(This is really a one-word title starting with "f" and ending with a stream of exclamation points)

>> Saturday, February 16, 2008

It seems like I may have good news and bad news with my finicky internet connection.

I was futzing around with the Windows machine for some reason--normally it just sits there and serves music--and I decided to check the ol' blog and see if anything new had happened. Because that's one of the bad things about a blog, you develop this sense that you ought to be checking it a lot, just in case someone accidentally left a comment or something. (I feel like I need to add: I'm not trolling for comments, I'm just saying that's how you--by which I mean I--end up feeling when you have one of these things. Perhaps you--by which I don't mean I, I mean you--don't get that compulsive feeling. It wanes as you--or I--get used to having a blog, it becomes something that's simply there and mostly takes care of itself, doing what it does best: merely existing.)

But, as I was saying, I went online using the Windows machine and I discovered, almost to my horror, that I had a reasonably fast connection, much faster than the internet connection I was getting from the Linux machine just a little bit earlier. So I booted Neverwinter Nights just to see what that looked like. (The only reason I really need a reasonably fast connection, to tell the truth, is that an old buddy of mine in Tennessee and I have been playing the classic G/D/Q-series modules online every week.)

What did I see? Game rooms. Reasonably low pings. Son of a bitch.

So the problem isn't Road Runner. And the problem isn't with the AirPort Express. The problem is something with the way the Linux machine is talking to either Road Runner or the AirPort. Which narrows things down to where they can be fixed. Maybe.

I said I had good news and bad news. Well, the good news is obviously that I actually have "hi-speed online." The bad news isn't so much that I may have to use Windows more--I'm really not that much of a partisan--but that the Dell with Kubuntu is my main machine. I write on it, surf the web on it, and yes, to the tiny extent I still game, I game on it. The Windows machine is an inexpensive Gateway that I bought almost a year-and-a-half ago when I was having problems with the Dell and needed a computer right now. The Dell, purchased almost two years ago, was a serious upgrade--fast processor, fast graphics, decent memory; a heavy desktop-replacement laptop. Now that it finally works it's a brick in more than one sense: it's heavy as hell, but also it's solid, reliable, you can build things with it.

So that's where things stand. The good news is making me want to bang my head against a nearby wall.


MWT Saturday, February 16, 2008 at 2:38:00 PM EST  

Heh, I do that compulsive check-for-comments thing all the time. Even though I'm not writing new posts for people to comment on. Then I think, I should write posts! but I can't think of anything to say! ... and then I wind up making the rounds to everyone else's blogs to check their comments instead.

Eric Sunday, February 17, 2008 at 10:45:00 AM EST  

Don't sell yourself short. Your little "thought of the day"-style pieces are excellent.

Anyway, if you're trying to do what I'm doing here, and trying to write something every day, aometimes you have to make yourself sit down with the beast--even if it's just to write about how you have nothing to write about....

TroyBoy Sunday, February 17, 2008 at 2:37:00 PM EST  

Well, it looks like you received yet another comment. Not too bad for not even trolling for them. I came across your blog because I was out looking for fellow bloggers that shared common interests....we both like Violent Femmes, among other things.


Eric Sunday, February 17, 2008 at 4:32:00 PM EST  

Hello, and welcome to Giant Midgets! I should probably come up with something clever to write about the Femmes at some point.
There's an old game I think everyone (or at least everyone who's dabbled with music) has played: who would be in your dream band? My pick on bass has long been the Femmes' Brian Ritchie, an unappreciated bassist if there ever was one.
Anyway, welcome, troyboy, and I hope you'll feel free to drop by and comment whenever you'd like.

Anne C. Monday, February 18, 2008 at 1:17:00 AM EST  

Eric, if you ever want to get free of your blog, don't get a stat counter (keeps statistics on blog visitors). I used to be a lot more sporadic blogger back when I thought only four people read my blog per week. Once I realized some people checked every day, I felt like giving them something interesting to read.

MWT Monday, February 18, 2008 at 5:05:00 AM EST  

Eric said: Your little "thought of the day"-style pieces are excellent.

Really? Thanks. :) Glad you like them. I always wonder if they're too short.

Anne said: ...if you ever want to get free of your blog, don't get a stat counter.

Ye gods, compulsive check-for-comments nothin'. I like to see who the latest google hits are and what they're looking at. ;)

Eric Monday, February 18, 2008 at 8:36:00 AM EST  

I use Google analytics but hardly check it anymore: still, it's interesting to see that there are visitors from other continents, people bouncing in from surprising Google searches,etc.

What really makes the compulsive-checking thing bad is that I actually have the comments RSS for this site set up in my RSS reader. Even with the delays in Blogspot's RSS reporting, there's no good reason for me to check in here when it will just show up in the aggregator. It's just me being anal, is what it is.

TroyBoy Monday, February 18, 2008 at 1:30:00 PM EST  

Hi Eric.

You offered for me to come back, so here I am!

What is RSS? I'd love to learn of time-efficient ways to keep tabs on my blog traffic.

I am also interested in ways to increase my blog traffic - hence, why I did the check on who shared my interests.

Eric Monday, February 18, 2008 at 1:53:00 PM EST  

"RSS" is "real simple syndication." The simplest explanation I can offer, instead of fumbling to put it in my own words, is to point you to this Wikipedia article.

An "aggregator" is simply a program or plug-in that lets you manage all your links to RSS services in one place.

RSS management in Firefox is very simple, since RSS is built right in. The simplest way to aggregate the RSS feeds is to use a plug-in like Sage or Brief.

Internet Explorer 7 also has built-in RSS. Information can be found here, at Microsoft's website.

If you're using another up-to-date browser, it probably has RSS capability, but you'll need to hit Google for help.

If you have a little orange-and-white icon that looks like 1/4 of a target bullseye appearing in the address or menu bar of your browser, your browser has RSS capability built-in.

RSS is, as they say, "the bomb." It's a good way to keep an eye not just on blogs but also on news sites that interest you.

I know this is kind of a vaguish explanation with some hand-waving; to some extent, my knowledge of RSS is a bit like magic--you click on an icon and things happen, hooray! But I hope the links are helpful, and if anyone else wants to chime in....

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