Saturday, May 20, 2006

Old Tech, New Tech, and Other Time-Wasters

Well, I had twelve hours of much-needed sleep today. I went to bed at 4:40 AM (yeah, yeah, shame on me), and got up late this afternoon. This means I didn't get much done today, but it was worth it. No, we haven't touched the router and all that. We'll get there eventually. John did get some tiles laid on the Library Conversion of Doom, we bought groceries, and I washed my favorite pants and did my best to remove the oxygen-cleaner's discoloration, so the day has not been completely wasted.

But I've had what I like to call "digestive inconveniences" today, which makes it hard to sit at the computer for long. (It doesn't help that I'm also watching That's Entertainment! in the next room.) When I have been in here, I've spent a fair amount of time messing around with Frappr and Wikipedia. I noticed today that I'm suddenly on a bunch of Frappr group maps I never signed up for, with names like "We like Writing," "We admire kindness" and "The Hitchhi Fans."

The Hitchhi fans?



It turns out that some spider, robot or person made a bunch of maps based on whatever people put down in their Frappr profiles. That got me on the maps listed above, plus "We Want to Meet Anne McCaffrey," "We like Reading," and "back to the future fans." Apparently whatever method used to generate these maps was a little iffy on quality control. I deleted my pin from "We admire kind," and these maps show all their initial members using the non gender-specific "people" pins. And nobody ever called am H2G2 fan (or "frood") a Hitchhi fan before. But what the heck. I uploaded a couple of Hitchhiker's-related pictures anyway. Maybe a human will eventually give the map a proper name and identifying image.

Frappr has beeen adding lots of little features, including a blog space on each person's My Frappr page. Well, I don't really need an eighth blog to contribute to, but I couldn't stand to leave it blank any longer, so I made an entry directing people here. If you found this blog that way, hi there. Welcome!

It's all still kind of weird and confusing, the Internet I mean, even for those of us who have been online a decade or longer. I'm still trying to figure out why a couple of splog-like pages have put me on sites devoted to tennis and treadmills, according to Technorati. I mentioned one of those words in passing, but not the other. My entry that mentions Frank Lloyd Wright is no longer excerpted on the tennis page, but as of last night that page still showed up on my Technorati "Blogs that link here." Weird. So why has the count of sites linking to the Outpost dropped significantly in the last week, from 76 or 77 down to only 72 sites? Was it something I said, or something Technorati did? I know I shouldn't care, but it bugs me. Does that make me a bad person?

I haven't done too much with Wikipedia today, but yes, I've been doing more editing this week. I added a little bit about shooting locations to the Route 66 tv series entry, and a little more about George Maharis to his entry, which was initially too much about his misbehaviors rather than his achievements. You may recall that I interviewed him back in 1986, and liked him a lot. And someone added a reference to Julie Newmar as a Route 66 guest star, so I mentioned that she was the only actress to appear on the series twice in the same role. One of those episodes, set in Tucson, is among my favorites. But all my material for the unfinished Route 66 book is on dot matrix printouts and large Commodore 64 floppies. I don't see how any of that stuff is ever going to be converted into useful form, all these years later. The technology is just too old, too incompatible.

And then there's the challenge of keeping up with the newest online toys. This week John Scalzi and Editor Joe introduced an AOL video-sharing platform with a cute video of Athena and John playing with Mentos. I must say I was a bit jealous. I have a few little movies I made with the Canon digital camera and some software or other, but never figured out how to share them properly. But Joe mentioned Google Video, so I'm uploading my Mt. Lemmon clip there right now. We'll see what happens.

Mount Lemmon Driving Adventure

31 sec - May 21, 2006
« Back to video details  download for




Dang! It looks as though I'll be going to bed as late tonight as I did last night. I'll have to do better.

While I'm waiting for that video to upload, and mostly ignoring Mae West and Cary Grant in the next room, I'll just mention that despite everything, I have gotten a little work done on Mages. I've really only changed a few sentences in Chapter One, but the nature of the changes shows me that I'm capable of taking text that's been static for years and years and finally making it clearer and cleaner. Here's one of them:

Old:
This one had shown him nothing more than a normal conversation, one that could easily happen in the waking world.

That's clumsy, and the extra words add no information. How about:

New:
This one showed a normal conversation, one that could easily happen in the waking world.

Here's another:

Old:
Harleno was famous for missing classes whenever he could.

Yeah? When would that be?

New:
Harleno was famous for missed classes and unfinished homework.

You get the idea.

The video is uploaded. Time to embed the code and then embed myself!

No, the html doesn't work in Blogger. Drat.

Karen


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1 comment:

Shelly said...

One of my entries on Cyber Chocolate, where I did a questionnaire meme, got picked up by a spider that puts links up on a wedding planning site. So now folks can click on that link for wedding info and find questions and answers about my life. *sigh*