The Sunday Salon: Technical Difficulties

Gentle (and, of course, extremely attractive and erudite) readers, I feel that you and I have a deal. I put up my reviews three times a week, I do memes twice a week (albeit one of them is a solo meme just for me), I shut up on Saturday, and then, on Sunday, I talk about whatever’s on my mind in the book world. This deal doesn’t include talking about behind the scenes stuff beyond the general “how to be a book blogger!” and other niceties. But today, I have to break that deal, because I have been in technological hell for the past two days. Okay, hell is a strong word. But purgatory would still do nicely.

It all started with my local library’s copy of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. (This saga, by the way, is in no way my library’s fault.) It ripped perfectly fine—that, in fact, was what was going to be today’s Sunday Salon, how to rip an audiobook in iTunes—except for discs seven and seventeen, which were pretty badly scratched towards the beginning of the file. Being my usual cheap but law-abiding self, I scoured the Internet for freeware programs that could help me rip as much data as possible off the discs, since I probably wouldn’t notice the skips anyway. That went fine. Where it went wrong, I think, was when I tried to find an application to join the tracks together, which took forever to find and the first one stalled. Luckily, the second one took—after some fidgeting with formats—and all was well. I mean, it took a day, but I’ve got most of the audiobook, I don’t need to go back to the library, and I’ll definitely let the librarians know they’re dealing with a seriously borked audiobook.

Except that between downloading the program that ripped the audio and downloading the second program that joined all the tracks together, Demora Pasha, my beloved laptop, went into freak-out mode. The operating system dragged, the rainbow beach ball of doom followed me wherever I went, often forcing me to turn off my computer manually. I finally got it under control, but there was one casualty—Journler. The program I use to write my blog posts and that I’d just started to use for a mandatory reading journal for a class. The one that’s one update aware from abandonware. The only good free journaling program available for Macs.

Magnificent.

Attempts to launch it cause Demora Pasha to seize up, forcing me to close, and then close again, because the latest Mac operating system, Lion, stupidly reopens windows from the last time you were on your computer, forcing the same error to happen again. And, of course, all Journler files are in Journler-specific formats, meaning I couldn’t get at the data that was just sitting on my computer.

Luckily, there is a fix—albeit temporary, but temporary enough to get my posts back. Mac Journal, a forty dollar (!) program, will import Journler files, and there’s mercifully a two week free trial. So I manage to get everything—posts and academic work—back without too much of a fight, but I’m sad Journler no longer works on my computer. I’ll keep an eye out for new updates that might fix the problem, but it’s such a beautiful program and I use it so sparsely that forking out forty bucks for Mac Journal, which has a lot of features I’d never use, isn’t feasible. Or at least a good idea.

In any case, this insanity is why I’ve been “rewarding” myself with the equal insanity of getting a Windows free-to-play MMORPG to run on my Mac. But at least that’s fun and instructional, rather than frustrating. Don’t get me wrong, I love my laptop, but I was having some flashbacks to The Social Network. (Don’t tell her I said that.) And that’s why today’s Sunday Salon isn’t anything fun about books but something convoluted about my adventures in freeware. Whee!

I moved back to school this week; packing, unpacking, attending events, attending classes, doing homework… a girl in one of my classes called me “a Hermione Granger” for my habit of obsessively doing all my homework as soon as I can—I preened, as you can imagine. So I haven’t had much in the way of reading, save for class. I did go to the library and triumphantly pick up A History of Reading, Lavinia, and Mélusine. I’ve been making headway through A History of Reading. I’m also preparing for Dragon*Con; we’ve got our hotel room, our schedules, and our costumes—well, except for this one stupid tiara. Sweet Lord, I have never found a costume piece so hard to track down for under five dollars. I’m exploring tomorrow to try and find one, but I don’t have time to poke around all week—the princess will just have to wear a borrowed headband or something. Yeesh.

Splash of Our Worlds is giving away several books and some swag until September 8th. Tor/Forge is giving away a Mistborn prize pack of all four Mistborn books—including The Alloy of Law—until September 6th, and a young adult bundle until September 12th. You must sign up for their newsletter to enter. The Baen Free Library is full of free downloads, including The Shadow of the Lion and On Basilisk Station. Night Shade Books is offering Butcher Bird and Grey as free downloads at the moment. Vertigo Comics is offering free downloads of the first issue of several series, including Fables, The Unwritten, and Y: The Last Man. (And you will go download The Unwritten.) If I’ve missed your giveaway or freebie, drop me a line!

Um… tell me something funny to cheer me up? Recommend me a nice journaling app for Macs? Find me a tiara that’ll get here by Thursday? I’ve really got nothing, guys, sorry.

4 thoughts on “The Sunday Salon: Technical Difficulties

  1. Computer problems are the worst, especially when something is lost. I know this might seem like an odd suggestion tiara wise but you can check with a party store for something cheap especially if you’re not going to wear it again.

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