Plans Go Awry!

So, I ran into the following problems with the new computer:

  1. The plan was to just get a computer, no monitor, because I have a flat screen that I haven't been using. Connected computer to monitor ... oops, monitor can't turn on anymore; keeps flashing at me. Well, it was at least 9 years old, and had already lost a couple pixels. Should have expected that.

  2. The plan was also to get the new computer set up in the front room in a temporary spot before replacing the old computer. It would give me a chance to use it; getting access to my own computer has been unpredictable. However, I neglected to take into account how hard not sitting on a chair was going to be.

  3. Also, I wanted to set up antivirus and stuff offline, then connect over the wireless network at first, switching to ethernet when I moved the computer to its final location. Oops, forgot that it was my first pick that had the wireless; second pick doesn't.

  4. Oh well, I should use the 16 GB thumbdrive I bought to back up important stuff from the old computer, transfer that and some tools I want set up before turning off the old computer and packing it away. Oh, wait, that old computer transfers files to USB pretty damned slowly, especially since none of the ports think they're USB 2.0 anymore (one of the reasons it's being replaced.) Took 4 hours to copy 6 gigs of stuff to the thumb drive. Copying onto the new computer took 15 minutes. Bleh. Also, I apparently have more than 16 gigs of stuff.

So now a lot of stuff has been transferred, but the plan is to temporarily set up both computers side by side and copy over the network.

On the plus side, the unexpected monitor I had to purchase is bigger and wider. FInally have 16:9! Oh, but there was an annoying thing there, too: computer has VGA and HDMI output. Monitor has VGA, HDMI, and ... DV/I? Or something. Guess which cable isn't included with either the computer or the monitor? HDMI. The VGA still looks better than anything I've ever had before.

Getting Almost Up to Date

People laughed at me because I didn't have a smartphone. I had one of the "small brick" cell phones that was about 15-20 years old. T-Mobile shut off my pay-as-you-go plan because, even though I refilled my minutes a couple times a year, I never used them.

So now I have ... almost a smartphone. Couldn't risk a contract, and even the current pay-as-you go plans seemed beyond my means, and I figured I'd have problems qualifying... and, obviously, I hardly ever talk on the phone. So I opted to go with "make VoIP calls over wifi when I can find it" and got a Nexus 7 tablet and a Google Voice number. Haven't actually used the "phone" to talk to anyone yet, but jwgh and I were able to send SMS messages, so that seems to be working. I'm waiting for a Bluetooth headset I ordered before I try making actual calls.

The other thing that's really old is this computer. It's a 10-year-old (or more) HP Pavillion and it's been getting slower and slower. The PS/2 port went out, and I think there's a problem with some of the USB ports and maybe even the RAM. Also, the hard drive it came with died maybe 5 or 6 years ago and I replaced that. It seems about to die for good, now; I'm certainly having trouble getting work done on it. So I bit the bullet and ordered a tower computer, which should be arriving in a couple days. It's probably a tad behind the times (a quad-core AMD) and certainly no where near top of the line... but based on crude CPU comparisons, it looks like it will be 12 to 15 times faster than my current computer. Well, faster that it was originally.

So, soon, I will be almost as up-to-date as everyone else.

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Nothing New

This is not really a post about anything, but I figured I ought to post at least every couple months so that it doesn't look like I've fallen off the face of the earth.

Things I've reported elsewhere:

 - Finally saw all three Jurassic Park movies. I assume there's only three. Didn't even know there were three until I started watching them. They were OK, nothing special.
 - Finally saw all of Serenity. The story behind this was: there was cable and a DVR when I finally got to see Firefly, and I recorded Serenity, but then the cable service was downgraded and the cable company sent a signal to the DVR telling it "you are no longer a DVR", so I never got to see the movie until a month or two ago. Saw it a couple times, actually. I was a little confused by who died at the end of the movie, but I guess now that's because one of the graves wasn't a grave, or something?
 - Also, there was RPG stuff, which I moved off to another blog. I'm embarrassed to say that I post twice a day there. It makes my sparse posting here seem extra pathetic. I swear, Livejournal, I still love you!

