Book Log: First Among Sequels

First Among Sequels by Jasper Fforde

The fifth Thursday Next novel.

Fforde turns self-reference up to 11 as Thursday Next is training innacurately-written fictional Thursday Nexts from the first five books (including the non-existent The Samuel Pepys Fiasco) to become Jurisfiction Agents, with a subplot about time travel.

Enjoyable mind candy.

Coming over to the Dark Side

A friend of mine posted this link to an article about Star Wars: The Force Unleashed for the Wii.

I’m not a gamehead. I can count the number of video games I’ve played in the last ten years on one hand.

But… to hold a virtual lightsabre and woosh it around with all the accompanying sound effects…

That is tempting.

If anybody gets it for Santamas, invite me over.

Chasing the Penguin

Hey geeks, what’s everyone’s favorite Linux distribution?

With my new computer system up and running with four fully functional SATA drive ports and a seemingly infinite supply of free 160GB SATA Hard Drives at my disposal, I figure it’s high time for a dual-boot system.

I’ve installed Red Hat on some decrepit old systems that eventually gave up the ghost. But I believe there are a multitude… Debian, SuSe, Slacker… I may be dating myself by mentioning some of these.

The Computer is Dead, Long Live the Computer!

The New and Improved Less Blown Up computer is at home, waiting to be tested out. I finished putting all the guts back in last night after the messy motherboarderectomy. I was too bleary eyed to be trusted to check it over before powering up.

Foolishly, I did not pay close attention when I ordered the motherboard to the types of sockets and plugs that were included… I failed to get one with a 20 pin power supply style (hopelessly antiquated! After three years!) or a AGPx16 socket for the display. So, a new power supply (24+4) and display card (PCI Express) needed to be purchased.

So, if anyone has need of an AGPx16 compatible display card or a 450W 20 pin computer power supply, I can help you out.

So, tonight, after steakums gets back from her business meeting with her clients1, I shall shut my eyes tight and flip the power button.

May the deity of ones and zeros have mercy; I need my computer back.

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1 Translation: Hitting a bar with the Georgia Shakes folks.

Book Log – The Diary of a Nobody

The Diary of a Nobody by George Grossmith and illustrated by Weedon Grossmith

I mentioned in a previous Book Log that these authors were listed by Nick Hornby alongside P.G. Wodehouse as comic greats. The only book I found that they collaborated on was Diary of a Nobody, though George wrote others. I downloaded this book onto my Palm via Project Gutenberg1.

First published as a magazine series in 1888, I have to quote Homer Simpson to describe it: “It’s just a bunch of stuff that happened.”

In essence, I don’t get it. There’s a website of commentary and critique, in some places calling it a work of genius. All I see is a not particularly witty account of a life of no consequence. Admittedly, one could not claim false advertising considering the title. But from a narrative point of view, there doesn’t seem to be a point.

Perhaps that’s the joke.

Though it is reportedly the only work by the authors that live on with any popularity, the brothers never commented on it publicly. Early reviews are pretty much in line with my opinion (not very funny, not very interesting) and that may explain why they didn’t talk much about it.

Of note, though, is that Diary is thought to have coined several terms in popular usage and adjusted the meaning of the word “posh” (after the character Murray Posh, a rich and successful person) to its present day definition. ‘blithering idiot,’ ‘bread-pills,’ ‘bussing,’ ‘cert’ and ‘chuck’ have references to Diary in the OED. “Pooter” and “Pooterish”, meaning taking oneself excessively seriously, comes from the main character (the nobody), Charles Pooter. I’ve never heard the term, but I guess it’s all the rage at the OED.

I am sometimes disturbed when I don’t appreciate a “classic”, believing for a moment that I must be missing something. And then I remember Lord of the Rings and realize that no, everyone else can get it wrong.

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1 I have just noticed that there is a fair number of P.G. Wodehouse stories on that site. a-HA!

Flowers for Athlon

My basement computer died a couple nights ago.

First the printer port and serial ports stopped responding (yes, I still use the old non-universal type serial and parallel ports) . Then I rebooted, and it never did the boot part. The monitor never received a signal, which means the very early BIOS stuff doesn’t happen, or all the peripheral interfaces have gotten whacked.

So I ordered another motherboard/CPU combo from TigerDirect. Also, a surge protector/battery backup thingy. I’m pretty sure this is a result of power surges in the basement, because I often come downstairs to find it’s rebooted, and power outages/hiccups are no stranger to our house.

I’m pretty sure all the data is still on the hard drives but regardless, I had just done my weekly backup of critical files. Huzzah for preparedness!