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megpie71: Animated "tea" icon popular after London bombing. (Default)
megpie71

March 2017

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megpie71: Simplified Bishie Sephiroth says "OMG I Luv You" (Wuvs)
Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014 08:08 am
So, I'm taking part, and my thread (once it's unscreened) will be at:

http://jjhunter.dreamwidth.org/325943.html?thread=1760567#cmt1760567

If you're interested, have a look.
megpie71: AC Reno crouched over on the pavement, looking pained (about that danger money)
Saturday, December 29th, 2012 06:38 pm
Okay, so Christmas day was the start of a rather lengthy heatwave for us here in Perth WA - we've been experiencing temperatures over 38C (the old 100F) every day since 25 December, and they're not expected to go down until the 2nd of January next year. Yay.

I'm coping fine. I'm back to my standard "hot weather" pattern of waking up at around about dawn each day to deal with the business of closing up the blinds on the laundry doorway, and opening the front and side doors so that the cool night air can circulate through the house before the day starts to heat up. Then I dress in a very light voile sarong (and not much else) and spend the day sitting in front of the computer or the XBox with the water cooler going. Unfortunately, our water cooler is a fairly old model (it came west with us from Canbrrra) and it's given up on the water-cooling bit - the various cloth bits drape down into the reservoir, but they aren't wicking anything up any more. So these days it's just a very fancy fan. Still works fine in conjunction with a squirty bottle of water, though. Mist self down with squirty bottle, sit in front of the fan, and I cool off very nicely.

However, our nice neat replacement server decided it wasn't having with all this hot weather. It started sulking on Wednesday night, and when I tried to reboot it on Thursday morning, it gave us the standard "my hardware isn't playing nice" disgruntled beeps. Memory problems. Himself tried fiddling about with the RAM, but it didn't help; he suspected either the RAM wasn't working at all, or there might have been a problem with the motherboard.

So, today he went out and got another server for us (rather than spend hours chasing around in 40C temperatures to try and find a computer parts specialist who had the right bits to replace all this stuff) - or rather, he purchased a second-hand PC from someone who was getting rid of an old box, and set that up to do the Internet thing.

With any luck, we're back on the 'net...

*crosses fingers*

(Late news: new box will not boot without a keyboard. BIOS fiddlery undertaken.)
megpie71: Text: "My grip on reality's not too good at the best of times." (losing grip)
Tuesday, August 21st, 2012 09:39 am
So I went on a bit of a buying spree on Friday, and got myself a few DVDs (Iron Man I and II, Thor, Captain America, the Robert Downey Junior Sherlock Holmes), and then spent most of Friday and Saturday in a watching spree. Now the whole thing's had enough time to settle a bit, here's my reactions to various bits and pieces.

Long rants and rambles under fold )

I'll accept a lot of handwaving in the science of things like rockets, arc reactors, missiles, super-soldier serums and the like. But I expect a bit of consistency with regards to things like illnesses, poisoning, and recovery from same. The information is out there on the internet, and viewers and watchers are able to access it just as readily as writers are. And yeah, we're going to pick nits, and point out things like plot holes large enough to steer a supertanker through.
megpie71: Simplified bishie Rufus Shinra glares and says "The Look says it all" (says it all)
Wednesday, August 8th, 2012 08:31 pm
I get all carried away and try and synch up the bookmarks I have in Firefox with the bookmarks list I have on AO3. 175 bookmarks later (about 20 of which were extant before I got home this afternoon), and I'm all done.

I have no idea what I'll be doing this time next week.
megpie71: Avon standing in front of Zen's dome, caption "Confirmed" (confirmed)
Friday, June 29th, 2012 06:13 pm
I can see I'm going to need to clear things out a bit more often.

I've just done a bit of a sort through of my various "PC media" storage boxes. What I discovered would probably be invaluable to any electronic archivist, or archaeologist of late 1990s PC miscellanea. The total included:

* Two plastic bags worth of PC magazine discs[1], dating back at least 10 years or so.
* Various install CDs for outdated versions of Linux
* Two Australian phonediscs (phonebook on disc), probably from the late 1990s.
* Various MS software designed for Windows 3.11 (Encarta 95, MS Ancient Lands, and the tragically misnamed MS Works).
* Game CDs for games which came with my first personal PC (bought back in 1995 - these are games which were designed to run on Windows 3.11) as well as games purchased subsequently. Some of them are compilation CDs of multiple games from back in the bad old days of 5.25" floppy disks - thousands of games on the one CD because they were designed to fit into Kb of memory, not Mb.
* Manuals for most of these game CDs.
* Driver CDs for hardware which is now obsolete (or at least no longer in my posession).
* Demos of games which never made it to mass market (or if they did, bombed badly).