Sullen Silence!

Man, I haven't posted anything in a year?

I've actually been *reading* LJ every day, just about. And occasionally commenting on the posts of friends. But I kind of gave up posting movie reviews for a while (because, frankly, who cares?) And I've been posting one or two posts a day on my RPG blog, so I kinda use up all my energy there.


            )o (--o     EX! TERM! I! NATE!
            """"===--(  THE LIVEJOURNAL!


I've been reading a forum where flamewars erupt every couple of threads. And in one, Guy A complained about a bunch of crap, and Guy B referred to him as "Ironic Butthurt Dude". And IBD responded with a bunch of stuff, then said, "does that make you feel butthurt?"

And then Guy C swoops in with "I'm afraid you've taken so much of the butthurt that there is none left for anyone. That's pretty selfish, dude."

1977: Eyesight Invented!

In a forum somewhere, when someone asked about the influence of movies and TV on early D&D, they followed up with this comment:
I'd assume that because this was pre-Star Wars that the visual mediums would have had much less of an impact than they do today in gaming culture.
Now, I didn't want to comment in that thread because the person wasn't saying this in some kind of demeaning manner, but honestly, so that makes them "one of today's lucky 10,000", as xkcd put it a little while ago. It's no crime to not be aware of how many pre-Star Wars fantasy/sci-fi films and TV series there were, or to have no direct exposure to the bulk of them, perhaps based on pre-conceptions.

But man, that's kind of stunning.

Cosmetic Errors

People who play D&D and post about it on forums or blogs really, REALLY need to learn how to spell "rogue".

Just saw someone write that "rouge mastery seems a bit too powerful."

Doctor Who Is Atomic-Age Horror

I was posting some idle speculation to a forum about what Doctor Who would have looked like if it had been made by an American company, but back in the '60s or thereabouts. And it might not have looked too bad:
Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka would have made a great Doctor. Or, going earlier, maybe Rex Reason or Michael Rennie. Vincent Price would have been The Master. The interior shots of the TARDIS would resemble the command deck of the saucer in This Island Earth plus the Krell power core from Forbidden Planet. Cybermen would have looked more like Gort. The Daleks would still be conical, but the dome would be transparent and would contain the Martian leader from Invaders from Mars.

And, of course, there'd have to be an interocitor somewhere.

And then it hit me: The Doctor is an atomic-age horror scientist-hero, like Rex Reason, although he has a touch of the atomic-age smug alien, like Michael Rennie or Exeter (This Island Earth.) The thematic core of the series expresses the same values as the scientist-hero. Solving problems with a mix of genius and feeling. Definitely the central figure, but enlisting the aid of the government or military when possible, as long as they are willing to fight the menace with some measure of morality. Earth vs. the Flying Saucers would have made a perfect Doctor Who story. So would a lot of atomic-age-horror movies.

The Coming Race

After reading The Moon Pool, I decided to read Bulwer-Lytton's The Coming Race, which served as partial inspiration for The Moon Pool. Narrator travels underground, finds an advanced society. The book is half the length of The Moon Pool, but took a lot longer to read; it's tough slogging, perhaps because of the legendary Bulwer-Lytton writing style, although I haven't read any other Bulwer-Lytton books to compare. It's slow reading mostly because it's not an adventure story, like Merritt's book; it's from the tradition of social and political commentary disguised as a travel tale. I think his intent was to focus on gender and class questions, but because his underground race has access to a near-magical force known as vril, and suggests at the end that the advanced race might be expanding into the upper world next (hence, the "Coming" Race,) the book became a legend in the occult and crackpot communities. Richard Shaver thought the book was a true story and wound up spinning his own, similar tale about the subterranean Dero. Nazis thought the subterraneans were Aryans and wanted to communicate with them. Conspiracy theorists thought the Nazis succeeded.

The Coming Race is also famous for inventing the phrase "the almighty dollar". And perhaps should be famous for referring to some people as "twats". In 1871! And he didn't think it was part of a nun's habit! Scandal!