delirium happy

Does this thing still work?

It occurs to me that I've read my friends page approximately once in the past 6 weeks. This is partly because I'm on holiday and not spending so much time on the Internet, but mainly because I'm spending what was LiveJournal time over on Dreamwidth instead.

As such, I'm going to be defriending a whole lot of people here, with the aim of making my friends page a whole lot more readable. Anyone who is friended here is welcome to be added to my access list on Dreamwidth, either on my main account, or on the archive account that I imported all my LJ entries onto. If you want to be added, let me know. If you don't have a DW account, either log in with OpenID or ask me and I can provide you with an invite code.

But yes, if I defriend you, please don't be offended. It's nothing personal.

I'm also considering crossposting my DW entries onto LJ now. I figure that anyone who I could have tempted onto DW tht way will already be there now. If I do crosspost, I'll have comments disabled on here and link to the DW version instead. I want to keep comments all in one place. Is this something that people would want or not?

Edit: This just in, via email:

Hi rho,

rho has removed you from their Friends list.

You can:

- Remove rho from your Friends list

Thanks for that, LJ.
delirium happy

Gone to Dreamwidth

I wasn't planning on doing this just yet, but the lure of the new shiny is just too strong for me.

I'm moving over to Dreamwidth. I'm rho over there too.

Or rather, I'm stopping writing entries on LiveJournal and starting writing them on Dreamwidth instead. I'll still be using my LJ account for reading my friends page and for commenting on other people here, since my LJ friends are awesome and I'm not giving you all up. I'll also still be using Scrapbook for image hosting, since DW doesn't have any image hosting (yet).

If you want to keep up with my entries, I've set up an account to syndicate them onto LJ at rho_dw. Don't leave comments on there though, because I won't see them. If you want to leave comments, your best bet for now is to make an OpenID account on DW and comment with that. (Yes, I did just write that FAQ earlier just so I could link it here now.) Alternatively, wait until mid-April (or thereabouts) when we go into open beta, and I'll probably be able to throw an invite code for a proper account at you.

Like I said, I'd not meant to move over until accounts were available to the general public, but I changed my mind. For a long time, I've been in the situation where I'm thinking of lots of things I could write as LJ entries but no motivation to actually write them. The thought of writing things on LJ is still failing to fill me with enthusiasm, but writing stuff on Dreamwidth is exciting again, so I might actually start updating more than once a fortnight again. Stranger things have happened!

And just to reiterate again, I'm nto going anywhere as ar as reading/commenting is concerned.

I made this! (along with lots of other people who rock)

Life is giving me a whole lot of lemons recently, which I could deal with except for the fact that I don't even like lemonade.

My mental health is, quite frankly, crap right now in many and varied completely unfun ways. But I'm not writing about that.

My computer is also still dead, which is annoying. It's fixable, and I know what I need to do to fix it, but I lack the energy to do so because see above. I'm also not going to write about that either.

Instead, I'm going to talk about one of the few things helping to keep me vaguely sane at the moment, which is Dreamwidth. I can't remember if I mentioned this last time I posted about Dreamwidth (crap mental health means crap memory! yay!) but I've been put in charge of the documentation project, for my sins. What this basically means is that I was given an account, some admin privs and a list of people who were interested in helping out and told "go make us some documentation that doesn't suck".

This has been a remarkably good way of making me feel both useful and competent. I already knew that I could write pretty good documentation. I did a bunch of that on LJ. What I've been pleasantly surprised by is how I'm coping with the management side of things. I'm happily making decisions about how we're going to do things, deciding who I want on my teams, assigning different tasks to different people, and generally just moving the project along in the right direction.

This isn't to say that, with hindsight, there haven't been things that I'd have been better off doing differently. Of course there are. But I look back at what we've done so far, and there's a definite feeling of pride and accomplishment there. For me, at least I get a lot more pride and satisfaction out of doing something that I didn't know I'd be able to do than something that I was confident with before I started, even if the latter is objectively harder or more impressive.

It's slow progress, still, but our FAQ is starting to come together. This makes me happy.
delirium pissed off

Technical Woes

Dear Windows,

May you be repeatedly sodomised by leprous baboons from now until the end of eternity.

No love,

Since I got my new computer, back whenever it was, I've had surprisingly few problems with Windows Vista. Give the press it tends to get, I was half-expecting an experience not unlike crawling on one's belly across a floor strewn with bits of broken glass covered in lemon juice, but it's actually behaved itself rather well. Up until today.

This morning, I was happily sitting at my computer, playing Oblivion, keeping half an eye on IRC, and so on, when Windows Update decided that that very second was absolutely the best possible time for it to reboot to install its updates. Suddenly, without any warning, all my programs were shutting down, and my computer was rebooting. This is annoying enough, except that from that point on, the little fucker has refused to boot.

