kareina: (house)
Every so often one does fall in love at first sight. Happened to me tonight. I had commented to David that I plan on heading out to the site for Norrskensfesten on Friday to measure the rooms and sketch building maps so that I have them for planing how tables will be arranged for feast (and how many can be seated), and to have available for putting in bids for Kingdom University later. So this evening he says, "when you go out there, you can borrow my new toy", and shows me his laser measuring tool, and then whips out his phone and shows me the corresponding app. I wasted no time at all, but was promptly downloading and using bluetooth to introduce my phone to the tool. Minutes later I had a sketch of my living room, annotated with the measurements. This is going to be so much better than heading out there with a tape measure, and I won't even have to take a friend--one person is all it takes to drive the laser.
kareina: (me)
For many weeks now I have had a weird issue with gmail on my home computer--I could open it, but not actually read messages or reply, never mind that it worked just fine on my phone and my office computer. As a result I have been kinda ignoring email unless it was urgent enough to reply from my phone, and many messages have piled up in my inbox. Today, for some reason, without any intervention on my part (though I have been thinking I should try to do something about it for ages), it just started working again. I can even send attachments.

Therefore I am celebrating by going through my inbox and cleaning it up--replying to things that need replies, filing things that should be filed, and deleting stuff that isn't needed. In the process I found an interesting portrait taken by a friend of mine this summer at our Medieval Days at H├Ągnan event. It turns out that he has also posted it to his photography blog, so go have a look if you like black and white photos (taken on a film camera) containing interesting lights and shadows.

Now to return to cleaning out the in box. I only paused to share the link because I figured that at least Mom would be interested.
kareina: (BSE garnet)
My work phone had been having issues for a while. When it was new it was able to hold a charge till bedtime, but that changed somewhere along the way. I soon learned to leave internet and wireless off all the time, unless I actually needed it just that second, in hopes that I wouldn't need to charge it again by lunch. Then it started having even weirder battery issues--like if I tried using the phone it would often suddenly scream that there was only 1% battery remaining, and I had better plug it in NOW. When that happened either one of two scenarios would play out. Either I would succeed in plugging it in on time, and it would then happily say "charging 58%" (or whatever the number had been before its no-power panic attack), or it would turn itself off, and then, after I plugged it in and turned it back on, it would promptly say "charging 58%" (or whatever the number had been before its no-power panic attack). When this started to be a regular occurrence I asked my bosses if I could get a new phone.

They said yes, and today it finally arrived. Needless to say, once I picked it up this morning I didn't accomplish anything else other than getting the new phone set up and data transferred over. So far, so good. The new phone came with a battery that was half charged, and since it spent part of the day plugged into a computer it is still doing fine with 38% charge remaining, despite having had both wireless and internet turned on for most of the day and my adding apps and data and changing the settings to suit my preferences.

The phone is a little larger, with better screen resolution, so the same apps look much better and show more information at once. The old phone would give me suggestions for what word I might want when typing, but it gave English suggestions if I had the English keyboard active, and Swedish suggestions if I had the Swedish keyboard active, and it seemed like I always wanted the keyboard that wasn't active at any given moment. The new phone doesn't care which keyboard I am using, it makes suggestions in both Swedish and English all of the time. This means I can just leave it in the Swedish keyboard all the time and type in what ever language seems appropriate just now, and it will help cover my spelling issues (though, of course I have turned off the damn auto correct feature--I demand total control over when and if I will use its suggestions!).

After work we went and bought a phone case for it, one that lets me keep the few id and credit cards I need all of the time in the case. Then we took the lanyard off of the phone case I had made myself for the last phone and sewed it to the new case, so now it hooks into my phone baldric and I don't have to worry about ever dropping it. I have no idea why lanyards with hooks on them aren't standard issue for phone cases. This one isn't as good as the one I had made for the other phone, as the compartments for cards isn't as useful, but I don't have time or energy to do the fitting required to make one, so this time we opted to just go shopping. If I am not happy with it I can always take it apart and use it as a pattern for where the holes should be and make a better case using the plastic phone holding part.
kareina: (Default)
I haven't really done much in the way of uni work in the past week, since we have been in the process of moving house (nor had I expected to). Therefore I resolved to head into the office today to see if I could remedy that situation, and used the self-bribe of "it will be good exercise to walk in" as motivation to actually do it. Now, when I woke up and saw the rain (which has long since washed away the beautiful snow we had had) I almost changed my mind and stayed home to do more unpacking, but somehow the lure of exercise outweighed the rain, and off I went.

