Archive for April 2012

More than a year since I began writing it, I’m into the final stretches on Horror Movie. It’s still going to need editing, but I should have the complete second draft in three or four weeks, time permitting. I’ve been struggling for months with character motivations but finally managed to work it out by combining elements of the first draft with other elements that I’d deleted over the last few months; so far the story has had four different antagonists and I realised I had to combine two of them to make it work.

Let’s see if I can get it out by the end of June; if I have the draft complete soon that should be doable.

I honestly don’t know, but it’s about three hundred times too many. I don’t know what the problem is, but just about anything that remotely taxes the CPU seems able to lock it up, such as trying to download too many e-books at once, or connecting it to my laptop with the USB cable to copy files over.

It’s a good device when it works, but it’s very unreliable. So much so that I’ve had to create a new page listing things that suck about it.

I thought I might as well add some of my old posts from my travels in the 90s to this blog; they were on my long-lost web site at that time and have sat unread on my laptop for years. Since I’m retaining the old dates as I convert them over to this format, you’ll find them all in the travel category. Note that I’ve only made minor edits to the most egregious flaws, so they aren’t as well written as they might be today.

At the time I took just over six months off work, bought a round the world plane ticket and travelled wherever it would take me that sounded interesting. Along the way I visited various people I knew from the Internet, which was an interesting way to see the local culture. I took along a laptop running Slackware Linux and a Hi-8 video camera, though at times I wished I’d left the extra weight behind.

For email I sometimes had Internet access through the people I was visiting, but most of the time I was composing it on my laptop, copying the messages to a floppy disk and then uploading them to my server which would forward the messages to the appropriate people. I could also email these travel updates to the server and have it automatically format them into HTML and add them to the web site, while forwarding them to a mailing list of friends.

Back in those days this was a lot more complex and a lot more high-tech than writing a blog from your cell phone in Tahiti is today. Some of the original images were lost years ago and the versions I uploaded were typically 320 pixels at most due to the low bandwidth links of that era, so I can’t replace them. I will upload the images I have in high resolution form.

I’ll try to add two or three posts a week until it’s done, but there are a lot of them and they need reformatting so it will take some time.

So my RAID resync got a read error about 80% of the way through, and despite saying that the sync was complete the server has dropped the good disk from the RAID again. This is both stupid and incredibly annoying; if one disk has a read error then it’s the last one I would want to be active in the RAID, and a RAID1 with one disk and a spare is useless.

Looks like I’ll have to order two new disks, copy the data over from the failing disk to a new one and then build a new RAID array. What a pain in the ass.

I’m often puzzled by the people I meet on the Internet who claim that Apple has taken over the phone world with the iPhone, because they only make up a tiny percentage of the phones I see for sale and no-one I know has one.

Here’s an interesting article on the subject:

Samsung overtakes Nokia in mobile phone shipments

Apple make up less than 10% of the world’s phone sales, while Samsung and Nokia account for around 25% each.

Now, I’m sure that Apple make a lot more profit on those phones, but they’re far from the largest phone supplier in the world. In America, perhaps.

Interesting article on Stephen King, which I forgot to post about when I first read it:

Wall Street Journal

Some of the more interesting parts:

When he left his publisher, Viking, 14 years ago, he traded gargantuan advances for his current deal with Scribner, granting him much smaller advances and roughly half of the profits. In another unusual move, Mr. King leases his titles to publishers, typically for a period of 15 years, rather than selling them.

Weird. I just logged into my home server and noticed that the MD RAID array was degraded; turns out that it had decided that one of the drives was a spare and not part of the RAID array. I’ve no idea how that happened.

Rebooting fixed it; now the drive is back in the RAID and the RAID is rebuilding. Hopefully that won’t happen again.

I’ll also be interested to see what happens during the rebuild. The Linux kernel has been complaining about read errors on the active disk even though SMART hasn’t reported problems. If the rebuild goes OK, that should imply that the entire disk was readable after all.

To finally complete and publish Horror Movie while continuing to work through some more short stories. The first two thirds of Horror Movie is pretty much done, but the ending still needs a lot of work. Hopefully I can get that complete by the end of May and then spend some time cleaning it up ready to upload.

I’m also working on completing the first Prudence Fitzgerald short story; it’s what I would call ‘hard steampunk’, with an alternate Victorian era where the British Empire acquired Martian techology which left it decades ahead of the rest of the world and perpetually in conflict with them as all the competing nations and empires want to collect as much of that technology as they can to maintain their own position.

Been busy for a couple of weeks, but now I’m back :).

Review of Panoptica by Patrick Hudson is up at:

http://www.siftreviews.com/2012/04/panoptica-by-patrick-hudson.html

Next up is My Clockwork Muse by D.R. Erickson.