It gets up to the part where it says "Windows Vista" and has the little green scrolly progress bar, and then just stops and gives me a blank screen. If I leave it on the blank screen for a Long Time, I get either a BSoD, or a message saying that Windows couldn't start because the kernel was either missing or corrupt (\windows\system32\ntkrnlpa.exe). Needless to say, this is being written from my old computer.

Stuff that I have tried:

Restarting in safe mode (same deal; tried this before leaving the computer running long enough to get the error message about the kernel)
Restarting and selecting "last known good" (ditto)
Leaving the computer turned off for a couple of hours and trying again, in the hope that the planets would be aligned differently by then
Booting with the Windows CD, and telling it to repair the existing installation (doesn't work)
Doing likewise and telling it revert to a previous configuration (first time I tried this, it said it had done so, but Windows still wouldn't boot; subsequent times, it just hasn't managed to restore)
Prayer to Cthulhu ("Oh great Cthulhu, while I know that you are entirely indifferent to both my problems and my trifling and insignificant life, I am willing to offer my services to you if you help me, in the deluded hope that I may be able to provide some tiny measure of amusement to your eternal existence. Amen.")

None of this has worked.

Stuff that I have not yet tried:

Reinstalling windows.
Attempting to copy the required file from a CD over to my HD, using the command prompt I can get at when I boot from the windows install disc.
Canibalising an old computer for a hard drive, putting it into current computer, and reinstalling windows onto that to try to make sure that none of my data gets eaten in the process.
Partitioning current drive, and reinstalling windows onto new partition, ditto.
Doing one of the above, except installing Ubuntu instead, and hoping I can get most of my games working in crossover.
Contacting the people whom I bought the computer from, and having them fix it, since I believe it's still under warranty.
Giving up computers for good, and going off to be a nun.
Giving up computers for good, and going off to be a stripper.
Giving up computers for good, and going off to be a nun and a stripper.
Sacrificing a goat.
Asking LJ what the best resolution of this problem is.

In the meantime, expect to see somewhat less of me until I get it fixed.
delirium happy

Picture meme thing

And because I'm feeling extra spammy (for me) today, have a Random Picture Meme!


a. Type your answer to each of the questions below into Flickr Search.
b. Using only the first page, pick an image.
c. Copy and paste each of the URLs for the images into fd's mosaic maker.

The Questions:

1. What is your first name?
2. What is your favorite food?
3. Hometown?
4. What is your favorite colour?
5. Who is your celebrity crush?
6. Favourite drink?
7. Dream vacation?
8. Favourite dessert?
9. What you want to be when you grow up?
10. What do you love most in life?
11. One Word to describe you?
12. Your flickrLJ name? (Don't have a Flickr account.)

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delirium happy

More on mail

As a follow up to my entry from the other day, yesterday, I received a letter from Lancaster council warning me that the entire of the city may get washed away during the next drizzle, and urging me to check that my ark adheres to EU standards. Seriously. My mail only gets worse and worse.

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delirium happy

No-one ever gets the truth from plastic man

I am currently reading The World Without Us by Alan Weisman which is an interesting if bleak and depressing account of what would happen if humanity disappeared off the face of the planet, and just how long various bits of our legacy would take to fade away (hint: the good bits, not long at all; the bad bits, a hell of a long time).

In the chapter about plastics, he mentions that we can't really predict how long it might take for bacteria to evolve that are capable of breaking down our left-over plastics, but that something of the order of 100,000 years isn't a bad estimate.

Given that humanity is unlikely to disappear overnight, though, I couldn't help but thinking, as I read, of a totally different vision of the future. I'm predicting that some bright spark will come along and evolve or genetically engineer a species of bacteria that's capable of eating our plastics. This will then be released into our oceans and landfills to erase our past sins, but we'll also need a replacement for plastic, since the plastic eaters won't stay put where we want them. So, we'll develop a new type of plastic resistant to our super bacteria. At this point if we had any sense, we'd heavily regulate this, and make sure that we didn't end up dumping bits of it all over the planet. Of course, we wont' have any sense, so we'll fill our landfills and our oceans again and start the exact same problem over again.

I did mention it was a bleak and depressing book, right?
ilu <3, portal


I take back (a small portion of) yesterday's entry.

Turns out that I have finally managed to convince the DWP to give me some benefits (after months of dealing with bureaucracy and years of "I just can't face dealing with the bureaucracy") and that yesterday's letter telling me I couldn't have any was due to letters crossing in the post. Hoorj.

I can't be bothered with the rat about how the hoops and barriers in the benefits system that are put in place to discourage false claims actually don't, since the scroungers know their way around the system like the back of their hands, whereas people who legitimately need benefit are often put off by them. So let's just assume I've put that rant here and move on.

But anyway! The Government has now decided that I'm sufficiently broken that I deserve money from them, and today they plopped £328.43 of back pay into my bank account. Which is better than a poke in the eye with a blunt haddock.

Now I have to go and decide what I want to splurge on.