Some housekeeping updates

Point of interest in case anybody wanders by here, since I don’t update this site very often (most of my activity is over on angelahighland.com):

I’ve done a bit of under-the-hood site maintenance, due to a couple of plugins I have been using on this site being deprecated and/or outright vanishing off of the WordPress.org plugins repository.

This has impacted three things here on the site:

One, my Contact page no longer has a form on it. But I do mention my email on that page, so if you really want to get in touch with me, you can do that.

Two, I have swapped over to using a different Flickr plugin to show stuff from Flickr. This impacts a small number of old posts here, but also my Great Big Sea Pictures. Visually, things should only look slightly different, but work the same general way: click on a thumbnail, it’ll take you over to the actual picture on Flickr.

And three, I’ve done some rejiggering of the custom code on my Roleplay Logs archive. Way back in ye olden times before this site was hosted on WordPress, I whipped up custom PHP to organize those logs and show you all the various sets of them. When I pulled the site into a WordPress install, this necessitated me taking that PHP code and making a custom plugin out of it.

The problem with this: WordPress doesn’t natively let you run PHP on posts or pages, so I’d been using another plugin to allow for the execution of that PHP on the pages in question.

However, since that plugin vanished off of WordPress.org, I felt it was appropriate to rejigger the code so that the actual site pages would no longer need PHP in them directly.

This has meant I got to teach myself how to do shortcodes today! Which basically means I still have the pages calling the logs PHP, but there’s an intervening layer now between “page” and “PHP code”. I.e., a shortcode, a short string that basically tells WordPress “okay now go find the code in the plugin that handles this shortcode, and do the right thing as a result”.

So that’s fun. :)

Anybody notice anything looking wacky, do please let me know!

Decloaking to note a few new log tweaks!

I don’t often post to this site (which would be annathepiper.org for those of you reading this on LJ and Dreamwidth) anymore, but wanted to stick a post up to make a note that I had to do some overhauling of how my RP logs archive works. That, for those of you who haven’t visited this site in a while, is this page over here. Updates to WordPress as well as the operating system on our server required me to make sure that the PHP I’ve been using to organize my logs database was working correctly.

Which I’ve done. But since I’ve also been in a mind to revisit the logs archive in general, thanks to getting caught up on the current EQ storyline and chatting with Dara and our friend James (a.k.a. Flashfire from our days on Two Moons), I found a few logs that had broken links. Those have now been fixed. I also added one new log from 2004, Meeting Akira, in which I was playing Ynderra of Lostholt meeting Akira of the Cat Elves.

The other logs I tweaked, as well as that log, can be seen as recent updates on my New Logs page.

I’ve still got a pretty sizable backlog of RP logs I never posted from assorted MUSHes. I may amuse myself with posting more.

Site update announcement

This is my official post to note that as of the beginning of the new year, I’ll be doing the majority of my posting on my other blog, which is about to shift primary domains from angelakorrati.com to angelahighland.com. This is to consolidate my posting activity, and to make it easier for people who are reading my books to keep up with what I post about.

Annathepiper.org will stay online, but future posts here will probably be much more infrequent. If I post here, it’ll be likely to be about maintenance of content here such as occasional updates to my old MUSH log archive, or other seriously niche things on my part.

For the majority of my book and music and fangirly content, though, please go visit angelahighland.com!

TechFail, December 2012 edition

Internets, I swear to gods, I am deeply grateful to have enough income to spend on Shiny Things. I DO love my Shiny Things. But wow, sometimes transitioning from one set of Shiny Things to the next is positively crazymaking!

As I’ve mentioned on the various social networks, I opted to get me a MacBook Pro rather than a MacBook Air–and among the many reasons for this was to allow myself budget to also upgrade my iPhone. The phone was still working okay, but as it was a 3GS, it was getting long in the tooth and pokey. I didn’t like the idea of being about to fall off the support queue for devices that could run current builds of iOS, and I was quite sick of the erratic performance of the 3G network in Seattle.

I swear on a stack of the complete works of Tolkien, though, that I I did not lose that phone just to have an excuse to get a new one. It was nevertheless deeply, deeply aggravating to lose my phone at work, pretty much necessitating me having to buy the new device. The old one, I note, never did make its way back to me.

Meanwhile, I got the new laptop yesterday! Which was shiny and lovely and all… but then things started getting aggravating when I tried to migrate data off the old laptop, Winnowill, onto the new laptop, Aroree. Mac OS provides a lovely Migration Assistant utility that’s supposed to let you hook two computers up and slurp data from one to the other. I had this going over an ethernet connection last night, and it was chugging happily away… until it hung at the “40 minutes left” mark.

It stayed that way for well over an hour, up until I finally decided screw it, I had to go to bed. So I put the laptops in our guest room, so that their cords would be out of the reach of the cats. And I went to bed.

