azurite: (kitty catch)
At some point in the not-so-distant future, I will finish my cute wallpaper of a kitten trying to be a lion. And possibly make matching icons.

In the meantime, now that Lion (Mac OS X 10.7) is out, I'm going through my list of apps to try and determine which ones are PowerPC (read: not going to work on Lion, ever!) and which ones are Intel/Universal binaries (read: probably will work, but not guaranteed).

Of those, I'm trying to find out which ones I can and cannot live without. For the ones that I can't, I'm looking for solutions. For example, realMyst. It's an amazing game, with levels you won't find in the other versions of Myst out there, even for Windows (as far as I know). It's also PowerPC-only and unlikely to get patched or updated in any way to be compatible with Lion.

The solution? Get Steam for Windows and download it there for cheap. That particular version of Myst from Steam IS realMyst, so it'll have the special world that doesn't exist in the other Myst releases, will be all kinds of awesome and while yes, I'll have to run it in Windows, for a game like Myst, it's actually kind of worth it.

For everything else, please offer suggestions as to other/better/newer apps that are Lion-compatible, or let me know if there's an update I should get (hopefully free, but if I have to pay for it, them's the breaks).

PowerPC-only apps )

After this is looking at all the other Intel-based apps and seeing which ones
a) haven't updated lately, and therefore may not work with Lion
b) I don't care about/use no matter how recently they've updated

And I think that's it...right? I almost seem Lion-ready...
azurite: (cat and mouse)
So. I went to the Apple Store and to PowerBook Guy (third-party Apple product repair) today. I picked up my MacBook Pro from the Apple Store, where they reiterated what the guy told me on the phone: it's Tier 4 damage, must be sent out, and will cost $1240 flat for all repairs, which would include the keyboard, logic board (most expensive part), connection cables, CD drive, hard drive, etc. Apple has to replace anything they see damaged: there's no part/parcel replacement, and heck, even if there were, it would probably cost more.

The guy even showed me the internal damage: chocolate milk and dried-up sugar (?) in small splotches throughout the entire thing (so much for my prompt and level-headed clean-up and reaction). I went to PBG and told the guy this, but for him to open it and give me a different diagnosis would have cost me $125. Based on what I told him, he estimated $1025 for repairs, and even had to ask me to plug in, because the power cable internally and the port for it on the outside had chocolate milk damage.

The next computer shall be named Chocomac (or something like it) )

It sure would be nice if Will (#repomen) would show his face here in San Francisco so I could collect the $7500 bounty on his head. *sigh*
azurite: (san francisco)
So, after-- lost count how many times--I've successfully managed to install, activate, and run every application in Adobe's Creative Suite 4. This most recent time, everything was working EXCEPT Acrobat, which of course, is one of the three programs I use on a regular basis (the other two being Dreamweaver and Photoshop, of course), and as a "solution," Adobe's Customer Service suggested I uninstall and reinstall everything, and use the same "Clean Script" app that mangled my CS3 install and forced me to download the CS4 trial that mangled this install.

Needless to say, I was wary. I had installed this CS4 twice already and was still having issues. But this time, I really did get rid of EVERYTHING Adobe, and the re-installation went smoothly.

I ran Acrobat immediately after the install and it whined about a licensing error, which is what the CS4 trial had been doing after I used Clean Script, but once I installed the updates, it started working again. I opened up a file with it, and opened up a file in Safari (which, for some bizarre reason, requests Acrobat's permission to display, even though you can view PDFs natively in Preview and in some browsers), so everything seems to work fine. Acrobat even has "Enter Serial Number" grayed out, and when I click on "Register," my information is already filled in (and presumably sent to Adobe, since I finally got the "free benefit" email).

I'm still unable to install this "Adobe CSI CS4 1.0.1 Update," as it keeps failing to install, so I'll mention that in my case reply, but otherwise...everything's FINALLY working again. Interestingly enough, for the CS4 case, Adobe told me someone would actually be calling me within 48 hours, and it'll be 48 hours at the end of today, so we'll see if that actually happens and what they'll say/do.

I'm just glad I didn't have to do an Erase & Install after all. Yesterday while I was testing various apps to see if I could re-create the crash that had Photoshop so disabled, I ended up ditching a few apps, sorting the rest, and seeing just a few crashes, all with different SIG errors.

They are:
* Adobe kuler - SIGBUS (once) -- I ended up uninstalling this anyway, since Kuler is a panel in Photoshop now, and it's also accessible online
* Delicious Library 2 - SIGILL (once)
* NewsFire - SIGABRT (once)
* Spring Cleaning 10 - SIGSEGB (twice)

And Firefox hasn't been crashing on startup repeatedly, either, which is cool but also very weird. It, like Toast 6 Titanium (which is probably not even SL-compatible; I really need to get Toast 10), was crashing without a peep. I didn't know how to diagnose that, except to look up the app's name along with "crashes on startup." Often the results weren't very helpful, but if the problem's no longer an issue....

*fingers crossed!* I'd really like to be able to do my homework now!
azurite: (disney - ariel ooh shiny!)
I don't want to jinx things, but my computer problems might somehow have been mysteriously solved.

I did the security update from Apple earlier, along with a whole host of updates from Adobe. I've been going through all my apps to see which ones produce the infamously aggravating SIGTRAP error (or variations of it), but NOTHING has been crashing.

Not even Firefox, which used to take 3-4 tries just to boot, and it never said a peep when it crashed! Photoshop is staying open, with files open. I've had no problems with any other CS4 product (except Acrobat, because Acrobat is a whiny brat that doesn't like my serial number even though I got it from Adobe!), and other programs that crashed or acted weird are now being...fine.

There's Big Fish/Play First Games' "Gotcha! Celebrity Secrets" game that I wanted to try out. It previously tried to load but then crashed without a word. All of a sudden, it worked! I enjoyed 60 horribly bad-in-a-good-way minutes of playing "Where's Waldo" in a cartoon celebrity world, pretending I was a paparazzi blogger.

There's TextWrangler, which updated but then refused to let me update the command keys. Then I did, works fine! No insta-crash like before!

Even Corel Painter 11, which would occasionally crash and occasionally work, now seems to be working fine, even displaying a start-up dialog box that I've never seen before!

I want to do a battery of tests on my most-frequently used apps and ditch apps I don't really use that often while I'm at it. If the errors still come up, I might want to stick to the Erase & Install option just for the sake of having a "fresh" start on the laptop, but if not, I can always cancel my appointment.... Of course, I should probably do this tomorrow and sleep now, because being awake at this hour is really quite bad for my internal clock. Or so people tell me. *flaps her bat wings*

*fingers crossed* I'd much rather go to In-N-Out Burger tomorrow than a crowded Apple Store to get my precious laptop wiped (for no reason???).
azurite: (cat and mouse)
CS4 finally arrived. I attempted to install it yesterday (which took a while) and was told that it was done BUT it needed me to reinstall anyway, because some components or whatnot were missing. Made sense, considering I'd had the CS4 trial on here and the CS3 Clean Script the "wonderful" folks at Adobe had me run removed some vital CS4 components, too. So I restarted, turned off all the extra bells and whistles running in the background, and reinstalled.

It said done! Successful! Hurrah!

And then I ran Photoshop.

I waited.

It crashed.


Also, because it crashed, I thought I wouldn't be able to register the applications in-program, so I did so online, at Apparently that means I don't get my free benefit!? But I tried opening Dreamweaver CS4 and registering through there, and that seemed to go smoothly, except I still didn't get my benefit email. I want that damn benefit, especially after all the BS I've been through with this.

Dreamweaver isn't crashing at all. It's sitting pretty, which is nice and a bit of a relief. But I still need Photoshop. I need it soon, for my class. And because Corel and the Citrix plug-in were both crashing with the same (looked the same, anyway; an error that long, I'm not exactly going to read it line-by-line, although I could always compare them using TextWrangler...hmmm...) SIGTRAP error too, I've determined this is a system error and I need to do something about it.


So, I'm going to do an Erase and Install. But not on my own, no. Because much as I love software and think I'm pretty spiffy with it, something as large as this requires the "delicate" hand of a so-called Genius (a.k.a. someone to walk me through this whole mess). I'm going to go there, at my appointed time, bring my Time Machine drive, tell them the last schmuck at the downtown store told me to do something that's not possible with my OS version and he should have known that, and I want them to FIX the issue however they can (and for free, because dammit, it wasn't doing this before, I haven't changed anything, and this isn't fair!).

I pray that this will:
a) fix the problem with the crashing, because it's caused by occasionally corrupt files that can't be repaired the usual way
b) allow me to restore all my applications, or at least the ones I really, really need and paid money for
c) not take more than one to two days, because frankly, I have homework to do and trying to do it on a PC is nearly as agonizing as thinking this is fixed and then finding out it's not

*pray pray pray*
azurite: (azureshipping - love to hate)
I've uninstalled Adobe Creative Suite 3 Design Premium. Not just Photoshop, which was really the only application giving me issues, but all of it. I have the trial of CS4 and should be getting the CS4 backpack that is my graduation present soon-ish (it's on backorder from, but the problems...they aren't going away.

I uninstalled CS3 using the uninstaller in the Applications/Utilities folder. Everything was a success. Then I ran the CS3 Clean Script from Adobe's Support Center--twice. Everything seemed to go smoothly there, except it also apparently removed Shockwave Flash (Safari is now protesting I don't have the right plugin for some websites) and InDesign CS4. I re-installed CS4 and then Photoshop said it was missing components. So I reinstalled Photoshop. And everything seemed to be fine (again) for a few minutes. I opened some documents and prepared to get to work.

And then it crashed.


Same error as before EXC_BREAKPOINT (SIGTRAP).

I have tried everything at this point short of fully uninstalling Intego (but you'd think if that was really behind it, the error messages would say something relating to Intego, right?) and wiping the OS and reinstalling. I have NEVER had to do this with a Mac OS, so I'm obviously a) very worried and b) very reluctant.

This has happened with Photoshop, while I got another Initializing Extension Data... hang with Dreamweaver CS3. It only happened sporadically, though, and hasn't happened with Dreamweaver CS4. Only Photoshop seems to hate me, and I don't know why. (Why, Photoshop, why!? Was it something I said?)

Oh, and then there's Firefox. So after I couldn't get into my Photoshop for class, I thought I could use DeVry's iLab environment, which is run by Citrix. Blah blah, got the latest extension, went into Firefox because supposedly it's more compatible with Firefox than Safari (lamesauce, Citrix, LAMESAUCE!). Firefox didn't even seem to recognize it. So I uninstalled and re-installed (after a bit of a scuffle with a crappy beta). I let it be shiny-new, as is, for a while. Citrix seemed to be there (though not in the Add-Ons list, the way 1Password is despite being an external install), but the second it tried to launch Photoshop via Citrix, CRASH! The Citrix online plug-in, that is--not Firefox. Actually, it happened with ANY of the Adobe suite programs I tried to launch via Citrix (didn't bother trying Microsoft gunk--should I?), so it doesn't seem to be just Photoshop-related.

