Friday Links #12

Today’s blog post is brought to you by the words “peace” and “quiet”.

After a week of struggling to hear myself think over the drone of a hyperactive cooling fan inside my desktop computer, I have finally managed to silence the beast. The computer, a six-year old (at least) Alienware Aurora that I paid double the price of my first car for, was given its second OS upgrade when I returned from our trip. Built for XP, running Windows 10. I don’t recommend trying this at home. After sampling a host of remedies suggested by other people running into this problem (and generally freaking out that my now malfunctioning thermal controls program is reporting 0% fan speeds and a failed cooling pump) I found a BIOS upgrade that, at first, seemed to fix the problem… until the video signal cut out.

I waited and waited but the video signal never came back. “Have you tried unplugging it and plugging it back in again?” asks the company IT guy, otherwise known as myself. Good thinking, self! The video came back, the computer is silent, but the Thermal Controls are still struggling with gremlins. And Alienware/Dell tell me my model of computer has “not been tested for Windows 10.”

You better believe every file of significance on this computer has been copied to Dropbox. And backed up externally.

My wife was considering a work-from-home, consulting career at one point last year. I had to talk her out of it. It wasn’t that I didn’t want her home all day with me (though I do enjoy my daily heaping of me-time), but I had to explain to her that I had a hard enough time being my own IT department, I couldn’t provide tech support for her as well — especially if she was dealing with remote logins and VPNs, which I know nothing about. I cannot begin to guess how many hours I have spent over the past fifteen years diagnosing and fixing computer and video-capture problems. It’s the first thing I mention whenever someone asks me what I think about being self-employed and working from home. If you don’t know how to fix your own computer problems, stick to the office.

And be nice to your IT staff — they might be the only thing keeping you from going insane.

Bookish Links

  1. Who Versus That – Mignon Fogarty posted this”quick and dirty tip” nearly a decade ago, but sadly it seems that the world at large has missed it. Improper usage of who and that is something that drives me crazy. It’s definitely my grammar pet-peeve and I see that used when referring to people all the time and it drives me nuts. Sadly, it seems as if it’s becoming accepted practice. If you struggle with knowing when to use who and when to use that, click the link.
  2. The 5 Stages of Revision: A Writer’s Guide to Grief  This is a fun article about coping with the task of revising your early drafts by Victoria Griffin. I cannot wait to get to the revision stage because the stench emanating from my first draft is making it hard to focus. I kid, sort of. Not really.
  3. Writers, Are You Willing to Play the Waiting Game? – I had forgotten I had this link squirreled away, but it goes perfectly with my post from earlier this week as it’s about the need to slow down, be patient, and understand that becoming a skilled writer takes time. C.S. Lakin not only stresses the importance of taking a long view at your writing career, but makes specific recommendations for how you should spend you 10,000 hours. How wonderfully timely!
  4. Weapons of Mass Instruction – Colossal is one of my favorite websites and this is a perfect example why. Not only does Colossal feature amazing art/design creations from around the world, but it shows offbeat works like this 1979 Ford Falcon an Argentinian man converted into a tank, armored with 900 books that he gives away free to people he meets in the city. Great photos and video at the link.
  5. 5 Tips for Getting Accepted by BookBub – Running a sale or free book giveaway and want BookBub to list your book? That’s no small feat given the competition to be exposed to BookBub’s massive mailing list, but it’s worth the effort. Author Lindsay Buroker has had phenomenal success being listed on BookBub and has some helpful tips on how to get them to include your work. There’s also an interview with a BookBub employee at the bottom.

Bonus Link!

The Danger Map of the World: Fear Vs Awareness  – I linked to this on our travel FB page a few months ago and it’s worth sharing here as well. The traveling couple who writes for Uncornered Market puts things into perspective when it comes to traveling to so-called dangerous places and explains how you can learn to ignore the fear-mongering and travel safely while being aware of where you really shouldn’t go. A must-read for anyone feeling unsure about their travel plans.

Post Image by Yiannis Theologos Michellis, used under Creative Commons

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