Jules Jones

Yog's Law: Money flows *towards* the author

killed my Kobo
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That thing in the Kobo manual about always eject the Kobo in software before disconnecting it from the computer?

Nine times out of ten you'll get away with it. The tenth, you'll curse, because you've bricked the Kobo. Sometimes it will need a few presses on the hard reset button. Occasionally it will do a Lazarus impersonation if you let the battery run flat, and then plug in and restart with the hard reset button, and cycle the hard reset a couple of dozen times.

And when all else fails, you can, if you're of a geekish turn of mind, Google for hacker forums and find out how to download an image of the system drive, and install it on the internal memory card.

But I don't do Linux at all, and I don't really feel like downloading and installing the necessary tools on my elderly and increasingly unreliable XP box, and then spending a stressful few hours wrestling stuff into submission before I can use my tiny e-ink reader again. Not when my data on this device is toast anyway, and a new one is only thirty quid. The time I'd probably need to spend is worth more than that. So I'm putting a few links here for later, when I feel like conducting surgery, and called into Smiths on my way home last night. The shiny new one is indeed shiny, because they only had the white/silver version in stock.

The Mini snapbacks (and a lot of other Kobo accessories) have been drastically reduced, so I've also bought a nice purple snapback. This is because at some point I will probably fix the old one, and then it's going to be used for the books I don't want on the device that gets handed to the Aged Parents when they want to borrow a book. Purple seems a nice discreet colour-coded reminder for "this is the one with the porn on it." :-)

Some useful links for cloning a working card for backup or to to put into the old device:

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"until I met a man who had no feet"
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The last couple of weeks have been a reminder of just how disabled I actually am, because my Dragon headset at work died and it's taken a lot longer than it should to get a replacement. I trundled off to the gym this morning for my regular session trying to rebuild some muscle strength and flexibility (I can shoulder press 5 kg regularly now, yay!), and spent the time on the first machine thinking about my now-urgent need to replace my home computer so it can run Dragon without falling over, and the state of my bank account.

And then on the way to the next machine, thinking about how nice it is to finally be able to regularly walk the length of the gym without hurting, I walked past a guy on one of the cardio machines. It wasn't obvious at first, because it was one with stirrups that cover most of your foot, but then I realised why it looked a little odd. The guy was a blade runner. Double amputee with the running blades we've seen so much of at the last couple of Paralympics.

I'm well aware of just how well off I am compared with some people. But that really does put it into perspective.

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While cat-vacuuming^W^W researching country house floor plans yesterday, I stumbled into this site: http://www.british-history.ac.uk

It appears to be run by the University of London, and has a large number of digitised historical documents. Some of the content is subscriber-only, but most of it's free. Just the collection of Ordnance Survey maps will be of interest to a number of you, but there's a lot of other lovely research material as well, including gazetteers.

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Hugo novels on special in the UK
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As pointed out by Charlie Stross, his UK publisher has reduced the ebook of his Hugo-nominated novel to £1.99 for this month. I wandered off to check Orbit's other two nominees in the Hugo novel category, and they too are reduced to £1.99. Or at least they are on Kobo and Amazon; Waterstones doesn't seem to have got the message yet. Note that these prices are available in the UK only.


Neptune's Brood
Ancillary Justice
Parasite (Parasitology)

Yes, I have bought all three. They are DRMed, but that is the price point at which I'm willing to treat a book as disposable. (As in, if I saw the print version in The Works I'd be willing to buy it with the intention of recycling to Oxfam after reading to make space.)

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book log: June 2014 part 1
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As previously noted, the book log is woefully out of date. However, I want to try and write up this year's Hugo Voting Packet while it is still of some use to other people (and indeed me, for purposes of doing my ballot), so I'm skipping straight to this month instead of trying to keep it in order. Here are the three short story nominations I've read so far (if it wasn't in epub, it didn't go on the Kobo):

35) “The Water That Falls on You from Nowhere”, John Chu (Tor.com, 02-2013)

Hugo short story finalist. The water of the title falls on anyone who lies -- the less truthful what is said, the harder and colder the water falls. It's possible to avoid the water by being careful with your phrasing, but that just makes it obvious that you're being economical with the truth. What does it do to relationships, for both good and ill, when it becomes impossible to lie convincingly? Beautifully written character-driven short.

Amazon uk
Amazon US


36) “The Ink Readers of Doi Saket”, Thomas Olde Heuvelt (Tor.com, 04-2013)

Hugo short story finalist. Wishes for the year are sent floating down a Thai river, and it's one village's duty and privilege to gather the wishes up and grant them, in exchange for the money and gifts attached to the wishes. It's a situation that's ripe for exploitation, but all the lives around the river are connected, and wishes can be granted in surprising ways. It's a fun concept and there's some nice writing in it, but the story didn't quite gel for me.



37) “Selkie Stories Are for Losers”, Sofia Samatar (Strange Horizons, Jan-2013)

Hugo short story finalist. First person narrative by a young woman who has good reason to believe that selkie stories are for losers. It's difficult to say much about it without spoilers. I liked it but thought it took time to get going.


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competition time
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My question goes up today in the TRR summer event. You can win three of my books, plus lots of prizes on offer from other authors. http://www.theromancereviews.com/event.php

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I have been quiet, because I have been writing. I started another short/novelette for an anthology call that sparked an idea, with the intention of using the current PicoWrimo session to keep me going on 150 words a day. Unfortunately the idea sprouted Plot as soon as I started jotting it down, and it's rather obviously not going to come in under the 12 kword limit. I've abandoned the idea of keeping it novelette length, and am going to write the novella it so clearly wants to be. I haven't quite managed 150 words every day, but I have written *something* on it every day up until today, and it hit 9100 words last night, so the average for the month so far is looking good.

Over the weekend I also worked on revising last month's novelette. This involved tightening the first draft, in the process trimming about 500 words to bring it under the 12k limit. I've formatted it for the intended market (I always write in something that looks like typewriter manuscript and can be saved to 7 bit ascii, and then format it however the market wants it), but have not as yet written the synopsis and submission blurb.

No actual words tonight, because at long last I managed to catch up with someone to discuss some background for the novel-length WIP that has been in hiatus since Eastercon, so I was doing that instead.

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It's 10pm, and I'm sitting here looking at what is still a blue sky, although the sun has gone and the blue is deepening towards twilight. It's still more than light enough to see colours in the garden, and not just the vivid pinks and oranges of the Busy Lizzies. In an hour or so the colours will be gone, all but the deep blue of the twilight sky.

The night at this time of the year doesn't quite touch 7 hours from sunset to sunrise. But tonight is the night it tuns, as the nights slowly lengthen. It will get warmer for a few weeks yet, but this night is the reminder that the seasons will turn once again.

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Alan Turing 23 June 1912 – 7 June 1954
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Hero of the secret war of WWII. One of the founders of modern computing. One of the people of whom you can truly say, "He changed the world."

Dead 60 years ago today.

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D-Day plus 70
poppy, remembrance, armistice day
This is what I posted 10 years ago today:

I am not one of those who would have been taken to the gas chamber, but many of my friends are. Had things gone differently sixty years ago today, some of them would not have been born, because their parents or grandparents would have died in the death camps.

Thousands gave their lives so that others might live. Many others came back maimed in body or mind. Remember them.

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