caper_est: caper_est, the billy goat (Default)
(Disclaimer: This poem is a work of fiction. Any actual or fancied resemblances to real people, products, events, phenomena, or yawning voids in the very fabric of customer service are purely coincidental. I WISH!)

Waiting for Download

I buy a game, or just a tool
From someone on the internet -
And very shortly, you can bet
That I'll be flustered like a fool.

There's first the purchase to get through.
Because the checkout from the site
Is modelled on an all-in fight
With hordes of monkeys throwing poo.

At last to take my cash they deign,
And then I have to verify
That I am not a Russian spy
And promise never to complain

In case their download steals my stash
Before my promised bits arrive.
"I do!" The wires have come alive!
I'll have my program in a flash!

A big downloader! Whoop-di-do!
It upsells me the Brooklyn Bridge!
"Fuck off!" I cry - and hit the fridge
For pizza while the bits crawl through

The lines, like ants on treacle trails.
I eat the pizza, read a book,
Write twenty sonnets, catch a crook,
And fall asleep. The download fails.

I talk to umpteen helpline drones,
And do it all again, upon
The chance I knew not "Off" from "On".
Their best advice is "Roll the bones

Until by lucky chance you win!
Our server runs on MS-DOS,
And no-one knows, or gives a toss,
What kind of state it's gotten in.

"Thank you for calling!" "Thanks a lot!"
I write a script to roll the dice,
And come back home, to this advice:
"Get stuffed. We know you're just a bot!"

I take a month's vacation time,
And type in captchas all day long,
Until - this hour shall live in song! -
THE DOWNLOAD ENDS!!! And so, my rhyme

Shall end! ELEVENTY, IN LIGHTS!!111!!!!
I've got it! - Oy! What's this? "Please wait:
Godot.com needs to update.
Downloading: Ninety terabytes...."

Envoi:

My avatar called from the Moon
To say my app is starting soon.

caper_est: The grey wolf in the red gloaming. (golden kate)
Killer-Kate and Luke Lackland: First pass on the horsey stuff, of which I know very little. I went through looking for major errors/ideas with the aid of Judith Tarr's extremely helpful Writing Horses, and her Horseblogging posts at Book View Cafe, both of which I can highly recommend. I don't seem to have committed any of the truly classic horrors, but several things could be a lot better, including:

Noticing how much horses pervade my characters' society in comparison to my own. )

And the little details will be legion, but I knew that already, and that's for correction in the fine edit.

For horse people reading these posts: what most annoys you about the presentation of horses in fantasy when it's wrong, or pleases you when it's right? Who gives you a real sense that their characters are riding horses, instead of bicycles, cavalry canines or daydreams?

For non-horsey folk: what horse-related stuff throws you out of the story, or draws you in?

In other news, my home Internet was on the blink again this morning, so communications may or may not get irregular presently.
caper_est: caper_est, the billy goat (Default)
My computer, such as it is, has been tediously persuaded to work with me again for the duration.

Tonight I investigate the current state of Ubuntu, just in case.
caper_est: caper_est, the billy goat (Default)

My wretched Windows installation at home has crashed spectacularly, and my breaks at work are apt to be short and sweet, as the Autumn Term is now taking off in earnest.  So there won't be a lot of news from me until I've fixed things up again.

Killer-Kate and Luke Lackland: Pulled together the shape of the current chapter, and of course there turns out to be bloody well two of it.  Shorter ones, admittedly.  I'm now going to cut it on the edge of the Night Without Stars.

Ciao now!
caper_est: caper_est, the billy goat (Default)

Yay!  I have my main computer back again!

When that I was and a little tiny boy, I was inspired by superhero comics and my dad's passion for electronics to build my own computer.  So I made me a diagram of circuit symbol salad, corrected it to allow for the rather limited number of components I actually possessed, and built it in a lunchbox.  My prototype boasted a big old screw-top 9V battery, a bunch of wires, and a large space in which to plug in processing unit upgrades.  One wrote out one's questions on scraps of paper, posted them through the lid, and they were answered with robotic and logical infallibility on the reverse side of the paper.