However, since that fresh install of Firefox, the app itself has crashed--repeatedly. It looks like the same error message as the Photoshop one, which is to say: not helpful at all. This tells me that whatever Adobe tells me to do to "fix" Photoshop won't actually help, because this is starting to look more and more like a system issue. I disabled XMarks, since that would cause freezes that would force me to quit Firefox, but the problem isn't really solved: Firefox takes around three "clicks" to get it to start. I can launch it from the Dock or via Quicksilver, but either way, it'll be in the Dock for a split second, even have the "running app" indicator below it, but it'll still just vanish without a word. No error, no crash reporter, nothing. And I'll try again. And again. And again.

And then it works, acting like nothing's wrong. It doesn't APPEAR to be as slow as it used to (which is why I switched to Safari in the first place), but it may depend on the website. And I still do have a lot of extensions, because to be frank: if there's going to be a limit on Firefox's number of extensions, then TELL ME SO from the outset. Give me a suggested number, or tell me how much memory each extension will hog up, or whatever. Because most of them I got because they're actually USEFUL and I need them in some fashion.

I think I'm going to have to make another appointment at the Apple Store. Hopefully I'll get someone who actually knows that Snow Leopard doesn't have Archive & Install as an option anymore, and that dust can't creep into your computer and make your hard drive explode (Yes, it's been said).

Another thing to add to The List of Mer's Computer Woes? My Time Machine is definitely on its last legs. My lovely new-ish Western Digital MyBook Studio has begun ticking, a bit like a soft clock. It doesn't always mount, and even when I do the whole unplug-to-power-cycle thing and re-plug, it doesn't always work. And I'll hear a soft a clock, only not as regular. Maybe every few seconds. This one might still be under warranty, but what's the use if I'd just end up replacing it with another WD drive? WD doesn't seem to be nearly as reliable as I thought. :( What are the HDs the "Geniuses" use at the Bar, I wonder? They look pretty compact and sturdy...
azurite: (cat: what the shit is this!?)
My Photoshop CS3 (not any of the other Creative Suite 3 apps that I use) has been crashing upon open for the past week or more. I have been around the block and back trying to figure out what to do, and I've tried almost everything. I searched Adobe's KnowledgeBase for potential solutions and went through almost all 22-23 short of re-installing Photoshop, mainly because I don't have the discs on me here in San Francisco.

I tried doing Disk Utility checkups and got some weird errors that I couldn't fix, and at the time, I'd been without my Snow Leopard DVD either, so I took it to the Apple Store. They couldn't fix it and the "genius" recommended an Archive and Install...which is apparently not an option for Snow Leopard. Never mind that I spent a good 20+ minutes trying to find a button that just wasn't there, if only the guy had told me--oh yeah, it's no longer an option for your OS!

I tried fixing the same errors with TechTool Pro before just Googling them--hah! Turns out they're generic errors that can be "safely ignored" and have nothing to do with Photoshop's crashing. I tried using Time Machine to restore Photoshop to the earliest date I had--the 15th of December, but no dice.

So then I tried rebooting in Safe Boot mode, and THAT miraculously worked. So apparently the issue is with Photoshop and one of my login items...but which one? The ones I think I have (and I don't know if I know all of them) are: Synergy, Quicksilver, Hyperspaces, some Intego software, and XMarks for Safari. Of those, I updated Intego and Hyperspaces recently. I've used Synergy and Quicksilver for so long, I'm sure they're not the issue. To check, I closed each of them one by one...except Intego, WHICH I CAN'T CLOSE. AT ALL.

I think I have to uninstall the damn thing to test out this theory. And why do I have Intego ContentBarrier, NetBarrier, Personal Antispam, Personal Backup, and VirusBarrier, anyway? Simply put, it was part of a security bundle I'd gotten a while ago, and my boss back at CSUN said it was part of the policy to have antivirus software, even on a Mac (which doesn't need it--not because there are no viruses because of Apple's "small market share," but because it's Just That Damn Good). And I thought all was well--it caught a few infected emails that could have damaged my Windows VM or passed on the virus using my email address, but maybe it's interfering with Photoshop after all.

I'm waiting to hear back from Adobe and see what they say--maybe there will be login items I missed, that the lengthy crash report reveals, or they can tell me something specific about my installed, mentioned login items and incompatibilities with Photoshop. And then there's always trying to figure out how the hell to temporarily disable the Intego software just to test whether or not it crashes Photoshop after all.

I've searched for tips and tricks, but none apply to my situation here, so I'm sort of at a loss until Adobe gets back to me. My options at this point are:
* Uninstall Intego -- and I don't even know if it's really the issue
* Get Baba and Grandpa to send me the CS3 DVDs so I can reinstall Photoshop
* Have my mom buy me the CS4 backpack I've been saving up for myself, as a "graduation present," just to fix the damn issue and have new everything that's up-to-date and be done with it.

I'm not a big fan of any of those, because none are really simple and easy. Any tips would be appreciated.
azurite: (hanukkah - shimmering lights)
If it weren't for Mac360, I wouldn't know about/remember half these promotions, but geez, another bundle!? And it's not even Christmas yet! Let's check out the about-to-run-out MacBundles bundle. Talk about appropriately named, eh?

iPhoto Library Manager - I have yet to use multiple iPhoto libraries, but I can definitely see the use. You can keep multiple libraries and move photos back and forth between them without losing all the data like keywords and ratings. Wow--potential hit!

Media Rage - Help catalog, sort, update and organize thousands of audio files. I've got nearly 8,000 songs in my library, and I haven't even found the remaining 100 or so MIA tracks or imported all my CDs! HIT!

MyTunesRSS - Access your multimedia collection through a web interface in any browser. Create RSS feeds, download playlists, albums or single tracks. Play music in the browser or a favorite player. You know, short of shelling out for AirTunes, this sounds awesome! This sounds like cloud computing for me! HIT!

Renamer - Batch renamer. When Automater is just too confusing, and programs specific for file types are too annoying, I guess? Potential hit.

Simon - Checks site servers for monitoring and lets you know every damn way there is possible short of calling you up in the middle of a date. I'm not a business or anything, but this might be nice. Potential hit.

ViewIt - Image viewer for the most popular formats, has tools for quick image sorting, printing, digital cameras, and EXIF tags. Extendable via the SDK. I already have so many photo/graphic apps I've lost track of them all, but you never know when one can do what others won't. Potential hit.

WebPrint Plus - Quickly save or print snippets of any size from any program, the 'Net, or the clipboard. Eliminates the need for tedious copy-pasting between programs. Sounds useful, but...potential hit.

Yum - Recipe and cookbook manager. I already have SousChef. Miss.

Yummy FTP Fastest Mac FTP/SFTP client out there. Allows for directory synch, scheduling, remote editing with per-file editor support, auto-uploads, FTP Alias upload droplets, bandwidth throttling...blah blah, I have just what I need built-in to Dreamweaver, and Fugu for all else. Miss.

A-Dock X (BONUS APP) - Available for the next 9 days and 9 hours or so, brings a secondary dock to the screen. Allows for skinning, built-in separators, desktop trash, 10-level deep folder browsing, hotkeys, and more. Seems to do what DragThing does. Potential hit.

SonicMood (BONUS APP) - Available today and tomorrow for 9 hours. Creates a soothing background of tones when you don't want to listen to ordinary music. Comes with 31 moods and lets you customize or invent new ones. Sounds awesome--HIT!

FolderGlance (BONUS APP) - Small plugin for the finder that lets you right-click on folders to examine contents and sub-folders, down an unlimited number of levels, plus support for control-free pop-ups, display of hidden files and folders (!!), contextual menu font size, and more. Sounds pretty useful. Potential hit.

12 apps for $49.99 and the survey says...

Miss: 2
Potential Hit: 7
Hit: 3

That's 10 total programs that are worth my while and again, two that I already have a version of and would either be willing to try out or pass along onto a deserving person (hint hint).

Gaaak, another $50 get or not to get!? Battle of the Bundles!
azurite: (peach girl - momo nails)
So, aside from new bundle MacFriendly, there's the regular and usually awesome MacUpdate Promotional Winter bundle. This year, it's got some goodies, but also some oldies. To get or not to get? This might be a harder decision than MacFriendly, where six apps of useful quality weren't enough to swing me into whipping out my credit card.

PowerTunes - Create, organize, and share multiple iTunes libraries. I used to want to do this because I had the majority of my music on my external drive, and I tried to have a smaller one on my laptop...but the way iTunes did it made things confusing. Even though I had the music on the external, some folders were still on my laptop, and Time Machine couldn't back up the full library on the backup. This might be useful if I ever find a reason to do multiple libraries again. Potential hit.

PathFinder - A replacement for Finder. I hear a lot of people hate Finder and think it needs to die already, but I've never had a problem with it. Still, it's always nice to discover something awesome...potential hit.

Socialite - "Keep track of the social networks that matter to you." I don't really know what this means, but I do use social networks A LOT. Oh wait, this is EventBox renamed! The last thing I need is another Twitter client when so many cool ones are free, but this does integrate a lot of others, but mainly for status updates...which, hello, are not the only thing attractive about social networks. But it also integrates RSS feeds, and ever since the upgrade of NetNewsWire, this might be a cool replacement...maybe. Potential hit.

Yep - Tag, organize, find documents. What iPhoto is for pictures and iTunes is for music and video media, Yep is for documents! Does it do HTML, I wonder? If so, this would be a total Hit!

Radio Gaga - Already have it. Miss.

GarageSale - Already have it. Miss.

Speed Download - Had a previous version from another promo and liked it, but having the newest version might be nice. Hit!

HealthNut - Not like I need to diet, but it sure would be interesting to put all that I learned in my Food Science classes to good use. Besides, I can't assume that I'll have this fabulous metabolism forever! Pretty useful! Potential hit!

PCalc - A scientific calculator. Not like I do complex math often, but if I did, aren't there websites or widgets to take care of it for me...or my own scientific calculator that I spent a year taking math classes to earn. Miss.

FlagIt! - Flag email messages in with different colored flags. Endless colors, and the ability to mark and unmark the messages and then find out when they're completed. This could be useful, especially for me, when Smart Folders, Junk marking, and colored labels just aren't enough. Every layer of organization helps. Hit!

Holiday DVD Templates - Well, I've never made DVDs, let alone holiday ones, but it's cool to have the option to have jazzy holiday DVD menus. Useful for when I finally get around to learning iMovie and iDVD and maybe even shooting my own video. Hey Santa, can I have a Flip camera? Potential hit.

iRip - Get music from my iPod back to my Mac. Nice tool, but I've already got the free (albeit basic) expod for that. Miss.

Machinarium - An adventure/puzzle game featuring robots. Sounds cool enough, and it might be neat to review for GD. Potential hit.

DragThing - A professor I had recommended this, and the Macworld editors seem to love it. I already have Quicksilver as a launcher and Overflow as a dock manager (which I hardly ever use, since Quicksilver's become second nature to me), but DragThing seems to do a lot more: you can have hotkeys, have multiple docks, have a Trash on the desktop, play sounds in response to actions, and even stores frequently used clippings! Sounds like a total hit to me!

14 apps for $50 is already a better deal than MacFriendly, but how does it break down?
Misses: 4
Potential Hits: 6
Hits: 4

That means 10 total apps of the 14 (3 of them are only available for the first 10,000 sales, but they're only at a little over 1,000 now) are something I'd like to try--a much better fraction than with MacFriendly. I might just have to invest in this...but would anyone like the licenses for Radio Gaga and Garage Sale, since I already have them? If each app were evenly priced, they'd be $3.57/each, so two apps would go for about $8. Any takers?

