Tag Archives: technology

Tumblr Fumblr

Recently, as you know, I’ve been trying to build a platform for myself as an author.  Along those lines, I figured I’d try creating a Tumblr account even though I still have no idea what Tumblr actually is.  My grasp of it is that it’s a blog but also a social network but also a place where you mainly share photos, GIFs, and videos.

So I created an account.  And then I tried to log in.  And then I got redirected to the log in page.  Then I entered my information again, and got redirected to the log in page again.  It was an infinite loop of Tumblr log in pages.

Tumblr Loop

After several agonizing minutes of this, I decided to try changing my password.  I followed the link, changed my password to something completely different, and tried again.  Tumblr Loop prevailed.

It was unavoidable at this point; I had to contact their support team.  I sent an email as follows (all green text has been added in for the purpose of this blog to emphasize a point):

I just created a new Tumblr account and it won’t let me log in. I tried resetting my password and clearing Cookies from my browser, but all it does is redirect me to the log in page every time I try to log in. I already verified my email address, so I don’t know what’s going on.

Their response was:

Hi Rebecca,

Did you ever receive an email address verification message from us? If not, have you checked your Spam or Junk mail folders to make sure the verification email didn’t end up there?

My response was:

I did in fact get the verification email and I verified my email address,
as I said in my original message.

Their response was:

Hi Rebecca,

Ah! So you did! Sorry about that; moving a little too fast this evening! Could you try three things:

1. See if clearing your browser’s cache helps.

2. If #1 doesn’t help, Try deleting your web browser’s cookies for Tumblr.com and see if you can log in then. Let me know if you still have a problem.

3. Finally, try restarting your computer.

At least he didn’t tell me to reset my password.  Except he kinda did, because he did link me to their FAQ page for what happens if you can’t log in, and resetting your password is on there.

If you hadn’t guessed, I’ll let you know that it’s still not working.  I have restarted my computer at this point, cleared my cookies, reset my password, verified my email address…I’m done.  No Tumblr for me.  Bummer.

No comic today as I have been lazy.

Word of the Day: Agonize (v) – to suffer extreme pain or anguish.

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Filed under Humor, Technology

The Silliest Rant Ever

Oh my God I’m posting again?  What?  But you barely had time to read/think about reading but then never really get around to reading my last post!  I know.  Sorry.  Here’s why:

1. I’m going to start a rumor that my best friend, Liz, (read two posts ago) is going to do a guest post on this very blog!  HOMG you guys!

(If I seem crazy or “silly” as the title of this post suggests, it is only because I am really tired but I’m at that point in being tired where you suddenly feel really wired.  Yes that rhymed.)

2. I have a sort of rant, but it’s more like a cautionary snail

about how technology could actually be screwing us over.  But instead of ranting at you guys, which would be really boring and preachy, I decided to do it in the most ridiculous way possible.  I might actually sacrifice the ability to make sense for the sheer purpose of keeping my readers entertained.  So I’m gonna just throw words at you and then some completely random pictures to break up the blocks of text.  Like this one:

So I just got done watching this movie called The Artist.  You might have heard of it.  It won the Academy Award for best picture or some shit.  But the only reason I watched it was because there was this cute little Jack Russel Terrier in it and next to Great Danes, those little fuzzballs are my favorite breed of dog.  So I watched the movie and for those who don’t know, it’s about a silent film star who gets shunted aside for the new TALKIES that everyone is…talking about.  Yeah, I just decided to go with it.  So anyway, the movie was good and I’d recommend it because that dog (his name is Uggie and he’s got a book coming out) is so cute!  And the other stuff as well.  PICTURE TIME

So I got to thinking about newer technology and how that screwed the main character, George, over.  (I really shouldn’t have split up “screwed over” but rewriting is for people who have slept recently!)  For the record, I don’t think it was wrong that people made “talking pictures,” but if you think about it, George was punished for sticking with something “old” that was working pretty well for him.  This demonstrates how fixated our culture (even in the late 1920s and early 1930s) is on the next bigger, better thing.  New toys!  Shiny new toys!  So no one gives a thought about the book stores that are closing because their shiny new Kindle is showing them shiny new words on a screen!  Remember Borders guys?  It was a bookstore once.  It’s gone now.  Gone.