Got up to discover that Winnowill’s hard drive had gone to sleep–but that when I woke her up again, she was still stuck at the “40 minutes left” mark. AUGH, I said, time to break out of the Migration Assistant and try Plan B. Aroree was happy to do this and return me to Mac OS.

Winnowill, not so much. When I broke out of Migration Assistant on that box, she froze up. I had to power cycle the box. At which point it completely refused to boot, and I got a flashing gray folder with a question mark in it. Mother Google informed me that this is Mac-OS-ese for “your startup disk has vacated the premises, your file system is fucked, and you better pray you have a good backup”.

AUGH, I said. But, my belovedest userinfosolarbird, possessor of wit and wisdom, proposed the plan of grabbing the external drive off our Time Machine server and slurping data out of my last backup directly from that. We enacted this plan. THAT worked, and I have as of this writing recovered the vast majority of my data off of Winnowill. I’m happily typing away on Aroree. There are still some kinks to be worked out, but by and large, I’m back in business.

Winnowill, though, is toast. Dara further cleverly proposed tonight that we take Winnowill’s hard drive and try to boot it in her older laptop, Kiliandra, just to test whether another computer could boot the same drive. This test failed, though conversely, Winnowill was able to boot Kiliandra’s drive. Relatedly, I had just replaced the battery in Winnowill; it was starting to bulge with heat damage. Our working theory at this point is that perhaps the battery going bad in Winnowill adversely impacted the drive, and I happened to get just lucky enough that the drive held out long enough for Aroree to show up AND for me to recover data out of my last Time Machine backup.

We have no way of knowing at this point, but that’s a real plausible theory.

And in conclusion, HOLY CRAPWEASELS, damn good thing I had a working Time Machine backup, innit?

Now to let Aroree’s first, gigantic backup (214.17 GB, baby!) complete. Then I’ll need to finish smoothing all the other little rough edges left over from the data transfer–and THEN I can get back to work.

Couple all of this with how a major project at work has been making my entire team kind of crazy, and I swear, I’ve been spending this entire week trying to remind myself that no, it is not advisable to throw ALL OF THE COMPUTERS OUT THE WINDOW. It only helps a bit that I was also amusing myself by bitching about this in French too. Because some things are irritating enough that you need a whole extra language to contain the bitchery!

Aren’t computers FUN?

More fun with studying French in SuperMemo

Here’s an unexpected side effect of doing the prepositions lesson in SuperMemo: I’ve been able to catch certain examples where the written sentence presented to me is NOT the same as the spoken sentence that the speakers in the lesson deliver. I’ve caught at least three examples like this–one of which actually affects the preposition I’m being asked to fill in! Which is NOT helpful when I’m struggling with telling the difference between “de” and “à”, I can tell you!

Here’s an example where I’m seeing this happen.

Sa mère est très têtue, alors je doute de savoir la convaincre. This is the sentence I see as the written example. The speaker saying the sentence, though, does not say savoir! She says pouvoir, which I’m pretty sure is the actual intended sentence.

And here’s a sentence I’d like to someday be able to say about myself–well, after swapping in the correct pronouns:

Cet écrivain est devenu si populaire qu’il peut maintenant vivre de sa plume.

And I like this one just because whose wife wouldn’t like a black jaguar? (And sure, the example’s probably talking about the car, but I’m pretty sure my femme would prefer an actual jaguar. ;D )

Je pense acheter une jaguar noire pour ma femme.

I like this one just because it pings in my brain off the Le Vent du Nord song “Les larmes aux yeux”:

Pendant la cérémonie de mariage, les larmes me venaient aux yeux.

So, fun! I’m getting better at listening comprehension though as well as general reading. I’m pretty sure I couldn’t keep up with an actual full-speed French conversation yet… but I’m pretty happy with the bump up in my comprehension. We’ll see how things proceed!

Good news everyone!

This is definitely one of those times where I need me an icon of Professor Farnsworth from Futurama, because he’s totally in my head right as I type this!

But the news, oh, it is good. It is SHINY. Internets, I’m getting promoted! QA Engineer II, baby! This comes from an excellent year of slurping up Python and finally bending my brain around class-based coding–this is what I get for having learned how to code long enough ago that object-oriented programming wasn’t really a thing yet, so it took me a while to get the idea down. But it’s in there now and WOO! PROMOTED!

*does a little dance*

There is compensation involved, a raise as well as a bonus, and oh, there will be a Shiny Thing. A very, very Shiny Thing. It’s about time to upgrade my Macbook, and this news is going to let me do it!

Winnowill, mind you, has served me well (and only those of you who are fellow Elfquest fans will understand the number of giggles I get out of typing that phrase, ha!) and does hold the record to date for longest-operating laptop I’ve ever owned. I got this MacBook back in December of 2007, which means that as of this December, Winnowill will be hitting her five year mark.

