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yes brain, you can has

April 2015

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The Blogger's Prayer

Lo, there do I see my posts.
Lo, there do I see my tweets.
Lo, there do I see my gifsets and my picspams.
Lo, there do I see the line of my blog, back to the beginning.
Lo, they do call to me.
They bid me take my place among them on the Internets,
Where the geek may live forever.

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astro_noms: (zp: stabbity)
OMG. I made this red lentil soup-type thing yesterday while we were waiting for the meat for the proper supper to defrost, and it is SO GOOD. I have to remember to make sure I have some coconut milk the next time I make it, because that really adds a lovely bit of flavor to it. But it's so simple! My grandmother always makes soup with chicken soup portions, but this is just some olive oil and maybe a bullion cube if the flavor needs kicking up a notch (although I find that if you season it right, you don't need the bullion). And it's done in like, half an hour, or however long the lentils need to cook. Throw in a tablespoon of coconut milk (or I suppose cream or yogurt would work, too), and it's an awesome bit of soupy goodness. The boys didn't want to eat any of it, so I'm having the leftovers for a late breakfast/lunch this morning before I go to class.

Video card update: we took the fancy video card out, turned on the card integrated into the motherboard, and lo and behold, the problems have stopped. I'm taking the card in to the shop today so they can send it in for repairs/replacement, but since the integrated card seems to be working fine, I'm not too worried. I mean, I can't play, say, Assassin's Creed II on the highest settings, but taking some of them down to medium makes it work just fine, so when I need to take a break from writing, I run around Florence, stabbing some dudes. It takes a bit of focus to get all the key combinations right on the keyboard (I need to get a controller, I think), but so far, I've managed to die only once, and that was only because I wandered into an area that was unavailable and got desynchronized.

Mom's coming to Wrocław tomorrow evening, meeting with some friends, and then we're taking the train to Lubań. That's the theoretical plan, but I guess we'll see how it works out in reality. I need to figure out how much time I can spend with her and my grandparents (because I do actually want to spend some time with her) and still have enough time to work on my thesis. We're supposed to bring what we have in on Tuesday, and I have a lot of work left before what I have is suitable for showing to anyone. Plus, I have a term paper to write, although that's not due until February 4, and since it's only 1200-2000 words, I can probably knock that out in a day or so. Still, all of the work gives me an excuse to come back to Wrocław earlier should I need one. Fingers crossed that I don't.
astro_noms: (HAMMER GUY!)
So I've had to make peace with data loss and give up on the idea of recovering the contents of the large external drive. :( Alas, I've gotten used to losing whatever data I put on an external sooner or later over the years, so it's not as hard a blow as it might have been. It was only movies and tv shows, so it's not like I can't replace them should I need them (assuming I can remember what they were...). A bigger annoyance is that I think I've lost some graphics files, probably due to the multiple moves of files back and forth and fucked up file sizes, but oh well.

Everything else is working now, although the graphics driver still seems to be a bit wonky and crashes randomly. It seems to be a known issue, not only with AMD drivers, so here's hoping we can get it figured out. I've got Steam running and a bunch of games queued to install, so hopefully the graphics issue won't interfere with that.

This week is finishing some assessments for school and putting in some more work on my MA thesis. I have to give a presentation on it tomorrow, but that should be easy. The fact that I get sick to my stomach every time I have to go see my thesis supervisor (I think I've figured out why we don't use the term "thesis advisor" - that implies actual helpfulness, rather than uselessly standing around and telling people how to do shit) pisses me off to no end. But oh well, one more semester, and it'll be over. There's an instructor at our institute who's basically come out right and said that if she had her habilitation (basically a higher doctorate, you can't be the advisor to a doctoral student without it), she'd invite me to stay on and keep going with my doctorate. I'm not really considering a doctorate right away (if at all), so by the time I decide to go for it, maybe she'll have her habilitation done. I brought up the idea of a PhD with my supervisor, and he was all "PhDs are for hobbyists, I wouldn't recommend it," which admittedly, did a lot to push me towards actually considering it. I'm not going to go into it without some financial security, so at least a year of work will be necessary before I make another 4 year commitment. I'm thinking of possibly doing a post-diploma course in literary translation next year, but I haven't decided on that yet.

My mother's in Poland this week, helping a friend of hers with some research in Warsaw and I think Krakow, and then she's coming to visit my grandparents for the weekend and staying for a few days. I'm hoping I can keep the amount of "omg you have to do a doctorate, you have SO MUCH POTENTIAL!" talk to a minimum, although I'm not holding my breath. My mother is very achievement-oriented, especially if they're my achievements that she can brag about. She's theoretically bringing me her old iPhone 5S (assuming she actually upgraded to the 6 like she said she would), which will come in handy, because my poor old 4 is slowly dying. It'll be nice having a slightly larger screen.