So, yes, we are losing quite a bit to technology.  And this does affect me because everyone is like “Self publishing is the way to go” and “eBooks are going to replace printed books soon,” and I’m gonna dig my heels in for as long as I can.  Why?  Because first of all, Kindles are great.  I have one.  But they aren’t books.  When I’m reading, I often flip back and forth through the book, rereading something for clarification, skipping ahead to see how many pages are left in the chapter while still holding my place with my thumb.  You can’t do that with a Kindle.  At least you can’t yet, and I’m not entirely sure people should work on fixing that.  Plus, books have this wonderful smell.  I’m not kidding.  They smell great, and the feel of that tiny breeze that wafts across your face as you flip through them…that’s an experience that a computer can’t give you.

But there’s another reason why technology isn’t always better and that’s because it does things like put entire companies out of business.  (No I’m not sure that Borders went out of business because of eBooks, but those couldn’t have helped.)  I’m not convinced that enough jobs will be created in the New Technology Industry to balance out the ones that are lost in the Old Smelly Books Industry.  Publishing companies are turning more and more to ePublishing, turning down more and more query letters from hopeful authors because the competition is fierce, and the demand for new, published, printed books is lowering.  And it shouldn’t!  I’ve actually been saying this for years, but because I’m not famous, no one has actually heard me say it outside of my immediate family: Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.  Just because you can make a bomb that wipes out entire continents doesn’t mean you should.  Just because you can replace all printed books with a tiny, glowing rectangle doesn’t mean you should.  People are so caught up in advancing technology that they don’t stop to think that maybe they’re forcing other people who work in other areas to take steps backward.  Suddenly people are running to catch up.  Meanwhile you’ve got automatic grocery store check out, ATMs, eBooks, robotic secretaries who say, “For English, please press one.”  We are long overdue for a picture.

In conclusion…I don’t know.  Think about the technology you’re using.  I’m not against it, mind.  I’ve got a smart phone just like eeeeverybody else, and I do like it, but…just…it’s not always the greatest thing.  And we’re so spoiled nowadays, people.  And we’re hypocrites, too.  Robots taking over the world.  It’s a cliche.  Yet we seem to be working as hard as we can to get there, all the while fearing the day that The Matrix or I, Robot becomes a reality.  All of this creating and no time to breathe.  Even God is said to have rested, right?

End rant.

Word of the Day: Soapbox (n) – an improvised platform, as one on a street, from which a speaker delivers an informal speech, an appeal, or political harangue.

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Filed under books, Humor, Language, Technology, writing

The Stupidest Thing I’ve Ever Done

So the reason my computer was running so slow turned out to be…something.  It was running at 100% CPU usage, which, for those of you who don’t speak Computer, is way too much.  In light of that, I called my father, the computer guy, and asked him to help me fix this problem.  After hours and hours of searching through my computer, he failed to identify the source of its slowness, i.e. the thing that was making it eat CPU for breakfast.  Then I took a look through the programs it was running and saw something titled “Bing Bar.”  I assumed this was Bing as in that search engine no one uses, but it might have been a virus.  At any rate, I uninstalled it.

The good news is that my computer stopped running at 100% CPU.  The bad news is…my computer broke.  My father looked at it again, and eventually decided there was nothing more he could do and that I’d have to take it somewhere to get someone to look at it.  Luckily for me, we have Information Technology Services (ITS) right on campus.  So I took my computer to them, and they fiddled with it, and then they decided that the only way to fix it would be to restore it to factory settings.  Gee, I thought, I’m so lucky that my computer is still mostly functional.  Now I’ll be able to back up all my files and not lose absolutely everything I ever lived for.

