Big Ugly Stupid Bilious Pestilential Computer Arrrgh
Tonight’s blog may be short. My faithful workhorse laptop at the mews which has been trying not to die for months now . . . wigged/kirked/gonzoed out big time last night while I was in the middle of writing a KES ep.* I keep KES in batch files of about ten eps each and I’m near the end of the current batch and yes I back up, back up and back up so at worst I would’ve lost ONE ep but one ep is bad enough and it would still be EXTREMELY BAD FOR MORALE to see an entire batch file of KES go mega doolally before disintegrating into component pixels. This did not quite happen. But I did finish the ep on Astarte and email it to myself and then went trembling back to the cottage and posted from there.
And today, with joy totally failing to abound, I brought the no-longer-new giant non-economy-size laptop to the mews and am trying to use the fffffreller.**
I am not happy.***
* * *
* No not last night’s. I’m still holding at about ten ahead of what you guys see. Barely. There seem to be one or two other things going on at the moment. I seem still to be working on SHADOWS. I am, with terrifying slowness, addressing the doodle backlog^. And I have a puppy arriving in six days.
^ The terrifyingness of the slowness aggravated by my latest mandate. Which I will tell you about some other evening. For the moment . . . suffice that Doodling Is Happening.
** For those of you with better things to do with your minds than remember my tech embrangles, the old laptop was clearly on its way out the beginning of the year. So I bought a new laptop. Kicking and screaming when the archangels told me that I had to get over XP and move onto Windows 7. Noooo. Nooooooooooo. You’ll be fine they said. 7 is a sensible, friendly OS. Yes, and the moon is made of chocolate chip ice cream^, I said. So I bought it so that I could get over the Early Self Destructive Stage of learning to use a new OS before I started the third and final draft of SHADOWS. The last thing I wanted to do was start whacking at, and, more to the point, be whacked at by, a new OS while I’m trying to write the FINAL draft of a novel.
And then New Giant Super Flash laptop turned out to be a dud. And . . . this is when I get rude^^ . . . unless NGSF turns out to be the best computer I have ever spilled crumbs into the keyboard of, I will never buy an HP again. Because HP headquarters wasted an incredible amount of my and the archangels’ time, and their, HP’s, money, which means their customers’ money when they put their frelling prices up again, flailing around with this computer. If they had any dregwarted concept of customer relations, when they couldn’t fix it in . . . let’s say . . . a week, they should have given me a new one. But they didn’t. They dorked around, and dorked around, and dorked around . . . it was something like two months before I had the thing back again, by which time I was inevitably, helplessly well launched into that final draft of SHADOWS.^^^
So I give the ex-laptop presently lying on the piano bench in a confusingly computer-shaped heap of exploded processors and toasted hard drives and bent chips credit for trying. It hung on till I got SHADOWS turned in and its has not been the only voice moaning, for pity’s sake McKinley are you EVER going to finish it? And it can hardly be blamed if the prospect of further weeks of tweaking stretching off into the unknown foggy future was too much for it.#
^ It’s full or nearly full tonight, and it’s a nice clear night and . . . the moon looks like it’s made of chocolate chip ice cream. You know all those conspiracy cover-up theories about the moon landing? This is the real one. Pssst. The moon is made of chocolate chip ice cream. And they don’t want us to know.+
+ Seems to me it would give the space program a big fat boost, but what do I know.
^^ Rude? Moi?
^^^ And a good thing too, since it took me about four months rather than four weeks.
# And Raphael is coming on Wednesday to carry the dead warrior respectfully away and . . . just check that there isn’t some resuscitation flimflam a clever computer angel could perform on it. The original plan had been to strip everything off but Finale, the big fat music-composing programme—a lot of the old laptop’s problem is that it ran out of memory about two homeopathic software updates ago^—and leave it plugged in next to the piano. ^^
He will also be bringing several pints of fresh blood plasma, platelets and red blood cells to help repair the damage that two days of Windows 7 has done.
^ Homeopathy has many virtues but it doesn’t seem to attract good computer programmers.
^^ It’s perfectly true that laptops are more or less portable, but this one has been less for quite some time, since its battery died and it would cost nearly a new laptop to replace, and if you’re going to pretend to compose music at all you had really better have external speakers, even if they’re laughable witzy ones (yes).
*** Why is the default document heading full of Stupid Styles? Why does it keep RESETTING itself when (apparently) I breathe widdershins on some dinglebrained hyperlink? Why do new emails ping as they come in, but there’s no helpful little box that appears briefly in the corner of your screen to tell you what it is and whether you should go look at it now or not? Why is ‘select’ buried several layers in at one end of the screen and ‘copy’ is visible in the toolbar at the other end of the screen? Why are there sixty gazillion gradations of type colour and no PINK?^
^ You have to go ferret around in the customisable. Give me a frelling BREAK.+
+ Which reminds me, I’ve been meaning to blog/retweet this since VikkiK sent it to me: http://www.npr.org/blogs/krulwich/2012/02/28/147590898/they-did-it-to-pluto-but-not-to-pink-please-not-pink
I did know there was no pink in the rainbow—it’s the sort of thing people who like pink keep having pointed out to them—but I hadn’t realised the Other People were trying to make something of this. So the rainbow is defective. Get used to it. Pink rules.
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