Anyone know about any other bundles out there I should take a look at?
azurite: (o rly? - minako)
Found out about MacFriendly today, which includes 12 (maybe 13, depending on sales) apps for $50. But how many apps that are unique or different from what I already have to justify buying something like this?

Invoice 3 - useful if I ran a small business. But being that I presently have no need for an invoice application, this is useless. As for managing my finances, I have and even Quicken. Miss.

Flash Decompiler Trillix - Do what with the what now? Something about messing with SWFs, which might be nice to know in the future if I ever start seriously playing with Flash, but for right now, this is a miss.

TimeNet - Basically something to work in conjunction with a business manager like Invoice 3...except I have TimeTable, which I like a lot, have gotten used to, and see no reason to replace. Keeps track of your time for billing purposes. Miss.

Icon Commander - Turn any image into icons for Windows Vista, XP, or Mac. Believe it or not, I'd actually find this useful. I'm always wanting to jazz up my apps and folders, and "if you want something done, you've got to do it for yourself." So I might just start making icons! Hit!

Amnesia - Uninstall apps properly. I already have AppZapper. Miss.

WaterThumber - Easily batch process images with watermarks, resize them, create web-ready thumbnails, and so forth. Sounds like a good replacement for the finer things that IrfanView for Windows does, and what powerful image editors like Photoshop don't do. I have a number of photo editors and managers, and this does things that they don't (as far as I know, though I don't have to do this often). Potential hit.

MacPilot - Finds all the hidden tricks in OSX without having to rely on Terminal. Supposedly does what TinkerTool and Onyx can't! Plus, I like Koingo Software. Hit!

Singlemizer - Get rid of duplicate files. This is a double-edged sword. Not all files that appear to be duplicates are, and some that are need to be kept for special reasons, like back-up or backwards-compatibility purposes. Plus, the most common producer of duplicates (for me, anyway) is iTunes, and I have Dupin for that. Potential hit.

Squish - A URL shortener. For the truly lazy who can't just go to,, or any of those other URL shorteners. I use Twitter apps that shorten the URLs automatically, so this is a total miss for me.

Marketplace - Craigslist without the Ugly. I hardly use Craigslist at all, but I just might if it comes down to job hunting...and the incentive is greater if an app prettifies it. Potential hit.

Emailchemy - Takes closed-source email formats and makes them open-source. Can converted emails to Google Apps accounts (of which I have two: CSUN and Gaming Dead). Other than that...uh, I don't really think the features are all that useful for me. Overall, a miss.

ForeverSave - Time Machine on steroids. Lets you back up the documents created by specific programs, on a regular basis, to avoid all those program or computer crash losses. Sounds awesome. Hit!

iTasksX (LOCKED) - Project Management "for professionals." It sounds awesome, but it looks totally complicated and like it has a steep learning curve. Plus, how is it any different from what Bento, Things, or similar programs do? It may be more robust, but those programs LOOK easier to use, even if I have to use multiple programs to achieve the same result. Miss.

Overall? Six (Seven) Misses, Three Hits, and Three Potential Hits. It's basically dead-even if you don't take iTaskX into account, and usually I'd expect more out of a bundle, even for such a good deal as 12 (13) apps for $50. I'd be willing to split the cost with someone if they wanted the licenses for the apps I don't think I want, but where am I going to find someone like that?

I wish I could mix and match bundles, but that defeats the whole thing that makes bundles so cheap--the fact that people get dupes of apps they may already have, if they're Mac-savvy, that they discover new apps from cool, favorite, or possibly new developers, and that ALL TOGETHER, enough sales rewards all the developers involved. If I could buy only six of the apps, I'd probably pay at least $50 for them. Can someone invent the Mix Bundle, or a mini-Bundle better than the MacHeist nanoBundle?



Aug. 4th, 2009 04:03 pm
azurite: (back to the future - save the clock towe)
So, I'm chilling here at SFO (San Francisco International Airport, for those that don't speak airport code). I shelled out $7.99 for a T-Mobile Hotspot Day Pass, because even though I don't visit airports (or Starbucks, or even Borders) quite often enough to get a Hotspot account/shell out $40 a month, sitting here for 3 hours nursing a Coca-Cola and reading the August issue of Wired just doesn't cut it for me. I need to be connected, which is kind of sad. I sort of miss my childhood. :P

Tech jargon )

More win and OSM )

I'm actually somewhat looking forward to going home, if just to sleep on my own bed (though the AeroBed Mom got was pretty damn comfortable, no matter what Eva said about it being too soft) and have steady Wi-Fi in all my usual haunts. Also, MAIL! And money. And work for a week, until I have to get my butt to DC. And in-between all that, family visits and the Orange County Fair. Should be fun.

Meanwhile, Michael Jackson's "Beat It" is stuck in my head, along with a plotbunny for a multichapter Sailor Moon fic I meant to write for [ profile] sm_monthly and never got around to. I mean really, ANOTHER multichapter? I wish I could churn stuff out as fast as [ profile] moodwriter, with her "Hate, Prejudice and Secret Intentions" (I think I got that title right) Dramione fic that I've been reading lately. Good stuff! I've also got to catch up on Stargirl's "Tsuki no Namida," an AR of the Silver Millennium, since the latest chapter is up for critiquing on one of [ profile] the_circlet communities. I'm not a big fan of walking into a long-ish multi-chapter fic blind, so I'll start with the beginning and go from there. So far, it's got an interesting premise but some grammar issues that irk me. But hey, SAILOR MOON FIC. I ought to get writing!
azurite: (cat and mouse)
My Western Digital 500 GB hard drive started CLICKING today.

I was still able to get it to mount, but I get the feeling that data isn't moving from my laptop to the drive; normally when it does, the light on the front of the drive will be going up and down. Right now, it's just still, with one little segment near the top "burnt out" (it's not really burnt out, as it does light up every now and again, but lately that section doesn't light up).

I've tried stopping the Time Machine backup, ejecting the drive and remounting it, but that doesn't always help. Even power-cycling doesn't always do the trick, which has me a bit worried. Previous SNAFUs with this or other WD drives have caused me to switch from USB to Firewire for the port of choice, and make sure that it's powered directly into a wall socket, versus a surge protector (which seems stupid, but meh, it's what they told me).

Anyway, after it started to click this morning, I got worried, so I looked into whether it was still under warranty. It is, and in fact, I can upgrade to a 1 TB drive for $20 off the MSRP, provided I ditch the current warranty on my existing drive. Thus, a quandary: do I wait for the drive to asplode before getting a new one, or do I act preemptively, assuming that no click is a good click?

Idea that just got thrown out the window: use a new 1 TB for a data external and use the old data external (250 GB) for Time Machine. That won't work, because if my internal is 300 GB, then I need at least that much (double is better) for a Time Machine. I'm actually kind of cutting it close with the 500 GB Time Machine I'm currently using.

I also have conflicting "to do" stuff with the laptop itself. See, I was worried about losing my iTunes library, so I moved the larger one to my external hard drive. That means it doesn't get backed up with my Time Machine. So if I do something stupid, like delete files off my external, I'm S.O.L. I've been thinking about moving my complete iTunes library back onto my internal HD; I have the space for it. It'll start getting backed up with Time Machine (unless the clicks really do spell bad news), and that should all be gravy. I don't really need two libraries, one iPod-sized and the other not. I can just manually sync what I want through checking and unchecking tracks and playlists and such.

What confused me was that the Genius at the Genius Bar (honestly, at this point, I'm starting to think it's a rather lame title) suggested moving my iPhoto library onto an external! But then I can't access it when I'm out and about, which is why I'd always kept it on the internal. Plus, it's getting backed up by the Time Machine! Apparently using Backup for these purposes is bad, due to the format Backup uses or something.

And don't get me started on the whole battery thing. The laptop's BEEN plugged in, and yet it's mysteriously at only 97% charge, which probably is a little over 2 hours. I'm sure the battery life is supposed to be longer than that, considering I bought it just a few months ago. And yet it still passes Apple's tests.... I've stopped using Firefox 3.5 for now, since it was proving to be a major CPU hog and probably didn't help with my battery problem.

So, yeah, lots of things to do and I have no idea how or where to start. Grr.
azurite: (cat and mouse)
Yes, it's shiny and inexpensive for what it comes with, but why should I buy the MacUpdate Promo bundle? Aside from the fact that, yes, $49.99 is a damn good price for the software included (retail value of $521.71, according to MacUpdate), and there are only four days left to get those apps at that price, why bother when:

(1) I already own Parallels Desktop. There goes a $79.99 part of the overall value.
(2) I already own Circus Ponies' Notebook. There goes another $49.99 (but I only bought it for $29.99, because I'm a student!)
(3) I already own Quicken, which might not be as intuitive as MoneyWell, but it serves the exact same purpose. Minus another $49.99.
(4) "Posterino - Posters, postcards, and more." Hm, these are things that a) I can do in Photoshop; b) I can do in Pages; c) I can do in MS Office. Heck, I can even do this from within iPhoto! WHY would I pay $24.95 for it?
(5) BetterZip - Okay, so StuffIt isn't perfect, nor is the Mac OS X zip utility. But it does the job, and that's all I really need. I don't zip or unzip TOO frequently (maybe a few times a week), so why would I need this? Hmmm.... minus $19.95!
(6) RipIt - hey, wait a minute, what the heck is DVDRemaster Pro for, then? Minus $18.99!
(7)Multiplex. Useless to me. I watch pretty much everything in MPlayer OS X Extended, anyway. (VLC started to suck a while ago and I haven't looked back since.) If it's got some features above and beyond the default OS X DVD Player, point me at 'em! Minus $35.00!

TechTool 5 might be worth it, except I've already got DiskWarrior AND Drive Genius. Let's be honest here, as awesome as TechTool 5 is, what does it do that those two programs and a good piece of freeware, e.g. OnyX, can't? (I'm not being sarcastic here; if there's a wonderful feature of TT5 that I ought to know about, sell me on it!)

NetBarrier X5 I'm seriously considering, if only because I HAVE to have my firewall down in order to connect to a wi-fi network these days. Due to the fact that none of my external hard drives are big enough for an exact clone of my hard drive (or the bulk of the really important data, which is scattered all over the place), I have yet to do a clean install of Mac OS X 10.5.7 yet! It might be nice to have something protecting my Mac from what few things could possibly screw with it.

DVDRemaster Pro 5 - I don't really duplicate video DVDs. Converting them might be useful though, and if it works with non-video DVDs, like Data DVDs, I might consider it....

Paperless - Reminds me of Notebook fused with NeatWorks. This COULD be useful, if I didn't have that sinking sensation that it does something that other apps that I own already do.

Bearing all that in mind and only subtracting those apps that I truly felt would be of NO use to me whatsoever, that brings the total "value" of the apps I'd actually use to $277.85. That's just slightly more than half the total value if ALL the apps were included, and I subtracted the most expensive apps, AND the majority of the apps (seven out of eleven; not including the two "bonus apps" if I were to BUY BUY BUY like, today).