I left at the same time as [livejournal.com profile] lord_kjar did, and we walked together for the 8 minutes it takes to get from our house to the main road. At that point he walked up to the bus stop with the obvious red shelter to keep passengers dry whilst they wait for a bus and I took the side road (which has pretty much no traffic!) to the bike path to the uni. The plan had been for him to take the bus and for whomever got to their work first to call the other, so we could see how the times compared. However, it turns out that the big, obvious, easy to see, bus stop is NOT the one the bus actually goes to. Instead the bus turns onto the same side road I took just before reaching the bus stop. He saw it do this, so he walked home, got the car, and drove to work instead (the bus runs once an hour, so he knew it wasn't worth just waiting for the next one).

My walk took 50 minutes, and other than being rather wetter than ideal was actually fairly pleasant. Consulting the map I think it would have been slightly faster if I had taken the branch of the bike path that goes over the first bridge over the road the uni is on, rather than waiting for the second bridge, but further experimentation is in order.

Once I had settled into work and done a bit of reading to get my mind into the correct mind-set I decided that it was high time I returned to using that 3D modeling program which is meant to be the corner stone of my work. So I opened the program and opened the project and got an error message that the program couldn't find one of the files it needs. I checked, and sure enough, the file was not in the folder where it belongs. I checked several other possible locations, to no avail. Then I checked the recycle bin, and found it, with a date of deletion listed as 18 October.

This struck me as odd, since there would be no reason for me to have deleted the file, so I checked my log of tasks done and saw that on 18 October I was in Boliden collecting rock samples. All I did with the computer when I was down there was record notes about the samples and file samples into folders. I didn't have any energy left over to do modeling, and certainly didn't go near those folders on the computer. Therefore I am quite certain that I am not the one who deleted those files (it turns out that several of them from that folder got deleted on that day).

I restored the files and mentioned the incident to a colleague across the hall. A third colleague heard me, and told me that she had had a number of vital thesis files deleted while she was in the final stages of thesis writing, and that the problem turned out to be the uni-provided sync program which makes certain that the files on our C drives match the backed up versions on the uni H drive under our log in names. Apparently when that program loses contact with the server it can decide to delete files, since it can't copy them. She solved the problem by uninstalling that program and taking the responsibility to do her own backups.

I, on the other hand, am a lazy creature. I want my computer to back itself up, so I don't have to. I know that "data which exists in only one location does not exist", but I don't want to have to be the one to do the backing up. Therefore I sent a note to the Uni IT guys to explain my problem and then started actually doing some work with my data. An hour or so later one of the IT guys came to my office to say that he checked and my computer is from the batch that has a problem with that program, and that the solution they have found for the problem is to do a complete re-installation of the computer and then do certain upgrades to the program.

Now, I don't like having my computer re-installed any more than the next guy--it takes days to get all the programs I need back in place and to change all the preferences to what I want them to be. However, I don't want the program deleting any more vital files, and I also liked the excuse to go home early and not come in at all in the morning (he doesn't think he will finish doing the complete back up and re-installation before mid day tomorrow) so that I could do more unpacking at home. Therefore I agreed to the plan, took careful notes about the incident and what work I had started and what the next step was, and took a walk home. A much nicer walk, with clear skys and no rain at all. In the process I confirmed that there is, in fact, a small, easy to miss, sign on a stick, with no shelter for passengers, that says that the bus stops just a short way down the side street. Perhaps tomorrow he will try the bus again, or maybe he will just take his bike--it might be faster.

Tonight is Nyckleharpa class, and I haven't practiced anywhere near as much this fortnight than I did last fortnight. Even so I am getting more comfortable playing the tunes I have learned--they start to flow together like music, rather than being disconnected phrases with pauses in between while I try to remember what keys to push next.
kareina: (stitched)
Early this evening I was playing with my new hammer dulcimer, which arrived this week, trying to re-learn the songs I had been working on back when I lived in Tasmania, and had a different hammer dulcimer there. However, either I was doing something wrong back then, or this one has a slightly different arrangement of where the notes are than that one did, because the patterns I had learned no longer, quite, apply. what do I mean by the phrase slightly different arrangement? ) That project wound up eating three hours of my evening, but, not surprisingly, looking at the tune in that sort of graphic presentation makes it much easier to try to go from what I see on the screen to hitting the correct strings. Yes, there will be lots of work required to get my hands to hit the correct string, at the correct time, every time, but the learning what the correct string is part will, I hope, go faster this way

In other news, one of my friends I met at the two European Textile Forums that I attended has published a summary of the last one we attended. Since a number of you are interested in textiles I thought I would share the link here. Do go look, and do consider attending this year's forum, too! It should be lots of fun (not that I can go register until I find out if I will have any teaching commitments that conflict, but if I can go, I shall).

