April 2009

Over the past week I’ve experienced broadband problems, mainly connecting to the service when first turning on the computer. I have to ensure that the router is switched on first otherwise I have to reboot the machine for it to work properly.

Recently it has gone from bad to worse, with the connection not being enabled via cable connection. Do I had to turn wireless connection back on. Going direct to the router didn’t seem to work either as I could only have physical or wireless connection, whereas a couple of weeks ago they would exist side by side. The router kicked me off saying a user was already signed in when I connected the LAN cable.

Yesterday I was getting local connection only. No matter how many times I ran the Vista Diagnosis tool or rebooted the laptop it refused to connect to the internet. Even though Microsoft Update told me there were new updates available. In the end I had to disable the physical connection – as the wireless was the only connection that would get on the internet recently – and viola internet connection appeared. I’ll have to keep my eye on it but it seems to have sorted itself out for the moment.


One of may favourite authors and today I got a book ordered via Amazon. I also found out it is a limited edition of 1,000 copies, which is a nice surprise. (Both Bob Shaw and Terry Carr were GoH at the convention and they shared the book half and half) I knew it was published specifically for a convention but didn’t know it was limited: even more so as the 1,000 was divided into 250 signed and slip-cased and the rest as normal. They had two different ISBN numbers. The book came shrink wrapped with the ISBN sticker on the outside. It probably would be worth more if I had left it as is but I did buy it to read. I haven’t read any Terry Carr works although I do have a few books he has edited; Best SF of the year and a couple of Universe anthologies. I’m looking forward to going through the two books as soon as. I’m halfway through David Simon’s the Corner at the moment so I’ll be dipping into them here and there as, luckily, they are short stories and fan writing. It’s a shame writers like this aren’t more widely published.

So it didn’t take too long to get the site back to the way it was. That’s the wonder of WordPress and its’ themes. Shortstat, even after the upgrade, is still unable to connect for the keywords and referers; so maybe I’ll look for another stats program. All I have left to do is replace the X with my own picture and things are back the way they were. But I will take a download of the full website when that’s done, as I don’t want to be caught like that again.

So the WordPress uprgade went well. Not.

I don’t know what the hell happened but the whole thing has defaulted to the standard template. I’ll need to download the theme again and sort out the widgets and other stuff. IT appears the ‘backup’ didn’t work out well either. I thought I had downloaded the whole site before upgrading but it turns out that only a couple of folders had downloaded. I’ve uploaded them again, updated the database, and hope to sort out the mess today or at the weekend.

So I have a look at the statistics via the dashboard and the Shortstat plugin and for the first time it gives some errors. The ‘last keywords’ and ‘last referrers’ sections are littered with ‘unable to parse’ errors. So I’m going to (finally) update WordPress and see if that sorts things out.

I’ve had little success turning the ghost image of my old computer into a virtual hard disk for use on my laptop under Microsoft Virtual PC. Another old desktop was no problem: but that was Windows 98 and a really old version of Ghost running under Dos which gave very few problems.

So I create a new virtual machine, repartition a drive and create a new partition and copy the Ghost files over. All goes well and I use the Norton Ghost disk to boot the virtual machine. It’s slow but eventually boots up and after a few clicks I’ve selected the Ghost files and it’s writing these to the newly created drive.

It takes about forty minutes. It even reaches one hundred percent.

Then it gives an error.

I thought it had worked this time but, as the villain says, foiled again. Thing is I never took a note of the error, so miffed was I that everything was spoiled at the very last. I may try it again and take a note of the error number then consult the Norton Ghost website.

So I’m Holiday for the Easter weekend, making it a long weekend from Thursday to Tuesday. Friday involved sleeping in and lazing around all morning then helping a friend dump rubbish at the local council dump, then off into town to look around and spend some money I don’t have. I bought Homicide by David SimonĀ  a while back and slowly ploughed through it and I was glad to see its’ companion volume, The Corner, is now available, so I snaffled that up from Waterstone’s in a three for two. Like the other book it is a massive tome, so it will probably take me a few weeks to get through it: this is the sort of book for which a perfect reading companion is a volume of short stories. I don’t have one at the moment but there are still a few stories in the recent issue of Interzone I’ve yet to read.

Broadband is getting irritating. I have to turn the router on before I turn the laptop on otherwise I get two networks both of which give local access only. Restarting the computer makes it work, giving only one network, but I don’t want to restart the computer every time I want to go on the net. And I don’t want to leave the router on twenty four seven in case someone tries to break into it. Not very likely I know but still a threat. I only have the router on – and thankfully it’s a router which has an on off button – when I use it. I think the problem stems from a recent Visa update but I can’t be sure: a month or so ago I had problems with my phone when the broadband was fine. Now it seems the phone is fine but the broadband is niggley. Perhaps the engineer poked around too much and disturbed something to do with the broadband. he did insist they were separate and one couldn’t affect the other. Not that I believe anything anyone says.

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