I'd really only do this if I could split the cost with someone who could use the other items, like Parallels, Notebook, and so on. Considering the high-ticket value of those, wouldn't it be more fair to have that person pay $35 and me $15, and we each get huge savings AND just the apps we want? (Are we even allowed to do this? I mean, I'd buy the bundle if I thought the apps would go to good use, but the other Mac at home is a PowerPC and not exactly state-of-the-art, meaning it can't even HANDLE some of these apps!)

Anyone up for it? It's a pretty sweet deal for anyone that wants to: you get 7 apps for WAY cheaper than their market value, and I get 4 apps (plus the bonus ones, if you don't mind) that I could actually use.
azurite: (cat: what the shit is this!?)
Yesterday I went to the Apple Store at the mall (the redesign that had them closed for over a week wasn't as extreme as I imagined; they just removed all the shelving units and put more tables in with laptops and iMacs to play with. Basically it reminds me of the Stonestown Galleria store, but wider) to find out if there was anything the Mac Geniuses could do about the constant AirPort problem I (and plenty of other users, too, judging by the Apple Discussion Forums) I've been having.

Basically, I can't get a legitimate IP address unless I take down the firewall. This tends to happen after I wake the computer from sleep, but not always; sometimes I boot the computer (or restart it) and have the same issue, where I get a self-assigned IP address until I turn the firewall off.

I have tried nearly everything that's been suggested for this problem:
* Turn the AirPort on and off (never works)
* Create separate locations for each WiFi network that I use (worked temporarily)
* Renew the DHCP license (only worked once, I think)

Two things I haven't tried:
* Deleting the SystemConfiguration file for the AirPort. This would wipe out all the network settings I have. While it's true I don't travel often, when I do, I'd rather if the Internet just work when I get there, instead of me having to spend time tweaking it to try and get it working (especially if I've already done it in the past and nothing's changed about the network). I could make a backup of the file, but the fact is, this solution hasn't worked for everyone, so it seems a little silly to even bother.

* Doing a "Clean Install" of the entire operating system. This is what the Mac Genius suggested, and I'm beginning to think that every now and again, I get "one of those" Mac Geniuses that thinks Macs are PCs, and if the tiniest thing is wrong, ASPLOSION! MUST REPLACE! MUST REPLACE! There was that one Mac Genius who more or less said that a tiny crack in my casing near the front (by the infrared sensor) could let dust in and cause my hard drive to collapse. Uh, no?

He's probably got a point, though. Problems have been cropping up more often, and while now I know they're not hardware-related (the Genius demonstrated bypassing my OS with a portable hard drive of his own, meaning the hardware is fine), it's not exactly EASY to back everything I have on here up for transfer.

Time Machine is supposed to have a large backup of the entire hard drive plus incremental backups of changes made. I've already reformatted Time Machine once, which means its largest backup doesn't go that far back. My other external hard drive has only 30 GB available (read: not nearly enough to backup my home directory, let alone my other files), and while I'd love to properly format it as an HFS+ drive (it's FAT32 now, I think, because I had it in my head that I wanted to be able to use it with PCs too), I don't have anywhere to put the 150+ GB of data that's already on there.

Then there's my old hard drive, the one I got in its own external case. I haven't really used it. It's not that large, but it could be useful in this procedure, if I end up buckling down and doing it.

Thing is, I want to know EVERYTHING I can backup to get my computer having EVERYTHING where I want/need/remember it. This means:
* Applications (!!! No way in hell am I relying on CDs and emails from digital vendors)
* iPhoto library
* iTunes music (the majority of it is on the external hard drive, but since that disaster a few weeks back, I have yet to restore my whole library. I'd rather get that done before attempting to do this)
* Mac Mail (most of it is IMAP, meaning I won't have to do anything other than set up the accounts again, but I do have some email on my Mac, plus a bunch of Rules)
* Documents - this is what worries me the most, because I have a folder hierarchy reminiscent of my Windows days: not just my Documents folder, but a My Documents folder with a boatload of my work in it!
* ??? What else? Anything you can think of?

And how should I best go about getting my data off so that when the Mac Geniuses do a clean install, it's relatively pain free, quick-ish, and easy?

Big Bad

May. 12th, 2009 11:08 pm
azurite: (fiction - have written)
Eek, big bad final exam tomorrow.

Still haven't finished my Shakespeare essay. Maybe once I get public relations stuff out of my brain, Shakespeare will come to me easier. And then when THAT'S out of my brain, I can finish my belated Fanswap assignment (I got an extension/excuse, so participants don't have to worry about me just being one of those evil non-submitters).

Mac OS X updated to 10.5.7 today. I guess I'm one of those folks who doesn't mind upgrading, because if it's from Apple, I typically trust that it's an update for a good reason. Of course, I read the "What's Changed in this Version" notes for any updates to ANY software I get, which might make me a bit unusual...anyway, I found this rather amusing tidbit:

They changed the Energy Saver icon in the System Preferences to a CFC bulb! HA! Cute, Apple, real cute.

Also, the plotbunny I've been tending to--the one that's the trans-dimensional offspring of the second daughter of WDKY (a.k.a. the spin-off of the third story in the WDKY series)--has gotten a lot larger. I suddenly thought of TWO FULL ARCS for it, meaning the story (which only exists in note-form) is now at least 16 chapters long. And I suddenly thought of a socio-politcal twist to it (that's been happening a lot with my fic ideas lately. I wonder why?). I wonder if this is what happened to JKR when she was writing "Harry Potter?" The idea sounds cool and you fiddle for it with a while and then of a sudden: IDEASPLOSION! Of course, "Harry Potter" was an original series and this is a fanfic that won't see the light of day for some time now, so it puts me in quite the pickle.

That's my new catchphrase as of late: "in a pickle." Hm. Pickles.


May. 5th, 2009 12:13 am
azurite: (firefox vs. ie)
Finally got my MacBook Pro back from the Apple Store. I think I mentioned how the graphics card or something somehow caused the logicboard to fry, and the whole thing had to be replaced? Yeah, but at least it was part of a "program" where they knew about these defective boards, so I didn't have to pay a dime. Looks like it may have been partially related to my battery issues, too, as my battery life seems to have improved a bit. I only bought the new battery back in December, so there's no reason why it should be horribly unhealthy by now (even with the fact that I use it every day and leave it on A LOT... but in Sleep mode, mostly, and almost always plugged in, too).

I also finally got the annoying issue with getting a self-assigned IP resolved. None of the usual fixes (renewing the DHCP license, turning the AirPort wireless card on and off, restarting the computer, switching to Ethernet, etc.) were working, but I dug around in the Apple Discussion forums (on the old iMac and at school) and found a fix: switching the Firewall to "Allow all incoming connections." Ta-da! Of course, I'm hoping to switch back to my more selective mode, but in the meanwhile, this'll do. Now just to see if it works at home, too.

ETA: It does, but at school, it doesn't. V. annoying.

I was also having issues with the computer just generally being slow, and I don't know if it's time for me to see if I can upgrade the memory in this to 4GB. This is an older model MBP, so I don't even know if it CAN hold that much. Plus, it'll cost (lots of) money, and with the way my previous attempts at installing additional memory have gone, I'd rather do it at the Apple Store-- pay for for the Apple Certified stuff and get the product warranty and in-store customer service that comes with it.

Firefox is still apparently a memory hog, but it doesn't help that I'm one of those people that has hundreds of tabs open (some of them duplicates). I tried to close a bunch down today, write them down if I need to, and bookmark a bunch of others. Hopefully it'll help some. I'm also testing out Firefox 3.5 beta 4 because I wanted to play with Weave, a project from Mozilla Labs that allows for TAB SYNCING. I never thought I'd need it, but geez it'll be nice to open up my tabs on my now-slow MacBook Pro on the speedy Windows (eeeeew) machines at work. Mayhap I can get more done that way.... Now, I wonder if there's something that can sync extensions?

This entry's actually been sitting here for a few days; I just didn't post it. I have a lot more to say, but it seems like it ought to go in a separate entry some other time...maybe after finals or at least after tomorrow, when I have my Table Appointments (read: table setting) quiz in my Contemporary Issues in Nutrition class and my Yoga final (physical and written). I'm kind of nervous about the physical Yoga final, because even with a class of 30+ people, last week the professor said she WOULD be working with us one-on-one, which has me thinking she'll be sitting there and go "okay, get into X pose!" and I'll just blank and forget how to do it!

...My Time Machine external HD is mounted, but it won't back up, even if I manually tell it to. When I go into Time Machine preferences, it says the back-up drive cannot be located. WTF!?
azurite: (blue flower)
Finally, my Firefox bookmarks issue solved! I made a backup of all my bookmarks (both a JSON file and an HTML export) and restarted, restoring the backup, but that didn't help. Nor could I find the environment.plist file mentioned in the section of "Other solutions" pertaining to the Mac. BUT I could close Firefox, get into the Profile folder and my profile, and get rid of the places files, which helped! Huzzah!

Next up: bought iLife '09 today. The thing I'm most excited about is iPhoto 8, which has got the Faces feature, among other nifty add-ons. My library is upgraded and all the faces have been scanned. I want to know if it works for anime, manga, and video game images, too! I've already tagged several hundred pictures, and it's learned SOME faces pretty fast, but not others. When there are lots of people bunched together in a photo, it's hard to tell what "box" (around a face) refers to which person, because each box has a callout bubble and that bubble's box isn't always visible with the other bubbles around it... if that makes sense. It was funny how, at first, it found a ton of pictures of me and one of them (that I had to either confirm or reject as me) was of my dad! :P Yay genetics. Well, similar things happened with Shaina, Erin, Becky, and my mom, so....

The Places feature is also neat, but I've had to enter a lot of locations manually. It pays to be as specific as possible, but to spell things out fully-- California, not CA, and so on. I've got tags for Washington High School, Presidio Middle School, RTA, and the cities of Mito, Tokyo, and Uchihara. My camera doesn't have GPS support, as far as I know, so it means tagging manually for ALL of those photos. -_- I wonder if there's a way to ask for help-- you know, have the photos in a MobileMe gallery so people can suggest Faces or Places tags for them. It'd certainly make my life easier, especially for all the Faces I have!

Speaking of upgrades:
(1) Should I bother to upgrade to iWork '09? I'm going to use the trial that came with iLife '09 to test it out, but there'd have to be something pretty significant (preferably about all 3 programs, and not just one) that would get me to upgrade, even though it's priced totally reasonably. I imagine Keynote would be a great reason to upgrade, but I'd like Pages and Numbers to be upgraded nicely, too. Of course, I have MS Office (even though I hate Microsoft, NeoOffice just doesn't come close), but it's almost like comparing apples (hah!) to oranges (Microsoft being an orange. Or a lemon, maybe).

Sadly, Keyword Manager isn't compatible with iPhoto 8 yet, but hopefully it will be soon. I still need to keyword a lot of stuff!

(2) If I upgraded the downstairs iMac to Leopard, would I lose my OS9/Classic access? I mean, the iMac is still a PowerPC, so you'd think "no," but.... It's such a stupid reason: I want to keep playing the game Spin Doctor. It's fun! There's no OS X equivalent! (WHY!?!?!) Has anyone who's upgraded a PowerPC machine to Leopard regretted it? Why?