This week's progress report on uni work: Good. Spent Monday-Thursday at the home office of the mining camp, selecting samples for geochemical analysis. Because this is my first contact with drill core one of the geologists there generously gave me her time to work with me, and discuss what sorts of details I should be looking for in the rock when deciding on where to take samples. It was fun and educational.

This morning I didn't get any uni work accomplished, instead I drove out to the hospital for my appointment to get new hearing aids. I didn't really expect to get new ones today, but I did! I explained to the guy that to my mind the most important thing was to get something that could communicate with my phone, and that is exactly what he gave me. I now have a new pair of hearing aids, and a little white box that hangs from a string around my neck that acts as an interpreter between my phone and the hearing aids. If I want to listen to music from the phone I push the music button on the box, and suddenly I can hear music, perfectly clearly. If I get a phone call I simply push the phone button on the box, and I can hear the other person just as clearly as if they were talking to me in the same room. No line noise of any kind. In fact, if the other person doesn't at least say something like "uhhuh" regularly to indicate that they are still listening, I can't tell if they are there at all.

I am not certain that someone who doesn't have a hearing problem can ever appreciate just what a miracle this is. I grew up hard of hearing, and phone calls have always been a challenge for me, since I could not see the other person to read their lips, and the volume on the phone was never loud enough. My first love was so soft spoken it was actually impossible to communicate with him on the phone at all. He would say "mumble, mumble, mumble", and I would say "WHAT?", and he would repeat his unintelligible murmurs, and I would shout "What did you say?".... I suspect that with this new technology it might even be possible to communicate with someone like him over a phone. But, to be fair, I haven't given it that hard of a test, yet.

It is now nearly 01:00, so I had better go do my yoga and get some sleep. We booked the laundry room for 07:00 tomorrow (ok, I suppose that it now counts as today), and it would be nice to get some rest before starting on that project, especially as we have gaming planned for the rest of the day, and it would be nice to be awake for that.
kareina: (BSE garnet)
Every so often over the past year I've tried to get the mass balance calculations to work properly in Mathmatica. We've gotten it sort of working, but some of the calculations were still giving negative numbers. While those are valid mathematical solutions to the problem, they are not an accurate representation of these experiments, since each of the phases which are present are there in positive amounts. The solution to this problem is to "fix" the amount of one or more of the phases--to tell it "ok, this sample is 0.05% kyanite", how much of each of the other phases has to be present given these compositions and the amount of available ingredients. Unfortunately, for all of the past year that step has not worked on my old computer. Today I tried this task on my new computer. And it worked!

As a result I have just spent many hours happily playing with the program, trying various % to fix the problem phases to, and looking to see what happens to the amounts of each of the other phases, and comparing the results with photos of the experiments to see if that amount of each actually sounds reasonable compared to what I can see. For some samples it was easy, for one it took nine different tries before getting a result that seemed reasonable. I was having so much fun working it was with great surprise that I looked up to see it was after 23:00. I love it when I fall into work like that. Particularly as I had such difficulties yesterday making myself focus on anything. The closest I managed yesterday to "uni work" was to add a few more potential jobs to the spreadsheet of things I need to apply to.

With luck today's breakthrough will keep me inspired, and I will make huge amounts of progress on things I haven't been able to accomplish due to computer issues.

In other news, I now owe a bunch of people e-mails. The nice thing about sending out a change of address notice to the world is that it prompts a certain percentage of folk to reply. Now I need to encourage them to keep in touch by writing back. Fortunately, other than job application deadlines and "finishing up" this project, I don't have anything else on in the way of a time commitment between now and the end of the year except for meeting up with [livejournal.com profile] blamebrampton in Sienna in a couple of weeks.

I know that I will be able to meet my goal of completing everything that needs doing with this data and having it ready to publish before the end of the year, because I managed to finish the PhD thesis before I got on that plane, so I know the routine...
kareina: (Default)
I just found out that the SCA has decided to eliminate the personal e-mail addresses that many of us have been using for years. I didn't find out because they sent me a message. I didn't find out because of an announcement via any SCA source. I found out because a friend of mine, who has also been using an SCA.org address for years sent me an e-mail to ask if I knew what was up with the SCA addresses being eliminated, so I checked the web page (see link) and saw a notice. This notice says that the addresses will cease to exist as of 31 October. This is barely more than two weeks away. If he hadn't have called my attention to it, I might not have heard from another source, and at the end of the month when they closed the account and things started bouncing who knows how long it would have taken me to notice? I am very grateful that he mentioned it, but wish that they had 1) given me notice themselves and 2) done so at least 30 days in advance of the change.

