petronia: (cell phone's dead)
Brand new Dell laptop on wireless home network (four other computers going through the same router experience no problems). WWW on all browsers work fine. McAfee Agent won't connect to its server, nor will the MSN or Skype downloaders/updaters. OTOH some other automatic update services work fine, such as Visio's. Windows Firewall is disabled. Connection seems to be behaving normally.

Thoughts? My guess is there's a port blocked, and nothing is listening at port 80 as far as my command line fumbling goes, but it seems weird that one would be able to browse the Internet if that were the case. o_O It's quite literally new: never had Norton or any other antivirus installed, beyond minuscule chance that it could have picked up a virus.
petronia: (so not awake yet)
Because I'm flying to Philly very early Wednesday morning for a conference. As per its history of always my laptop has chosen to break down precisely when I need to use it outside of the house: first the external battery expired, then (after I replaced it via ebay vendor and an extended saga of Canada Post being unable to read a correctly printed address) the internal battery - or so runs the going theory, unless anyone can come up with a better reason why the clock would have slowed massively and EVENTUALLY STARTED RUNNING BACKWARD before Windows stopped booting altogether. I could be stuck in a Doctor Who ep, but I doubt it. If a frood inna bow tie shows up and sonicks it back to life I'll let you know.

Which is all to say, I don't have the tracklisting, because my laptop won't turn on. XD; I just played a bunch of Libertines tracks, though - and oh yeah, My Little Airport's cover of "What Katie Did". The internet hoops I had to jump through to get hold of that shiz.

102.3FM Radio Centre-Ville Chinese-language music show: name TBD (Tu 10:30-11:30PM)

Episode 10: March 30 - Silk Road music, The Libertines
right click to download
listen streaming here
petronia: (plugging away)
Your last laptop purchase for personal use

Simple, takes 5-10 minutes, and definitely more gender-inclusive than either the salon hair care one or the non-fat ice cream one. XD;; Would be particularly interested in responses from people who are older and/or non-techie - twentysomething whizzes don't need more help, by definition. If anyone doesn't mind forwarding the link to family members or colleagues that would be awesome.

(I'll expand on the Switzerland thing but in another post methinks!)
petronia: (bibliophile)
1) Laptop died again. It was a mistake to even think of the thing as Ed - but it looks so much like Ed. XD; Small, red and black, powerful but noisy, prone to overheating. Much like Ed it knows its responsibilities and keels over only after the crisis has resolved (read: finals period), but once in the shop half its components will need replacing. Again. Tomorrow I harangue Dell's customer support.

Parents bought me a Nano for Christmas. As it is a precise shade of orange I named it Schuldig; we'll see how that goes. With a bit of luck all it'll do is make psychic songcalls.

2) As usual I've signed up for a bunch of cards via the flist, but can't reciprocate due to lack of time and funds. ^_^; I want to post some fanstuff over the holidays, though, like an informal advent calendar... Have a few items in the queue but suggestions are plenty welcome. XD

3) Caught Quantum of Solace with sororial unit. Am also reading The Alexandria Quartet, finally: or rather, maltreating the lovely jewel-like language in my hurry to understand WTF is going on, though the trail of crumbs is clearly going to end in a Schrodinger's Box. (Now I grok why [livejournal.com profile] sub_divided found it so fatal that the Books of Albion opened with a Durrell reference; Libsdom was all hypertextual Interlinear, not massive but friable.) Will post again when done. It goes well with Leonard Cohen's Ten New Songs, which actually features an extended riff on Cavafy. XD [livejournal.com profile] usomitai accused me of turning everything to Leonard Cohen. I could probably construct a FST for these books, but not fast enough to take advantage of December's theme.

Other books and movies but will review the lot in a separate post I guess.

