Chaos Manor View, Monday, September 14, 2015
Sunday afternoon I bit the bullet and took the ThinkPad up to the Monk’s Cell. It turned out to be simple, and when I discovered that the power supply was no longer up there – usually one is left there – I went down the stairs and into the front office, got the power supply, put it in my pocket, and went back up. No adventures involved. I can navigate that, although it had me scared before I did it. I left the walker at the bottom of the stairs and made my way to the writing chair I have used for years but had not seen since last December. It felt pretty good.
Before I took the ThinkPad up I did all the upgrades possible to the Windows 7 on the ThinkPad. I brought up new AA batteries for the wireless keyboard and mouse, and replaced them both. Then I fired it up. It seemed to come up OK, but behaved oddly. The wireless worked flawlessly, as it does since I had Alex and Eric install the new wireless system, but clicking on Firefox in the tray did nothing; double clicking on the Firefox on the desktop worked, but it came up with a Microsoft site as the home page: apparently the latest upgrade did that for me.
It soon was apparent that something was weird about Explorer. Task Manager showed me the explorer app was using some 50% of the computer’s resources to do nothing – and I could not shut the computer down. I used Task Manager to end Explorer, and now I couldn’t do anything at all, so I used the power button on the laptop. When I restarted, Explorer was still acting weird.
Alex used Task Manager to close Explorer, then a command line to restart Explorer, and Lo! everything started working properly except that Firefox was still coming up on a Microsoft site as home page; I don’t know what that was about. We reset the home page to what it should be and all was well. Then we left for a two mile walk, and took Roberta out for dinner.
Before I left upstairs I closed the lid on the ThinkPad. I wonder what it will do when I bring it back up, but I have a Kaiser appointment so we’ll just have to wait to see.
1730: Everything seems strange. I have to a lot of horizontal scrolling. The only change has been Microsoft updates, which seem to made the system I wrote many books with impotent and obsolete. Thanks, Microsoft.
1800: a bit more normal now, but Firefox has forgotten almost all the passwords it used to know and will have to be rebuilt, or perhaps not; my rules only let me use the Internet for direct research on something germane to the story I am working on. Tested my backup capabilities and all’s well, so I am on my way to a fiction session in the Monk’s Cell every day. Cheer.
2315 Working in the back room on last minute mail and such. A more coherent daybook including a report from the Monk’s Cell tomorrow.
Pease do not send submissions directly to me unless you are a previously accepted contributor to one of the earlier volumes, one of my collaborators, or you know me well enough – and I know you. There is an address, firstname.lastname@example.org for unsolicited contributions. We read them all, but I don’t need them in chaos manor mail. I understand that it isn’t fair for you to have worked so hard to write something and yet I don’t drop everything and read it the hour it arrives, but I don’t. Since my stroke I don’t change subjects easily and I read these things in batches, sometimes days, or even if I am very busy, a week or so after they arrive, and sometimes longer than that. If you need an instant answer before you send it to someone else, we allow simultaneous submissions or you may consider it rejected if you simply cannot stand the suspense. But do not send them direct to me unless invited to do so, because anything so sent will probably be lost in the noise. I suppose I will have to say this several times,. and if I am working in a better light with a better keyboard I will probably summon up a bit more courtesy.
I wish there was still some way to get the MS Office team’s attention. It’s apparent to me they’ve been hard put to come up with any really new features for the individual user in recent years but they seem to have completely missed the rise of e-books. Between Word and Publisher, this seems like such a natural path to pursue but I’ve seen no indication in the Office 2016 preview that they have any awareness of it at all. Everything new is geared toward big corporate collaboration efforts. I realize that’s where the big money is but I can’t believe the investment wouldn’t be paid back by giving millions of users malingering on old versions a reason to finally upgrade or get a 365 subscription.
I know a couple of Microsoft Executives subscribe, so perhaps one will read this?
I <3 Pluto
Dear Jerry Pournelle:
If a picture of Pluto with a heart-shaped feature on it had appeared on the cover of a Golden Age science-fiction magazine, then the story it illustrated would have been either very, very good, or very, very bad.
I would like to read that story, either way. Would you like to write it?
Like to, yes, but it is extremely unlikely. I seem to overfill my days lately. Thanks for the invitation; I’d like to think mine would be very good.
I’m listening to the news on the radio right now, and the intelligence community is reported that the Russians of move half a dozen tanks and several personnel carriers to their new base in Syria. It looks like the Russians will be in a position, in terms of personnel and materiel, to assert the Pournelle Doctrine vis-à-vis ISIS. Too bad the United States couldn’t get its act together on this one.
However, I care more about results than details. If the Russians can do what our policymakers lack the testicular fortitude to do then so mote it be.
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Joshua Jordan, KSC
ISIS is much closer to Russia than us, and understands chiliastic movements…
Jerry, Please take the picture of the woman with the flag off your blog.
Yet there are those to whom it appeals.
Iran, Hezbollah, and the Future
The Iranian nuclear deal is more complicated than one might gather from the general, public conversation on the matter. Matt at 1913intel.com picked up on an interesting article that raised the following points:
“There is no intention of conquering the entire area for good. But it’s enough for Hezbollah cells to deploy in the area, hide for a while and hit vehicles and meeting points of the fighting forces preparing to enter Lebanon, in order to deeply sabotage any IDF plan of action.”
This is of course a realistic option, but there are those in the intelligence community who say there is a different reason:
Immediately after the battles began in 2006, Israel has learned, a delegation of senior Iranians – led by representatives of the Revolutionary Guards, Hezbollah’s adoptive body – arrived in Beirut.
The delegation reprimanded Nasrallah mercilessly. The military preparations we are devoting and giving you for a conflict with Israel were meant for a completely different time, they lashed out at him.
They were meant for a response in case Israel bombs Iran’s nuclear facilities. You have revealed the cards and the abilities we have given you without any reason, simply in order to kidnap soldiers and fulfill your promise to bring Samir Kuntar back home. And who is Kuntar anyway, someone added. Just a f**king Druze.
Since that admonition, which almost cost Nasrallah his seat, he has been holding fire and restraining himself, according to that perception, not for fear of Israel – but for fear of Iran.
If that is the situation, then now that the nuclear agreement has been signed, “it will be clear to the Iranians that Israel is not about to attack them, and they will therefore let go a bit and allow Nasrallah to respond as he pleases,” says Cohen (*). From the moment the nuclear agreement is signed and the sanctions on Iran are lifted, Tehran is able to transfer more funds to Hezbollah, and much more easily.
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Joshua Jordan, KSC
Freedom is not free. Free men are not equal. Equal men are not free.