Saturday, December 24, 2005

Almost up to speed

With a couple of my deadlines met, I am clawing my way back to normalcy. Making sure to get in a writing session, no matter the length, every day before turning to the day jobs.

This week the day jobs have been eclipsed by the return of the iBook. I finished up my end of semester schoolwork on my backup computer and turned in the grades on Monday. I also delivered my InDesign course to the Center for Distance Ed. On Wednesday my iBook came back, repaired, but unresponsive. The stupid thing wouldn't boot up. I used the OS disk to start it up and run a self-repair app. But the repair failed and the only thing left to do was reinstall the operating system (Tiger). But it wouldn't take an archive reinstall, so I had to do a clean install. That is, to erase the whole freakin' hard drive and everything on it. Wipe the slate clean.

That's pretty drastic, but I had been prepared for just that eventuality. Even after the logic board goes kaplooey, the hard drive can be tapped with what Apple calls Target Disk Mode. So, with my external DVD burner and my backup computer, I had been able to record everything of worth off the computer before I even sent it in.

And a lot of junk accumulates on a computer in the course of three years. It collects like lint, filling up whole gigabytes. For instance, I still maintained System 9.2 and all the files to support it, as well as Classic apps I haven't launched in years. I can safely say that I don't need System 9 anymore. I've actually got some free memory now.

Recovery takes time, however, and a couple of unpaid days of loading files and applications and moving furniture. By now I am almost back up to speed.

At the top of this entry is a photo of my private empire that I took at high noon on Wednesday--Solstice. The temperature was plus 5 degrees Fahrenheit. You can see the Sun at its zenith through the trees. Total possible daylight for the shortest day--about 3 hours and 42 minutes.

At the bottom of this entry is a photo I took last month of a ruined cabin on the side of the road to Williams, Indiana. The white stripes on the inside of the exposed walls are lath and plaster. Notice the dovetailed building corners. Not a lick of insulation. I wonder if the clapboard once covered the whole cabin and has been cannibalized for some other project. A window thus far spared. Very solid construction and weathering well.


Roland Dobbins said...

Dude - now that you've sold your book and stuff, why not buy a new PowerBook and get rid of that crappy, buggy iBook?

You can always write another book and make even more money - but you can't make more time, which is what these constant re-installs are costing you.

The PowerBook is totally worth it, just go ahead and bite the bullet!

David Marusek said...

I agree with you completely. I want to get a 15-inch G4 PowerBook to tide me over the switch to the Intel chip (and then some). With luck and good sales, this novel may be able to buy me a new computer. Who knows, maybe in 2006!

Next on my list of things I hope the novel can buy me is Internet broadband to the cabin. That would be cool.

Armchair Anarchist said...

As a fan of remote isolated locations, it looks to me like you live in a beautiful place! Good luck with computer mishaps (you have my sympathy, my PC motherboard blew three weeks back and screwed my budgeting for the next six months) and with all other projects. Caveat...broadband at home *is* very cool, but arguably the ultimate writer's displacement activity! ;)

Hope to be able to report on review publication in the next few weeks. Until then, take care, and enjoy the (blessed) silence!

Paul R.


David S. said...

I have a G3 iBook that has, so far, had the dreaded MB failure only once and was fixed under warranty (it failed just before the warranty ran out and before the repair program was announced). During the three weeks it was being fixed I bought a 15" Al PowerBook and it's been great (I've had it just over two years now). The iBook is also fine now, but doesn't get daily use as it's now my b/u machine. Just the other day however I read about a nasty problem many seem to be experiencing with 15" Al 'Books where the lower RAM slot apparently comes loose from the motherboard (most often soon after users replace RAM in that slot) and requires a MB replacement to fix... It's been about three weeks since I upped my PB RAM (life extension till the dust settles on the Intel transisition) and so far no problems.

Fantastic pictures by the way. I don't think I could survive the temperatures and snow up there (though on New Years Day when it was a toasty 43C here in Sydney it would've seemed attractive!) but it sure looks pretty!

David Marusek said...

43C!! I was thrilled today when the temp rose to minus 12C. Does Sydney always get that hot, or is this unusual weather? I didn't think it could get so hot on the coast.

David S. said...

No, not normally. It's usually somewhere in the mid 20s to mid 30s (77-95F), and humid, this time of year. NYD was one of the hottest January days on record, hottest since 1939 or something.

The temperature rose to -12C. I don't even want to think about that...

Anonymous said...

Hi, I couldn't get your email to work on the site. I write hoping you will see and respond. I enjoyed your book Counting Heads very much! I was left confused by Fred's communicating "Obligation, integrity and unpaid debt" and declining Mary's offer of legal help. Did he deserve to suffer for harming Reilly, liking little girls, not being a true Russ? I wish the book could have gone on a little longer...
Thanks for your help. I'll look for your next book. Kathy Harris (

typing on my new ibook which has not lost its motherboard so far...

David Marusek said...

Hi Kathy--

Thanks for your comments and questions. Well, I have good news and bad news. The bad news is that I have a long-held belief that an author shouldn't try to explain to readers what their books mean but should strive to make their work more understandable in the first place. So I guess I'm the wrong person to ask about Fred.

The good news is that I'm working on the second book in this story. In it Fred and Mary's relationship takes center stage, as well as his entanglement with the TUGs.

I hope this helps,