ratcreature: RatCreature is enraged, swinging an axe: Kill! Kill! Kill! (rage)
I have a new android tablet and I want Chrome to display my tabs like my old tablet does. That one displays tabs like on a desktop, with a tab-thing showing the title at the top and all are sort of in the same window like in a desktop browser. My new tablet does the annoying mobile browser display, where there is the little square next to the url that shows a number. Both tablets have Android 6 and the same Chrome so surely there has to be an option somewhere to tell Chrome how it should display its tabs, and yet I can't find it anywhere. And nothing that I tried putting into Google was any help either.
ratcreature: Tech-Voodoo: RatCreature waves a dead chicken over a computer. (voodoo)
I probably should just try to have fewer open tabs, but thus far my solution has been a Firefox tab group extension, so whenever things get too crowded my main browser window, I shove some tabs into other groups (like "stuff to (maybe) read in fandom x") and deal with it later (or not).

Only now I've seen a notice that because Mozilla changed the underlying framework for the extensions or something, the Tab Group Extension I'm using will stop working later this year with Firefox 57, and apparently it's not feasible for the developer to switch to the new system.

I know there are multiple tab group extensions, but I assume that in the background most started like my current one from the Mozilla code that used to have this as standard feature, and use the same methods that will become deprecated in the near future.

Do you know of any that will continue to work? Is there a way to tell from the add-on descriptions as a user if there isn't an explicit notice on this issue?
ratcreature: reading RatCreature (reading)
After the untimely destruction of my last one (lesson learned: don't read while walking, at least not unless you have seriously rugged your e-reader to take a lot of impact), I got a replacement today. I briefly considered just getting the same model again, because I liked my PocketBook Lux Touch 3, but actually it now cost 12€ more than eleven months ago when I bought it, and it would have been kind of depressing to get just the same again for more money now that the tech is almost a year older.

So instead I spent a little more still to get the new PocketBook Touch HD, which as the name indicates has a HD display, is faster with twice the memory and can play audio. My preference for PocketBook is that I want to be able to use my e-reader without having to register it anywhere or be associated with any store. PocketBook offers a cloud backup and synchronization service too, but you can just skip that. Also it supports the Adobe DRM my public library uses.

One thing that made me apprehensive is that while most reviews liked the hardware they cautioned about bugs in the firmware. Some reviews also claimed that it stopped working entirely when they tried to update said firmware, but I put these down to inexperience in coping with technical difficulties.

I was already familiar with how horrible and glitchy their firmware updates are from my previous PocketBook, but they also offer multiple ways of troubleshooting, restoring corrupted systems and their support is decent.

And true to form the thing hung during the initial firmware update, but actually it resolved more easily than last time. After a call to their support line, it took only one reset and connecting the e-reader to my laptop during the update for it to finish correctly. Apparently the thing likes to be connected to a power supply while updating, and may hang if it is not, even if it is nearly fully charged. Only the manual doesn't tell you that. (I was clever enough this time around to try this during their office hours, whereas last time I tried over the weekend and only got an answer to my, then slightly different, problem via mail on Monday, when I had already managed to resolve it with a lot of trial and error.)

Anyway, once I was past that (and disabled automatic updates), so far it seems to work okay when I tried stuff, though some problems might only show with longer use. I mean, my previous one has glitched a few times with books for no reason I could discern, like it would sometimes not display a page but exit to the menu, even though when I checked the ebook source code in that place on my computer I could never see anything unusual (like broken formatting or code or such) that might explain this. It wasn't happening often, maybe half a dozen times per several hundreds of files, but still annoying. And a few times it crashed for no reason, so even picking the old one again I would not have been bug-free.

The HD display of the new one is noticeably nicer and crisper than my previous one, and it is faster when loading things, when browsing the library and when reacting in general. So that is very nice. It connects fine to Calibre (though the translation of Calibre tags into "genres" is not ideal for my use of tags in particular with fanfic), and its own library organization got even better than previously.

Anyway so far I'm happy with it.
ratcreature: reading RatCreature (reading)
Currently I use a 7-inch Nexus tablet for e-book reading, and that suits me fairly well, i.e. I like that I can't just read books but also have a browser, can check email etc., the screen works well enough except in bright sunlight, and the features of the ebook apps are decent, but I run into issues with the battery life semi-frequently, and the tablet does not recharge very quickly either.