Heck, while I am wishing, I wish that when they first decided to offer these accounts as a "fund-raiser" that they had also made it possible for people to pay for subsequent years. I paid for the first year, and have tried on numerous occasions to pay for subsequent years, including writing letters to the BOD to ask how I can pay, and was told that it wasn't possible to pay again.

Oh well.

Since that address has been killed I have just set up a new address for myself, kareina (dot) sca (at) gmail (dot) com I would have gone with just "kareina" as the user name, but, alas, it was taken. Since the address I have been using for years was kareina@inthe.sca.org, I decided to go with a variation on that. I could have used my title, but didn't want to, and my SCA surname requires the two little dots over the final a to be spelled correctly, so I didn't want to use it. Besides, I think an e-mail address should be easy to spell. If you had my old address in your address book please update it. The new address, and my work address are listed on my facebook info page if you ever need it.
kareina: (Default)
I just found out that the SCA has decided to eliminate the personal e-mail addresses that many of us have been using for years. I didn't find out because they sent me a message. I didn't find out because of an announcement via any SCA source. I found out because a friend of mine, who has also been using an SCA.org address for years sent me an e-mail to ask if I knew what was up with the SCA addresses being eliminated, so I checked the web page (see link) and saw a notice. This notice says that the addresses will cease to exist as of 31 October. This is barely more than two weeks away. If he hadn't have called my attention to it, I might not have heard from another source, and at the end of the month when they closed the account and things started bouncing who knows how long it would have taken me to notice? I am very grateful that he mentioned it, but wish that they had 1) given me notice themselves and 2) done so at least 30 days in advance of the change.

Heck, while I am wishing, I wish that when they first decided to offer these accounts as a "fund-raiser" that they had also made it possible for people to pay for subsequent years. I paid for the first year, and have tried on numerous occasions to pay for subsequent years, including writing letters to the BOD to ask how I can pay, and was told that it wasn't possible to pay again.

Oh well.

Since that address has been killed I have just set up a new address for myself, kareina (dot) sca (at) gmail (dot) com I would have gone with just "kareina" as the user name, but, alas, it was taken. Since the address I have been using for years was kareina@inthe.sca.org, I decided to go with a variation on that. I could have used my title, but didn't want to, and my SCA surname requires the two little dots over the final a to be spelled correctly, so I didn't want to use it. Besides, I think an e-mail address should be easy to spell. If you had my old address in your address book please update it. The new address, and my work address are listed on my facebook info page if you ever need it.
kareina: (Default)
Yesterday was a very productive work day, and the evening was fun baking cookies, cooking yummy food for today's lunch, working on a sewing project, and just hanging out with my mother.

Today I was kind of low energy and tired, so after making something resembling progress on work in the morning I decided to do something different and mom and I went shopping. Yes, you read that correctly. The two people in the family who go out of their way to avoid shopping went shopping. I took her to a toy store to look for gifts for my nieces, and we picked up a beautiful blue cashmere sweater for me. Yes, I already had one, but the one I had is the kind that opens up, and the one we bought is v-necked and closed front. So will be nice for job interview(s).

I've printed my boarding pass for this weekend's Finland adventure with mom--we fly in the morning. It will be interesting to meet family I've not met before. Mom's grandfather was the eldest of 10 children, and he moved to the US. Our contact in Finland is descended from his youngest brother, who stayed behind. Cousin Kimmo is the same generation as mom, but is younger than I, thanks to the age difference of those brothers.

I've also got my tickets for my trip to Scotland the week after mom returns to the US. I will buy a new computer while there--I am desperate for a new one--this one crashed, again, while I was trying to post this. I am so over the constant computer problems. The next one had better turn on faster than this one--it takes way, way to long to re-start every time this one has issues.
kareina: (Default)
Yesterday was a very productive work day, and the evening was fun baking cookies, cooking yummy food for today's lunch, working on a sewing project, and just hanging out with my mother.

