You’re Welcome

I married a man who can be as full of the snark as I am and Lord does that ever make me happy. Today he sent me a link to a CNN article about Apple admitting their iPhones have reception issues. Really? I never knew.

The best thing about the email was that he said not even to read the article. He had wrote a summary for me which I would like to share with you.

Let me translate what Apple says here.

We have been trying to deceive you for years. We tried to make it seem like you had good phone reception by purposely miscalculating the number of bars to display higher than the actual signal strength. We have been doing this since the first iPhone but now that enough people are buying the iPhone 4 the low din of complaints has turned into a loud roar as more and more of you are not the brainwashed fanboys that market our products as genius. So, now that you have discovered our deception, we will no longer ignore our deficient hardware, which can be seen in other smartphones too, by the way. Instead we will spin this as great customer service by releasing a software update that will remove the deceptive calculation of signal strength and now you will be able to tell better how poor your reception is before attempting to make a phone call that you clearly can’t. You’re welcome.

–Jane, no Apple fanboys here

Silly Girls and Vampires

Two interesting articles on vampires came across my sights today.

The first one is an interview with Neil Gaiman (we aren’t worthy!). He talks about the evolution of the vampire motif and what it has meant to fiction during different parts of history. It is brilliant and lovely as only Neil Himself can be.

The second article is one that Mr. Rochester sent to me. It is from the Today Show website and before you click on the link, I should warn you. Their website is so full of social software gunk, pop-ups, and MySpacesque formatting that I almost threw up when it loaded. Who the hell designed that piece of garbage? Tiny icons at the bottom of the article are much preferable to the huge bar taking up all my browser space. But I digress. Sorry.

I can basically sum up the article with a Smart Bitches phrase, TSTL. Bella Swan is Too Stupid To Live. It is a term given to especially annoying and whiny heroines that under any other circumstances (other than a romance novel) would have been killed because of ridiculous choices they make. That or the other characters get so fed up with the TSTL heroine’s antics that they kill her themselves.

Mr. R asked me why women would like that kind of character. I responded with this: Yes, we hate the TSTL ladies of fiction but they represent the fact that (warning broad generalization coming) most women want to things: 1) for someone to think they are special and 2) to be rescued by the said person in above phrase. The TSTL ladies are a perfect foil to the never wrong knight in shining armor (or shiny diamond skin).

Yes, it is archaic. Yes, it is a bit dumb. But the story of the “knight in shinning armor” has appeal for a reason and I think the two statements above are the underlying reasons.

That being said. I prefer heroines who want to be special and rescued, but who also do some rescuing of their own. We can not let the boys have all the fun.

–Jane, hopes she is not TSTL

On Books and Unicorns

Mr. Rochester wrote a post on our family blog about his plans on funding his retirement. The previous post on this blog was my take on our conversation. His is a bit different. While he gets almost everything wrong but the “conferences” part about my book, the rest of his post is very amusing (says his adoring wife, bless his heart). Mr. R is also correct in that my book does not focus on libraries, though I do toot libraryland’s horn a wee bit. You know, because we are so fabulous.

I do like his advice to me on what I should include in my book. He gets most of the cliches perfectly. Perhaps, I should just make him write it.

–Jane, thinks she’d leave out the unicorns… unless they were evil unicorns!

The Back-up Plan

In light of NASA’s trouble with the Constellation Project and a possible end to his employment, Mr. Rochester informed me yesterday that he has a new plan for our financial future. Of course, this plan involves my labor and ideas, but who’s counting?

He informed me that I should be able to write something better than all the vampire fluff YA stuff* that is out there. He told me that instead of writing boring nonfiction books, I should just reuse an old story, slap some new mythology into it, and write a bestseller.

Sure, I said. I can do that.

The conversation then wandered into the publishing field and alternative ways to get a book published thanks to the power of the internet.

–Jane, soon to start working on a novel of fiction, tomorrow

*Mr. Rochester has a general disdain for fluffy vampires of the YA variety. He watched Twilight, but he is generally tired of seeing it EVERYWHERE. I tend to like vampire/fantasy/whatever, but we have had many conversations about how YA vampires (thanks to Meyer) are toothless. The Edwardesque vampire is gloomy and emo. We like our vampires edgy, brooding, and bad: Whedon’s version. Or perhaps you prefer Spike? Or perhaps even Jean-Claude who is definitely over-sexed but still very deadly.

I Broke Up With Windows

I have an Alienware laptop that I love. I mean I really love this laptop. Her name is Inara (not Vera, sorry, Jayne!) I think geeks feel about their computers the way some people feel about cars. Seriously, Mr. Rochester just built a computer, which we dubbed Nightcrawler (we have decided to go with an X-Men theme from now on), that I am fairly certain he would marry if we were not already legally joined.

I bought Inara about 4 years ago because I needed something small to take to conferences and she has served me very well. I was running Windows XP on my system. Somewhere in there, I had some issues and had to partition the hard drive and install a second instance of Windows. From then on, things went down hill. There was increasing slowness, the CMOS battery died on me, and bootup and shut down time was like pulling teeth.

Mr. R has been wanting me to try Linux and I have considered going open source but that was such a big step; I was not sure I was ready. I love technology, but I hate coding. HATE. IT. It requires more patience and rational thinking than I believe I possess. I just want someone else to build the guts and GUI and let me play with it and teach other people how to play. I know what I want, but I want someone else to build it.

This is the general reason why I have resisted Linux, but I kept hearing how fabulous Ubuntu was and really, my computer was in the throes – the I might throw it out the window throes.