4) JAPANESE FANART OF BANDS (thank you [livejournal.com profile] cerisier)! Some of whom practically look more like themselves drawn than otherwise. Though it occurs to one that - historically - shoujo manga conventions evolved in large part as a framework for the representation of coltish moppy-haired British boys... yeah.
petronia: (bleh)
All I'm saying is that the universe needs to realize that although I am quite willing to make a stab at coordinating projects involving sizeable numbers of people when necessary and appropriate, it is by no means something I am naturally good at; my natural state is being late for things due to inexplicable procrastination and misplacedly hopeful scheduling.** And no this is not (just) about SSBB, this is pretty much all fronts right now. XD;; There's a fine line between "stretching for the sake of personal growth" and "knowing when to leave well enough alone", the problem is when the world won't allow you not to cross it.

Laptop update: 86 pages of people with the same issue, LOL! It would be nice if Dell could inform their tech support so they can actually do their jobs, as no one we talked to had a clue and all of them can't be commission-hungry Oscar-calibre actors. My sister fried her video card as well, only hers isn't under warranty anymore - and mine is still running too hot. Think I'll go back to taking notes on paper during class.

Wish I were writing but need to work on aforementioned organizational issues instead. Struggling not to delete this entry now that I've written it as is only a litany of complaints innit. XD;


** The REAL real truth: the reason I like Peter Doherty (besides the music) is because he sucks even worse than I do in this respect, to a degree that is bizarrely inspirational. Kind of like how gay men are into Judy Garland. And no, it's not fundamentally due to the drugs; I can recognize the actions of a kindred spirit, more's the pity.
petronia: (plugging away)
Earlier than I'd expected - was given an estimated ship date near the end of September. It's red and black and very slight for its class, but I didn't name it Ed. XD Pictures and review that is actually informative, not going to bother myself ahaha.

Vista seems wretchedly slow, more so than on my sister's XPS, but I haven't finished setting up. Will probably have to disable a bunch of crap.

***

FMA progress: finished volume 14 last night, now it will have to wait until I can order the missing volume 15 (semester-start liquidity crunch). The idea of following the story at a rate of three tankoubon per year seems mildly insane - what if the X-Files had shown one new episode a month? More of the Conspiracy(tm) would fall out of the sieve that passes for my current brain than would enter it. But I've never been very good at serialization.

I horribly miss the JoJo fandom but there's not much I can do at this point other than make the occasional WTF-face over SBR and write vastly extrapolated fic. D: Should make a poll specifically for JoJo fic. Or just finish summarizing Stone Ocean, finally, since scanlations for that seem to be going nowhere. Hmm.

...Maybe I should fall back on Occam's Razor and call the GB challenge comm [livejournal.com profile] getbacksubrosa?

***

OH AND ALSO I'm going to Bebel Gilberto + Forro in the Dark on Saturday. This could only be awesome!
petronia: (bibliophile)
Screencaps abetting this stroke of genius kindly provided by [livejournal.com profile] beeblebabe and [livejournal.com profile] marici. Feel free to take/distribute with credit, btw. XD

Have been working on the computer in increments, since Wednesday. Somewhat to my pessimistic surprise it went off with only the most minor of hitches, even the SP2 upgrade (luckily; the disc was scratched and the last bunch of security updates failed cyclical redundancy check - Ced, I inform you so you know to burn yourself a new one. *g* I've made a copy and will hand this back to you whenever is good. &thanks; you saved me 1,000,000 years of downloading over dial-up). So now the USB 2.0 card is working properly, the DVD burner burns DVDs, the antivirus and firewall are up-to-date, and I've upgraded all the software from WinRAR to Dreamweaver to the CCCP Codec Pack to the .NET Framework (I can install ljArchive at home!). Still to go are camera and mp3 player software, Semagic, and chat programs. Ced gave me Gaim so I'll probably be using that. In the meantime you'll actually be able to find me on Gmail chat in the evenings now.

As apparent from the above life has been fascinating. I was so bored waiting for programs to download and/or install that I used the Win98 computer to sign up for writely.com and archive my ancient saved email/chat convos ([livejournal.com profile] z107m, [livejournal.com profile] serendip, there if you're interested. :P). It's an awesome utility I wish existed back when I was doing team projects at school. As it is I'm not sure I'll be using it all that extensively, unless it be for Monday mornings on which I mislay the USB data key containing all my WIPs, cough.