I don't think I have extreme battery demands, but say I recharge it fully overnight, then take the tablet with me, use it intermittently throughout the day, and it connected to wlans a couple of times, and then back home I want to read an e-book for several hours that same evening, that may not work without recharging, or at least without running the charge really low. And then recharging it from something as low as 10% battery to full again can take longer than seven hours, which is annoying.

So I am considering whether I shouldn't get a dedicated e-reader for those times when I want to read an e-book or fanfic for several hours. I would consider a newer tablet, but I'm not sure those are really significantly better when it comes to battery life, especially the ones priced in the mid-range. Also there don't seem to be many 7-inch ones around anymore, and I don't actually want a larger device. Mine easily fits not just in my purse, but also into the inside pockets of coats and parkas and such, which a 10-inch or even 8-inch one wouldn't, whereas e-readers, which tend to smaller sized would.

So now I'm wondering which e-readers are good. I do not want an Amazon Kindle, because most of the non-fanfic e-books I read come from my public library which uses epub (often with Adobe's DRM), and I don't want a device that doesn't support different formats natively. And all the fanfic I have already downloaded for reading on my tablet is in epub too. I know that I can convert things via Calibre, but I refuse to get a specialized e-book reading device that then can't even read different e-book formats. That is just ridiculous, IMO.

So does anyone have good experiences with current non-Kindle e-readers that would fit my criteria? (Not too big, good battery life, support for different e-book formats including library e-books, easy transfer of fanfic e-books to the device via Calibre, decent search and sorting options for finding books again on the device are sort of the essentials)

From looking at tests, comparisons and my library's e-reader info sheet, the ones I'm currently considering most is the Pocketbook Touch Lux 3 and the Bookeen Cybook Muse Frontlight. I also looked at the Kobo Glo HD, but I am not thrilled with this forced registration you apparently have to do to use your own device.
ratcreature: Tech-Voodoo: RatCreature waves a dead chicken over a computer. (voodoo)
I bought myself a Nexus 7 tablet. Right now I'm still really confused by it. It doesn't help that the thing has no instruction manual whatsoever. Seriously, just a slip of paper with a URL for Google's online help that also points out on an image which button to press to turn the device on, which I guess is somewhat useful because there are no symbols near the two buttons, so nothing to tell you that the smaller is the on switch and the larger the volume control, but it is a *bit* minimalist as far as documentation goes. This is especially hilarious as the warranty information card tells me that I ought to read the instruction manual and only use it in accordance with that to not void the warranty...

Also I have barely looked at two or three things and Google already prodded me four times to sign up for Google+. I mean, I expected to decline once during sign-up, but it wants me to turn on various Google services with bizarre frequency, as seemingly every icon I look at wants me to agree to allow Google to sign me up for something, or track me and share my data even while I'm not using that particular thing to "enhance" something or other, like it wants to share location info with search services and then turn on the Google web search history (which I have disabled), and allow it to share that data with whomever.

I still have to find out how I can get stuff I already have on my computer, like ebooks, onto it easily. And decide which ebook reader app I ought to use. There seem to be quite many of them. In case that you use an android device as an ereader, do you have a favorite? Also what other apps do you like? This is the first time I'm using something like this, so I'm a bit lost.

ETA: And now it just signed me up for Youtube without me doing anything besides clicking on a demo video for an ereader app, wtf?
ratcreature: Tech-Voodoo: RatCreature waves a dead chicken over a computer. (voodoo)
A few weeks back I thought my laptop had died because it wouldn't turn on, but shut down again after I pressed the On-button. And then after a while for no reason I could discern after several tries, when I was ready to bring it in for service, it worked again after all.

I think I now know what happened, because just now I accidentally selected "suspend" rather than "shut down" from the log off menu, and unlike the automatic suspend that happens after a certain time to save power, and out which I can rouse my laptop like it is supposed to (by pressing the then blinking on button for slightly longer), it wouldn't come out this suspend. And when I turned it off completely and then on, it went into the same half-inert state, where you can't turn it on anymore, but it just makes some noise, blinks a little, and then powers off again. However knowing that it was a suspend gone horribly wrong, after turning it off via the on-button, I disconnected it from the power completely and took out the battery too for good measure (though I didn't do that last time) on the theory that being completely without power ought to stop any "suspending", and then put the battery back in, and afterwards it turned on normally.

