Sunday, March 27, 2005

Why Don't These Things Just Work? / Ten Things

Why Don't These Things Just Work?

<--->begin rant>
Okay, I'm officially annoyed.  I wrote my Sunday night post in an AOL text window, because the Composer pages in version of Netscape I installed on the new laptop (7.2) code things in annoying and unhelpful ways.  (Example: image size is coded in such a way that any changes made to it using the Image Properties window are immediately ignored.)  Why did they have to wreck my favorite HTML tool?  It worked just great on my old computer!

So anyway, I used an AOL text window instead, per John Scalzi's suggestion.  I looked up the entry with Paul Little's "Ten Things That May Be True" meme, wrote ten things about Sarah K., left a placeholder to write one about Becky Y., went offline, and went to dinner.  When I came back, I copied a different meme from a different Sara's journal, and set about answering that.  I was just finishing up when a blue screen full of white Courier text appeard for less than a second.  Then my new laptop rebooted, and told me it had just recovered from a serious error.  The MS Windows IE screen that popped up said something unhelpful about a device driver.

Needless to say, I've lost my entire unposted posting.

This is the sort of thing I bought the new laptop to avoid!  The old one had a serious error not long ago, and there were signs that the hard disk was dying.  But this new one doesn't much like my CF card reader (the probable source of the crash), and it seems to leave out letters when I type fast (two-fingered, but fast).


So I thought I'd better upgrade from the free 60-day subscription to Norton Antivirus to Norton SystemWorks 2005. Only, the Symantec web site wouldn't let me.  So I installed NSW 2003 from a CD.  I figured it wanted NSW to upgrade from, not just NA.  But I still got an error screen, something about cookies, which reappeared whether I used IE or Netscape, and regardless of how liberal my cookie settings were.

Double Aargh.

So I tried to run LiveUpdate.  That just failed, at least to some degree.  Need I say Aargh again?



I just hadn't configured Netscape Composer properly. D'Oh!  If you want to use it to write journal entries, I suggest that you set your preferences NOT to reformat HTML files, and NOT to use CSS styles.  If you love CSS for some reason, then never mind.

And the bottom line on not losing text of any sort, of course, is to save your work.  But frankly, I don't like saving posts-in-progress.  Maybe I'll make a default file name, and keep reusing it, and Shelly sort-of suggests.

One thing that isn't solved is the fact that my new laptop likes to omit a letter or two per sentence typed, especially the letter e, unless I type very slowly and pound the keys extra hard.  If my newest postings seem more typographically challenged than before, you now know why.

Oh, and I eventually found a Symantec page that says they don't sell upgrades for NSW, only whole new programs.  So why the heck is there an upgrade button on every page that sells NSW 2005?  Hmm?  And when you click it, why does it complain about your cookies instead of telling you there's no such option?  Bad Symantec!  No biscuit!

Ten Things That May Be True About Sarah Kishler
(reconstructed from memory)

Keep in mind that I've never actually met Sarah, despite having known her online for over a decade.  Sarah K., Sara G. and Jim R. were the hoopiest of the froods who used to hang out on the Hitchhiker's boards on Prodigy in the early 1990s.  I've lost track of Jim, but Sara and Sarah are even hoopier now.

Anyway, here are my semi-educated guesses:

1)  Sarah was born in the Year of the Cat.  If she wasn't, she should have been.

2)  Sarah has seen her second-favorite band, They Might Be Giants, at least five times.

3)  Sarah missed her only chance to get playwright Arthur Miller's autograph when he ducked out of the room to avoid being asked about Marilyn.  Sarah would not have asked about Marilyn.

4)Sarah acts in local theater because she enjoys it, not because she wants Hollywood to discover her.

5) Although Sarah generally prefers comedies, she appreciates serious plays too, if they're well-written.  Cf #3 above.

6) Sarah's favorite Python is Eric Idle.

7) Sarah's favorite wild animal is a bobcat or a mountain lion.

8) Sarah is easily seduced by silliness and eccentricity.  No, I don't mean sexually.

9) Sarah would like to follow up her first book, Spark Stories, with more writing, but her job, theatre, volunteering and other activities get in the way.

10) Nevertheless, Sarah will eventually write something really good, and people will gladly buy it at Barnes & Noble.

I know it's not very funny, but I was going for sorta kinda accurate here.  How'd I do, Sarah?

Becky, I'm going to hold off another day on yours.  Nettie, I'll try to do your interview questions tomorrow  night.

That other meme can wait another day, too.  Tonight I've got to get ready for that poetry recording tomorrow.



plittle said...

Don't worry about trying to be funny. Dismal failure at trying to be funny is my schtick.

shellys555 said...

I've never used AOL Text window so I don't know how it works. If you type in an AOL mail window, if AOL closes, you're usually still left with the draft which you can then save as draft.

When I really don't want to lose something, I type in Word Pad and save as something I call (name of blog)entry. I can format it once I copy it into the blog's posting window. I've also learned to copy to the clipboard before I try to publish anything, to Blogger or AOL journals or even to message boards.

Nothing will help if your computer shuts down unexpectedly and you haven't saved yet. If you work in Word or WordPerfect, you might get lucky with an autosaved file. Unfortunately, we usually develop these strategies after disaster strikes.

I've had a few "recovered from attempt to hack into my PC" type messages after my PC has frozen and I've been forced to reboot, which then gives me the "recovered from serious error" message. I'm just glad my Norton Firewall is looking out for me that way, even if I lose stuff on occasion. IE has problems I use it, but I know things can slip in thru it.

ryanagi said...

*pat pat pat* Sorry about the gliches. So far my new laptop is peachy keen. But then, I haven't loaded a single thing on there that didn't come with it. And I uninstalled a ton of crap. LOL

ceschorr said...

you sure do know a lot more about computers than i do!
sara s.

deabvt said...

Break a leg!

shellys555 said...

Yeah, I reuse the (blogname)entry file over and over. I have one for each of my blogs that I tend to post long entries on. When I'm really concerned, I use WordPerfect which has autosave and then I don't have to worry about it.

sakishler said...

For Karen and anyone else who might be the slightest bit curious,
find out how she did with the 10 things that might be true about me here:

Sarah Kishler