Monthly Archive: October 2011

Give Me a T or Really T’ed Off

As I mentioned in my previous post about my new netbook, the Acer Aspire One 722, a big selling point for me was the keyboard. I’ve never seen a keyboard like the Acer “Fine-tip” keyboard; the keys resemble those island-style chiclet keys you find on Macs and just about every laptop these days, but they respond like a more traditional keyboard; they have a fair amount of travel and give me the tactile feedback I need when I’m typing. The spacing between the keys also is more comfortable for me, and they make a satisfying clicking sound that most people probably find annoying. (It might be weird, but I really like the sound of typing. At home, I use an old IBM Model-M keyboard, which is probably as loud as you can type without a typewriter.)


sleep no more: what you see is what you get

This weekend, my wife and I went to Sleep No More, a theatrical production in New York City produced by Punchdrunk and EMURSIVE. It would be incorrect to call it a play, or to say that I went to “see” it, because it isn’t a traditional sort of play, nor is it something you watch passively; however, there is definitely a strong element of real play in it, for both the audience and the actors.

The Wikipedia page calls Sleep No More an “immersive theatre installation,” which is an accurate, if not necessarily accessible description. Some reviews have likened it to video games like BioShock or Choose Your Own Adventure books, and one of my friends compared it to a holonovel on Star Trek, an interactive book that plays out on a holodeck and makes the “reader” part of the story. I would go one step further and compare Sleep No More to novels, period.


and the winner is…

If you guessed Penny from Inspector Gadget, you are correct! It was a landslide vote in her favor on Wednesday’s poll, though I was happy to see Penny Robinson get one vote. Who the heck voted for the giant penny in the Batcave? Really?

I loved Inspector Gadget when I was a kid, and it was only later that I became a huge fan of Get Smart and realized that Gadget is essentially the same character as Maxwell Smart, played by Don Adams. Both of those shows also have a fair bit of influence on one of my all-time favorite cartoons, Darkwing Duck. What do I like so much about bumbling crimefighters? (Hmmm… I also love the Peter Sellers Pink Panther films.) Maybe it’s the idea that a positive attitude and a strong sense of justice can always win out, although competent “sidekicks” and extraordinary abilities sure help a lot.

Penny is clearly awesome all on her own, but what I loved most about her, I’m almost embarrassed to say, was… her computer book. Which was a computer, and an actual book. This was an incredible idea in the 1980s, and I desperately wanted one. I didn’t even get a regular computer until the mid-Nineties, and that was pretty amazing, but now I have a computer book too–a “netbook,” if you will–and I carry it around with me all the time and use it to solve international crimes, WHICH I DO ON A REGULAR BASIS. Don’t you?

Penny’s wristwatch was also cool. Still working on that one.

penny for my thoughts

As a belated celebratory present to myself for selling FAIR COIN, I finally ordered a new netbook last month. My previous netbook was actually the first of the netbooks, the Eee 701 PC, which I purchased back in January of 2008. That was some time ago! I wrote the first draft of QUANTUM COIN on that, and two other novels after that, before finally retiring it. I still keep it around for some light web surfing and some potential emergency, but the mouse buttons are buggy, the software is outdated (I somehow broke the Synaptic Package Manager, so I can’t download anything), and the 7″ screen frankly isn’t cutting it anymore–certainly not for novel revisions. And until recently, there was no Scrivener for Linux, which was the real clincher for me.


the scrivening, part 4: judgment day

Previously on “The Scrivening”…

As you know, Bob, I decided to experiment with using the writing tool Scrivener for my latest round of revisions on my novel Quantum Coin. It has been a long time since my last post on this topic, mainly because I was trying to finish revisions before my manuscript turned into a pumpkin. I didn’t quite make it, but it turns out, the draft looks pretty good in orange, so it’s all good. We’ll see if my editor agrees, or if he’s just going to give me a good recipe for pumpkin pie, which I don’t mind, because I like pie. (Mmm… pie.) Happily, while I wasn’t writing about Scrivener, I was using Scrivener. To cut to the chase, I can say I’m definitely a proponent of Scrivener. I’m not yet in the cult, but I’m looking over the literature. The Kool-Aid has been served, and I’m considering taking a sip. (more…)