So I assume that last time when I thought I had shut it off I also accidentally landed on the "suspend" which is apparently buggy in some way. (I have to look into whether I can customize that stupid option out of the menu to avoid clicking it accidentally.) It's reassuring that knowing this, it seems much less likely that some hardware part is going in a glitchy way, and that maybe I don't have to be so anxious about the laptop after all.

I still have been much better about backing up since then, and keep doing that.
ratcreature: Woe! RatCreature feels emo. (woe!)
My laptop won't boot anymore. It just makes some noises and then shuts down again. :(

I did have the foresight to buy a four year extended warranty when I got it, which is useful, since it is just after the two year usual one (quite suspicious that), so I ought to get it repaired on that. But of course I was less than scrupulous about backing up all my stuff (my last full backup is some weeks old), and my creaky, old desktop is not as nice to use, and of course you can't take a desktop to use it from the comfort of your bed covered by a warm blanket either. And who knows how long the repair will take.

So I'm likely to be around less online with this inconvenience. :(

ETA: Maybe it's not quite dead? Just before bringing it to the store I tried one last time to boot it, just to be sure not to embarrass myself (I've had that happen in the past that in the store a computer suddenly changed its mind about being broken), and this time, unlike the last four or five times I tried to turn it on, the laptop booted normally, pretending it hadn't played dead brick for the last few hours. Obviously right now I'm scrambling to do the backing up I'd neglected, to get all my data.

The logs I looked at, do not show anything for the time around 2am last night when I turned it off and the boot now. Obviously right now I'm highly suspicious of the laptop. Once all my data is copied, I'll risk turning it off and see whether it'll start again. I hope it'll remain non-dead *crosses fingers*, to spare myself the repair hassle, though even if it does, my trust in it is severely shaken.

ETA2: I finished the backup, and the laptop turns on again after I turn it off. So for now I'll hold off from bringing it for repair, as obviously I can't reproduce its total failure, which is both good (because I have a functioning laptop) and bad (because it feels more unreliable than the usual computer having failed me for no reason I can discern). I guess I just have to be very diligent about backups and hope for the best.
ratcreature: Tech-Voodoo: RatCreature waves a dead chicken over a computer. (voodoo)
Does anyone know how to undo this? I must have pressed the wrong key combination, but I don't know what I pressed (I wanted to press Ctrl+T to open an new tab), and now instead of dark on light my Firefox tabs except the active one have light writing on dark background. It's a bit disorienting. I can't find a corresponding setting in the menu.
ratcreature: What? Who? When? Yes, I have been living under a rock... (under a rock)
I've accessed Google Docs for the first time in a while, and apparently they are discontinuing it? Instead there will be a "Google Drive" for which you need to download some program that doesn't even have a Linux version? *siiigh*

WTF?

Aug. 16th, 2012 22:24
ratcreature: WTF!? (WTF!?)
What happened to the AO3? It doesn't load for me, instead some "parked domain" page with sponsored advertising shows for me. Argh. I really need to learn to save stories I'm in the middle of reading, rather than just have FF remember the URLs in its tabs.
ratcreature: Tech-Voodoo: RatCreature waves a dead chicken over a computer. (voodoo)
It is a rather cheap one, having cost €400 (plus a bit over €20 for an extended repair warranty lasting four years which I thought was worth it to reassure me that I'll get use out of my investment for a while), but this was still quite a big expense for me. It's a HP 625, and it came with a SuSE Enterprise Linux trial thing, but I've just installed Ubuntu on it, because from what I understood you have to pay Novell for using the updates or something like that. I suppose I might already have paid with the computer and would have just needed to register, but I couldn't find any sensible instructions, and while I used older SuSE Linux in the past, this one's interface wasn't all that great when I checked it out.

Also the guy in the store where I bought it recommended installing an new Linux anyway, saying that the Linux on it wasn't a regular version, but he had assured me that he had installed Ubuntu without problems on this model. And because I didn't have to pay for a Windows license, I got more memory and a larger hard disk than the version of the laptop that was sold with Windows at this price. So I have 4GB RAM and a 320GB disk.