I hope she doesn't decide she wants to come visit me in Wrocław, because the apartment is a mess, there is a motorcycle in my room (and another one in G & B's room), and I really don't want to have to hear her "this place is shit, I can't believe you live here, it's so gross" lecturing again. We're moving at the end of the school year anyway, mostly because we want a slightly bigger place with a common space where we can work and have a TV and stuff) and also because the administration is horrible and full of useless twats who can't answer a simple question without making me want to strangle them. Ahem. So, yeah, here's hoping I can keep Mom away from here and just go straight to my grandparents'.
astro_noms: (external brain cells)
So I have a new computer! I've temporarily named him Heisenberg, but that may yet change. G picked out the components that would best suit my needs (normal usage, some Photoshop, plus gaming capabilities so I can finally play some of the games I've bought on Steam, oh my God, I'll finally be able to play Assassin's Creed II again, AHHHH), and then I ordered everything and we put it together yesterday. It's SO SHINY (in a metaphorical way, because everything is actually quite matte) and fast and AWESOME. I picked up a used monitor, and it's SO WEIRD going from a 15 inch monitor on a laptop to a 22 inch monitor on my desk. But I have to say, it's nice having a full HD monitor. I had some problems with the display driver, but I'm hoping that today's umpteenth reinstall with just a few things changed fixes it.

The biggest problem now will be getting the hard drives to work - I've got the drive from the laptop hooked up and I'm accessing it with MacDrive, because obviously, the two platforms can't possibly be compatible without having to stand on one leg and waiting for the moon to be in the right phase. We're going to dump the data from that to a backup drive, format it with the PC, and then I'll have a 750GB drive again. The biggest pain is the fact that the 1.5 TB drive that we took out of the external case and plugged into the computer doesn't seem to be working. It's formatted in a way that should let the PC and the Mac both see it (exFAT), but something seems to be wrong and while Disk Management sees that there's a drive, the entire file structure is gone. This would be bad, because that's the drive all my TV shows and movies are on, but not completely tragic should we have to just wipe and format the thing. Hopefully we can at least get an idea of what's on there, so I can try rebuilding my collection if I need to. Then again, maybe this is a good thing, a fresh start of sorts...

And then once I have the drives sorted, I can finish setting things up to my liking, and then I'll be all set. *crosses fingers* Here's hoping we can get it all done today. :D
astro_noms: (coffee coffee coffee)
My Mac laptop is on the fritz - the monitor has the well-known dark streaks on the bottom, but this time it's not just a matter of putting the display to sleep and waking it up again, and since the laptop is over 6 years old, there's no point in fixing it. I may look at buying a monitor so I can just hook it up that way and have a desktop for now while I squirrel away the money to build a proper PC. I've been using my grandparents' PC laptop for now, mostly because I'm afraid to take it anywhere for fear the display with the cracked bezel and wonky lid will just crap out on me completely. This of course is not without its problems, such as finding a desktop mail client that doesn't make me want to vomit when I look at it, Windows keyboard shortcuts (although that's the least of the problems), and just generally getting used to everything looking different. Six years of a totally different look/function combo is hard to shake.

My mom's coming to Poland next week, spending a week in Warsaw on a research trip with a friend of hers, and then spending a week with my grandparents. She's (most likely) bringing me her iPhone 5 - they just upgraded to the 6, I think - which is good timing, because my iPhone 4 is starting to get wonky, too. The curse of me using electronics, I guess. I might also be getting an iPad mini, I guess as a Christmas present? IDK. It'll be nice to have a tablet again, if only so I have something to fuck around online during boring classes. >_>

A little while ago I bought an external power pack from Anker, which gives me a lot of extra juice to go on. I've been playing quite a bit of Ingress lately, which eats up battery power like whoa, so the powerbank lets me play without worrying about my phone (or mobile wi-fi router, since it can charge two devices at the same time) dying before I'm done. Even if you don't do anything as battery-intensive as Ingress, I highly recommend the Anker, if only for the peace of mind of having a backup power source. I've charged the phone 5-6 times almost to full before the power bank needed recharging, so there's that.

Here, have a cat picture:

astro_noms: (dinosaurs can love too)


Tech support kittens are here to help.


