Friday, August 01, 2014

Got More Ink.

     As some of you might remember waaaay back in January, I made the decision to shut the blog down because I was doing much more posting to Facebook and frankly, because I just didn't have the desire to maintain the damn thing even on the infrequent posting schedule I maintained.
     It also didn't help that my beloved netbook, Marrina was stolen.  Although why anyone would want a five year old, slow and cranky netbook running Windows XP was beyond me.  Although I have to admit the data on the thing was worth a lot more than the hardware. I lost a lot of music bought off iTunes, a lot of documents of varying importance, along with the feeling of security I once had.
    The documents were backed up to various cloud services.  The same could not be said for the music.  Oh, well. Easy come, easy go.

     It took me quite a while to replace Marrina.  As she was primarily being used to surf the web and for my fanfic writing projects, I found that the web surfing could be done almost as well on my phone as well as my Nexus 7 tablet. I'm rebuilding my music collection slowly through Amazon, which not only stores my music on their cloud servers, but also unlike Apple's putrid iTunes format, Amazon's music is formatted in the mp3 format which allows any music player to work with it instead of relying on Apple's hardware.
     The writing, not so much.  The kind of long form blog entries I prefer as well as the fanfics had to be done on a physical keyboard.  Using the software keyboard on a tablet wasn't going to cut it for the kind of writing I like to do. I need to feel the keys move under my fingers to establish my rhythm.  I need the kind of feedback that only a real keyboard can provide.
     Long story short, I bought another laptop to replace Marrina.  But instead of getting a fancy expensive Windows rig, or God forbid, a Mac, I decided to check out a Chromebook.
     For the uninitiated, a Chromebook is an inexpensive laptop that runs the Google Chrome operating system, which basically is nothing more than the Chrome browser running on top of a cut down Linux distro providing just enough of an operating system to allow the hardware and the software to communicate with each other.  Everything is done through the browser.  All the data is stored in the cloud, in my Google drive account.  Almost no data is stored locally.  The hard drive on this thing is just a tiny 16GB solid state drive, which boots up in seconds, but offers very little in the way of local storage.  I supplemented the paltry capacity of the SSD with a 32GB SD memory card, which is still not a lot of room, but being that this machine is primarily going to be used for writing and surfing, there's no real call for large amounts of storage.     Mostly just documents will be stored locally, and as almost all activity on the machine is done through the browser, there are no other apps that need to be downloaded.  Don't need antivirus, or malware protection, no need for bulky bloated Office suites.  It's really a very low maintenance machine.
     Of course, with a computer that does 99.9% of its work online, this Chromebook is nothing more than a pretty paperweight without an Internet connection.  Fortunately for me, I have decent Wi-Fi  that is very reliable.  One of the few things Comcast got right, although the same cannot be said for their customer service.
    So far, my initial impressions of my new toy are pretty positive.  The hardware is very much an upgrade from Marrina, even if this rig was running Windows, I'm sure that it would acquit itself fairly well.  It's not a cutting edge machine by far, it only has 2 GB of ram, and the Intel Celeron processor won't set any speed records, but for Chrome OS, it's a pretty zippy machine.  Where it took Marrina almost five minutes for her to boot up and for Windows to settle down, my Chromebook can be ready to go in 10-15 seconds.  As long as I stay aware of the device's limitations and are willing to work around them,  the Chromebook does what it's supposed to do pretty well.
    As is my tradition of giving my computers female names, I have named this Chromebook, Midori, which is Japanese for the color Green.  No particular reason for the name, although I had been planning to name Marrina's successor Midori for a long time.  I just like the name.  And it also resonates with my interest in all things Japan.
    Midori will join the other computers that have served me faithfully over the years:  The Corporate Refugee; Angelique; Roxanne; Allegra; and Marrina.
   
     Well, all this basically means is that as the owner and sole content creator of the Moonlight Scribbler, I am hereby invoking my right to reopen the blog and resume operations, as it were.   As those who have followed this little enterprise since the first post back in April of 2006 know, I do not write to a fixed schedule or a quota.  I write whenever the mood strikes me and for as long as I can stand it, or the Muse decides that what she is seeing coming out of my mind sucks and that I need to take a break.  That means that I could write half a page or five pages.  It all depends on the subject matter, how I feel that day, and the particular attitude of the aforementioned Muse.  Like me, she can be quite moody, very flighty, and she comes and goes whenever she damn well feels like it.  Like most of the women in my life.
    I have even commemorated the resurrection of the Scribbler by changing its appearance for the first time since 2006.  Gone is the puke brown, it has been replaced by a more pleasant pastel blue and white.
    I've never expected a lot of people to read this stuff, as I've said more than a few times during the Scribbler's lifetime.  While I welcome comments on whatever I post as long as they are clean and respectful, It really isn't about the feedback with me.  It's about getting all the impacted crap that accumulates in my brain out of there and on the screen, so that more crap can make its way in.
    High School football season is coming up and I will be doing my usual updates on the Pittsburgh City League,  that tends to be some of my best writing.   I'll also be posting on whatever piques my interest.   And I might even throw in a surprise or two.
    So to all the throbbing masses who have followed the travails of the Scribbler for the eight plus years of its tortured existence, rejoice.  I have gotten a new inkwell, some fresh ink, a new quill, and I am proud to say that the Moonlight Scribbler is back in business.  Enjoy.

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