From Hell’s Heart I Stab At This Blog

Haven’t updated this in a while, partly because I’ve been doing what will hopefully someday become paid writing, if I can get an editor liquored up enough to buy it, but also because the fans in my video card decided to go all crakhed and burn themselves out – which, since the entire point of shilling out over a grand for this machine was to be able to play video games, was, to say the least, suboptimal.

I was researching new video cards, and occasionally ogling the new gaming machines on Dell (the only outfit shady enough to give me credit) when I realized: dropping half a thousand dollars every two years on new gaming stuff was exactly why I got out of gaming, way back in the days of the console wars.  (Which were shortly after the Punic Wars, for you youngsters in the audience.)  Not only that, but ever since I got the new machine, my old one, which up to that point had worked perfectly, threw some sort of computer snit and now runs about as fast and efficiently as a brick.  And not Brick for Windows, either; I mean, like, Brick 1.0.  Brick Vista.  iBrick.  (Rim shot.)

I started getting migraines, and after the third day I woke up strangling my Bill Gates Realdoll, I decided to take a break from technology and drive out to the coast and eat donuts (seriously, they have some really good donuts in Arcata) and I almost didn’t come back.  After a pub crawl with an old buddy, I have to tell you, I was strongly tempted to just wander out on the dunes, strip naked, and live out my days grazing placidly on the seagrass.  But I didn’t, because I hate seaweed.

So I’m back, and I also have a sweet new desk, which is inspiring me to get back to writing, and I have some ideas that work best as blog posts, plus someday if I’m famous, this will be where I pontificate wildly about random conspiracy theories.

This is how writers pimp they cribs.  Did I say that right?

But at least until I can get a new graphics card, I’ll be blogging less about video games and more about writing and whatever other randomness crosses my cerebral cortex.

Next up: postmodernism, the Death of the Author, and kitchen remodeling, as applied to Steven Brust’s Vallista.





Broken Windows

You may argue that this post contains a slight bias against Microsoft, to which I say: ah so you’ve used Windows, then1.

My machine’s been running slow; of course, everyone’s machine runs slow, because the nanosecond you get it, all bright and shiny and with nothing installed (especially those terabytes worth of naughty cat gifs you had on the old one) that becomes your new normal, and everything after is all downhill.

But slower than that – freeyztime slow.  Black screen and whirring fan slow.  Get impatient and close the programs and they won’t even close in a timely manner slow.

You know, needs an update slow.

I have to admit, since this is the first actual new computer I’ve ever owned, that I am not familiar with how updates go.  I’d update my computer at work, but usually only out of desperate hope that it was crashing due to some esoteric file patch like borkfixer.exe and not whatever it was I’d just downloaded2.

But still, it seems more logical – civilized even – to maybe pop up a message telling you an update was ready rather than you finding out after spending an hour crying on the floor, catatonic with rage?


I inchwormed the mouse over to the search bar and typed in “Check for Updates”3 then ignored the roughly 23 other apps that Windows helpfully decided might take priority rather than updates to the operating system itself.

There it was – it was called “Absolutely Critical Update So Windows Doesn’t Launch Nuclear Missiles Against North Korea But We Aren’t Gonna Tell You About It.”

After correctly answering the security question4 I proceeded to install the update.


Sorry, just a little IT humor, there.6

No, seriously, it told me there was an error, which I might have believed if this had been the first time the computer ran slow when there was an update available, rather that it being how I know an update is available.

Which of course begs the question: if the system was working fine before an update existed, how come it stops working until the update is installed?  I can only assume Microsoft has been taking lessons from the Mafia:

“Real nice computer ya got there.  Be a shame if sometin’ were to happen to it.”

But other than that, the update went fine, and I’m hoping it finishes sometime before Christmas.

Okay, it only took 2 hours.7  And then another half hour of hidden system reconfigs.  And another hour of reinstalling all the programs Windows helpfully uninstalled.  Also, it broke my keyboard.  At least, I kind of hope my keyboard’s broken, because a 10 minute wait for it to register letters seems kind of … ah, I see …

Checking for updates…

  1. Actually, I’m pro-Microsoft, mainly because I once worked at Apple.  That’s a longer, sadder blog post, and one that probably has to stay classified until the end of time.
  2. It was rarely borkfixer.
  3. Because XP’s intuitive menu GUI was just so unpopular.
  4. “Would you like to play a game of chess?”5
  5. Correct answer: no.
  6. This joke intentionally left blank.
  7. No, seriously, that wasn’t a joke.