Today I was kind of low energy and tired, so after making something resembling progress on work in the morning I decided to do something different and mom and I went shopping. Yes, you read that correctly. The two people in the family who go out of their way to avoid shopping went shopping. I took her to a toy store to look for gifts for my nieces, and we picked up a beautiful blue cashmere sweater for me. Yes, I already had one, but the one I had is the kind that opens up, and the one we bought is v-necked and closed front. So will be nice for job interview(s).

I've printed my boarding pass for this weekend's Finland adventure with mom--we fly in the morning. It will be interesting to meet family I've not met before. Mom's grandfather was the eldest of 10 children, and he moved to the US. Our contact in Finland is descended from his youngest brother, who stayed behind. Cousin Kimmo is the same generation as mom, but is younger than I, thanks to the age difference of those brothers.

I've also got my tickets for my trip to Scotland the week after mom returns to the US. I will buy a new computer while there--I am desperate for a new one--this one crashed, again, while I was trying to post this. I am so over the constant computer problems. The next one had better turn on faster than this one--it takes way, way to long to re-start every time this one has issues.
kareina: (me)
I checked it at home first, and it worked. Backed up recently changed files, just in case. Tried it again at uni, but without plugging in the second monitor, and it is working. I want the second monitor attached--so many work tasks are easier with two screens to play with, but I'm kind of afraid to, for fear the notebook monitor will cease to function again.

A comment from yesterday from [livejournal.com profile] merlyn_gabriel asks what kind of computer--details I didn't include in the "worried about the computer" post, because I didn't have it available to look them up. This is an ASUS computer, purchased in December of 2006 (don't purchase from them--this one came with a faulty attachment for the up-arrow key, and they refused to fix it, so I've been having to push it back into place 1 to 10 times a day ever since--it clicks into place, and stays there, for a while, and then comes off again.) It is a notebook, running Windows XP. What other information is needed?
kareina: (me)
I checked it at home first, and it worked. Backed up recently changed files, just in case. Tried it again at uni, but without plugging in the second monitor, and it is working. I want the second monitor attached--so many work tasks are easier with two screens to play with, but I'm kind of afraid to, for fear the notebook monitor will cease to function again.

A comment from yesterday from [livejournal.com profile] merlyn_gabriel asks what kind of computer--details I didn't include in the "worried about the computer" post, because I didn't have it available to look them up. This is an ASUS computer, purchased in December of 2006 (don't purchase from them--this one came with a faulty attachment for the up-arrow key, and they refused to fix it, so I've been having to push it back into place 1 to 10 times a day ever since--it clicks into place, and stays there, for a while, and then comes off again.) It is a notebook, running Windows XP. What other information is needed?
kareina: (Default)
I just sent the following note to my boss. Thought I'd also post it here, on the off chance that someone knows something about this sort of computer problem and what I should do about it. Though how I will see replies if the computer isn't working tomorrow, I don't know.

I am worried about my computer. On Saturday evening, while replying to e-mail, my notebook monitor suddenly switched from showing things to having naught but a bunch of blue lines across it. The spare monitor just then hadn't any windows open on it, so it was the normal background blue. I tried clicking with the mouse (pen), and using the space bar, and the screen went back to normal, but when I tried to click on something the screen went away again--first to those blue lines, and then to a blank, black screen. I have never seen it do anything like this before, and I was concerned. I don't know if it was a hardware issue, or some weird virus, or what. The computer was on, but nothing I could do got me anything on the screen, and eventually I had to turn it off by unpluging the power cord and removing the battery. I noticed the the computer felt a bit hot, so rather than trying to re-start straight away I took it home with me, spent some hours visiting with my mother, and then we turned it on. It worked perfectly at home, and together we revised my cv.

This evening I again turned the computer on at home, and it worked perfectly. Mom and I composed to a cousin of mine, I did a few other things, and then I decided to come back to my office to send that e-mail while she got ready for sleep. When first I arrive the computer started up normally. I plugged in the second monitor, and it behaved normally. That e-mail sent, I opened my internet browser to do something else on line (I use Eudora for mail, so don't normally need a web-browser for mail). When the browser started to open (Google Chrome) it announced that the last time it closed it didn't do so properly, and did I want it to restore all of the tabs from the last session. I said 'yes', since I was curious as to what all I had had open, and it started opening them. Before it finished opening them the computer started first to freeze up, and not let me click on the other window (which isn't that uncommon with my machine--it is getting up there in years, having bought it soon after enrolling in my PhD program). Then both monitors started showing the blue lines and nothing else. Wondering if the problem was some dodgy link opened on accident in one of the web browsers, I turned it off (again by having to unplug it and removing the battery), and then restarted it straight away.

