Saturday, November 3, 2018

Dare I Hope?

I have really bad computer karma. Really bad. And it may have an explanation (later for that).

But I just wanted to do a teeny little post to say I seem to have a working system which will allow me to work. I have said that at least three times in the past three months. And I have been wrong.

So I will try to assemble the scraps from three semi-working computer systems into Segment: Sho-Caudal #12. And then send them out.

Maybe.

If the system stays up.

We think we may know why I have so much problem with my computer systems. And it hasn't mattered which computer system it has been. It has been an iMac, which I really was quite comfortable using - despite Apple marketing and legal shenanigans. Then a Windows 10 box which may have been damaged in shipping and was returned. Then a MacMini which I used for about 18 months with Apple degenerating further. Then a Linux Ubuntu Studio, followed by a Windows 10 laptop.

All of them have suddenly zapped. And we think it may be ... (drum roll) ... the wiring in my mobile home. We were in the process of moving my whole room around, putting my computer (or hopefully computer-to-be) station across the room and onto a different power circuit. While plugging in the nifty surge protector and battery backup box, before anything was plugged in, my friend plugging the box into the wall got a surprise. A shock. And cry out loud and take hit point wounds.

So... that might explain why I have been having problems other people don't have.* And makes me wonder what can be done to prevent it from happening again. And the easy answer is "move."

I don't wanna move. I'm ensconced. I have lived here for 13 years - the longest I have ever lived anywhere. And then there is the question of where else I could live - or afford to live.

But in the short-term I will try to complete the bits of SSC #12. And mail them out.

Fingers crossed.

Monday, October 15, 2018

The computer nightmare has taken a bigger toll than I have experienced before. I am four weeks out of being able to write or have a reliable computer system. I was finally able to install the CC Adobe package and I can open Photoshop, Illustrator, and Acrobat, but the InDesign WILL NOT open, no matter how I try to configure the system, download installer, installed, uninstall and repeat.

I cannot boot Linux, although I was able to install it on an external USB disk. But it is unable to connect to the Internet by Ethernet or WiFi. Why? I dunno. I've done Ubuntu Studio (that installed but I cannot download the components for the programs that make it "Studio"). I got the installer stick for Elementary OS, but it will not let me install because the disks do not have a "Root."

I don't know what that means and no one has been able to tell me or give instructions or how to put a Root in place.

Windows 10 is the system that accepted the Adobe CC installs, but WILL NOT open InDesign for me to either layout the new material, or open previous documents to get material. Or finish the layout of the DANSTEAD TRAVELLER compilation, which is done, but I cannot open.

I am thinking of taking the material from SEGMENT: SHO-CAUDAL #12 and sending out a clean word processing version with the promise to send them the full layout when I can do the full layout. With art and stuff.

Did I mention InDesign refuses to open? It WILL NOT open.

I do not have a working Mac box in the house except for an old laptop with OSX 10.4, and I just was able to install 10.5.5 onto it. But it won't run the programs I need to open the documents I need to work on. A friend says he will send me a newer MacBook with 10.10, which would be a great move up. And I'm seriously looking at entering the world of Hackintosh to put OSX on my Windows 10 box. Apple will not support it, but if I can run the damn programs it might get me through the period while I do the adjustments for Linux, of whatever distro I wind up in.

Tonight was the first time I was able to get onto my Jorune account and access the blog in a few weeks. And I found one letter from someone who was just encouraging me.

It helps. It really does.

What I am working on - many short bits on the mindset of Colonials.

Why they were leaving Earth?

What if the mindset for immigration to Jorune's World
was not based on English, Western European concepts?
Who thought it was a good idea?

Who thought it was a terrible idea? What did they think they were coming to?

What did they know about the aliens they would encounter?

Economic, social, political, religious schools of thought - in conflict.

That might be the word processing document I send out (I can do fairly nice layou8ts in Word Processing.

And I think I know what I will do with #13. It will be my notes for projects I will not get to do. It will be a Message in a Bottle for some solo Joruni somewhere to get the idea from the list and run with it. It would be nice to see some of the ideas that I thought would happen to get some completion through other minds. Maybe.

We shall see.

I'll have to get this one done first, and that's not an easy dance.




Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Back in the Waiting Line

I'm finally able to get back to writing, or re-writing, SEGMENT: SHO-CAUDAL 12.1. The Colonial Ballot and supporting documents. I'm working in Libre-Office, which is not my first choice, but at this point I don't know what my first choice would be.