So far everything works really nicely. The Ubuntu install went okay overall, though my first try, when I choose to download updates right away stalled with a bizarre I/O error at the end right before the restart, and left me with a non-starting system, but my second try to install what was on the CD then download updates later worked out. Unlike with my old laptop (may it RIP) with this one the power management and battery monitor works under linux, and the wireless worked right away, also it can do the better encryption, so now my wlan is safer since I could enable that in my router. Sound, touchpad, graphic acceleration work too. The fan is not too loud, and it doesn't seem to heat up too much either. The keyboard is quite nice too, though I keep thinking the keys ought to be further to the left, because unlike my last one this laptop has the special keys on the left side, but I ought to get used to that soon enough. I haven't yet checked everything, and still have to customize a lot, but it seems really promising.
ratcreature: RatCreature feels melodramatic: Waah! (waah!)
I managed to get a decent screwdriver, and got the disk out of its metal frame and connected to another computer, but the desktop doesn't even recognize the thing as a hard disk. I mean, not just that it can't read the file system, but it doesn't recognize what manner of thing hangs onto its USB port. So short of CSI-level data recovery technomagic, which I can't afford, I won't get anything on that disk back. Waaaahh.
ratcreature: Tech-Voodoo: RatCreature waves a dead chicken over a computer. (voodoo)
In the last installment my beloved laptop died, not recognizing its hard disk any longer, without the option to rescue anything from a Live CD, as its DVD drive had died a while ago.

Anyway, in an attempt to maybe salvage some of the lost data (my first HD failure since 1998, I've been complacent about frequent backups) I got myself an SATA/IDE to USB converter thingy, hoping to plug that into the disk, and then follow a data recovery guide, which explains how to image a damaged disk (I also got a shiny new external hard disk with plenty of space so I can store it) to then do repair work on that image and hopefully salvage stuff.

However, before I even got to that stage I've been defeated by screws. I got the disk out of the laptop okay, but it is in a metal frame you slide in, and the cable of the converter does not fit onto the disk while it is in the metal thing. But I can't get the screws loose. They don't budge at all, the only effect I'm having is denting my screw driver head. Admittedly said tool is a cheap and dingy little thing (I got it with some computer part or other), but I suspect if the screw driver was harder I'd only end up damaging the screws instead. :(
ratcreature: Woe! RatCreature feels emo. (woe!)
It was not unexpected, seeing how it predates 2005, but still. Also, being the lazy moron I am, I was lackadaisical about backups despite this. Maybe I can salvage something from the hard disk still, though I have never done that with a laptop hard disk before, because this was my first laptop ever. Also this is my first data loss since 1998, so I guess I had a pretty good run wrt to disk and computer failures, which explains my abysmal backup habits.
ratcreature: RatCreature is enraged, swinging an axe: Kill! Kill! Kill! (rage)
You know what I hate? When a program, for no discernible reason, changes what it does so that an action you have done a thousand times in exactly this manner just doesn't work anymore, because inadvertently you changed some setting or clicked something or picked something without meaning to, but you can't discern anywhere what has changed and fix it. So after trying for some time you have no choice but to save and restart the program in hopes that the default behavior will be restored.

Just now I tried to do a simple copy & paste in GIMP, and it inserted the new layer just fine, but the moving tool refused to work on this newly inserted layer, so I couldn't move it to the right place. There was no symbol attached to this layer in the layer view that indicated it being in any way different from any of the other layers that I had previously inserted and moved. I have no idea what I did that suddenly broke the move tool without warning. I hate that. And now I find that even with a restart the default setting hasn't been restored, so it seems to have remembered whatever messed up option caused this. I still can't move the layer I pasted, WTF? Why are you doing this to me GIMP?

Do any of you have an idea what can suddenly break a move tool like that so that you just can't grab a layer anymore to move it with the tool? I know I didn't pick this intentionally, so I must have clicked accidentally somewhere or something. Argh.

Does this kind of thing happen to other people, that your software just doesn't do a routine task anymore and you have no idea how you broke it?
ratcreature: WTF!? (WTF!?)
Does anyone else have trouble with the Cascade Library site? I wanted to check something for fanlore and it didn't load right.

