Month: January 2007

Dragon’s Harper

Dragon’s Harper

First it was “Dragon’s Heart” then it was “Dragon’s Harp” and now my editor at Del Rey has suggested “Dragon’s Harper” (which is better and better matches the book).

Whichever it is, I got it back from my editor and am revising it.

Windows Vista

Windows Vista

I’m sitting here shaking my head ruefully. How did this happen?

When I first heard the hype about Windows Vista, I said, “No way!’

I checked the Microsoft website, I took a look at the features and said to myself, “I don’t need to feed Microsoft more money.” So I was going to be one of those Windows XP hold-ons and maybe, finally, switch to Linux.

I love Linux. I used to install it on a second partition with the full intention of switching over to it. I’ve been a UNIX connoisseur since BYTE magazine ran an article on it way back in 1978. What holds me back is a Word Processor worth the time to learn it — I’ve no time for the current offerings — that, and, let’s be honest, customer support. I do *like* being able to sort out my own problems but, honestly, if it’s a choice between me spending four hours learning how to parse something out of /etc/rc2.d or writing 4,000 words of the next novel — which are you going to vote for? (Yeah, me too.)

Anyway, I wasn’t going to switch to Vista nowhere, nohow.

So why did I, the very first day it went on sale?

Well, it was that or spend more than $2000 (probably more like $3000+) on a new computer. You see, up until I installed Vista I was quite ready to junk this machine. I will still replace it but now I can do it on my own time rather than as a rush order.

The problem started a while back, when the computer crashed and burned. I don’t quite know how it happened (possibly I installed some buggy/virused shareware) but the end result was that my registry got so badly trashed that the machine wouldn’t reboot. No problem, I thought, I keep backups.

Buuuttttt — I discovered that my backups were only skin deep. No registry entries, and, much worse, none of the data folders in my home directory — like my e-mail folders. And the restored machine *thought* it had software installed that the registry didn’t think it had installed.

Beyond that, there was also issues with illegal instructions and problems with the USB driver (at least, according to Windows XP Pro when it gave me the Blue Screen of Death). So I’d had it with the computer — it was crashing on average once a day and that was just too much for me. I was all ready to put up with the pain and hassle of getting a new one, transferring everything over, dealing with the loss and emerging from the painful process a wiser computer user (with backups that *really* work?).

As a last resort I decided to give Vista a try. And I did. The upgrade was lengthy, the EULA annoying (I skimmed it) and the darned installation aborted because I had the NERO CD/DVD software installed and Vista doesn’t like it (it doesn’t like Norton Save and Restore, either). Annoyingly, when I removed NERO and restarted the installation, it started all over again — requiring me to re-enter the 25-character registration code (grr).

But it’s on and it works. At least, it hasn’t crashed yet.

And, you know what? It’s kinda neat!

Huntington’s Disease

Huntington’s Disease

Huntington’s Disease is a neurological degenerative disease that is genetic in nature leading to uncontrolled movements, loss of intellectual faculties, and emotional disturbance.

As some of you know, I’ve been coaching a leadership program, LP17, for people who are ready to take their lives to the next level, to live on the cutting edge, working for a future that is new, bold, and better — a true legacy.

LP17 consists of 11 truly amazing people whom I’ve come to know and love as family. They so beguiled me with their love and big hearts when I first met them that I declared I would coach them through to the end of their leadership program on February 18th, 2007.

The biggest heart of LP17 is Vincent Fortney, a soft-spoken ex-Marine who picked up his accent in Georgia. Vince is one of the nicest people I’ve ever met, the truest rendition of a heart of gold.

The leadership program is outward looking, looking to help the community and build a better world. Every leadership program engages in a number of community projects, including raising funds for major charities such as the American Cancer Society.

This time, however, with LP17, the team decided to set its chairty goal on raising money to research and find a cure for Huntington’s Disease.

The reason LP17 decided on that is because Vince, big-hearted Vince, suffers from Huntington’s Disease.

So, I’m asking, if you’re thinking of making any charitable donations, please consider donating to Huntington’s Disease on behalf of LP17 — and Vincent Fortney, my dear friend.

LP17 has set up a donation website, you can find it here.

Tonight, Saturday January 27, 2007 — Dragons!

Tonight, Saturday January 27, 2007 — Dragons!

On NPR’s all things considered there’ll be a section on Dragons in the SF lit tonight on Weekend All Things Considered. That’ll include snippets of Mum and me.

Don’t miss it!

You can find it here.