As I say, a digital archaeologist, electronic archivist, or computing historian may be able to make some use of these. I'm going to see which of the games I can get to run on the current PC, which ones the antivirus rejects as malware (for some reason, AVG doesn't like certain bits of the Sims 2, and it also pings up Settlers IV as malware as well), which ones aren't worth the disk space (probably most of them) and which ones still interest me after all these years.

The rest... well, the rest I'll probably bin. If there are any archaeologists, archivists, or historians who are interested in this stuff, do let me know.

Footnotes below fold )
megpie71: Avon standing in front of Zen's dome, caption "Confirmed" (confirmed)
Saturday, May 5th, 2012 12:57 pm
Oh internet, great font of knowledge, aid me in my search for enlightenment on this subject: I wish to be able to organise and back up my bookmarks in Firefox, and also use them as a map to interesting little corners of the 'net (where "interesting" is defined as "deemed interesting by me, rather than by a social network").

Trigger: Losing 6 - 8 years worth of bookmarks in one hit due to a computer meltdown on Wednesday night. I'm busy re-creating them as I go, but I want to be able to organise them too.

What I'm using at present: At the moment, I'm using the all-in-one sidebar in Firefox, which tends to sit open to my bookmarks (a feature of Internet Explorer's that I liked and adopted). I have some bookmarks sitting loose, but the majority of them are in folders. The folders at present are all loose in the top level of the bookmarks hierarchy, but I know me, and I know eventually they will be nested. Probably anything up to six layers deep in some cases. (Finding individual bookmarks started getting slightly trying at that point, but by then it was too late to do anything about it.)

I'm also starting to use the "tags" feature of Firefox bookmarks, because I think they'll wind up helpful as a searching aid. (I have the tag searching add-on downloaded and waiting on a restart to get going).

What I Want:

* I'd like to be able to limit certain tags to a certain folder, rather than having all the tags in the wider cloud. For example, I have a folder called "Fanfiction" - I'd like to be able to have tags for specific authors, characters, fandoms and so on limited to that particular folder, rather than having to wade through them to tag something which isn't fanfiction related.
* I'd like to be able to back all of this up on a regular basis to my 1TB expansion drive, rather than having it on my computer's hard disk drive (since this is what killed my last lot of bookmarks). At present, my plans for this involve mumbling through Firefox's settings to find out where it stores this data, and manually making a copy once a month or thereabouts (ditto with my email archives - guess what else I lost in the crash), but I'd love to know whether there's something I could use to automate the process.

What I Don't Want:

* Offline backups accessed over the internet. Call me picky, but I really don't trust cloud computing at this stage - there's too many ways for my data to go walkabout.
* Having to keep at least one tab of my browser constantly reserved for bookmarks - I have the sidebar because I like being able to see them all, right there, when I want to go looking.
* Anything which tempts my tendency to fiddle with things to the detriment of actually doing anything useful (such as Pearltrees - seriously, I took one look at the description of that particular plugin, and knew it would eat not only one day but dozens of them).
* Anything which requires me to be constantly signing in somewhere else in order to access my bookmarks.
* Anything which requires a duplication of effort (i.e. I create the bookmark in Firefox, and then I have to create it again somewhere else). I want to click once to create a new bookmark (and ideally speaking, I'd love to have the option to tag things as part of the bookmarking process, rather than having to go back and alter the bookmark's properties to add them).

So, if anyone can help - either by letting me know whether this sort of thing already exists; letting me know I'm asking for the moon and a pony (or in other words, "not happening; can't happen!" stuff); offering possibilities for places to look for information, either as direct links or search terms; or failing all that, commiseration will be appreciated too.
megpie71: Simplified bishie Rufus Shinra says "Heee!" (Ha ha only serious)
Saturday, April 14th, 2012 11:04 am
I'm still alive and well and living in suburbia. Himself is employed again (starts the new job on Monday), so we have income (or at least, income greater than the dole) to look forward to. Mostly I've been wandering around making comments on other blogs.

I've taken to playing Echo Bazaar again - they're letting people create accounts even without Facebook or Twitter accounts to link to them. If you're on there, have a look for Hepzibah Murgatroyd - that's me. At present, I'm busy dealing with an invasion of rats in my lodgings, which is leaving me quite nicely set up for a few other storylines (for a start, I'm looking at having accumulated at least half the purchase price for a route to another part of Fallen London).