However, that’s an eternity in laptop terms and Winnie IS getting a bit long in the tooth. Specifically, she is just a touch too old to be able to run Mountain Lion. So I want a laptop that’ll let me continue to be upgradable along with the OS, at least for the next five years or so! The only question is going to be, whether I commit to a higher-end Macbook Air (because SO SHINY), or whether I go with a Macbook Pro.

There must be much comparison of specs. And thinking hard about what I need out of the next Laptop of Awesomeness to join the Murknet.

Though I gotta admit, if I wind up with an Air, that box is totally getting called Aroree. <3

As to what I’ll do with Winnowill–actually, I’m not convinced yet I’ll be decommissioning her. Winnie DOES dual boot between Lion and Win 7, and having Win 7 around is handy sometimes, not only for testing purposes but also just for playing our games! And as Mac OS continues to develop, it’ll be handy as well to have a somewhat older version around. So we’ll see. If I wind up with an Air, Winnie could also continue to be my iTunes box since I DO have a certain number of bands for whom buying physical CDs is still absolutely essential! (Great Big Sea and Le Vent du Nord, of course!) So many choices before me!

And SHINY THINGS! And promotions! And another awesome year to look forward to at Big Fish! Which, I might add, is now the longest job I’ve had EVER, as I’ve passed my previous record of 3 years, 7 months–which was how long I was at Attachmate. This coming January will be my four-year mark!

EEEEEE! \0/

Fun with rainbows!

So there I was taking a nap yesterday afternoon before we all scampered off to see Skyfall, when I jolted awake hearing userinfosolarbird charge down the stairs yelling “LOOK OUTSIDE RIGHT NOW!”

Groggily, I did so, and perked up when I saw a rainbow out the library window! Which was lovely and all–except Dara was way more excited than a single rainbow warranted. And I heard her yelling about three of them. So I shook myself awake, stepped out onto the porch, and saw THIS.

That's Some Pot of Gold
That’s Some Pot of Gold

I had never seen a rainbow skewing off at an angle like that–double rainbows, sure, but never a triple configuration like that! So I grabbed the iPad and snapped a whole bunch of pics. This was one of my better ones. Dara, being way better at taking pictures than I am, got even better ones which she posted here and here (Dreamwidth), or if you want the LJ mirrors of the posts, they’re here and here!

Dara reported that Facebook had theorized that the third rainbow was caused by reflecting off of Lake Washington, a theory supported when Cliff Mass, our local weather guru, posted about it here! One of his readers sent in a pic of the rainbows from a different viewpoint, too, so that pic’s flipped around!

So very, very cool. It’s wacky fun like this that recharges my ability to deal with Seattle’s rainy falls and winters. And I swear this is going into a book at some point, because it was a sight full of magic.

Taking a net furlough for a few days

After this weekend kicking me in the teeth, I’m not feeling up to dealing with the Internet for the time being. I need some me time, people. So I’m going offline for a few days.

Anybody who needs to talk to me, please send email, text, or call. If you don’t have the means to get hold of me in any of those fashions, I’ll talk to you when I come back later this coming week.

Thanks.

Anna vs. H. pylori, or, the Very Bad No Fun Not Good Weekend

A lot of you who follow me on the social networks and/or who also follow userinfosolarbird got all this in real time as we were posting about it, but for those of you who might have missed it, I was in the hopsital from Wednesday night until yesterday morning. What put me there was a bleeding stomach ulcer which turned out to be the kind caused by a bacterium called Helicobacter pylori. Which fortunately means that this is a very easy type of stomach problem to deal with; I’m on a big honking fleet of antibiotics at the moment as well as an acid-reducing stomach med and I should be fine in a couple more weeks as my system recovers.

Continue reading Anna vs. H. pylori, or, the Very Bad No Fun Not Good Weekend

Et maintenant, une journée avec Anna

Dans ce post, je vais pratiquer mon français! Si vos etes un francophone, j’invite vous à m’enseigne si je faire une erreur!

Au matin, j’étudie le français avec SuperMemo sur mon iPhone. Je peux étudier sur le bus pendant que je vais au travail.

Je suis un testeur pour notre site web à Big Fish Games. (Je ne sais pas–une testrice? Je teste le site web!)

Lorsque je rentre chez moi, j’écris des romans fantastiques. Mon prochain roman sera publié en avril 2013!

Je joue la musique aussi! J’aime tellement le groupe Great Big Sea, qui a m’inspiré apprendre la guitare! Mais, j’aime maintenant la musique traditionelle du Quebéc! :D La musique du Québec m’inspire d’apprendre français, pour comprendre les chansons merveilleuses! J’apprends aussi la podorythmie à faire avec ma flûte!

J’ai tellement trop choses à faire–ma tête est très plein! Mon cerveau explose! Mais, je suis très heureuse. :D