Friday, February 19, 2010

Backup Options

Last week the Drobo not only lost one of its drive (the first batch we bought for it turned out to be a set of lemons, although they did make it out of warranty). It should have been able to recover gracefully onto the other three drives, except that the power supply went wonky, making it look, for a while, like it was losing a second drive, power cycle, and otherwise lose its marbles.

No problem, we thought, we backed all the important stuff from the Drobo to an on-line backup service.

Sunday Ron ordered the DVD restore. It didn't arrive until today, and Ron has started the movement of data back onto the Drobo.

If/when we determine we have actually got our data back in usable form, I'll vent some more. It hasn't been a pretty process.

At this point, I suspect our new backup scheme will be a pair of external drives to be sneaker-net rotated between home and one of our mundane offices.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Taxing Taxes Taxonomy Tacks Tachs Techs Tacky Tackle

Why yes, I am babbling. On top of less than 4 hours sleep for the period of time known as Saturday night/Sunday morning and still being tired yesterday, after cleaning up some of my mess around my end of the couch, I closed out the books and did taxes yesterday.

I still do the Otter's taxes "by hand" since Otter Necessities is a partnership, and if you want a version of TurboTax that has the partnership forms you have to pay for the expensive business version. Most of the work in filling out the partnership forms for us is filling in zeroes in all the not-applicable boxes, so paying for the software to walk me through that is just not worth the cost. And fill-in-able PDFs, simplify it a bit more than writing all those zeroes by hand.

I did have some cursing and swearing about trying to save the completed PDFs in Preview, Mac's native PDF application. The fix was to take over Ron's machine to do them, while he installed Acrobat on my iFruit.

The other problem I ran into was in TurboTax. Ran error-check and audit check, etc. Federal e-file is now free, but it would be $19.95 to send it via Intuit. I decided lazy trumped cheap for that one, and followed all the prompts to pay Intuit. Only after that did TurboTax say "oops, sorry, you can't e-file an IL return where your state tax withheld is over X% of your state taxable pay, please fix this." I contacted them, a refund of my fees should be in the pipeline.

Thursday, February 11, 2010


We are not dealers at Capricon this year, we decided the other time-commitments we have Saturday and Sunday were going to make trying to be dealers on top be a gross over-commitment.

Saturday, you see, is the kickoff party for MuseCon! 8:00 pm until midnight or so. Room 1514. Look for the "Follow the Muses" signs. Full color signs. Pretty pretty signs. And bookmarks. Pretty pretty bookmarks. Admire the signs and bookmarks...

Why yes, I *am* doing Public Relations & Publications for MuseCon.

Sunday, 10:00 am until 2-ish we'll be at the MuseCon sale table.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Still More FAIL

Bad photoshop in a graphic design book (see previous post for book details).

Headdesk, headdesk, headdesk.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Author/Illustrator/Editor FAIL

Apropos of the previous "Design Fail" post,

The Rockwell typeface: is a serif font. (Serifs being the little sticky-outy bits on various letters in fonts like Times New Roman and, say . . . ROCKWELL) No wishy-washy maybe-serifs about this one, those are big chunky ones.

But "Graphic Design for Non-Designers", Tony Seddon & Jane Waterhouse, illustratons by Rick Landers, 2009, Chronicle Books, ISBN: 978-0-8118-6831-0 calls it a sans-serif.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Design Fail

I followed a link from a humor website I enjoy to a site about web design, and then a link from there to another web design site. IIRC both sites were touting themselves as social-networking resources for web designers, and also sources of great ideas, inspiration, tutorials, etc.

You might think that I'd have found them interesting and bookmarked them. Nope.

Cool design is one thing, but if the content is lame, no amount of design fripperies will save the site. And I'm sorry to say that these sites failed on the content side of the equation in very very basic ways.

* Grammar
* Spelling
* Punctuation (and spacing)
* Capitalization

Look guys, if you can't get the basics right, I'm not trusting you on the in-depth stuff. I'll forgive the odd typo (Murphy's Law should ensure there's at least one in this post), but chronic disregard of or disinterest in the basics is not cool, revolutionary, or visionary. Why should I trust your tutorial if the introductory blurb is a mess?