Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Like I said last week, I tend to drink coffee in cycles, and I have since I was at the newspaper. (Or at least, I used to have that cycle.) First I have a little in the morning - from the cafeteria here, a 12 oz. cup; from the kitchen in Vermont, one coffee cup - for a few days, then a morning comes along when I have a lot to get done or when I was up late the night before and I have a little more - here, a 16 oz. cup; back at my old job, two cups. After I get acclimated to having a medium cup in the morning, another day comes along when I need extra and I have a large cup. Then, eventually, I have a soda or iced coffee in the afternoon.

And then, by Saturday afternoon or Sunday, I'll have a dull, constant headache. I think this is because I got used to a certain amount of caffeine and then I haven't had any yet for a day or two, because I rarely have any on the weekends. This makes me realize I need to cut back to one small cup in the mornings.
Um, maybe it's not time for a Kindle after all.
Unfortunately the publishers decide how many licenses, that is devices, a book can be on at any one time. While most of the time that will be five or six different devices there will be times when it’s only one device.

At the present time there is no way to know how many devices can be licensed prior to buying the book.

In other words, if his information was accurate, and the runaround I got this afternoon does make me continue to wonder, once you purchase a book you will have access to it going forward...

You just may have some hoops to go through along the way.

Realistically, getting a Kindle isn't a high priority for me, especially not now that I've got my computer working again after jumping through a few hoops myself. At first I was impressed by Dell technical support, because a technician delivered and installed a new hard drive Tuesday afternoon, which seems pretty prompt. By Thursday or Friday I was pissed off at them, because while the new hard drive was working the Internet connection wasn't, but it turned out that I wasn't filling in the network key in the right place or something. So overall, good job Dell. (I had one blood pressure spike this weekend when my computer crashed again while playing WoW and I realized that the problem wasn't the old hard drive, or at least the crashes were a separate problem from the hard drive, and it must be the video card after all. I turned down my video settings - hindsight being 20/20, I didn't need them all set to the max, even if it does make the game prettier - and no problems since then. I sure as hell wish I had tried that two weeks ago.)

So, to summarize: about a week of hassle, at least partly my own fault, but it didn't cost anything except for the new external hard drive, which is the kind of thing I should be using anyway.

A related concern that the Kindle thing reminds me of, though, is that I haven't got around to checking on my iTunes music library in the files recovered from my old hard drive. Some of the songs were bought from iTunes and some were copied from the CDs of friends and family who are now in other states, so all in all, it would be a lot to lose. And I doubt the files are unrecoverable, but I really hope iTunes isn't too assholeish about using files on too many different devices. I had one computer when I was in college, I got a new one in 2005 when I graduated and I got this current computer as a gift to myself after I got my first paycheck at my current job in late 2008. I also used to have an iPod and still do use an iPod mini. If any of those iTunes files are older than 2005, then that's five different licenses right there, not counting this new hard drive...

Monday, June 15, 2009

I'm not sure if my computer picked a good weekend to go on vacation* or not. One advantage is that June is a good time for it. Sunday was sunny and hot but not too hot and all around the best day imaginable to spend time running a few errands on foot. And I made headway on some bookkeeping and cleaning up and stuff. Not much, but some. It's not a big deal either way, I've long since stopped beating myself up over it, I don't live with my mother any more; but it's just nice to be a bit more organized.

The downside is, obviously, being so cut off. Apparently there was some kind of election irregularity in Iran? Everyone's thinks it was fixed? Friday I had just found a couple interesting personals ads, and then I lose my only viable** Internet access? And I can't play WoW. There's nothing time-sensitive going on right now, and it's not like I'm indispensable to my guild, but it's annoying.

All around, by Sunday I felt like I was in detox. I'm on the high side of my caffeine cycle (I'll explain later), and I'm trying to eat more healthily. So I'm reducing my intake of coffee and of unhealthy foods and going cold turkey on WoW.

Also, I need a Kindle or something (but shopping around for one is, of course, hard to do without a working computer at home!). I read fast. If I read enough to even put a dent in my free time, then I'd need either a lot more storage space or a Kindle or membership to a good library. Storage space is mostly used up in this house and libraries usually don't have newly released books and I can't reread library books I've returned the way I can pick up a familiar old novel off the shelf, so that leaves a Kindle or similar off-brand toy.

* By which I mean, it won't start. Can't load Windows. I had been having problems now and then with the thing shutting down on its own for the past couple weeks, and Saturday morning the thing was running so slowly it was basically not usable, and when I shut it down and tried to restart it, it wouldn't. By Sunday afternoon I had exhausted my technical expertise and began to suspect that the problem was the hard drive itself, and a tech support guy at Dell agreed with me. Hopefully their technician will come to replace it on Friday afternoon at the latest. Hopefully they will be able to recover the data on the current hard drive, some of which is irreplaceable. Argh. However, there's no need to say "hopefully" about one thing: I'm definitely going to be better about backing up the important stuff.

** I'm not cut off, of course. I'm typing this at work, and some Web sites that are blocked at work, like Hotmail and Facebook, I can just access on my cell phone. But my phone has a three-inch screen and feeble Internet connection, so it really sucks for anything like browsing.