Right now for me sometimes pages load with the proper content, but sometimes some kind of weird spam site loads, with annoying links and I assume malicious Javascript. (I have NoScript on, and linux tends to have vulnerabilities different from Windows which is most commonly targeted by website hacks, so I don't know what it does to other computers.) Has skeeter63.org been hacked? I have the same problem with all the site's there, that sometimes they load okay and sometimes this crap loads. It might not be a good idea to go there right now if you don't have NoScript and adequate precautions enabled, but I'm wondering what is up with the domain.
ratcreature: grumpy (grumpy)
At first I thought it was just Gmail that had trouble loading for me, but their search engine is timing out on me as well. And I seem not alone. I actually found twitter useful for just about the first time and searched there for Gmail and Google complaints happening right now, and it seems I'm not alone with this problem.

argh

Dec. 6th, 2008 18:20
ratcreature: Tech-Voodoo: RatCreature waves a dead chicken over a computer. (voodoo)
I'm so glad I finished, scanned and submitted my yuletart picture last night, even if I stayed up until 4 a.m., because today my desktop (the computer of the mysterious, intermittent hardware problems that don't materialize in the repair place) crapped out on me again. Incidentally that is also the computer with which my scanner works. Anyway, while my desktop fails to work once again *curses the stupid piece of crap*, at least I was lucky enough that I completed my assignment before.
ratcreature: Tech-Voodoo: RatCreature waves a dead chicken over a computer. (voodoo)
What the frell did photobucket do to their image upload? It's been a few months since I last uploaded a photo to my account, but I never had a problem, though their flash(?)-thingy for bulk uploading never worked for me. But now I click on the upload button, and a small window with the title bar "select files" pops up, but I don't actually see anything in the window, just some wildly flickering movement, and then my browser crashes.

What is wrong with these people? Why did they have to break their site?

Are there other ways to upload to photobucket, like FF extensions or something, that don't use the website? Or do I just have to stop using their site entirely?

ETA: After looking at their help I found a way to use the old uploader, which I would have clicked had the link to it been visible in the box at my screen resolution and font size, but it was not, but cut off by the box frame and thus hidden. FAIL, photobucket, FAIL.
ratcreature: Tech-Voodoo: RatCreature waves a dead chicken over a computer. (voodoo)
That Scott McCloud drew the promotional comic for the upcoming Google Chrome Browser made me actually curious enough to read forty comic pages explaining why Google's browser is going to be better than the others. Unfortunately the comic doesn't say anywhere whether there'll be a Linux version any time soon.

The browser does sound neat (as it well should in its own PR material), and if it would really make bloated javascript applications run faster as they promise, I'd try it if only to see whether maybe there'll finally be a browser that might make the delicious tag bundle interface usable for me.

After I looked around some in the news covering the Google browser, I found that apparently Mac and Linux versions are planned, but I didn't see anything specific. :( However if you use Windows you will be able to download a beta version soon.
ratcreature: Tech-Voodoo: RatCreature waves a dead chicken over a computer. (voodoo)
When I had trouble accessing Gmail yesterday afternoon I soon chalked that up to the more widespread problems accessing any Google service around here for a couple of hours, at least if you have the German T-Com as your ISP.

Okay whatever, my ISP broke their internet, it apparently happens even if they still can't explain what exactly caused the glitch. Though it is very annoying to have all Google services (not just the search engine and Gmail, but everything including Blogspot, YouTube and so on) return with DNS errors for you -- the internet looks very broken all of a sudden. Not to mention that this came on top of LJ's problems yesterday.

But a few hours later in the evening Google's search engine would load again for me, same for most of their other stuff, and I can get even to my mail through POP, which is something at least, but the Gmail webinterface still stubbornly refuses to load for me, just giving a DNS error.

This is very annoying. I also find it baffling -- how can everything be up again with the rest of the Google website, and my email be there too somewhere, seeing how I can get it through POP, but the two sides won't come together as webmail?
ratcreature: Tech-Voodoo: RatCreature waves a dead chicken over a computer. (voodoo)
So my desktop computer, which is fairly new but not under its six month warranty anymore, has a problem. Sometimes it won't boot when I turn it on. It doesn't even show the BIOS screen nor the graphics card notice. The on/off switch diode lights up, and the case fan works, however I don't see the hard disk diode blinking.