That night, I plugged in my external hard drive and did some dragging and dropping of files.  My dad gave me the sage advice of checking to make sure everything backed up properly by plugging the hard drive in to another computer.  I thought this advice was good, but (and here’s the important part) I never actually went through with it.  Even though I was suspicious of how quickly everything had “backed up,” I still never got around to checking that everything I lived for was okay.  I have no idea why that didn’t fly to the top of my priority list, but I’m kind of scatterbrained.  Especially when it is least convenient for me to be so.

Skip forward to after my computer has been wiped, and ITS nerd guy plugs in my external hard drive to retrieve all of my everything.  Can you guess what happened?  That’s right.  He looked at me and said slowly and quietly, in the tone of someone admitting to the fact that they just ran over all of your pets and your grandmother, that I had not backed up a thing.  All I had done was copy shortcuts from my computer to my hard drive, which does absolutely nothing.  Then, for about ten seconds, I had to live with this fact.  Ten seconds to try and wrap my head around the fact that I had lost everything, and that this problem could have so easily been avoided.  Then Mr. ITS said, “But…” and I perked up my ears.

Thanks to sheer luck, the damage was not too bad.  Mr. ITS installed a program on my computer that had the potential to recover documents from my computer’s hard drive.  It did this quite well.  So well, in fact, that it brought back Word documents that I had deleted years ago.  But I still thought I’d lost a lot.  None of the JPEG files could be recovered, which meant that I’d lost London.  Remember how I was abroad for a semester?  Maybe you don’t.  But I thought I’d lost that.

NOPE

Apparently, at some point I backed up all of my files, including my pictures from London and my books, onto my flash drive!  I couldn’t fit all the pictures, so I lost Dublin, but I can get pictures of that from my best friend who accompanied me on that trip.  I’m certainly not complaining.  Not only did all of my books get saved and my pictures from London, but the recovery program found my completed version of Grotesque, the only book that had not been recently backed up.  Considering how stupid I had to be to get myself into this situation, I am incredibly lucky that pure serendipity got me out of it, despite the fact that I probably didn’t deserve such a nice bail-out.

At this point, you might be wondering why I’m telling you all this.  Aside from the fact that it’s funny in a “Ha ha, I almost lost my entire reason for living” sort of way, it also pertains to this blog.  See, I recently acquired a Wacom tablet, which I was using to draw funny little cartoons, if you’ll recall.  Unfortunately, I lost Photoshop Elements when I wiped the computer, as well as all the things I drew using it.  This means that I lost an entire artistic series of pictures I drew based on those iconic, red phone booths you see in London.  Hours and hours of work.  Gone.  I will redraw them anyway, and maybe share a few, when I’m able to reinstall Elements.  The only problem is that the CD to restore it to my computer is somewhere back in California, in a large cardboard box maybe.  (We just moved)  So it looks like I won’t be able to illustrate my blog for a while.  Not until that CD or some other solution is found.  My only other option is MS Paint, and well…

…I just don’t think that would work out so well.

That’s all I have to say for today.  Somehow I will persevere.  I’m lucky that I got back what I did, even though I still lost many things that were important to me.  Obviously, I learned to be more careful with my files.  I’ve already gone back through and properly backed them up again.  I also learned that there is no point kicking myself forever about this mistake, because it’s in the past.  Yes, I had every opportunity to prevent it, but I didn’t.  And nothing I say or do is going to change that.  All I can do is deal with the consequences and try to learn from it.  I’d like to say I already have learned a good deal.  Only time will tell if this lesson will stick, but I have a feeling it will.

My father will probably be somewhat peeved when he reads this, so let me just say: I’m sorry, Dad!  I know I should have listened to you.  Thanks for all the help, though.  I don’t know what I’d do without you.

Word of the Day: Serendipity (n) – The faculty of making happy and unexpected discoveries by accident.  Also, the fact or an instance of such a discovery.

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Filed under books, Humor, Technology