The Graveyard

The Lair Of Gary James

Posts Tagged ‘computer’

Taking Chances Where I Can

Posted by BigWords on October 1, 2009

The problems with connectivity continue unabated, and I’m taking the opportunity while I can (and near a computer with net access) to post something here. I’m not sure if the problem is with the card, the stick or the software T-Mobile uses, but I have a cunning plan…

Turns out that it really, really, doesn’t like Vista. The solution I have come up with is to use XP, which means loading up the shiny laptop with the dreaded OS of Doom. Hell, I hate to do this but it seems the only way to get anywhere near normal web access. It’s a step backwards, and not one I’m entirely happy with but needs must…

This situation has made me think more of the grabbing-of-opportunities-when-they-arise. I don’t normally use other people’s computers for this blog (I’ve only done it once before) because using the internet of other people means I have to use their keyboards, and most people seem to have the most awful keyboards known to man.

I’ll try and get back to normal as soon as possible, but make no promises. There are only so many hours in the day, and I don’t really feel like spending too many hours with a problem easily remedied. Not gonna whine, not gonna whine, not gonna whine…

I noticed that the signal strength of the T-Mobile connection was 96% last night, yet it steadfastly refused to allow me to connect. Damnit, there’s money in my account and I want my internet…


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Building The Best Library

Posted by BigWords on September 18, 2009

There’s a big reshuffle going on here at the moment, with piles of books and stacks of boxes being shifted back and forth. In the midst of the chaos it became clear that there are serious gaps in my collection, so starting here I’m going to see what I need – with the assistance of anyone who wants to chime in with a recommendation. The first stack that came to hand was – not entirely surprisingly – computer books.

I have managed to get through quite a few of the …For Dummies books, and as useful as they are I guess I don’t react as well to the format as others. They feel like light reads despite their subject matter, and there are better books being published with computerly writings. For the record, the following are the ones I have held on to

Java For Dummies by Barry Burd (4th edition, 2006)
Windows Server 2008 For Dummies by Ed Tittel & Justin Koreic (2008)

No, I don’t have as much as a clue as to why those two in particular remain, the second especially so because I would rather poke my eyes out with a rusty spoon rather than use most Windows products, but remain they do. I must have read something in those books that I thought would make a good prompt, but for the life of me I can’t remember what made me refrain from handing them off to someone else.

The Ultimate HTML Reference by Ian Lloyd (SitePoint) covers code, so any other – similar – books aren’t necessary unless they offer something really different. What ‘something really different’ would be, I have no idea, but if there is something I should be reading then I’ll find out soon enough.

The bare bones ‘n’ facts are important, but context is king, right? History lessons:

A Brief History Of The Future by John Naughton
Being Digital by Nicholas Negroponte
Encyclopedia Of Cybercrime by Samuel C. McQuade, III
Free Culture by Lawrence Lessig
The Microsoft Way by Randall E. Stross

And that about covers the computing books. I know I’m missing some important texts, but that’s all there is at the moment. Fiction takes up a larger portion of my collection, so the non-fic grouping needs fleshed out with some good stuff. Any suggestions are welcome.

Note: I haven’t included the Photoshop books or gaming books, because they would really need sections of their own.

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Putting Pen To Paper

Posted by BigWords on June 23, 2009

Writing, and by writing I mean actually writing, is a dying art. Typing words onto a computer is one thing, but sitting down with a pen and paper seems to be an anachronism in the modern world. But why? It was how I wrote mostly everything up until a few years ago (and I scratched out a massive novel on paper), so I’m slightly disturbed to find that so many writers have ditched the tactile sensation of laying down the words by hand.

I like the smell of ink, and the weight of the finished manuscript in my hands, but… Here’s where I go all practical minded and decide to raise the tone of this blog a little – the time and expense of continually refreshing the stock of pens is a bitch. I go through the average pen in a week, sometimes sooner if it is a cheap pen. Typewriters (remember those?) were soon my big obsession, and I thumped away on the keys into the small hours of the night – not entirely to the pleasure of my neighbours. It was a step towards noise pollution fun, but had little else to recommend it.

A person could go insane with the clickety-clackity reverberating through the house at 3am.

Computers, on the other hand, have none of the drawbacks. I don’t have to crank the pages through manually, change the ribbon, go over the sentence I mangled with white-out or any of the hundred other minor inconveniences… But I miss pen and paper. The lure of the handwritten word calls to me like a siren on the rocks, tempting me with the promise of a finer understanding of my ideas. It doesn’t work like that, naturally, though there is something essentially writerly about actually writing.

Today was a revelation of sorts, as I managed to turn a fairly mundane sentence into a paragraph of weirdness through a half hour of rewriting, all on paper. I haven’t written longhand in a fairly long time, and it is surprising how hard it is to take pen in hand again when the computer is so easily in reach.

Must resist… Must resist… Must resist…

Damn. It’s too handy. The laptop is such a beautifully contrived convenience, so simple to cart around and open when needed. The addiction to electronic media is one that I wholly own up to, possessing (as I do ) too many consoles by far, a clutch of televisions and a growing family of cassettes, floppies, cartridges, CDs and DVDs… The space is at a premium these days and I often find myself being the cause of a landslide of items, scattering media across the floor like a stumbling giant in a world of Lilliputians.

I’m too clumsy by half to rely on equipment powered by electricity, and too lazy to do things by hand. I’ll wait on the tech to catch up with me – someone is bound to come up with a brain leech sooner or later.

You know what those mad scientists are like…

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