The goal is to move into full-time Linux operations as soon as possible, but I've not been able to get the hard disk partitions to hold a new boot section.

But the colonial papers are in movement again. I hope to get this part out by the end of the month. Hope. We shall see.

Friday, September 28, 2018

Transition

Apple - Blah.
My Mac died. Big time. Took a hit from a power spike at the end of Hurricne Florence. I didn't get flooded out, but my life got zapped and destroyed - does that count?

I was not able to get another Mac because my available credit would only cover a Windows 10 laptop. Which is not how I roll.

But, it is getting a working system or not having a working system.

It has been a rough transition. First I have to adjust 35+ years of Mac OS skills to Windows styles, and with problems of eyes and neuropathy, it is difficult.

First the transition from control/command key positions. I'm used to it on the immediate left of the space-bar, but Windows is to the far left of the keyboard, putting it under the pinkie of my left hand, which is mostly dead. I do not feel the finger so I do not know when it hits or where it hits. This means the letter a is sometimes caps, Caps Lock, z, s, or q, and I don't know until after it is typed. I try to catch them all but do not always succeed. Correcting means a complete stop, use different fingers to hit the correct combination, the use of the command/control key requires a complete stop to get the thumb over to the left-control key. I can't use the ring finger because it is dying, like the pinkie, and is an-almost-always fail.

So, there's that.

Second, something happened in the new laptops hardware that re-mapped the keyboard I was using in a very bizarre way. "Y" and "Z" became reversed and I did not notice immediately. It coupled with problem Three, but resulted in a series of refusals of gMail to accept changes of passwords to access all of my email accounts (I have about twenty) and Facebook. Time after time I had to re-key passwords from a schema I had grown comfortable with, and what I was typing was not what had been pasted from the results of my schema. (For some reason I am allowed to paste a password into the change-password field, but was required to retype for when I entered what I thought was the same password the first time I went to use the password to log on and read mail.)

After several hours of getting 'incorrect' responses to entering new passwords, setting up another password and getting incorrect for that, I had a total of two passwords accepted, for some reason. Screamed and decided to go to bed.

Third, my eyes. I have had great progress with my macular edema - a swelling under the macula of my left eye, which prevents a readable image. To accommodate that reality I blow up my email (and blog entry) to "Huge" for typing, so I can see them, then shrink them back down to "Normal" before sending/publishing. Hopefully. I've failed with that a few times, too. But there has been progress on shrinking the cyst under the macula with shots in the vitreous humor (look it up) and I could get a prescription to wear for about six months. But that takes eye exam money and glasses money.

Hope nobody slaps me, 'causr
I'm all out of cheeks.
But that is how I roll with advanced neuropathy and macular edema, both the result of 28 years of Type II diabetes. (Did I mention diabetes, which sucks all by itself.)

One of the first bits of email I received during this whole mess was a subscriber to SSC who got lost and NONE of the issues he had ordered had been delivered. That goosed me to solve the return2jorune@gmail password problem, which I did and today, after a night's sleep, I was able to fulfill his order. AURGH. My credibility is shabby enough.

So I have about a dozen email accounts to bring back on line, then go through all the backlog created by this, and Facebook, which I was able to access with my phone as much as my eyes could stand reading the teeny little screen.

My documents from the old Mac system are still not completely available. I have backups but they are on Mac formatted USB3s, which I cannot get hooked into the new Windows machine. A USB2 disk is readable. So that's a whole other headache I will have to deal with before I can retrieve what I have written so far for SSC #12.

The alternative is to write everything from scratch, which I could do. I've had to do it with whole stage plays and whole books when original manuscripts were lost - before computers. It can be done, but I don't know what will be lost in the process. Which is depressing.

So, that I'm not jumping on Jorune fast enough, suck it up. I'm running as fast as I can to fall behind.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Geekspeak of Jorune

Once upon a time a Kaypro //, and later 10, was all I needed.
It is official. I will be leaving Macintosh with the zapping of my Mac mini in Hurricane Florence's last hurrah. We have very unstable power in this area of North Carolina. Brownouts happen sometimes, surgery during some storms. But spikes are way beyond even the best surge protectors ability to insulate from the massive sudden increase of voltage.

I have a very good burger protector with batter backup, but the spike has gotten through to kill my last three machines.