At first it restarted like normal, but this time it thought the other monitor was on the opposite side of the notebook than it was. I opened the display window and moved the monitor to the actual side (something I don't normally need to do--it usually remembers which side it is on), but before I was able to open anything else I first got lines, and then a black screen. I tried one more re-start, without the second monitor, and while it started to work, showing the computer brand name, about the time it would normally show the windows start up details the screen went black again and stayed that way. So I turned it off again, and walked down the hall to the Mac outside your office, from where I am sending this e-mail.

I wonder if the problem is related to the issue my computer has always had with electricity--it has a tendency to suddenly shut down, no matter what I was in the middle of doing when anything changes in the electricity. If something else is plugged in somewhere in the room, if there is a thunderstorm, if someone is doing work on the lights on the next floor, and other times when I don't know why. It happens more often in my office here than when I was in Tasmania (the only time it happened there is when I plugged in a very old CRT monitor into the same power board as the computer was using). Here it happens much more often, and has always been a bit worrisome. But this new issue with the monitor is even more worrisome. I don't know if the computer was over-heated, if it is having issues with the second monitor, if this is a weird virus or what. I guess the data is still fine, but if the monitor doesn't work, I don't know how to access it. At this point I will wait till Monday morning to try again, and see if it behaves.

I have been thinking for a while that I would like a new computer, but kind of wanted to wait and see what sort of work I can find for when this contract ends, just in case I wind up having to live on savings for a while between jobs. Do you have any suggestions--is this sort of computer problem repairable? If so do you know someone who can fix it? Do they speak English, or would I need someone to translate to explain the problem? If it is repairable, would the cost be reasonable, or am I better seeking another computer? If I need another computer, is there one here that I could use, or am I better off buying one? If I need to buy one, am I better off ordering one from overseas, or getting something locally? I prefer the sort of keyboard I am used to (US), and I am hesitant to order things ever since the post office charged me 40 euros to pick up the replacement tires for my trike. If the fee is that high for tires, what would they want for a computer?
kareina: (Default)
I just sent the following note to my boss. Thought I'd also post it here, on the off chance that someone knows something about this sort of computer problem and what I should do about it. Though how I will see replies if the computer isn't working tomorrow, I don't know.

I am worried about my computer. On Saturday evening, while replying to e-mail, my notebook monitor suddenly switched from showing things to having naught but a bunch of blue lines across it. The spare monitor just then hadn't any windows open on it, so it was the normal background blue. I tried clicking with the mouse (pen), and using the space bar, and the screen went back to normal, but when I tried to click on something the screen went away again--first to those blue lines, and then to a blank, black screen. I have never seen it do anything like this before, and I was concerned. I don't know if it was a hardware issue, or some weird virus, or what. The computer was on, but nothing I could do got me anything on the screen, and eventually I had to turn it off by unpluging the power cord and removing the battery. I noticed the the computer felt a bit hot, so rather than trying to re-start straight away I took it home with me, spent some hours visiting with my mother, and then we turned it on. It worked perfectly at home, and together we revised my cv.

This evening I again turned the computer on at home, and it worked perfectly. Mom and I composed to a cousin of mine, I did a few other things, and then I decided to come back to my office to send that e-mail while she got ready for sleep. When first I arrive the computer started up normally. I plugged in the second monitor, and it behaved normally. That e-mail sent, I opened my internet browser to do something else on line (I use Eudora for mail, so don't normally need a web-browser for mail). When the browser started to open (Google Chrome) it announced that the last time it closed it didn't do so properly, and did I want it to restore all of the tabs from the last session. I said 'yes', since I was curious as to what all I had had open, and it started opening them. Before it finished opening them the computer started first to freeze up, and not let me click on the other window (which isn't that uncommon with my machine--it is getting up there in years, having bought it soon after enrolling in my PhD program). Then both monitors started showing the blue lines and nothing else. Wondering if the problem was some dodgy link opened on accident in one of the web browsers, I turned it off (again by having to unplug it and removing the battery), and then restarted it straight away.

At first it restarted like normal, but this time it thought the other monitor was on the opposite side of the notebook than it was. I opened the display window and moved the monitor to the actual side (something I don't normally need to do--it usually remembers which side it is on), but before I was able to open anything else I first got lines, and then a black screen. I tried one more re-start, without the second monitor, and while it started to work, showing the computer brand name, about the time it would normally show the windows start up details the screen went black again and stayed that way. So I turned it off again, and walked down the hall to the Mac outside your office, from where I am sending this e-mail.