I read this Tom’s Hardware article and took the plunge. I installed Ubuntu with a clean wipe. No partitions. No more Windows. No more pain. Mr. Rochester changed my CMOS battery (I think this bothered him more than me) and it was like I got a brand new computer.

Ubuntu has been a dream. Ubuntu comes with email, Open Office, Rythymbox, and a slew of other useful stuff. If I want more programs, I simply look at a list and click “Install” and it magically appears, for free. FREE. Need a program for screen shots with editing? Free. Need a compressor? Free. Need a flickr uploader? Click. Install. Need a program to convert all those pesky MP4 files from iTunes into a usable format? No problem. The Software Center makes installing plugins and getting other programs simple and does not require me mucking around in the /root and remembering what to type when, in what order.

The one thing I have not done yet is try to sinc my iPod shuffle with Rhythmbox. I have read articles on people’s various success with this. I only use it for podcasts and I figured if it did not work, I can use one of our other three computers for that.

Now I wonder what held me back. We will always have a PC with Windows in this house; we are gamers after all with triple the amount of computers and consoles as adults in the house, but I think my laptops will always run Linux from now on.

If you have hesitated to run a Linux machine, if you have a computer that needs to be freed from Windows, or if you simply can not afford the overpriced software on a Windows or Apple machine, I recommend taking the plunge. Install Ubuntu and never look back.

–Jane, all hail open source computing

To whom does this belong?

Last week something happened that did not make big news, but it should have.

Timothy Vernor, an eBay vendor, won a court case in the state of Washington against Autodesk, the makers of AutoCAD.

Verner was selling used versions, not copies, of AutoCAD in his eBay store. Autodesk contended that because software is licensed by users and not owned, that Vernor had no right to sell the software to a third party.

The court ruled against Autodesk, saying that by calling the purchase transaction a lease does not make it one. The court said that the purchase of software is a purchase and the owner, the buyer, has the right to resell the item.

This court ruling could have very far flung implications within the software market. Charging ridiculous amounts of money and using licensing agreements instead of transferring ownership are how the software industry makes money. If I actually own the software on my computer, I should be free to copy it for my personal use or sell the item once I am done with it.

The Rochester house is dealing with some software issues at the moment. Mr. R is building a computer and wants to run Windows 7 as the OS. Unfortunately, only the upgrade version of Windows 7 is sold at an educational discount. This means we can not get the drastically cheaper educational version and use it on a clean hardrive. Mr. R has determined that we will have to pay for a full version of Windows for our new PC. Frankly, I would love to just use Linux and be done with it, but then we would not have a gaming PC.

Because of some issues I have been having with my laptop, I am going to, soon and very soon, wipe it clean and install all open source software. Goodbye Windows. Goodbye IE. Goodbye Office. Farewell Windows Media player. Good riddance to you all.

–Jane, who owns this?

You know you are a geek when…

You have a serious debate with your husband over what order is the proper viewing order for Star Wars when it is time to introduce them to your children.

Do you go with the traditional viewing, Episodes 4,5,6,1,2,3?

Do you show them chronology and run the risk of the special effects of the newer ones shadowing the campiness of the older ones? Will the crappy dialog and terrible acting of Episodes 1-3 completely turn off the young ones?

We came to the conclusion that Star Wars is best shown in the traditional manner, with the original trilogy followed by the newer movies. Besides the reasons stated above, we also feel that Episodes 1-3 allude to events and people in the older Episodes (4-6) which enrich the viewing experience.

–Jane, thinks the Jedi Drinking Song Prequel says it all

I Still Have Flair

This has been a very different and interesting conference for me due to Mr. R and the Wee Bairn being with me in Chicago. I am very happy to have them here. In fact, I am certain that I would have been miserable without them.

Having them here has meant that I act more my age. You know, coming in before 2 am and getting some sleep before starting again the next day.

It has been gratifying to know that people did in fact miss me and that others remembered me fondly as someone who is smart, competent, and can get things done. I have also learned that I have not lost my knack for opening my mouth when it is prudent to keep it shut. I just do not often mince words when having discussions about things which I am passionate.

At a dinner last night, I do not think I earned a lot of fans when I announced that ALA is in the habit of navel gazing and that our divisions and committees should be offering more learning online for free. Some things never change. After the dinner, I headed to the Billy Goat to to laugh with other librarians with big mouths.

Today, I am going to the CLENE Showcase and then to some LITA stuff before taking my boys to the Blog Salon. I have been thinking about the Unconference and working on a post. It is hard to write much when my time not at conference is spent with my boys.

Must get ready for the rest of the day.

–Jane, expects everyone at the Blog Salon to tell me that I have the cutest. baby. ever.

Getting Ready for Annual

In an effort to get ready for ALA, I turned on the Twitter widget that creates a post from my daily Tweets. Sadly, it went a bit haywire. I will try to fix it today, but there may be another strange post tomorrow.

The rumors are true. I am bringing Mr. Rochester and Baby Rochester aka Wee Bairn with me to Chicago. They will definitely make appearances at LITA Happy Hour, the OCLC Blog Salon, and maybe the Unconference. They may appear elsewhere, but I know there is only so much adorable you can stand, so I must regulate the consumption.

Because my boys are coming, I have less things on my schedule than in the past. It should be an interesting change. I am making time to go to my favorite things and see my favorite people. I expect to stalk some of you until I find you in the flesh.

–Jane, must go pack now