September 28th, 2002

Me 2012

Koogrr, I feel your pain with Impala.

My new computer is fast, but it's got problems, and I find myself looking longingly to my old computer in the corner. It may have been slow and clunky, but at least I could count on it not to crash. The new one has a habit of hard-locking an average of once per evening. Sometimes I'll make it through a night with no problems, but usually if it dies once, it will continue to do so.

Lut thought we should try looking at software solutions first, though there's one problem that I know is hardware: it won't restart. Ever. Hit the reset button, it turns itself off. Use the Windoze restart function, it turns itself off. Even more annoying, I can't manually turn it back on for a minimum of 30 seconds after it's powered itself off. If I try, it'll start to boot for three seconds, then power down again. I have to just let it sit for a while, then try.

Anyway, Lut found me a free word processor to replace Word: AbiWord, which is tres cool. It's opensource freeware designed to look almost identical to MS Word. Like MS Word, it spellchecks on the fly by doing the little red underlining thing, which I like because I hate running a spellcheck function and clicking 'Add word' or 'ignore' for the umpteen bazillion letter combinations I intentionally use and which its feeble dictionary doesn't contain. (For the record AbiWord thinks 'umpteen' is a word, but 'bazillion' and 'AbiWord' are not. Heh). It doesn't do grammar checking, which is fine with me because a computer program's idea of grammar drives me nuts.

Equally important, AbiWord has a word count function, which is essential to my Master Plan for writing my novel. (85 pages and counting!) At first I thought it didn't, because MS Word puts the word count under a 'properties' selection on the File menu. But Abi puts it under the Tools menu as 'Word Count', which makes more sense anyway. I am happy.

But my computer was not. It crashed last night while I was playing WC3. After that, I went through and downloaded all the 'critical updates' for Windoze XP, then went back to WC3. It crashed again. (This is doing nothing for my already sinking win-loss ratio, btw). On this crash, Lut finally managed to catch enough of the Blue Screen of Death to get to the part where it cites the problem file. (I've gotten a Blue Screen of Death three times now, filled with 'what to do if you get this more than once' instructions, which I'm sure would be very helpful if the computer didn't power itself down within 30 seconds of displaying it.) The file cited turned out to be a video driver. Lut found one that was more current (by a whole day) and downloaded it last night. So. Maybe it'll be working better today. *crosses fingers*
Me 2012

Hostile Takeover

I woke up from a dream at 5 AM, and thought briefly about getting up so I could write it down, and decided I was too tired and lazy to do so. It wasn't all that interesting a dream, anyway, though I like my title for it.

Nominally, the dream was about Toddler Bank, and did feature some people I recognized as working there. Toddler Bank, as an association, was under attack from the outside -- the employees were in physical danger, as if we were at war with a rival organization. The dream didn't take place at any of the bank's offices. Perhaps they were too dangerous for us to go to. The group of employees I was with, instead, spent its time on the move from one place to the next, trying to evade our enemies.

At one point, we discovered that there was a traitor among the ranks of Toddler's people: our CFO was working for the enemy. We fled our current location as it was struck by the enemy. I remember fleeing out of a window, and running along a ridge with a bunch of other people in front of and behind me. Below us was a highway that cut between the ridge we were on and the ridge on the other side, as if it were running through a canyon. I kept looking behind me for the enemy. I don't remember ever seeing any of them, but I felt that my life, and those of my fellow employees, was in great danger. We crossed a bridge over the highway to the other side, then went into a network of caverns. I briefly lost track of the other employees in the darkness, then I overheard one of my coworkers speaking in almost a tour-guide manner. I caught up to them, to find that they had joined with a tour group for camouflage. Several of my fellows were using the excuse of roasting marshmallows so that they could sit and rest after a long and exhausting run from our last hideout. I remember one of them looking at me with a conspiratorial smile. Tired, I went to join them by the fire. I wondered if this cover would hold.

That's where I woke up.