 Someday We'll Know by Mandy Moore feat. Jonathan Foreman from A Walk To Remember Music From The Motion Picture [Special Expanded Edition] (Rating: 0)
azurite: (sailormoon - just watch me)
I'M DONE! (with classes and finals, that is. Hip hip hurrah.)

This semester I used Circus Ponies "Notebook" software for the Mac, and I gotta say, I HIGHLY recommend it. Not only did it help me save paper (I'm all about being green when I can), but it helped me organize my notes and refer back to them SO easily.

To top it off, I made a webpage of all my notes and quiz results in just a few clicks! It's also quite stylish. If you've ever wanted to know anything about geology, biology, or outdoor recreation, check out the site. I think I'll do the same thing for next semester.

Let's see.
* Fanfiction (esp. for the holidays; I want to be challenged and give lots of ficlets away!)
* Video games (Star Ocean 3, FF8, Super Mario World!)
* Websites (Epiphany, Seventh-Star.Net main site, Star Ocean 3 RPGClassics shrine)
* [ profile] fandomsecrets (takes forever to read and comment on these things, but it's SO addictive!)
* Presents! Handmade! Or something. Still working on that.


...By the way, I discovered I have 1 more unit than necessary to graduate ALREADY. But I still have a year left because if I applied for graduation as I am, I wouldn't get a degree in anything, and that's like, extra-sour lamesauce.
azurite: (ffx-2 - yuna berserker)
Well, I restarted my computer THREE times and each time, the keyboard/trackpad was frozen or non-responsive. It's been getting more and more frustrating, and I don't know what to do. There's no single solution from other users that have experienced the same thing on the Apple Discussion Boards, and the fixes from the "Genius" at the Genius Bar and the "Expert" from Apple that I called didn't work permanently.

I'm obviously concerned, because, like the last time I went to the Apple Store with a serious problem (the memory card pin-holder in the old MacBook Pro), the Genius made it sound like it all boils down to the logic board, which is a $1300 repair. My laptop's out of warranty because I didn't have $300+ to spend at the start of September, and I didn't think to put it on one of my credit cards on time. So that $1300 might actually be MORE, because I don't know if that's the in-warranty quote or not. Last time, that price tag convinced me to buy a whole brand new laptop, this time... I can't afford that. I don't know what to do, especially since I'd never risk opening the top case myself to see what might be wrong with the keyboard/trackpad (assuming I could even tell by looking; I'm not a hardware person by any stretch of the imagination).

I'm hoping to take it to the Apple Store again and find out. Maybe they can open the top case and diagnose the problem, but not necessarily charge me for it unless I ask for a repair? That might be too optimistic, what with how busy the Genius Bar usually is.

This sucks, because it's another major incident that renders my laptop unusable by itself, but it's not enough to get me to switch back to the hell that is Windows. Right now, I'm using a USB keyboard Mom found (turns out the plug I'd examined in the back of one of her dinosaur PCs was actually an adapter-- good thing I didn't run out to Radio Shack to pay $16 for something I already owned!), along with my usual Wacom tablet.

Smell my feet! )
azurite: (cat: what the shit is this!?)
I don't like to think of myself as a "pessimist." Hell, I don't even want to be a "cynic." Maybe an "optimistic realist," if it's possible. But why is it that the one credo I hold to for optimistic purposes ("Anything that can happen, will happen") always revolts on me and ends up being a source of negativity?

It becomes "Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong." Gah!

This weekend I was at my dad's house, and I had NO issue with the Internet. No problems getting my mail, accessing my sites, none of it. Fabulous. I got my Biology studying done and thought the practice questions this week were even easier! And I got them all right!

Then last night/this morning, as I was putzing around on the Internet, doing my own thing, the keyboard... mysteriously stops working! Trackpad too, because I didn't have my tablet and mouse with me. Nothing I did helped, save restarting the computer... and it happened again an hour or so later.

Before I left, I managed to boot up the system again and (with a temporarily working keyboard) make an appointment at the Apple Store in downtown S.F. I got home fairly quick, rescheduled my appointment, and saw a guy at the Genius Bar. He didn't give me a straight answer as to why the problem could have happened, though he did mention that the keyboard and trackpad were connected to the... DOOM DOOM LOGIC BOARD.

Freakin' logic board. That's wha (homg, it actually cut off working; I had to restart. I don't even think the PRAM reset worked. Why is it that every time I go to the Apple Store, they show me something that I can't duplicate at home? ANYWAY--!)

...That's what was the major problem with my LAST MacBook Pro. One of the pins holding the memory cards in place popped out of the logic board, and to get that replaced would be $1300 (I'm assuming out-of-warranty, which I am with THIS laptop too, because when the expiration date rolled around, I didn't have $300+ to renew it with! And you can't buy a warranty once it's OUT of warranty!). So needless to say, I'm rather upset, because I'd rather deal with software issues than with hardware ones, which tend to be costlier and take longer to fix.

*sigh* Apparently externals still work though, so I could theoretically always use an external keyboard. It'd make the entire laptop useless for travel though, unless I got some sort of folding/travel keyboard. No matter how you dice it, I don't think a decent keyboard would be cheap. Plus, THE FREAKIN' HARDWARE IS JUST SUPPOSED TO WORK! It's not all supposed to crap out on you the month after your warranty expires... but oh, wait, if you're a cynic realist or whatnot, you EXPECT that. :(

It's not that bad though. It's really not. This minor stress is nothing compared to what I went through on a PC. It's not that bad. And I'll bet it'll be much simpler than I think, easy to fix. Sure, there were no software updates or keyboard firmware updates to be had, but there's got to be SOME way to fix all this. Which is why I have a call with an "Apple Expert" tomorrow morning at 11am before my doctor's appointment.

*pray pray pray*
azurite: (trashcat is not amused)
Greetings from... Santa Cruz, CA. Incidentally, the day I came to S.F., I completely spaced about having a Biology quiz, so I missed it. I'd already gotten one extension from when I got mugged and I knew the professor wouldn't give me another, so... argh. It's not as if it'll be a big dink to my grade provided I keep up with everything else, but it's not as if keeping up is EASY. We're well into the "tough stuff" of this "basic" biology class.

Anyway, I'm in Santa Cruz because, like forgetting my biology quiz, I also forgot that my cousin Brooke's baby shower was THIS WEEKEND rather than "the 7th," which is Tuesday. Because Brooke and Shaina are driving down to Fresno (where the shower is located, at their mom's house) on Friday morning, I had to meet Brooke here in SC *today.* So I took a bus downtown, a Muni train to the Embarcadero, the BART train from the Embarcadero to Fremont, a bus from Fremont to San Jose, and then another bus from San Jose to Santa Cruz. I stuffed myself with 3 horribly unhealthy tacos from taco bell and stared at all the pretty shiny books at the Borders I met Brooke's hubby, Honis (aka Mike) at.

And so here I've been at their place pretty much ever since, studying my geology (which I've been slacking on; I've already taken 2 quizzes but have 5 more due within the next 24 hours; 4 of those are probably fairly easy, but only if I do the reading and make an effort to concentrate and take notes). We did go out for a quick bite at this homey diner called Jeffrey's and talked family, jobs, and the evil brainwashing that is Disney.

We have to wake up at an ungodly hour of the morning tomorrow to head to Shaina's, but she's the one who's going to be driving, so Brooke and I can conk out while we drive to Fresno and do who-knows-what while we're there a full day before the actual shower. I know in my case I have to stay awake and STUDY, sucky as that is. Actually, what's truly sucky is I'm more or less relegated to sitting at some table near an outlet, because my MacBook Pro has been suspiciously sucking with keeping its charge. A few days ago, I noticed that, even after it was supposedly fully charged, it only had a life of 40-55 minutes, rather than a good hour and a half or more like it used to have. I got the iStat Pro widget, and it says that even though my battery's "fully charged," it's at 97%, not 100% (or even 99%), and the "battery health" is at a dismal 45% (it was at 38% at my mom's house). I don't really know what's going on or why; I tried the SMC reset, but it didn't seem to help. I'm really worried...

Staying at my mom's house is a bit awkward this time around; rather than staying in the "Tovstin," aka what used to be my room and is now Gary's study/bedroom (he never sleeps in there though), I stayed in my mom's room. Bigger bed, but... er, not as comfortable. Maybe it's me and my picky back (destroyed by Disney), but I couldn't lay flat on that bed. The only way I could sleep (and not even comfortably, because I kept tossing and turning all night, and woke up with the comforter all haphazard) was on my side. Staying in the Tovstin would mean "inconveniencing" Gary, because his closet is in there, and unlike my mom, who's on her leave, he still has to work everyday and access his clothes. And I've seen the closet in my mom's room, there's just no way Gary's stuff'll fit in there. -_-

So, it looks like when I go back on Sunday I'll be sleeping in the living room on the couch. Awwwwkward.

Speaking of awkward, did anyone catch the vice presidential debate tonight? Things I found amusing, somewhat sad (read: pathetic), and kind of weird:
* Joe Biden referring to himself by name, rather than with a proper pronoun such as "I" or "me" or derivatives thereof
* Sarah Palin being kind of "cutesy" and saying stuff like "you betcha" and "darn right" (don't get me wrong, some people think that her speaking to the "average American" and coming across like a "soccer mom" is a good thing, but I think it made her sound very unprofessional and most definitely un-vice presidential-like)
* Sarah Palin saying "um" a lot (no, really, she did. If you re-watch the debates, you'll notice she said it OFTEN. Speech coach, much?)
* Joe Biden looked like he had an eye lift
* Sarah Palin looked like she had Botox (cheeks!)

I guess what it boils down to is, are vice presidential debates supposed to be about the candidates selling their running mate, or about THEIR personal opinions, policies and actions should THEY get elected into the office of VP? Maybe I'm mistaken for having thought it should be the latter, but the bulk of the debate came off as "Obama this" and "McCain that," and I was like "Yeah, but what do YOU think?" I know that Biden wouldn't be Obama's running mate if they didn't agree on a lot and share the same policies, nor would McCain have Palin if they didn't agree on at least some fundamentals (they at least have some more clear-cut differences though, which is interesting... sadly, for other things, she's more or less his parrot, and can't talk about her opinions because she doesn't have the knowledge to have formed any substantive ones).

The thing that pisses me off about both candidates: they agree that gays should have the same rights as committed heterosexual couples (read: a man "married" to a woman), but they refuse to redefine the word "marriage" outside of the traditional "man" and "woman" sense. This is bullshit. It's a WORD, you nimrods, it has nothing to do with politics, ethics, the Constitution, etc. You don't OWN a word. You don't get to say who uses it and how. The more you say a group can't/shouldn't use a word, or the more you use a word in a derogatory sense, the more people will rise up and do just the opposite: they'll use the word, and they'll use it to empower themselves! (See: Nigga, Queer, Colored). It just sounds ridiculous, the thought of a governmental body saying "this word is going to mean THIS in our country" even if it has a different or more general meaning elsewhere. Of course, definitions in general are subject to societal standards and values, as I'm sure is apparent from other words throughout the centuries, but to get everyone's knickers in a knot over the use of the WORD "marriage" just seems a waste of energy.