I wonder if the problem is related to the issue my computer has always had with electricity--it has a tendency to suddenly shut down, no matter what I was in the middle of doing when anything changes in the electricity. If something else is plugged in somewhere in the room, if there is a thunderstorm, if someone is doing work on the lights on the next floor, and other times when I don't know why. It happens more often in my office here than when I was in Tasmania (the only time it happened there is when I plugged in a very old CRT monitor into the same power board as the computer was using). Here it happens much more often, and has always been a bit worrisome. But this new issue with the monitor is even more worrisome. I don't know if the computer was over-heated, if it is having issues with the second monitor, if this is a weird virus or what. I guess the data is still fine, but if the monitor doesn't work, I don't know how to access it. At this point I will wait till Monday morning to try again, and see if it behaves.

I have been thinking for a while that I would like a new computer, but kind of wanted to wait and see what sort of work I can find for when this contract ends, just in case I wind up having to live on savings for a while between jobs. Do you have any suggestions--is this sort of computer problem repairable? If so do you know someone who can fix it? Do they speak English, or would I need someone to translate to explain the problem? If it is repairable, would the cost be reasonable, or am I better seeking another computer? If I need another computer, is there one here that I could use, or am I better off buying one? If I need to buy one, am I better off ordering one from overseas, or getting something locally? I prefer the sort of keyboard I am used to (US), and I am hesitant to order things ever since the post office charged me 40 euros to pick up the replacement tires for my trike. If the fee is that high for tires, what would they want for a computer?
kareina: (me)
Today I downloaded adobe acrobat pro (version 9) free trial version. This is such a cool program. I now have assembled the text portion of my thesis. This involved stitching together lots of different files (one for the title page, another for the abstract, the table of contents, list of figures, the text itself, 14 appendices files, plus chapter title pages, which got inserted in between other pages. And then I told it to reduce file size, and it dropped from 6,000+ to ~2000 KB. I'd keep going, but it is somehow now well after midnight, so tomorrow I'll assemble all of the figures into a single pdf and reduce its file size, too. If necessary I'll use the "split pdf" function to break it into reasonable file sizes. Those two (or however many files the figures wind up being) files will be the version I turn in to the UTAS library for anyone who wants to read my thesis to go look at (since it is easier when reading on a computer to be able to open the text and figures separately, so that you can view them side-by-side when you want to). I will also make the printer's pdf. To do this I'll insert all of the figures into a copy of today text pdf, each located such that when the file is printed double-sided each figure will face the page it is meant to face. I'm very excited--the end is in sight! And the printing to pdf is fun with such a tool. It lets me rotate pages as needed, too, so the Excel spreadsheets from which I created some of the appendices which were in landscape orientation have been put into the thesis in the correct position.

I am terribly afraid that I am going to have to purchase this product. I don't *need* this much power on a daily basis, usually Cute pdf writer is good enough for my pdf printing needs, but it is such a joy to be able to do this merging that I'm afraid that when my month is over I'll want to keep the program. I suspect the manufacturer is counting on that...
kareina: (me)
Today I downloaded adobe acrobat pro (version 9) free trial version. This is such a cool program. I now have assembled the text portion of my thesis. This involved stitching together lots of different files (one for the title page, another for the abstract, the table of contents, list of figures, the text itself, 14 appendices files, plus chapter title pages, which got inserted in between other pages. And then I told it to reduce file size, and it dropped from 6,000+ to ~2000 KB. I'd keep going, but it is somehow now well after midnight, so tomorrow I'll assemble all of the figures into a single pdf and reduce its file size, too. If necessary I'll use the "split pdf" function to break it into reasonable file sizes. Those two (or however many files the figures wind up being) files will be the version I turn in to the UTAS library for anyone who wants to read my thesis to go look at (since it is easier when reading on a computer to be able to open the text and figures separately, so that you can view them side-by-side when you want to). I will also make the printer's pdf. To do this I'll insert all of the figures into a copy of today text pdf, each located such that when the file is printed double-sided each figure will face the page it is meant to face. I'm very excited--the end is in sight! And the printing to pdf is fun with such a tool. It lets me rotate pages as needed, too, so the Excel spreadsheets from which I created some of the appendices which were in landscape orientation have been put into the thesis in the correct position.