The output feed turned out not to work, so I was compelled to remove the scraps myself.  I then discovered a general output error, viz. the reverse sides were still blank.  So, until I had figured out the details of the improved processing mill beyond "I suppose the Mark II ought to actually have one!", my only way was to calculate what the computer would have written, and fill the answers in myself.  Applying these to reality, I found them to lack computerish infallibility despite the rigorous calculation and the battery, and abandoned the whole project of computer-building in disgust for the next decade.

Nonetheless, I still sometimes help computers to generate oracles for me.  So taking last night's titular message as a broad hint, the rest of the updates are:

Tired of poncing the help off other people at need, and yet still being unable to read Homer or Sappho in the original, a couple of weeks ago I finally began the study of ancient Greek.  It wants a bit of work.  Still, I progress, and already if I ever need unexpectedly to inform Socrates that the pirate is leading the hippopotamus away from the river, I shall be ready to roll.  Had my class been given material like this to work with at school, we'd have probably ended up speaking all the French and German anybody could ask for, not counting that special species of Parisian who could only ask for us not to.

Another hippopotamus in the room discovered for my Libertarian Challenge: OpenOffice added to my 'free stuff I ought to give something back for' list.  The solution to this is not like the others, and I shall post about it presently.

I am still working, or something, on Kate's great speech, because it is hard and my brain is soft.

I have very nearly refined the art of the meat pie to my personal satisfaction.  A dash of Worcester sauce in the mince-and-onion filling was what it wanted.  The pastry is nice enough, but wants some final tweaking.  Also, I want to find some Brussel tops, and see if they're as much better than regular greens as I remember.

Many travels to arrange over the next fortnight.

I need to research a Do The Housework cantrip.  There are clearly not enough hours in the day for other methods to keep up.

caper_est: caper_est, the billy goat (Default)
My desktop at home just died, and I can't bring it back again.  Many things will now be delayed until I've restored or replaced it. 

I am now extremely glad that I bought my external backup drive when I did.
caper_est: caper_est, the billy goat (Default)
Killer-Kate and Luke Lackland: 2,000 words in two scenes, finishing Garcastle from the viewpoints of Bonecold Refugee and Hero-Father.  Yes, I did need to give the latter a turn after all, and I turned off the computer last night wondering how I was going to do that without diminishing him.  Seeing him from outside is one thing, but "he that has been what he's been"...?  Dangerous, dangerous to get the reader in too close to him.

And then as I was ready to drop off I remembered what kind of story this really is.

So this morning I got up, and wrote his scene in undiluted fairy-tale idiom, and that gave me both the directness and the distance I needed.  And left me the energy for Bonecold Refugee's simultaneous scene, too.

One more scene only, and this chapter's done.  All the big crunches are now just around the corner.

In further fairy-tale developments, Jack's wireless router went haywire, and he did this and that, and presently it worked again.  And a week later, Jack's wireless router went haywire again, and he did this and that, and presently it worked just as before.  And Jack thought, "I know what comes next, and it's probably not a good idea to wait for the payoff!"  So in the interests of remaining Internetted, I shall just be doing some techno-shopping Real Soon Now.

I Gloat!

Aug. 30th, 2010 06:21 pm
caper_est: caper_est, the billy goat (Default)
I just replaced the wireless card in my desktop PC, after the old one gave up the goat.  Somewhat to my surprise, the installation was plain sailing, and my connection is now faster than on its best day ever before.

Also, a nice new flatscreen display that actually works right.  Additionally, a terabyte external backup drive, ditto.  (Terabyte!  Terabyte!)  Last in line is picking a good workhorse printer-scanner.  Soon.  Soon.  The electronic component of life is very good just now.

Back in town, back to work, and back on the wire again.
caper_est: caper_est, the billy goat (Default)
I should be returning to netly life real soon now, but there is a last unexpected delay: both my home computers are indisposed, and the prognosis for the laptop's looking grim.  Off this evening to buy a new WLAN card for the desktop.  If the subsequent surgery does the trick, then I shall resurface over the long weekend.  Otherwise I'll submerge again until my next tea-break - which, at the beginning of a school term, may be some time coming.

Not much writing this summer, as it turned out; but a very great deal of everything else.  More anon.


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