For me: marriage is the sealing of a lifetime commitment between two PEOPLE, regardless of gender. This allows them to be listed on each others' insurance, have visitation rights in hospitals, adopt a child (or children), have shared property rights, joint bank accounts, etc. Sure, politicians can say that a "civil union" between gays should have all these rights, but then why not just call it what it is: A MARRIAGE? Why is it "necessary" to create a different word, process, paperwork, etc. just because X couple is gay but Y couple isn't? That's hardly equal rights when there's a simple snit over WORD USAGE, of all things!

*sigh* I need to get to bed. My brain is fried.
azurite: (poor bi grrl gamers)
I love it when things (even stupid little things) go my way.

I've been into all-things Egypt for... well, a long time. At least since 4th or 5th grade, when I met Amy Wong, who had an even bigger Egypt obsession than me. She really got me into it. By middle school, the idea of a civilization that thrived on concepts of life after death, a path to the heavens by way of a pyramid, and all sorts of booby-trapped and magnanimous structures... it sounded cool. And along came Yu-Gi-Oh! and made that hobby turn into an obsession. Well, mini-obsession. I don't wear my ankh anymore, but I do follow the Egyptian calendar, and today, I finally got my favorite game (yes, it's replaced Doom II as my favorite PC game), Pharaoh, working on my emulated PC here on my MacBook Pro.

See, the CD was rather scratched up, and it wasn't working on the old clunker Dell anymore, so I'd gone and bought a new two-disc set of Pharaoh/Cleopatra from the UK. Alas, it didn't run (though it DID install) on my emulated PC. But I thought I'd give the old CD a try in this MacBook Pro, since the OLD MacBook Pro is the one where it'd originally worked (I think). AND IT WORKED! The shiny new UK version didn't, but MINE DOES! Matter of fact, the combo, single-disc (which includes both the game and the Cleopatra expansion pack) version fully installs on your HD, as far as I can tell, which means I won't ever need the CD again! Hip-hip hurrah!

But a mournful sigh to Doom Collector's Edition (Doom, Doom II, and Final Doom, which really wasn't the final Doom at all), because while the game will at least LOAD, it does so in a very-pixelated, 200 x 500 long box and no sound. It sucks, because playing that game and blowing Imps into ground meat with a BFG-9000 would have made me feel SOOOO much better this weekend. Instead I settled for vicarious hunting with ostriches and hunting lodges in the ancient city of Thinis.

Next up to try: Riddle of the Sphinx. That at least installed and I DID play it on here, though I don't think I got very far. I think I made it into a large temple-like area with a winding staircase of sorts...

I'm looking forward to going through my huge binders of CDs and seeing what else I can play. :) It's a shame more games aren't made for the Mac, but... well, I'm an oldie. I was impressed to see Best Buy finally had an Apple selection, though said selection is pathetic, really. I've found more Apple-stuff in my closet, and considering I'm a broke college student who can hardly afford to buy music, let alone Mac software, that's saying something. :P

I also installed and tried out one of those cheesy cheap games "Make Your Own Family Tree" or something, but what's sucktacular is the fact that you can only display a person's ancestor or descendant chart FROM ONE SIDE. I have to make a family tree going all the way back to my great-grandparents, and it's supposed to include spouses, siblings, etc. for all the visible generations... which means if I use myself and display an ancestor chart, it'll show all of ONE side of my family, but not the other! :P Anyone have any experience in this? To give you an idea of how complicated it is: my dad is the 5th sibling on his side; besides him, three of his siblings have kids (my cousins). My mom is 6th out of NINE (!!) kids, and plenty of THEM had kids too... who had kids (and I think some of THEM had kids!). I'm just trying to figure out how the hell the chart should look so I can construct it in some program or another.

I wish I could play more, but I spent all of Saturday being depressed, Sunday going out with my grandparents and stuffing my face in excess (gotta love binge eating when you're down... but shrimp and apple pie do better for me than chocolate and/or ice cream ever will), and before you ask no, I don't have Monday off and my school sucks because of it! (I'm missing out on sales!)
azurite: (ffx-2 - yuna's memory)
Postspam ftw!

So about, oh, 10 minutes ago I finished my STA Travel 193 Karaoke entry. It's currently exporting from iMovie '08 (*cringe* I can explain!) into a format that everyone and their dog can view-- in other words, a format I can upload to the contest website before it closes/changes tomorrow night. It needs to be under 40 MB though... which is the hard part.

My whole plan was to use iMovie (I wanted to use iMovie HD, aka '06, but for some reason it wouldn't detect my built-in iSight. I have iChat AV, no other iSight programs were open-- and when I *DID* open things like Photo Booth or iMovie '08, they detected the camera just fine. WTF?) and record myself all gussied up as Songstress Yuna singing to, what else, Jade's version of real Emotion.

I slaved for a pretty long time just to make a passable karaoke version of Jade's real Emotion ~FFX-2 Mix~. Yes, I know there's the instrumental version of Koda Kumi's ~Original Mix~, but I didn't want to sing in Japanese (too cheesy for the contest, somewhat difficult), plus the ~Original Mix~ is nearly twice as long as the ~FFX-2 Mix~ of which there is NO karaoke or instrumental version. So I made one.

Well, lamesauce was poured all over when I recorded it- I had to play the music in iTunes and use my IR remote to play it, but then capturing the video from iSight meant a delay-- plus, I had to physically CLICK using the touchpad, which meant either the music would be off-sync or there'd be a weird amount of time where I was adjusting the video. I chose the latter, since re-syncing the music would be a pain in the ass. I could just cut the video of me leaning forward to the computer anyway.

But having it play in iTunes meant my voice over the USB mic was barely audible, and the setting for "playing audio while recording," didn't work the way I expected it to, so I ended up creating and trashing a few projects that HAD to "assemble" after I realized "Oh shit, this isn't working!" So that added time. Anyway, I read the manual and figured the tip on plugging headphones in for the audio so it wouldn't interfere with the voiceover (aka my singing) would work-- and it did, but now you can hardly hear the background music, which obviously doesn't make for good karaoke.

In any case, I've tried so many different things and all the iMovies are frustrating me to the point where I'm just happy with what I've got. It'll suck if I don't win, but come on-- it's not exactly a talent contest. I'll be happy if I do, but honestly? I don't have the energy to put forth the EFFORT to make something so satisfying even I would be impressed (were I a judge giving away a 9-day trip to Japan). That's kind of sad, really...

Anyway, Mom wants to know what I want for Christmas, and after this week's brou-ha-ha, I think I'll tell her I want the one-to-one training Apple offers. I really need to learn iMovie and GarageBand. I'd RATHER learn it from a friend or something (hint hint), so...? Anyone have any experience in this area? You scratch my back, I'll scratch yours-- I'm a woman of many talents...
azurite: (xxxholic - yuuko)
Hi all! First, some "me" updates, then onto the main course:
* WDKY25 idea! Oh, I love lightning bolts. With dumb luck, it'll be done -no, really, DONE!- by the end of this week. I pray.

* I finished my end of the project for my Vitamin K presentation in Nutrition for Life class tomorrow. I'm so thrilled I finally figured out (with the help of a Mac Rep-- surprisingly, not a Creative or Genius, because they were all stumped!) why there was sound on the slides that were build-less. I had the idea that the media icon might be hidden off-canvas, and once the Mac Rep told me how to resize the window so the canvas only took up a percentage, I found the sign! I also ended up having to fix lots of hyperlinks, but in the end, I tested everything out, and it looks great! Aside from the necessity of having to click the actual squares on the Categories Selection board (rather than have it select automatically), everything's great, and I hope we do well tomorrow!

Now, main course:
As I mentioned in a previous post, I'm participating in the SixApart/ Bloggers Challenge. I've chosen eight teacher proposals for San Francisco schools that I hope to fund, even a little. SixApart gave out $30 certificates for to people who requested them, and I already gave mine to one of my eight proposals: Books That Add Spice.

Check out my complete challenge here, and donate even $1-- it WILL make a difference in a child's life!

And now, for some questions and my answers...
Why San Francisco?
It's where I grew up. My mom was a great participant in my school years growing up, and if it wasn't for her, I think a lot of the school projects that I remember the most wouldn't have been as fun, or may have fallen through altogether. My school was lucky enough to have a few parents who were really dedicated to participating in classes and helping teachers-- moreso than the school or the school district ever did.

While I can't speak for the kids or the school district now, from what I've seen when I've visited recently, things haven't changed much. If I can help a single elementary school kid get a new pack of crayons, or a classroom of high schoolers see a computer presentation via a new projector, then I'll do whatever I can.

Why did you pick the proposals you did?
It's funny, but once you start looking for proposals to help fund, there are so many that will catch your attention. That's what happened with me, and though I think eight is a bit of a crazy number (and I intentionally set my Fundraising Goal to $2000, which does NOT cover the complete costs of every proposal), I think there's a great variety of schools, teachers, students, and proposals in my challenge. If I can meet my Fundraising Goal of $2000, then that'll most likely get all of these proposals enough funding to get noticed, and at the very least, up off the ground.

The proposals I chose are as follows:
1. Let Your Fingers Do The Writing
2. Books That Add Spice
3. The Art Area is in Trouble!
4. Making 5th Grade More Fun & Interesting
5. Bring my Classroom into the 21st Century!
6. Rainbow World: Help Kindergartners Explore Colors
7. Think Before You Drink: Prom Gift Bags
8. Slide into the 21st Century

Why these proposals? )

Please take a minute of your time to read some of these proposal descriptions and, if possible, donate something. Whether it's $1 or $10, $20 or $30, every little bit helps! Do you remember what it was like to be in elementary, middle, or high school? Did you never want for anything? (If you say "yes," I won't believe you. :P)

DonorsChoose gathers teachers from all over the U.S., allowing THEM to say just what they need, how many students will be impacted, and what their proposed purchases will be used for. These eight proposals really stood out to me, and I hope that you can find it in your heart (and in your wallet!) to make a small tax-deductible contribution to help fund them-- even a little. It won't just make a difference for you and me, but all those students and their teachers-- for years to come.

I've emailed a note about this to my friends. If you read that email, read this post for more info, and be sure to tell your friends!
azurite: (autumn kitty)
Ugh, I'm back to drinking Brisk iced tea, and now Wild Cherry Pepsi (haven't had THAT since high school) to keep myself awake T-Th when I have classes that last 2-3 hours at a time with short breaks. It sucks because I thought I'd been getting enough sleep and eating somewhat healthier, to the point where I wouldn't need boosts that also rot my teeth. Urgh.

I don't want to get crazy-stressed, but the past few days haven't helped-- there's always so much to do. I've got to finish raking off the garage roof, clean my bathtub, clean my room, put my laundry away, do my handwashing, figure out a system for a clothesline in my tile tub, send my glasses prescription to school, get new glasses, see if I can vacuum the house (I bet Dad forgot to take the giant vacuum Baba wanted him to have, and waited months to give him) and... figure out wtf is wrong with the wireless on my NEW LAPTOP!