I'm writing this from Titus 2.0, the improved version of my laptop. Well, it's more like Titus 1.5, because there are still external/cosmetic changes that are waiting to be done. I gave up the DVD drive that wasn't working anyway and got a second hard drive bay put in, so now there's a shiny 64 GB SSD drive for the system files, and a 750 GB hard drive for the rest. Given that the old hard drive was 200 GB, that's a pretty huge improvement.

What's also a huge improvement is the speed that everything is running at. On top of that, I've been able to make the jump from Snow Leopard to Mavericks and everything is so smooth! :D The SSD drive was basically the best addition I could have made to the laptop at this point, short of replacing it entirely. It's almost six years old, and given my history with laptops, it's nothing short of a miracle that it's still alive. I'm not going to preach the superiority of Apple over other brands, but I can definitely say that I'm really glad that I got this machine.

I also upgraded my phone and replaced my Android phone with a shiny and new (well, to me) iPhone 4. I bought it used, opting for an older model because the newer ones are far too expensive, and my cellphone contract still has almost a year and a half left on it, so there's no way to replace it through that. My love affair with Android is kind of winding down, and I'm slowly but surely returning to the mothership. :)

I have to say: it's really great having friends who'll help you with computer stuff and sit with you until 1am watching the progress bar on an install. Thanks, Grzegorz! <3
astro_noms: (HAMMER GUY!)
November photo-a-day challenge: day 13 - technology

Day 13 Prompt: Technology. (Macbook Pro, Asus Transformer Infinity Pad, Samsung Galaxy Mini 2, ZTE mobile router)

Mirrored from Tangents and Digressions.

astro_noms: (infinity in the palm of your hand)
So one of the courses we're doing this term is Audio-Visual Translation, which involves dubbing, voice-over, and subtitle translation. All of which have different rules, of course, like if the character is on screen and you can see his mouth moving, you have to make sure that the dubbed dialogue has the same number of syllables as the original, which can make things difficult, but also kinda fun when you get to play with the different ways of saying things. We get to work with movies like Phantom Menace and Cliffhanger, so at least there's room to have some fun.

Since in the second semester last year, I didn't go to phys-ed class because of the fucked up sciatic nerve I had. And since we have to have two terms completed to actually graduate, this term is my last chance. So I signed up for tai chi again, because it seemed the most convenient, plus I already knew the instructor, so I figured he'd be amenable to me coming back late and making up the classes I've missed. I went to the first class yesterday, and went up to him afterwards to see about making up the classes, and that I was away, and blah blah blah. He had me sign the attendance list (like everyone does), and then he looked at me, looked at the list, and said "ennnnh, I'mma handwave this" and marked me as there for all the classes. \o/ So yay, I don't have to go to double classes for the rest of the term! And the tai chi class is actually pretty cool, and although it's probably not nearly as much exercise as I should be getting, at least it helps me stretch out and loosen up a bit.

I'm home at my grandparents' this weekend, because I need to bring my stuff back to Wrocław with me. I wish I could find a long-term place somewhere, so I wouldn't have to schlep things back and forth. I don't have a car, so transporting things is a pain in the ass, especially if I wanted to get something like a TV, or even a desktop computer. Unfortunately, apartments are way too expensive for me, so I guess I'm stuck living in limbo for a while. Hell, I'd even settle for just a room rather than a whole apartment, as long as I didn't have to move and could have a cat. I really want a cat, you guys. OMG SO MUCH.

But at least now when I bring my stuff back with me, I'll be able to do things like cleaning out the external hard drive, and burning off tv shows to DVDs, and the like. Normally, I would just leave them on the external, but I've almost filled it up and I can't really afford another one. If I'm feeling ambitious in a week or two, I may even attempt to clean up the laptop hard drive, back things up, and do a reformat and clean install. I was going to do one when I was in Wales, but I forgot that the Snow Leopard disk was just an upgrade, so it just installed itself over the existing OS. Which did actually help a little bit, but I'm thinking maybe a clean install would help even more. This laptop is over four years old, and it's beat up and damaged (the aluminum is worn away where my wrists rest, and the edge of the monitor frame is cracked, plus there are a couple of keys missing off the keyboard). I'm probably going to have to replace it soonish, and while I really want another Mac, I'm thinking maybe I should opt for a smaller and cheaper PC for a while. I don't really do that much that requires that much processing power (except Photoshop, and I can always use a lower version - I just downgraded from CS6 to CS4 on the laptop to make things run smoother, mainly because I didn't use like, 75% of the features available in CS6), and for music and word processing and the occasional fanmix cover, a smaller laptop would probably do me just fine, and I could put the money I saved on the Mac towards getting a tablet. IDK yet, I need to think about this.
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