Monday, June 01, 2015

Monday's random mutterings - June 1st 2015 (FD and kinda LBE)

I know... The last two Mondays I sort of cheated with my Monday posts, since I posted about my website's recipe section and nothing else two weeks ago, and then did a post about a newly released book last week.

You're getting a "proper" random mutterings post today though.


If you read my post from last Wednesday, then you'll know I mentioned computer issues in it.

You see, my laptop - well, actually, it's a "netbook" if I'm honest - isn't working properly any more.

For one thing, it doesn't have much memory. This was fine when I got it, because I was only doing a bit of writing and blogging for fun, and answering the odd e-mail too, of course. But now that I'm doing more, sometimes need to have a couple of windows open when I'm working on a story (during the re-write phases, when I need to check facts, for example) and need to upload files for my books on a regular basis, it just isn't enough; the poor thing couldn't cope, and kept crashing. Actually, sometimes just opening more than JAWS would cause it to crash.

On top of that, I've stepped on it several times, and did some damage after the first couple of times. The screen was in a bad way for a start (not an issue for me as a rule, but it meant Kelly couldn't help me out with anything when I needed him to). This may have contributed to its regular crashes, since I'm not sure exactly how much damage I did with stepping on it. The damage I did to it may be fixable, but since the low memory means I could do with an upgrade anyway, and it would probably cost a lot to fix, we decided to just get me a new computer.

We decided on a desktop this time though. For one thing, it means better specs for less money. For another thing, the machine needs to stay out of the way of my feet, which means it's safer if I'm using a desk, so it's pointless spending extra money on a laptop when it's just going to be sat on a desk anyway.

I got a new desk last month, and a new computer this month. I've now had the computer a little over a week, and it's working really well.

My only complaint is that I had to upgrade to Windows 8. I hate having to upgrade to new versions of Windows! I feel like I only just have one type figured out, and I have to figure out a whole new one. OK, I could have got one with no operating system installed, then got hold of a copy of Windows 7 to put on it. But doing so would have put the cost above the price range we could afford at the moment. Plus, I'd need to update sooner or later anyway... Whether I want to or not... So I figured I might as well get it over with.

I was a bit worried about JAWS working, but the site for the company who makes JAWS insisted that JAWS 15 and above work on Windows 8 (they're on JAWS 16 now) and I have JAWS 15, since I updated it last year, so they said I should be fine. Thankfully, they were right, and JAWS is working just fine with the new version of Windows.

It's taking me a while to figure out how to make JAWS do some things though. Like turning the computer off... It took me TWO HOURS to figure out how to make JAWS navigate to the "power options" button! I figured it out in the end though, so I guess that's what's important.

I still hate having to change operating systems though...


Sticking with technology for the visually impaired for a moment...

Kevin told me about an add on for Firefox designed to make things easier for the visually impaired. Actually, I should say "even easier" since Firefox is already the easiest browser to navigate with a screen reader.

Anyway, the WebVisum add on helps with things like solving word verification, etc... There's a list of features on the site.

I downloaded it of course; anything to make my life easier!

I know Kelly's happy to help with what I need help with, but that's not the point.

You have to send them a message to get a code to register, because they want to be sure you're not a robot, or a cartoon character who wants to take over the world.

So I sent them a message saying that I'm pretty sure I'm not a robot - despite recent concerns about possibly being one - and that taking over the world not only sounds like too much work, but that there's not enough chocolate in the world to help me deal with the grief involved in being the one to blame for all the world's problems.

I guess they liked my message, because they were really quick to send me my registration code.


The weather continues to be weird, with storms one minute, and beautiful sunshine the next.

Hey, at least we don't get a chance to get too sick of one particular type of weather.

Shame I missed out on snow this year though... Maybe I'll have better luck next Winter?


A few months ago - I think it was early February, though it might have been late January - my Dad sent me some lemon marmalade, which he'd made a few weeks before. He sent me three jars of it.

It was really tasty, but now it's all gone.

I plan to make my own - admittedly with a bit of help from Kelly - but just haven't had time.

I'm not going to make lemon though... I'll pick another fruit. After all, I don't want to be having the same flavour all the time.

Maybe I'll do something with berries in it?


I joined in with the A-Z title reading challenge on one of the groups I'm a member of over on Goodreads again this year.

