Category: Luddite loves her technologies

Re fuse

I had a sweet little beginner DIY moment yesterday. The USB port in my car’s dashboard stopped working, and I was bummed that I couldn’t play my iphone through the radio any more. A bit of internet searching turned up a quick fix: check one specific fuse. If it’s burned out, replace it; if it looks good, remove and re-insert it to reset the system. I’d never poked around in a car’s fusebox before, but I figured I’d give it a shot. Ten minutes later, I’d learned how to read a fuse diagram, used my first fuse-puller, and fixed my car without a trip to the shop. Yay, internet! Thanks for providing me with one of Life’s little victories.

Jailbreaking is legal now, so I can post about it

My iphone died yesterday, and I couldn’t get it to start up by any other means than restore mode. Hey, better than nothing, considering it’s a five-year-old first-gen model. I restored it from backup, and it worked great — but lost its jailbreak. I confess I was pretty scared about the possibility of bricking the thing and having to shell out for a new-used phone, but luckily the jailbreaking process was a snap. I now have my cheapskate, contract-free, pay-as-you-go T-Mobile iPhone back, and this makes me ridiculously happy. Heck, the restore will probably make it work better.


Hey, would you look at that? The JanerBlog finally crawled its way into the 21st century.

I really hated making the transition to WordPress; I still prefer MovableType, though it’s gone the way of BetaMax. Don’t get me wrong, if the new version coming out of Japan ever makes its way out of beta, I’ll be there in a flash. But for the moment, MT4.0’s just not doing what I need it to do, and after discussing options with coworkers and friends, I came to the conclusion that hacking my way through Drupal’s hedge of thorns is not an adventure I’m up to right now.

But it’s 3:30am, and sleep *is* an adventure I’m up for right now. It’s where I’m a Viking!

Blogware question.

The Fiery Studios sites are currently using MT 4.0. I need to upgrade for a number of reasons, and I’m debating between upgrading to MT 4.3 or ditching MT altogether and moving to WP 3.0.

What I want: Threaded Comments, OpenID logins, captcha, future posting.

MT 4.3 PROS: It’s an actual CMS, has threaded comments & OpenID. All my sites are on it now, so if I get the upgrade working, I don’t have to dink around with the folder structure.

MT 4.3 CONS: Future posting’s a pain to set up, I’ve never been able to get a Captcha plugin to work, and it runs on Perl, argh. Functional Plugins are scarce on the ground, and while 4.3 seems very stable, development’s halted on it entirely, and upgrading further will mean moving to 5.x, whose future is uncertain at best.

WP 3.0 PROS: It has threaded comments and future posting built in, runs on squeaky-clean PHP. Seems to have won the blogware wars handily, and is constantly being upgraded.

WP 3.0 CONS: Managing multiple sites requires a root install, meaning it doesn’t play nice with static index pages. Functional OpenID seems an impossibility, it’s not a real CMS, and its %^&*! page creation templates keep rewriting my code. I’ll have to rebuild all my site templates, import my MT entries, and let any links to my previous blog entries die on the vine.

It’s lousy either way, but does anyone have personal recommendations?



So Thomas Dolby has a recording studio. In a lifeboat. Powered by… wait for it … wind power. And best of all? It’s named after one of the ships in the Patrick O’Brian Aubrey-Maturin series. If this studio were any nerdier, it’d probably implode under its own critical nerd mass.

And I’m saying that with the deepest fellow nerd-respect. Because if I had a bojillion dollars, I’d do the exact same thing.


After two weeks without Facebook, I can state without reservation that I don’t miss it a bit.

And after coming back energized from Wiscon with yet another armload of books, I’ve decided that I really have to lock down on internet usage in favor of reading, and creating. Dicking around on the internet does not make me happy. It makes me cross-eyed and frustrated and impatient and cranky. Last night the dog and cat would not leave me alone, and I spent a while trying to get work done. And then Zoe forced her way past my legs and curled up on top of my feet, all forty pounds of her. I took this as a sign, and laid down on my studio floor and just petted her and Maddie for a while. It felt a lot nicer than reading my flist for the eightieth time.

So I’m going to try and take one hour a day — time I usually spend pacing like a caged animal between my regular internet sites for tiny bites of new info — and spend it either reading, or playing with the animals. And that big dude in my house, too. I think I’ll profit from it.

Skypephone review

Short: Nice toy, no substitute for a real phone.

Long: Could place calls and receive messages, but an inconsistent wifi signal meant that I was never able to receive calls as they came in. When I had Skype running and the phone on standby, any change in signal meant that skype had to log back in — and it wouldn’t do so automatically. Bummer.

Still, nice to have free long-distance calling from inside my studio, and an ipod with a functional battery again.

Holy Balls Am I Sick of Computers Right Now

Worked late all three nights this week.


Sunday: Family Tech Support.

Monday and Tuesday: Setting up new iPhone, transferring music and contacts, installing apps.

Wednesday: Hard Drive Brain Transplant for a friend failed due to lack of specific hardware adapter bits, then my backup drive decided to have a meltdown when I put it back in its enclosure. Spent four hours and used three computers to get it running. Note to self: Jump straight to the Disk Utility off the Boot Disk next time. It always works, stupid.

I just wanted to make comics this week, I swear. If anything, all this frigging fussing with gadgetry has made me resentful of its encroachment on my free time. I might just bury the iphone in the back yard for a while.

Nerdy saving grace: My backup drive, which uses OSX’s Time Machine, is named McFly — and it did finally regained consciousness. And no, it wasn’t wearing purple Calvin Klein underwear.

Old iPhone?

Hey, so, Apple’s gonna upgrade the iPhone in a bit, and will probably take it to Verizon.

When that happens, does anybody anxious to get the hell away from AT&T have an old iPhone they’d be willing to sell me? I’m looking for at least 16G, preferably a 3Gs phone. Basically, I want to use it as an iPod Touch Skypephone, and keep my brickphone as a backup.

Let me know.

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