oda: zombie face on a blue-violet plane (personal)
2012-07-06 11:38 am
Entry tags:

No Shadow Kick

Like the groundhog I have either seen or not seen my shadow, whichever one involves going back into the burrow.

I went on a very unplanned social media vacation (really, also a web vacation in general) some months back, and I'm not really sure when it will end. It's nice to poke around again and see lots of interesting discourse and posts; I simply don't have the spoons to contribute, however. Sadly I've had to call off some of the Android/G+ experimentation I'd planned as being far too ambitious for my ongoing spoon levels. I'm still thinking (albeit very slowly) about ways to be more independent in my electronic life; I still am quite addicted to electronics, though right now my use is incredibly minimalistic.

News on things such as the Raspberry Pi is heartwarming -- making computing cheaper and more ubiquitous, and services more turnkey and home-based, is certainly a good trend.
oda: zombie face on a blue-violet plane (personal)
2011-12-24 10:03 am

Ebooks and Hamster Wheels

Proof that I have a tiny hamster brain that is obsessed with tiny wireless devices: +Jenna Moran shared with me a link to the lovely library management software Calibre, I found out the trials and tribulations about how Calibre Portable isn't very, I found a more portable version on the ever-useful Portable Apps, and now I am trying to figure out how to build catalogs I can browse from my phone. (The software at Calibre2OPDS looks perfect but I haven't successfully got it to actually build anything yet, possibly because I'm running Calibre portable, or because it's a beta portable package, or because I was configuring it when I should have been sleeping.)

This would be about exactly why I never get anything done. It's rabbit trails and side quests all the way down! (This started from: "I would like to read an ePub book on my computer.) Oh yeah and I could have just used Bookworm ....

On the SAD side, Amazon let Stanza die a sudden death when IOS 5 came back out. I hear they've patched it, but the patch didn't say IOS 5 only like other 5-only apps do, so my iTouch 2 (stuck on IOS 4) got its Stanza build vaporized by the shenanigans. BOO. I don't know how to reconstruct it even though I theoretically have backups and everything, since I loaded the stuff in directly to the Touch and didn't have any library management running anywhere else, and the iTunes backup format is... opaque to say the least. Not the end of the world as I had a bunch of random Gutenberg books there and didn't read on it very often, but still boo -- I can't even get it running enough to find out what I lost. It's probably not worth doing a full restoral over, though; I also just tidied up a bunch of other apps on the iTouch, getting it ready to be more of a backup media device for both of us than a full time iPod for me. (Now using the phone for that.)

I already refused to buy Kindle books over the DRM; now I'm sad at them for buying Stanza just so they could kill it. I'm glad to see the Lexcycle programmers make good on their hard work, but I think it's awfully shoddy of Amazon to buy a very nice piece of software just to destroy it, and to vaporize my library even if it wasn't a bought library -- it still represented time choosing books. Another lesson in why it is so important to mirror everything, even if it was free and easily found -- time is a resource too! Calibre looks like it will do an excellent job at that. Open source is a good protection against those sorts of shenanigans, because loyal fans can simply fork the dead-ended project and continue support if it's popular enough, and usually it's possible to at least run unsupported legacy stuff as long as you have an OS that will support it. (NOT open source, but I'm also grooving on Good Old Games for giving us legacy software at a good price.)
oda: zombie face on a blue-violet plane (personal)
2011-09-11 10:08 pm

Not Much, Really

What I have been up to:

Not a lot.... Health issues, mostly, have had me at basic day to day. Which isn't bad, really, but it means I haven't had a lot of cognitive surplus. I want to be doing more, but pushing it won't help, so I am not.

Because it's mostly busywork and hence can be done as a bear of very little brain, I've done a major cleaning of my Facebook account, because I am still using it (for now) to keep in touch with family, but I don't think their privacy is going to get any better either. So: fixed a lot of settings there, and deleted all of the fluff from my Wall, likes and things, and tried to zap everything that my name points to in public. Ruthlessly deleted anything I'd posted that no one had touched. While none of it is earth shattering in the least, I am not really fond of having a bunch of "I like pie" trivia under my full legal name.

I am not hardcore enough to do some of the things described in danah boyd's post on how "Real Names" Policies Are an Abuse of Power like deactivating my account when I'm not actively logged in, or scrubbing everything off my wall even if other people have commented, or scrubbing my comments off other people's posts. That feels like it's going too far.

Not sure how I feel about Google+ right now. It's a marathon, not a sprint. And hard to think clearly about when I'm on a bad part of my particular health curve.

I would like to be able to think of social networks as only fun and only about the people, and not about the enormous amount of work it takes to have a modicum of privacy, because it wasn't designed in from the beginning. The privacy issue is enormous, and bigger than these sites, and it's going to quietly (and not so quietly) hurt people and a lot of people don't even realize it yet.

I wish it were easier to get my family over here, where I actually feel comfortable, welcome, and included. I like the community on Diaspora, a lot, but still have concerns about the privacy. I like the vibe and community on Subjot. It's short-form and fully-public now but will including private later, and it has delicious topics, just like I wanted baked into Google+. Oh yes, that's another thing I'm trying out, Subjot, but it's been so low-key and easy that I find it's very natural. Though now I tend to reach for it instead of twitter. Longer form than twitter with topics and real comments and a restful UI? Yes, please. I was only going to look but I thought I'd just post one thing and there I still am; I like it a lot.

I've also switched to DuckDuckGo, which is hardly even-minded of me as I didn't try the other alternatives, but I tried it, liked it well enough, liked some features very much indeed, and stopped. Even just switching search engines is a pretty big change for me right now.

The amount of rambling I am doing is probably some indication of why I haven't been posting anything structured lately.