For those not familiar with the rules: you have to read books with titles that work for the letters of the alphabet. You can decide for yourself whether to use or ignore the words "A" and "The" if a title starts with one of those, and when it comes to the "Q" and "X" all that matters is that they appear in the title somewhere.

The challenge lasts from January 1st 2015 to December 31st 2015, but - me being me, and reading as much as I do - I finnished it before we even got half way through the year... I finnished it about a week and a half ago.

So, here are the books I read for the challenge:

A ~ Anne Hawksmoor: The Time Traveller (Anne Hawksmoor, #1) by K.C. Harry.
B ~ Bleak House by Charles Dickens.
C ~ Charm: An Amazing Story Of A Little Black Cat by Leyla Atke.
D ~ Dogs In Space (Astro's Adventures, #8) by Susan Day.
E ~ Eric & The Black Axes (The Sanctum Series, #4) by Katrina Cope.
F ~ From The Ashes (Ravenwood Detective Agency Mystery, #1) by Sabrina Flynn.
G ~ The Great Ghost Rescue by Eva Ibbotson.
H ~ A Horse Called September by Anne Digby.
I ~ I Am Touch by David Estes.
J ~ Jo's Boys (Little Women, #3) by Louisa May Alcott.
K ~ The Kingmaker's Daughter (The Cousin's War, #4) by Philippa Gregory.
L ~ Little Women (Little Women, #1) by Louisa May Alcott.
M ~ Mrs. Frisby And The Rats Of NIMH (Rats Of NIMH, #1) by Robert C. O'Brien.
N ~ Neptune's Trident (Astro's Adventures, #7) by Susan Day.
O ~ Old Jack's Tale by Walter Lazo.
P ~ Pathfinder #6—Rise of the Runelords Chapter 6: "Spires of Xin-Shalast" by Greg A. Vaughan & James L. Sutter.
Q ~ The White Queen (The Cousins' War, #1) by Philippa Gregory.
R ~ Rampaging Rats (Astro's Adventures, #3) by Susan Day.
S ~ Stanley Scotch And The Land Of Giants by Kit Jenson.
T ~ The Alien Chronicles by Autumn Kalquist, Hugh Howey, B.V. Larson, Jennifer Foehner Wells, Daniel Arenson, Blair Babylon, Annie Bellet, Peter Cawdron, WJ Davies, Patrice Fitzgerald, Moira Katson, Samuel Peralta, Will Swardstrom, Geoffrey Wakeling, Nicolas Wilson, David Gatewood, & Stefan Bolz.
U ~ Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe.
V ~ Villainous Vic (Bogamus And Friends, #2) by Nathan A. Jones.
W ~ Where's Lolly? (Class Heroes, #3) by Stephen Henning.
X ~ The Ix by Andrew P. Weston.
Y ~ The Young Elites (The Young Elites, #1) by Marie Lu.
Z ~ Zombie Moon Rising (A Peter Brannigan Novella) by Claire Farrell.


Jeanie said...

Everyone is screaming about Windows 8, which I'm told is only a slight improvement on Vista. Why do they fix what isn't broken? Sigh.

Lemon marmelade -- I would love it! I bought some in France a few years ago but you never see it here.

Victoria Zigler said...

I agree; why fix what isn't broken.

Sorry you can't get lemon marmalade where you are.

Intense Guy said...

I dare not whisper Windows Ten is coming out soon. I hope JAWs keeps up with the changes. It took me 10 or 15 minutes to figure out how to shutdown Windows 8. Microsoft just seems to love "moving things" around - the software itself seems to be unchanged.

You might want to put a desktop "shutdown" button on your computer. Smiles. I did that for a customer - although it escapes me at the moment how I did it.

Intense Guy said...

Rita said...

Sometimes I am glad I don't have Windows and have a Mac. ;)
How can one book have that many authors?? OMG!
I finally blogged today after two weeks. Still sick but lots better.
I hope you get snow this coming winter. I hope we get a normal amount, too. :)

Victoria Zigler said...

Thanks about the shut down thing.

*covers ears to avoid hearing about Windows 10*

Victoria Zigler said...

Glad you're feeling well enough to be back online again; was getting worried!

It has loads of authors because it's a collection of stories.

Yeah, stick to your Mac!