Archive for October, 2003


Monday, October 13th, 2003

Word count: 2,700

I’ve found that I write many more words when faced with a deadline (like BRAD) than when writing for fun. Whether they’re better words is another issue entirely.

My BRAD fic is a 10,000-word (64k) Voyager/Stargate story which will appear here soon. I’m sad to say that SG-1 overran what was intended to be a fair and balanced, serious yet shippy crossover and turned it into a slapstick comedy-of-wormholes.

Better luck next time, I guess.

BRAD 2003

Sunday, October 12th, 2003

Word count: 3850

In just a few short moments it will be October 13th, otherwise known as Beta Reader Appreciation Day. Say you care with fresh fic!


Friday, October 10th, 2003

Writing link of the day: What is Narrative, Anyway?

PantyCat was getting old, so I decided to get addicted to Go. It started with a slashdot article about man vs. machine games, which led to an old article about computer Go. I downloaded Goban for the Mac, read a pamphlet for beginners, found the controls for board size and handicap in the info drawer, and now I Go. Especially helpful is the wiki-based Sensei Library.


Thursday, October 9th, 2003

Cool Halloween link: cat bowling
Word count: 1200

Jamelia mentioned the Return of the King trailer, leading into a discussion of what exactly constitutes a cinematic adaptation of someone’s else’s work. To put it simply, a adaptation for the screen should, where necessary, change the events (no Tom Bombadil) and even the cast list (Arwen plays Glorfindel in her spare time), but it should not change the characters’ character (evil Faramir and angsty Aragorn).

The challenge of adapting someone else’s work - whether from a book to the screen or from a show to a fanfic, is to keep the characters in character and the spirit of the original alive. Lazy writers fail in the challenge, and people who dislike the original intentionally undermine it. ENT is a prime example of intentionally altering the spirit of Trek, though fanfic writers do it frequently as well. (The question arises, if you wrote ENT fic in the spirit of the other Treks - with good Vulcans and less whiny humans - would it be good Trek fic but bad ENT fic?)

I’ve read in the past that Peter Jackson admitted to modernizing the books, but even if you assume he did it innocently, his is still a failure of adaptation. A better movie would use the real Faramir.

Panther Follies

Wednesday, October 8th, 2003

Thanks to Veronica’s cable modem, I’ve installed the last few oversized programs on my new mac. Today’s bunch: the MacOS 10.2.8 update (not Panther), the Java update, the iCal and iSync updates, the Apple X11 beta, and i-Installer (for TeX and Ghostscript 8). At the moment I’m downloading the NetNewsWire 1.0.6b1 beta because it fixes a problem I’ve seen on and off.

Panther (MacOS 10.3) has been announced for October 24th. It’s not clear whether recent Mac buyers like yours truly will get the upgrade cheap ($20) or at the usual price ($130). Rumors are flying at

Cross-stitch Pennant

Tuesday, October 7th, 2003

Rug progress: 3 partial border outline rows
Word count: 125

This entry inaugurates my new Arraiolos category with a fun Red Sox link I found at Boston Common.

Taking after Khan

Tuesday, October 7th, 2003

The World Is MINE! by Demonac
You will conquer: Asia (except for Japan, because it turns out their “police” have heavy weapons and attack helicopters).
Your title will be: Sultan
You will succeed by: Brute military force (One big Battlemech. Really big…).
Your Enforcers will be: Agents (from the Matrix).
Your first act as ruler: Write a motivational seminar entitled “Why I am Overlord, and you are not.”
Created with quill18’s MemeGen!


Tuesday, October 7th, 2003

As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve been experiencing heavy fan activity on the new Mac. I was expecting the 12″ model to run hot like the previous version did, but it’s not hot - it’s just fanning itself a lot. After a disappointing experiment with the flat-surface solution (putting the laptop on a flat table instead of my lap), I consulted Google, Font of All Knowledge.

Konfabulator turned out to be part of the problem, according to this helpful blog entry from Mac-Mike. Apparently it’s a CPU hog. Though it pained me greatly, I closed Konfabulator down. Fannage dropped immediately from the high-speed fan setting to the low-speed setting.

My next project will be dropping down from low-speed fan to no fan, without resorting to external fin solutions like the LapTopCooler.

[Update] That didn’t take long. The Apple Knowledge Base recommends sleeping the hard drive and reducing processor performance. My hard drive was already set to sleep, but setting processor performance to “reduced” nipped that fan in the bud.

I spoke too soon - it just powered up again.


Monday, October 6th, 2003

I’ve been preparing the canvas from my Arraiolos kit - stitching up the edges and marking a grid. The graph is a bit odd in that the center of the design isn’t centered in the graph and it’s 8 squares per big block rather than 10.

I could have handled the problem by making a free cross stitch charting program in Konfabulator and recharting it properly, but instead I’m just following the weirdness as-is.

I also took all the wool from the board it came on and put it into skeins. There’s a lot of wool. The directions leave much to be desired - they show only the one horizontal stitch instead of the 4 horizontal varieties, the 4 vertical varieties, the 4 diagonals and the mitering stitch for the corners. Most of them just serve to make the back of the canvas neat, but the diagonal stitch might puzzle a beginner. Fortunately I have the elusive book.


Sunday, October 5th, 2003

Just a brief piece of advice: never program a game to which you are addicted…