I am terribly afraid that I am going to have to purchase this product. I don't *need* this much power on a daily basis, usually Cute pdf writer is good enough for my pdf printing needs, but it is such a joy to be able to do this merging that I'm afraid that when my month is over I'll want to keep the program. I suspect the manufacturer is counting on that...
kareina: (BSE garnet)
I spent most of the day at home organizing stuff in the apartment. Discovered, to my joy, that at least two of the boxes we didn't find yesterday when we were looking to be certain that all of the boxes were present and accounted for are, in fact, here. One of the others might be here--we just set the boxes of paperback novels aside when we came to them--no point in unpacking those till we've got the paperback shelves put together, and can't do that till we clear enough space to make the assembly possible (these are the only shelves I shipped, because they break down and therefore are easy to ship; I made them myself--I see no point in putting paperbacks on store-bought shelves, which are never the correct size; I like books to have shelves which are just exactly the correct depth and height). Alas, the suitcase full of good fabric for sewing projects is still missing (noticing that it wasn't here is what prompted me to try to do an inventory yesterday).

This evening I spent three hours working on the thesis adjustments. The earliest mention for some figures wound up moving one page up or down as a result of the edits to the text--any place it is easy to move the figure itself so that it still faces the first mention therof I am moving it. Occasionally it isn't really feasible to do that based on how full the new target page already is, but I have to check all of them. I managed to finish the figure shuffling for chapters 1-3 today. Tomorrow I need to do chapters 4-6 and I'll be ready to try to compile the final pdf. Of course this means that I need to gain the ability to do this. The adobe page says that it is possible to download a trial version of acrobat professional. I wonder if that will let me combine various pdfs into a single document without doing something nasty like labelling them "this was done with a trial version"? I don't want to have to pay for the program for just the one use, but I do need to combine figures and text into a single file, and I know better than to paste the figures from CorelDraw into the Word document. I'm not willing to put up with the crashes that result.
kareina: (BSE garnet)
I spent most of the day at home organizing stuff in the apartment. Discovered, to my joy, that at least two of the boxes we didn't find yesterday when we were looking to be certain that all of the boxes were present and accounted for are, in fact, here. One of the others might be here--we just set the boxes of paperback novels aside when we came to them--no point in unpacking those till we've got the paperback shelves put together, and can't do that till we clear enough space to make the assembly possible (these are the only shelves I shipped, because they break down and therefore are easy to ship; I made them myself--I see no point in putting paperbacks on store-bought shelves, which are never the correct size; I like books to have shelves which are just exactly the correct depth and height). Alas, the suitcase full of good fabric for sewing projects is still missing (noticing that it wasn't here is what prompted me to try to do an inventory yesterday).

This evening I spent three hours working on the thesis adjustments. The earliest mention for some figures wound up moving one page up or down as a result of the edits to the text--any place it is easy to move the figure itself so that it still faces the first mention therof I am moving it. Occasionally it isn't really feasible to do that based on how full the new target page already is, but I have to check all of them. I managed to finish the figure shuffling for chapters 1-3 today. Tomorrow I need to do chapters 4-6 and I'll be ready to try to compile the final pdf. Of course this means that I need to gain the ability to do this. The adobe page says that it is possible to download a trial version of acrobat professional. I wonder if that will let me combine various pdfs into a single document without doing something nasty like labelling them "this was done with a trial version"? I don't want to have to pay for the program for just the one use, but I do need to combine figures and text into a single file, and I know better than to paste the figures from CorelDraw into the Word document. I'm not willing to put up with the crashes that result.
kareina: (Default)
I have been reading a number of journal articles in pdf format recently (as graduate students often do). Today, when using the "view" menu in AdobeReader, I noticed that in addition to zooming in or out on the document, one can also choose "read out loud". So I tried it. The result is a soothing male computer-voice which is able to correctly pronounce common words, but stumbles terribly over such geological terms as "allochthonous". Its steady, unvaried reading speed and monotone doesn't lend itself very well to being something I'd care to listen to for any length of time. Yet, for all that, I found myself laughing and enjoying the fact that the program *is* able to read out loud at all!
kareina: (Default)
I have been reading a number of journal articles in pdf format recently (as graduate students often do). Today, when using the "view" menu in AdobeReader, I noticed that in addition to zooming in or out on the document, one can also choose "read out loud". So I tried it. The result is a soothing male computer-voice which is able to correctly pronounce common words, but stumbles terribly over such geological terms as "allochthonous". Its steady, unvaried reading speed and monotone doesn't lend itself very well to being something I'd care to listen to for any length of time. Yet, for all that, I found myself laughing and enjoying the fact that the program *is* able to read out loud at all!

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