Flu Shot Blues

This Is Important

Because herd immunity is important, Husband and I took flu shots last weekend. Unfortunately, they always make me react โ€“ nothing major, just an inconvenient whole-body ache, sore throat and sniffles.

Sick in Munchkin Terms

This year, however, the vaccine seems to have been more potent than previously. Whoa. On the other hand, if that’s what a weakened virus does, I’d hate to be hit by a full force one. Yay for modern medicine!

Intuitive Photo Editing Program Needed

After Hours, Behind the Scenes, Bits in Spaaace!, DIY

So, this is what I’ve been doing this weekend:

I’m getting used to a new computer. But it’s not simply a new-to-me machine with a different keyboard configuration and whatnot; I’ve also upgraded my operating system to Windows 10, with the joys and frustrations that brings. Most of my favorite programs are now on, as are my personalizations. I’ve found most of the settings I care about (many of them multiple times, heh heh). The sounds sound different, with more nuance in music tracks (yay for better speakers / sound controllers). Colors look slightly different, too, understandably. That brings me to my problem.

I’ve been using Picasa for mass photo edits like resizing, but Google has discontinued it. Can anyone recommend an intuitive image editor?

I’m looking for something that’s quick to learn (so preferably not PhotoShop). I mostly only need basic functionality (straighten, crop, light / color correction, text, format conversion) with an occasional mild filter, so there’s plenty to pick from out there. My biggest need is the ability to resize multiple files at a time, though.

I’ve used Gimp and MS Paint, but they aren’t as handy for resizing. (And, bafflingly, the preinstalled programs on my new machine don’t include a resize option.) In a pinch I suppose I can try a legacy version of Picasa, but it would be good to have something with continuing support. I’ve also found some programs I could try by googling, but I thought I’d try the wisdom of my network first.

EDIT: I got one; thanks!

Computer Troubles

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So, this happened:

Meaning, my laptop is dead. It won’t turn on.

Fortunately, it’s not my work computer. All of the shop, blog and customer data is safe.

Unfortunately, the manufacturer can’t help me at all, since they’ve discontinued my model, in all of its 3.5-year-old glory. (It’s not that old! Gah!)

I’m very frustrated โ€“ it’s the most expensive computer I’ve ever owned, and the processor, memory, graphics and hard discs would’ve served my needs for years to come.

It’s not all bad, though: I’ll take this opportunity to learn how to remove the hard discs, re-connect them as an external drive to another computer and back up my data myself, instead of paying someone else for it. I have a lot of edited photos on that laptop, so I’m hoping it’s not the hard discs that are busted. (I do have originals of the photos, but no copies of the edits I’ve made.) And who knows, someone out there might be able to repair it.

And because Sir Ian McKellen and Sir Patrick Stewart can make any day better, here’s a fantastic picture of the two gentlemen:

McKellen Stewart Bad Day

Via Nicola Foxfield.

Image found via Nicola Foxfield.

Curse Your Systems Glitch, B&N!

Bits in Spaaace!, Books & Mags, Thumbs Down, Thumbs Up

Earlier this month I pre-ordered a treat: the final book in Mary Robinette Kowal’s Glamourist series. It was released yesterday, but instead of a book in the mail now, I apparently can expect one in AUGUST:

BN Of Noble Family Preorder

Say what?!? That won’t do. One cancellation and re-order later, my book is shipping tomorrow. (Yay!) And thanks to a coupon code that I happened to get after placing my pre-order, I even saved $4 and change.

BN Of Noble Family Reorder

Today, I win the Internet. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Experience Points from the Weekend: Jump Starting

After Hours

I had to jump start my car this weekend โ€“ a first for me. There were moments when I felt like Han Solo banging on the Millennium Falcon cockpit panel in The Empire Strikes Back:

Han Solo Millennium Falcon Troubles

Star Wars V: The Empire Strikes Back. Lucasfilm. GIF by Eppu Jensen with makeagif.com.

My car made almost the exact same sound as the Falcon. Luckily the jump start worked on the first try. Ah, the joys of adulting. ๐Ÿ™‚

Your Error Message Was 404 Not Found

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There are times when I regret I didn’t go into user experience (UX). Even though I am a gamer, I’m not very well versed in the actual IT world. Systems, structures and logistics do, however, fascinate me. Then there are times when I think being in UX would probably suck. For instance, when seeing an error message like this:

Sign-in Error Apr 2014

Part of me is thinking: What in incredibly frustrating and non-helpful error message. If I cannot sign in with a specific account, what possible use could there be in asking me to sign in again with that same account? The other part is thinking: There must be a reason for that specific wording. Or is this a โ€œplaceholderโ€ message for misc problems? How would you even design a scalable error message system specific enough to be useful for the good IT folks trying to troubleshoot and generic enough not to confuse your users?

Three days and counting. Thank goodness e-mail customer support is working behind the scenes. And the upshot is that I have time available to tackle tasks I’ve been putting off because they’re not very exciting. Ohwell. ๐Ÿ™‚