...Unless I set something up for SSBB submission? Must investigate.

I also finally finished reading Conrad's Fate. Cut for very vague spoilers. )

What else? Worked half-day on Saturday for the release then went to the Botanical Garden, as haven't been all summer. Met a cheerful middle-aged Yugoslavian man eating haws right off the hawthorn tree. They were quite delicious although I hear they have laxative properties in large doses so dunno what happened to him after that. XD; Other pesticides sampled include: rose hips, blackberries, blackcurrants (still not ripe wtf), cranberries (okay, I'm not dumb enough to eat those right off the plant), lovage, Vietnamese basil (which is spicy). Non-edibles in season: acorns, horse chestnuts, rowan berries, lotus (they do smell a little like the bpal note >_>). Did not eat anyone's vegetable plot. Took many photos of flowers and one disturbingly tame heron. All the lanterns have been installed in the Chinese garden already, and the Japanese garden's koi pond is filled with baby koi - you couldn't scoop out a cupful of water that didn't contain tiny fish, just big enough to show their markings. I wonder if they bother to sell them?

Of course there was a wedding (a Jamaican one, I think). They've sawn off the willow branch on which I used to lie and read Swinburne, but the weddings go on unchanging. XD

Haven't gotten any writing done, of course. Dear saints I don't wanna.
petronia: (nana)
Some days ago my home computer caught a worm which proceeded to install a spam virus, so I was treated to the annoying sight of mystery emails outbound through my antiquated filter. Now it's freezing unpredictably at startup. I can't be arsed to cleanse the infection when the hard drive needs a reformat this badly so reformat it is. But it's extra work, and my installation disc of WinXP is so old (and so much of the hardware upgraded) I expect any number of things to stop working afterward. I owe various photo memes, music etc. but it may not happen for a while, depending. ^^;

It's only worrisome because I think it may have been idling on IRC that did it - that machine is essentially unprotected against threats newer than 2003 but it's dial-up and receives no email so there're not that many vectors for infection. It'll have better security once I get it up and running again.

Anyway, onto fandom talk that is less boring:

1) Everyone by this point knows I've been watching Ouran High School Host Club, I just haven't been blogging about it. Haven't read the manga as decided I could live with the vision of anyone who was this traumatised by revelations from the Utena fanbooks ("Oh, the pointing hand? We just wanted to make sure you noticed those bits of the scenery. Spent time drawing them in and everything. ...Miki's watch? Yeah, he uses it to time things. Look, at one point he forgets to stop it and it runs for the entire episode haha do you see what we did there!"). Besides series like this are always more random at the beginning than later on, and anime allows for reorganisation.

More... )

2) Over the past several months I also watched Jewel in the Palace, which sucked up as much time as you'd expect from a 70-episode drama. The innovation of the series is portmanteauing several fields of appeal, I think, as follows:
  1. old-school shoujo of the Ace wo nerae, Glass Mask (poss. Yawara?) type, where the spunky heroine ganbarus a lot to get ahead in her chosen field, plus well-born rival, love triangle, etc. Why is this sort of thing not being written anymore? Have all the female readers gone over to shounen now that WJ's discovered fanservice?
  2. food pr0n. If I'd been watching by myself I would totally have been rewinding and taking notes. YOU ARE THE WEAKEST LINK IN THE IMPERIAL KITCHEN, GOODBYE.
  3. political intrigue as per the regular run of Asian historical TV drama. More absorbing than most historical dramas, in fact, given that the script goes both "upstairs" and "downstairs", embroidering at will for maximum narrative effect. XD Reminded me of Dumas at times.
The bad: I'm not at all prone to disliking characters for being annoyingly perfect, virtuous, talented, etc., so if Janggeum gets on my nerves as much as she has over the course of the series I imagine she would drive people I know into frothing rages. XD Cut for implicit spoilers. )

What saves the character for me is the actress. She's not stunningly pretty, nor even the prettiest in the cast by far, but pulls off the unaffected likeability necessary to a character when the rest of the cast is perpetually occupied in singing his/her praises. *g* It's not hard to see that a man could fall in love with that smile. Which brings me around to Lord Min (or as I call him, Mr. Swordfighting Quotient), who is totally the fourth reason to watch this series. Watch, as he battles ninjas, busts up espionage conspiracies and works in the library! He supports her career choices because her self-realisation is as important to him as his own! I was on the floor. Shoujo love interests are not normally what you'd call realistic but this is not the usual run of shoujo love interest.