What is convenient is the April 2017 spike destroyed the hard disk on my iMac. I was able to to replace it with a MacMini through a friend who rose from the past to help. The Mini was brought down last week with the spike, but that spike destroyed the CPU. I was able to cobble together a working system with the disk-fried CPU and an external 10.12 SOX FireWire backup disk rom back when that computer was working, and I had a new 10.13 system on an external USB 3.0 disk. 

I have a catalog account where prices are higher but they extend credit to me, so I will get a Windows 10 laptop (HP Pavillion) with 8Gigs and an 500Gig internal, where I will immediately co-install a Linux system. I've been giving myself some time to learn Linux but time has come to get serious. 

I need to transfer all of my Adobe CC files (InDesign, Photoshop and PremierPro) to things that will run on open source products. I am shifting away from being a publisher for anything but my own writing (non-Jorune) so the layout and pdf-online concerns are not as great.

In a pinch I will be able to boot from the iMac with the external drive and use old legal CS6 Adobe products, but I would have to be pushed for that. Open source has some good PDF manipulation tools, so those may be sufficient. 

Interesting that all this comes as I've made the decision to closeup Jorune shop - maybe not forever, but I'm down to a couple of projects to be done, and was moving into a new phase of pushing my writing anyway. My physical problems with neuropathy and vision make my creative time much more limited. So open source seems to be the way to go.

But the ride is never boring.

The old Jorune

A dyadic weaving.
There are a lot of file for Jorune. They have been gathered to Archive.com for a few years. You can search for it by title or by "SOJ RPG." Ten big zip files by title, and the Big Momo has EVERYTHING in one file, for those of you with fast internet connection.

https://archive.org/search.php?query=SOJ%20RPG

Archive is a great resource and deserving of your support. I wouldn't mind a few bucks thrown my way.

But everything from Archive.org is free. Pass the word alone.



Thursday, September 20, 2018

Boil

The Mac 512 changed my life. This is a Plus.
The model after the Fat Mac 512. The is not
the keyboard - the 512 did not have a keypad.
1985 I traded a first draft of a screenplay that
would go nowhere for my Mac. It payed me
far beyond that screenplay, for many years. I
had a 512, 512 with Brainstorm, 405, Mac II, 
SE, SE 2-Drive (Still have one of those), 525, 
Powerbook 100, 105, 120, 150, 512, MacBooks
(several), iMac (several), and now the late and
lamented MacMini. Time to make the move to
Linux, for which I have been preparing.

I survived Florence and the flood are downriver from me. No damage from those.

So at the end of the storm I took a spike to my system. I have a very good burger protector with a two plug battery backup (cpu and monitor), but that does not protect you from a spike. I always thought the old people telling you to unplug your devices was an old wives tell, well I'm an old man now and it's true. I lost my iMac almost two years ago to a similar spike that munged the disk. This time it munged the cpu.

But the CPU works in the old I Mac, and I had a outboard FireWire disk with a working 10.12, and an outboard USB with a working 10.13 boot. I have been trying to salvage files between iCloud, DropBox, backups, and old files. The disk on the iMac booted again, I transferred about 19Gigs of files from April 2017 (which was the iMac bit it) and the iMac disk went away again. It tried, bless it's little silicon heart.

Among the recent files that were eaten was the layout for COLELCTED DANSTEAD TRAVELLER and most of the Colonial. But I'll do it again - not my first rodeo. I still don't have a cover, so ... not that big a deal. I can crank out what I had done before. It's come up with many wild broncos.

Those are the losses I've notice. So far. At least the one's Jorune related.

Something else is happening that I find scary. SOMETHING is wrong and I suddenly get a second disk image for hard USB disks. It happened last night with my collection of Television shows (like my favorite TV SciFi series, STAR COPS, and my almost complete HOMICIDE: LIFE ON THE STREET, and THE SINGING DETECTIVE and ... a lot. But I then saw there was a second image with the same name and all the files were there. MP4s to beat the band.

Gave me a start. Almost a stop.

But it means something is wrong with the file systems. I hope it is just because of the Mac OS. I will be using this event to exit MacWorld. After 27 years. I will get a Windows 10 box and immediately install Linux, either Elementary or reinstall Ubuntu Studio, which formerly lived on a partition fo the MacMini disk. I will keep a Mac running enough to transfer files from a Mac to a Windows system. I tried consolidating file and had certain filed (from my documentary archive) that would not copy because "some of the data cannot be read or written." For which I cannot find a good interpretation.