Last night as soon as I came home I set it up and transferred all the data from my old MBP, but while the old one connected to the home network just fine, the new one wouldn't. I tried changing the router settings-- the SSID and the password encryption, but that just screwed things up further. This morning I called AT&T tech support (gawd, I want to switch to Time-Warner Cable), and I had to change the SSID back, the encryption back to WEP-Open, and the channel back from 11 to 10. That fixed it for my old MBP, but not the new one... and I have no idea why. It's not like there are any proxies, AppleTalk, or other weird settings... I hope it's not the AirPort being half-malfunctional or anything. I've got an appt. at the Apple store today, and if all works out well, I'll also renew my ProCare and get Diner Dash. :) What's weird is that it works here on campus, and it SORT of picked up someone else's network near home for a bit, but not for long enough (to get the updates for the AirPort Express). I wonder if the updates (which I managed to get here at school) will help?

On the bright side, the new computer DOES mean I'll be able to play with my .Mac sooner, check out all the goodies iLife '08 offers, and see what's new with iWork '08. I'll also hopefully be able to work on WDKY and the BSSM Another Story novelization. But, speaking of other writing projects, all the weird dreams I've been having lately (a lot of apocalyptic stuff, for some reason) got me revising "Prophecy Girl," and the extended ideas (which will involve revising the first two chapters a bit) make the story a LOT more solid. I might end up switching between it and WDKY (since PG was around first, anyway) in times of blockage.

During all the stress last night, I played some FFX-2 while the data was being transferred. I forgot why I was where I was (I'd already beaten the Ruin Depths), so I headed around to get more Oversouls (I have about 20 left, including the dreaded Concherer). I only managed to get 1 so far, due to the randomness of battles, so later I hope to get more... :P it's my way of de-stressing. I'm planning on figuring out more Mix strategies to beat the tougher Oversouls, though.

Right now I'm in my JOUR 410 (Investigative Journalism) class, and I need to come up with 3 story ideas for our upcoming proposal. As with so many other things, I'm dry out of ideas. Help?

Oh, as for the BEST NEWS OF THE DAY (even though I'll be busy until late and busy even tomorrow and this weekend with an NSCS retreat in Malibu where I'm responsible for figuring out dinner for 10 for only $40?)...
I GOT A RAISE! Nearly 30 cents, too! Not a ton, but way better than my last raise. :)

The Dealio

Jul. 31st, 2007 02:22 pm
azurite: (ffx - yuna summons)
Okay, so when I left home this morning at 9:30 or so, my MBP was still backing up to my external HD. Everyone I know is saying it shouldn't take that long, but no one can seem to agree on how long it's SUPPOSED to take. For the record, my HD supposedly has 74.21 GB on it, and the external, a 250 GB Western Pacific MyBook, is attached via USB 2.0, which is SUPPOSED to transfer at a rate of 480 Mbps (Mb, as I learn =/= MB... it's about 8 times SLOWER). All the calculators I found online said it should take anywhere from 1-2.5 days, which it's been by now, I think, but [ profile] azhp was saying it should only take a HALF hour, and my bosses at work are all saying it should have been done "by now," but that doesn't tell me much. I hope it IS done when I get home, though.

Anyway, the important things are music, pictures, my website stuff (including fanfics), and my programs. I think I've gotten the majority of those by now... and like I mentioned in my last post, it's not as if the computer is dead or really dying-- I just want to be sure/safe. (Funny how I can have that attitude about a computer, but not about certain other things...) Basically I'll end up a) giving the computer to Grandpa or b) selling it for parts, but where, I don't know. Apparently Apple doesn't do laptop trade-ins or recycling.

As for the new stuff, I can get the new MBP + $200 off a new iPod video, and it's cheaper to use my college discount as opposed to taking advantage of Sean's discount (though the temptation is strong, it's just not enough). I wish there was a way to ditch my old iPod Mini while I was at it, but I doubt that I can stack discounts (10% off a new iPod purchase with the trade-in of an old one) like that. Besides, I might as well keep the mini until it dies, right?

All of that good stuff won't be until mid-August at the earliest, since I turned down Baba giving me an "early" graduation present. I know that might sound stupid, but I'd rather get this with my own money so I have my own personal reasons for taking better care of it IMMEDIATELY. It's supposed to be an investment, not a present and not a toy.

Speaking of money and investments, I'm looking to get back on PayPerPost, but not here on LJ, since it's not allowed. Facebook now has a PPP referral app. which I've added, and since MySpace has blogs already, I might as well make use of that there. So check out both my profiles and I'll let you know once I get things running so we can ALL rake in the dough!

Other than that... only two hours and a half to go (huzzah), and I might be meeting up with Shawn again-- he got himself a car, which means we can probably meet up a lot more often. He finally came over for dinner last night (though he wasn't in the mood for anything hot, so he had CHEERIOS, of all things... actually, I made him a blitz-- he didn't mind it being charred-- and in making said blintzes, I got hot olive oil on my arm and chest, and now I have a nice blister on my left wrist. :P) and we hung out for a bit, played Katamari and FFX and he got me the Sun Sigil for Tidus' Caladbolg! All that's left now is the Saturn Sigil for Kimahri (damn butterfly game!), the World Champion for Wakka (more blitzball...?), and the Mars Sigil for Auron (more monster catching). SQUEE!

Speaking of the butterfly game, does anyone know:
a) if you can beat the Spherimorph again within a certain amount of time? I'm already near the end of the game when I can go to Sin/Omega Ruins, etc.
b) Where the butterflies ARE? I know there are north and south versions of the game... do you have to play them both to get the Saturn Sigil? Are there any maps of the butterfly locations? I can find about five or six in the loop area, near the bird man, but not the seventh one. HELP!? I've read there's a suggested route in the Ultimania Guide (one of the three, anyway), but I only have the Ultimania guides for FFX-2. Even if the FFX ones weren't out of print, I'm pretty sure there are scans of it SOMEWHERE on the 'Net, or someone who DOES have one, but the only place that was supposed to have them is gone. :( BOOYAH! MAPZ!

Fixing my tags right now. I think I should have some sort of tag master list somewhere (I mean besides the front page of my LJ) so I don't keep mangling my system.
azurite: (sailormoon - galaxia sun)
So I called Amtrak today, and indeed, the North American Rail Pass (the one that's good for 30 days and has unlimited travel) is $899.10 student discounted (that's as low as it can get). The easiest way to buy it is over the phone, but you have to have AT LEAST the first segment of the trip planned. And for me, that means knowing I have the money available, places where I can stay (and reservations, if necessary), and so on. I've got a lot more planning to do, and I've got to see if I get that NSCS credit card-- if not, I might end up getting a WaMu one. I don't LIKE the idea of being in debt -I mean, moreso than I already am just for being a college student with loans- but I don't want to just shove this great idea aside. I can and I will make it possible-- somehow.

In the meantime, I got my ticket to Philadelphia with the rest of the NSCS; the unfortunate thing is that they didn't have enough Rewards Points to cover my hotel/convention registration. I'm hoping I win this Geico essay competition that will pay for it. Even those that are getting some portion reimbursed are only getting $50 out of the $314 round trip tickets. It's on Delta, which is "meh" in terms of airlines in my book, but we could have taken a cheaper flight if only everyone's schedules weren't so restrictive. Unlike a lot of other members, I'm not taking summer school, and my work's fairly flexible about taking time off.

...Still haven't heard from Apple one way or another, which frankly doesn't surprise me. It's kind of sad that it worked out that way, though...

Ooh, and Erin said she's getting my CS3 *today*! I hope I see her soon so I can get it. That would be cause for much yayness.

In the meantime, I've got enough to keep me occupied, so I'm glad for that.

ETA: Just one teeny tiny software/journaling question )
azurite: (Default)
If you're getting sick of this or think it doesn't apply to you, move along.

Mac users, an easy way to backup your LJ! )

And now, a somewhat goofy idea: Strikethrough 2007: The Fanmix
Fandom is powerful. Fandom is creative. Here is a mix of fandom's creativity and fandom's voice (links to iTunes store).
* Let's Get It Started (Spike Mix)
* Right Now (Van Halen)
* Hoist the Colours (Hans Zimmer)
* We Will Rock You (Queen)
* We Are The Champions (Queen)
* Red Alert [Jaxx Radio Mix] (Basement Jaxx)
* For The People (The Black Eyed Peas)
* No One [Clean] (Cold)
* If Everyone Cared (Nickelback)
* Rock In This Pocket [Song of David] (Suzanne Vega)
* I Dare You To Move (Switchfoot)
* Keep Tryin' (Utada Hikaru)


Feb. 9th, 2007 05:03 pm
azurite: (cat and mouse)
Like when I was in Japan, now that the semester and a full workload has started, I'm back to cherishing my weekends the way a man parched of thirst cherishes the single droplet of water he can get on his tongue. Nonetheless, I get to the weekends hoping to relax, and I only find myself bombarded with more things to do. I keep telling myself "I need to help out" (in the case of Baba and Grandpa) or "I can't quit" (in the case of school), but sometimes I just feel like staying in bed ALL DAY LONG. (And then of course, I feel miserable after the fact, for all the things I missed).

Anyway, starting yesterday my computer started acting strangely because of my "overload" of fonts. Well, I only had something like 700 fonts on the system (when the OSX documentation says it can handle up to 7000!), but Photoshop just wasn't reading them. So I decided to go through Font Book and weed out the invalid fonts (those missing Font Name Tables), of which I found 67. The important ones (esp. the ones I've hunted for or paid for) were intact though, but then Firefox (which was already acting weird, smashing words together and causing them to overlap sometimes) and Firefox (which had previously been acting weird but apparently stopped when I switched the default fonts) suddenly had NO text anywhere.

So I had to take all the fonts I'd put in the trash can and go through them one by one, to make sure none of them were fonts used by the system or the applications. Then I weeded out the duplicate installations, disabled and removed them, closed font book, emptied the trash, and was able to reopen both Thunderbird and Firefox without any problems.

But encoding is still apparently an issue with Firefox; in Safari, Japanese characters show up just fine in the default Western (ISO-Latin-1) encoding, but with that same/equivalent encoding in Firefox (ISO-8859-1), I get random characters. I'm worried that it's because I deleted some Japanese font on my computer, but I doubt it-- I doubly made sure that all the fonts that I deleted were trouble fonts, not system fonts. What's even more irritating is the lack of a singular encoding for Japanese/other Asian languages and accented characters, like é and ó and such. So I could see José Cuarón, but not ラブとエロス. And I know I didn't (and COULDN'T) have deleted those fonts, I just 'accidentally' disabled them. A Spotlight search revealed their location and I re-added them to Font Book, but before I would drag them over or double-click on the files and nothing would happen or change. Now that I have installed them again (and can see them in Font Book and noticed the change in Cocoa applications like this one), I hope my font woes will be over with.

There's nothing worse than stressing about the things you normally love. I love fonts. I love video games. But my computer was driving me batty, and I still haven't found my PS2 Memory Card! I've almost completely cleaned my room, too. It wasn't just hidden amongst the piles of things I had unpacked from Japan or from my mom's boxes; unless it somehow got mixed up in things that I put away, or is still lost under something in the rec room, I don't know what to do.

Sure, it might be fun to just buy a new memory card and start everything fresh again... but honestly, I had made SO much progress with the games I had on there. To name a few that I can remember:

Final Fantasy X - I finally was inside Sin! But I hadn't beaten the game yet, because I wanted to try getting the Ultimate Weapons. I remember getting past Seymour Flux and finding out Auron's secret, but that was as far as I remember getting.