Besides after we finished watching Jewel we misguidedly started watching Stairway to Heaven and holee shit that is an hour of my life I'm never getting back. orz If Janggeum makes Haruhi look good what is there to say about the heroine of Stairway to Heaven, at least Janggeum has the horse sense to give back as good as she gets when she's fucked with.

3) Re: remixing fic - I love the idea, but to get the most out of the execution as a reader it would have to be a sterling remix of a fic I already love, and I can't remember it happening yet. Were talking at some point about currently stratospheric standards for what a remix is expected to accomplish - in dance music [1], I mean, but I think the attitude's carried over in my head. Possibly I'd have to personally run a remixing project where the signups are ficcers-I-know, rather than by fandom or whatever. [2] Or yanno, feel free to rec me your favorites. XD

[1] Speaking of which Justin Timberlake's "Sexyback (Linus Loves Remix)" is the first buzzy electrohouse I've loved in a long while. And this Tom Novy Ibiza dub thing isn't half bad either! High standards, see. [livejournal.com profile] marej, this is definitely not breaking the disco ball where I live. XD

[2] Not that this would be a ploy to get my own fic remixed or anything. Nothing of the sort.
petronia: (music)
I did end up making a special trip to the Turbo Records stall on Sunday afternoon, 30-something degree weather and all. Life was saved by a cold cup of cinnamon rice milk from a Mexican eatery soda fountain. Seriously, that's like the best hot-weather drink ever, I have to figure out how to get hold of the stuff... The football fans were out in force, though, and there are no colours more beautiful under a dazzling overhead sun than those of Brazil. Kudos to the design sense of whoever came up with that flag. XD

Every year I go to the street fair on the Main with the idea that I'm going to get tops, and every year I buy sundresses and CDs instead. This time was no different.

10 full-length albums for 30$, no for reals )

With the result that I now have more electro than I know what to do with. The reason this stuff was getting cleared out, of course, is that it's all pretty old - most of the above is from '99-'00 - and the later sessions comprise a certain amount of Electroclash Shame. XD Doesn't mean it's not good though! Old Isolée mixes and Black Strobe and pre-pop-fame Scissor Sisters and JORI HULKKONEN. And, yanno, ethics dictate I really should own legal copies of "Needy Girl" and "Sunglasses At Night", even at 3$ a CD.

5$ sundress haul not as successful as last time around - bought a dark blue flowers on white background strappy number a size too small (so gave it to sororial unit), and a beige Suzy Shier button-up half a size too big. ^^; Rather, it fits well across the shoulders but seems to be designed for someone more pear-shaped than me. (Or maybe is supposed to go over pants; despite the conservative silhouette it's more revealing than the other one, since the buttons extend neither all the way up nor all the way down. XD;)

Also, I bought a pineapple, because it matched the Brazilian football fans they'd been baking in the sun and were perfectly ripe and delicious. Other things I ate at the street fair: grilled-chicken sandwich with piri-piri sauce and one of those pork-stuffed flour tortilla things I always forget the name of. And took family out to Korea House for Father's Day (they wanted Korean due to historical drama food pr0n), so basically it's been spicy food all week.

EDIT - Brittle Lemon's essay on Fundamental )

Oh, and: http://www.petronia.net/fb.html

Requires latest version of Macromedia Flash Player. Seriously, I nearly had a heart attack because it wouldn't work in Firefox. ^^;

(Lacked inspiration so... ended up animating a household object. orz This is acceptable for handing in but I'm a day early, so I'll tweak it a bit more tonight, I think - widen the window, add some sound, make colours and fonts consistent - I'm addicted to the bubble font from SSBB #4 - put in a link to index.html. Should redo the fish movieclips so that the text doesn't flip but it would take approximately a bazillion years. Maybe I'll figure out how to make a scrollbar before the trial version runs out.