So when it happened the first time out of the blue (there weren't any signs of incipient failure the last time I had turned it on) I thought the worst, tried the turning it off and on again once to no effect, and then pulled out my computer, intending to check all cables, then open it, see whether the processor fan starts, and whether maybe just some connection is loose or too much dust had accumulated or anything. So I pull it out, wriggle all the outside cables, try once again, and miraculously it starts before I even open it. And the computer worked fine, no errors, no freezing, or anything.

So I thought that maybe it was nothing after all, clearly going with my hopes for a best case scenario, because I really don't want to spend money repairing or replacing it fully or in parts. Also seeing how it is still fairly new I didn't anticipate any such extra computer costs, I'm still recovering from buying it this spring, no matter that it was a relatively cheap one as far as computers go, but it was still a big expense for me. (I did however backup the data I hadn't already.)

But then today it fails to start again. So again I try a couple of times, futilely hoping that it might resolve itself on its own like before, then pull it out, open it, and all cable connections I can see seem fine, so I try starting it while open, and again it suddenly works, and now seems to run okay. It did give me BIOS notice that I had pressed the cold reset button too often in sequence, so clearly something registered even as the computer didn't seem to do anything.

Does anyone have any idea what produces behavior like this?
ratcreature: Tech-Voodoo: RatCreature waves a dead chicken over a computer. (voodoo)
I've a question about the gmail interface that is really starting to bug me: In the standard web interface you get a navigation/menu bar at top of the page leading to other google services. However for me its look isn't consitent. Sometimes it looks like in this screenshot, with the link to the google reader hidden in the "more" menu, which is somewhat inconvenient because besides the mail itself the reader is one of the services I actually use, unlike the calendar for example.

I still could live with that if it was just the standard organization, however sometimes it tantalizes me with a more useful arrangement, and the menu looks like in this screenshot, with the link plainly in sight, not hidden beneath the "more". I have no idea when or for what reasons gmail chooses to display one or the other. I have tried to reproduce the different menus by logging into gmail first, or logging into the reader first, by having both open at the same time, but it seems random. And nowhere in the settings have I found anything to choose how the menu is displayed.

Why does gmail do this, and how do I get it to display the menu like in the second screenshot permanently?
ratcreature: Tech-Voodoo: RatCreature waves a dead chicken over a computer. (voodoo)
So yesterday I tried whether my desktop might be able to use the DSL modem directly, and that wasn't it, i.e. that didn't work with either the onboard ethernet or the network card. So the problem is definitely that for some reason OpenSuSE won't handle either ethernet controller right, actually I think since they are both Realtek they might use the same driver module. Anyway, today I got a couple of distros as Live Linux CDs to see whether another distro would cause less problems.

The good news is that Kubuntu 6.10 (i.e. the KDE version of Ubuntu) worked with the onboard ethernet out of the box, connected to my router automatically and I had internet access without doing anything (which is as it should be if you plug in your computer to your router), so the chances are that if I installed Kubuntu permanently it would work too.

However, I have never used Kubuntu or Ubunutu, which as I understand it uses a different packaging system than the RPM based OpenSuSE, I think it's those Debian packages, and a different installation interface, and I have used some version of SuSE ever since I switched to Linux many years ago (in 1998, iirc), so I'm kind of anxious about having to get used to another distro. Then again, there are significant changes between releases of the SuSE distro as well, and since I have no idea what I could still try to make the ethernet work, I think I will go ahead and just try Kubuntu.

So does anyone on my f-list use Ubuntu? Is it easy to get used to? Comfortable?

ETA: WTF?!? The Kubuntu Installer won't find and configure my network even though the Kubuntu LiveCD (same Kubuntu version) did? This all sucks so much. Why can't the frelling computer just work? Argh.
ratcreature: RatCreature feels melodramatic: Waah! (waah!)
Well, the good news is that I have a new desktop computer. (Yay!) The bad news is that it somehow won't cooperate with my router.

