You should've been there.
Q. Can you make me a custom screensaver of...?
A. Firstly, I have to make this clear: I simply don't have time
to do freebies. You wouldn't build me a free house, and I'm not
going to build a free screen saver specifically for you. Sorry,
but it just takes too much time. I actually very rarely take on
custom projects simply because of the time involved to make one
of these things. If you would like a personalised version of the
3D Desktop Aquarium, that can be arranged. See
this link for info. If you want to make a suggestion for my
next project, that's fine but to date I don't think I've ever
used anyones suggestions. Don't let that put you off too much
tho, maybe yours will be the first. Before you send a suggestion
please think about what you're asking. These screensavers aint
all that easy to put together and take a long, long time. Anythings
possible, but I've received some suggestions that are just rediculous.
Go rent a video and watch that instead if you want huge amount
of detail. Also try to remember the whole world isn't the USA.
I don't live in the USA, so don't assume I know what you're talking
about when you ask for something inspired by something local to
Q. What's a Thylacine? What do they taste like?
A. Well, a Thylacine is also known as a Tasmanian Tiger. They've been extinct
for a long, long time now but there are flea infested, stuffed ones in museums
and in lucky peoples freezers. They basically look like a big stripey dog. Scientists
here in Australia are currently working on cloning them and bringing them back
to life. They'll probably end up eating us all and we'll discover why they were
wiped out in the first place. I'm guessing its because they're so damn tasty
when deep fried.
Q. It doesn't work!
A. This is when I start to get violent. I'm amazed at how many
people send me an email simply saying "it doesn't work".
I then have to rub my temples and go into a deep trance while
I rev up my psychic abilities and to try to work out what the
f*ck you're talking about. What doesn't work? You lawn mower?
You cousin Stephanie the out of work hair dresser? What?? How
the hell would I know? Are you a Mac user? A Windows user? What
version? What screen saver are you trying to use? What actually
happens? Do you get an error? What does it say? When does it happen?
Have you downloaded it? Have you registered? Are you insane? What
shoes are you wearing? Can I eat your Alsatian for breakfast??
Now, come on boys and girls. Before you send an email, stop and
think for more than one eighteenth of a microsecond!!! If you
send me an email like this, you simply will not get a helpful
response. If you're going to ask for help, give AS MUCH DETAIL
AS POSSIBLE! The more detail, the more chance I have of knowing
what the hell you're on about. I'm annoyed just thinking about
it, so I'd better go have a lie down.
Q. What's the capital of Norway?
A. Err..... pass.
Q. I'm looking for a job. Do you have any openings?
A. You're asking me?? There's no point sending me your CVs I'm not hiring. I'm
freakin' unemployed here people! My opennings are none of your business.
Q. Why is your site called Useless Creations? This stuff isn't useless!
A. Oh please, it doesn't do anything you need it to do. The names just the first
thing I thought of when I went to register a domain name. Before that this site
was just another subdirectory on someones webserver.
Q. Can you add <whatever> to the Voyager screen saver?
A. Short answer: No. Long answer: No way. Real answer: I don't think I will
ever update the Voyager screensaver again. I might do something else Star Trek
related but it probably wont be for a while. Why won't I update it I hear you
ask? Well unfortunately there's a lot of negative, demanding and somewhat abusive
Star Trek fans out there who have ruined it for everyone. I just got one too
many "the deflector dish doesn't look right" emails and decided it
just wasn't worth continuing. Fans of everything else I've done are thankful
and friendly. Too many Star Trek fans don't seem to be that way for some reason.
It might come from getting so much of what they want all the time with new series
every few years and all that. I really don't know. And why they'd wanna take
out their anger on me when all I tried to do was provide a kick-ass screensaver
is beyond my comprehension. That said tho, I do also get some great emails from
Star Trek fans, and to them I'm truly thankful. It's a shame that those negative
types have ruined it for everyone. You'll be happy to hear that I have released
the Star Trek 3D Starships Screensaver, which features a few different ships
from the Trek universe for you to enjoy. Fans seem to like this one a lot more,
so I may add more ships to it in the future. Just be patient. At the moment I'm
not taking requests for the next ship to add.
Q. Where did I leave my keys?
A. They're down the back of the couch. Next to that half chewed Mars bar.
Q. What are you doing next? When will it be ready?
A. I usually don't know the answer to this. Some times I have an idea and get
it made and released in a week, sometimes it takes months of work. Sometimes
I do something for weeks then think of something I'd rather do. Just hang in
it there keep an eye on the site.
Q. Whats with all the goats?
A. Why? Do you have something against our little horned friends?? Mmmmm goats.
Q. When will you update the Doctor Who screen saver? Will you add more
A. The original Doctor Who screen saver is still my favourite, and it was the
2nd thing I did. Unfortunately, I don't have the compiler I used to make it,
and I can't find the source code anyway. So it's impossible for me to update
it, and believe me I'm as pissed off as you are. Don't panic tho, I've recently
released a whole new 3D Doctor Who screensaver. And its damn nifty!
Q. Do you plan to do more playable screensavers?
A. I'd want to, but they take a lot longer than the others. Do you guys want
Q. Can I have your source code?
A. I'm not giving out any source code at the moment. A lot of it isn't worth
reading, its full of comments about goats and footy scores, and to be honest
I'm not entirely sure I'm doing anything properly. But maybe one day I'll sell
CDs of all the source and let you all go nuts. We'll see.
Q. You say you're a self taught programmer. Can you teach me?
A. I'd like to, but I'm not sure where to start and its impossible to teach
anything over email. I'd suggest you do some web searches for C++ tutorials
to get you started. Just be aware that it's not something you can learn in an
afternoon. It takes time, but if you stick with it I'm sure you'll do a lot
better than me. Or even better why don't you go to Uni and learn it properly?
Q. My cat loves your screensavers.
A. My screensavers love your cat.
Q. Is there a nude patch for your Lara Croft: Tomb Raider screen saver?
A. Speaking of cats and screen savers. Err.. ahem. Anyway, it's sad but true, I actually get asked this.
The answer is simple: No there isn't. Get some sort of life. Or simply use your imagination. Whatever is easier.
Q. Will you link to my website?
A. I don't actually have a links section. But if you have a groovy website maybe
I'll add it to the random links on the homepage.
Q. Do you like all the movies you see? You seem to.
A. No way! But there's so many movies released now that I usually end up only
seeing ones that I really want to see, and I usually end up liking them. There
are exceptions tho.
Q. Are you single? You see I have these 2 daughters and...
A. Ok, I'm surprised at how many mums email me wanting to marry off their daughters.
I am single, but I assure you your daughter will not appreciate being set up with
some wierdo from Australia with the dress sense of someone who is badly dressed.
I also can't dance unless my blood alcohol level is extremely high, or cook, or spell words
like "artichoke" or "cat" without looking them up. Your daughter deserves better!
Q. You can't spell. Color doesn't have a U in it! Don't you speak english?
A. I get this from Americans a lot, and I'm always surprised when they don't know they spell things differently.
I speak english as well as any other Australian does. But it seems you American types don't.
I'm pretty sure the Queen spells colour the same way I do: the proper way.
Why you guys have a "u" phobia I really don't know. Imagine a world without U's! How would you insult people?
You'd all walk around saying "Fck Yo!"
Q. Can you identify this fungus between my toes?
A. That's it! No more questions! It's all over!
* Winner of the shiny new donkey will not actually receive a donkey of any
kind unless entry is received before December 12th, 1742. Sorry.