New Shiny

Y’all went online early this morning and ordered a new iPhone, right? Gotta keep those dollars/rubles/euros flowing into the Apple vaults.

Seeing reports of the usual iPhone preorder day one mayhem. Out of stock, weeks/months of shipping time, etc. happens every year. You’d think Apple would prepare better. Or anticipate the volume. (Tim Cook’s Apple probably does, actually. But they can only make so many gadgets before they have to actually start selling them, and they never make enough to meeting immediate demand.)

Me? I’m on the ‘toc’ side of the current iPhone 2 Year refresh schedule (every other year. Tic = base (6 this year), Toc = ‘s’ ( following year). So, next year I’ll look at whatever replaces the iPhone 6 and decide if I can live with a larger phone or stick with my current one if we don’t get an iPhone 6s Mini.

Watch this!

Why yes, Apple did show off a watch after introducing the next iteration(s) of the iPhone today (the large iPhone 6, and the humongous iPhone 6 Plus – No, I’m not a fan of large phones. Maybe by the time I’m ready to upgrade (next fall) I’ll have gotten used to the idea. Or maybe Apple will have a iPhone 5/5s/5c sized phone with the new stuff in it. – One can hope…)

New watch? Here’s the Apple PR stuff:

http://www.apple.com/watch/

And, although the media insists on calling it an iWatch, Apple says it’s an Apple Watch.

( The less said about the disaster of a Livestream of today’s Apple Event the better. The 1st hour before the intro of the watch was unwatchable, no pun intended. Serious technical difficulties. )

I really can’t believe they went there with a “smart” watch. Of course, it won’t be available until after Christmas, giving all the clone vendors plenty of time to make their own versions, and all the Android Smart watch companies time to fix their current efforts to compete against this.

At the Movies

Just saw the Ghostbusters 30th Anniversary in a local theater. First time I’ve seen it in a theater. The movie itself was great, even if some of the tech is a bit outdated and it has a very early 80’s look to everything (of course!).

The promo for it claimed it was an updated 4K digital transfer (And the ticket cost an extra $5!) but I couldn’t tell the difference between that and any other movie I’ve seen this year. It looked like an old print that had been upscaled (Like how early DVDs look on modern Blu-Ray players.) And the sound wasn’t anything special (but it did drown out the popcorn eating people sitting behind me — a huge 600+ seat theater, less than 2 dozen people in it and they HAD to sit behind me!)

I was amazed at the amount of product placement. Soda, beer, and other things placed so you couldn’t miss the label.

Early 80’s so almost no modern tech. The only computer I recognized? An old Digital DECMate II w/an LA50 printer. Scary.  But their proton packs still looked modern-ish.

Realized, after getting back from the theater, that I’ve seen more movies in the last year than in the last 3 previous. So, Hollywood? Your bad year? So not my fault!

 

Reading Trouble

I originally purchased Trouble and Her Friends by Melissa Scott at the local mega-used book warehouse (I’ve purchased quite a few of her older works there since they all seemed to be out of print at the time. And I don’t buy used things from Amazon.). In paperback. In tiny, hard to read print, on yellowed pages.

Finally, it’s been reprinted, as a trade paperback. And in a $10 Kindle edition. A bit pricey for a 20 year old novel, but I bought it anyway. I really wanted to read it again, without the tiny print giving me a headache due to my aging eyes.

Worth the price? I think so. The main characters are well drawn. and the story just seems to flow.

Even though the internet is nothing like the story depicts, and the online world has gotten a bit more sophisticated since then, it still holds up. Sure, we don’t have the ability to wire ourselves directly into the internet like Trouble does, and that idea has since become something of a cliche in cyberpunk novels, but it still works.

Trouble’s America isn’t some post-apocalypse dystopia like depicted in so many modern YA novels (Hunger Games, etc.) but it isn’t exactly a world of “hugs and puppies” either.

(And let’s be clear, it’s not a YA novel. Though it has less violence and sex than almost any YA you’ll find.)

Silent Shenanigans

Notice the almost total silence on the upgrade adventure in progress – replacing my desktop (a slow, late 2008 MacBook) with a more modern Mac mini. The process has taken almost a week, so far.

We won’t talk about the fun, that is not, of adding a second hard drive to a computer that you have to completely dissemble to get to the second drive bay. Or having to buy a mounting kit (some screws, a cable, and a couple tools) because, although the mini has a port on its motherboard for a second ATA drive, Apple doesn’t expect you to use it. It’s only there to save them a couple $$ by using the same motherboard for all the Mac mini models (except for the CPU), one of which is a server model,with 2 drives.

Upgrade Shenanigans

I was running out of space on the SSD In my mid-2012 MacBook Air. Plenty of room when I bought it. Now? Not so much.

So, I bought a higher capacity SSD from Other World computing (OWC). They specialize in Mac upgrades. I’ve upgraded a number of Macs using parts from them.

