Inhuman Swill : Computers

RerunJournal

| No Comments
            

I've been on LiveJournal a long time. I joined in October of 2000, more than eleven years ago. I've posted more than 2,000 entries. If you go to my profile page, you'll see that my user ID (17832) is in the low five digits. If you were to create a new account today, you'd get an eight-digit user ID. I obviously haven't been here since the very beginning, but I've been here long enough. I have a lot invested here. But I'm thinking hard about abandoning LiveJournal as my primary blogging platform.

I'm not going to rehash all the changes in management and ownership that have plagued us here over the years, the privacy concerns, the outages and denial-of-service attacks. That all contributes, but the biggest problem I've come to have with LiveJournal is simply the lack of some basic features that most other major blogging platforms feature. And two of the biggest of those are the inability to save more than one in-progress blog entry at once, and the inability to schedule completed entries for future posting.

Over at my personal site, I'm running a Movable Type blog. I know it's not the best choice out there, but it's the one my hosting service offers, and I've customized the hell out of it and even built some of my own widgets. I've written a script, also, to scrape my entries from here at LJ and repost them over there. But now I'm thinking seriously about reversing that polarity.

So here's my question. I know that a lot of you blog elsewhere and have your entries reposted to LJ. What process or service do you use to do it? How do like the results? I seek your wisdom.

Full entry

U QT!

| No Comments
            

Sometimes as I glance through my website's server logs, I see the anonymous messages people have sent through my little Scrabble-izer. Here's one of the sweetest I've seen, which just caught my eye:

If you were a Scrabble tile, you'd be a Z - one of a kind and worth more than everyone else
Or see it in Scrabble tiles.
Full entry
            

On Tuesday I plan to sit down and watch The Oprah Winfrey Show for the first time, ever. I've seen bits and pieces before, but this will be the first time I watch the whole thing in a premeditated fashion. Hey, I want to hear Roger Ebert's new/old voice.

Ebert's new voice has been synthesized (and is being further refined) from DVD commentary tracks he recorded for a handful of movies. The Scottish company behind the voice is CereProc, which specializes in text-to-speech synthesizers that speak in a variety of accents. It's fun to play around with their live demo and make voices from all around the British Isles say vulgar and juvenile things.

As more and more of us litter the intertubes with extensive examples of our speaking voices, the easier it will be for convincing artificial versions of our voices to be cobbled together. I suppose the technology will have matured when it can pass a sort of text-to-speech Turing test—when someone can call your close friends or relatives by telephone or Skype or whatever and fool them into thinking they're talking to you.

Damn, I just got an idea for a story.

Full entry

Missing the mark

| No Comments
            

I end up with some very interesting Google Ads showing up on the page for my Accidental Terrorist podcast. Just now there was a big splashy banner ad for the Front Sight Firearms Training Institute ("Gunfights don't give second chances"). Apparently the Googlemind doesn't want you potential terrorists going out into the world without firearms training!

Full entry
            

I love Google for its geeky in-jokes. If you haven't noticed this one before, search for "recursion" and see what the result page offers as a suggestion under Did you mean.

I'm also reminded of Inglourious Basterds, which I saw yesterday morning, in which one instance of the word "Merci" was translated in the subtitles as "Merci."

Full entry

Apostate

| No Comments
            

This may be heresy, but I just don't feel as much compulsion to blog now that it's my own time I'm stealing as I did when it was my employers'.

Full entry

Version control

| No Comments
            

A technical question for you techie writer types out there. Do you use version-control software to keep a repository of your work? If so, what? What platform do you run it on? What do you like? What don't you? I know CVS pretty well from my programmer days, but I'm not sure that's what I want to use for my writing. Maybe Subversion? SVK? I've just started looking into this, and there are a whole lot of options.

I used to just use the Windows Briefcase to keep my writing in sync between machines, but my new laptop with Vista doesn't seem to implement Briefcase in a way that's entirely compatible with older versions, and anyway it doesn't do squat to keep copies of older drafts around. I'd like to start doing something a little more sophisticated than that.

Full entry

Computers take pictures of each other

| 2 Comments
            

Computers take pictures of each other, part one
After I brought my new laptop home yesterday, what was the first thing I had to do? Of course:

Full entry

Unemployment saved my life

| No Comments
            

I will have more thoughts to offer on this milestone later, but for now let me just say that my job has ended. Like a wounded deer it kept dragging on, but at long last, finally, my last day working steadily as the senior software developer and architect for (the fine and worthy) BenefitsCheckUp, my employers lo these past six and a half years, came yesterday. This has not quite sunk in yet (probably due to the fact that I'm a little punchy from working every day since mid-June—51 hours Monday to Thursday this week alone—which is also why you haven't seen much of me around these parts lately). I thought the day was never going to come.

Now I'm a full-time writer. (No pressure!) And as such, I'm of course going to procrastinate work on my novel for a three-day blowout with Laura at Lollapalooza. (Thanks, Shana!)

Full entry

Netflix stumbles

| No Comments
            

Netflix is going to eliminate account profiles this September. If you don't know, that's the feature that allows you to maintain separate DVD queues under one account.

YMMV, but to me Netflix is taking a giant step backward with this move in terms of serving its customers. This feature was a godsend when they first implemented it. Until then, if I wanted to be sure I always had a Bill-movie on hand (as opposed to a Laura-movie or a Laura-and-Bill-movie), I had to work hard at managing my queue, moving a new Bill-movie to the top every time I sent a Bill-movie back. Profiles took all the effort out of that effort. I'm used to it now, and it pisses me off that they're taking it away and sending me back to the Stone Age.

Good customer service is about continually making things easier for the customer, not harder. It's about giving the customer good new stuff without taking good old stuff away. I hope Netflix has some killer features they're planning to roll out instead, because otherwise they've just made the first move that would make me reconsider how useful my subscription is to me. And they didn't even ask me first.

Full entry
 1   2   3   Next »
The Accidental Terrorist 30th Anniversary Sale

Signed editions
that even a
missionary
could afford.

Order yours now!

William Shunn

About This Archive

This page is an archive of recent entries in the Computers category.

Computer is the previous category.

Concerts is the next category.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

Archives