Maybe someone on my f-list has suggestions what the problem could be? My router is a Netgear Wireless (WGT624) that my laptop connects to wirelessly and my desktop via an ethernet cable, and the router is set up so that it assigns the connected computers their IPs as a DHCP server automatically. And this used to work more or less out of the box whenever I installed a linux, at least via an ethernet cable (the wireless card driver for my laptop was more finicky). Anyway, the router assigns my laptop it address without problem, and in light of the problems with the desktop I also tried connecting it with a cable, and then it also works fine.

When I installed the newest version of OpenSuSE on my new computer, it went reasonably well in that tt recognized the ethernet controller on the mainboard as a network device, however then the network itself fails to work and my desktop tells me that the "dhcpcd is still waiting for data" or something to that effect (I think that stands for DHCP client demon), and I don't see the desktop in the list of attached device in my routers settings at all when I look at them from my laptop.

Since with the onboard network controller the LED on the router was kind of blinking (which I think it shouldn't, at least it doesn't when the connection works like when I plug the laptop in), I thought that maybe this particular network controller might have problems with the router or whatever, and I put in my old network card into my new computer, the one that previously worked fine with that router before the old desktop died, disabled the onboard one in the BIOS, and set up the network again with using that card. The progress was that now the LED on the router is steady as it should be, but still the computer doesn't connect and I can't see it in the router settings at all in this list of connected devices and their hardware MAC addresses, despite the cable connecting the two and the LED at the router and on the network card being green, and I know that the cable and the port at the router are okay, because I connected my laptop to that router with the same cable and it worked fine.

I'm really out of ideas as to what causes this, or what I could still do, except maybe for trying to install a different Linux distribution or something.
ratcreature: RatCreature at the drawing board. (drawing)
I don't own a color printer myself, so usually I don't print any digital art, but just create it for viewing on screen, i.e. I usually scan the pencil sketch at 300dpi, color it in GIMP, and then when it's finished I merge the layers and resize it so that it's a convenient, smaller size for looking at it on the usual 72dpi screen, which has the advantage to make it look better and conceal errors.

But I suspect printing art at 300dpi would still look rather crappy, so I wanted to ask those of you who print their digital art (I'm mostly thinking of digital drawings, I'm not sure whether it is different for photos) which resolution gives a decent result. I'm not thinking of professional printing quality, like graphic designers for print media would need, because I don't own a high end computer and working with huge graphic files with multiple layers in a very high resolution is cumbersome with my hardware limitations, which is why I usually settle for 300dpi, but just a good, clean look if you printed the drawing at the size of the original pencils. Would 600dpi be enough if I wanted to print a drawing later on, or does the resolution need to be even higher? At which resolution do you print your art?
ratcreature: Woe! RatCreature feels emo. (woe!)
Unfortunately my new icon is rather appropriate...

First, I woke up at an ungodly hour (around seven) sicker than yesterday, with a headache and chills in addition to the cough and sore throat, that also hurt more and my voice was hoarser too, and a number of irritating other stuff like that my nose started bleeding with the slightest provocation (like, say, *blowing it*) and for some reason my tonsils actually *itched* despite being not even all that swollen. Anyway, general ickiness abounded.

Now after I took some paracetamol and drank some tea, and then went back to sleep for a while, all that improved slightly, and I actually thought the day had taken a turn for the better. I stayed mostly in bed, watched the new Criminal Minds, read some fanfic, cuddled with my rats, doodled to make new icons, and it seemed things were looking up.

However it turned out that the mainboard of my desktop computer gave up the ghost completely. My desktop is quite old for a computer (I think with this mainboard it's been working since 2001? and some other parts were older) and it had problems for a while, like sometimes it wouldn't boot or it booted only to show the BIOS screen to explain the hardware problem (something about the processor voltage being below the acceptable range IIRC), or randomly rebooted, so this wasn't entirely unexpected, but it still sucks. Especially since for some reason that I never managed to figure out, my USB scanner won't work with my laptop.

Since the desktop finally died while I was about to scan some doodles I had drawn to turn into new icons, I only managed to scan and transfer the "woe!" one, but not the Rodney!RatCreature I've drawn to complement my SGA set. Anyway, because right now the laptop is my only working computer (*hearts working laptop*) I can't scan stuff anymore. Hence: Woe!