I've stopped reading certain online periodicals - mainly the ones from the "Gawker" stable (so Jezebel, Kotaku etc), and any others which insist I have to have Javascript turned on in order to be able to view content on their website. Yes, I'm a web purist - I have this insane notion that I should be able to see web content using an HTML viewer (such as a web browser) without needing to enable fifty gazillion different add-ons (or run through a list of approximately twenty different JS hosts in NoScript in order to figure out which ones are going to need to be enabled so I can see what's on the page). It's quite easy: they aren't going to show me something worthwhile in plain HTML, I'm going to take it as a declaration that they don't have any worthwhile content.

So far that seems to work just fine as a sorting algorithm.

Hmmm... other things, other things. I've been reading through this post by Nick Mamatas about Geek Pride and Geek Culture, wherein he points out that, among other things:

"Yes, a fascination with the strategies of Pokémon or Magic: the Gathering is just like someone else's fascination with RBI averages. That doesn't raise your interests up; that helps let us know how silly too minute an interest in professional sport is.

Which makes me think about my latest bit of statistics neepery. I've long realised I like playing with numbers and statistics. I enjoy compiling huge reference sheets of this, that and the other thing, and usually I'll do that with things from role-playing games (you should see the spreadsheet I have for the monsters in Eyangband!). It's something which keeps me happy, and gives the more neepish side of my personality something to do. This year, I've decided to go back to a tried-and-true old favourite source of statistics, namely the AFL football. It's fun, really. I "watch" the game via the ABC's Grandstand AFL Scores app, refreshing every so often and updating the spreadsheet and the text file I have with summary stuff as required. It's interesting coming up with a "story" for what I'm seeing (for example, my ongoing explanation for long periods where there's not been a scoring kick made by either side is that the umpires have confiscated the ball; if one side hasn't scored for a long period in the first quarter, maybe they're not sure where the ground is) and it's a lot more fun for me than watching a bunch of blokes run around a muddy paddock to the sound of other blokes telling me what's happening right in front of my eyes, with regular interruptions for commercials for beer.

(This round's match to watch is going to be the West Coast Eagles vs the GWS Giants. Top of the ladder vs bottom of the ladder, and the previous two matches the Giants have been in they've pretty much been walked over. However, they do have a few chances of winning. Possible strategies include: telling the Eagles that the game's been moved to a different ground, whoops, sorry, didn't you know?; locking the Eagles players out of their changing rooms; or locking the Eagles players into their changing rooms and "losing" the keys until about three-quarter time. I should explain for non-AFL fans that GWS are the newest kids on the block, they're from a non-traditional AFL state, and they're not really expected to do more this season than try their hardest and walk away with the wooden spoon anyway.)

Oh, and it all gives me numbers to play with. Which is also fun.

We have a rent inspection coming up (sigh) which means this weekend we're cleaning the place up so it looks nice and shiny for the nice person from the real estate company when they visit on Tuesday. At present, I'm tackling the kitchen and the main family areas, and my system is fairly simple - thirty minutes straight of work, followed by one hour of futzing around doing whatever else I fancy.

I find this works better for me than just ploughing in with a sustained cleaning frenzy does. For a start, it means I'm allowed to stop and rest for a time, and it's not "giving up" - and "giving up" is something which inevitably kills off my cleaning frenzies. Also, thirty minutes is a nice, comfortable time interval. It's long enough to get several tasks done (for example, I can dry up one load of dishes, wash a new load, and move on to clean up bench space or wipe down the stove or whatever) and see some progress. It's long enough that I can feel like I can take my time on things and do it Right (whereas fifteen minute bursts make me feel rushed - gotta do it all NOW!), and I can also feel like I've achieved something at the end of the thirty minutes. The one hour gaps in between the thirty minute bursts mean I don't feel put upon or martyred by having to do the jobs, and it also means I'm not storming into Himself's den to demand he does something too (so he can be as miserable about the whole mess as I am). Contrariwise, having the bursts of activity between the breaks for other stuff mean I'm not feeling guilty about not helping out with the cleaning. Plus, it means I have enough energy left at the end of the day to do things like cook dinner (an important consideration).

The fanfic is still going up at AO3, although I'm starting to run out of stuff to post to plump things out to the 10 items per week thing. Oh dear, I may have to either slow down posting, or start writing again. Oh noes.