Final Fantasy X-2 - I'd already beaten this game once with a 98% completion (I didn't beat the Den of Woe or the Via Infinitio on my first run-through), and I wanted my second game to either be the 100% completion or the "get tons of accessories" game, with a possible third play-through being the 100% Perfect Game. This is the one I'm most sore about possibly losing, because I had John (back in Japan) help me shove Tobli into the elevator during that one Chapter where you can get the Enterprise accessory... and that's SO damn hard! Yes, I know the greatest feeling of accomplishment is for something you've done yourself, but I tried SO HARD to do that, and I couldn't. John said he could, so I let him-- and he did! I treated him to dinner for that, and to throw all that all away would make me so sad.

I was also playing this game on International + Last Mission, because I'd never want to get to the final dungeon in LM without having accessories like the Iron Duke.

Katamari Damacy - In the original, I think I'd gotten up to Make A Star 7 or something, but I had something like 68 total constellations. Then I moved on to Katamari Damacy 2 (aka We ♥ Katamari) and managed to find a lot of "lost cousins" and reveal much of the King's sordid history, but there were various levels I hadn't beaten completely (like the Origami one).

Yu-Gi-Oh Duelists of the Roses - I'm actually not too bummed about this one. Over a year ago I'd accidentally overwritten my winning game file when trying to play "the next side" so I could eventually unlock the special Duel Masters and Deck Creation modes. Whenever I tried to play again, I always lost miserably to someone in the beginning. So I wouldn't mind a fresh start with this game.

Overall, I'd say I wouldn't be horribly upset if it were gone-- I mean, I could have a lot of fun replaying some the games over again. It's great when a game has "replay value," but I don't think my situation is what game designers and publishers have in mind when they say a game has "great replay value." So if it really did get down to it, I might buy a USB adapter for my memory card so I could just download some saves for FFX and FFX-2 (maybe not ILM, even though I think that was the one I got Enterprise in), and hopefully backup my saves, too. I don't know, does anyone know of a place where I can get:
* a new memory card (preferably a larger one, like a multi-card-in-one, or a pair of Memory Cards at once)
* a USB-to-Memory Card adapter
* free savefiles for FFX and FFX-2?

Last night Elliott came over and we ended up spending most of the night watching Food Network or the Tyra Banks show (it was the episode I'd wanted to watch, even though I stumbled on it totally by accident-- the episode about her supposed horrendous weight-gain. For the record, I thought that particular picture was just a bad angle, the same way plenty of people get their pictures taken where their face looks bleached out, their hair looks mussed up, their teeth have something in it, red eye, etc).

And hey, here's something you may not have known about me! My BMI is 19.5, which is just one point above the bottom line for the healthy weight for adults of my height. If I were 18.4 or under, I would be considered underweight, but I don't know how many pounds would calculate my BMI that far down. And frankly, I don't care. I happen to like my figure very much, even though occasionally I think my butt's just a bit TOO curvy or my thighs look a bit like bowling pins.

On weight, body image, and stupid models )
azurite: (rena)
Okay, so I'm back to remembering just what it was about xJournal that makes it a pain in the neck versus Semagic. Like UltraKiSS for using the Kisekae Ningyou doll sets (versus DirectKiSS), maybe I should just use Windows for things like that don't have a decent equivalent for the Mac-half. What a pain, though.

-Once you post to a community, you can only post to your own journal after that-- you can't change the option.
-There are no security settings for screening comments.
-There is no location area to type in
-There is no "tag memory," where the program remembers recently-typed tags, or downloads a list of the tags already in use by the journal being posted to

These are minor annoyances which I happened to have not even THOUGHT about with Semagic. I totally took the wonderfulness that is Semagic for granted.

Also, I took the Myers-Brigg's personality test again, because it's become something of a fandom meme. Do shippers in your fandom think alike? Do fans of X character all think alike? Do they have the same four-letter personality code?

The first time I took the test (today), I got an ESTP; the second time (on a different site, with a slightly different format to the questions), I got an ISFJ. "I used to be indecisive, but now I'm not so sure." Why don't you find the quiz (it's everywhere) and tell me what YOU are! I suppose I should probably read through all the descriptions and figure out what I am from that, rather than taking the test a bazillion times and working out some sort of crazy mathematical-psychological average.

But if I had to decide between the first two, which do YOU think sounds more like me:

ESTP: Flexible and tolerant, they take a pragmatic approach focused immediate results. Theories and conceptual explanations bore them – they want to act energetically to solve the problem. Focus on the here-and-now, spontaneous, enjoy each moment that they can be active with others. Enjoy material comforts and style. Learn best through doing.

ISFJ: Quiet, friendly, responsible, and conscientious. Committed and steady in meeting their obligations. Thorough, painstaking, and accurate. Loyal, considerate, notice and remember specifics about people who are important to them, concerned with how others feel. Strive to create an orderly and harmonious environment at work and at home.
azurite: (cat and mouse)
Damn, almost jinxed myself today. In Japanese class, we had to use the structure for "Even if ~ I won't get mad." I used the sentence "Even if my computer broke, I wouldn't get mad." That's probably a lie, though, as evidenced by what happened about an hour or so ago... I had just finished my spaghetti with mushroom Neapolitan sauce (fresh mushrooms! Mer can kinda-sorta cook!) and was guzzling some water to wash off the pepper that one particular mushroom had all over it. And my hand went this-a-way, and the glass went that-a-way, and before I knew it, water was all over my laptop.

I toweled it off as best I could, shaking all the water out of the keyboard, but within a few minutes, the screen died on me. For some reason that I have yet to figure out, the computer occasionally turns the display off. The computer is still on, and it's not in sleep mode or display off mode; I can still see the faintest of programs on the screen when I tilt the monitor REALLY far back underneath a light. But I can't close anything, or get the screen to light up again. I always have to do a cold-reboot. Luckily this has never happened when I had anything important unsaved-- I make it a point to save often, anyway.

Well, long story short, I freaked out, and the headaches that have been plaguing me for the past few days came back full... which sucked, because I'd had a stomachache earlier too, and I was sort of hoping for the problems to be ENDING. And I've still got a bit of a headache, so I'm considering just turning the heat off (even though it gets FUCKING COLD here in the morning without it on) and then just going to bed after I brush my teeth. I'm becoming more willing to wake up early to do my homework (even though that made me late to class today) rather than do it at night, when feel like it.

There are certain letters I can't type right now, so I'm going to log and hope that the rest of the keys dry and fix themselves by morning.
azurite: (tokyo map)
Hokay, so I actually got up early enough to take a shower and meet John so we could go to Tokyo together; we ended up heading to Akatsuka station and taking the slow Joban line train from there (it was cheaper). We split up at Ueno, with the agreement to meet back in front of the Book Garden at 7pm. In retrospect, that may have been slightly dumb; I think the Book Garden is still within the confines of the station, which means if either of us exit (from the train we take from wherever back to Ueno), we'd have to pay to get back in. So I just won't exit. I would actually go back there now, if there weren't so many hours before I had to meet him.

What happened is that all the event pages (even Sarah Brightman's own) said she'd be at the Yamano Record Store at 4-5-6 Ginza on 11/4 at 3:40pm. John and I got to Ueno at 1:02 and parted ways shortly thereafter; I headed to Hard Rock Cafe, had myself a nice relaxing lunch, bought some presents for people, and then headed out to the Tokyo Subway Line to catch the train to Ginza. It took about 10 minutes total for the train ride; I got here to Ginza at around 2:40, I'd say. I walked in the wrong direction at first (streets going in both directions were labeled Ginza 4-chome), but I eventually found the Yamano Store. They had a Sarah Brightman display all set up; huge posters and her 'Kagayakeru Diva' CD ready for sale. I noticed one of the signs had a signature on it, but I wasn't sure if it was really Sarah's (maybe from a previous event) or someone else's (graffiti). I walked in, found the floor where the Sarah Brightman CDs were, and bought up a storm. I got a dual-pack of both Eden and La Luna; I was tempted to buy the 2-disc Andrew Lloyd Webber collection, along with a few other of her albums I'm missing, but I resisted. But I did get the DIVA DVD. I tried to ask about the event, but I didn't really understand as well as I thought I did. I figured they'd just rescheduled it to a bit later.

After a half hour and not hearing anything, I walked back outside to the display and asked the guy out there. He said something that sounded like 'She'll be here in 2 hours,' bit I guess I misunderstood... I ended up going back inside, thinking I had more waiting to do, and bought 'Sounds of Death Note: The Last Name' and the Waterboys DVD. I even saw some ADORABLE cat movies, but they weren't subtitled.. :( I saw some Sailor Moon (anime, musicals, and live-action), but they were all pretty scattered and expensive. :P I didn't see any Yu-Gi-Oh, unfortunately.

Feeling stupid for essentially wandering the store, I returned to the second floor, where they were playing all of Sarah's albums and tried to ask the same girl if they had anyone who spoke English, because I didn't understand the event. She said there WAS no event, and then I distinctly heard 'sakki, owatta.' Oh, it was over a WHILE AGO!? I asked when, and she said around 2:30, Sarah came for just a short bit and then left. ;_; So I missed it.

I feel really rotten, because I really wanted to meet her... maybe with some dumb luck I can still catch her from her spots on TV that she's filming this week. At least I got a lot of media that I wanted. Yamano also accepted credit cards, so that was nice; I used them here and at Hard Rock's Gift Shop to avoid blowing all my cash and then not being able to get back home. I decided to actually enjoy the fact that I was in GINZA, of all places, so I walked around until LO AND BEHOLD, I found an Apple Store. So here I am.

It's pretty spiffy, actually; 5 floors with glass elevators and dual-language diagrams of where everything is. I found Adobe CS Premium (which I bet I could buy for Education price, but I don't want to get saddled with the Japanese version), Sims 2 for the Mac (but not a Universal Binary, alas!), and even some neat programs they don't have in the U.S. at all. I'd be tempted to buy one of the colorful iPod Nanos, except they don't come in any sizes bigger than 4GB. My Mini is 6GB and I almost always fill it to the max. And I don't want to get a boring black Nano for just an extra 2GB. It'd probably be better to wait for the next Gen, or at least figure out a better way to manage my iPod. Does anyone know of a program that lets you delete songs off the iPod without having to manually manage it every time? I notice when I delete a playlist from my iPod, all it does it erase the track listing of the playlist, not the songs themselves (even if they're not located in other playlists). I'd like to be able to drag and drop my playlists into my iPod (or the Trash) so I can always have what I want on my iPod, instead of letting my iPod pick after it runs out of space. :P

Okay 4:48pm. With 20 minutes at the max to buy a ticket back to Ueno, find my way through the station (they actually have attendants that speak Japanese and English standing in front of all the station maps!) and hop the train back, I don't really have any rush, unless there were something interesting in Ueno (two museums, but they're probably closed by now, so that's for another day). And I don't want to go back now and spend all my time hanging out in the station, so I think I'll check out the Apple store some more and then maybe wander around Ginza a bit more. It'll be nice to see when it's all lit up. They're already breaking out the Christmas decorations here. With no Thanksgiving to signal the cue, Christmas trees and lights are already everywhere, especially in downtown areas.

I guess this is another learning experience. :)

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