daidoji_gisei: (Default)
Yesterday I finally achieved my goal of getting a viewable (on my computer) copy of the DMC3 cut scenes. All it took was installing a different downloader add-on into my firefox and downloading in a different file format. As installing add-ons to firefox is trivially easy, this was completely within my comfort level. (I <3 firefox.)

I carried the file home in a 4G usb drive. When I think about this too much I sit in stunned silence at the world I live in. A portable 4 GIGABYTE drive, which cost me so little money I bought two and don't remember what it is I paid for them. When I was an undergrad 5" floppy disks were the standard storage medium for personal computers. I don't even want to think about how many floppies you need to make up a gig.

Most of my coworkers, who are in their 20s, don't appreciate what a miracle this is. It's not a failure on their part; they just don't know anything else. I sometimes compare being an old person in a group of younger people to being someone from a foreign country, with habits and memories formed from a different culture. I come from a land in which memory is precious, because it is so hard to store. The land I live in now is strange, but I think I like it.
daidoji_gisei: (Default)
I jotted this down on my Facebook page a week or so ago and decided that I liked it enough to keep it around. So I am archiving it here:

Why do I keep looking for the moon?--
Its face looks on yours
as mine cannot


I have never figured out where my obsession with the moon and stars came from, but it is a very old one.


My laptop is currently refusing to boot up. Someone who is actually trained in Apple stuff has diagnosed it as a kernel panic, so tonight I am going to go through the steps outlined on the support page. I am hoping that my auxillery keyboard is not affected by the panic, or things could get ugly. (I shouldn't keep worrying about this, because evidently most cases are cured by simply booting up in safe mode and that only takes the shift key, but I always worry. It's an unpleasant part of who I am.)



On the Monday after Gencon I was going through security at the Indy airport and was just starting to put my shoes on when the woman behind me (who looked my age) pointed at my bag of liquids and said, "Excuse me, but are those miniature paints?"

"No, those are temporary tattoo paints," I said, "but from your question I know you were here for Gencon." She laughed and confirmed it. We chatted as we put ourselves back together. It was her first Gencon, she had been urged to go in the past by her friends, and now she couldn't understand why it took her so long to come. She had been playing games for some time, and now was getting interested in miniatures. "So you will be back next year," I said. "I intend to," she said, and then we were heading off to our respective gates. I will probably never see her again, but it made me happy to know that next year there was going to be one more middle-aged woman guiding the destiny of armies in Indy.
daidoji_gisei: Rukia being her normal delicate self (Delicate)
I had ordered DSL service some weeks ago, but with one thing and another (writing flavor text for next base set, undergoing massive keyboard-induced traumas, etc) I hadn't gotten to setting it up until tonight. After reading the instruction sheet I prepared to hook everything up, and after replacing a phone cord to my office phone I checked to make sure it was working by checking for a dial tone. Which wasn't there. Before switching the cords back I checked the phone in the living room...

...which also had no dial tone.


*^*%U&%^$%^*$^*$#$!!@#

The very evening I want to set up my DSL my phone service goes out??? I DON'T EVEN.

I hauled out my cell phone to report my outage to the phone company (never let it be said cell phones have no good use) and it is supposed to be fixed by the end of business tomorrow. Then I'll see what else can go wrong.

VICTORY!!!

May. 29th, 2011 01:29 pm
daidoji_gisei: (Default)
I just finished installing the keyboard software and am using the new keyboard to type this entry. Yay!

When we last left our heroine, she was styimied by the fact that to install the keyboard software by the fact that the installer software needed her password, and said password used keys that didn't work on the laptop's keyboard. Cut-and-paste wouldn't work, because the installer literally demanded that the password be typed.

So. This afternoon I was poking around System Preferences, trying to figure out why I can download and install any random third-party software from anywhere on the internet without a password but need one for OFFICIAL APPLE SOFTWARE DOWNLOADED OFF OF THE OFFICIAL APPLE WEBSITE when I discovered that it had a function for changing one's account password--and that *did* allow for cut-and-paste of the old password.

At that point I got up and left the room to think, because I was suddenly terrified that if I tried this I could screw things up even more. After thinking through all the foreseeable consequences I decided that I couldn't make things worse than they already were--I was already headed for the worst-case scenario of being completely locked out of my computer. I could possibly make that scenario come around faster, but sometimes it's better to make the shoe drop yourself than to have it dropped on you. I opened up an old fiction, cut-and-pasted my old password together, chose a new password based on a word my wounded keyboard could produce, and made the switch. Then I restarted the installer, fed it the new password and.... it installed.

I had my heart in my mouth as I waited for the computer to reboot, but when it did the new keyboard worked. I can now type stories and send emails from home. And now I can finally get my DSL set up! (I hope.)
daidoji_gisei: (Kakita Hideshi)
Last Saturday I splashed tea on my laptop's keyboard in a freak teapot accident. Yes, I know, I'm stupid to have liquid anywhere near my laptop. I thought I'd gotten it all off the keyboard before any damage was done, but now I have about 10 keys on my keyboard that don't work. I tried blow-drying it on Monday after someone suggested it, but that didn't work.