So, movement forward, however glacial, is progress.

A damn irritation, tho.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Everything New is Old Again

So my longtime friend Gary A. Poe got a new portrait by a really good photography in historic garb, and I saw it and began tweaking it (like y'do). And for some reason, the tweak began to feel like original colonial Jorune, because that's how my mind works.

The original negotiators creating the new world's constitution - what is Earth going to do - send a cop? But it was serious, post-Western Civilisation for a whole new branch of humanity to grow.

And I like the idea the new human society would revive live performance for drama, history, dance, and music. I really do. Newfield in the Thanterian district.


Friday, September 7, 2018

Quick 'n' Dirty

I spent more time trying to get one graphic to show up on the back issue page than it took to do the rest of the page, including the revised PayPal button. Seriously. This graphic on the side of these words. WILL NOT show up on the web page. Damn. I've given up on programming web pages. Used to be simple HTML. It's not anymore.

So I'm putting up the back issue page as it is, and focusing on my current work instead. Warts and all.

You can get the whole subscription, (11 issues out, #12 in-process which you will get when it appears), or you can pick one, three, six, or nine of the back issues. There is a discount for buying groups - do the math. Individual issues described, scroll down for the order menu, plus links to the free samplers from #1 and #4, plus links to the DriveThruRPG.com pages for SHOLARI MAGAZINE v2n1 and GOMO GUIDE: THONEPORT.

And there are still hundreds of pages of freebies. Go to archive.org and search "SOJ RPG" - Skyrealms of Jorune Role Playing Game" and you will get some big zip files, grouped by source, and one big momo zip file with everything.

Whew.

I need some sleep.

Frustrating

I am working on THE COLONIAL BALLOT, which is growing from a simple half-an-issue-of-SEGMENT-SHO-CAUDAL article into something more. And it is building to a way to play "Jorune" in the time right around Earth's Colonial mission. Why would people leave Earth? What did they hope to find? Who thought it was a bad idea?

But at the same time, I'm trying to learn to animate in Photoshop for some new pages and uses. I was working on this little clip.

And tonight I got an email from someone to tell me the SEGMENT: SHO-CAUDAL sales links are no longer working. At All.

I said I would eliminate the advance sales for #13 and #14, but people should still be able to reach the link for #1-#11, or smaller chunks.  So I need to work on that...

But his is part of what I was working on using a familiar illustration for ALIEN LOGIC by George Barr.

(damn)

-----------------------

Hey, let's see if the code will work from the journal. Doesn't work on the main page, but ... like the old Jewis lady said where the taxi and run over an old man and killed him. "Give him some chicken soupo," she yells. "Lady, this guy is dead. Chicken soup isn't going to help." She shrugs. "Couldn't hoit."

Feh. Didn't work. But it didn't hurt.

Sunday, September 2, 2018


I'm told not posting to this page is a bad thing. So I will post. The project I thought would be 1/3 of SEGMENT: SHO-CAUDAL #12 has been growing.

THE COLONIAL BALLOT has become longer, more complex and may become a stand-alone "product" through DriveThuRPG.com. Why would people leave Earth to become Colonials? What would they be going TO? Basic negotiations with the aliens, the Thriddle/Shantha team would be completed - what does that mean? What do they know about the new world? What would they be going FROM? What is the technology they will expect to share with the Mother Planet - planks, rolls, 'tons, and the great gift of Aubrey? What is the Colonial life-expectancy? Do they plan to move as permanent emigres to Jorune's planet? Do they go for purely intellectual and scientific purposes? Do they expect to return with fame and wealth? To they hope their grandchildren will have a new and wonderful life?
Plank image of Receiving District

It is possible to build a satisfying campaign based on the first generation of Colonials. Or during the Human-Shanthic War.

JORUNE BASHING, which will address system and setting, has also grown and may become another free download for the Jorune Comunity. ORFA: JORUNE - ditto. Possibly combined with BASHING for download. And since I do not feel a "monthly" pressure I hope they will emerge properly, rather than to fit an artificial deadline. If it takes another month, it takes another month. I can produce yet another typo-riddled document, but do anyone really need that? There may be typos regardless, but the content is what matters most to me. The copy-editing may or may not come. Depends on my copy-editors. We shall see. But what we see should be worth the wait. Eh? Ditto for the two final issues of SSC. And if it takes a bit longer, so what?