Putting the new SSD in was easy. Remove the bottom of the machine, unplug a cable, unscrew the old SSD, put in the new one. (They even have instructional videos. )

And then… The adventure began. Needed to copy everything from the old SSD to the new one.

I bought an upgrade that includes an external USB case for the old drive.

Tried to use the OS X Migration Assistant (install OS X and then use that to copy documents, settings, and applications to the new disk.)

Every time I upgrade hardware (disk or new computer) I attempt this route. It SHOULD be the best way. But… Half the time it doesn’t work. Didn’t work this time either. First time it didn’t copy my apps but got everything else. 2nd time? Nothing.

The Mac kept losing contact with the external SSD. Not good.

So, I tried Carbon Copy Cloner (30 Day free trial). Froze. After 3 minutes.

On my second attempt. Replaced the USB cable with a known good one. Haven’t had a bad cable issue in years.

20 minutes in, so far so good. 1/4 copied. Fingers crossed.

If that doesn’t work, I have a TimeMachine backup I did right before the upgrade. It would take four times as long to rebuild from that. Hopefully not.

Watching the game

I’m not a huge sports fan, I just don’t have the attention span (mind share span?) to devote time to any specific team/sport.

But I have been watching the World Cup. More soccer this month than I’ve seen in years. As a bi-yearly event… Fine. I don’t expect this exposure to result in watching between World Cups.

One of the good things about it… Not a lot of commercials, though I prefer to watch it on ESPN. The ABC Sunday broadcasts felt kind of clunky and overly commercial. ESPN was about the game. Mostly.

This week has been kind of low on game watchage. Most of the games were while I was at work. Or down to the last 20 minutes by the time I got home.
Missed the US game against Germany.

They couldn’t have night/evening games? And the rest of the games will be the same. No game starting later than 4PM eastern. Which means they’ll be over by 6PM. So I’ll miss most of the US game against Belgium next week.

But at least I can watch the weekend games.

Record them? No thanks. I don’t like watching sports with a time delay. It loses the excitement of immediacy. IMO anyway.

Because… Maleficent!

For the first time, ever, I actually went to a new movie on its release date (sort of. Went to a Thursday evening showing of Maleficent. The “official” release date is today, the day after. )

Verdict? I enjoyed it (acknowledging that it isn’t perfect and critics who gave it low ratings aren’t completely crazy)

But what’s up with those cheekbones on Angelina Jolie (Maleficent)?

And why do the 3 fairy god mothers have such huge heads in their pixie form?

And what must the producers/directors/writer have thought when Frozen used a similar method to break a spell? (Spoiler). “Oh, cr*p!” ??

TtH was down! Again.

For almost 24 hours.

No idea what was wrong, though from the outside it looks like a database issue. Which could be anything.

Note: to the best of my knowledge, it had nothing to do with that OpenSSL bug ( Heart-something). That is a completely different issue.

The Rude Pundit vs CNN

I occasionally wander over to the Rude Pundit’s blog. He’s loud, almost always rude, and very often very funny, in a far left of center, George Carlin wouldn’t use that language, kind of way. Here’s what he had to say about CNN and their obsession with that Malaysian Airlines flight that disappeared .

(Fair warning – it’s a rant full of NSFW language and if you accidentally wander into any of his political rants it’s not my fault. )

Note: I don’t watch CNN. Haven’t in years. In fact, the only time I watch TV news is for the weather, when it’s supposed to snow or something. I’d rather hate watch “Ancient Aliens” or “Man vs Food” than network news. At least “Ancient Aliens” is entertaining.

Catching up on the backlog

I’m not sure how many people read the fics as posted here anymore but they are a bit out of date. I’m still working on them but haven’t kept the WiP’s current for at least the last year.

Current plan is to spend March updating them but for now anything updated/completed can still be found on TtH, AO3, and ff.net.

I also plan to redesign the fic pages though that might take longer.

 

I started using Scrivener during NaNoWriMo and hopefully can use it to output stories for the archive here instead of the old manual process I’ve been using for years.

 

We’ll see what happens.

And so ends 2013

Not much to say.

I’ve been burning off some vacation time, that I would lose otherwise. Nothing exciting to end the year. Had some dental/gum work done (by a dentist with a laser) right before Christmas and have been living on pain killers for the last 2 weeks while it (slowly) heals. Been eating mostly bland food. Bleah.
Done a little bit of post-NaNoWroMo writing but certainly not the amount I’d originally planned.

NaNoWriMo 2013

2013-Winner-Square-Button

 

 

 

 

 

It’s a wrap. 50,034 words of story. 15,000 in the last 3 days (Yikes! )

Unfortunately, the story itself, a sequel to last years story, needs a bit of work to really be complete. Going to take a month to fix it up before posting anywhere.

Just over there