• Yesterday, I switched from Firefox to Opera on my Kubuntu Linux install, primarily for performance reasons. I’m running Kubuntu from a USB thumb drive and in the past few weeks I’ve found that Firefox 3.0 is entirely unusable for 5-10 minutes at a time while Ubuntu reads and/or writes to the thumb drive. This seems to happen on a regular basis; perhaps once every 30 minutes. I noticed that I didn’t have the same issues when using the Konqueror browser, but I can’t say I’m a big fan of Konqueror. So I installed Opera and so far have not seen the same performance issue I did with Firefox 3.0. Granted, I haven’t quite gotten the Adobe Flash Player plugin working yet, but that’s a minor quibble; I’m okay with sacrificing the ability to view videos on YouTube if it means the browser doesn’t lock up for 20 minutes out of every hour.

    I thought by now we were beyond the whole “this site best viewed in” garbage from the Great Browser War, but apparently I was mistaken. I browsed to GoodReads last night and saw this:

    Browser recommendations from GoodReads

    Now, I really like GoodReads; it feeds into my obsession for keeping track of my stuff online and allows me to see what my Interfriends have been reading. It’s part pack rat’s delight, part social network. But no “official support” for Opera (the only browser that, once upon a yesterday, I paid for)? What kind of nonsense is that?

  • Coffee Shop Writing: Week 1 Summary


    I’ll let Mr. Miller summarize his own efforts; not because I don’t know what he wrote all week, but because I can’t bring myself to admit that he wrote more than I did.


    I started a new short(?) story tentatively titled “The Long December” and discovered that immortality is simply a matter of who’s in charge. Word count: 299


    I continued “The Long December” after a late arrival at the coffee shop. Word count: 285.


    Faced with the uncomfortable fact that “The Long December” was turning into a parable, I wrote a blog entry: Coffee Shop Writing: Day 3. Three days into this experiment and the meta-writing has already begun. Word count: 650ish.


    Kate: Advanced Text Editor
    Zombie Day. Due to issues with Puppy Linux, I abandoned it in favor of Kubuntu, which I didn’t *quite* manage to get configured Wednesday night. Goodbye (for now) Geany, hello Kate! I didn’t get any writing done at all today; I need more than four hours of sleep before I can write. If I can’t get more than four hours of sleep, I need four hours to wake up so I can write. Later in the day I wrote another blog entry, Tomorrow is Arbor Day. Celebrate with The Secret Lair. It’s about 375 words, but I didn’t write it in the coffee shop, so it doesn’t count. Word count: 0.


    Instead of sitting down to write, I distracted Chris 1To be fair, he had a 200+ word head start by the time I arrived, thanks to a writing prompt at Plotstorming.com. by talking about Kubuntu’s apparent lack of an e-mail client, 2The default client is Kmail, which is—according to the Adept Package Manager—installed, but which nobody thought to provide a link to. Is this what I get for downloading a release candidate? … Continue reading the audio quality issues we’re having with episodes of The Secret Lair, and pretty much anything that wasn’t writing. It worked. I should be ashamed of myself.

    Then I decided to fire up Kate and write this summary. I announced that I was writing just as Chris was packing up his things and heading back to his home office. “What are you writing?” he asked.

    I told him.

    “Good God!,” he exclaimed. “I’ve never met anyone who could write so much about doing so little!”

    So true. Word count: 401. 3Total for the week: about 1,600.

    1 To be fair, he had a 200+ word head start by the time I arrived, thanks to a writing prompt at Plotstorming.com.
    2 The default client is Kmail, which is—according to the Adept Package Manager—installed, but which nobody thought to provide a link to. Is this what I get for downloading a release candidate? EDIT: Kmail is the e-mail component of Kontact, which has a handy shortcut on the Kubuntu taskbar, but which I mistook for an address book. This is because I am an idiot.
    3 Total for the week: about 1,600.
  • Weekend Wrap-up: 15-16 September 2007


    I haven’t done one of these in a while. Here’s what went on in and around the International House of Johnson this past weekend:

    • I started cleaning my office on Saturday. Unlike previous efforts, I did take a “before” photo, which I will post along with the “after” photo when I eventually finish.
    • After messing around with Firefox in Kubuntu for several hours, I finally got everything running properly, including the Foxmarks and Greasemonkey plug-ins.
    • I watched Doctor Strange: The Sorcerer Supreme, the latest animated movie from Marvel Entertainment and Lionsgate. Though I wouldn’t necessarily call myself a Doctor Strange fan, I enjoyed the movie quite a lot. The concept of the ninja-magician doesn’t really hold to the classic Marvel version of Strange, but I liked it.
    • I played a bit of No One Lives Forever 2: A Spy in H.A.R.M.’s Way Saturday night. I managed to escape the tornado-threatened trailer park in Akron and am now infiltrating the H.A.R.M. base in Calcutta; or would be, if I could get past the stinkin’ guards.
    • Kyle and I watched Elmo’s Potty Time and Elmo in Grouchland: Sing and Play Sunday morning. I have to give Roscoe Orman (Gordon) a lot of credit for keeping a straight face when discussing the linguistic nuances of pee and poop with Elmo and Baby Bear.
    • Laura, Kyle and I had an early dinner at The Cheesecake Factory on Sunday. I should not have ordered the appetizer, as I only ate half of my Cuban sandwich and my three-berry cheesecake is (if Laura knows what’s good for her) sitting in the fridge, uneaten.
    • Wesley, Bob, Chris and I recorded another episode of Volcanicast Sunday night. We had a blast, but Wesley’s got a hell of an editing job ahead of him if he’s going to get the show down to 90 minutes.