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Breathing

Gallery of the covers for SEGMENT: SHO-CAUDAL. #12, not there yet but in progress.

I'm enjoying the time to breathe. I'm preparing the Channel Joe project, which will include a video introduction to Jorune. The colonial ballot and application is getting more interesting and, by itself, would constitute a full issue of SEGMENT: SHO-CAUDAL. But I committed more to #12, and will get it all together. Or split it into releases like 12.1 and 12.2, but the whole of 12 will, ultimately, released as a single document.

The colonial material has fleshed out who left Earth, and why. Horrible things happened before and the whole colonial thrust is insurance against horrible things happening again. And there are people who did NOT want anyone to leave Earth, so there is a statement to give that minority opinion.

It is interesting because I have been working on science fiction since long before I was contaminated by Jorune. I have pulled projects that would mean nothing to you, but which will figure into my post-Jorune lifestyle. My writing will turn more toward novels and the ancillary rights involved with new worlds and storylines. There may be room for the completed ANGELS novel from SSC #5, but the Jorune is output is limited. I have my own lost-colony novel, which has had a couple of title in development: FEASTS or THE NINE MILE ISLAND. There is a Barsoom homage that exists whole in my mind, but only about 40% on paper (actually, electronic files) so I need to make peace with that 60% and THE SCARLET CITADEL will be ready for release. I do have a sequel to the SONG OF ORPHANS, called THE SONG OF POWER, and it is floating in the background.

The "Jorune Bashing" article is taking a nice turn with the pressure off. I think that would be 12.2.

ORFA Jorune would be 12.3, but I think I'll just make it a separate release.

It's nice to relax for a minute.

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Focus

After the little drama of almost losing the domain and the hosting service, I am happy to report that the Jorunis connected to SEGMENT: SHO-CAUDAL came through to my Mayday. They did that with an advance subscription to the next few products with RETURN TO JORUNE. The costs for the next year have been met and I can focus.

And early mock-up of the planned
Collected Danstead Traveller
Focus: Cover for COLLECTED DANSTEAD TRAVELLER. Text is together and the book can be released almost as soon as the art is received. PDF to the advance subscribers first, then files for print to DriverThruRPG.

Next: SEGMENT: SHO-CAUDAL #12. This is a three-part project so the subscribers may get them both as segments and as the final assembled product. Part the first: Application to become a colonist for Jorune, about 130 years in our future. The process, the culture people going to Jorune are fleeing, the expectations for the colonies, and the models by which the colonies will be run. There is also a needed answer to a question that has been ignored - why create colonies on other worlds? And there is another question - was Jorune the only colony? After that we will get to the question of how the colonies will be operated.

Colonization is kind of like time-travel, where we can pick and choose the technologies and social structures to be used. The most popular models involve 22nd Century medical technologies, with information technologies in the 20th and 21st Century levels. Some colonists wanted a more agrarian, rural, and less technological society.

I think the idea of colonies is a backup insurance for the human culture - possibly the civilization. We already know that the life-contract has been almost canceled on this planet. The Extinctions. But life is tenacious and has generated new, more complex, and ultimately technological cultures to carry itself across the face of the homeworld, and will do the same into the space between stars, on nearby planets (very inefficient). All of that will give us new technologies, new economic and political models, for carrying our frail bodies to other stars.

Hopefully to succeed. If we cannot believe in our own success, why would we bother?

Sex is fun, but dreaming of what our children could do can drive us forward.

And to me, the whole Jorune project, the last Century of science fiction, speculative fiction, and the growth of media to explore all possibilities (including those we hate).

So then there is Part 2: Jorune Bashing, based on kitbashing from the old days of car and military models. Look at the model starships from the late 1970s generation of science fiction films. Bits and pieces from twenty model kits come together to create an impossibly cool spaceship. Jorune Bashing will do the same to bring bits from many Role Playing Games together to allow each Sholari to form the exact game she (or he) wants to run. That means each group will get a game that is more like a fine meal, rather than the endless streams of chair drive-thru extruda that is available.

And Part 3, ORFA Jorune, my own personal Jorune Bash that has evolved for more than 25 years. Take it and do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law.

I will not be doing a RoleMaster version of Jorune... not that Law.

But do what thou wilt - yeah.

So then there is the project to follow... Approaching the finish line. Only one other runner has started the race, but I'm waiting for permission to talk about that.