Wednesday I braved the chilly temps, high winds and rain-threatening clouds (OK, it was 59 degrees but when you are in a short-sleeved light blouse with no jacket that's chilly) and bought a keyboard so that I could use my computer again. To be clear, I have partial use of it now: I can't type anything useful, but the mousepad works and after someone else suggested that I use cut-and-paste to create the password I was able to log on the internet and read stuff. This doesn't sound like much but I've become accustomed to the luxury of being able to consult the National Weather Service before getting dressed in the morning, so I was happy. (Well, less miserable.)

I had the fond expectation that having opened up the box I could plug the keyboard in and all would be well in my life again. Oh, no. That would make sense. )
daidoji_gisei: (Default)
I have a problem. My laptop (a MacBookPro) just shut down on me and won't turn back on again. After examining it I suspect the problem is the power cord: one of the pins in the socket is shorter than the others, and won't pop up like the others do. Is this fixable, or do I need to buy a new power cord?

All of my writing stuff is on there, so this is rather inconvenient!
daidoji_gisei: (Default)
Last night I gathered up the tattered shreds of my courage, dug out my startup disks and owner's manual, and prepared to change the passwords on Yamadori, my MacBookPro. I have been avoiding this for some time because I was able to use it just fine without knowing them, but in order to update the software that came preloaded in it I had to have it. (I'd like to take a moment to point out how weird this is. I have downloaded and installed multiple applications in this time with no trouble at all, but in order to update Apple software, from the Apple site, using Apple's own update function, I needed a password. Does this make sense to you? This does not make sense to me.)

Before starting I took the precaution of burning my Documents folder to a CD, just in case. In the end, the music is replaceable, the programs are replaceable, the youtube clips are replaceable--my writing, especially my drafts-in-progress, ARE NOT replaceable. In the process I seemed at one point to misplace the Documents entirely (and now have a copy of it in my Applications folder), but I finally got things worked out.

Then I put the disk in, followed the directions, and reset the passwords. This went well until I finished and wanted to get out, which was somehow omitted from the instructions. You would think that Apple, of all companies, would respect the idea that their customers want things like this spelled out IN EXQUISITE DETAIL. Anyway. I managed to get out of setup and ejected the disk without causing (so far as I can tell) permanent damage to Yamadori.

Updating the software waited until today, for the simple reason I had to do it at work. Downloading two years of software updates is not the kind of thing one wants to do over dial-up. At lunch, after downloading huge updates for all of my native Apple software, I got two dialog boxes informing me that now I had to update two firmware things. Previous to today, I had no idea firmware even existed. I showed the messages to Cat, our IT person, who was unable to identify what the firmware in question did. She did a quick Google search and said, in That Tone of Voice, "Ah, Nancy, you really want to update that firmware.". So I did, after brute-forcing the problem of my computer refusing to talk to any of the office's printers, which made printing out the instructions (which was step one of the update instructions!) more complicated than it should have been.

OK. Now, I need to tell you that the Apple engineers were clearly dropping acid when they came up with the method of updating the EFI firmware. I know this because the instructions are, "Hold down the power button until its sleep light flashes wildly and it makes a hideous noise. If it doesn't work the first time, keep doing this." Who in their right mind could consider this a good idea? I managed to get it done (consuming a large amount of dark chocolate was required).

All of this was done because I had decided to buy myself an iPod nano. My Gencon expenses were somewhat lower than I expected, and after paying for the rental car so I could go to my aunt's funeral I still had a small sum left over. As it happens, the Apple store has refurbished nanos with full warranty for only $99. iPod nanos need iTunes 9. Last night I had iTunes 7. There was no point in ordering the nano if I didn't have the software to support it, and I wasn't going to order it until I knew I could get the software. Tonight I have iTunes 9, and a shiny blue nano is now on its way.


I am hoping it was worth it.
daidoji_gisei: (Default)
Gentle readers, rejoice with me because yesterday I received a great and wonderful gift: a new computer. My friends Karin and Ami decided that it was high time that I had a computer built in this century, and so I now have a shiny new Mac laptop. It's hard to explain the mix of feelings I had when they told me they wanted to give me one: it was a combination of Christmas and learning you had been awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. "Gratitude" doesn't really begin to cover it--no word really does, which is an embarrassing admission for a writer.

So now I am learning how to use a computer that is very much bigger and more powerful than the one I've used for the last seven years. And downloading software! Safari (the browser it comes with) looks and feels a lot like Firefox, but I downloaded Firefox anyway because I wanted chatzilla. Now I'm looking for a word processor. My choices seem to be OpenOffice.org, NeoOffice, and AbiWord, all three that are compatible with Microsoft Word. Does anyone know anything particular about them? I'm leaning towards OpenOffice.org, but have no real preferences. I don't need a lot of bells and whistles at this point--my fiction doesn't require much beyond a spellchecker and word count. And compatibility--I must be able to share documents with the rest of the Story Team.

Also, Open Source Mac has a selection of open source software--does anyone have favorites? I've pretty much ignored most available software, as my old computer was too slow for me to want to do anything more than write, email and peruse forums, but over time I plan to do much more with my new machine.

Now I'll have to develop some discipline so that I don't spend all my time watching YouTube. Though I'm excited about the fact that I can now find and own a copy of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge collapse. I saw that film in high school and was instantly smitten.
daidoji_gisei: (Default)
If my computer makes a loud whirring/humming noise when starting up, which gradually moves down into normal computer-noise, is this bad? And if so, how bad and what is it? It started doing it yesterday, and I'm concerned.

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