I have to say, don't try to learn this program without being adept at Photoshop, and optimally Illustrator and Dreamweaver as well. It will cause you pain. Or maybe I'm unusual in that the idea of using vector drawing to create things like masks inspires me with horror? Why is my design sense so vector-based when I hate vector drawing? ^^;)
petronia: (blue monday)
"Following the screening, Miike returned to the stage for a question and answer session with a Japanese film critic whose name I was unable to catch. The critic misleadingly described the film as a "gay horror", but Miike explained that his concept was to place characters based on Yabuki Joe and Rikiishi from the venerable manga/anime "Ashita no Joe" in a prison setting."

DOT DOT DOT

This is 46-okunen no koi, in case you're wondering, the one with Ando Masanobu and Matsuda Ryuhei. Supposedly on the quiet artsy end, not the pulpy violent one, but...

(Here is a Miike Takashi bloggish column thing if anyone wants to read it. Yes, it's amusing.)

***

Thanks to everyone who commented on the last couple of music posts. ^^ I just worry sometimes, like, "Would you like me to post something else? Really if you'd like me to post something else, 遠慮しないで、just say the word!"

In other news, Flash class is cancelled today due to instructor's cold, so the course will be extended for one week - but if it hadn't, I'd've only had two weeks to complete the final project. O_O;; *works furiously*

I like what we've been doing, though: the classes are conducted at breakneck pace well beyond the paper curriculum, and there's a lot of emphasis on achieving specific effects with little headache-reducing tricks, which is what "mastery" of these hulking and labyrinthine MacroDobe design software suites is all about.
petronia: (blue monday)
Gord's computer failed on me today as a result of malware causing system corruption; it couldn't have come at a worse time as I'd set aside this weekend to back up and reformat my own hard drive. Which I can't do tonight because USB 1.0 turns out to be too slow to feasibly perform any operation on an external hard drive. orz So tomorrow I have to go buy a USB 2.0 card and install that in my box, on top of backing up Gord's files to the web server so I can reinstall Windows (why is the CD-burning functionality always the first to go?).

If the weather were good I'd chalk it up to exercise but it's going to rain, so instead it'll be a waste of gasoline.

Two volumes into SBR, I can't get over what a pony-loving giant dork Araki is. Also Sandman? Sandman is HARDCORE.
petronia: (true faith)
Watched Brokeback Mountain with sororial unit and Cedric. I... think I'm the only person I know who wasn't depressed by it. XD;; Most people seem to either weep buckets (sister) or go "Well, that was a downer," (Ced) but I came away with this quiet feeling. Like watching Mushishi (and then I had to take five minutes to explain Mushishi to my sister).

What I told my sister afterwards )

She said I had a very optimistic take on it. XD

I don't know if I believe "'Tis better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all." But it's a question with which I struggle all the time, a central conundrum of my philosophy - were I to have a philosophy.

***

In other news, I can't get my DVD burner to burn. = =+ It reads fine, but when it comes to burning it either rejects the disc or locks into a spin cycle until the OS crashes. I have a feeling the driver didn't install right, but it didn't come with a driver, so.
petronia: (blue monday)
I didn't have to reinstall Windows. Um.

LOL?

Noted for posterity. )

The lesson here, of course, is never to turn off System Restore. I had it off on Gord's, is why I had no choice but to reinstall even though it was booting.

To be honest I find it quite soothing to talk to Dell Technical Support in India, but those poor guys are so straitlaced by their script that when you end up with one who actually uses lateral thinking to help solve your problem the effect is not unlike conversing with a robot that suddenly develops a soul. Thank you anyhow, "Jay", whereever you are! If I do get a survey I'll be sure to give you top marks!

(Ced, obviously I am still buying you dinner but it will go to early next week as Lo's birthday is tomorrow. *g*)
petronia: (annoyed)
So.

My dad is finally out of the basement.

...

Guess whose computer is now refusing to boot?