You can look at the pencil drawing behind the cut... )

BTW, does anyone know what happened to [livejournal.com profile] smittywing? I've noticed that the LJ has been deleted?

neat!

Feb. 3rd, 2007 19:50
ratcreature: Tech-Voodoo: RatCreature waves a dead chicken over a computer. (voodoo)
So I asked what people use to keep track of all kinds of quotes and other interesting bits of knowledge they accumulate and how they deal with this problem in general, and I haven't really found anything suitable for my needs yet. These things apparently tend to be all either very academic, like all kinds of bibliography tools with a ton of input fields (kind of overkill for me) and only intended for having a database of your academic sources rather than a thing, that while suitable to keep track of quotes and books and such, also has the more freeform options I'm looking for, or the programs are just general note taking and organizing programs or outliners.

However since a general way to keep track of the mix of random text files and sticky notes all over my desktop and hard drive wouldn't be bad either, I looked into those too. And well, it turns out that most of the linux programs wouldn't easily install on my system because they apparently always want a newer version of some library or other, and I'm not sure I'd keep yet another program open at all times anyway. Many people seem to use the method of just keeping anything in one text file and utilize search to its fullest potential, and I get that approach, since this way you only have to keep your favorite editor open and can easily make backups and keep it synced between computers and operating systems too. I tried that for a while, but the problem for me with this approach is not that I can't find specific things I'm looking for in that huge file, but you can't easily browse to get an overview of your odds and ends, and I tend to forget about things I dumped into my general notebook file so that I never search for them again in the first place.

Still for saving, searching and portability is having a single file instead of some database thing not bad. So when I found TiddlyWiki I thought its basic idea was very cool: It's like a personal wiki but since it is just javascript on a single HTML file on your disk, you don't need to install anything on your computer, just to save that page, and the data of your notes is plain HTML with no databases needed, but when it displays in a javascript capable browse you can hide and display your notes as you like, you can tag and search as well, and link them to each other and outside pages. It's very neat. And if you want to just save a few of your notes as a separate HTML file that's possible too.

I tried it out this afternoon, and it's actually fairly practical for saving things you come across and for notes and such. I used it to save a bunch of things, like noting a couple of books that seemed interesting to read, a recipe I found, and transferred a bunch of my stack of desktop sticky notes, and so far I really like it.
ratcreature: RatCreature as a (science) geek. (geek)
...but I figure with this many academics and authors in fandom this is a good place to ask: I've been wondering what kind of software people use to keep track of quotes and other interesting bits of knowledge they accumulate and want to keep track of.

Not being into humanities in any professional capacity I never really started anything like a "Zettelkasten" (what do you call this kind of freeform bibliography/quotes/notes cards in English anyway? You know, the kind of thing that for famous authors and scholars used to be enormous amounts of cards accumulated and interlinked over decades and then bequeathed to archives, like the ones by Arno Schmidt or Niklas Luhmann?), so usually any notes I take on anything end up on various papers, cards, text files, notebooks without doing me any good in the long term, and for some kinds funny and/or insightful quotes keep a text file on my computer, and others for odds and ends that seem useful, but recently, after using bookmark sites with tags for a while, it occurred to me that it is completely moronic to try to keep track in such a scattered and inefficient way, even for just a smallish amount of data, and even for someone who doesn't strictly need such a knowledge organization, it would make sense to do it anyway if there was a convenient way to do so.

I mean, for example even simple things would be really nifty, say you just want to remember a cool quote, copy that, but then just type in say the ISBN of the book and the application looks up the book in one of the online database like that librarything site does and you don't have to type in all kinds of bibliographic data, because that would be filled in automatically, and then you could probably tag your quotes in such software like you can tag bookmarks. Besides, it would be really cool to have something that's able to keep track of picture references as well as text.

Seeing how this is something all kinds academics probably use, especially since they would also need things that format their bibliographies automatically according to all kinds of standards quickly anyway, I'm sure there must be a ton of such programs or maybe web versions of the same thing, so that you could combine your online bookmarks with your notes/quotes from offline stuff?

So, what do people use for this kind of thing? (Oh, and for me to be able to use it it needs to be either platform independent/online or available in a Linux version but I'd be interested in your experiences in any case.)

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