AAAAAAARRRRRRRRGGGGGGHHHHHHH

Anyway, am now running chkdsk /r. It's at 60%. If recovery doesn't work we resort to the merciless yet efficient services of Mr. Reinstall Windows. For a while I thought I was going to lose my music collection (in which case... I'm not even going to talk about it) until ahaha I remembered it was on a separate drive. However if I wipe C:\ I lose a crapload of graphics and music videos and an indeterminate number of BL scanlations. Worthwhile WIPs should be mirrored at work, but there go any chances of recreating my old Pitas layouts for Livejournal.

Well, at least I won't lose my copy of Advent Children. x_X; With great irony I actually buckled down virtuously on Sunday afternoon to burn some backups (several CDs worth of music for Cedric as well as FFVII:AC, but uhh I think of Cedric's music collection in part as a distributed backup copy of mine. And vice-versa certainly).

Question

Oct. 8th, 2005 11:30 am
petronia: (hmm)
You have an Excel sheet containing hundreds of email addresses. Now you need to send an email to each of those addresses, i.e. use it as a mailing list. You'll definitely have to do it again in the future.

What's the best course of action? >_>

EDIT -- There does seem to be a way to do it with Mail Merge (which I've never used). Failing that, there's a shareware plugin.
petronia: (electricity)
A side effect of having to spend twenty hours of a beautifully sunny long weekend in someone's basement backing up data to the web server, reformatting the hard drive and reinstalling all the software is that I read about a hundred pages of Trinity Blood and watched six episodes of Bleach, because I was going to lose them in the reformat and anyhow there was nothing to do but wait. ^^; Good episodes too, 29-34. It was a miracle that they played, although picture and sound both lagged at times. I managed to save 32 (expanded Renji and Rukia backstory!) and 34 (expanded Renji-Kira-Momo cuteness plus Aizen!) on zip disks so I won't have to re-download them, fannish priorities self-evident what. It's being brought home to me that I read most of this series in French and English. When I watch the anime I'm all like, "Gin speaks kansai? Who knew!" Also, Tenipuri voice actors. Also, Aizen/Momo WTF. It didn't strike me that way in the manga at all but would it kill Hayami Sho to switch his je ne sais quoi off for FIVE MINUTES PLEASE at least while you're inviting the little girl into your bedchamber thank you.

Also saved Trinity Blood 5, and watched it after I got home. I... I give up. XD;; If I hadn't been reading "Silent Noise" on Gord's veranda while waiting for Windows to install itself I wouldn't even know who Noelle was, and as it is I'm just like "...errm TIMELINE WHAT TIMELINE." Probably'll have to read all of RAM before anime is spoiler-safe, and even then. OTOH ep.6 is "Sword Dancer". Though that happens to be the one RAM story I thought didn't need to be a full episode, which only goes to show.
petronia: (blue monday)
AAAAAARRRRRRRRRGGGGGGHHHHHH

...Okay. (This will only be of interest to [livejournal.com profile] dipping_sauce but) I've pinpointed the problem: something's corrupted msimg32.dll, which is a library of elemental GUI functions. Over the weekend it went from working to "not found". Even when I run Windows XP repair from the CD, essentially reinstalling Windows, it refuses to copy that one specific file.

Programs that do not consider msimg32.dll mission-critical work fine. SmartFTP is one of them. Thus everything is currently being backed up to a temp folder on the Dansanna site server in preparation for me reformatting the bloody hard drive and starting from scratch, because I just cannot be arsed. Now taking bets on whether I can get the scanner to work afterward.

Should never have turned off System Restore. (But that was necessary to get Norton working after Danny overwrote it. So really this is all HIS fault. >:E *casts about for scapegoats*)
petronia: (aesthetics)
Livejournal 2005 Style Contest. The top five will be made available to public users. And some of them are a helluva lot prettier and easier to customise than the current ones.

(FYI my picks are Transmogrified, A Novel Conundrum, Geometrix, Tranquility II and Flexible Squares.)

EDIT -- I have to be doing something wrong. Why isn't there a way in Wordpress for me to ban a specific commenter (by email or name or IP) instead of just putting the comment in the validation queue?

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